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SSD incompatibility with El Cap

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Re: SSD incompatibility with El Cap

Postby mikehalloran » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:51 pm

You'll enjoy much, much better performance putting everything on the SSD by an order of magnitude that depends on the task. If you need extra space for sound libraries, put those on the HHD. You will increase your battery life and your MB will run much cooler.

Make it your boot drive and run the following in Terminal if OS 10.10.4 or later.

sudo trimforce enable

All hard drives are digital. HHDs are mechanical (aka 'spinners') as opposed to Solid State.
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Re: SSD incompatibility with El Cap

Postby Armageddon » Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:20 am

mikehalloran wrote:You'll enjoy much, much better performance putting everything on the SSD by an order of magnitude that depends on the task. If you need extra space for sound libraries, put those on the HHD. You will increase your battery life and your MB will run much cooler.

Make it your boot drive and run the following in Terminal if OS 10.10.4 or later.

sudo trimforce enable

All hard drives are digital. HHDs are mechanical (aka 'spinners') as opposed to Solid State.


I have no doubt that using an SSD as opposed to an HDD as my system drive would increase performance substantially, but the downside is (at least in my mind), there's a limited number of writes on an SSD and when an SSD fails, there's no such thing as content recovery. For those two reasons alone, I've pretty much decided to keep my HDD as my primary drive and put in a secondary SSD just for samples (which take up most of my current hard drive real estate and still experience the occasional streaming lag, especially with more complex libraries in Kontakt 5), since it would be mostly read-only and if it were to fail, the content could be restored with minimal hassle. Given the speed in which SSDs are advancing in longevity and reliability, I'm sure I'll end up replacing my HDD at some point with an SSD.
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Re: SSD incompatibility with El Cap

Postby mikehalloran » Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:01 pm

there's a limited number of writes on an SSD and when an SSD fails,
in 25 or 30 or 40 years...

Not an issue with anything current. In fact, HHDs do wear out and suffer mechanical failure much sooner. Hopefully, you are using Time Machine to back everything up.

The ratings are ultra-conservative and based on the number of theoretical reads and writes it could encounter in a server farm going 24/7 with the occasional down time for maintenance (TRIM/Garbage collection). You will never subject a drive to that kind of torture.

Do some research, read test results. There are people running continuous read/write tests on the Samsung drives to see when the first one 'wears out'. Some of these tests have been running for years and certain brands have failed long after the rated endurance was surpassed.

A Samsung 850 EVO is warranted 5 years; an 850 PRO is warranted 10. A 2T 850 EVO has a street $ under $600.

There is no need to partition unless you want to boot from two OS builds. No need to run a separate sample drive. Technology has improved since the EIDE bus on the G4 where these were real issues.
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Re: SSD incompatibility with El Cap

Postby bayswater » Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:21 pm

40 years may be a tad optimistic.

But there are a few sources that argue that SSDs are if anything, more reliable than mechanical drives. A long term study looked at the use of SSDs at Google's data centre where drives are in use 24/7. One comparison looks at annual replacement for hard disks, and replacements over 4 years for SSDs. So, flash replacement were required about 25% as often as hard drive replacements:

"The study also found that compared to traditional spinning disks, SSDs did benefit from a "significantly" lower replacement rate. For hard disks, the annual replacement rates have been pegged at 2 to 9%, and that compares to 4 to 10% of flash drives over a far longer four-year period."

They also found that different types of SSDs did not differ in reliability, and that age rather than use was a better predictor of failure, and that was a result of heat.

http://www.techradar.com/news/computing ... at-1316031

Here's that actual study report:

http://0b4af6cdc2f0c5998459-c0245c5c937 ... roeder.pdf

There is another widely cited report about 6 SSDs left running until they all died. It shows lifespans far in excess of the manufacturers' claims, and shows lifetime use far in excess of a normal hard drive lifespan. A useful additional piece of information to add to this would be the typical level of use by those doing regular audio or video, and how that compares to typical or average use. On of the SSDs did the equivalent of about 3,000,000 audio CDs, probably enough for most of us, and IIRC, far in excess of the total capacity of the system on the starship enterprise.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2856052/ ... fears.html
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Re: SSD incompatibility with El Cap

Postby Michael Canavan » Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:42 am

Just an FYI for everyone. Yes there are SSDs that are incompatible. The latest type of ultra fast M.2 SSD is using NVME a more direct protocol for the PCIe bus, so are Intel PCIe SSD cards. Apple only supports their 'signed' SSDs using NVME.

I found this all out by purchasing a 512GB SM951 off Amazon Market for peanuts that was NVME instead of the OSX compatible older protocol AHCI. There is a Generic NVME driver someone wrote that's brutally hard to install, (Terminal is the only way and if you so much as click it with the mouse the system cannot get ownership) and the guy on a random forum who wrote it has been non-responsive for months. It does't work for some people in Sierra. There is a new bit of code someone wrote that seems to trick the Apple NVME driver into working for third party SSDs but it looks to be written for hackers, i.e. I have no idea where to put it? but I'm not on Sierra so.

Anyway although I don't think the original poster knew what they were talking about, there are certain SSDs out now that are not OSX compatible, a good portion of non SATA SSDs actually. There are ways around it, but be warned. That NVME drive I have clocks in speed tests at 1480mbs compared to the 300mbs you're going to get off of the older SATA ports in a pre trash can Mac Pro. So to me it's worth the headache, and I can wait on Sierra until something solid happens with M.2 NVME SSDs.

