Is a Samsung 840 SSD overkill for my mid 2009 13" MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dingdongbubble, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. dingdongbubble macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I have a mid 2009 13" MacBook Pro with the max 8GB RAM. It runs on the stock 5400rpm HDD through SATA II. Now I can get a Samsung 840 for $115 including tax. That's quite steep for me especially since I just do basic stuff on the MacBook Pro like web browsing, a little document editing, YouTube, Netflix, music, FaceTime, Facebook, etc. Since my MBP can not even run the 840 at its full speed due to its SATA II limitation, and since I just do basic stuff, I feel the $115 price tag is not justified. But then I haven't used a computer with an SSD. I rarely shut down my MBP but when I do the start up takes a good minute or two. How dramatic would the speed increase be especially given the SATA II limitation and do you think the $115 would be justified? I could just save this $115 and use it towards a MacBook Air in a couple of years or so when I upgrade. What do you think?
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #2
    $115 for that SSD is a decent price. You will notice a tremendous improvement in performance over the 5400 RPM HDD. The 840 is a good and well respected SSD. I have one in my iMac and I have an 830 in my MBP.

    I think it's a worthwhile upgrade and worth $115.
     
  3. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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    #3
  4. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    If it delays any temptation to replace your machine for the next year or two (and it very likely will) that's a well spent $115. When you upgrade it also adds to the resale value of the machine. Go for it.
     
  5. Khryz macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Plus if/when you update your Mac you can take it out and put it in the new one and it'll be at least better than the HDD it comes with.
     
  6. dingdongbubble thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Sorry I forgot to mention. My next laptop will be a MacBook Air which uses modules so the 840 wouldn't work with it. Secondly my MBP was my first Mac there's no way in hell I'm selling it. So basically the $115 incl tax will be only working for me for 2 years or so. The MBP works alright right now especially since the 8GB RAM upgrade. I keep most apps open so they open almost instantly most of the time. Just how dramatic a speed boost are we talking about? I don't transfer large files so I don't care about those speeds. I just care about general snappiness and no perceivable delays in stuff in general.
     
  7. Lolito macrumors 6502

    Lolito

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    #7
    I have the same laptop, also with SSD. The increase in speed will definitely make you freak out. Pity 10.7 and 10.8 do not boot as fast as snow leopard, but still, it will make your laptop last 5 years more, not 2.
     
  8. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    From a 5.4K drive? It's the best upgrade you can get. Boot times cut to a fraction, app launch times eliminated, better multitasking.

    If you're planning to keep the machine and continue to use it in any fashion, I'd recommend it. I still use my first gen 2006 MBP 15" (1,1) and I've been tossing around the idea of an SSD for it. The only thing holding me back is the SATA-I interface, honestly.

    Worst case scenario, you retire the computer, you sell the drive for $50.
     
  9. Khryz macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    My 840 is arriving today, installing it tonight. Hearing things like that make me way too excited!
     
  10. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #10
    I dunno, maybe I am not as techie as I thought, but seriously, the "upgrade" to a ssd has not been as great as everyone hypes it up to be in my experience and usage. I upgraded to the 500gb 840 non pro

    FWIW, my usage tends to be coding, internet, music, random apps. Nothing really too intense and what I would consider typical. I am not one who is editing massive raw files or editing video. My old hdd was a 5400k drive as well.

    I was expecting to be blown away with responsiveness and whatnot. I haven't been. I have used the blackmagic tests and it's performing as it should be before I hear people say maybe I got a dud.

    Do apps load faster? yes.

    Do apps load that much faster that I really notice a difference? no.

    Is start up times faster? should be but I have had some long boot times with the ssd. Nothing like the 10-15 second times people keep stating. Regardless, I very rarely restart my machines so not much of a factor to me.

    Seeing how most of my usage tends to be with apps already open and editing singe files at a time, I can't really tell a difference. My work computer is a 2010 mbp with a hdd and I can not tell a difference in responsiveness really when using my personal 2012 mbp with the ssd.

    I guess, I am just disappointed and was blown into the hype where everyone and their mom was saying how an ssd is the BIGGEST upgrade one can do for their machine and how it makes them feel like it is a brand new computer. It just HAS NOT been the case for me.

    Take that as you will, just my opinion. I wish I had my 300 bucks back that I spent on my ssd
     
  11. robvas macrumors 68020

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    #11
    Did you reset your SMC and make sure your boot disk is set correctly after installing the SSD?
     
  12. dukebound85 macrumors P6

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    #12
    All the disk tests I have performed have confirmed it is running at the speeds it was advertised at. But no, I have not reset my SMC or "set my boot disk" correctly. I figure if it was booting up, that the boot disk was fine as it is the only option for my machine to boot from
     
  13. dingdongbubble thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Do you think the prices will fall significantly over the coming year?
     
