ASUS P6T, OS X 10.6.3 update and a new SSD

I just updated my ASUS P6T rig to OS X 10.6.3 with the built-in online Software Update application without any problems. It comes with a new Darwin kernel which has the number 10.3.0.

I also installed a brand new Intel X-25 M G2 solid state disk (SSD) and boy, this setup is starting to fly. Boot time from the grey apple logo to the login window is just 11 seconds! Applications like Mail or Safari start instantly, it’s like clicking an application icon and BOOM the software is on the screen. Even Photoshop CS4 with the default plugins enabled starts in less than 4 seconds. The performance increase is awesome. Forget about buying that slightly faster CPU… pour your hard earned money into a fast SSD. The only downside is that OS X still lacks support for the TRIM command for SSDs. It’s already available in Windows 7 and even in Linux… but unfortunately not OS X. Considering that Apple already ships its own notebooks with (overpriced) optional SSDs for quite some time that’s certainly a bit lame.

Because disk space in the SSD is usually pretty limited, I instructed OS X to put my home folder on a normal hard disk drive. Only the operating system itself and all applications are installed on the SSD. I have quite a bunch of stuff installed on my 80 GB Intel SSD but still got 65 GB left. To use a different home folder you have to right-click the account name in the Accounts preferences window and enter a different home folder location.

8 thoughts on “ASUS P6T, OS X 10.6.3 update and a new SSD

  1. also iTunes can store the mp3 on your HDD and the library and pref on your SSD. iPhoto.
    If you do large use of Photoshop with RAW file and o lot of retouch put your RAW on the SSD, edit and after save the final result on your HDD. Just for example….

  2. Maybe with manually fiddling in plists and moving files by hand but you can’t configure it in a simple way in the settings dialog of the applications. Also, my backup is a lot easier when all my important data is within my HOME. Good if it works for you but I don’t see the benefit of that, really.


  3. Sorry to disappoint your setup, but use SSD only for the OS reduce the real performance of SSD. SSD give you the fastest transfer speed available on the market, and use it only for reduce the boot time or the lunch of some applications is a limitation. You should put on the SSD the file that you use in your usual application, like the lightroom lrcatalog for example. Put all the HOME directory reduce the real performance you can put out of your SSD.
    Start Lightroom (sorry again, probably you don’t use this software, but it’s a simple example) in 2 second and the same 5 second for get the preview (that are stored in the lrcatalog in your home/images) doesn’t give you any advantage.
    You start lightroom only one time, just when you use it for the first time since the boot, but you access the catalog every time you switch a photo and the catalog is on your mechanical HDD.
    I suggest you to check your config, and punt only some parts of your Home on the mechanical HDD,, for example the MP3 file (I don’t know what type of work you do with your system).

    I hope to give you a great suggest, sorry for my bad english.

  4. Thanks for your comment. I’m fully aware that I’m not making use of the full potential of the SSD’s speed this way. Btw., I’m using it for the OS _and_ applications, not just for the OS.

    BUT most Mac software can’t be configured the way you mentioned anyway. I think LR is one of the very few exeptions here.


  5. Do u use an EFI partition for chameleon as well? Because from what I’ve noticed, if I updated from 10.6 to 10.6.2, none of the kexts worked and since the kernel was different, it broke my install. Did u have to do the same from 10.6 to 10.6.2?

  6. Did all the kexts work when you did the 10.6.3 update? or did u need to patch ur chameleon to start it up since its a different kernel?

  7. Yes I do. Actually, I used the installer that came with RC2 and just update the boot file with a newer Chameleon release. Looks like you have too many and/or the wrong kexts installed. The P6T only needs a handful of kexts to work properly. Check out this kext package to see which kexts I installed on my system:

    But mind you, I’m not using any of these heavily modified OS X versions floating around torrent sites. My installation is based on a retail DVD.

  8. I just had to reinstall the AppleHDA kext to get sound back because every system upgrade brings back the original AppleHDA.


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