Gear Talk: Installing a solid state hard drive in a Mac Pro Part 2

Gears involved:
1. Crucial 256 GB SSD [Solid State Hard drive].
2. Icy Dock 2.5″ to 3.5″ SSD/SATA converter.
3. Super Duper

This is a follow up to my previous post on replacing my 5+ year old the Mac Pro’s traditional spinning boot drive with a solid state hard drive [SSD].

The process was pretty straightforward. I cloned the boot drive into the Crucial SSD, then put the drive into the Mac Pro drive bay. Here are some preliminary tests, nothing scientific other then using the timer on my iPhone.

Traditional hard drive:
Start up time: 66 seconds
Opening Photoshop CS4: 16.7 seconds
Final Cut Pro 7: 22.7 seconds
Raw extraction to external drive via Bridge CS4 [adobe ACR]: 20 seconds for 10 files.

Solid State Drive:
Start up time: 55 to 59 seconds [not a huge difference]
Opening Photoshop CS4: 3 seconds
Final Cut Pro 7: 11.7 seconds
Raw extraction to external drive via Bridge CS4 [adobe ACR]: 20 seconds for 10 files [same].

The start up time is about the same, so that was a disappointment. For some reason I thought it would boot up to desktop in about 30 seconds.

The main differences, however, are opening applications. With the programs I commonly use, the SSD cuts the start up time more then 50%. I suspect operations will be faster as well. With Photoshop CS4, it opens in 3 seconds instead of 16.7 seconds. That’s a 500% improvement.

When it comes to extraction to external drive[s], not much differences.

I had not ran any benchmark testings. But opening various apps seem to be faster, and lessened, if not completely eliminated, spinning wheels [cough iTunes].

All in all, very happy so far. Remember, always back up your boot drive to 2 sources before you poke around with it!

SSD are supposedly less reliable then traditional hard drives. I have all my files on external hard drives, which are then backed up to their own identical hard drives. Make sure you back up your boot drive on a daily or bi-daily basis. I have a time machine hard drive installed in addition to the external  backups. So every time I turn on my Mac, time machine makes an hourly update.

Happy editing!

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