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How reliable are SSDs these days?

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How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby David Jameson » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:43 am

I have a big deal (for me) show coming up in 3 weeks and my entire keyboard environment depends on the reliability of my Macbook Pro which is running Max to handle all MIDI and Audio routing.
I have read that there can be problems with regular drives in a live music environment due to loud bass so I'm considering replacing the drives immediately with Crucial M4 SSDs instead.

Some people are claiming these are less reliable than hard drives but I don't know what actual evidence is out there.

Would appreciate some insights.

Thanks,
David
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Re: How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby johnny h » Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:11 pm

David Jameson wrote:I have a big deal (for me) show coming up in 3 weeks and my entire keyboard environment depends on the reliability of my Macbook Pro which is running Max to handle all MIDI and Audio routing.
I have read that there can be problems with regular drives in a live music environment due to loud bass so I'm considering replacing the drives immediately with Crucial M4 SSDs instead.

Some people are claiming these are less reliable than hard drives but I don't know what actual evidence is out there.

Would appreciate some insights.

Thanks,
David

SSDs are more robust, but some do have reliability problems. Crucial is pretty good, as is Samsung. Intel are probably considered the most reliable but they are expensive. Perhaps worth it for your piece of mind.
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Re: How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby David Jameson » Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:45 pm

Hmm, it was hard to justify the price of the Intel (almost 3 times price of Crucial) but Crucial does seem to have a good reputation. What kind of reliability problems are we talking about?

I know there's a long term wear/tear problem but if I put them in my machine today, how much risk is there of them breaking within a few weeks?
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Re: How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby johnny h » Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:16 pm

David Jameson wrote:Hmm, it was hard to justify the price of the Intel (almost 3 times price of Crucial) but Crucial does seem to have a good reputation. What kind of reliability problems are we talking about?

I know there's a long term wear/tear problem but if I put them in my machine today, how much risk is there of them breaking within a few weeks?

I would recommend the Samsung. That's what I've got and its incredibly fast. The reliability is very good too. Apple have chosen them to supply their laptops, and they don't like things that go wrong.
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Re: How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby MattLTH » Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:28 pm

I haven't had a SDD fail. But as with any technology, it will happen to me eventually. Here's what I would recommend:

Put your old spinning hard drives in FireWire cases and keep the data on both the SSDs and HDDs synced with Carbon Copy Cloner. Then if you do have a SSD failure, you can boot and/or access your data from the backup HDD. You always have a backup, right? Always? Test everything and every failure scenario before hitting the stage. The piece of mind will allow you to focus on your performance rather than the technology.

MattLTH

PS You might already know this, but if you're using SSDs on a Mac, you'll want to install the Trim Enabler:

http://www.groths.org/?p=722
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Re: How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby oktafish » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:16 pm

Just about a month ago upgraded to the Crucial M4 in my late 2006 MBP and so far so good, super fast boot up, app launch etc, even you tube plays in sync again. Haven`t seen the spinning beach ball of death either. Early days but so far am pretty impressed. Still have my old HD in an external caddy (less than $10) if I miss anything I can reboot from there. I opted for clean system install just because I`m a believer in doing that once in a while. The process is quick easy and installing TRIM support takes seconds once you`ve updated whichever OS you`re running to the latest version. From my brief experience there have been no negatives, I would highly recommend the M4 for MBP.
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Re: How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby Lukas Pearse » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:56 am

I had an OWC SSD fail after about 6 weeks, just before a big show, just last month. My MBP was cooking along great, then started getting weird hangs, which I thought that a reboot might fix, and then BAM, no rebooting possible. Just the flashing folder of doom...

Luckily I had backed everything up on the old HD and just put it back in, but I was pretty stressed.
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Re: How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby Tui » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:09 pm

Lukas Pearse wrote:I had an OWC SSD fail after about 6 weeks,


So, what did you do? Did you get a refund/replacement from OWC?
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Re: How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:23 pm

I imagine that, like most electronics (and human beings, come to that) there's a failure peak just after installation. If it survives infancy there's a good chance it will go on for quite a few years.

I'd suggest this was a case for applying the general rule - don't change ANYTHING just before an important gig! Plenty of laptop computers (and hard drives in other equipment) survived plenty of loud gigs well before SSDs were an option. Obviously don't stick it right in a bass bin!
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Re: How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby Folderol » Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:46 pm

The advice I've had when using SSDs is first to make sure you've got plenty of spare RAM, then kill any swap file action (depends on the OS just how you manage that of course) and redirect any tmp directory to a RAM disk too. If the drive is doing almost nothing but reading ,then is should have an extremely long life (You always get to odd duff one of course as was mentioned above).

As the Mac has it's roots in UNIX that shouldn't be too hard. No idea what the Windows people would have to do.

FWIW, at work we installed an embedded system with one about 6 months ago. It's on 24/7 and no sign of a problem so far.
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Re: How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby Tui » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:12 pm

I have one QWC SSD in my MP and another one in my MBP. I didn't install any add-ons, I didn't make any modifications to the OS. It just works.
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Re: How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby chris... » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:18 pm

It will "just work" without TRIM, but may not live as long.
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Re: How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby Tui » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:35 pm

I'm not too worried about longevity. QWC SSDs have SandForce controllers:

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/Mercury_6G/
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Re: How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby Mr Spanky » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:03 am

I have an OCZ Vertex4 installed in my MacBook Pro. Flies like [ ****** ] off the proverbial shovel. If you're worried about TRIM support, you
could always install TRIM enabler. I haven't bothered on mine and don't anticipate any problems. Would also recommend disabling the
Sudden Motion Sensor from terminal, apparently adds a bit of wear and tear to SSD's.
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Re: How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby __Andy » Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:35 pm

I'm beginning to think I should stick an SSD in my mbp. I've read a couple of non-daw-specific guides on doing this. Can anyone here recommend a guide?
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Re: How reliable are SSDs these days?

Postby Realisation » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:33 pm

Samsung, Toshiba and Intel are supposed to be the most reliable, other brands like Kingston and OCZ are not - i've had an OCZ Vertex die and a friend has had more than one Kington SSD die within a month.
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