is SSD a need for a programmer?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by frs18, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. frs18 macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2010
    I'm graduating this year and soon heading in a university as a CS student. Now, I'm planning of buying the 15inch 2.2 ghz MBP but the problems is. . . Im having a hard time choosing between the 500gb HDD @7200 vs 128 SSD?

    price? space? 500gb vs 128? hmmm?

    is the SSD worth the price? what specific/kind of 'softwares' do programmer use that will benefit with it? do hardcore programmers use a lot of softwares at once? multitasking? etc?

  2. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Its not going to really be a benefit for a programmer, your programs will launch faster thats about it.

    You're probably not going to be writing anything over a few thousand lines of code in college anyway so you could go with pretty much any hardware configuration.

    As for programs being open it depends what you do. Most people have an IDE and an internet browser with documentation open. If you are doing something like game development you may have more stuff open.
  3. willieva macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2010
    It depends on what kind of programing you do, but most likely you won't need the speed of an ssd. If this is your only computer you're more likely to find that 128 gig gets filled up rather quickly. Music, photos, movies, it all adds up pretty quick.
  4. Evangelion macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    People have been programming for decades without SSDs, so o, you do not NEED it.
  5. Vantage Point, Apr 17, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2011

    Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    The difference is a in read/write speeds and application loading - the faster the drive the faster those tasks will be (probably not too important for programming). As for applications loading faster, that is only for the first time they load after booting. Once you close them they are stored in RAM and hence will load significantly faster the second time - Photoshop takes about 8 seconds to load the first time on my MBP and less than 2 seconds if I quit and reopen.

    Personally, the virtues of an SSD are nice but not necessary for myself but storage space is. I just picked up a WD Scorpio Black 750GB 72000 RPM so I have plenty of space and much snappier better performance than the old 320Gb 5400 RPM.

    If you only need about 100GB or less then a 128GB SSD is useful but if you need or want plenty of storage and don't have deep pockets then something like a Hitachi travelstar 500GB 7200 RPM drive (about $60 on Amazon) is a steal and plenty fast as mechanical hard drives go. My scorpio black costs almost double at $110 on Amazon but now i have plenty of space and snappy performance.
  6. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I've been using a single core Pentium 4 Windows computer at work (where I do a lot of programming professionally). It's at least 5 years old and performs fine for the task.

    You don't need an SSD, a large HDD, or a fast processor. A life's work of code will fit on a CD. Lots of screen area is nice though -- I've got two monitors connected. Since you will need to run virtual machines for at least Windows if not also Linux, 4GB of RAM is a minimum.
  7. Skika macrumors 68030

    Mar 11, 2009
    I would say u dont NEED it, but...once you go SSD, you can hardly go back. Everything is so much SNAPPIER. The question is if you are willing to compromise the space, i have a 80 intel ssd and a 320 gb firewire drive and find it a great combo.
  8. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Guys the OP just wants an excuse to get an SSD :p I can't blame him I'd do the same :D

    I would say go SSD in all honesty even though its not a need. You can get a small external to load your iTunes, pictures, etc from and enjoy the speed of a SSD.

    One thing you may want to invest in though if you are going away to college is an external monitor to complement your laptop. Coding can be hell on a smaller screen. I have dual 27 inch screens and its still not enough for all my documentation and code files to fit on my desktop. With programming you can never have too much screen real estate.

    That being said I wouldn't recommend grabbing a large screen laptop if you are hauling it to class each day. Grab a 13 inch laptop, it will be fine for coding on the go, grab a monitor for back at the dorm when you have larger coding projects, and an external drive.
  9. Ca$hflow macrumors 6502


    Jan 7, 2010
    London, ON
    This is the most logical solution thus far. My only reason for staying with 15" is because the anti-glare option. Dame apple for not allowing the option on the 13".

Share This Page