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Mac or Hack

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Posted

Agreed.  Apple hardware hols it's value very well too. :)

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Posted

If I swap out the HDD to an SSD - is there anything special I need to do?

 

Enable trim. By default OS X doesn't allow trim on any SSD that isn't Apple supplied. It's an easy thing to so though.

 

And there are problems (specifically, issues with drive corruption) that occur with surprising frequency on real Macs that Hack users can fix far easier than real Mac users.  (I mentioned elsewhere that fixing drive corruption - which even OS X is not immune to - requires dropping all the way to the command line.  There is no GUI-based fix for this issue - which all versions of OS X are vulnerable to.  Worse, it's not the only problem that OS X has that requires CLI experience to fix.  If you have any experience at all with a command-line (such as Linux or Windows, or especially BSD), there's surprisingly little different in the OS X CLI/terminal environment compared to BSD; however, despite that, it's something that Apple discourages.)

 

Not really sure where you've got this from. Hackintosh uses the same OS as Macs - so if it's fixable on one then it's fixable on the other.

And as for drive corruption, there is no risk running on Apple hardware. Both use HFS+, which, from my experience, is much more immune to corruption than other filesystems.

 

By the way - check the refurb store - there's quite a few Mac Mini's on there today - including an i7 with a 1TB drive for

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Posted

What does enabling TRIM do?  And how easy? LOL

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Posted

What does enabling TRIM do?  And how easy? LOL

 

DISCLAIMER: I am not an SSD expert.

 

I had TRIM enabled initially (following the hack) on a 80GB Intel SSD (320 series) that I upgraded to in my 2009 MBP.  When doing some research I came across some folks who suggested that this could actually lead to problems with the drive.  Upon upgrading to the new Mac OS X (at the time I think it was Lion), I decided not to perform the enable TRIM hack.  I really noticed no difference performance wise in day-to-day routines (comparing TRIM and no TRIM).  After a few years of usage without TRIM, I performed a benchmark test (I reported it here, I can try and find it if you want) and found that my Read and Write were nominal with Intel's datasheet for my drive.

 

TRIM is explained on a lot of different web sites, and I recommend researching it.  If in doubt, however, I would recommend not enabling TRIM because from what I've read, newer SSDs probably do not need TRIM OS support to function correctly for years.  It seems like it was more of an issue at the birth of consumer level SSDs that is not as much of an issue anymore.  That's my opinion, but re-read my disclaimer.

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Posted

DISCLAIMER: I am not an SSD expert.

 

I had TRIM enabled initially (following the hack) on a 80GB Intel SSD (320 series) that I upgraded to in my 2009 MBP.  When doing some research I came across some folks who suggested that this could actually lead to problems with the drive.  Upon upgrading to the new Mac OS X (at the time I think it was Lion), I decided not to perform the enable TRIM hack.  I really noticed no difference performance wise in day-to-day routines (comparing TRIM and no TRIM).  After a few years of usage without TRIM, I performed a benchmark test (I reported it here, I can try and find it if you want) and found that my Read and Write were nominal with Intel's datasheet for my drive.

 

TRIM is explained on a lot of different web sites, and I recommend researching it.  If in doubt, however, I would recommend not enabling TRIM because from what I've read, newer SSDs probably do not need TRIM OS support to function correctly for years.  It seems like it was more of an issue at the birth of consumer level SSDs that is not as much of an issue anymore.  That's my opinion, but re-read my disclaimer.

SSDs maintain a list of internal blocks that are marked as "clean" for writing. Writes are going to be of nominal performance if that list is mostly free. Performance degradation is really only going to crop up if you have large numbers of cyclic writes and erases to the drive. Why?

 

Because deleting files on a file system does not tell the SSD that the corresponding blocks are now invalid so the drive is doomed to treating the blocks are valid until such a point that new data is written over the logical locations where the old files were. Partial deletions and modifications to files don't have this problem because those are really writes to the file system, so the SSD is given the logical locations in such cases and immediately marks the blocks as invalid.

 

The point, I'm making here is that essentially if you aren't doing a lot of writes and deletions, your drive is going to have a pretty good idea of what is really valid block wise, but if you are, you'll eventually get to a point where there are many invalid blocks still marked as valid and so when the drive has to dish out new blocks, it has to consolidate partially written blocks into a single block before writing the data you requested to be written. At the end of the day, performance degradation is going to be largely dependent on your use-case.

 

I feel like many people don't understand properly what TRIM brings to the table that internal garbage collection can't achieve. It is not the fault of people though, it's really that what I just said about invalid blocks still being marked as valid after deletions is rarely explained properly in discussions of TRIM.

