Positives and Negatives of SSD Drives

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the July, 2009, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

Last month, Adam Connell wrote asking about my opinions on SSD (Solid-state drive) hard drives. At that time, I wrote:

However, based on what I’m reading, at this point, SSD hard drives are designed for environments with a LOT of shaking and physical movement. At this point in time, SSD drives are slower and smaller than standard hard drives. And they are almost double the cost.


If you are bouncing across the wilds of America, recording to your computer which is strapped to the back of a bouncing jeep, then an SSD hard drive makes perfect sense.


However, if you are not in a high-abuse situation, stay with standard hard drives.

After that , Chris Paul sent me the following:

I have a current model 17″ MacBook Pro with a 256 meg SSD. I have found that it has 3 advantages not mentioned above:


1) Battery life. I get at least 8 hours of mixed use when running this laptop on battery, compared to 2-3 hours on my previous generation 15″ MacBook Pro. I know that the newer model benefits from a bigger battery but I believe that the SSD makes a big difference as well. I never got the battery life that Apple claimed for my previous laptop but I do with this one.


2) Boot time. Booting up the OS from power off takes about 2 seconds. Booting up Final Cut takes about 3 seconds (plus reading any projects, which is also a lot faster). I get really spoiled by this and rather annoyed when I have to wait for my 8 core Intel Mac Pro to boot and launch apps.


3) Heat. The new laptop is quite tolerable on my lap, while the old model got too hot to handle with extended use.


I am considering putting a SSD boot drive in my next Mac Pro as the boot and app launching times are so much faster that it adds up to real time savings.

Larry adds: Thanks, Chris, for sending this in!

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One Response to Positives and Negatives of SSD Drives

  1. Shane says:

    I dono if I’m reading the first paragraph right or not but it says SSD drives are slower than their older, spinning counterparts?

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