Advice: Buying a new MBP, which 3rd-party SSD and RAM should I get?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by infect, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. infect macrumors member

    infect

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    I'm going to buy the stock 2.2GHz MBP with a hi-res screen and I want to do my own upgrades. These are the parts I was thinking of getting:

    Crucial 8GB RAM ($79.99)

    OWC Data Doubler chassis ($74.99)

    OWC Optical Drive enclosure ($39.99 w/ purchase of data doubler)

    Crucial 256GB M4 ($459.99)

    I've read mixed reviews of the OWC Data Doubler. Most people say it's too expensive for what it does, but the other solutions I've found look cheap and flimsy.

    I'm especially unsure of the SSD. I read through several reviews and the Crucial M4 seemed to be the best speed/size for the price. There are also different models of the 256GB M4 but I'm not sure what the difference is.


    Is there anything better/different I should be considering? Any other general advice? Thanks!
     
  2. Dresevski macrumors 6502

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    #2
    1) I love Crucial memory and have it in my current 2 computers. It's a good choice and may be a bit more expensive but it works perfectly.

    2) Don't know much about the OWC kit but a friend of mine just installed his stock HDD into his older MB with some random kit and it's fine. I wouldn't be too worried about the "flimsiness" of a kit since you don't really want to be putting it to the test anyway, right? $75 seems like a bit much.

    3) I don't know if it matters to you but you might be able to get a USB tool that allows you to read any drive via the SATA connection. This would allow you to access more than just your disc drive for a probably $10 less. But, if you want something sleek and don't need to read other drives...that'll do!

    4) Have you looked at the Vertex 3's? OCZ is coming on strong and boast the fastest times. In the 120GB range they're cheaper than the M4's, at least where I found one. You should really consider it.
     
  3. infect thread starter macrumors member

    infect

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    #3
    Sweet! Good to know that's a good choice.

    Yeah, I'm definitely on the fence about this whole piece of the setup. I came across this product too: MCE OptiBay. It's $99 but comes with the enclosure for the internal SuperDrive, so it's around the same price as the OWC version.

    I did look into them a bit after seeing some great speed tests, but I read some bad reviews about Mac support. I'll look into them again.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #4
    any memory will do, just browse around and find what you can get the best deal on. newegg frequently does ram deals, they usually have a daily deals section just for memory, sometimes it's desktop memory and the like but you could catch a good 8gb kit deal if you keep your eyes peeled. as far as ssd, i have never owned one personally but if i ever were to purchase one i would probably go with intel due to their rep for reliability. just my .02
     
  5. KJmoon117 macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I'd say get the data doubler but skip out on the CD enclosure. You can get that from eBay for much cheaper. However, if you have the money, I guess spend it.

    As for the RAM, get whatever that has a good warranty/price on it. I bought my 2x4GB Samsung RAM for about $70 in Korea. I'm sure there is a sale in Newegg where you can buy it for $69.

    I have heard that the m4 gets beachballs. However, the new firmware could have fixed that. I'd also recommend the Intel 320 if you want absolute reliability or the OWC 6G Extreme if you want speed. Plus, OWC does give a five year warranty on those SSDs, which is something you won't see very often in this industry.
     
  6. infect thread starter macrumors member

    infect

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    #6
    Sweet, thanks for the tip!
     
  7. infect, Jun 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011

    infect thread starter macrumors member

    infect

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    #7
    Oh, interesting. Didn't think to check eBay.

    Yeah, another poster mentioned their daily deals. I'll definitely be on the lookout.

    I've heard that too about the M4. It looks like the v2 firmware fixed it for most people though. The Intel drives have consistently high ratings for reliability, but I've read that they're slow in comparison to the M4.

    I didn't know about the OWC drives had a 5 year warranty. That's awesome. The reason I'm leaning away from them is because I was reading that they have a patch job on their drive controllers. I can't find it right now, but I'll try to find the post I was reading about it. EDIT: Found the post on AnandTech.

    Also, Jeff Atwood did a nice performance test and the Crucial drive won. It's a bit old now though and it was the C300 model he tested. I wish I could find one comparing the OWC drive to the M4.
     
