Apple SSDs, worth it??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by randomnut, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. randomnut macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2011

    I am looking to purchase a new 15 inch MBP. There is an option to upgrade the HD to an SSD 128GB for £67. I am just wondering is this worth it?

    From what I am reading the SSDs Apple offer are really bad, is this still the case? Is it worth just getting the HDD and then installing a new SSD myself? Or are the current Apple-provided SSDs decent enough quality?

    Many thanks
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    67 gbp for a 128 gig ssd doesn't sound like the usual "any upgrade is $1000" Apple markup. I would check with OWC to find out the cost of the a similar SSD but I don't think it will come in a lot cheaper than what you are looking at. For instance, on OWC a 6GB/Sec 120 GB SSD costs $257 US which is more than what you are being charged.
  3. Rasan macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2011
    Where have you read that Apple SSDs are bad? I've seen some Benchmarks which indicated that Apple SSDs aren't the fastest drives, rather mediocre, but if they are reliable i'd have no problem with that. Im just curious.
  4. randomnut thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2011
    I'll find the links later but what I was reading really wasn't complimentary about Apple's SSD offerings. It wasn't current however so I was just wondering what the current crop are like.

    I do see that they have now enabled TRIM finally which is good news!
  5. hchung macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2008
    They're not bad as in crap. As you said, they're simply not the fastest drives.

    Apple currently uses the Toshiba and Samsung controllers. They're not fast relative to the Marvell and Sandforce controllers. But they're fast relative to hard drives by far.
    Despite people complaining in the forums about the speed differences in certain benchmarks, the reality is that the majority of users will not notice the difference. In many cases, sometimes the poster's justification that one is better than the other actually shows deficiencies in the poster's understandings of SSD performance in relation to system performance.

    I'd expect reliability to be there since I expect Apple to have tested them well. In fact, because of their relative simplicity, I'd expect Apple's SSDs to be more reliable than the higher tier aftermarket SSDs.

    At any rate, Apple's SSDs are a worth it to the common user. Yes, they're more expensive than the equivalent retail version. But consider that the price of having it installed and researched for you.

    But if you have the skills to do your own installs, you get better value going aftermarket. As rebates and coupons appear more often for SSDs, you're getting better value by getting a Toshiba or Samsung-based drive from say Kingston for cheaper, or going for speed by getting the more expensive Marvell or Sandforce-based drives.

    And yes, despite saying that I'd expect Apple's SSD picks to be more reliable than the higher performance SSDs, I still use higher performance ones (I have a Crucial C300) because I care more about the speed. Backups for the win. :)
  6. randomnut thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2011
    Thanks! How does this work in terms of warranty. Obviously if the SSD failed i'd be chasing the SSD vendor but does installing one invalidate the rest of the MBP warranty?
  7. GriiMz macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2010
    apple SSD's are way slower than other brands and overpriced. I say buy it without and then buy your own later, it will be faster and cheaper
  8. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    In my opinion no SSDs on the market right now are really worth it. They're more of a luxury than an actual utility like HDDs are.
  9. OMGwtfBBQwings macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2011
    Where are you getting the £67 quote from? I want to buy a mac with a SSD this friday as it's £160 which is why I won't get it but rather buy it from amazon separately but if it's £67 then heck I'd get it from apple for so'
  10. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
    I agree somewhat, but it depends on what you do with them on a day-to-day basis.
  11. hchung macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2008
    The warranty of the MBP is still valid.

    However they might ask you to install the old hard drive or remove the SSD and leave the bay empty if you need to send the machine in for repair. This is so that they're only diagnosing stuff they're supposed to support as opposed to aftermarket parts.

    I've sent in modified Macs before, but let the support guy know and they've had me do different things over the years.
  12. hchung macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2008
    jamesryanbell is right. Know what your usage pattern is. Know what your bottleneck is and fix it. Don't just buy something because of bigger numbers on the spec sheet. Otherwise you'll be wondering why your xcode builds aren't faster when you get your 8 core Mac Pro with 16GB of RAM and why you can't ever max out the load on all 8 cores.

    Given what I've seen:
    - If you're mostly video or audio editing, don't bother with the SSD. You're accessing large swaths of data with relatively little need for the instant seek times. Hard drives do pretty well with sequential reads. And you need more space too.

    - If you code a lot AND they're reasonably large projects too AND you have 2 or more cores, then any SSD helps. You don't need the best, you just want an SSD. My 2008 MBP with an SSD worked out so well compared to my 8 core Mac Pro that I ended up doing most of my dev work on the MBP instead despite the MBP being restricted to SATA 1.

    - Database server? SSD good.

    - More than 1 Virtual Machine on constantly? SSD good. The thrashing on a hard drive from two different threads trying to access arbitrary locations on a disk end up slowing the disk down because most of your time's spent on seeks.

    - File server? SSD is a waste.... unless you're serving 10000 connections at once over 4 separate gigabit ethernet ports. In that case, might I introduce you to ZFS/L2ARC?

    - Home computer? Games and word processing? Sure, an SSD will make it a more responsive computer, but buying anything beyond the cheapest of SSDs is a waste. It's a luxury item.
  13. lc25 macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2009
    Same as with memory, buy it third party and add it later

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