 

Wikipedia has a nice brief explanation of what I just said (in case my own isn't coming across to folk):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Write_amplification#TRIM

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Posted

SSDs maintain a list of internal blocks that are marked as "clean" for writing. Writes are going to be of nominal performance if that list is mostly free. Performance degradation is really only going to crop up if you have large numbers of cyclic writes and erases to the drive. Why?

 

Because deleting files on a file system does not tell the SSD that the corresponding blocks are now invalid so the drive is doomed to treating the blocks are valid until such a point that new data is written over the logical locations where the old files were. Partial deletions and modifications to files don't have this problem because those are really writes to the file system, so the SSD is given the logical locations in such cases and immediately marks the blocks as invalid.

 

The point, I'm making here is that essentially if you aren't doing a lot of writes and deletions, your drive is going to have a pretty good idea of what is really valid block wise, but if you are, you'll eventually get to a point where there are many invalid blocks still marked as valid and so when the drive has to dish out new blocks, it has to consolidate partially written blocks into a single block before writing the data you requested to be written. At the end of the day, performance degradation is going to be largely dependent on your use-case.

 

I feel like many people don't understand properly what TRIM brings to the table that internal garbage collection can't achieve. It is not the fault of people though, it's really that what I just said about invalid blocks still being marked as valid after deletions is rarely explained properly in discussions of TRIM.

 

Wikipedia has a nice brief explanation of what I just said (in case my own isn't coming across to folk):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Write_amplification#TRIM

 

Sounds important enough.  Why do you think Apple has kept from enabling TRIM for 3rd party drives and MS has only recently made it a non-hack for Windows 8 (Windows 7, you must use a similar hack IIRC)?

 

Anyway, doing my own research I come across a lot of folks saying things like:

 

Most new SSDs come with garbarge collection which negates having TRIM enabled in the OS. I don't know about the Samsung 840 Pro series.

 

I have an Intel 520 Series SSD and do not have TRIM in OS X since it has garbage collection. It's performance is still outstanding.

Do they not know what they are talking about? (source: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5092567)

 

Using a 'hack' for performance reasons is something I understand.  Using a 'hack' to prevent adversely effecting hardware seems suspect to me.

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Posted

Sounds important enough.  Why do you think Apple has kept from enabling TRIM for 3rd party drives and MS has only recently made it a non-hack for Windows 8 (Windows 7, you must use a similar hack IIRC)?

 

Anyway, doing my own research I come across a lot of folks saying things like:

 

 

 

 

Do they not know what they are talking about? (source: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5092567)

Windows 7 wasn't SSD aware because they weren't so prevalent back then. If you wanted "proper" TRIM support, you had to install 3rd party tools (provided by the manufacturer) which would periodically run TRIM operations. There was an alternative way to do it via a registry hack (DisableDeleteNotify) which would force the OS to report deletes to the device. It's not really a good way to do it because it can cause the SSD to perform on-the-fly erases which cause unnecessary wear in the SSD cells. You can do the same thing in Linux via a file system discard option, but I digress.

 

Your link has a poster saying what I just said (confusingly though) to the other person who said garbage collection (GC) negates the need for TRIM. To be clear, garbage collection is an idle process that consolidates partially used blocks in order to maintain maximum contiguous free blocks and to perform drive wear-leveling. This is useful because on-the-fly erases to the SSD cells are slow and as such you want to maintain as many free cells as possible for on-the-fly writing. It works great when the drive actually has an accurate idea about what blocks are really valid versus invalid, but if you do lots of large deletions all over the place, then the drive itself will think a many invalid blocks are still valid (per the issue I said before). The garbage collector in this case would see these invalid blocks as valid blocks and treat them as such. Basically, at the simplest, the drive just has incorrect information and so does the garbage collector here.

 

I've often heard what you are saying: that garbage collection is much better these days and that it negates the need for TRIM. I think the reality is that garbage collection algorithms have gotten to the point that they do a really good job of idly consolidating used blocks when under pressure (i.e. the majority of the drive cells are marked as "used" in the view of the SSD*) so it takes more data on the drive before you get to the point where the drive needs to perform on-the-fly data consolidation when you want to write data to the drive (i.e. performance degradation starts to show). Of course, having a larger drive is going to also mitigate the issue. So essentially, in practice, you would have to peg the drive harder before degradation started showing up. So basically it shifts the real-world scenarios more toward what you saw in practice: nominal read/write speeds after years in large number of use-cases.

 

*Note: it doesn't matter if the blocks are actually really valid or incorrectly marked as valid w.r.t. this statement, I'm just saying the SSD itself thinks the majority of the space is used.

