Dual SSD, HD at next refresh

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by whitedragon101, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. whitedragon101 macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    Just a thought but it is suspected / hoped, that apple will remove the optical drive in the Ivy Bridge refresh. This means more space in the chassis.

    Apple currently offer 128GB ssd as an £80 upgrade. Which is good value but too small as a single drive. How cool would it be if they offered dual drives as a standard or BTO option. Everything covered under a nice neat Applecare warranty. Even better if they offered blade SSD as standard (like the macbook air) with an 750gb 7200rpm HD for data. Anyone wanting ultimate speed or capacity could replace the blades with the new sandforce blade SSDs that came out for the macbook air. The blade SSD + HD option would mean there would be space in the chassis for more battery, better cooling etc.
  2. whitedragon101 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
  3. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    I know you're just throwing ideas around, but this isn't going to happen for cost and user serviceability reasons.

    The optical drive isn't going anywhere just yet. If you don't want an optical drive, then buy an Air, that's what it's there for.

    Removing the optical drive would give Apple a couple options.

    1) Include a bigger battery
    2) Make the machine thinner (marginally if standard 2.5" SATA drives are used)
    3) Increase the storage capacity

    You honestly think the logical thing would be to increase storage capacity here? Storage that is easily obtained via an external drive (besides 750GB 2.5" SATA drives is plenty for target consumer).

    But yes, it would be nice I guess.
  4. Lunfai macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2010
    Have to agree here, I wouldn't mind for better battery life over storage, I also would love for it to be a little more thinner and lighter, but I can't get everything I want ;)
  5. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada

    Why would it have an optical drive?

    Not only could the MBP have more appealing features (more battery, thinner body, dual drive), but Apple would generate more profit from their digital content if they remove it.

    They want you to buy/rent everything from iTunes and the App Store. Lion only in digital form was a start to accustom people to this change.

    Try to explain why the Mac mini lost its drive. They want uniformity across all Macs. I think the lack of optical drive on all models is only one refresh away.

    The MBP will probably be all SSD too. That will let them make a thinner casing design, which I remind you will last about 3-4 years. HDDs will be obsolete long before then. I'm sure people will be disappointed to see the MBP downgrade in storage size (probably 256GB on baseline 15" and like 400$ to upgrade to 512GB) but with years the cost will go down and it won't be a problem anymore.

    The Air will stay different because it uses an ULV processor and integrated graphics. It will stay thinner since it doesn't need a large battery. The 13" Pro will have no reason to exist if they don't put discrete graphics in it. They may also remove it altogether.
  6. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    Fine by me. As long as *I* can get inside and upgrade it without voiding a warranty.
  7. whitedragon101 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    It is definitely hard to say when the optical drive will be dropped. But I think its reasonable to assume it will be at the next redesign and they are due for a redesign.
    But I don't think the selling point of the Air is 'no optical drive' ;)

    Its not about increasing storage capacity. Its about getting an SSD into the machine without killing the capacity or taking the price sky high. Apple has shown it can offer 128gb SSD as a buy to order option for only £80 . But to get a reasonable capacity you need the shell out £880. So a neat solution would be to have a 128gb SSD drive in the blade format the air uses and therefore would take up almost no space. Then provide the capacity with a 750gb HD. It would still only be one drive bay.

    I think the only barrier to this is cost. If apple could get the cost low enough it would be killer.
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If they remove the optical drive do you think they'll add more SSD storage or make the laptop thinner? I'm of the opinion that based apple's prior direction they'd go with a thinner design and not add more storage
  9. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    I think apple tries to make things simple, a dual drive might not be confusing to the expierienced computer user it could be to others
  10. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    I dont see where people get the idea of optical drive disappearing from the Pro.
    As the name "Pro" theres an optical drive for a reason.
    Many music artists use MBP's and have great use on optical drives.
    I myself use optical drive alot.

    If you want it thinner, buy the Air.
    But if Apple do get rid of the OD on the Pro, they would probably add more battery or go with more thinness.

    It is a great idea, but isn't going to happen for a quite a while.
  11. rebby macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2008
    Exactly what I was thinking. When the optical drive is removed from the MBP, expect it to be thinner (likely tapered) with a bigger battery. In the grand scheme of things, there is no reason to add a second drive. The vast majority of Apple customers do just fine with one. Those of us with 2 drives in our MBP's are the rare exception.
  12. whitedragon101 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    The only way to make it thinner would be to have no HD at all. That would be a very bad turn of events as 500-750gb of SSD would be beyond the reach of most.
  13. whitedragon101 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    As I said before its not about having a second drive its about getting an SSD into the Macbook Pro. I'm sure apple would like SSD's in its macbook pro but if we wait for prices to come down for 500gb+ capacity SSD drives it will be a years before we get an SSD in the macbook pro.

    There is always the option they will go to blade style SSD like the air and offer smaller 128GB and 256GB drives but I think that will be shooting themselves in the foot. No-one likes to go backwards in capacity.

    For me there are three options:

    1) They do nothing and stick with a single HD

    2) They offer a single HD with a small cache SSD using the architecture introduced in Sandybridge.

