Buying My First Ever MBP, Need Help

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Rammer1, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Rammer1 macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2012
    I am thinking about buying my first MBP (13 inch) and need help deciding between a 128GB Solid State Drive and 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm.

    Which is better/faster? is the extra $200 worth it?

    I will be a college student so I surf the internet a lot and use programs like Chrome, Word and PPT. Nothing too much.
  2. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    Ssd is a lot faster for read/write. you'll boot faster, and apps will launch faster. It won't do anything for your web browsing or word processing once your apps are open though.
  3. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    Away from you
    Obviously the SSD is faster, but it doesn't sound like you are doing anything that will benefit all that much.

    On the other hand, you haven't said how much storage you really need. Is 128GB enough?

    If you just want random guesses based on the limited information you've given, I'd say save your $200. Personally, I can live with my "slower" MBP, but I could not survive with less than a 500GB drive.
  4. torana355 Suspended

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    If you want the MBP 13" with the SSD the better option may be the MBA 13" as it comes standard with an SSD. Also the SSD is much faster and is defiantly worth it if you don't need the 500gb of space.
  5. Rammer1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2012
    I will be switching from PC and currently use 103GB of 148GB. Is it worth paying like $1,300 if I will be getting LESS GB and 3GB of extra RAM?
  6. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Not sure what you mean by 3GB of extra RAM. In any case, get the base 4GB of RAM from Apple; if you want more, get it elsewhere for much better price (e.g. The SSD is very much worth it IMHO.
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Only you can tell us.

    From your posts you don't seem to know very much about computers.

    What is your old model, the one you are switching from? A full comparison of two computers needs the whole spec sheet, not just hard drive space and RAM, which don't do much performance wise anyway.
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    That's a personal preference question. The hard drive offers lots of storage, where as the SSD is faster but has less storage.

    If you can easily live within the storage of the SSD now and the foreseeable future, then that makes a lot of sense.

    I like the SSDs in part because they're all electronic and not mechanical like a hard drive is. There's less risk to a head crash when moving the laptop around with it on.
  9. AppleWarMachine macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2011
    Michigan, US
  10. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    you could always buy the SSD after for around $200, and this way you will still have the 500GB drive to use for backup or as a 2nd drive if you replace the optical drive with a optibay.

    SSD like others say have faster read/write speeds, this is beneficial to photo/video editing becasue your dealing with single files that are from 20MB-many GB's so an SSD opening and saving these big files has value.

    SSD will make your computer boot in 15-20 seconds insteed of 30-40 on a regular hard drive but then again you really dont need to boot that often you can just put your mac in sleep mode when not using it.

    Word and Powerpoint files are very small in comparison to videos and photos so even on a SATA Harddrive they should open in seconds so you really dont need a SSD at this point and they will be cheaper in the future if you do find a need for one later on.
  11. ajohnson253 macrumors 68000


    Jun 16, 2008
  12. Rampant.A.I., Jan 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012

    Rampant.A.I. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2009
    For your uses, either would probably be fine. You don't sound like you really need the extra space, and SSDs are blazing fast, but if all you're doing is text editing and internet browsing, I don't see the point of a faster HD with less space.

    ...I'm sure people will disagree with me, and the SSD is the much cooler:cool: option.

    On the other hand, if you're on the move a lot and since you don't use much space, the SSD is also a viable option. Depends how worth it the extra $1300 is to you.
  13. thasan macrumors 65816

    Oct 19, 2007
    SSD for me. i got a 256 one and boy! its like a dream..

  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The 256gig SSD would probably fit the needs of most, but the price is a bit high. I could only swing the 120 and I moved my LightRoom library to an external drive. Hopefully prices for the 256 will go down shortly.
  15. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    If it is your only computer I would suggest you go for the extra space with the hard disk. For the applications that you are going to use, the extra speed of the SSD is not critical. Also factor into your budget the software that you will need to buy, although as a student you should be able to get significant discounts.
  16. ragu macrumors member


    Sep 8, 2009
    go for broke

    Break the bank and get a 480gig SSD
  17. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The Solid State Drive would be a good choice if you do not really need the 500GB capacity. Don't forget SSDs are not only faster, they do not have moving parts which means more durability.

    Furthermore, if down the line you find you do not need your optical drive, you can always purchase an optibay solution (basically an adapter) that allows you to replace the optical drive with a regular HDD or a SSD.

    Thank you. Do you plan on being generous?
  18. bdodds1985 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2011
    Share with the rest of us ragu. Its no fun if the homies can't have none.

    OP: I opted for the 120GB SSD on the 15". and then to be safe I replaced the optical bay with another 120GB SSD. but it doesn't sound like you need that at all. If you want better speed without sacrificing the amount of space you can always get the 7200rpm drive. but those are only available in the 15". If space is not an issue... obviously the SSD will not disappoint. It is the future with no moving parts, and in my opinion, worth every penny... but you will save pennies the longer you wait.

    another option. get the SSD and a small external, but only if you don't mind having one dangling from your computer. It's always nice to not have anything plugged in and use a laptop as intended, but also not always necessary.

    Good luck, let us know what you decide to do. I am always interested because it took me a while to make a decision and I asked a million new user questions on this forum too. still do.
  19. thasan macrumors 65816

    Oct 19, 2007
    sure. get a 128 gig. wait for the warranty to expire and put a bigger ssd in the bay next yr ;)

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