2010 MBP HDD W/RAM upgrade or SSD?

bsmith918

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 31, 2010
3
0
I am trying to decide whether I should Install a 120/128GB SSD or add a Larger hybrid HDD with an extra 2 gig RAM upgrade. I currently have a 2010 MBP with 4 gigs of Ram and a stock 5400 rpm HDD. I am thinking of replacing the HDD with either the Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB or the OCZ Vertex 2 120GB. I could also use that money to purchase a Seagate XT Hybrid 500GB drive and then use the extra money to purchase a 4GB stick to replace one of the stock 2GB sticks. What's are your thoughts? What is the speed difference between the hybrid and the SSD's? If you chose the SSD, which one?
 

C64

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2008
1,234
222
The hybrids only have a small SSD-section, so only the apps you've recently used a lot will be stored in that part of the drive. The rest won't be much faster than regular 7200RPM speeds. An SSD however will give you top speed with everything you do. SSDs are also completely silent, where most hybrids are not. There's even a lot of talk about an increase in volume and vibrations. It'll depend on the drive, and on whether you care about sounds, but it's something you should look into first.

You're already at 4GB RAM. Unless your using a lot of really power hungry applications and you're sure that they will actually utilize more RAM, I'm guessing that at this point 4GB is enough. If you really want a speed increase you should go for the SSD. The advantage is that even if your MacBook runs out of RAM and starts swapping, the swap file on the SSD can be accessed much faster and it'll feel like you're just using RAM anyways. Tests will show you that SSD swapping isn't as fast as real RAM obviously, but in the end it's about how you experience it.

You can also buy a smaller SSD and use it as a boot drive, remove the optical drive and replace it with an OptiBay (hard drive caddy) in which you can install the SDD. Or put the SSD in the place of the current HD and move the HD to the place of the optical drive. That way you'll have the SSD speed for OS X and your applications, and the stock drive for storage. That is of course if you don't use the optical drive that often and you can miss it (or put it in a USB enclosure so you can still use it). I do believe this (removing the optical drive and replacing it with a HD) will void warranty though, but I'm not sure.
 

c.spaniel

macrumors newbie
Aug 5, 2010
1
0
Any other opinions?
I agree with C64. Your computer is only as fast as the slowest part and the HDD is the slowest part. 4GB RAM is more than enough for most of us. I have just upgraded to SSD and I simply the speed boost. Best of all, it will not fry your balls when the MBP sits on your lap.
 

Syonidism

macrumors regular
Feb 10, 2009
213
0
Turkey
I also agree with
c.spaniel
C64

the hdd is really the bottleneck of the PC's and MAC's right now. getting the ssd will be so much better in the long run. You can even install the ssd to your new Laptop in the future, should you choose.

Also as a bonus most windows computers use some of the hdd space to create virtual rams in case when the rams are full, since hard drives are slow whilst its writing on the virtual ram the computer will lag\slow\stagger. With ssds since theyre so much faster than hard drives they will also act like a pseudo-ram.

Im not sure about the virtual ram architecture on MACs right now but im pretty sure they follow the same design pattern since windows' ideas are usually derived from apples innovations...
 

oplix

Suspended
Jun 29, 2008
1,460
487
New York, NY
Macs don't support TRIM right now which is needed to minimize the performance loss over time that SSD's in their current form exhibit. Also, most low to mid end SSD's have fairly low performance when it comes to write speeds.
 

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