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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook - SSD Worth it?


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Cheetah05

 
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Hi there,

I am thinking about upgrading my Macbook and getting one of the new intel 34nm SSDs which have a read rate of 250MB/s and a write rate of 70MB/s.

I have an early 2009 Macbook (base white model) and have upgraded it to 4GB of RAM. Will i notice a decent performance increase?

I was hoping to get Spotlight to run a little faster as sometimes it is a little stuttery, will the hard drive help? Also, will it help with loading applications speed?

Thanks.
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todd51
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I honestly don't think SSDs are worth it right now. They are really expensive for a very low amount of storage space. I think you would rather like having a regular HDD, but just maybe upgrade the speed from a 5400 to 7200.
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XJ-linux

 
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An SSD made my Late 2008 MBP very quick. As you can see, the 4k read/writes of the SSD kick the heck out of the HDD.

7200 rpm HDD

Results 144.53
System Info
Xbench Version 1.3
System Version 10.5.7 (9J61)
Physical RAM 4096 MB
Model MacBookPro5,1
Drive Type ST9320421AS
CPU Test 168.87
GCD Loop 288.49 15.21 Mops/sec
Floating Point Basic 143.04 3.40 Gflop/sec
vecLib FFT 117.66 3.88 Gflop/sec
Floating Point Library 211.40 36.81 Mops/sec
Thread Test 316.92
Computation 466.74 9.46 Mops/sec, 4 threads
Lock Contention 239.91 10.32 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads
Memory Test 186.83
System 220.06
Allocate 281.26 1.03 Malloc/sec
Fill 183.22 8908.51 MB/sec
Copy 216.49 4471.52 MB/sec
Stream 162.31
Copy 152.91 3158.36 MB/sec
Scale 158.10 3266.27 MB/sec
Add 169.75 3616.10 MB/sec
Triad 169.84 3633.33 MB/sec
Quartz Graphics Test 207.66
Line 191.95 12.78 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
Rectangle 252.21 75.30 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
Circle 205.62 16.76 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
Bezier 200.78 5.06 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
Text 197.64 12.36 Kchars/sec
OpenGL Graphics Test 149.25
Spinning Squares 149.25 189.34 frames/sec
User Interface Test 333.48
Elements 333.48 1.53 Krefresh/sec
Disk Test 51.31
Sequential 102.23
Uncached Write 97.94 60.14 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 120.83 68.36 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 73.84 21.61 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 140.85 70.79 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Random 34.25
Uncached Write 10.95 1.16 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 149.64 47.91 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 84.57 0.60 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 143.17 26.57 MB/sec [256K blocks]

128GB SSD

Results 201.60
System Info
Xbench Version 1.3
System Version 10.5.7 (9J61)
Physical RAM 4096 MB
Model MacBookPro5,1
Drive Type SAMSUNG MMCRE28G5MXP-MVB
CPU Test 170.44
GCD Loop 295.02 15.55 Mops/sec
Floating Point Basic 143.36 3.41 Gflop/sec
vecLib FFT 119.33 3.94 Gflop/sec
Floating Point Library 211.75 36.87 Mops/sec
Thread Test 318.00
Computation 380.01 7.70 Mops/sec, 4 threads
Lock Contention 273.39 11.76 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads
Memory Test 188.24
System 222.80
Allocate 291.29 1.07 Malloc/sec
Fill 184.51 8971.17 MB/sec
Copy 216.81 4478.17 MB/sec
Stream 162.97
Copy 153.47 3169.85 MB/sec
Scale 153.92 3179.91 MB/sec
Add 175.19 3731.93 MB/sec
Triad 171.70 3673.11 MB/sec
Quartz Graphics Test 210.09
Line 195.21 13.00 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
Rectangle 253.63 75.72 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
Circle 207.41 16.91 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
Bezier 202.20 5.10 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
Text 201.33 12.59 Kchars/sec
OpenGL Graphics Test 154.03
Spinning Squares 154.03 195.39 frames/sec
User Interface Test 312.93
Elements 312.93 1.44 Krefresh/sec
Disk Test 168.07
Sequential 134.50
Uncached Write 106.10 65.14 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 139.42 78.88 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 96.44 28.22 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 360.57 181.22 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Random 223.99
Uncached Write 122.76 13.00 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 136.48 43.69 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 1657.11 11.74 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 561.42 104.18 MB/sec [256K blocks]

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pigoo3

 
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Ram really does not make things (such as individual programs) run faster in most cases.

