[OS X TeX] TeX performance: SSD vs ATA on MacBook Pro

Gary L. Gray gray at psu.edu
Fri Jul 26 00:58:37 CEST 2013

On Jul 25, 2013, at 2:53 PM, William Slough <wslough at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm thinking of getting a new MacBook Pro and I'm curious what others have to say about SSD versus a 7200 rpm hard disk, since I need to choose.  I am aware of the hefty price penalty to get a solid state drive, but I'm wondering if other TeX users could sway me one way or another.  I realize that this is an ill-posed question, but I am nonetheless interested how others weigh in on this decision --- especially as it relates to someone who uses TeX a lot.

I am on my second MacBook Pro with an SSD. The first was a mid-2010 MacBook Pro with a 256GB SSD. I used that for more than two years and upgraded to the first generation MacBook Pro with Retina display that came out last year. That also has an SSD. With this as background, here are my observations:

** I no longer notice it on a day-to-day basis, but when I first got the SSD, I was amazed at how quickly apps launched. I also notice how slow launching feels when I have to work on even a recent machine with a HD. I was also amazed at how fast I was able to typeset large documents (a 750 page textbook with thousands of figures and dozens of large source files). Short documents are nearly instantaneous either way, but long docs are way faster with an SSD.

** Regarding reliability, my 2010 MBP continues to be used daily by my wife and the SSD has never given either of us a bit of trouble.

** A regular HD, especially a 7200 rpm drive, will drain your battery much faster than as SSD will.

If there are any other questions I can try to answer, let me know.


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