    3) They offer dual HD + blade SSD (which takes up no extra space)

    ( secret terrifying option 4 - they go nuclear and go SSD only reducing storage capacity)
  14. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    You aren't really thinking things through.

    If Apple takes any of your suggestions, they have just priced themselves out of the $1,099 price point that customers have come to expect for the base 13" Macbook Pro.

    You can't just ignore the price of the components when talking about a redesign. There's a reason, the 13" Macbook Pro is Apple's best selling computer, and that reason is because it is relatively cheap.


    Yeah the optical drive is on its way out, but not as soon as you think.

    If Apple removes the optical drive from the Macbook Pro then they will lose sales of all the customers who want optical drives in their laptops. (believe me, there are still some people who use DVD/CD)

    Even when the optical drive is out, Apple will not adopt SSD as a standard, until they become cheap enough for them to be able to sell at their desired price point.

    Keep in mind Apple is here to make money, some of you are seriously underestimating the sort of margins these companies shoot for. There's a reason most of their computers come equipped with 5400 rpm drives.
  15. d0nK, Jan 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012

    d0nK macrumors 6502


    Nov 4, 2011
    It costs £160 to upgrade the 13" or 15" base models to the 128GB SSD.

    "128GB Solid State Drive [+ £160.00]"

    The first thing I did when I got my brand new 15" mbp was to add a Crucial 128GB M4 and put the existing 500G HD into the optibay slot.

    So, yeah, I agree that dual SSD/HD would be best for the refresh. My superdrive has never been used. Such a waste considering my mbp costs £1550 !
  16. guzhogi macrumors 68030


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    In the 15 & 17 inch pros, I could see maybe either two 2.5" SSDs or, more likely, two of those blade SSDs that the Airs use. Then use them either in RAID mode or one for OS & apps & the other for data.
  17. Potatochobit macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2011
    dual SSDs will most likely never be an option

    -because apple can make more money by upselling you higher capacity main drives

    anyway, I removed my DVD drive long ago and have been running an SSD and OEM drive
  18. gpat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    There are thinner notebook PCs with regular hard drives built-in.
    The Asus U36SD is 19mm thin and 1.66kg heavy, and has a regular SATA drive, regular voltage CPU, and even discrete graphics. 10hr battery (7-8hr real life).

    The MBP is 24mm thin and 2.04kg heavy, they could easily make it almost as thin/light as the Air (which is 17mm, 1.35kg) with a regular drive, swappable RAM and regular voltage CPU.
  19. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    You can buy iMacs and minis with dual drives. They do not seem to confuse users too much.
  20. whitedragon101 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    Good point :)


    Lol I only gave four options and you even quoted them in your reply. Number 1 was they do nothing and stick with a single HD.
  21. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Funny thing nobody else mentiones it but Intel SRT should be on any serious high end notebook in 2012. 2011 still lacked those small SSDs and time to change enough but it 2012 all is set and some 64GB SSD Cache is cheap and fast.
    No as fast a sata 3 ssd but still very fast and in 64gb you can cache so much that you effectively won't feel the difference to having an actual big SSD while you work on it as though it was a 1TB SSD.
    One problem might be the slightly higher power consumption and that non of the small msata ssds are as good as a big sata 3 ssd because they all only perform on the old sata 2 ssd levels.
    In price vs value it seems a no brainer.

    For all those who think the MBP will get so much thinner. A 45W CPU + 30W GPU needs cooling. Cooling needs cooling area and enough air pushed over it. Currently the fans and cooling blocks go from bottom to top. If you make the fans thinner they either need to run faster or need more space to push the same air. If you shrink the cooling blocks in height it is even worse. For the same area you need to make them longer and or wider. Longer impedes airflow even more and lowers cooling efficiency.
    They might remove a bit from the lid but the bottom case is mostly limited by the cooling system and not so much by whatever else you can stuff in there. There isn't nearly as much room to make it thinner as some believe without sacrificing cooling capability which makes them les pro machines.

    I don't think Apple really cares all that much they make relatively almost no profit with the MBP line anymore compared to the rest. Still if they want to keep offering top quality creating a thin Air (dual core + IGP) line and a MBP line with the current CPU+GPU power makes more sense than fusing those lines to one in between thing.
  22. davenz macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2008
    The optical drive has to go. Everything is on external HD or online anyway. I use mine maybe once a year, and not because I had to. Apple was the first to use it and they will be the first to lose it.

    I want a 13" MBP with no disc drive + SSD and i'm happy. It sounds like the air by 1.7 processor is not powerful enough. Plus i want to be able to upgrade ram myself because apple charges a premium on it. A big one too.
  23. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Wait for Ivy Bridge and that should help the MBA's performance.

    Another note, just because you see little benefit means that everyone does not. I actually put my optical drive back in (was using an optibay) because I found the need for the optical drive outstripped the benefit of the extra storage.

    Sure I may change my mind in the future but for now, I find it a better use of the limited space to keep the optical drive.

    Will apple drop the optical drive, yeah but I don't it will be in this next forthcoming refresh.

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