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New Mac Pro?

Or iMac 5K or iMac Pro?
Consult with Lloyd ASAP before buying!


System configuration for CPU, GPU, memory, SSD, backup, RAID, optimizing performance, workflow.
For YOUR optimal workflow

Avoid costly mistakes in throwing money at the problem for less performance and/or buying the wrong machine for your own needs!

Remote screen sharing available for RAID, software configuration, etc.

More about 2019 Mac Pro vs iMac 5K vs iMac Pro...

2016 MacBook Pro: SSD Speed

See my Mac wish list at B&H Photo and see all 2016 MacBook pro models at B&H Photo.

See all 15" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models or see all 13" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models. MPG gets credit if you buy through those links.

Jonathan P writes:

I'm sure you're aware that LaCie has announced a couple of new SSD RAID drives, one of which, the 2TB Bolt3, is said to approach read speeds of 2,800 MB/s, which I assume will outrun the new MacBook's internal SSD.

I take it you're not a fan of LaCie (not sure), but I've been using their portable Backup Plus Fast and 4TB Rugged RAID drives for several years without a single hitch. I also have a few 4TB LaCie desktop Porsche design hard drives that have also been reliable. I realize those are too slow and too small for the work you do, and not really configurable to your liking, but I'm just a hobbyist. If the Bolt3 didn't run $2,000, I might consider it. At the moment, I shoot with a LUMIX GH4 and downsample to 1080p for delivery to YouTube. I really appreciate all the work you do.

MPG: As I understand it, only the LaCie Bolt is an SSD, the others are hard-drive based. My confusion stems from the most obtusely written press release I can ever recall reading. Why companies write such stuff is baffling. The point is to communicate, and the press release is a failure that left me puzzling through it.

I have little experience with LaCie products, because I can’t review what I can’t easily obtain. My time is always under pressure, and if a company doesn’t want to respond quickly or seek me out, then I generally cannot afford to pursue dead ends or to waste my time justifying my request according to some generic rules-based process at Company X. Recommending products that I have not personally tested is a bad protocol for everyone, so I avoid that. Accordingly, I cannot recommend the LaCie Bolt, but by the same token I am not dis-recommending it. The foregoing is an open offer for the folks at LaCie to contact me and send me a LaCie Bolt and their other products for testing.

SSD speed

Apple is claiming 3GB/sec for the internal SSD of the 2016 MacBook Pro, which is faster than the LaCie Bolt claim. I say “claim” because performance is much more complex than one number. The 3000 MB/sec = 2.86 MiB/sec or 2800MB/sec = 2.67 MiB/sec figures are sustained throughput—best case with very large transfers.

Take a look at actual behavior in the graph below, which shows throughput (MiB/sec) versus transfer size*. The Apple and LaCie offerings are going to behave according to this same pattern. The quoted figures are best-case for large transfers only. Yet in the real world, typically 99% of transfers are ~1MB or smaller!

Accordingly, factors like latency and how many requests per second can be handled figure into actual real world performance.

As I understand it, latency is inherently higher over Thunderbolt 3 than the direct-connect PCIe bus of the internal SSD. Moreover I expect the Apple internal SSD to be a very high performance design. Therefore I expect the Apple internal SSD to outperform anything and everything.

What the Apple internal SSD is likely to be less good at is industrial-grade longevity (over provisioning and such). So peak speed alone is a poor metric by itself: for professional use a device must meet or exceed and sustain a critical performance metric, and be designed for 3 or 5 years of taking a beating. Thus a slower offering may well be a far superior choice for some applications.

* MiB = 1024 * 1024 and MB = 1000 * 1000

Example of SSD performance behavior below.

Transfer speed vs transfer size for OWC 960GB Aura SSD in MacBook Air
Save Big $$$$ on Memory for 2019 Mac Pro

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Lloyd recommends 32GB RDIMM modules for most users (more expensive LRDIMMS are for 512GB or more).



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