What configuration is best - one SSD or 7200 RPM disks?

  • I'm trying to get the most out of my 2009 Mac Pro and can afford one SSD drive. I'm thinking of getting a 120GB Samsung with 530 MB/s read, 130 MB/s write.

    Which of the following do you all think is the best configuration for Izzy performance? This is assuming a show with SVGA content (sometimes layering 3 clips simultaneously), live cam (no recording though):
    1\. Use one SSD as startup drive, one 7200 RPM drive for content
    2\. Use one SSD for both startup drive and content
    3\. Use one SSD for startup drive, distribute content out across multiple 7200 RPM drives
    Thanks in advance!

  • I would use the SSD for content, myself.


  • Izzy Guru

    Number 1 but in reverse order :) It will be your video(s) that need the SSD read/write speed.

  • Tech Staff

    I'm with @Skulpture on this one.

  • Hi,
    Check your macpro specs, it maybe supports only sata2 (3Gbps) and not sata3 (6Gbps).
    If so, it doesn't makes sence to buy a high-end ssd, your sata controller will be too slow. For samsung, you can maybe stay with the 740 serie, and not the 740 pro, that will save you money.

  • Same as Skulpture..

  • Beta Tester

    It definitely only supports 3Gbps. No currently available Mac Pro models support faster. I think that with video playback there is sometimes a perception that faster media drives will always make a difference. In reality the speed of the drive among other factors dictates it's maximum burst and sustainable bandwidth during playback. Having faster drives or SSDs will have a negligible impact on playback performance if you weren't approaching the bandwidth limits of your slower drives to begin with. Three streams of SVGA isn't that much video and would be unlikely to saturate a RAID of 7200 RPM drive and, I would guess, won't even saturate a single 7200RPM drive. That being said, switching to an SSD media drive can help with time-to-first-frame performance if that is an issue for you. If you are doing much processing you may find that an SSD makes a bigger difference as the system drive than it would as a media drive.

  • This may be interesting to you if you have some spare ram. You can use this app

    To create a ram disk, It works until you eject it. It will give you a super fast (faster than SSD) drive temporarily. I can safely make a 6 - 8 gig ram drive on my rMBP without blocking the system resources (depends what you are doing with the rest of the ram). It might get you out of a tight spot for needing a fast drive.