Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Sep 2012 19:36 UTC
Apple I bought a brand new iMac on Tuesday. I'm pretty sure this will come as a surprise to some, so I figured I might as well offer some background information about this choice - maybe it'll help other people who are also pondering what to buy as their next computer.
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WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

Regarding swap, realistically no high performance rig should use it. Get enough ram and be done with it. The only time memory should be stored to disk is for hibernation.


If you have enough RAM in the system then it doesn't really matter where the swap is as it will mostly go unused anyways. There may be a write here or there occasionally, but atleast on my rig those are very few.

And in the case of hibernation, it's one big linear read/write with no seeking overhead. If it's placed on the outer rim of the disk, this is peak performing scenario for HDD, so I'm not even sure if the hibernation file benefits from SDD. Anyone have performance data on this?


Hibernation files are indeed big linear chunks of data, but performance-wise SSDs still win out: any modern SSD can easily do 500MB/s sequential read and atleast 200MB/s sequential writes, whereas atleast my own HDDs barely manage 100MB/s sequential reads and 60MB/s sequential writes in optimal case -- this with 3.5" desktop HDDs, my 2.5" ones fare even worse. I can post screenshots from HDTune Pro if needed, but e.g. my laptop's 500GB drive starts at 75MB/s sequential read speed at the furthest edge of the platter and drops all the way to around 50MB/s sequential read when closest to the center of the platter.

So yes, you'll still boot up much faster with an SSD.

Now, if boot times aren't as important to you, ie. only actual runtime - performance matters, then it would make sense to slap hibernation files on the HDD instead. In my own case I usually boot my PC 1-3 times a day so it's not really a whole lot of time wasted even if I had to wait 3 seconds longer every boot -- I usually pop to kitchen and grab a drink anyways while the system is booting. In other words I wouldn't benefit much from placing hibernation files on the SSD.

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