homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam

The Geek Culture Forums


Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | | search | faq | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Geek Culture Forums   » Other Geeky Stuff   » Ask a Geek!   » SSDs and bottlenecks

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: SSDs and bottlenecks
littlefish
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 966

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2012 17:48      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The new crop of macs had me thinking about what I want from my computer. They don't really have me drooling, but I could do with an upgrade.

I have a core 2 duo macbook, and I'm wondering if an SSD would give me a bit more pep, or if I'd be better off getting a new macbook air. I'd like a retina display, but 15" is just too big for my tastes.

So, should I get an SSD (£80 for 128 GB) or is my computing more likely constrained by my processor?

Posts: 2421 | From: That London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

SuperFan!
Member # 780

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2012 19:16      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
lf: A laptop HD is almost inherently slow, and will definitely introduce some lag on random access of a lot of data. That means app loading time might be sluggish on a 4200/5400 RPM drive, but might be extremely quick on SSD.

Once you go beyond starting up apps, it's really all about CPU and RAM. If you don't have enough RAM, things get swapped out to HD, and you hit the aforementioned bottleneck. SSD isn't going to help you as much there, as its write times aren't so great. The C2D is a pretty good CPU, so you're probably not going to have that much of a slowdown there.

I can't honestly say whether my MBP is much faster than my C2D MB - but I'm not a gamer. Also, my employer did the upgrade for me, so apart from getting around certain 10.7 annoyances, it's just another laptop. The thing I like the most about the MBP is the lighter weight and thinner profile.

Speaking of weight and SSD, I have to admit the MB Air is becoming increasingly tempting to me. If not for the fact that my personal laptop is less than 2 years old, I would seriously consider getting one. It's basically almost as good as a MBP, but much lighter. This is contrast to many netbooks, which are too small, and dramatically inferior to normal laptops. I have to play with them some more at an Apple Store some time to gauge whether the 11" model would suit me alright vs. the 13". If the 11" is just as good, I might very well get one some day - it would beat the pants off schlepping a regular laptop when traveling.


BTW, interesting piece of info. I heard the other day about SSD: Never write anything confidential to it, as it may never be properly erased. To compensate for write-cycle issues inherent to SSD, the controller chip plays fancy tricks to avoid unnecessary writes, including marking sectors as empty when they're anything but. :/ Moral of the story: Use TrueCrypt, FileVault, or encrypted DMGs from day one if you run SSD...at least for stuff you don't want anyone to get a hold of.

--------------------
There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
littlefish
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 966

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 15, 2012 01:58      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the input. I'm surprised that you say that the SSD will not help too much with swap speed. I've only got 2 GB RAM, and thought it would help me out.
Posts: 2421 | From: That London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
macmcseboy

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 1232

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 15, 2012 03:12      Profile for macmcseboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Worried about SSD security? RunCore has you covered! http://www.legitreviews.com/news/13149/

--------------------
Live long and prosper.

Posts: 1139 | From: Victoria BC... | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

SuperFan!
Member # 780

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 15, 2012 20:01      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by macmcseboy:
Worried about SSD security? RunCore has you covered! http://www.legitreviews.com/news/13149/

I want the last 4 minutes of my life back. [Razz]

--------------------
There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
Member # 1769

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 15, 2012 20:20      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
BTW, interesting piece of info. I heard the other day about SSD: Never write anything confidential to it, as it may never be properly erased. To compensate for write-cycle issues inherent to SSD, the controller chip plays fancy tricks to avoid unnecessary writes, including marking sectors as empty when they're anything but. :/ Moral of the story: Use TrueCrypt, FileVault, or encrypted DMGs from day one if you run SSD...at least for stuff you don't want anyone to get a hold of.

This is also good advice for traditional hard disks on laptops. If you carry it around, there's always a risk of it being lost or stolen, so keep all your confidential info encrypted.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
Member # 1769

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 16, 2012 21:18      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Another (possibly best-of-both-worlds) option is a hybrid drive.

Basically a small (eg 8GB) SSD packaged with a traditional hard disk and smart controller, the controller keeps usage stats, and caches the most-used sectors in the SSD.

If you're lucky, this can mean all of the basic OS files and your favourite apps fit in the SSD, giving you the fast boot and app load times of a SSD, with the large total space of a traditional hard drive.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

SuperFan!
Member # 780

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 17, 2012 00:36      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And...it's probably a good deal cheaper.

Still, the true purpose of this post is to tip my hat to your awesome .sig! [Big Grin]

--------------------
There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged


All times are Eastern Time  
Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Geek Culture Home Page

© 2015 Geek Culture

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.4.0



homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam