Will new iMacs come with SSDs standard?

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  • Reply 21 of 33
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by xgman View Post



    Or just mass produce enough SSD's to get the price in line with regular hard drives and we'll all be happy. I suppose that wouldn't set to well with western digital and seagate at the moment.


    It's actually demand and yields that have kept the prices somewhat high. You're grossly over simplifying it here.

  • Reply 22 of 33
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Nedrick View Post


    I anxiously await the release of the 2012 iMac and wonder if Apple will include an SSD (system files & apps) along with a HDD. I know they stand to make a lot more money having the SSD as an option, but with the direction they've taken with the MBA and iPad, I think it could be a powerful selling tool.


     


    Maybe it's all just wishful thinking...



     


    You can custom order that set up and for the moment it is likely that that is how it will stay. Perhaps the top end iMac (27 inch, i7 etc) will come with an SSD as a standard piece even in stores but the rest will likely remain by order only. If only because the component prices are such that even when you mass produce they are out of most common consumers price range. 


     


    At some point in the future when capacities are way up and prices way down to I think that SSDs will become the new wave for all internal drives. Sure, but that won't be for a good 2-3 years. 

  • Reply 23 of 33
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,695member
    hmm wrote: »
    It's actually demand and yields that have kept the prices somewhat high. You're grossly over simplifying it here.

    I really don't see that. The chips that go into these devices are relatively cheap these days. Further the price continues to fall. On top of that Apple controls a great deal of the technology that goes into flash drives so lowering the price is something they have control over.

    Beyond all of that, the AIRs demonstrate that Apple can build cost effective hardware with SSD technology. Sure the drives in the AIRs would just past capacity wise as boot/app drives in the iMacs, but isn't that the point? Considering Apple dominance in the flash market they could simply demand a factories entire production capacity.

    It is funny but I think some guys here are eing grossly difficult when they deny the possibility here. Even an SSD with AIR like performance would give the iMac a huge speed advantage. Apple doesn't need a blistering fast SSD to benefit an iMac. Personally I'd like to see Apple skip the AIR like SSDs and show some leadership when it comes to broaching new tech for SSDs.
  • Reply 24 of 33
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,695member
    And yet Apple sells AIRs at competitive prices!

    I really don't get this attitude, the AIRs have been around how long now? Beyond that the price on SSDs is dropping like a rock.

    Mind you I'm not saying Apple will do anything. What I'm objecting to is this idea that a standard SSD in an iMac is impossible. Rather I see it as very possible and a way to give the iMacs a performance edge over other hardware.
    charlituna wrote: »
    You can custom order that set up and for the moment it is likely that that is how it will stay. Perhaps the top end iMac (27 inch, i7 etc) will come with an SSD as a standard piece even in stores but the rest will likely remain by order only. If only because the component prices are such that even when you mass produce they are out of most common consumers price range. 

    At some point in the future when capacities are way up and prices way down to I think that SSDs will become the new wave for all internal drives. Sure, but that won't be for a good 2-3 years. 
  • Reply 25 of 33
    26chrisr26chrisr Posts: 12member


    Both Seagate and WD are moving to combined flash/HDD units in both 2.5in and 3.5in form factors.


     


    How much flash storage will be utilised moving forward is an unknown, probably 64G in basic units as a minimum - for iMac I'd imagine 128G as a sweet spot tied to a 1T drive as a minimum.

  • Reply 26 of 33
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,202moderator
    26chrisr wrote: »
    Both Seagate and WD are moving to combined flash/HDD units in both 2.5in and 3.5in form factors.

    How much flash storage will be utilised moving forward is an unknown, probably 64G in basic units as a minimum - for iMac I'd imagine 128G as a sweet spot tied to a 1T drive as a minimum.

    Those drives would be more useful if you could determine what went on the cache. It just decides for itself and it might pose a security risk if a drive erase doesn't erase the cache.

    It could use a software interface to let you choose to put on the OS permanently along with the apps that you want.

    I don't think hybrid drives are going to keep mechanical storage going though. It will just need some new technology to come to market and it's all over:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/21/ucl_reram/

    "Our ReRAM memory chips need just a thousandth of the energy and are around a hundred times faster than standard flash memory chips. The fact that the device can operate in ambient conditions and has a continuously variable resistance opens up a huge range of potential applications."

    It's like what happened with CRT displays. A new technology arises, prices drop, quality improves and the old standard is wiped out. The ultimate goal is where your RAM is the same as your storage. In other words, you don't actually have what we understand as RAM at all because the data executes so fast between your storage and the CPU/GPU. It might have a VM space on a designated drive to allow you to boot from slower storage and to prevent data corruption of original files but it pretty much removes memory limitations entirely.
  • Reply 27 of 33
    26chrisr26chrisr Posts: 12member


    Like you, I find the Register of importance for quick information - they have run a few articles recently on what Seagate and WD are up to, from their research, it seems we'll have mechanical HDD's until at least the end of the decade, but, its a given that solid state technology as it improves will surpass mechanical HDD's in the longterm - I prefer mechanical presently as have large storage requirements - 13T Plus - and SSD's would bankrupt me.

  • Reply 28 of 33
    kedakeda Posts: 722member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    This is just crap. Lion is ram hungry. If you don't have enough ram, it leans harder on the drive, which then favors an ssd. There's no reason you need one or the other for your computer to run Lion properly.



