I’ve been following the progress and development of solid state drives for the past 2 years, and have finally succumbed and bought one. A 512gb Plextor SSD which I’ve plugged into my Mac Pro. After weighing the pros and cons and the per gb cost, I was ultimately left with little choice, as it was the only one in stock when I really needed one, before a big compositing project.
After using it, I can’t stress enough about how good it is. Previously I ran the stock Mac Pro hard drives, which were SATA 7200 rpm HDDs and they worked well, but switching has opened my eyes. My real world comparisons are as follows: File: 800mb layered 16 bit PSD Opened from network drive: 42 seconds Opened from local (non SSD) drive: 32 seconds Opened from SSD: 12 seconds Thats a whopping 3.5 times faster than my (fast) network drive and 2.7 times faster than my 2nd hard drive which is in my mac! Now think about the number of times one opens, saves and closes a layered in-progress file before it’s life is over and it’s delivered. On average I reckon about 8 hours on a compositing project per file, so one was to assume around 30 minutes of that 8 hours is spent waiting for the machine to read and write, I’ve saved about 20 minutes of that time – which to me is a lot! Now multiply that by the number of files x number of days – and I’d say that adds up to a nice little weekend off somewhere 🙂 not to mention slightly quicker turnaround and delivery times too. I have my OS and Applications installed on it, and nothing else. If I’m working on a complex file, I transfer it to the SSD and then take it off when done. I have redirected Mail to store all emails on another drive, thereby ensuring I don’t fill up the relatively small SSD with non speed related files.