As you can guess form the title, I recently purchased a Kingston SSDNow drive. The plan was to put it in the Macbook pro to replace the standard (and slower) 5400rpm drive. Since it was my first step in SSDland, I decided to play it safe and pick a relatively cheap drive with good reviews. At about 100$, this 64gig drive is among the cheapest per gig SSD drive you can get.
It is good to know that not all SSD are made equal. While searching on the net, I realized that there is a big gap in performance between similarly priced drives. I liked the Kingston for its fast read (200mps) and write (over 110mps) speed while not using some of its space for provisioning (some drives reduce the overall space to increase speed, such as the OCZ 60 GB Vertex 2 which is about 50% faster at the cost of 4 less gig and 33% more $).
Installation was stupid easy, 5 minutes max as long as you have the correct screw driver (Phillips 00). The long part was reinstalling all my software (OSX, LightRoom, CaptureOne, web dev stuff and StarCraft II). I am now left with less than 28gigs available on the drive so I decided to skip the FCP install for now.
While 28gig is not much, it is enough to cover a day worth of shooting (in most cases) and I always have my external G-DRIVE to handle backup.
First of all, everything you read about SSD speed is true. While my drive is far from being among the fastest (I should have picked the OCZ 60 GB Vertex 2 for that), I noticed a drastic increase in speed for all my hd bound tasks: booting, browsing pictures in LR, loading maps in SCII… Actually, the limiting factor isnt the hard drive anymore, it is the video card/cpu.
One of the benefit I did not see is the increased battery life. Since SSD draw less power from the battery than disk based drives, they are supposed to increase the battery life. At least in theory. What I have found with my Macbook pro is a 10-15% decrease.
At first, I thought there was a problem with my drives until I realized the reason why I draw more power from the battery is that I actually do more work! Since I wait less on images to load, I edit more pictures/video which taxes the CPU more.
While there are a lot of choices when looking for a SSD, you don’t need to make a massive investment to get most of its benefits. Give it a try, it could be the best 100$ you ever spent on your latop!
My next step is to install FCP and see how well it is going to manage playing multiple stacked HD tracks.