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Any real-life experience using SSD yet?

2997 Views 23 Replies Latest reply: Apr 8, 2008 6:16 PM by bgmdmba RSS
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Peter Coleman Calculating status...
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Feb 4, 2008 6:16 AM
In my mind playing around with a demo unit in an Apple store isn't all that useful, and the benchmarks don't provide a real-life story. Anyone have an SSD they've used - at home, or office, in a real-life situation - yet?

What're your impressions re: speed? Is there a noticeable boost over the standard HD unit? Does it seem MacBook zippy?

Any feedback - good or bad - would really help!
Several, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • John Guo Level 5 Level 5 (5,165 points)
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    Feb 4, 2008 9:12 AM (in response to Peter Coleman)
    Think of SSD as a grown-up version of those flash memory sticks you slip into your Mac’s USB ports. Instead of storing data on spinning platters, as a standard hard drive does, SSDs store data in solid-state memory—either NAND flash memory or SDRAM. Increase that USB stick’s capacity and add an ATA or SATA interface, and you’ve got an SSD. SSDs seem like the perfect mass storage devices for a notebook. They have no moving parts, so they’re less susceptible to damage from the shocks and jolts of travel. SSDs can withstand 10 times as much impact as a standard hard drive. They also deal well with vibration. Then there’s an SSD’s parsimonious power consumption. Powered down, SSDs consume virtually no juice—somewhere around 0.05 watts. Even when operational, an SSD draws only 1w or so—about a third the consumption of a comparable hard drive. In terms of seek times and throughput, SSD performance is about equal to that of a standard hard drive. But SSDs turn on instantly: They don’t have to spin up platters as hard drives do, so they reduce computer boot, restart, and wake-up times substantially. In addition to being sturdier, more power efficient, and faster than standard hard drives, SSDs are also slightly lighter and can, if necessary, be molded into different form factors to fit tight spaces. The circular platters of a hard drive don’t allow for that kind of design flexibility.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.1), iLife '08, iWork '08, iPod with colour display, iPod touch, AirPort Extreme
  • tele_player Level 5 Level 5 (5,380 points)
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    Feb 4, 2008 9:21 AM (in response to John Guo)
    Seek times (the SSD doesn't really seek) and read speeds are much faster than 1.8" 4200 rpm HDD.
    MacBook 2.0GhzCore2Duo, 2.Gig, 160G HD, PowerBook G4 1.5Ghz 15", Mac OS X (10.5.1), Logic Pro 7.2.3, Focusrite Saffire...
  • Hawk9858 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 4, 2008 1:39 PM (in response to Peter Coleman)
    Peter,

    Got mine today (SSD) and it works as well as I expected i.e. very quick to boot, quiet (almost too quiet) but one issue. When I went poking around for the 1st time it only shows 34.3GB available which I'm finding very disturbing at first glance. Having not loaded any software I anticipated approximately 57GB (90% rule).
    I'll continue to investigate later tonight as my boss doesn't like paying me for playing with my new toy.
    MacBook Air
  • Brian Caslis Level 3 Level 3 (795 points)
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    Feb 4, 2008 2:30 PM (in response to Peter Coleman)
    The 64GB drive formats to 55GB. Technically it's 60GB (measured in 1024 bits rather than 1k bits) and then formatting reduces it to 55GB (like any drive). Once the OS is installed you get down to 37GB. You could erase and do a custom install to not put things on like printer drivers you won't use and apps you won't use (like iDVD).

    I wanted to get one myself today but all the local stores only had the HD model, not the SSD.
    MacBook Pro 2.4GHz 17" HD, Mac OS X (10.5), 4GB RAM, 200GB 7200rpm HD
  • Hawk9858 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 4, 2008 3:51 PM (in response to Brian Caslis)
    Brian

    Thanks for the input, my next move was going to be a fresh install and do some "mining".

    1st impressions (not a FanBoy, actually been using a Vaio TX for about 1 1/2 years which I have been very happy with)

    Love the backlit keyboard, nice touch
    Love the quiet!!
    Have no regrets, well worth it!!

