Debating on SSD vs HDD

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by bunnspecial, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #1
    I recently picked up a Mid-2009 White Macbook as a back-up for my main computer, a 13" Macbook Pro.

    The price was cheap on this system, and it had some great software pre-installed. It also has 4gb of RAM.

    I upgraded it to Mavericks, and then to Yosemite public beta(to get familiar with it before the final version comes out and upgrade my main machine), and noticed that the installations of both took a fairly long time. It also seems to bog down a lot when doing things that involve a lot of read-write operations.

    SMART Utility identified several bad sectors, and identified the drive as "failing." So, with that in mind, I think I should replace it sooner rather than later.

    I'm basically debating between two options on Newegg, both at about the same price point. I can either get a WD Black 750gb 7200rpm HDD, or a Sandisk Extreme II 120gb SSD. Both are a little under $70. I could also get a 128gb Sandisk UltraPlus for $60. This is about the maximum amount of money I'd like to sink into this system.

    The extra capacity is not a big deal-as I mentioned, it's not my main computer and I also have lots of Firewire externals to use if I run out of space. I never mind the extra space, though.

    What I'm wondering is how much of a performance difference I'd see in this particular system when comparing an SSD to a higher end HDD. I'm thinking specifically in terms of boot time, program launching, and general "snappiness" of the OS.

    Also, I know that some older Macs(I'm thinking specifically of the G5s I still play with a lot) have issues with SATA III drives. Does this same limitation exist with the Macbook?
     
  2. 0000111 macrumors member

    0000111

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2014
    #2
    While not a scientific answer, I would choose SDD, especially –or perhaps only– if storage space doesn't matter for you. It makes your machine a little more rugged re:dropping etc, and definitely cuts boot time. And as for snappiness, that's just a matter of getting the new Safari :p

    I would definitely shell out perhaps another $70 for a 250 GB SDD, if I were you, since it would make the drive a lot more future-proof. Though, you do mention that the machine isn't your main computer, so perhaps the investment wouldn't matter much anyway.

    I wish I knew more about drive specs that you asked for, but that's my completely hunch-based $0.02!
     
  3. bunnspecial, Sep 3, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014

    bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #3
    Thanks for the response. I'm really leaning toward the SSD route. As I said, I'm hesitant to dump too much money into this computer, given its age(although I realize an SSD could be transplanted to another computer if this one died).

    Here are the two specific SSDs, and the HDDs I'm looking at

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...1740&cm_re=sandisk_ssd-_-20-171-740-_-Product

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...1751&cm_re=sandisk_ssd-_-20-171-751-_-Product

    The HDD

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...2236561&cm_re=wd_black-_-22-236-561-_-Product

    And, as a follow-up question-if I do go the SSD route, what does the extra $10 for the Extreme II vs. the Ultra Plus buy me(aside from the fact that I'm losing 8gb in the Extreme II)? Looking at the specs, I see that the Extreme II reports a write speed about 20mb/s faster, and a read speed about 50mb/s faster(for the capacities I'm looking at) but I'm wondering how perceptible this difference would be.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    No matter what SSD you buy you will be speed restricted by the SATA II drive interface in that Macbook, so you will never get the speeds advertised. That said, an SSD will still be a really nice and very noticeable improvement in that MacBook. The better seek speeds are what makes the difference more so than the raw transfer speeds with these SSDs. I would just get whichever you can find the cheapest.
     
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #5
    For the four 2010 white Macbook 7,1 units I have refurbed, I have put in 8GB of memory and a Samsung EVO 840 500GB SSD. They become whole new machines. No more delays from lack of memory causing paging to disk and no more slow disk. Boot drops to less than 20 seconds and apps open in 1-2 seconds.

    I highly recommend dumping all HDs in all Macs used for boot/OS/apps and replacing them with SSDs.
     
  6. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #6
    I have an Early 2009 MacBook that is almost identical to yours minus .13GHz. I recently put in a 128GB SanDisk UltraPlus because it was so cheap (about $60). It runs like a dream on Snow Leopard and the Yosemite Beta. Under 10.6 from the Apple logo to desktop is 3 seconds flat, and about 20 sec from the power button. Yosemite is longer, but it's beta and a much bigger OS, still under 30 seconds from the button to opening apps.

    The biggest increase though is with Yosemite and Mavericks, especially when installing software and opening apps. Anything IO of course. I've benchmarked it and it comes in around 250 MB/s read and write. It'll go all over, but that's about it's max on SATA II which is plenty fast.

    As far as SATA III compatability goes, these Macs use the Nvidia MCP79 chipset, which means it doesn't like most older Sandforce SSDs because it will drop to SATA I, but the SanDisk doesn't suffer from that issue, nor would a Samsung, or Crucial SSD. Only one I've had issues with is the Kingston because it used a Sandforce controller.

    So my vote is on the SanDisk for cost effectiveness. With the SSD and 4GB RAM it'll run great! Last bottleneck is the 9400m, but for general use it's perfectly fine, seeing as I ran my 2008 with it running Aperture, multiple VM's, games like Portal 2 and COD, and some Final Cut Pro and it handled all of it (with 8GB, but still).

    Hope that helps!
     
  7. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #7
    Thanks everyone for the responses, and it sounds like SSDs are indeed the way to go.

    I've not used a Sandisk SSD, but Sandisk has been the "gold standard" for as long as I can remember for flash memory in digital cameras so I tend to have a lot of faith in anything they make with flash memory.
     
  8. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8

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