"SSD reboot your thinking"...
I started to look into Solid State Drives while studying "id Tech5": The 3D engine powering Rage by id Software. One of
the numerous innovations is called MegaTexture (also known as "Sparse Virtual Texturing"). It is a technology that allows artists to use gigabytes of texture without worrying about
running out of RAM at runtime. The engine detects what is visible and then streams the necessary texture from
the storage drive up to the Video RAM where it is used for rendition.
The graphic result looks pretty good running on a Hard Disk Drive but it flies when used with a Solid State Drive.
Director of R&D John Carmack said a few words about how SSD performances "reboot" the old dichotomy: "RAM" Vs "Storage Drive".
After much reading about TRIM support, SandForce and performances degradations I opted for an OCZ Vertex 3 and an Intel serie 520 that I promptly installed in my MacPro. Here are my impressions after one week.
Performances are PHENOMENAL.
If you are a professional developer and you are not using Solid State Drive you are losing time on a daily basis.
Swapping from HDD to SSD is the biggest performance boost I have experimented as a programmer and I cannot encourage you more to go for it as soon as possible.
- XCode loads instantly.
- Eclipse takes 2 seconds to startup.
- Compiling Doom3 from scratch with Visual Studio 2010 take 3 minutes (Just don't forget the /MP flag).
- Compiling Doom3 from scratch with XCode 4 takes 2 minutes.
- Even the notorious mammoth Adobe Photoshop loads in 1 seconds.
Not only programs go faster, the boot time is reduced considerably. The MacPro I am using can reboot under Windows 7 within 20 seconds.
How to mount a 2.5" SSD on a 3.5" MacPro.
It is not that easy to mount a 2.5" SSD drive since the racks of the MacPro expect a 3.5" HDD with vertical screws and leftmost SATA location.
Some people just seem to ignore the problem:
What you see here is an SSD mounted horizontally with all its weight resting on its SATA connector. If you know what "moment of force" is you know it cannot be good on the long run. I hope they did not have to carry the MacPro too much.
Some try to be creative with more or less esthetic success:
The old duck-tape trick:
The more elegant pierced CD shaped adapter:
2.5" SSD Adapter for MacPro.
Needless to say I felt fortunate to find an adapter that would meet the MacPro vertical screwing/leftmost connector requirements: AdaptaDrive.
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Important thing to note is that Mac pro (even Mid 2012) only support 3Gb/s SATA (SATA II) http://support.apple.com/kb/SP589 It means in practice a bandwidth of ~280Mio/s, while the OCZ Vertex 3 is annonced with a performance of ~535Mio/s. We could expect for better perf with SATA III. But I only speak about sequential read and not random read ...
What is your opinion about Hybrid HDDs? Does it improve software developers work?
Hybrid HDD have hybrid performances. As a professional I would not compromise my productivity for such a small saving.
Besides the amazing speed of compiler, the code completion response more quickly than what it used to be on HDD.
By the way, you mention you are studying idTech 5. Are you going to publish some article about it?
Your articles are really great!!
With regards to idTech5 I will certainly take a look at the source code IF they ever release it. id Software now belongs to Bethesda so we may never see it :/ !
I did install an SSD in my MBP Unibody, It rocks ! I don't wait 20 seconds from boot to Web Browser launched.
But I would never launch build on it but rather use an HDD for object files.
If you do compile on the SSD, how long time are you expecting before getting drive issue ? Even with TRIM enabled. I would not bet too much on it.