Intel Gen 2 SSD - Is the 160GB faster than the 80GB? Gen 3 rumors?

+1 vote
asked Jul 4, 2010 by Peter Murphy (2,261 points)
I'm looking to buy two intel SSDs for my Mac Pro. One for OS X and one separate for windows (bootcamp). (I'm fussy that way, I've always kept separate boot drives. Please don't try to convince me to just buy one.)  80GB is enough for each boot drive, however, I've heard that the 160GB model is a little bit faster? Is this true? If so by how much? Is it worth purchasing the larger drives?

Also. Are there any rumors about Gen 3? Is it worth waiting?

2 Answers

0 votes
answered Aug 6, 2010 by Jared Nelson (331 points)
160GB seems a whole lot faster than 80GB I don't really know too much of that stuff
0 votes
answered Aug 6, 2010 by Seb (23,610 points)
You'll get faster speeds if you buy 2x 80GB drives and RAID0 them... but then, you'll get faster speeds yet if you buy 2x 160GB drives and RAID0 them. If you're buying these for a desktop machine, I seriously recommend you rethink your purpose. Buying them because they're shock resistant and generate no noise, or because you want to put it in a notebook are all reasonable reasons to buy an SSD. Buying SSDs for "speed" is a lousy reason to buy an SSD. If you just want speed, get 4x 1TB-1.5TB SATA drives. You'll get comparable throughput for a similar price, but more capacity and better reliability if you set it up as a RAID5 or something reasonably fault-proof. RAID them and do a benchmark to work out roughly how much of your RAID is optimal, then partition that section off and use it for your boot drive(s).

Not just this, but you'll be able to defragment them! People say fragmentation isn't an issue with SSDs, but I'm willing to bet none of them have actually owned an SSD or know a single thing about memory allocation! If you don't believe me you're welcome to see for yourself. Fragmentation is a challenge for everything, including RAM. That's why C programs (and Java, C#, C++, etc, etc) commonly use "[stacks][1]" for passing data between functions and managing automatically managed memory. Despite common beliefs, it's also one of the reasons why OSes don't offer direct access to RAM. They [page][2] it, which means the address an application receives is a virtual address and the physical memory may be non-contiguous at the lowest/kernels level (eg. the memory may be fragmented).

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stack-based_memory_allocation
[2]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Page_table
commented Aug 6, 2010 by Peter Murphy (2,261 points)
I did end up buying two 80Gb G2's. I don't have a raid card, so I ended up using one for OS X and one for Bootcamp on my Mac Pro. I use other hard drives for storage. It's plenty fast enough for me. If need be I can boot into a small Linux distribution off of a CD and zero wipe them in the future if they happen to get junked up or fragmented.
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