Buying a new MBP + SSD.. need advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jon08, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. jon08 macrumors 65816

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    Nov 14, 2008
    #1
    So I currently own an early-2008 MBP, one of those with potential time-bomb-waiting-to-go-off Geforce 8600s, and I would like to get rid of it while I can still get some decent $$ for it.

    I'm in the market for this MBP and will likely be purchasing it around Thanksgiving (Black Friday) - (do you think they will be lowering prices then? They did when I bought my current MBP in 2008.): http://www.macmall.com/p/Apple-Notebook-Computers/product~dpno~8300861~pdp.gdchhce

    15.4"
    Intel Core i7 2.2 Ghz
    4GB RAM
    750 GB HD
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 and AMD Radeon HD 6750M


    I will probably pick up 8GB RAM along the way, since it seems mad cheap at around $45. Also, my plan is to replace the SuperDrive with an SSD.

    I need a reliable drive, but obviously would like speed as well. From what I heard Intel's 320 SSD's are quite reliable (though there was, until recently, a bug which Intel now has fixed if I'm not mistaken?), and provide decent speed (though they are not among the fastest), but if I were to take Intel 320, I was thinking either 120GB or 160GB.

    Other possibilities include OCZ Vertex 3? Crucial? OWC?

    And what's with SATA II vs. III? Should I take the one with SATA III?

    When replacing SuperDrive with a hard drive, do I have to replace it with the regular HD or with SSD? Where do you place which? Will I need Optibay?


    Thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. treestar macrumors 6502

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    Feb 28, 2010
    #2
    I have an Intel 320 series. It's working fine, even before the firmware update, but you should install it no matter what. I chose the 320 because the speeds were good for SATA II and the power usage was low compared to most. Another good SATA II option is the Samsung 470.

    If you can wait a short while, Samsung is coming out with a drive with twice the speed of the 470. It should be good.

    SATA III is excellent but users have found it usually doesn't work with SSD's in 15" and 17" MBP's. This is a chip or cable issue. It works fine in 13"s but most SATA III drives have all their own problems. Do a lot of research if you want twice the speed of the current SATA II SSD's. There are a lot of users on this forum having problems with the Vertex 3 and the Intel 510. Some say they work.

    You do need an OptiBay or Data Doubler to mount any disk drive in the optical bay. I don't remember if there is a benefit to putting the SSD there or not, but the SSD should be your boot disk. I think there might be motion devices protecting only the HDD bay.

    Please don't unload the 8600 problem on someone else.
     
  3. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Thanks for your input. So does your 120GB Intel feel fast? Do you think it's worth getting a slightly faster 160GB for a $75 price difference? (It currently costs $295 @ Newegg vs. $220 120GB version).

    Oh, and is it fine if I buy an OEM version, or should I rather buy a regular one? Any pros and cons except slight price difference and some extra things you get in the boxed version?

    As for Optibay, I believe someone said in another topic that for SATA II it's best to mount the SSD in the optical bay if you don't use hibernation mode, because if you put it in the main bay, the HDD loses shock protection and all that. So if you put it in the optical bay and disable hibernation, you can actually gain 6GB from it... Is that true?
     
  4. ssmed macrumors 6502

    ssmed

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    #4
    I would consider getting a SSD for your current machine. That will be the biggest upgrade for the vast majority of uses. We have just done this for my wifes early 2008 MBP and the difference if huge. Get the new SATA III from Crucial or something which is compatible with the newer models and then look to upgrade you machine later.

    Even putting a SSD in the original MBP is a great improvement and as this shipped with a 100GB drive is a marked increase in size!
     
  5. treestar macrumors 6502

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    #5
    If you are going to be using the HDD then I don't see the benefit in getting the 160 GB. I believe there is only a small increase in write speed. And yes, I do find the 120 GB 320 Series to feel very fast. I also love how quiet it is.

    I bought the OEM. Everything I needed was in the box. You even get some stickers. I doubt the commercial version has any useful goodies.

