Will Xojo benefit from an SSD

Has anybody noticed or measured an improvement in App running or IDE use by the use of an SSD in a Mac (or PC). I understand that there will be a chorus of forum users who will say “of course your computer will benefit by the use of an SSD”, but my question is does it impact on the development environment and the compiled run time. “Yeah my computer runs real fast now with one of them ess ess dee things” is not an acceptable answer.

But it’s still the right answer. :wink:

Depends on what part of Alabama you are from

My experience is when moving from HDD to SDD in the same computer (on OS X, 16 GB of memory):

  • The IDE loads drastically faster (as all large applications like Photoshop, etc. load faster).
  • BuiltSteps are faster if they involve copying large files.
  • Compiling is not faster, but I work with xojo_binary_project files only and I assume that usually – with my 16 GB of memory – the whole project is loaded into memory.

Yeah, all projects are read into memory, so the only speed win you get from an SSD in terms of compile time is if the machine has to page (and it shouldn’t with most machine configurations).

I like to give you my SSD story, which is a mixed success but nevertheless very worthwhile.

I bought my first SSD around oktober 2011, it was an OCZtech 240 GB SSD. Really fast, even faster than the Intel Speed Demon which is inside now. For its time, it was very affordable.

However, after less then one year, the SSD crashed without any notice, taking everything on it with it. There was nothing any longer which could be recovered. Everything on it was lost.

At 1 november 2012 I replaced the broken SSD with an Intel Speed Demon with 240 GB space. It was a very expensive one. I am now still using the Intel Speed Demon, over two months for 3 years. It is not as fast as the OCZtech, however it is much more reliable.

On this moment I make a backup of everything that changed, because there are signs that it will be at the end of its lifetime. One thing to remember is that an SSD crashes without warning and silently. One day you will switch on your computer and find out that there is no SSD any longer. Be prepared for that at all times.

I have HDD regenerator and GetDataBack, both up to date.

This laptop and the SSD survived two falls from more than 1 meter high (the last fall was at 12 december 2014 when the laptop felt from nearly 1,5 meter high on its left bottom corner on a stone floor. Where the laptop touched the floor, there is a small hole in the stone. The laptop had some minor external damage, the SSD performed the same as before, no damage at all. That you will not say from an internal HDD which will be damaged. I think you have now a very good idea about how rough it sometimes can be for this sturdy machine.

If you buy an SSD, I would advise you an Intel. They are very expensive however they last very long. To give you an idea, this laptop (together with the SSD) is used in very harsh conditions. The laptop operates in temperatures varying from minus 15° to above 40°C. I used it on the field in Botswana where there are desert conditions and I also use it on nice january conditions here when it is freezing but a blue sky in the outside. Many times when working on battery, I have to load twice to three times a day. This laptop (Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo Mobile 9510) bought in January 2009 has much more hours of use on its counter than most desktops and laptops. I can still use it with the latest Xojo and other large applications because of the SSD.
u ha
To answer your questions. You will surely benefit from an SSD especially with Xojo. The Xojo IDE is very slow and therefore an SSD will speedup things greatly. Everything which needs frequent and regular accessing your disk, will benefit greatly. Everything which needs RAM access most of the time will remain the same with or without SSD. When you have not enough RAM in your machine and it starts using the “Pagefile”, then you benefit also greatly from that, however it is not as fast as true RAM memory.

When money is not a problem for you and you can afford a reliable SSD, then I would say go for it. When you can only afford cheap SSD’s with your budget, stay away from it. Take one wth at least 3 year waranty, preferably 5 years.

There are also some do’s and don’t do’s with an SSD. One thing you may never do is defragmenting an SSD because it shorten its lifetime. Also a completely clean reformat is not advisable because every place on the SSD has a limited write cycle. Don’t worry, that limited write cycle is hugh believe me. Besides of the two applications mentioned earlier in my reply, IObit Advanced System Care Pro is a very good investment when using SSD. It keeps your complete system clean and tidy.

I hope this is an “acceptable” answer because it is based on a very heavy day-to-day usage for almost 3 years in very harsh conditions. Many times like in your case, people are looking to the speed boost they receive but forget to take many other (more important) things in consideration. They find out about them, when it is too late.

Hope you will enjoy your SSD for a very long time.

Chris

Switching to an SSD machine has made a HUGE difference in my regular use of the machine. Starting up apps and file operations are just ludicrously faster than with the old spinning platter. Directly relating to Xojo there isn’t really a huge difference except much faster load time for the IDE. I haven’t done a side by side comparison of compiling, it is slightly noticeably faster but I believe that the only part of it that has improved is the actual writing of the data out to disk since all the compiling is done in memory anyway. But that final step does help a little. Of even more help is that when debugging the debug version launches faster and if there is any disk access necessary to get your current project up and running then it is much faster for each debug cycle.

I’ve had this one, built into a macbook so not a brand that I can recommend, for a little over 2 years now and it remains reliable and fast I’ve had 0 problems with it. But I am prepared for such an eventuality with regular backups in several different formats. I have Apple’s Time Machine making regular backups to 2 different backup servers here in the office (it will switch back and forth between them to make redundant backups) I have my xojo and other documents directories regularly synced to a cf card that I just keep in the cf card slot on the machine, except when I need to import picts from my camera that slot isn’t in use so it can be mostly dedicated to that. And additionally I periodically image the entire drive to an equally sized external drive. I should do that now actually…

I had that too last year with an old MacBook Pro from 2009. It fell from approx. 1.2 meters onto a concrete floor. The impact was so hard, that the non-glossy screen panel was moved so that several columns of pixels on the right were not visible anymore. The HDD didn’t suffer from the fall at all and is still in use. I don’t know if every HDD nowadays has an accelerometer to detect a drop prior to the impact, so the rotation of the disk can be stopped and the reading arm can be parked. But this HDD had one for certain.

