does anyone ever buy the apple SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thundersteele, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    See title, I was wondering if anyone has ever bought the 128 GB or 256 GB SSDs instead of a HDD. The price seems to be a bit above the market, but not as extreme as with the RAM. On the pro side they would be covered by applecare. Where do they stand quality wise?

    My situation:
    About to buy a 15'' MBP. I would like to have an SSD for the quick program launches etc. My HD requirements are moderate, but 128 wouldn't be enough. I plan to eventually have a Win7 partition with maybe 80 GB for games (50 turned out to be too small). I don't feel like loosing the optical drive. However the 256 GB apple SSD is a bit expensive.


    - Is it possible to install and boot windows on an external HD? Would a USB 2.0 external HDD be too slow for this purpose (game loading times?)? Thunderbolt devices are again very expensive. Any other possibility to connect it? (edit: Firewire would be fine speed wise I guess)

    Right now I feel about just waiting for price drops on SSDs and live with ordinary HDDs for another year or two. But any input would be appreciated.

    PS: I read the SSD guide.
  2. JH4DC5 macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2010
    I upgraded the hdd to an apple 128gb ssd for only $90 after the education discount. Although it's not as fast as an aftermarket ssd, I was more concerned about reliability, native trim support and AppleCare coverage.
  3. hawk1410 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    This, the apple SSD may not be cheap but it is pretty cheap, reliable and will be covered by apple care. I would say go for it and save some money.
  4. thundersteele thread starter macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Ok, thanks so far.

    Anyone knows about installing Win 7 on an external HD? The official answer from the bootcamp FAQ is no, apparently a restriction imposed by microsoft.

    I might go for the 128 + external, and a very small Win 7 bootcamp partition. Would a firewire external 5400 HD be as fast as a 5400 rpm internal HD? Ok, more precise: If I install a game on the external HD, will I suffer from extra long load times, compared to a game installed on an internal HD?
  5. g-boac macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2007
    An external HD will always be somewhat slower because the bottleneck is the wire going to the machine. This is true for USB and FireWire, because the maximum data rate for FW800, for example, is 800 MB/s. In comparison, an internal HDD/SSD interfaces vis SATA2 or 3, which is 3 or 6 GB/s (3000 or 6000 MB/s), respectively.

    That said, in the out years, Thunderbolt external HDs should start offering comparable (internal or near-internal) drive speeds.

    For now, your best option GENERALLY is buying the largest internal SSD you can afford if your focus tends to be more performance-oriented; HDD if your focus is more storage oriented. However, I'd encourage the SSD because the performance of the two computers (boot times, application loading, etc) are not even in the same league - the SSD is markedly better, and truly unlocks the capabilities of the MBP.

    Good luck!!


  6. Gillespie81 macrumors regular

    Sep 2, 2011
    i have the 128 ssd, I'm waiting for prices to drop more and then ill buy a bigger and faster one for my opti-bay. i do unfortunately have the slower toshiba one. the hitachi is faster
  7. thundersteele thread starter macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    thanks for your feedback. Going for the SSD I think

    Concerning the external HD speed, I think a 5400 HD doesn't get more than 800 MB/s, so the firewire might not really be a bottleneck. Of course there will always be some loss... thunderbolt HD's are not really available :/
  8. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2011
    what about seagate?
  9. torid110 macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2006
    Jersey City, NJ
    You're probably going to run into issues installing win7 on an external drive (if it even boots up at all). I believe you're going to need to hack it in order to work because normally the USB drivers don't load up on boot.
  10. jdsingle macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2011
    I purchased an Intel 160GB from Newegg after I got my MBP. Best decision I have made in a while. If my music production programs weren't so large, I probably would have been fine with the 80GB. I don't need an optical drive so it worked out perfectly to have the 750GB as my secondary internal HDD and put all my files and folders on that.

    The Apple SSD are EXPENSIVE (I'm talking about the 256GB one) compared to the Intel 320 300GB SSD. Plus, at least on my 160GB it comes with a 5 year warranty. The 300GB might be a 3 year though.
  11. Legion93 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Death Star, Rishi Maze
    You could consider the Seagate Momentus XT. It's a hybrid drive that offers SSD-like performance and capacity of 500GB for only £95.

    I'm getting an Vertex 3 in the main bay since it supports sata 3 and the XT in the optical drive's space using a caddy.
  12. DoctorOwl macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2009
    I just bought a 15" MBP and a 512GB Crucial M4 SSD.