    If you disable hibernation than you gain space equivalent to your amount of RAM. If you upgrade your RAM then you will have 8 GB taken up by hibernation mode. I disabled hibernation mode.

    This command in terminal disables hibernation:
    Code:
    sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
    This command deletes the hibernation file:
    Code:
    sudo rm /private/var/vm/sleepimage
     
  6. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    I see. So by buying OEM, does it include optibay too? Or would you have to buy it separately?
     
  7. treestar macrumors 6502

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    Feb 28, 2010
    #7
    OptiBay is a trademarked name for a specific product sold by MCE Technologies. It is their product, not Intel's, and will not be included in any Intel package.

    A similar product is the Data Doubler by Other World Computing.

    These products are designed for Mac products. They may work in place of optical drives in other laptops. I don't know. They are special products made for this one special use and are not standard brackets that come with all SSD's. Buy separately.
     
  8. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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  9. solipsism macrumors 6502

    solipsism

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  10. sapporobaby macrumors 68000

    sapporobaby

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    #10
    Just discussing the same thing with a friend. I have the 15 inch with a 120 gig Intel 320. It is fast, reliable and silent. I had tried earlier SSD's (Kingston, and Corsair) Both colossal failures. I am sticking with Intel. I also ordered an Optibay where I will be mounting a half TB Seagate. I asked Apple about the anti-shock mech for the drive in the Optibay. They said that there will be no protection for the drive as the system is not designed to protect it. Only the boot drive has protection. The Apple guy recommended putting in an additional SSD if there are no problems.

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Wow, quite expensive at $75... what did you do with your SuperDrive then? I believe I once saw an Optibay kit that even provided an external frame or something for your SuperDrive so that you could use it as a portable drive? EDIT: nvm, I guess that's the MCE link you provided...

    Why don't you just mount the Seagate HDD in the main bay to have the anti-shock protection, and mount the SSD into the optibay?

    Also, do you guys think Newegg will be lowering the SSD prices come Black Friday?
     
  12. sapporobaby macrumors 68000

    sapporobaby

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    #12
    The Optibay will slow down the SSD. It might be faster than an HDD but you are not getting what you paid for. Get an extra SSD...
     
  13. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Exactly how much will it slow it down?:confused:

    Having 2 SSDs is out of question for me because a) too expensive b) I need storage...
     
  14. solipsism macrumors 6502

    solipsism

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    #14
    I have no specific numbers, but there is a substantial difference in read and write times when running an SSD from the OptiBay bay as it goes through their circuit board. It's better just to keep your faster drive in the main drive bay and your data drive in the OptiBay. Basically it comes down to these PCBs not being designed for these faster SSDs and even some Macs with SATA III only have SATA II for the optical drive connection.

    • http://blog.insightvr.com/uncategorized/owc-data-doubler-review/
     
  15. chupacabra31 macrumors member

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    Aug 6, 2011
    #15
    Just an fyi, if you take your optical drive out and replace it with an optibay drive, it is near impossible to update your drives firmware.

    I would look for the manufacturer that actually makes a mac firmware flashing program (think OWC might be the only ones right now). Wish I had gone with them. I have an intel 320 series and a OCZ agility 2 and while they work, I am experiencing the pinwheel in photoshop from either. Unfortunately since I replaced the optical drive with a ssd I am currently looking for a "working" solution to update the firmware through an USB drive or the optical drive that is now in an external usb enclosure.

    By the way I am using the trim support program front grotts (spelling).

    This is a mid 2010 macbook pro 13
     
  16. sapporobaby macrumors 68000

    sapporobaby

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    #16
    Maybe it's the TRIM program that is causing problems. I have the Intel 320 120 GB SSD and am having no problems at all. None. I had problems of hanging and locking up with both a Kingston and Corsair. I have heard that your particular OCZ Agility 2 has a few issues as well. I will be throwing in an Intel 510 250 GB as well into my Optibay. Intel may not be the fastest but they seem to be the most reliable and I would gladly trade speed for not having to worry about a failure.
     
