Apple isn't charging THAT much for SSDs

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ademuth93, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. ademuth93 macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2010
    Minnesota: Land of the Lakes? You betcha!
    Hello, MR!

    I was doing a little browsing on and I decided to look at SSDs. For 256 GB Apple is charging $500 and the cheapest one on Newegg is $460.

    Newegg is actually charging almost double what Apple does for a 128 GB SSD.

    You guys make Apple seem like the devil with their SSD prices, but I can't really find a significant difference in those two sizes.

    If you don't mind pointing me to a cheap one, I'd be very happy. Also, I have one last question: As of right now I believe that only stock Apple SSDs have TRIM support (or am I mistaken?) How concerned should I be about this missing element?
  2. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    For the 128 the price is decent, but when comparing performance anything larger than that is not worth it. Yes the price Apple has is comparable, but not when measuring against performance (bang for buck, although they may have less issues when working with OS X).
  3. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    True. Even OWC's SSD makes you pay $230 for a 115GB SSD.
    And $919 just for 480GB SSD.
  4. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    When comparing to the top of the line 15" MBP, then yes the Apple 128GB SSD is a great deal. I ordered it. However, the performance is a bit sub par. In day to day operations it is still a solid drive, but compared to a lot of the high performance drives it is lacking (still for $100 it is totally worth it). However, if you need a 240-256GB drive then you are better off going with a 3rd party drive for the additional speed for less money.

    Also there is a hack to get trim working on non-apple drives that you can find right here in the forums (I'm too lazy to link to it). Obviously the drive needs to support trim, but then any decent SSD has it (just something to check for though).

    EDIT: Oh and you are better off comparing to the 240GB drives on Newegg that are faster and cheaper than the 256GB Kingston SSD's. After rebate you can get a Vertex 2 for only $400 and that is (at least on paper) faster than the Apple SSD's.
  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    You don't take into account that the base price includes a HDD. So you should actually add a cost of a HDD to the SSD option price.
  6. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    Only makes a difference if you are planning to optibay or actually use the included HDD. If not it is fair to not include it in the price (besides what price would be fair to use, the standard aftermarket price or another fair market or MSRP price)?
  7. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    That is true except that if you upgrade to the Apple SSD for $100 + a 750GB hard drive (purchased from newegg) is only $160 which is still less than buying a 120-128GB drive separately.
  8. ademuth93 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2010
    Minnesota: Land of the Lakes? You betcha!
    I see what you mean. As the post above this one notes, though, it would still be $40 cheaper including the base price of the HDD.

    So performance is the major point here? I see. I'm probably better off getting an 256GB Apple SSD for $450 extra (on education pricing)... Less hassle & not so bad a price and not terrible performance.

    Or perhaps I could get a smaller 128GB Apple SSD for $90 extra and pair it with a FW or TB external drive if I find it necessary.

    Any thoughts?
  9. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    This is moving in a misleading fashion, largely due to Apple's method of not informing the public that their current drives are not much quicker than previous ones despite having the MBP supporting SATA3.

    You are actually comparing SSDs using SATA2 to ones using SATA3. The current SSD used in the MBP is NOT SATA3 and despite the logic board/system supporting SATA3 (6.0 GBPS), it caps at SATA2 max, at about 3.0 GBPS.

    The devil? No...anything you buy from the manufacturer is going to cost more, unless they are having a special. With that said, Apple did a poor job of letting people know how the current SSD performs. This is like when they advertised SATA2 years ago but sold systems currently running SATA1.5. It is somewhat deceptive and IMO it is kind of crappy of them. The 128GB SSD upgrade from Apple is only $100 more than the HDD...why? I would assume that they are trying to get rid of them given that SATA3 SSDs can double the data transfer rates. With that said, the SSD they are using was released in January of 2011, so perhaps they just got a good deal?

    The current SSD that comes in the MBP is SATA2 SSD is made by Toshiba, who currently does not even make a SATA3 drive. I would expect people to report other brands shortly as Apple will almost surely switch. The question is when though, as the timing seems rather odd.

    It appears the Toshiba model that Apple uses is their performance model, the HG3. Speed wise, the Toshiba drive is quick, but not like the SF1200 SATA2 drives such as the Vertex2 or OWC Mercury Extreme Pro, or the Micron driven Crucial C300. It really lacks in sustained write speed, as the SF1200 drives will run double to ten times more speed in regards to sustained write. The drive is rated at 220MBps read and 180MBps write, but I am yet to see sustained write speeds anywhere close to 180MBps in the new MBP...that may just be because people are not maxing them out with what they do though.

    Toshiba is still using 32nm technology, in which there is nothing wrong with that as 32nm SSDs have proven themselves. The quality of the flash memory used in the drive is excellent, and it provides reliability and longevity that you can count on, even if it is not as durable as the 'enthusiast' or enterprise models.

    IIRC Toshiba makes their own controller and those for Samsung...or it may be Samsung makes the controllers for Toshiba...I am not positive. It is not a SandForce driven drive, but their new drives run circles around their previous ones so they may have changed that up. With that said, it does have native wear leveling firmware (and of course TRIM support as well which IMO is not needed with today's SSDs).

    I think Apple should have explained this better as I would not have purchased an SSD from them, even if it was $50 more. While most users will not max out SATA2, we are talking about very high end laptops that are commonly used for more resource intensive tasks.

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