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 Post subject: SSD
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:25 pm 
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Location: Surrey, UK
Hi everyone this is just a quick question about solid state drives. I am currently about to buy a 27inch iMac and can't decide weather to spend the extra £450 ish on the 256gb SSD. I would buy this as well as the 1tb HDD.

I understand that I could put all the OS files on the SSD and this would significantly improve boot up times. I would also put all my programs on it like word, iMovie and photoshop to improve their boot up times.

But I would have to put all of my photos and files on the 1tb drive. So here is my question if I had movie or photo files on the normal HDD but the program (photoshop or imovie) on the SSD would I see a noticeable improvement in speed or is it not worth the money unless I put all the files on the SSD.

Any help would be amazing

Thanks :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:35 am 
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I'm a Windows guy, but in my experience, it's not worth putting applications on an SSD. I have my machine setup with only the OS and scratch disks on the SSD. All apps (including CS5 Master, i.e. Premiere and Photoshop) are on a partition on the internal HDD. There's another partition on the internal HDD for data files for the current project. And data files for previous projects are backed up to an external HDD.

HTH - Mark


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:55 am 
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Location: Surrey, UK
Thanks for the advice.

I had another thought. Since 256gb is probably too much for what I want to use it for. If I bought a 60gb SSD for only £100 and used that as my SSD. But my next question is how would I connect it so I get the same speeds as I would if it were built into the computer. I could connect it via USB but that would be very slow. The other option is via firewire but I am not sure if there are SSD that connect via firewire. I could use the new Thunderbolt which is meant to be very fast but am pretty sure there are no SSD for thunderbolt yet. Correct me if I am wrong :D

Many Thanks

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Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:06 am 
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Hi James, coincidentally I'm going through the same decision right now.

What helps me is I currently have a PC with an SSD for the OS and apps, and a RAID 5 array for my photo / video / data storage.

Previously I booted the OS and apps from a separate hard disk, so I feel qualified to comment.

Mark may not think it's worth it for the apps, but in my experience it is. The OS loads faster from an SSD, as do my apps. The whole OS experience of loading apps, switching between them etc feels very snappy now and I would find it hard to go back.

Thing is, I reckon most of us can get away with 128GB for an OS and app drive, which is what I've done on my PC. Indeed, I wrote an article about it here:

What's the smallest SSD I can get away with?

Annoyingly Apple doesn't offer a 128GB SSD option and the 256 adds a LOT to the price. It would certainly make me think twice. But even then I'd still go for it as the performance boost is significant, and with 256MB, there's enough room to temporarily copy over some video files to work on for a project before archiving back onto the hard disk.

If there was an easy and reliable way to fit your own SSD, then I'd go for it, but in my limited knowledge of iMacs, I think it would involve significant dismantling.

PS - putting an SSD in an external firewire or USB enclosure won't match the speed of one connected internally to the serial ATA bus and defeats the object - plus I'm not even sure the Mac would boot from it. In theory a Thunderbolt enclosure could exploit the speed, but again I don't know if the mac could boot from it, AND I don't even know if a Thunderbolt enclosure for single drives exists.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:24 am 
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Thanks for the advice Gordon.

A 128gb option would be perfect but apple seem to think everyone needs 256gb. I am still considering weather it is worth £450 to me. I do however think it will make it more of a long term investment. However it will bump the cost of my IMac to £2300.

As far as I can see there is no quick way of adding a SSD externally and to put your own SSD in an IMac requires you to take out almost every component and voids your warranty.

I guess the extra space could be used to put all the photos and videos I am working on and then transfer them to the HDD.

I will have to have a think about weather it is worth it to me because the iMac will be quick already. I am planing on getting the 27inch iMac with 3.4ghz quad core i7, 8gb. Ram (will add another 8gb third party ram from crucial to make it 16gb), 1tb HDD and 2gb graphics card. If I added the SSD it would be my perfect mac..... But a lot more than I wanted to spend.

_________________
Camera: Canon 550D with battery grip
Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4L, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm,
Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:04 am 
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On if apps are worth installing to SSD or not depends on the app itself, and other factors like how much ram is in the system.

SSDs will help with first load times after boot, but after that apps will tend to be cached unless you're low on ram. So subsequent starts wont necessarily need to touch the disk and will load from ram.

