I need semi-definitive opinions regarding the real-world lifespan of an Intel X-25M Solid State Drive running in a Macbook Pro.
I just couldn't pass up a $214 Black Friday deal on an 80GB Intel X25-M (2nd generation) SSD, and am excited to install it into my "early-2008" Macbook Pro (pre-unibody) w/4GB of RAM. My plan is to replace the current system drive (a 500GB 7200RPM Seagate Momentus) with the SSD, and physically relocate the Seagate drive to the Superdrive bay, using the MCE OptiBay
The original plan was to install just the base OS (Mac OS X 10.6.2) to the SSD, then relocate my home folder
to the larger Seagate drive. But then I got to thinking I might actually want to have everything in my ~/Library and ~/Library/Application Support/ folders to live on the SSD instead. Because I am a neurotic multitasker (I generally have over 50+ tabs open in Firefox at any given moment, just as a general reference point), my logic tells me that I would see a performance benefit from having the ~/Library folder on the SSD, since all my running applications are constantly reading and writing to this folder. So my new plan is to just leave my homefolder on the SSD, and relocate my iTunes Library, videos, pictures, etc on the Seagate drive.
But as astute followers of SSD technology know, MLC-based SSDs will burn out faster the more often you write to them. I've done a lot of searching, and have found conflicting opinions on whether or not it's a good idea to leave oft-written to system files such as the OS page/swapfile on the SSD drive, because of the accelerated wear this would cause. Because of this, many Windows users simply disable the pagefile (despite recommendations from Microsoft to keep it enabled on an SSD), but this is not a viable option under OS X. Another concern with OS X and SSDs is Spotlight indexing, the disabling of which is simply not something I'm willing to do, given how useful Spotlight is.
So the question is, just how quickly will an SSD (specifically the X25) "burn out" if I keep my Mac's swapfiles, ~/Library/* files, Mail.app mailboxes on it, with Spotlight enabled? I also run Crashplan online backup, which does realtime block-level, encrypted incremental backups of my drives up to the cloud.
Additionally, will the lack of TRIM support in OS X cause a significant slowdown in overall performance (i.e. near spinning-platter speeds) if I run my SSD in this manner?
I don't really expect this 80GB X25 SSD to be a long-term thing. I fully expect the sizes of SSDs to significantly increase in the next 12-18 months, at inversely lower prices, at which point I will almost certainly feel no remorse in buying a new SSD, regardless of the level of wear on my current X25. But if my X25 burns out in 6-10 months, that won't be worth it, either.
What say you, Mac SSD-heads?