SSD Doesn't Change Results?

Sarasota Joe's Avatar

Sarasota Joe

16 Mar, 2013 03:25 PM

I recently replaced my 5400 RPM HDD with a 6G SSD and moved the HDD to the optical drive bay of my 2011 MacBook Pro. Mountain Lion and my apps are on the SSD, my home folder is on the HDD.

The user experience is dramatically improved: boot time is less than half, apps open nearly instantly, and overall responsiveness is incredible. I would expect the Geekbench score to have tripled, yet the results are entirely unchanged. How can this be?

  1. 1 Posted by Sarasota Joe on 16 Mar, 2013 03:27 PM

    Sarasota Joe's Avatar

    Oh yes, one more thing. At the same time that I added the SSD, I upgraded the RAM from 8GB to 16GB.

  2. 2 Posted by cbigfoot on 18 Mar, 2013 02:30 AM

    cbigfoot's Avatar

    for what I have seen Geek Bench is more about cpu testing rather than HDD/SSD ad for the memory same thing if its the same speed then there wont be a noticeable difference.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by John on 18 Mar, 2013 07:31 AM

    John's Avatar

    Joe -

    Thank you for your message. Geekbench only measures processor and memory performance, so even though a new SSD makes your computer faster, your Geekbench score won't change.

    Also, Geekbench only measures memory speed so increasing the amount of memory without increasing the memory speed won't improve your Geekbench score.

    Let me know if you have any other questions and I'd be happy to help out.


  4. 4 Posted by scidoc on 30 Mar, 2013 04:04 AM

    scidoc's Avatar

    Joe: If benchmark is 8000 but response time is slower than a machine benchmarked at
    6500 with an SSD;

    Doesn't this point out the limited value of benchmarking?
    Please clarify the relationship between practical response time and Benchmark
    and situations in which a higher Benchmark is still a slower less responsive machine.

  5. 5 Posted by Joe on 30 Mar, 2013 04:25 AM

    Joe's Avatar

    scidoc: Yes, it would seem that this does point out the limited value of benchmarking. Or at least the limited value of benchmarking something as marginally practical as processor speeds and RAM speed. I already know which processors are faster, and which RAM is faster.

    What I want to know, and what imagine most people would want to know, is which computer in which configuration will give me the most bang for the buck. I'd like to see a real world practical bench test that calculates how fast each computer will actually do things, like boot up, open big apps, write data to disc, render images, etc.

    A 2011 MacBook Pro with a 2.3 GHz Core i5 benchmarks at 6,000. If you max out the RAM and put in a 6G SSD (I got the Mercury Extreme 6G from OWC) it performs faster than not only a machine that benchmarks at 8,000, but one that benchmarks at 13,000. So these numbers are of limited utility.

  6. 6 Posted by scidoc on 31 Mar, 2013 04:39 AM

    scidoc's Avatar

    Part of the problem is that if we are both correct, we are pointing out the limitations of typical benchmarking which is antithetical to the purpose of this website.

  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by John on 02 Apr, 2013 06:38 PM

    John's Avatar

    Joe -

    Absolutely. Systems with SSDs feel more responsive than systems with traditional HDDs. The difference is so pronounced that we recommend all users purchase systems with SSDs if they can afford one large enough for their needs.

    However, systems with SSDs aren't necessarily faster at processor-intensive tasks than systems with HDDs. For these tasks it's the performance of the processor and memory that make the biggest difference, and it's this performance that Geekbench measures.

    Depending on your needs you may be happier with a slower processor and a faster SSD than a faster processor and a slower HDD. We try to make it clear what Geekbench measures (and what Geekbench doesn't measure) to help you make informed purchasing decisions.


  8. 8 Posted by gari on 31 Jul, 2013 11:44 AM

    gari's Avatar

    I was wondering this, but it is obvious when you look at the Geekbench scores that it is processor and ram being pushed, the heart and lungs of the machine.

    I did get to score a little higher going from 2Gb to 3Gb of ram in my aging, venerable Macbook Pro A1211 2.16GHz core 2 duo on Snow Leopard, Geekbench went up a few hundred to 2983, yeah, I know you modern hip guys with new Macbook Pros are laughing, but I still got an Exprecard34 slot which I can use, and do lol

    As said, Geekbench score isn't the end of the story, you could have the fastest storage on the planet but if your machine is taking minutes to render or process, it makes no difference, I have no SSD at the moment and don't see the point, sure this thing would boot quicker etc, but I can top the ram and processor, so no speed of drive is going to make any difference. I read someone say that virtual memory would work quicker with an SSD, but I'm not a technical bod, so I don't know.

    As an example of things seeming faster.

    I have an older Pentium 4 Hackintosh that I like to mess with, it seems to boot quicker than this thing and doesn't seem to top out so easily, although things like Garageband seem to work better on the Macbook pro.

    Some tasks I prefer to do on it because, subjectively, it seems faster, certainly Word opens quicker { but is an older version}, I uploaded its Geekbench the other day, the Pentium 4 was about 1064 IIRC, so about a score of 2000 less than my old Macbook Pro, in action as functional machines, I didn't expect that kind of difference in the heart and lungs performance.

    There again, I guess the Hackintosh has been optimized for that rig...

  9. 9 Posted by davidg2020 on 27 Dec, 2017 10:21 PM

    davidg2020's Avatar

    I have a late 2009 iMac with a 2.8GHz i7 processor and a mid 2014 MacBook Pro with - ostensibly - the same processor. The main differences I can see between the two are:
    iMac - processor is 860 - MacBook Pro - processor is 4980HQ
    iMac - 8MB L3 cache - MacBook Pro - 6MB L3 cache
    iMac - no L4 cache - MacBook Pro 128MB L4 cache
    Other than than the only difference is that the iMac has (at the moment) a hard drive whereas the MacBook Pro has an SSD (both 1TB)
    Having said all that the MacBook Pro has a multi-core score of 15257 whereas the iMac is only 7354.
    I am considering putting an SSD in the iMac in the hope that the performance will be similar to the MacBook Pro.
    On the strength of this discussion, am I just setting myself up for disappointment?
    Apart from the HS/SSD situation - and the age of the two machines - the specs seem quite similar.
    What - other than the storage medium - could make such a vast difference?

  10. Support Staff 10 Posted by Colin on 04 Jan, 2018 06:10 PM

    Colin's Avatar

    Hi davidg2020,

    As John mentioned, adding an SSD is not expected to change your Geekbench scores. However, it may improve the responsiveness of your system for a lot of everyday tasks, and could be a wise purchase depending on your use case.

    It's difficult to explain why two specific processor models perform differently, as that is a consequence of their designs as well as a number of other factors. You can compare your results to the aggregate scores for each processor on the Processor Benchmark Chart, if you're interested in how those processors perform on average.

    All the best,
    Primate Labs Inc.

Reply to this discussion

Internal reply

Formatting help / Preview (switch to plain text) No formatting (switch to Markdown)

Attaching KB article:


Attached Files

You can attach files up to 10MB

If you don't have an account yet, we need to confirm you're human and not a machine trying to post spam.

Keyboard shortcuts


? Show this help
ESC Blurs the current field

Comment Form

r Focus the comment reply box
^ + ↩ Submit the comment

You can use Command ⌘ instead of Control ^ on Mac