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Going to buy Imac - SSD or HDD?


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#1 jcmv4792

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 09:12 PM

I will be using this computer several hours a day, everyday. I will be doing some photo editing, possibly some video editing, and the rest I will be doing casual activities(fb, email, forums). I've briefly researched the topic but am not sure which type of storage would be best for me. Would using the computer several hours a day be bad for the lifespan of an ssd? It is my amateur understanding that ssd's are less reliable than hdd's.



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#2 smax013

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 09:31 PM

I will mainly let others address reliability of HDDs vs SSDs.

I will say that it will some what depend on how you define reliability. SSDs are more reliable in the sense that they do not have moving parts, so you will not lose data if you drop a laptop with a SSD that is accessing the disk like you might with a traditional hard drive.

SSDs do have "wear life" limits. But, I believe that today's SSD will generally out live the usefulness of the computer unless you are doing very disk intensive tasks on a daily basis for long periods each day.

In the end, I think the bigger issue you will have to think about is what is more important to you...more storage for less money but is slower or less storage for more money but that is faster.

SSDs cost more per GB than traditional hard drives, but will be faster than HDDs. So, a SSD will boot faster and will tend to open programs faster and do disk intensive activities faster. But, you will pay more for a SSD with the same storage as an HDD.

So, you have to decide how much storage you need, how much you want to pay for it, and whether you really need the speed of a SSD.

#3 NickAu

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 09:41 PM

I have a SSD on Linux, I use my SSD like a normal HDD, I do not care about any of that long short life thing, and here is why.

 

My SSD has a 5 year warranty, That's it.

 

If it fails before the warranty is up Samsung has to replace it or repair it, Australian Consumer Law.

If it starts to fail after 5 years..... Oh well it's been a good run time to get a new 1, and in 5 years time a 1 TiB SSD will cost  about $100, And the new state of the art drives in 2020 will make SSD seem like HDD.

 

Samsung expects the majority of its drives to last at least 5 years or they would not give a 5 year warranty.

 

The only thing I will suggest you do if you get a SSD, Get the biggest 1 you can afford, I have a 128 GiB SSD that I now regret buying because it is too small. I should have spent the extra few bucks on a 256 or 512 GiB drive.


Edited by NickAu, 15 January 2015 - 09:45 PM.


#4 jcmv4792

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 09:43 PM

SSDs do have "wear life" limits. But, I believe that today's SSD will generally out live the usefulness of the computer unless you are doing very disk intensive tasks on a daily basis for long periods each day.
 

 

I will be editing photos(photoshop, lightroom) and a little bit of video editing. I expect to do these daily, and doing general use for several hours a day, everyday. Would this count as disk intensive? If so, would a hdd be better for me? 

 

I dont care for more storage(for less $) nor do I care that much about speed. I only care about the longevity of the storage for the things I will be doing.



#5 jcmv4792

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 09:47 PM

I have a SSD on Linux, I use my SSD like a normal HDD, I do not care about any of that long short life thing, and here is why.

 

My SSD has a 5 year warranty, That's it.

 

If it fails before the warranty is up Samsung has to replace it or repair it, Australian Consumer Law.

If it starts to fail after 5 years..... Oh well it's been a good run time to get a new 1, and in 5 years time a 1 TiB SSD will cost  about $100, And the new state of the art drives in 2020 will make SSD seem like HDD.

 

Samsung expects the majority of its drives to last at least 5 years or they would not give a 5 year warranty.

 

The only thing I will suggest you do if you get a SSD, Get the biggest 1 you can afford, I have a 128 GiB SSD that I now regret buying because it is too small. I should have spent the extra few bucks on a 256 or 512 GiB drive.

 

Thanks, I'm not sure which type of SSD's apple uses in their imacs. I'm going to contact apple and find out.



#6 NickAu

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 09:49 PM

You are welcome

 

Oh and

 

:welcome: To BC.


Edited by NickAu, 15 January 2015 - 09:51 PM.


