Help me justify an SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AppleGoat, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    For quite some time, I have been lusting after an SSD. Despite their cost, much has been made of the performance increase over a traditional HD. However, now that I've begun to look around, one thing has kinda surprised me. While the second heralded virtue of SSDs has always been reliability, the amount of reports of malfunctioning SSDs, especially with respect to certain controllers, is staggering. I'm a patient person and a 5400RPM drive is still, for the most part, workable -- yet, all these defective drive stories have made me reconsider the expense.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If you have second thoughts then wait. Given the price point, SSDs are a bit of an extravagance.

    I'm happy with my intel 320 SSD but I wanted an SSD because of the risk of moving the laptop while the disk is spinning.
  3. TheAppleFreakk macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2011
    I bought a Vertex 3 SSD for my macbook pro 13" and realized that my laptop can't utilize all of its performance (it has a 3 gb SATA) so that was sort of a bummer. However, it was still a nice improvement to an aging computer. Honestly, the whole SSD trend is overhyped. It's fast... but don't expect too much. Faster boot up, faster application launching, faster application quitting by 2 or 3 seconds. If thats a big deal then yes SSD are the way to go. Although, the SSD might be much more faster on the newere Macbook Pros with 6GB SATA.
  4. Bossieman macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2011
    Your computer can´t work faster than its slowest part. Upgrading to an SSD will make your computer reach its peak performance. It´s the single most effective upgrade for performance you can do.
  5. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    If you need justification for it by forum users rather than the possibility that your computer may be slacking then you should probably hold off on it to be honest.

    If you don't feel like your machine is necessarily sluggish, but you want a speed increase, perhaps look into a higher RPM or hybrid drive.
  6. jimbo1mcm macrumors 68000

    Mar 21, 2010
    You won't go back

    Once you have a SSD, you will not want to go to a spinning disc anymore. Trust me.
  7. hkbladelawkhk macrumors member

    May 25, 2010
    Do it!

    I was skeptical at first too. But I went out, bought the Intel 320 series 120 gig from Best Buy, and WOW. The second I hit the power button, it goes to the login screen. Nuff said.


    Then just use trim enabler.

    As for Reliability, I can't comment on that part just yet. Too soon.
  8. Chiuy macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2011
    NorCal, Bay Area
    Yo, try and get a 64GB model.
    Like the Crucial M4 64GB.
    It's only like $90-100 when it's on sale.

    Try and see if 64GB is enough, it's better to spend $100 on 64GB than to spend $240 on 120GB and not use all your memory.

    This is what I do:
    Games/Music/OSx/Adobe Master/etc on the 64GB SSD.
    Photos/Movies are all on external.
  9. fattire357 macrumors regular

    May 18, 2011
    I noticed a HUGE difference getting an SSD when I had a PC, because Windows 7 does a poor job of allowing applications to run in the background.

    I've found OSX does a better job of letting Safari, Chrome, etc. never shut down (especially with Lion) - and for this reason, when I converted that PC to a hackintosh, the SSD felt really similar to the HDD on OSX. I think because if you are just recreationally use your mac, OSX lets apps run in memory more than Windows 7. Which is good for HDD users.
  10. MKang25 macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2010
    I felt the same way, but today I went and pulled the trigger on the Crucial m4 256 SSD.
  11. Yumunum macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2011
    I throw my MacBook Air across the room onto my bed. I shake it a ton. I move it a lot while doing Time Machine backups. It boots in like 10 seconds. I fully close apps when I'm done with a window, because I know if I want to reopen it again it'll happen instantaneously. My computer makes no noise, and I have no worries about moving parts.

    It also saved my marriage
  12. Epic Xbox Revie macrumors 6502a

    Epic Xbox Revie

    Jun 15, 2010
    Washington, D.C.
    I did the same this week, and finally got it working... it's AMAZING. Got it for a fairly good price at $372 shipped.:D

    BEST REASON EVER. But in all honesty, material things shouldn't save marriages! :eek:
  13. AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Thanks all. The Crucial M4 128GB is the one I have been eyeing. Based on what I've read, reliability trumps indiscernible speed benchmark. Crucial M4 seems to be good there, but it's still a little disconcerting that an SSD could bite the bullet in a few months. How does that make it anymore secure than a trad HD?
  14. Yumunum macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2011
    Maybe you should simply buy the type of SSDs Apple puts in their computers... Obviously they're reliable. And I'm guessing they're cheap (comparably). Maybe they don't have just as much speed as others, but once your computer's 20x faster, does a little bit more make that much of a difference? Keep in mind I've only got my SSDs from Apple. So this could be stupid advice, and I don't know too much. But it seems logical to me.
  15. murdercitydevil, Jul 31, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011

    murdercitydevil macrumors 68000


    Feb 23, 2010
    If you're concerned about reliability, get an Intel or an Apple SSD. I personally would prefer reliability over speed; that said, I ended up buying a Vertex 2 (couldn't resist the price) a few days ago after being in your position for what seemed like an eternity. Right now, I don't regret it at all. I fell in love with my MBP feels like a new computer. Others have said it, and I'll echo it once more - the hard drive is by FAR the slowest component in your computer. With an SSD, you take away that bottleneck and let your machine run as fast as it possibly can.