  8. atMac macrumors 6502

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    Jun 20, 2011
    #8
    Kingston sells 1600MHz speed RAM that works in Macbook Pro's. I'd spend a few extra $$ and get that.

    Corsair just had a recall to fix a problem that effects all SandForce based (OWC, OCZ ect) SSD's so I would go with Corsair or Intel.
     
  9. infect thread starter macrumors member

    infect

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    #9
    Great advice. I just found the 8GB kit at newegg for $109.99 with an instant $15 rebate! $89.99 is a great price for these.

    Yeah, I'm leaning heavily toward the M4. Thanks again for the advice.
     
  10. atMac macrumors 6502

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    #10
  11. KJmoon117, Jun 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011

    KJmoon117 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    The patch job on their PCB (NOT CONTROLLERS) was fixed.

    http://thessdreview.com/our-reviews...tter-ssd-warranty-performance-and-aesthetics/

    Anand was right, but I guess neither OWC nor Anand followed up on the issue.

    If something does go wrong, it's bound to happen within the five years. And with a five year warranty, you won't have to worry because it'll be a manufacturer's defect.

    Btw, that review by Atwood is from September 2010... The C300 was like the only SSD out at the time for the consumer that supported SATA 6Gbps. A lot has changed since then... It'll be better to find a review out there that compares SF2xxx, m4, or the 510. Taking reliability into account of course.
     
  12. infect thread starter macrumors member

    infect

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    #12
    Bummer, they're out of stock :(

    Out of curiosity, what's the difference? There were reviews on the one I linked to saying that they had successfully used it in their MacBook Pros.
     
  13. atMac macrumors 6502

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    Jun 20, 2011
    #13

    Unless something changed the X means they use a type of timing setting thats used typically on desktop versions but not so much on laptop version. I have the non-X version.
     
  14. infect thread starter macrumors member

    infect

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    #14
    Wow, great link. Thanks. I'm now really considering the OWC Pro 6G + data doubler.

    Yeah, I haven't seen a warranty like that on a drive in a really long time. Very cool.

    Wish I could find one with all of them tested.
     
  15. infect thread starter macrumors member

    infect

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    #15
    Strange, both of them say "Laptop Memory Module". I'll have to do some digging and see if I can find anything about the compatibility.
     
  16. infect thread starter macrumors member

    infect

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    #16
  17. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

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    #17
  18. infect thread starter macrumors member

    infect

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    #18
    PNP = Plug and Play? Weird, I have no idea how those would be different though.
     
  19. Timur macrumors 6502a

    Timur

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    #19
    The X version of Kingston 1600 RAM will only work at 1333 CAS 9 in Macbooks. Get the non X version, which will run at 1600 CAS 9.
     
  20. miamirulz29 macrumors member

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    Jun 4, 2009
    #20
    1600Mhz RAM does not really make much of difference compared to 1333Mhz. Unless you are willing to pay more, I would just go with the 1333. As for the a SSD, I personally recommend OCZ Vertex 3, but I guess the OWC would work fine.

    For the optibay enclosure, I recommend the newmodeus optibay caddy:
    http://newmodeus.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=259.

    As for the external super drive enclosure, I like the maxupgrades external enclosure: http://www.maxupgrades.com/istore/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=186&ParentCat=348

    Both of these are cheaper solutions.
     
  21. infect thread starter macrumors member

    infect

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    #21
    Really good to know, thanks!
     
  22. Timur macrumors 6502a

    Timur

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    #22
    I read reports about the 1333 CAS 7 and 1866 CAS 11 ones being less stable than the 1600 CAS 9. I'm currently running the 1600 CAS 9 without issues so far. It did happen though that on a reboot the screen remained white, which turning off and on again solved. May have been an error on the Bootcamp partition though.
     
  23. infect thread starter macrumors member

    infect

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    #23
    I used kingston's memory search tool and found this model number: KHX1600C9S3P1K2/8G (newegg link)

    Is that the same version you have?
     
  24. Timur macrumors 6502a

    Timur

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #24
    Yes, it is. The "P1" is the new version and works just the same as reported by users for the the non P1. Seems like they only changed the head-spreader or something.

    I had several occasions of the boot-screen staying white, but I still think it's more about my drive/(e)sata controller setup than about RAM. Once I find time I will run a Memorytest session.
     

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