MacBook Pro Buying Advice - SSD? Looking for long term use

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by smitha96, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. smitha96 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    #1
    In 2006 I bought a new Mac Pro desktop with a total of four cores in it (Xeon, I believe), RAID 0 hard drives and 6GB of RAM (it now includes an upgraded 4870 for the graphics). I'm still quite happy with it and feel it still keeps up with my work load.

    My work load generally consists of consumer use - I'll usually have a dozen apps open at a time, including Pages, MS Word, Safari, iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie, Quicktime. Most of my video is shot in full HD and most of my photos are 18 megapixels. While I am not a professional user and I rarely use a professional app, I think I might somewhat qualify as a "prosumer" if that makes sense.

    I think my Mac Pro should last me a little while longer. In the meantime, I am interested in getting a MacBook Pro that is faster than my Mac Pro in virtually every category - additionally, I am looking for something that is still going to be able to support my higher end consumer/prosumer habits over the next several years.

    I have, for the most part, already decided on getting a 17" MacBook Pro with a core i7.

    My questions are:
    1) Should I go with the 7200rpm drive, stock drive, or SSD? What impact does the SSD or 7200rpm have on battery life?

    2) If I do want an SSD, should I order one from a third party and install it myself? Can I install an SSD where the stock hard drive is (I might want to keep my DVD drive).

    3) Can a properly configured Core i7 MacBook Pro 17" be noticably faster than my MacPro from 2006?

    4) If I can hold off on my purchase, until say, April 2011, am I likely to find a four-core MacBook Pro?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    1. SSD should increase the battery life as it has no moving parts. 7200rpm may decrease the battery life as it needs more power than 5400rpm drive

    2. I would get a 3rd party SSD as they are faster and cheaper. Yes, you can replace the stock HD with an SSD

    3. Depends on software. The MBP should be faster in single- and dual-threaded tasks but Mac Pro should win in multithreaded tasks as it has four physical cores

    4. Nobody knows. Maybe, maybe not.
     
  3. dustinl4m3 macrumors regular

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #3
    I cannot answer all of your questions, but I just put an Intel SSD in a brand new core i7 MBP (coming from the factory 500gb 5400rpm disk).

    My usage type/pattern is close to yours.

    If you do not need a ton of primary storage space (or want to lose your optical drive, which is an option), I would go with an SSD. The SSD saves battery, but don't expect a massive difference: Intel X25-M SSD: Intel Delivers One of the World's Fastest Drives

    The Apple SSDs are a rip off, go 3rd party. And yes, most if not all of the SSDs fit fine. I fit this one in a brand new (last week) 2010 15" Core i7 MBP: Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M160G2XXX 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - OEM.

    I think it depends on your usage, but probably. For disk access, definitely. Here is my before and after xBench between the stock MBP 5400rpm disk and the Intel SSD above:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the SSD is way faster. Up to 70x/40x in 4k block random write/read (respectively) according to my benchmarks (just xBench).

    This I don't know. Someone else may. :)
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
  5. circularforward macrumors 6502

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    Jul 18, 2010
    #5
    Listen to Hellhammer. Since you stress the long-term use, Intel has the best reputation for reliability, and the new G3s should be an improvement.
     
  6. Gen macrumors 6502a

    Gen

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #6
    If you're going SSD, wait for Intel to release their G3 drives sometime soon ...
     
  7. bamf macrumors 6502

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    Feb 14, 2008
    #7
    I do love my Intel SSD. I hear good things about the newer Sandforce SSDs if you are looking to do that piece faster though.
     
  8. hasole macrumors member

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    Aug 15, 2010
  9. smitha96 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2005
    #9
    Thank you everyone for your insightful posts. I'm seriously considering the 128Gb SSD stock option for the MBP. Does anyone know how the stock drive compares to other SSDs in terms of performance and speed? Apologies, but I had a hard time finding a comparison.

    Thanks!
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #10
    http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1230/1/

    It's not the fastest but not the worst. You can get a 3rd party SSD for less $ and it will be faster plus you can keep the HD.
     
  11. nwcs macrumors 65816

    nwcs

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #11
    My 2c (and what I'm doing). I got my 2010 17 i7 MBP with the 7200 rpm drive. After a couple of years I'll replace it with a SSD. I'm thinking that I get some speed now without a lot of overhead and in a couple of years SSD will be much cheaper and better. Then I can replace the drive with a SSD and feel like I got a new machine (sorta) and not feel the desire to replace it.
     
  12. smitha96 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2005
    #12
    And one more question, since I am gonna pull the trigger on this today...

    Will the SSD likely help out my batter life over the 5400?
     
  13. mcfly2 macrumors member

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    Sep 9, 2010
    Location:
    TX
    #13
    I've been getting some heat in another thread for saying this, but at $200, the Apple 128GB SSD seems like a decent deal.
     
  14. smitha96 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2005
    #14
    Thank you to everyone. I did go ahead and make the purchase ($2600 after tax with educational discount).

    Core i7
    17" 4GB RAM
    Apple SSD 128GB

    I decided to opt for the Apple SSD for the sake of convenience.
     
  15. smitha96 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    #15
    My 17" i7 MacBook Pro SSD arrived today. I'm posting on here the XBench benchmark results for comparison purposes should anyone be interested in knowing how the 128GB Apple SSD performs against other SSDs.

    Thanks again to everyone for their valuable input.
     

    Attached Files:

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