    Since SSDs are still IMO not truly ready to replace the HDD (still too much early failure), I recommend that you take as many precautions as possible to ensure longevity. Take a look here in particular - click. This was the first thing I did after installing Lion on my Vertex 2.

    EDIT: I decided to make a video of my MBP booting for the hell of it, maybe this will convince you - click.
  16. BAC5.2 macrumors regular

    May 16, 2011
    When did the MBP go to 6GB/s SATA III?

    I wonder if my late 2010 2.8GHz MBP is SATAIII compatible...
  17. murdercitydevil macrumors 68000


    Feb 23, 2010
    It's not. Only 2011 models have SATAIII. But you can always check in System Profiler.
  18. BAC5.2 macrumors regular

    May 16, 2011
    What do I look for?

    Bummer that it might not be. But an SSD will still be an upgrade in performance (battery life and heat), even if it's limited to SATA II.
  19. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    SATA 2 vs 3 won't really matter for anything but sequential reads and writes. SATA 2 is plenty fast for a good SSD, to the point where you won't really even notice that you have any kind of hard drive because everything but saving big files happens nearly instantly.

    I had an Intel X25-M G2 160 GB in my Macbook Pro for a few years and it worked great. Now the same mid-2009 13" MBP has the OCZ Agility 3. There is no noticeable difference in speed between the two. I only swapped because the Agility 3 would not work properly in my desktop PC whereas the Intel does.

    I don't recommend OCZ or any SandForce based drives at this point. Sure, they're fast, but they are known for buggy firmware and there's no guarantee they'll work properly in your system. OCZ also claimed my desktop PC was too old hardware (P35 chipset) but since the Intel works 100% that is not the case, just their shoddy software. If you want reliable, get the Intel 320.
  20. AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Thanks you guys once again for the informative posts. Although I'd like to take advantage of SATA III, I'm close to biting the bullet on the Samsung 470 Series 128GB. Reliability ranks highly in my estimation. Does that sound like a savvy buy for a '11 13-inch i5? Everyone on this forum seems to emphasize that the difference between SATA II & III are not discernible unless dealing with large files. Well, in my profession, I deal with some large Photoshop files, often around 300 megs or more. I oftentimes save the files to hard disk before uploading them to the server at work. Would I notice a profound difference in such instances; keep the dreaded process bar at bay with a SATA III drive? I can't imagine it's worth compromising reliability for, but some people swear by the OCZ and OWC drives. Is the SATA III Intel drive more reliable than the others of its ilk? Thanks in advance!
  21. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    If you want a SATA III, then get a SATA III. Seeing that you're looking into Samsung, obviously reliability is #1. In that case, I recommend the Crucial M4. You're getting like 90% of the performance of Sandforce drives, with none of the drawbacks (high power consumption, low reliability). After FW 002, it's one of the most reliable SSDs on the market, and definitely the fastest for its proven reliability.

    A slower more expensive alternative would be Intel 510.

    OWC drives are overpriced and underperforming. Vertex 3, especially maxiops, are the fastest drives available, but also one of the leas reliable.
  22. AppleGoat, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011

    AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    The Crucial m4 had been on my list. It is faster than the Samsung 470 and as headache free with a SATA III computer? How about automatic trash management?
  23. nghix123 macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I agree. Im in the process of getting an SSD installed in my iMac after using my MacBook Air. Even though the Air has lower specs than the iMac, there is a difference opening/closing apps. If you're a gamer, SSD makes all thr difference in loading time. Good luck with your decision!
  24. cjjr72984 macrumors member

    Feb 23, 2011
    I've had my Intel SSD for a few weeks now and it's a more noticeable upgrade than when I bumped up my memory from 4gb to 8gb.

    Everything opens/closes so much faster than a normal Hard Drive.

    I say go for it.
  25. head honcho 123 macrumors 6502

    Dec 18, 2008
    New York
    i've been using my intel x-25 g2 80 GB...

    installed first on:
    1) macbook pro early 2008

    THEN on:
    2) custom build windows 7 machine

    now on:
    3) macbook pro early 2011 (2.3 i7)

    same drive... three different machines... been almost 3 years i've been using it.

    no horror stories here. bought the drive from provantage for about $250-$260... worth every penny.

    once u go SSD, u never wanna go back to traditional hard drives... it's just insanely fast.

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