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Rowell 02-18-2011 03:10 AM

momentus xt vs. full solid state?
what are the opinions of this?
im debating going with the momentus xt, the hybrid 4gb added to the 500gb hard drive, versus spending about 100 more or whatever it may be for a 128gb or whatever good one i can find ssd. i know the momentus is a really good hard drive, and after some use picks up your habits and becomes faster because of that 4gb ssd. but would it be more worth it to just go the extra mile and do the solid state? i mean, i can always store my normal files on a backup hdd. im just wondering, is the performance really worth the extra cash yet? or will the momentus be substantially close....

chscag 02-18-2011 12:40 PM

If you want an SSD, then go for it. MacWorld has done extensive testing on several brands and has literally put them through "torture" tests to see if their performance degraded over time. Apparently (at least according to them) Mac OS X does not degrade the drive over time when reading and writing to it. Go to the MacWorld site and read the articles.

Anyway, I recommend buying an SSD from Other World Computing. They have a wide selection and are Mac specialists.

safarisurfer 02-18-2011 01:06 PM

I dont know i dont trust those hybrid drives. i was searching around to find out performance about them and all i ran in to was people who had them fail in less then a month or start getting spinning beachballs worse then a regular drive. i have a 7200 rpm regular hd in my 13 inch mac and its pretty fast but no where as fast as a ssd. i think you should just grab a real ssd.

bobtomay 02-18-2011 01:52 PM

I bought one of those hybrid drives in December. It booted my machine in 21 seconds. It's a nice drive if you like to sit and wait 5 seconds for letters to appear when you type in the search field of your browser. If you like looking at the spinning beach ball, you'll love this drive.

I replaced it after a month with a WD Black 500 GB that I can't get a boot time under 45 seconds. It blows that hybrid out of the water at everything else.

I'll sell you the one I have at 30% off Amazon or newegg price and include the shipping.

chrsb5 02-18-2011 04:07 PM

I tried a Momentus XT a little over a month ago, and would NOT recommend them to anyone for use on a Mac. I cloned the drive from my mid-09 MPB to the 500gb Momentus XT, booted it and almost immediately started noticing latency issues, spinning beachball when doing simple, non memory intensive tasks like opening a browser while having mail open. I decided to give it a bit to see if it improved, it didn't. A few boots later, I got the dreaded flashing question mark folder.

Also did a fresh install from the factory DVDs of 10.6 with similar results on the XT AND incase I had a bad unit, tried another XT with the same results.

Go either for a normal 7200rpm drive if you need the space, or a real SSD.

Rowell 02-19-2011 03:33 AM

yeah good call, ive been hearing mixed reviews. i know there was a recent patch to it but i think a 128gb will be substansial and then i can just save most of my files on a home network drive, considering itd be portable for internet and pages work. thanks a bunch, il take a look into those drives.

harryb2448 02-19-2011 03:57 PM

Go with a Mercury Extreme from OWC and have a read of this article on OS X and SSD:-

Mac SSD performance and TRIM in OSX |

brairden 02-19-2011 05:19 PM


Originally Posted by chrsb5 (Post 1188089)
I cloned the drive from my mid-09 MPB to the 500gb Momentus XT

When at all possible you should avoid cloning if you are looking for a performance boost. Cloning will duplicate fragmented data and slow read times. Migrating is a much better option. It copies the data and writes to the new drive in a linear fashion.

chscag 02-19-2011 07:10 PM


Originally Posted by brairden (Post 1188506)
When at all possible you should avoid cloning if you are looking for a performance boost. Cloning will duplicate fragmented data and slow read times. Migrating is a much better option. It copies the data and writes to the new drive in a linear fashion.

I can verify the above. I've cloned and I've migrated via Time Machine. The TM method produces a substantially faster boot up time. However, I've since invested in iDefrag and have been playing around with it to see what, if any boost in boot up time could be yielded from cloning.

What I noticed is if you defrag 100% (free space and files) then the cloning method will yield positive results. I don't recommend going through all that trouble though. I just like to play around.... :)

bobtomay 02-19-2011 08:45 PM

One thing I've noticed is iDefrag places all your applications near the beginning of the partition for faster access.

SuperDuper!, after you've just defragged, will place all data still defragged at the beginning of the drive, but it moves all the apps to the tail end of your data - after my iTunes and Aperture libraries.

Haven't done a defrag since my last clone. Think I'll try it for a before and after comparison.

6string 02-19-2011 09:06 PM

How to read iDefrag data?

I just used the Demo version out of curiosity, and nothing in the info means anything to me :D

PS this is after upgrading the HD and using time machine to restore rather than using my clone.

bobtomay 02-19-2011 09:10 PM

Just went to run iDefrag and it told me that my start up volume was not set to the current volume.

Looks like when I did the clone, that selection was removed. I'd been trying to figure out why this new WD 500 GB Black was taking 45-50 seconds to boot. Went into Startup preferences and reselected the boot partition. Boot time dropped to 23-24 seconds. That's only 2 seconds slower than the XT Hybrid was booting.

bobtomay 02-19-2011 09:21 PM

That's good looking scenario there 6string. The green area - that's your applications - looks like a TM restore puts all the apps at the front of the partition also. And of course, white is your free space.

OS X really does do a very good job at keeping files together. The problem, it does nothing for free space and if you move a lot of large files on and off the drive, your free space and consequently your files while not fragmented can be scattered from one end of the drive to the other.

I really only look at two things, the bar - that'll give you a real good idea when your drive is getting fragmented - and I look at the Free Space fragmentation. I've found that by the time I notice a slow down, that first # under Free Space is above 50%.

bobtomay 02-20-2011 06:34 AM

I know we're getting way off original topic here, but since we're there:

After running iDefrag, I am now officially impressed with the WD Black 500 GB. My boot time dropped to 19 seconds, 2 seconds faster than the XT Hybrid. My previous drive, the WD Black 320 boot time was 28 seconds. My times are to the log in window. I have a few things launching at startup, so from login to desktop with all my startup items loaded won't match anyone else's, but that dropped from 22 to 13 seconds after the defrag.

A couple of changes you can see visually - this is compared to a SD! clone - the yellow arrow points to the System Libraries and the green are the Applications:

For the curious, that other yellow band at the right hand side is the sleep image.

chrsb5 02-24-2011 05:23 PM

That "off topic" info is great! Thank you! One question about restoring from a Time Machine backup, should I restore from the backup or install updates first?

My install disks are 10.6.3 or whatever shipped in '09 with a MBP. Should I update to 10.6.6 plus all the other assorted updates before restoring from my Time Machine backup?

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