  14. zepman macrumors regular

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    #14
    For the things you mention (web browsing, document writing) you will probably not notice that big of a different. The big differences with a SSD are the load times for the computer and applications. Once the apps you use have been loaded in to the RAM I doubt you will notice a different, at least for the tasks you mentioned. Applications with a lot of read/wright to the harddrive, like iTunes or iPhoto, will definitely benefit from a SSD.

    Apart from faster load time the best part of upgrading to a SSD, at least for me, is that the computer gets much quieter. No more harddrive crackling!

    If you plan on keeping the Macbook for another 2 years and can afford it, I would definitely recommend a SSD.
     
  15. SDAVE macrumors 68040

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    #15
    From the way thing are going, yes.

    The 500GB Samsung 840 was going for $270 a few days ago. Although it's a value SSD, it's still a good one.

    This year won't be the year to see MAJOR drops in SSD prices, but it will be a fairly comfortable price drop. Last year was a huge price drop and at the end of the year SSD's became a reality as far as affordability for most users.
     
  16. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

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    #16
    Did you do a clean install of OS X? Is the SSD firmware up to date?

    Go from the SSD back to the HDD, THEN see if you can tell a difference. lol.
     
  17. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #17
    1) No, I had cloned my drive over

    2) No, it is one revision behind

    3) I do that already on a daily basis and can't really tell with my habits
     
  18. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

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    #18
    All I can do is lol then.
     
  19. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502

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    #19
    It will be like you bought a New machine..

    Go for the Upgrade all the way. It will be the best 100 $ you have investet in a Long time. It feels like you bought a new machine. The SSD is the best upgrade of the decade by far. And dont get fooled by this Sata2 or Sata3 discussion. The Sata3 SSD is faster, also in an older Sata2 connection. I have tested it and had both ssd's in my machine. Its the speed of the first 150MB/sec that counts, the bandwith is really secondary.
     
  20. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #20
    Why?

    1) Why should there be issues with cloning my drive?
    2) I have read that the update doesn't offer much improvements and is largely in regards to windows iirc

    3) between machines, not much difference
     
  21. dingdongbubble thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    I hardly do any large file transfers so I agree that the 6Gbps bandwidth wont matter. But for the small files access like opening apps, web browsing does the bandwidth have any bearing? Or will those things be as fast on my SATA II as they would be on SATA III?
     
  22. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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    #22
    Clean install of OS X is ALWAYS the best, cleanest way to get OS X installed with less hiccups, issues and etc.

    Try a clean install and update the firmware of the SSD. Then make another assessment. Also check my SSD Tweaking Guide in my signature.
     
  23. dukebound85 macrumors P6

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    #23
    But I am not having issues. My install works just fine with no hiccups and my disk speeds are as advertised when I benchmark.

    The point of my post was that everything I had read online about ssd made it seem like it was such a substantial upgrade that you would be kicking yourself for not doing it sooner. For my usage habits, I have not been able to tell such a drastic difference and I was caught up in the hype, only to have the reaction of "that's all?". Granted, I can tell apps launch somewhat faster but it is not breathtaking nor as "magical" as everyone was seemingly claiming it would be.

    Of course a clean install of osx is always the cleanest way and it applies to hdds as well. However, I am not keen on manually setting up every app I have again with serials, transporting manually every document, and app settings that would consume the better part of my day. That advice to me, is akin to saying if one has a sofwtare issue, wipe and reinstall the os. Just not practical, nor should that be the first recommendation

    Maybe it was because I already had 16gigs of ram in my machine that I couldn't discern a huge difference. Who knows.

    Thanks for the tweak guide though. I know I had referenced it in the past:)
     
  24. Ledgem macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I feel somewhat similarly. I didn't clone my drive, though; I restored from Time Machine. The difference is that I went from a Seagate Momentus XT (hybrid SSD-HDD) to a Samsung 840. Going from the 5400 RPM stock drive to the Momentus XT felt like a really huge deal; going from the Momentux XT to the 840 wasn't really as big a deal. So I'd say that SSDs are definitely overhyped at this point, but you should still feel a pretty big difference in responsiveness comparing the SSD to the stock 5400 RPM drive.

    Still, if money and storage space are issues, I'd strongly recommend one of Seagate's hybrid drives (7200 RPM variant - I don't know how the 5400 RPM versions do) over a SSD.
     
  25. smellalot macrumors 6502

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    #25

    IMO you should not be asking if the speed difference is dramatic. The question you need to ask yourself is: do long loading times (eg. when starting iPhoto, iTunes) drive you crazy? If yes: go for it. If not: safe the money for your MacBook Air.




    Your experience seems very strange to me. Do you have very small libraries (iPhoto, iTunes)? For me, the difference when starting these apps is very noticeable.
     

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