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Posted

 

Enable trim. By default OS X doesn't allow trim on any SSD that isn't Apple supplied. It's an easy thing to so though.

 

 

Not really sure where you've got this from. Hackintosh uses the same OS as Macs - so if it's fixable on one then it's fixable on the other.

And as for drive corruption, there is no risk running on Apple hardware. Both use HFS+, which, from my experience, is much more immune to corruption than other filesystems.

 

By the way - check the refurb store - there's quite a few Mac Mini's on there today - including an i7 with a 1TB drive for

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Posted

I didn't say that it couldn't be done on real Macs - I specifically said that it COULD be done on real Macs; however, this is something that Apple discourages (doing anything from the CLI).

However, "Hack" usage gets you used to dealing with the CLI.

 

Apple doesn't discourage CLI usage. Those tools are actively developed and maintained so that you can make use of them.

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Posted

How about one of these devices?

 

As far as I can get from that thread - it seems like it's not fully supported yet.  Moreover, this thread has verified my stance of "I just wanna use it, I don't want to worry or mess about" so I will get a Mac.  That said, a cheap side-project is also an option :)

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Posted

Apple have 0% finance available now if that helps sway the decision ;).

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Posted

It certainly does.  Always spend someone else's money before your own ;)

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Posted

Indeed - 0% is a no brainer for a large purchase! Keep the money you were going to spend in the bank and earn (admittedly not much) interest whilst you repay the full amount. 

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Posted

Just waiting for the upcoming (rumoured) hardware refresh

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Posted

Just waiting for the upcoming (rumoured) hardware refresh

 

What's interesting is someone already found 'evidence' of a new apple tv in the ios 7.1 beta 5 code.  Now that doesn't have much to do with this but it could point to a nice March hardware refresh event.

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Posted

Indeed - 0% is a no brainer for a large purchase! Keep the money you were going to spend in the bank and earn (admittedly not much) interest whilst you repay the full amount. 

 

I tend to agree, but sadly this also encourages "biting off more than you can chew".  If you can't afford to drop the cash today, then what makes you think you can afford it tomorrow?

 

That being said, I've taken advantage of 0% XX-month financing from Apple, Newegg, and Amazon.  So long as you pay it off it is great, but if you don't they can count all of the interest against you as if it was accrued the entire time.

 

I haven't gotten in trouble with that exactly.  But I have run up a credit card that I received from an Apple 0% financing promotion on a vacation once.  I don't regret the vacation but I should have prepared more ahead of time to fund it.  Ate about $550 in interest last year on that dumb decision.  So, they got me.  As soon as I finish paying that off, I'm going to drop that card.  I've already cut it up.

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Posted

I tend to agree, but sadly this also encourages "biting off more than you can chew".  If you can't afford to drop the cash today, then what makes you think you can afford it tomorrow?

 

That being said, I've taken advantage of 0% XX-month financing from Apple, Newegg, and Amazon.  So long as you pay it off it is great, but if you don't they can count all of the interest against you as if it was accrued the entire time.

 

I haven't gotten in trouble with that exactly.  But I have run up a credit card that I received from an Apple 0% financing promotion on a vacation once.  I don't regret the vacation but I should have prepared more ahead of time to fund it.  Ate about $550 in interest last year on that dumb decision.  So, they got me.  As soon as I finish paying that off, I'm going to drop that card.  I've already cut it up.

 

Absolutely - it's easy for it to get out of control, but that really does just come down to your level of discipline. I previously bought my first large / expensive TV on a 0% credit card but I didn't keep on top of the repayments and ended up paying it back longer, and with interest.

 

That was years ago however, and I'm a bit more careful these days! Not made the same mistake this time around - bought my Macbook Air on a 0% credit card despite having the money in the bank to clear it, and am just paying back about 8% a month until it's clear when I plan to cancel the credit card. 

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Posted

If you can't afford to drop the cash today, then what makes you think you can afford it tomorrow?

 

I very much can.  And I got to this position by correctly using credit.

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Posted

You know, as someone who wasn't interested in buying a mac, all I used to see was "Update to this, refresh to that". 

 

Now I'm waiting for the new Mac Mini, it seems to be fruitless! LOL

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Posted

You will still get best of Bang for your Buck with a Hackintosh.

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Posted

You will still get best of Bang for your Buck with a Hackintosh.

 

Lol, keep up... What you define as "best bang for your buck" makes no considerations for how I cost my time faffing and for peace of mind ;)

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Posted

Get a hackintosh

Best decision I ever made

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