If some apps are infrequently used you can install some on SSD, some on HD, although not being that familiar with Macs I don't know if they make it easy for you to do that.

I hate to say now that my main desktop is on SSD I'm not "feeling the speed" possibly as I still run a ram rich environment where apps are often cached. Maybe I'd feel it more if I had to go back to a HD though...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:30 pm 
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Thanks for pointing that out popo. Since I will have 16gb Ram I will only see improved speeds when loading the program or opening a photo. After that because it is on the Ram the SSD will have no effect until I save it.

Thanks for the help. Unless I have missed something I don't think I will get the SSD as I can't justify the price :D

_________________
Camera: Canon 550D with battery grip
Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4L, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm,
Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:10 pm 
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Gordon Laing wrote:
Annoyingly Apple doesn't offer a 128GB SSD option and the 256 adds a LOT to the price. It would certainly make me think twice.

If you were referring to your recent purchase of 2011 release of MacBook Air, then the quoted statement is not entirely correct.

For 13-inch MacBook Air, both 128GB and 256GB flash storages are available as standard configurations. Any authorised Apple retailer can order the 128GB option for you easily, since it is not the built-to-order option.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:30 am 
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Antony, I meant for the iMac SSD option.

PS - James, regarding RAM, have you considered going for the 4GB version and just buying 4x4 from crucial? Might be cheaper than the Apple config, and watch out as the Apple 8GB config might be with 4x2...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:47 am 
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Quote:
although not being that familiar with Macs I don't know if they make it easy for you to do that.
This is not a problem for most apps as they let you select an install location during the install process. The only thing you sometimes have to be careful of is where an app has default locations for preference and cache files (but you can usually reset these or use alias files to point to other locations).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:38 pm 
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I too am looking at buying a new iMac. I consider the SSD option mandatory, as to me it makes a huge difference when starting programs and more importantly, when using programs that use a scratch disk, as they often do when editing large photos. I assume that the boot time on any new iMac with SSD will be as fast as on my macbook air. Worth it just for that:)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:24 pm 
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Thanks for the comments

@ Gordon - I was planing on getting 8gb to start with but have realised apple charge you £160 to upgrade from 4 to 8. Like you said I will get all of the 16gb (4x4) from crucial for only £80. I have also read that this ram is pretty much the same as the apple one and that installing ram does not void the warranty. So that will save me roughly £120.

As for the SSD I am still thinking about weather I need it and how much of a long term investment it will be. I plan on buying a really good computer so I dont have to upgrade for another 4 years. I can only really see the SSD benefiting me whilst I am opening my applications and not whilst I am actually working. Also I read that the SSD installed in iMacs is quite slow and that for your money you could get a much better drive. Too bad apple make it so hard to install 3rd party ones.

Just another quick question can you buy 8gb ram for the iMacs. I know the iMac uses the small laptop ones so was wondering if it was limited to 4gb per slot.

_________________
Camera: Canon 550D with battery grip
Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4L, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm,
Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:23 am 
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Quote:
Just another quick question can you buy 8gb ram for the iMacs. I know the iMac uses the small laptop ones so was wondering if it was limited to 4gb per slot.


I think you are limited to 4GB memory modules as the largest configuration Apple specify for the iMac is 16GB (4 x 4GB).

A good site to spec memory for any manufacturer is http://www.kingston.com/ukroot/default.asp they tell you how many slots are available and how you can upgrade.

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Nikkor AF-S DX; 18-105 f/3.5-5.6G VR, 55-300 f/4.5-5.6G VR, 35mm f/1.8G
Speedlight SB-700

http://keystrokesukimages.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:34 am 
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Thanks keystrokesuk - I know the iMacs have four memory slots and will take a look at the Kingston ram.

Is 1333mhz the best you can get today or could I invest in something better?

Thanks.

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Camera: Canon 550D with battery grip
Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4L, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm,
Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:52 pm 
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I agree with keystrokesuk, in that you should go for whatever memory the memory companies recommend for your configuration.

I am however going to recommend Crucial because I've used them loads of times before, and also because they're an affiliate of ours, so if you do go for them, please click on the crucial logo on the Support Us page first - thanks!

Once you're on the crucial site, you can enter the make and model of yuor computer and it will tell you what you need. You'll need 4x4 to max it out.


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