Your CPU and video hardware are the main drivers of how well a program runs.

Why are you so concerned about how fast Spotlight runs. Spotlight is just a search program. Has your hard drive been "indexed" by Spotlight? Indexing is what helps Spotlight run quickly.

A faster hard drive can help Spotlight run faster...due to a faster rpm speed & faster transfer rates. But again my question is...why are you so concerned about Spotlight running fast?

Unless we are talking about a different Spotlight program.

You also didn't mention what computer model you have...so if it's an older/slower computer...that could be the problem as well!

- Nick
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Cheetah05

 
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I am not worried about the fact I am paying £170 for 80GB of hard drive space but more worried that it won't give me a fairly significant/noticeable performance/battery life increase, especially with things like spotlight.

Going from 5400 to 7200 is likely to decrease battery life isn't it?
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Cheetah05

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Ram really does not make things (such as individual programs) run faster in most cases.

Your CPU and video hardware are the main drivers of how well a program runs.

Why are you so concerned about how fast Spotlight runs. Spotlight is just a search program. Has your hard drive been "indexed" by Spotlight? Indexing is what helps Spotlight run quickly.

A faster hard drive can help Spotlight run faster...due to a faster rpm speed & faster transfer rates. But again my question is...why are you so concerned about Spotlight running fast?

Unless we are talking about a different Spotlight program.

You also didn't mention what computer model you have...so if it's an older/slower computer...that could be the problem as well!

- Nick
When I search for something in spotlight, it sometimes makes my whole Mac slow...I'm 99.9999% that all my files are indexed.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheetah05 View Post
I am not worried about the fact I am paying 170 for 80GB of hard drive space but more worried that it won't give me a fairly significant/noticeable performance/battery life increase, especially with things like spotlight.
If battery life is your main concern...why didn't you mention that in your initial posting!

It's sort of hard to properly answer your question(s)...if you don't organize your thoughts properly!!!

- Nick
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XJ-linux

 
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Quit giving the noob a hard time Nickpig. Geez. BTW - my battery life is up by about an hour after switching to a SSD.

"Those who don't understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly." Henry Spencer
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheetah05 View Post
When I search for something in spotlight, it sometimes makes my whole Mac slow...I'm 99.9999% that all my files are indexed.
Thanks for your reply..that helps. But why are you so concerned about how fast Spotlight runs.

This is just a utility program, that most folks don't use that often.

Again, you didn't mention what model computer you have...so it's hard to know if the speed problem is an older/slower computer.

Also...let us know how full your current hard drive is. A near full hard drive will really slow things down as well!

- Nick
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ-linux View Post
Quit giving the noob a hard time Nickpig. Geez. BTW - my battery life is up by about an hour after switching to a SSD.
Hey just trying to help the guy! If someone doesn't ask the correct question, they won't get the correct answer!

- Nick
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Cheetah05

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
If battery life is your main concern...why didn't you mention that in your initial posting!
My main concern is whether I will notice a performance increase in spotlight and general usage. An increase in battery life would be a plus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ-linux View Post
my battery life is up by about an hour after switching to a SSD.
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
why so concerned about how fast Spotlight runs.

Again, you didn't mention what model computer you have...so it's hard to know if the speed problem is an older/slower computer.

Also...let us know how full your current hard drive is. A near full hard drive will really slow things down as well!
I use Spotlight ALOT. I find it very useful for finding files/applications quickly.

My MacBook model is: MB881B/A

My harddrive is 120GB of which I have around 45GB remaining.

Thanks.
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pigoo3

 
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Cheetah,

Thanks again for your reply & info. Since you have a MacBook...your CPU & graphics hardware should be plenty for running Spotlight.

As has already been mentioned, a faster hard drive will help as well. The MacBook you have probably has a 5400rpm hard drive...a 7200 rmp drive would make things go faster...but a 7200rpm hard drive would also use more power...and thus your battery life would be negatively effected.

- Nick

Edit: Sounds like your hard drive is about 66% full. I've heard folks say that after the hard drive gets 50% full...you start to see performance decreases.
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Cheetah05

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Edit: Sounds like your hard drive is about 66% full. I've heard folks say that after the hard drive gets 50% full...you start to see performance decreases.
Not knowing much about how SSDs really differ from normal drives, will this be the same if I got a SSD?
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