7200 rpm or SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hotelfive, May 24, 2010.

  1. hotelfive macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2010
    I'm looking to build a Macbook Pro over the next few weeks and I'm just looking at where to spend my money best. I will be getting the 15inch with i7 processor and upgrading to 8mb of RAM. My question is this: I understand the SSD is faster than the standard hard drive and will considerably speed things up in terms of processing pics etc. But how will the SSD compare to the upgraded 7200 rpm hard drive? The SSD are so costly for the size and I just don't know if I can justify the difference in price if the 7200 rpm drive will suffice (along with the upgraded RAM of course).

    My main use of the Mac will be processing photos through Aperture 3 and PHotoshop (I have a photography business so being able to process large quantities of photos quickly is a must!)

    Any input would be appreciated!
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Your best bet is to replace the stock HD with SSD (aftermarket) and then replace the SuperDrive with either the stock HD or even bigger one (up to 1TB). That way you get both, extreme speed and huge capacity
  3. oyebto macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
  4. bella92108 macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2006
    Not really. 99.2% of your data is still on the HDD. This is a gimmick. Bring on the flames. lol
  5. bella92108 macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2006

    Hard Drive vs Solid State = Can of Spam vs Lobster. One is cheap, but does the job, the other is premium both in price and flavor.

    Don't know why there are so many posts on here. There's no WRONG way to go. It's like saying should I get a 2.0 ghz or a 3.0 ghz... of course 3.0 but it's twice the price, so it's whatever you can afford.

    Personally I just went SSD after going from 5400 to 7200 rpm... going from 7200 rpm to SSD increased my boot time, app loading time, copying time, etc, about 400% (I'm just pulling that out my ass, but seriously, it screams)... so to me the $600 for 256gb was worth it more than any other upgrade I've ever done (except going from a PC board sound to Soundblaster on my HP Vectra 386 back in the 90's, haha)

    If you can afford SSD, DO it
  6. DSLisFREE macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2010
    Do not buy the upgraded SSD from Apple. I have read that the SSD they provide is inferior to an aftermarket SSD that you can buy for a lot less. Buy an SSD and an external HD for your storage needs.
  7. bella92108 macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2006
    Corsair or Crucial both make good sub $700 256 gb drives.... intel makes a good sub 200gb drive... going from a HDD to SSD you'll be blown away by anything you get. I agree with DSL, don't let apple do the CTO upgrade, you'll overpay (by almost double), and then be stuck with whatever they put in it.
  8. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    If you don't need tons of storage space and have a decent amount of money to spend on it, go for a SSD:D
  9. dsprimal macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2010
    +1 aftermarket ssd = better + cheaper. and as the external HD, i would recommend the seagate freeagent 1tb external hd :D
  10. unamused macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2009
    yep, same with the ram...
  11. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    It is not a gimmick. The OS and commonly used apps will load FAST.

    When you see people here discussing about how fast their new SSD is, they just talk about boot and program launch.
  12. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    It is not true that there is no wrong way to go as there are many things in the IT world that simple are never ever worth the price difference.
    I usually go for a 5400rpm drive as I care more about the noise a drive produces than the gains 7200rpm may offer. Thus for me the price difference although (atleast aftermarket) very small is not worth it.
    An SSD is a different story. They are a lot faster but also still very expensive if you need more than 100GB. For me it is not worth it yet and I will wait for a year more to bring prices further down (as 256GB is the minimum). They are faster but the speed gain is only in few operations.
    Reading files is fast but once in RAM there is no difference.
    Same with program launches and shut down times. I still don't understand how 30sec vs. 50 sec of start up make a difference when you do this once a month. Hibernation may speed up significantly but it is seldom necessary as stand by uses almost the same power today.
    Games, Programms, encoding ... all runs about as fast.
    Copying files is only fast within the drive as any other medium to copy to/from is usually still way to slow.
    How much the 200mb + read speed means to you depends very much on what you do. Opening many huge RAW images or loading other big chunks of data into RAM often will be a lot faster.

    I will get one someday because a machine that feels like it has everything in RAM already is nice and I like the dead silence an SSD offers. I have good ears and often work in a very quite environment.

    In Short. An SSD feels fast but there is in most cases not much real practical benefit that truely makes it worth this much money (if money is any concern).
    A game will not run a single frame better. Professional work with big Files may benefit. Video encoding doesn't as the slow dual core will never be fast enough.
  13. hotelfive thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2010
    Hmmm that hybrid Seagate drive looks interesting....How hard are they to install yourself (or is that something that should be left to a computer store)? Is it just a matter of pulling out the old one, plunking in the new one and then installing the operating system?
  14. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    If you need storage enough to gut your SuperDrive, you really don't need a portable. I didn't know a 1TB hard disk for notebooks existed until I just checked Amazon, so that's even more of an easy call. Go for speed with a 7200rpm drive or SSD or storage capacity with a 1 TB drive. You never know when you'll need to burn a disc, rip a CD, install something from the OS disc or watch a movie. You'd have to spent yet another $40 on an external optical drive, and it's just kinda crazy when you get one with the computer already.
  15. dsprimal macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2010
    for now go with the 7200, then buy ssd further down the line.
  16. JimAtLaw macrumors 6502

    Sep 26, 2006
    Bay Area, CA
    For the price, this is some awesome performance.

    Some will obviously say I overpaid for the Apple SSD option to get the Apple warranty & support, known compatibility with firmware updates, etc., but the Apple supplied 512GB SSD performs amazingly, I didn't have to swap anything out myself, and if there's a problem, the single finger rule applies. (Yes, I know I could always pull the drive out if I needed to bring it in, etc. - some of us just aren't interested in this.)

    hotelfive, don't be bowled over by the folks on the forum who bash or praise Apple or its prices all of the time around here - folks are not shy with their opinions here, and you will find plenty of voices on both sides of most questions.

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