#7 smax013

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 09:51 PM

For only doing a couple hours a day of intensive use, it is likely not an issue.

This article might help some:

http://us.hardware.info/reviews/4178/10/hardwareinfo-tests-lifespan-of-samsung-ssd-840-250gb-tlc-ssd-updated-with-final-conclusion-final-update-20-6-2013

I will also note that longevity of traditional HDDs is variable. There have been people who get a new drive only to have it drive a few months later (or even arrive DOA), while many drives will last years.

As NickAu kind of suggested, look at the warranties. If the warranty is long enough, then they will replace it (in theory) if there is a problem. In addition, make sure you have a good backup system in place.

#8 smax013

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 09:53 PM

I have a SSD on Linux, I use my SSD like a normal HDD, I do not care about any of that long short life thing, and here is why.
 
My SSD has a 5 year warranty, That's it.
 
If it fails before the warranty is up Samsung has to replace it or repair it, Australian Consumer Law.
If it starts to fail after 5 years..... Oh well it's been a good run time to get a new 1, and in 5 years time a 1 TiB SSD will cost  about $100, And the new state of the art drives in 2020 will make SSD seem like HDD.
 
Samsung expects the majority of its drives to last at least 5 years or they would not give a 5 year warranty.
 
The only thing I will suggest you do if you get a SSD, Get the biggest 1 you can afford, I have a 128 GiB SSD that I now regret buying because it is too small. I should have spent the extra few bucks on a 256 or 512 GiB drive.

 
Thanks, I'm not sure which type of SSD's apple uses in their imacs. I'm going to contact apple and find out.


Regardless of the brand, it will likely only be covered by the warranty for the iMac, which is a year...unless you pay for an AppleCare Extended warranty. It is possible that there might be a separate warranty for the SSD, but I kind of doubt it.

#9 jcmv4792

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 10:43 PM

Would it be best to get the system with just an ssd, and have an external hdd storage device?(to keep all my photos and videos in).



#10 NickAu

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 11:01 PM

 

Regardless of the brand, it will likely only be covered by the warranty for the iMac, which is a year.

You are correct, I forgot this was going to be a pre installed part, I got my drives on Ebay and fitted them my self.

 

 

Also

 

Please note that this is just my opinion and that I am prepared to sacrifice cost and long life for speed. I have tasted SSD speeds and cant imagine going back to HDD even if I have to buy a new SSD every year or 2. 

 

 

This is my SSD tests so far and I run VM from SSD and have swap on it.

smartctl 6.2 2013-07-26 r3841 [x86_64-linux-3.13.0-44-generic] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-13, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, www.smartmontools.org

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Device Model:     SanDisk SDSSDHP256G
Serial Number:    135001412693
LU WWN Device Id: 5 001b44 a7a4b1055
Firmware Version: X2306RL
User Capacity:    256,060,514,304 bytes [256 GB]
Sector Size:      512 bytes logical/physical
Rotation Rate:    Solid State Device
Device is:        Not in smartctl database [for details use: -P showall]
ATA Version is:   ATA8-ACS T13/1699-D revision 6
SATA Version is:  SATA 3.0, 6.0 Gb/s (current: 6.0 Gb/s)
Local Time is:    Fri Jan 16 15:37:17 2015 AEDT
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===
SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

General SMART Values:
Offline data collection status:  (0x00)	Offline data collection activity
					was never started.
					Auto Offline Data Collection: Disabled.
Self-test execution status:      (   0)	The previous self-test routine completed
					without error or no self-test has ever 
					been run.
Total time to complete Offline 
data collection: 		(    0) seconds.
Offline data collection
capabilities: 			 (0x11) SMART execute Offline immediate.
					No Auto Offline data collection support.
					Suspend Offline collection upon new
					command.
					No Offline surface scan supported.
					Self-test supported.
					No Conveyance Self-test supported.
					No Selective Self-test supported.
SMART capabilities:            (0x0003)	Saves SMART data before entering
					power-saving mode.
					Supports SMART auto save timer.
Error logging capability:        (0x01)	Error logging supported.
					General Purpose Logging supported.
Short self-test routine 
recommended polling time: 	 (   2) minutes.
Extended self-test routine
recommended polling time: 	 (  10) minutes.

