Tips for maximizing economic SSD usage?

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System admin
Hey guys,

I just picked up a new MacBook Air yesterday and it's my first SSD equipped computer. I'm blown away by the performance but I'm curious to know if you guys who have had an SSD for a while have any tips on making the most of the smaller capacity.

Obviously the main point is to store big files and project folders on external drives, but this is a laptop and I'd love to keep as much as I can just on the laptop itself, so in terms of software etc I'm trying to make as best use of the limited space as I can.

I'm guessing using cloud services and media streaming is a big help, but I've got barely any experience with that stuff. I usually have my iTunes library local, and I use DropBox but that stores files locally too.

Just keen to hear your tips and tricks that you might have picked up while using your SSD.


  • Michael Knubben
    If you usually store music locally, look into Spotify/Grooveshark or Google Music. The latter lets you upload your own music.
  • Dylan Brady
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    Dylan Brady polycounter lvl 7
    IDK I use a network drive but Im thinking of getting another external to backup stuff and also put most of my files on
  • odium
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    odium polycounter lvl 11
    Do SSD drives last as long as I've read? I read a while abck they only had about 5,000 reads or something?

    With the price of them as well... Makes me worry :( Or is that all piddle socks?
  • System
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    System admin
    Thanks guys.

    I just signed up to iTunes Match. Seems pretty awesome, I've got my whole library on my main desktop, and now I can access it all from my laptop without having to store it locally.

    Odium - I've heard that too. Not sure on the specifics but from what I've seen from my minimal research, apparently the read/write lifespan should outlast any typical HDD. I agree they're still very expensive though.
  • perna
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    perna ngon master
    So in terms of storage options you already answered your own question; you store stuff locally or externally (internet, external drive, network).

    Local storage:
    -Active projects
    -Running storage

    -Finished projects
    -Unsorted stuff and junk

    The idea is to use local storage only for stuff you access all the time. Running storage is temporary storage of things you download. Keep this in a folder that when it grows large enough you move it onto external storage.

    If you keep your files well sorted, you can get away with using a small drive. You don't need 24hr access to your 800GB movie collection or your old PSDs, etc.
  • haiddasalami
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    haiddasalami polycounter lvl 8
    My SSD died as it was like a GEN 1 where there was a limited amount with read and writes but the newer gen SSD's have programs where you can restore them back to their factory state.
  • Mark Dygert
    I use a system nearly identical to Perna's system.
    Keep only apps and working files on your SSD, max/maya files, psd's, things that you constantly have open and are making edits to.

    Everything else like ref, old projects, movies, music, games, goes on another slower large capacity drive. I have a wireless hard drive sitting on my network that I use for storage. It's quite, always there and fast enough.

    The main thing is to separate convenience (I need this stuff on my desktop because that is my dumping ground) and do I need this stuff on this drive because of speed. Shortcuts and mapped drives will offer nearly the same convenience but keep your fastest drive from getting cluttered up.

    My SSD is going strong after 3 years but that doesn't mean I trust it, all parts have a lifespan and its never a question of if but when.
    I back it up to a HDD using Paragon (disk management software).

    Whatever you do don't Raid1 (mirror copy) a SSD drive with a slower platter drive, it will only run as fast as the slowest drive in the chain and will more than likely stress the SSD and cause it to burn out faster.
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm greentooth
    get XSlimmer for OS X. It slims down universal applications (i.e. applications which include executables for PowerPC and x86). There's a few hundred megs space win right there.

    If you run bootcamp on the air, use nLite or vLite to make a custom Windows installation DVD.

    Monolingual is another app for OSX. It removes unnecessary languages - be careful with that though. I only run it once, right after an OS X install.

    If you have an iPod or iphone, just put your music on it. A classic ipod also makes a nice external hdd.

    Get some super small 8 / 16gb USB sticks. I got one that just extends 4 millimetres out of the USB port. Ideal for the air.

    On bootcamp install windows programs using custom install options. Often you can skip stuff like translations, examples, docs, etc.

    I did all that: MBA with 128ssd - I have windows and snow leopard on it with some 3d apps, games, office and still about 20 gigs free on each partition.
  • System
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    System admin
    Thanks guys. I'm actually considering grabbing some SD cards and using them like games cartridges. I still like to play WoW/Diablo a bit and that's like 40GB right there. I figured if I just stick them both on an SD card then I can plug and play when I want to. right?

    Ok talk to me about these wireless drives. I know absolutely nothing about them but they sound awesome. Are they fast? Or is uploading 4GB's of folders to them as painful as it would be to upload them to say DropBox? (Possibly stupid question).

    Also, is there any cloud storage service that has a desktop app that accesses files remotely without downloading them? I've tried DropBox and Google Drive but they keep a local folder of what is 'in the cloud'. Is there any way to reference what is there, but only grab the files you need?

    You can do it through the website obviously but it would be nice to have an app, or even better, support inside of Explorer/Finder to just grab a file when you need it.

    EDIT: Ok looked into the whole remote access DropBox thing and it seems what I want to do is map a network drive to a cloud storage service. You can't do it with DropBox, but I'm not sure about GDrive/SkyDrive. I hope so.
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