  17. MetRob24 macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Here's OWC DataDoubler package.

    It comes as a bundle with everything you will need to do the upgrade to a SSD as well as the mount that it needs to be mounted inside your MBP. Also, they sell an enclosure for the SuperDrive which you then can use it as an External SuperDrive.

    Here's the link to the package and SuperDrive enclosure.

    They even have the video tutorial on how to do the replacement for the installation of the SSD.

    I myself will be getting the DataDouble package as well as the SuperDrive enclosure soon, but I will be going for the 60gig SSD to put the OS as well as the apps. For Storage I already have a 500gig 72rpm Seagate HD which I will use for my other stuff.

    I hope this helps.
     
  18. Jeremy08 macrumors regular

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    Jul 27, 2008
    #18
    I have heard reports that the high res display is taxing on the video card. If i am going to get a high res display anti glare option on my new 15 inch mbp, would it be better to get a 2.2 with the 1gb vram or would it be just fine with the 2.0 (only 256mb vram)? Anyone have a 2.0 configured with a highres ag? 2.2? Thanks for the help.

    BTW: i am going to be buying this new (early 2011 model).
     
  19. sapporobaby macrumors 68000

    sapporobaby

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    #19
    Wrong thread. This is about SSD's and MBP's. Not high res displays.
     
  20. The-Pro, Aug 29, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011

    The-Pro macrumors 65816

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    #20
    its absolutely fine. A friend of mine has the 2010 MBP with the high res screen and he only has 256MB GPU. it doesn't run any differently to mine with 512MB.
    I even have a 17" powerbook G4 with 128MB VRAM. Its used with a 30" apple cinema display a lot, and it manages that. So if a 8 year old GPU with 128MB can handle a 1440x900 screen and a 2560x1600 screen, then a 256MB GDDR5 GPU can handle 1650x1050 with ease and have lot of free space.
    Any way id still recommend the 2.2 with the 1GB VRAM because maybe you will start doing something GPU intensive at one point, then you will appreciate it.
     
  21. finalcut macrumors 6502

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    #21
    like already said, there seems to be a lot of problems with Vertex 3 SSD. I'd buy an OWC one to have a 500MB/sec SSD.

    I own a Corsair 120GB, which used to be one of the fastest SSD SataII. I am now thinking to buy the OWC very soon hehe
     
  22. chupacabra31 macrumors member

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    #22
    http://www.techspot.com/news/44694-intel-confirms-8mb-bug-in-320-series-ssds-fix-available.html

    That is my first drive with the OS and I agree it is stable, but you may want to update your firmware, good luck with that by the way. :(
     
  23. Jeremy08 macrumors regular

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    Jul 27, 2008
    #23
    So I am confused:confused: Can someone clarify?

    If I were to custom order a mbp 2.2 and do the add on (for an additional $90) of the 120gb ssd, and then say get a data doubler and an additional hdd, will the hdd not be protected, or is this not the way to go? Is there a reason not to go this route?

    What i mean is the anti-shock protection? Is this a huge issue not to have?
     
  24. Grumbles Guest

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    Aug 2, 2011
    #24
    +1

    I just put a 96GB Kingston V+100 SSD in my mid-2009 13" MBP and couldn't agree more. Start up is lightning quick and application launches are practically instantaneous. It has made it run like a new machine, very snappy and is extremely helpful for speeding up my Windows 7 VM on Fusion. CPU usage was never a problem for me, removing the disk access bottleneck will give me many more productive years.
     
  25. sapporobaby macrumors 68000

    sapporobaby

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    #25
    Just updated. Was not hard at all. I will detail it for you and anyone else if needed.

    1. Download the ISO file from the Intel site.
    2. Burn the ISO file with say toast or some other burning software.
    3. Reboot your Mac and hold the "C" key.
    4. Follow instructions on screen....

    Done and done.... Took almost 6 mins to complete.
     

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