Let’s geek out a little with a new SSD


Ok, this post may not be for everyone, but for the geeks out there:

I have been noticing that prices on some SSDs have dropped dramatically the last few weeks. I have been waiting for this so that I could purchase one for my early 2011 Macbook Pro, on which I do all my work. I settled on the very attractively priced 512GB M4 drive from Crucial, which I found online for $399. I could have bought a smaller capacity one earlier, but I really wanted one that was large enough to hold all my files (work, music, photos) so I wouldn’t have to split it up (and split the performance benefit as well).

Installation was a breeze, you just open the machine, turn a few screws, pop out the old drive, and pop the new one in. But restoring your old data, while easy to do, takes a frustratingly long time. I just booted from my Time Machine backup and restored the whole system, which took (for about 400GB of data) an insane 7 hours to accomplish. Next time, I would start this process late at night and wake up to a new machine. I lost a lot of productive time yesterday watching that stupid progress bar inch forward. (I guess I had assumed that since the target drive was SSD, it would all transfer quite a bit faster to it, even over USB2 from the external drive).

Now that is is all installed and running, all I have to say is “WOW!”

Everything is so much faster, and I mean EVERYTHING. Even things I didn’t expect to be much faster, like web browsing. It clearly makes a big difference when accessing the cache and other items held on disk, and browsing is like¬†lightning. Applications all open in a second, startup time is about 10 seconds. Launching and working with large image files is a breeze. iPhoto is crazy faster. My machine now gives me hand jobs and makes me breakfast. Ok, maybe not that great, but still. This is like buying a new machine, but much cheaper. I highly recommend it (now that prices are coming down).