Has anyone here upgraded from HDD to an SSD direct from Apple?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by boricode, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. boricode macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2014
    Has anyone here upgraded from HDD to an SSD direct from Apple? What's the opinion on the Apple SSDs quality compared to third-party ones?


    I'm looking into buying a non-retina macbook pro and want to upgrade the HDD to an SSD. The question I have is if I should do this via Apple directly, or do it myself using a third-party one. Now, the question isn't related to money (I know it's more expensive via Apple), but more regarding quality and speed. If the speed of an Apple SSD and a third-party one, like for example a Samsung, were the same, I would rather upgrade via Apple than do it myself.

    The reason I want to get a non retina MBP is because I like the 16:10 ratio, and I prefer the bulkiness of the chassis when typing. I also make use of the Super Drive, and I like the dedicated on/off button. This is why I can't, at this moment, consider the macbook air or the retina one.

    Thank you all in advance for any advice you can provide.
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Do it yourself. Samsung Evo will give you far quicker speeds than Apple SATA SSDs, and at a considerably cheaper price.

    Just remember to enable TRIM in terminal.
  3. boricode thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2014
    Hi, and thanks for your response. Yes, I'm sure I would be able to save some money with this, but that's secondary atm. You mentioned quicker speeds; are there any benchmarks or information I could read somewhere on the net? I know Apple likes to keep this information a secret, for example what kind of SSD they use and all, but maybe there is something somewhere? I've been searching all day.

    Thanks again!
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Apple SSDs in the unibody MBP have r/w speeds of about 300MB/s if memory serves. They're pretty crap. Obviously they're up to 1GB/s in the retina line but that's due to the parallel chips/PCI-e interface.

    RAM and HDD in your model is user-upgradable. It won't void your warranty by upgrading those components, even if they're not from Apple, and you might as well buy third party to get the best bang for your buck. There are literally no advantages to buying an Apple certified SSD, other than draining your wallet quicker than the alternative.

    Benchmarks don't really matter because you're going to be limited by the 6GB/s SATA interface and SATA SSDs right now are about as quick as they'll ever be. Buy an 840 EVO or a Corsair, they're less than 50p a GB now.

    My 1TB 840 has 450-500 write and 520-540 read. It's not rMBP level but it's quick enough, and for under £300 I can't complain.
  5. mad3inch1na, Oct 6, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014

    mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    I have done an SSD upgrade on a 2012 cMBP. It is really simple, and takes an hour at most. The hardest part is transferring all your data to the new drive, but if you are doing it new, all you will need is a USB drive with a copy of the OS on it and your new drive. I would go with at least a 256GB drive, as the read/write speeds are at a sweet spot for the price.

    I am sure that there are benchmarks of Apple SSDs, but there is a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 600MB/s on SATA 3 anyways. Most modern drives get 450-500MB/s, which is about as good as SATA 3 gets in real life. Apple uses SSDs from mainstream manufacturers, so their drives aren't anything special. An Apple SSD will most likely be slower than an SSD from 2014, and it will be much more expensive.You can pick up a 256GB drive for as little as 110$. There is no reason to get an upgrade from Apple on this one.

    I would also get a cMBP used from eBay, if anywhere. The market price is way above what it should be at this point in time. You can get better computers from Apple for $700. I know you say you need it, but it is a really outdated and overpriced computer. The MBP has the same 16:10 ratio as all other notebooks in Apple's lineup (other than the 11" MBA). The screen on the cMBP is also pretty bad, because of the resolution and the terrible viewing angles. The rMBP also has a dedicated on/off key. If you are using the optical drive on a daily basis, then maybe get it, but it is an added 1.5 pounds for the feature. A good external optical drive costs 20$ and weighs next to nothing. It sounds like you really prefer the form factor of the cMBP, so I will stop pushing the rMBP, but I would at least recommend giving it a chance. It is a more powerful computer, and it may end up fitting your needs better. If you get a cMBP new and max it out yourself, it will cost more and perform worse than a comparable rMBP.


    Edit: Here are some drives to check out.



    Here is what you get if you have too much money, or write 10GB+ files on a daily basis.

  6. boricode thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2014
    Thanks, that's precisely the type of drive I was considering.

    Thanks for pointing that out. I did a bit of research into SATA 3 and understood that much better.

    I think the main reason for me wanting the regular MBP is because I used one for some time (my then gf's) and I loved typing on it. I loved the bulkiness, the dedicated button to turn it off/on (it's not the same as a keyboard button), the battery indicator, and the peace of mind that comes with being able to replace the battery sometime in the future.

    One of the reasons I didn't like the air (besides the colors being too whitey and the ratio being 16:9, was the fact that it was just too thin for my typing comfort. I understand that thinner laptops are lighter and all, but I like the feeling of actually having some thickness below the keyboard.

    Thanks to your reply, I've started considering the rMBP once again, but it's difficult for me. I don't have an apple store here in Austria, and I'm afraid of the resolution being too much for my eyes. I liked the big icons on the regular MBP, and since most of what I do has to do with letters (writing), I don't profit much from crisper images or movies. I guess, in part, it's a nostalgia thing. I'm excited about good writing devices. I keep a small collection of good typewriters I've used in the past, a thinkpad x220 whose keyboard is unbeatable in the non-mac world, and a collection of pens. For me, the writing experience is primordial, so I'm a bit unsure in this case. I wish I could somehow compare the typing feeling of the retina with the regular MBP, but all I know from experience is the regular one, and since they're pretty much going to be removed in the next update, I wanted to get one before they're gone alltogether.

    Thanks for the tips! I was thinking of getting a Samsung Pro 840 256gb, but now that I see that the 850 costs the same, i'll get that one if I don't go for the retina.
  7. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Really have a think about the rMBP

    I would also reccomend the retina, as has been pointed out by the time you upgrade a cMBP it is much the same price. More importantly the retina is much, much better for text it is like reading print, forget the movies and photos (all very pretty) the best thing about the retina is text, the anti glare screen and viewing angles really help too and the whole thing adds up to far less eye strain especially for text heavy workloads.

    I went from a 2010 MBP to this retina and I did miss all the same things you mention, however in return I got 2 thunderbolt ports and HDMI and AC wireless I have never needed an optical drive since feb. Don't worry about the battery too much Apple guarantee it for 1000 cycles which will see most people past their applecare and even then replacement batteries aren't a fortune from apple.

    Once you get used to the thinner machine it is still excellent to type on and far more solid feeling than the air, it is so light to carry around though that sometimes you think you've forgotten it, I think apple got this balance just right.

    Remember you have 14 days to return for a refund no questions asked so try out a retina and then return it for the cMBP if you don't like it.
  8. boricode thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2014
    Alright! I'm sold. I'm ordering the retina 13" with 256gb and 16g ram (altogether adds up to 1400 euro with discount). I'll get AppleCare before the first year is over.

    You guys really calmed my anxiety and were really helpful. Thanks a bunch!
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    I hope yopu enjoy it

    Good choice it really is a great little computer.
  10. rodedwards macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010

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