@Eli Ott
Seems 2009 was a good year for the birth of sturdy laptops. Besides of that, I think both our machines (yours from Apple) comes from brands who deliver excellent quality. For me it is one of the reason to continiously choosing for Fujitsu-Siemens because their professional machines can be used in heavy duty conditions almost continiously. Apple does the same, I still have a Mac G3/450 dual processor and it is still in use. That machine is more than 15 years!!! Both are very expensive brands but more than excellent quality. If we would have Mac customers (which we do not have), I would not hesitate to buy a Mac also besides the Fujitsu-Siemens. Despite more then 13 years Windows programming, I am still a MacFan.

I have a late 2013 iMac with an SSD and 32GB of RAM. (the 32 GB is for VMs and in any case insures that I never have to page)

The IDE definitely loads a lot faster and the computer starts up a lot faster but in terms of using Xojo I have not noticed any other advantages.

  • Karen

The boot time is 20 seconds. IS it enough fast ? (MacBook Pro mid 2014, SSD: 256 MB, free space: 50 MB)
(vs 45s on a 7200rpm internal hard disk / M%acBook Pro 15" from 4 years ago)

Also, time for file copies on a Class 10 SD-HC Card is … amazing.

They have changed ?

I’m with Karen and others on performance and Xojo.

Fortunately, we’re a Samsung OEM, so I have lots of SSD units around to play with. By combining 6 of their 500GB unit in a HH drive chassis, I get 3TB of RAID-0 that streams my audio and video work at over 2.1GB/sec. Does that translate to anything more than bragging rights WRT Xojo? Nope ;). My 5400RPM drive Mac Mini server system runs 15r2.4 just as snappily as my Mac Pro.

The SSD swap is a great idea, but be aware of the capacity point when using a Mac. 256GB will fill up rather quickly.

The only thing that can speed up Xojo compiling is pure computing power. That means finding the fastest processor machine.

On PC that means something like $1500 for a 3.7Ghz i7.

On Mac, the proposition is a bit more painful, as the 3.7 GHz quad core Mac Pro is “only” $2999.00. Well. The 3.5 Ghz iMag 27" seems to be “configurable at 4.00 Ghz”, but I could not find the exact price on the Apple.com site, as this is only available in the Apple Store.

That said, I am really considering changing my iMac internal drive for an SSD.

[quote=210636:@Michel Bujardet]On Mac, the proposition is a bit more painful, as the 3.7 GHz quad core Mac Pro is “only” $2999.00. Well. The 3.5 Ghz iMag 27" seems to be “configurable at 4.00 Ghz”, but I could not find the exact price on the Apple.com site, as this is only available in the Apple Store.

[/quote]

The 27" retina iMac is the only one you can upgrade to the 4 GHz i7 (base processor is an i5), The base price for that machine with a 1 TB fusion drive is and 8 GB RAM: $2,549.00…

It’s unfortunate that the i7 is not available for the non-retina 27" iMac.

Since Xojo only uses a single core I don’t think there is much of a reason (besides want) for a Mac Pro for Xojo development.

  • Karen

I find that the SSD dramatically reduced my debug build times.

As an aside, earlier this year my 27" iMac died. Applecare replaced it with a retina iMac, but I didn’t want another All-In-One computer. I bought a used 2009 Mac Pro and upgraded it to a 3.5 GHz six-core Xeon, USB 3, SSD, and R9 graphics. So for ~$2K CDN I end up with a practical equivalent of new $5K+ Mac Pro (sans TB of course).

I just ran a quick head-to-head between my i5 Mac Mini with 16GB and the 5400RPM disk versus my Mac Pro with 32GB and the PCIe SSD.

BRU PE Compile for OS X:
Load Time

  • 23 sec on Mac Mini
  • 18 sec on Mac Pro
    Compile Time (including copy files step)
  • 38 sec on Mac Mini
  • 34 sec on Mac Pro
    Compile Time with cleared plugin cache (Mine, MBS, and Einhuger)
  • 74 sec on Mac Mini
  • 56 sec on Mac Pro

I agree that compute power was noticeable when the plugin cache was cleared, but the other tests are not so wildly different between the two environments.

These results were similar for 4 other mid-sized projects (60-90 windows, 100 or so PNG graphic files, 5 to 6 helper tools copied).

The only time that I see a recognizable difference is related to memory in the system. My wife’s i7 Mac Book Air only has 4GB and when it’s set up and running, the build times really get longer and I’m sure that is due to paging. OTOH, my Mac Book Air is the same vintage, but has 8GB and it’s on par with the systems above.

I have found that my compile times on my machines that have SSDs compile slightly faster than non-SSD machines. All having 16gig+ of RAM. So I see an improvement using an SSD. But my biggest change is load time of Xojo itself and load times of source code.

Looking at individual task times is missing the forest for the trees. The most significant boost from a SSD is from the IOPS, not the throughput as measured when only one task is being performed for a test.

If just two separate processes start accessing a HDD then the read/write head is skipping all over the place. Three, four, five…everything slows to a crawl.

Testing individual Xojo functions…and only individual functions…may not reveal a great time difference between a SSD and a HDD. But those times can balloon when the HDD is busy with anything else. They remain flat on a SSD. Even Parallels+Windows running simultaneously doesn’t noticeably impact things when there’s a SSD.

The last time I perceived a similar gain in performance was with my first dual core PC. Testing a lot of functions in various apps showed virtually no difference against the PC it was replacing. But actual day to day work which involved multiple apps…the difference was huge.

I confirm. Remember to always let a minimum of 50 GB of free space on your boot SSD. Beyond that (less), the system start to slow…