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 4
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME          FLAG     VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE      UPDATED  WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       0
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   253   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       1902
 12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       928
166 Unknown_Attribute       0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       1
167 Unknown_Attribute       0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       23
168 Unknown_Attribute       0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       81
169 Unknown_Attribute       0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       307
171 Unknown_Attribute       0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       0
172 Unknown_Attribute       0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       0
173 Unknown_Attribute       0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       13
174 Unknown_Attribute       0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       80
187 Reported_Uncorrect      0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       0
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0022   059   045   ---    Old_age   Always       -       41 (Min/Max 14/45)
212 Unknown_Attribute       0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       0
230 Unknown_SSD_Attribute   0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       43
232 Available_Reservd_Space 0x0033   100   100   004    Pre-fail  Always       -       100
233 Media_Wearout_Indicator 0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       3602
241 Total_LBAs_Written      0x0030   253   253   ---    Old_age   Offline      -       1275
242 Total_LBAs_Read         0x0030   253   253   ---    Old_age   Offline      -       1329
243 Unknown_Attribute       0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       0

SMART Error Log Version: 1
No Errors Logged

SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
Num  Test_Description    Status                  Remaining  LifeTime(hours)  LBA_of_first_error
# 1  Short offline       Completed without error       00%      1902         -

Selective Self-tests/Logging not supported

Edited by NickAu, 15 January 2015 - 11:40 PM.


#11 jcmv4792

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 11:53 PM

thanks for the test NickAu

 

When people say "each cell in a flash memory bank has a limited number of times it can be written and erased". What exactly does that mean? Does moving photos around, deleting items in the trash can, downloading files from the internet...etc contribute to the "re-writing" of cells in an SSD? I'm a bit confused on that part and would like to know how to keep the re-writing down to a minimum.



#12 NickAu

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 12:17 AM

 

Does moving photos around, deleting items in the trash can, downloading files from the internet...etc contribute to the "re-writing" of cells in an SSD?

Yes. IF its saved done on SSD

 

This is the drive in the test above.

SanDisk Ultra Plus Solid State Drive (SSD)

 

AnandTech | SanDisk Ultra Plus SSD Review (256GB)

 

UserBenchmark: SanDisk Ultra Plus 256GB SDSSDHP ...

 

All I can truly suggest is that you read as much on the subject as you can, and then decide what is right for you.


Edited by NickAu, 16 January 2015 - 11:43 PM.


#13 jcmv4792

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 12:55 AM

Okay. So lets say I get the system with an internal SSD, and get an external HDD. If I open up a file from the hdd( a photo for example), throw it in the trash can and delete it, does it use the SSD inside the computer to delete it? How does one use the combination of an internal SSD and external HDD so that re-writing is kept to a minimum on the SSD?

 

Sorry for the noob questions, I really am a noob when it comes to computer/tech.


Edited by jcmv4792, 16 January 2015 - 12:56 AM.


#14 NickAu

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 10:02 PM

 

I open up a file from the hdd( a photo for example), throw it in the trash can and delete it, does it use the SSD inside the computer to delete it?

I would not think so, If it's on HDD it will be deleted from HDD.

 

 

How does one use the combination of an internal SSD and external HDD so that re-writing is kept to a minimum on the SSD?

One thing you could do is move your downloads photos documents music and videos to the HDD.



#15 jcmv4792

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 11:09 PM

One thing you could do is move your downloads photos documents music and videos to the HDD.

 

 

 

 

Do you mean creating seperate folders(from the original pictures,movies,downloads...etc folders in the actual desktop) or is there a way to have the folders that are already in the OS directly connected to the HDD?






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