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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

SSD Finally - My Update Experience

Ok, so I go weeks with barely making one post, today I get 3 in... thats how it goes sometimes !. With major projects done and delivered I had some time to do a few badly needed system upgrades. With a system disc that was getting flaky I decided to try a SSD. Ok, its freaking fast - 260mb/sec fast ! I know the specs on this drive claim in excess of 500mb/sec but I suspect that either thats compressed at roughly 2:1 or the SATA 3gb on the mac are simply topping out. I don't know. Either way its still a vast improvement over the spinning disc that was doing around 70mb/sec or nearly 4X faster. Yes the system boots very quickly and apps start very fast. I would not say though that they just launch instantly but without the normal heads thrashing back and forth it does dramatically speed up app start up times like Premiere Pro and After Effects.

I did a bare metal install and it took only about 5hrs. That includes installing 10.8.2, CS6 Master Collection, BCC, BorisFX RED, Particular, Magic Bullet Suite, and several other apps. A lot of that time was just to download the latest installers rather than using some older ones I already had locally. I was using DMG files for most of the installers. The longest part for sure was the copying of about 62gb of user files with migration assistant copying from the old HD to the new SSD. I'll also say I had thinned out a lot of junk the day before in places like SysHD/Library/Application Support and SysHD/Users/MyName/Library/Application Support and Prefs. Amazing how many little files where left along with some folders from older versions of CS installs with auto saves and renders. I dumped an easy 15-20gb doing this alone. After the install had gone ok further checking let me dump another 10gb of old dead files.

So far, so good. While I wish I could of sprang for a 512gb SSD, I went with a 256 instead. I'd have to say going any smaller probably isn't good. I have enough space left to handle various other temp installs that I do on a weekly basis of beta apps and still have a solid 100gb to dedicate to AE cache space. Oh, I still have one more HUGE install, OS X developer tools to get the iPhone emulator running and some of the diagnostic tools. Now if I can pull up my Apple developer log in ....

Installation Notes

First OCZ doesn't mention that they DO include a 3.5->2.5" adapter bracket with the drive so I bought a seperate one. Ok, fine, I'm out only $5 for that mistake. The OCZ bracket only has SIDE mounting holes for the 3.5 part. Its completely missing top holes. Guess which set of holes you need to mount into a Mac Pro Slide bracket ? yup the top ones ! I'm sure there is a proper Mac 3.5-->2.5 drive bracket adapter out there for cheap somewhere. My solution ? well I had a drive ( the original 750gb system drive actually ) mounted in the lower unused drive bay. I pulled that drive out and went to mount the SSD in. Guess what ? the SIDE holes don't match up to anything standard either ! I mean a serious WTF moment here. The solution ? double sided foam tape :(. I grabbed some and used it to tape the drive onto the bottom of the mac's optical bay drive mount so that the screw holes on the adapter would let me change out the SSD if I had to. It was easy enough and considering how small and light the SSD it I'm not worried it will ever come loose. So note to the wise - consider finding a Mac Pro drive sled compatible adapter bracket if you want to mount a SSD into one of the 4 slide in drive spots.