    Keith
    MacBook Air
  • Evangelist Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
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    Feb 4, 2008 4:34 PM (in response to Brian Caslis)
    Hey Brian, what's the easiest way to do a "custom install" for OS X???
    MacBook Pro 17" 2.16 2GB, Mac OS X (10.5.1), iPhone 8GB, AppleTV, Video iPod, Time Capsule
  • Brian Caslis Level 3 Level 3 (795 points)
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    Feb 4, 2008 4:47 PM (in response to Evangelist)
    Boot from the DVD, and do an erase and install. At the screen after the erase and install option, there should be button on the bottom left (don't have disc with me so I'm doing this from memory) saying something like "Options". Click that and you can select and deselect pieces to install. Obvious things to not include are printer drivers for printers you don't use and apps you don't use. Not a lot you can exclude from the core OS itself.
    MacBook Pro 2.4GHz 17" HD, Mac OS X (10.5), 4GB RAM, 200GB 7200rpm HD
  • Evangelist Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
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    Feb 4, 2008 4:50 PM (in response to Brian Caslis)
    OK, thanks. Is the "erase" an actual option that can chosen?
    MacBook Pro 17" 2.16 2GB, Mac OS X (10.5.1), iPhone 8GB, AppleTV, Video iPod, Time Capsule
  • BarryXSharp Level 5 Level 5 (7,880 points)
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    Feb 4, 2008 4:59 PM (in response to Evangelist)
    OK, thanks. Is the "erase" an actual option that can chosen?


    Yes it is. It's labeled as "Install & Erase" if I recall correctly.

    Remove all languages except English will save ~3GB
    Remove all print drivers except say HP and that saves another 2GB easily
    Remove Apps you don't need could save another 3GB

    These three alone adds to 8GB.

    So if bundled OS yields 34GB free space you should be able to raise this to around 45GB is my guess.
    iPods, 1G/2G Shuffle, Black/White MacBook, Dual 2.5GHz PM G5, Mac OS X (10.5), SwiftData 200,LightScribe,iSight,AEBS(GbE),iPhone,Burly5bay eSATAPortMultiplier
  • Evangelist Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
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    Feb 4, 2008 5:04 PM (in response to BarryXSharp)
    Awesome! 8GBs is quite a lot on the SSD!

    Thanks for the info!
    MacBook Pro 17" 2.16 2GB, Mac OS X (10.5.1), iPhone 8GB, AppleTV, Video iPod, Time Capsule
  • BarryXSharp Level 5 Level 5 (7,880 points)
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    Feb 4, 2008 5:09 PM (in response to Peter Coleman)
    Peter:

    Of course a user with the MBA w/SSD will need say a MacBook Core Duo (i.e., a Rev A MacBook) 2GHz with say 2GB RAM to make a decent comparison for helping us understand the performance benefits of SSD. Mind you, the SSD offers more than just performance of traditional HDDs - there's the aspect of heat, battery drain, durability, etc.

    In all honesty, my greatest fear with the MBA w/HDD is the durability of the 1.8" iPod-like HDD. The iPod HDD has suffered from premature failures and this fact raises issues for me wrt the MBA w/HDD. Even with 2.5" HDD in the MacBook has causes issues for some users. I have a Rev A MacBook Core Duo (Black) and I've gone thru 2 HDD with it. Thank goodness the HDD is easy to replace on the MacBook. THis isn't so user-friendly on the MBA.
    iPods, 1G/2G Shuffle, Black/White MacBook, Dual 2.5GHz PM G5, Mac OS X (10.5), SwiftData 200,LightScribe,iSight,AEBS(GbE),iPhone,Burly5bay eSATAPortMultiplier
  • Evangelist Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2008 5:09 PM (in response to BarryXSharp)
    Yeah, Barry, that's important and I'm glad you pointed it out about the SSD! I have posted several times in other threads the same thing: there's so much more to the advantages of the SSD compared to the regular HD than just the benchmarks!
    MacBook Pro 17" 2.16 2GB, Mac OS X (10.5.1), iPhone 8GB, AppleTV, Video iPod, Time Capsule
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