For the Unibodies... keep current HD or go with 7200 or SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by James Cole, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. James Cole macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    #1
    Whats your take... also will there be a big difference in speed between stock HD to 7200?.... Ive seen 7200 that score higher than SSDs! whats up with that?
     
  2. pyromaniaque macrumors 6502

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    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    Well..Ask your mother.
    #2
    I've had enough experience with hard drives to know that 7200rpms is a nice jump, and SSD's are an even higher jump. The problem is that the storage:price ratio on SSDs are ridiculous. They are still premature and have not even reached their full potentials. I'd say to wait about six months when prices lower, and SSDs will be even faster.

    If money and storage space is not an issue, then by all means...buy it.

    I'd rather buy a 1TB (or any other large drive for that matter) 7,200rpm drive then an SSD at this point.

    Here are the CONS to buying an SSD:
    "They wear out – or more to the point, the individual bits after a while can’t be erased and written to again. Flash memory quite simply has a limited number of times that information can be written to a location (a bit). Most consumer drives on the market today can handle about 10,000 writes to a bit. Once that spot is used up, it can never be used again. The good news is that there are a variety of techniques that engineers have developed to help combat this issue. The first thing is better flash chips. The chips used today are much better then the chips used in the first solid state drives that appeared a while ago on the enterprise level. Also, some drives employ extra memory chips to replace the bits that may go out. Many also employ wear leveling techniques that help wear the chips evenly. Another plus is that drives are larger and larger, so there are many of these bits to go around. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any consensus on what this means in practical, real world terms. How long will a drive last used with a standard operating systems, in a standard computer? Different sites have different answers, some saying as little as a year, while others up to five years (with normal usage).
    There are also a few other cons to be aware of for flash based solid state drives. The first is that there are two primary types of flash memory used in solid state drives. The more prevalent MLC type tends to be slower, and have really long write times. In fact, the write times on MLC based drives are slower then standard hard drives and are not usually recommended for using as a primary drive with an operating system installed (but do work great as storage drives, because once that information is written, it can be retrieved very quickly). The other type (called SLC) has faster write times, but tends to be much more expensive than the MLC drives. This actually brings up the second point, even with costs coming down, even the cheapest MLC based solid state drive will be much more expensive than an equivalent sized mechanical drive (in fact, much, much more expensive) and the price differential really jumps with SLC based drives. Another point to consider is that solid state drives don’t have the capacity of mechanical drives, though the gap is rapidly closing. This means that you can pay the same amount of money for a 32GB solid state drive that you may be paying for a 320GB mechanical drive. "

    I use SSDs everyday at school and although they're great, they're just not worth it yet in my opinion.
     
  3. James Cole thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    #3
    Thanks for the detailed response pyro... will look into it... but seems that all in all SSD's are not worth it at the moment...


    So basically now I need to search for the perfect (Faster) HDD drive for a 17'' Unibody Macbook Pro... Any suggestions guys?

    And of course only if I will notice a BIG difference compared to the stock 320gb in everyday use... if its going to be very little... then I might not be interested...

    Let me know...
     
  4. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #4
    There isn't really any software yet that can actually measure the SSDs. And that test was probably of early SSDs which are crap (or those really really cheap ones). I don't know if I'd suggest a 7200 due to the reports of vibrations. I was looking at a 7200 or SSD myself, and ended up with a 500GB 5400 WD and now waiting for an SSD at 500GB at around the 500$ price point (hopefully by the end of the year.
     
  5. pyromaniaque macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
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    Well..Ask your mother.
    #5
    It'll be a while before SSD's reach 1gig/dollar.
    You should get this:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822116084
    TOSHIBA (10,000 rpm) Screaming fast. Seen it in action. Relatively comparable to SSD. 147gb. and it costs 199

    The SSD thats closest to that amount of space costs 729.
    INTEL http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167015

    IF YOU PAID AS MUCH AS THAT TOSHIBA DRIVE FOR AN SSD, YOU COULD GET ONLY A 16GB SSD:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820183197
     
  6. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #6
    Read so many good things about SSD's but the price is a little premature. As SSD's are getting more common, when the price goes down, I will definitely go out and buy one. Right now the stock 250GB 5400rpm does what I need it to do for now. Later when I "trick" out my MacBook Pro, I'll move over to a 7200rpm or SSD.
     
  7. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #7
    Those are SAS hard drives, they're not designed for a laptop. It's 2.5 Inches because they require a massive heatsink due to their insanely high heat generation.
     
  8. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #8
    First of all, that Toshiba won't work in a Mac laptop (the first comment even says; Cons: It's NOT a laptop drive!. Second, I just found on NewEgg an SSD that has 128GB for 30$ or so more and will smoke that drive you posted above anytime and will in fact fit inside a laptop.
     
  9. kkim0228 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #9
    I went stock 5400 ->128G SSD -> 7200. The reason I went back to HD was that SSD was unstable. Endless beachballs in 5 days and the first boot failure in a week. I know that the faulty JMicron controller may be the culprit, and the newer generation SSDs that use Samsung or Intel controllers are supposed to have the stuttering issue fixed, but who knows what else will pop out with time? Safe to say that there is almost no SSD in the market that's problem-free, including Intel's, which is known to slow down significantly with time. My point is that you know what to expect from a HD but not from a SSD, because it's still a new technology.

    You do get a more significant performance boost with a SSD than with 7200. However, I could not tell you with confidence that your overall experience would be better in a long run if you purchase a SSD now. Besides, at times when I feel the HD speed, which are booting and application loading, I do not feel the new 7200 HD lagging much behind the SSD that worked realy great for less than a week.
     

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