    I was going to go the Apple route for the same reasons as you (warranty, etc, especially validated TRIM support without any hacks - I'm not sure if I'll use the hack myself or not, probably not), but the price difference (inc doing my own memory at the same time) was ~$600 on an already stretched budget.

    If you're going for a smaller size SSD where the price difference might not be so marked then go the Apple route. If you are trying to save money, do it yourself.
  13. thundersteele thread starter macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    again, thanks for all the input.

    Yes, it seems this is only possible with some hacking.

    @Legion, jdsingle
    The 256Gb is too expensive for what might be a sub-par product. The Momentus XT sounds like a nice idea, but right now I prefer not having a conventional HDD.

    I'll go with the 128GB SSD. External storage is cheap, and I hate application launch times. The alternative would be to go with the stock HD and buy a larger SSD elsewhere, but personally I don't feel like tearing up a new laptop right away.
  14. AVonGauss macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2006
    Boynton Beach, FL
    Personal choice, but fwiw, you really don't tear it apart to change the hard drive - just remove the bottom panel and you can easily access the hard drive.
  15. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    Correction: interconnect speeds are stated in Megabits (Mbps) not Megabytes (MB/s). You have to divide by 8 to get MB which is commonly used to calculate storage size. Same thing goes for network connections.


    Windows 7 specifically checks it's interface on boot. eSATA and Thunderbolt do work. USB and FireWire do not work. With that said FW800 is acceptable as an OSX boot drive. Older Mac Minis would even get a boost from using 3.5" external FW800 drives. No longer the case with SATA III internals on all the 2011 Mac line.
  16. Spadoinkles macrumors regular

    May 5, 2011
    I'm buying my 15" next month with Apple's 128 because it's the price of a cheapo 40GB here in New Zealand. They aren't bad after all when you're getting 22MB/s read/write from your old old Samsung 2.5" HDD :)
  17. MVRL macrumors regular


    Oct 17, 2011
    Apple uses Toshiba SSD. It's pretty sub-par in terms of cost/performance, but as many have mentioned, you do get Apple warranty.
  18. Spadoinkles macrumors regular

    May 5, 2011

    I've heard they're reliable - definitely outperforms the cheapo Agility, which would probably be the only thing within my price range.

    When you mean pretty sub-par... is that the 470MB/s average read/write as opposed to the 550 industry standard? It's blazingly quick compared to the 22 I'm getting either way :D :confused: :rolleyes:
  19. abdu2s macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2011
    I really don't recommend getting the apple SSD.
    yes it has Applecare, yes it has Native trim support.

    But a third party SSD would also have Warranty, Garbage collection features similar to the TRIM, Sata 3.

    i use a Kingston HyperX SSD 120, bought it for 260$

    It has a Garbage collection feature,Life time warranty

    Reads:490mb write:400 on a macbook pro 13(early 2011)
    it's been working great and fast for me boot time 14 seconds with windows installed and billion software and games.

    To answer your other question about booting to windows from an external HDD.

    Yes, you can just plug the USB press option at the start, and Boot to windows 7.

    But the way a let it work was. installed the old HDD on the laptop, partition and install windows using bootcamp. the put it in an external enclosure.

    it works fine. and the speeds isn't really that bad
  20. MVRL macrumors regular


    Oct 17, 2011
    It's really up to chances, because I have seen people getting different models of SSDs from Apple. I've seen my friend's MBP testing 220ish while another friend's MBA tests around 450MB/s. That is, you don't really get a guarantee as to which SSD you will receive.

    Other than that, I would recommend the Intel 320 as it is possibly one of the most reliable SSD out there.
  21. Spadoinkles macrumors regular

    May 5, 2011

    Intel 320 costs three times as much as what I'll be paying for my Apple 128.
    Yes, other SSDs have warranty too, but they're a bitch when it comes to claiming, at least over here in New Zealand. Friend of mine bought an OCZ - he was left SSDless for more than a month while it was sent out to get 'repaired'.

    I pay rates for garbage collection. I don't have crap on my work machines.

    You bought a Kingston for AU$260. Are you serious?

    I love how you value boot time. The truth is, most MBP users boot at the most once a month (unless you bootcamp) and saving 10 seconds once a month equates to TWO MINUTES A YEAR. That's 26 hours working at McDonalds.

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