    The SSD causes Lion's "instant on" features to perform much, much differently than they do on a HD.  All things being equal, the responsiveness of the SSD will be noticeable. 

  • Reply 29 of 33
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Keda View Post


     


    LOL.  No, your post is crap.


     


    The SSD causes Lion's "instant on" features to perform much, much differently than they do on a HD.  All things being equal, the responsiveness of the SSD will be noticeable. 



    It lets you wake from sleep two seconds faster. That is not the same as driving application performance. I don't use a laptop much, so my laptop is older. It still launches applications within a few seconds on an older HDD. I've used plenty of computers with ssds. The difference is greatly overstated. 

  • Reply 30 of 33
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    hmm wrote: »
    It lets you wake from sleep two seconds faster. That is not the same as driving application performance. I don't use a laptop much, so my laptop is older. It still launches applications within a few seconds on an older HDD. I've used plenty of computers with ssds. The difference is greatly overstated. 

    I've thought about this a bit. I do think you're on to something. I've been wanting SSD but really couldn't get past the cost.

    Take this video from OWC:

    Booting the computer and loading four apps in Adobe Creative Suite saves about 35 seconds on SSD vs. HDD. Once the app is loaded into memory, I don't think there's a huge difference. It seems like a lot of money to spend to shave seconds here and there.

    It gives me the impression of being a luxury, but it can be a benefit in some cases. If you use it for paying work for three years and it saves you a minute a day, that upgrade would easily pay for itself if it results if that minute each day is put towards better productivity. That seems unlikely if the time is seconds here and there. Or if you have a drive-intensive task for it, compiling software hits the drive quite a bit.

    There are other considerations, the drives are more resilient to impact, and I don't think they're as prone to immediate failure due to the fewer moving parts. The drives only save about a watt or so, so improvements in battery life and heat generation aren't that significant compared to the rest of a notebook computer.
  • Reply 31 of 33
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post





    I've thought about this a bit. I do think you're on to something. I've been wanting SSD but really couldn't get past the cost.

    Take this video from OWC:

     


    I get your points, and they're valid. Regarding this one specifically, 32 bit application builds and limited laptop ram made these a much bigger deal when they started in terms of performance beyond a few seconds here and there. It's still quite valid for that purpose if you hit a point where going higher on ram would be cost prohibitive. OWC published this a long time ago, and it demonstrates my point toward the bottom of the page. Photoshop can address an enormous amount of ram. Toward the bottom they're using a 12,500 pixel wide image. This is relatively large, but nowhere near unheard of for commercial purposes. Once it can hold everything in ram, the times drop off a cliff, and with applications like that the feeling of a real time feedback that you get with this is nice. I don't think there's anything wrong with using ssds even for small gains. It's just some of the guys who feel it's a night and day difference when working within an application may want to step up their ram. For anyone who doesn't want to click the test ran 100.87 seconds on a late 2011 macbook pro with an SSD and 4 GB of ram compared to 72.15 seconds with 16GB of ram and an HDD. The whole chart comparison is there, and I'd expect some similarity with after effects too given the features that were added recently.

  • Reply 32 of 33
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,202moderator
    hmm wrote:
    Toward the bottom they're using a 12,500 pixel wide image. This is relatively large, but nowhere near unheard of for commercial purposes. Once it can hold everything in ram, the times drop off a cliff, and with applications like that the feeling of a real time feedback that you get with this is nice. I don't think there's anything wrong with using ssds even for small gains. It's just some of the guys who feel it's a night and day difference when working within an application may want to step up their ram.

    Some apps like Safari cache data to the hard drive in many small files. Having a high random write can make things feel more responsive. I'd say a big improvement is in saving and loading big files. Although you can have a huge image opened in RAM and the SSD makes little difference, once you hit command-s after a modification, it might have to write 1GB out to disk. On a standard HDD with 50MB/s write, it would take 20 seconds to save.

    This is more common with video files. If you ever edit a clip in Quicktime Pro and save it back out after a quick edit, it can easily take 1--15 seconds to save. An decent SSD would be done in 2-3 seconds.

    The prices are expensive sure but dropping like crazy.

    The 512GB model is coming down now too ($424):

    http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-2-5-Inch-Solid-State-CT512M4SSD2/dp/B004W2JL3Y/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1338922791&sr=8-4

    That's 83c per GB. It has a bit to go to match the 10c per GB of HDD but HDDs seem to have bottomed out. I can't see them going much lower in price because most people just don't need the higher capacity drives for their main drive. SSD will continue to plummet as the demand goes up.
  • Reply 33 of 33
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    hmm wrote: »
    Once it can hold everything in ram, the times drop off a cliff, and with applications like that the feeling of a real time feedback that you get with this is nice. I don't think there's anything wrong with using ssds even for small gains. It's just some of the guys who feel it's a night and day difference when working within an application may want to step up their ram. For anyone who doesn't want to click the test ran 100.87 seconds on a late 2011 macbook pro with an SSD and 4 GB of ram compared to 72.15 seconds with 16GB of ram and an HDD. The whole chart comparison is there, and I'd expect some similarity with after effects too given the features that were added recently.

    In other words, it sounds like make sure you have enough RAM first, and if you have money left over, shoot for an SSD. Upping RAM is something I've tended to do for a long time.
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