In general even slower modern SATA SSDs are around 500mbs so by running them on the 3.5 SATA ports you're losing 40% of the possible speed of the drive at least. For instance the Samsung Evo Pro clocks at 550mbs read. Getting a PCIe adapter card for 2.5" SATA SSDs will give you that 40%+ back! and the system doesn't care that you moved the drive. :)
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Re: SSD incompatibility with El Cap

Postby HCMarkus » Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:46 am

SATA SSDs, which is what we have been talking about up to this point, should not be incompatible, but you re correct about PCIe SSDs Mr. Canavan. There is a shareware NVME driver available through MacVidCards.com, but I don't think it supports booting and it does not appear to work under all conditions.
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Re: SSD incompatibility with El Cap

Postby Michael Canavan » Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:52 am

HCMarkus wrote:SATA SSDs, which is what we have been talking about up to this point, should not be incompatible, but you re correct about PCIe SSDs Mr. Canavan. There is a shareware NVME driver available through MacVidCards.com, but I don't think it supports booting and it does not appear to work under all conditions.

It's not shareware in that you're expected or even encouraged to pay for it, in fact the guy who wrote it disappeared. That's the one compatible with El Capitan, but not always with Sierra apparently. There's a newer hack that someone not related to MacVids did and he has a donation type thing going. :)
I'll post it here.
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Re: SSD incompatibility with El Cap

Postby Michael Canavan » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:00 am

Here's the Insanely Mac thread on the new patch, I haven't thought about installing it yet because:
A- I'm still on El Capitan, I have about 300GB of sample libraries installed on the NVME SSD and don't want to hose it by installing Sierra then hope I can figure out how to properly install this new patch.
B- My head aches reading this stuff, it's a chore because they're talking about areas of OSX we never have to get into...

Anyway-
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/ ... -is-ready/
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Re: SSD incompatibility with El Cap

Postby frankf » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:39 pm

mikehalloran wrote:
A Samsung 850 EVO is warranted 5 years; an 850 PRO is warranted 10. A 2T 850 EVO has a street $ under $600.

There is no need to partition unless you want to boot from two OS builds. No need to run a separate sample drive. Technology has improved since the EIDE bus on the G4 where these were real issues.


I've been testing USB3 and TB read/write speeds on an Apple refurb 2013 MacPro I recently purchased. The 1TB factory SSD is the fastest by far. I'm on El Cap but added a partition for Yosemite as you mention. I also made a third partition on the internal for current DP projects. It may be unnecessary but for cloning and organization it makes my life easier.

I'm really liking this nMP. Refurb yes and it came with 1 bad video card, which Apple immediately replaced under warranty, but it also came with 64gb ram, the perfect amount for my film work.

I use external SSDs in various TB, USB3 and eSata hubs and enclosures from my previous MP 3,1 ( early 2008).

The biggest IO potential road block for streaming Samples or video is with the USB3 bus of which is only 1 on the 2013 MP, which would seem to be a problem with hanging multiple SSDs on the bus. I bought an OWC TB2 dock which breaks out one of the nMP's 3 TB2 busses to, among other things , to USB3. I'm still testing IO speeds, with Blackmagic Speed Test, but theoretically it should lighten the load on the built in USB3 bus. Mike, or anyone, any thoughts on this? Thanks.
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Re: SSD incompatibility with El Cap

Postby mikehalloran » Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:31 pm

SATA III has a hard limit on speed. The only way around it is some flavors of RAID. USB 3 is slower but not that much. TB 1 and 2 are much faster but you will not realize that speed with a single SATA III SSD.

Otoh, there is that 2T blade that OWC has. You'd stick the original into a Usb 3 box—not cheap but available. Interestingly, OWC was offering that same blade for the late 27" iMac then stopped—no idea why since they normally test things thoroughly first.
https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDA13MP2.0K/

Unless you need more drive space, I think you're ok. Audio works fine at USB 1.1. You have a great speed advantage when it comes to loading VIs, libraries, opening projects and the like but is there enough benefit to justify the 'speed at any price' that involves getting a TB rack and loading it with SSDs in a RAID array or going the OWC route?

AV is another story. That's the heavy lifting that the nMP was designed to do. A TB RAID array might make a lot of sense if you do it for a living.
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Re: SSD incompatibility with El Cap

Postby Michael Canavan » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:29 pm

mikehalloran wrote:You have a great speed advantage when it comes to loading VIs, libraries, opening projects and the like but is there enough benefit to justify the 'speed at any price' that involves getting a TB rack and loading it with SSDs in a RAID array or going the OWC route?


A couple things: SATA II in the 3.5" drive bays, that's going to bottleneck to 300mbs or less.

At the slightly more expensive mark are AHCI based M.2 SSDs which can go as fast as 1475mbs on the PCIe bus. PCIe as you I would bet know uses more "lanes" so a X4 PCIe bus on a SATA II Mac Pro can easily give you 2000mbs. This means that a regular SSD installed in a PCIe slot will achieve at least 500mbs. I think that's a significant speed increase for maybe $70. :)

I have a few string and orchestral sample libraries and they load sloooow, like take a few minutes to do other things slow, on regular hard drives, on the M.2 they load in seconds. I do think it's worth it for that, if you don't use big sample libraries then I can see why it wouldn't be that big of a deal, the difference between 2 seconds and 10 isn't that big of a deal but the difference between 15 seconds and 2 1/2 minutes is.
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Re: SSD incompatibility with El Cap

Postby mikehalloran » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:09 pm

A couple things: SATA II in the 3.5" drive bays, that's going to bottleneck to 300mbs or less.

For the cheese graters, yes.

I was responding to a question about the trash can. The SATA limitation is built into the SSD. It's a bit higher than USB 3 but a lot lower than Thunderbolt.
I've been testing USB3 and TB read/write speeds on an Apple refurb 2013 MacPro I recently purchased.
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