I’m In Love With My New Solid State Drive

December 27th, 2010

Back in November I gave my backup MacBook Pro to a up an coming young 11 year old photographer friend that wants to learn video and photo editing. Since I don’t like to be without a backup machine I bought a new iMac. When purchasing the iMac on the Apple site the configuration panel now has a radio selection button for a “256 GB Solid State Drive”. I’ve heard people raving about the performance of the solid state drives on the new MacBook Air’s so I pushed the button. Also, since I was tired of Aperture running like such a slug in 4 GB of RAM I also pushed the selection button for the maximum amount of RAM (16GB).

I’ve been using the iMac now for almost a month and my goodness this thing is still taking my breath away! It boots in seconds and applications load instantly. This YouTube video gives a sense of what it feels like when you have a SSD for your system drive.

This new hardware configuration, with an obscene amount of RAM and SSD, finally gives Aperture 3.0 the resources it needs. It finally runs as fast as Lightroom. I suspect I may have gone farther than I need to, to get Aperture to run acceptably. I could probably have stopped at 8GB of RAM. Now that Aperture 3.0 runs better for me I’m using it much more. There are many things about Aperture  3 that I really like:

  1. Brush features: Aperture 3 brushes are one of my favorite features. They are so easy and intuitive to use. They work much like layer masks but are much easier to use.
  2. The interface: Aperture has a distinctly Apple feeling interface and is integrated into the Mac OS and other Apple products like, iMovie and the iPad.
  3. Video: You can mix videos with stills very nicely.
  4. Creating Books: Aperture 3 has a wonderful feature for creating photo books that I’m just beginning to explore. I had planned to make a photo book of my grand kids for Christmas but life has been too busy and I didn’t make it.

This whole experience with my new iMac and SSD drive has demonstrated to me that if there is one single thing  you can do to speed up your computer it’s put a SSD drive in it. There are many smaller ones but a 256 GB SSD drive cost about $600. I think it is well worth it.

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7 Responses to “I’m In Love With My New Solid State Drive”

  • Larry you are the first person I know who has bought an SSD. It will be interesting to observe the longevity you get from it. The performance is a given. The durability is what’s still in question.

  • @Rick- Guess I better keep it backed up. I just googled “SSD longevity” and this article ( says, no problem, they last for in the order of 50 years:) But you should not believe everything you find on the Internet! I’ll keep it backed up.

  • I have been using mine now for 7 months with just the OS and CS5 on it and will never go back. It’s so fast – I have nothing but good things to say about them.

  • Now this is a computer I would like to work on. I have been thinking about an SSD and the more I read about them the more I want one..just for my OS would make a biggg difference.

  • My laptop has two hard drives: an 80gb SSD and a 500gb SATA. All my programs and the operating system are on the SSD. It’s blindingly fast. LOVE it.

  • I’m been considering getting a SSD for my iMac for some months now, but from research it does appear that I can’t add a SSD to my Imac 27 purchased in Jan 2010. Hasn’t got the slots?? Is that correct?
    Could I add it to an old Mac Book Pro 15 about 3-4 years old which labours when I work in the OS on it?
    Or that is what I am gathering. That you put your OS on the SSD?? Anyone lease running extra off the SSD??

  • @Milton- I ordered my iMac with SSD and a second 1TB drive directly from Apple. Very possibly some iMacs have only one slot… I’d check with your closest Apple store to be sure.

    My SSD is 256Gb so I just have my whole system disk on it. If you order a 3rd party SSD drive there are many that are smaller than 256.

    I have my LR catalogue on the non-SSD drive but everything, including LR runs lighting fast.

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