New (2010) Macbook Pro: To SSD or Not to SSD?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sinoevil, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. sinoevil macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2008
    Hello All,

    It has been a while since I have been in the market for a new computer. I've managed to hang on to my 12-in. PowerBook G4 since 2003! So, it's time for an upgrade, now that the new 2010 line of MBPs have been released. :)

    So far, I'm leaning towards getting the 15" i7 2.66 Ghz, with an 8 GB RAM. My dilemma is whether to stick with the 500 GB HDD that it comes with or "upgrade" to Apple's stock Solid State Drive. I'm not a techie, but I've been reading a little bit about the pros and cons of SSDs. It's a pricey option (especially for the top-tier 512GB), so I thought it merited further consideration.

    I'm particularly interested in your thoughts about the longevity of these drives (decay, degradation?), SLC vs MLC drives, and whether or not Apple's stock SSD drives are a good value overall. (Anybody know which brand(s) Apple uses?)

    The salesperson with whom I spoke at the Apple store didn't seem to know much about the machine's internals. I've had much better success searching answers in these discussion boards, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Your experienced and thoughtful insight is always appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  2. grapii macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2009
    I just ordered my BTO MBP 17 with core i7.

    I stuck to the stock HDD as I also ordered from another site a Intel X25-M G2 160GB SSD.

    Seemed the best one.
  3. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    Buy an aftermarket Intel SSD or RunCore SSD. Buying one from Apple is a waste of money.

    Edit: SSDs are worth the money in general, but you can do better than Apple's pricing in terms of speed.
  4. chatfan macrumors regular


    Nov 2, 2006
    in mah cribb yo
    Well unless you are doing live video and need to readout a lot of small files as fast as possible there is no real reason to get a SSD drive. I use them when vj'ing because sometimes I layer 6 video files on top, but for normal use I don't see the point.

    New tech is never future proof, simply because in the future it will have improved so much it will make more sense to buy the newer version then stick with the old one. Now I don't trust any harddrive, but I trust SSD drives even less and they are power hungry.

    The rest of the system is not that fast and in general use the harddisk is not the bottleneck. Besides by the time you manage to use the drive to its potential a new one half the price, twice the size has come out. Get a normal harddrive, see how you like it and by the time you really need a SSD they will be cheaper and bigger :)

    For video, a SSD drive is not going to make a difference because video has a set datarate, uncompressed video sure, but the drive will be too small for that.

    Other then being pretty cool tech and nice when loading files, booting etc. They will not improve your graphics card expand memory or boost CPU.

    Personally I would get a nice backup drive to use with timemachine for that extra money :)

    Good luck deciding.
  5. grahamwright1 macrumors regular


    Feb 10, 2008
    North of the Border
    I bumped my BTO MBP 17 to the 7200rpm drive but decided to also order a Corsair Force 100Gb from a local supplier. I'm thinking the Superdrive is about to get pulled out when the MBP arrives :)

    Concerning your questions, unless Apple have switch suppliers there were a lot of people concerned that the previous Apple SSD's didn't provide good value and you are going to see lots of recommendations to purchase one of the better SSD's yourself.

    I like the idea of the SLC drives but have a bit of trouble with the price compared to the many MMC drives available today.

    Good luck!
  6. striatedglutes macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2009
    I upgraded my four year old PC with an OCZ SSD and it is now a pleasure to use for "normal" use.

    SSDs are comparable in power usage to a regular hard drive. (link)

    This is the complete opposite of my experience. The hard drive has always been the bottleneck, and using an SSD has made a night and day difference in my daily computing. Also, just because new tech has come out doesn't mean that it makes yours run slower or something :confused: So what if it's bigger and faster? You either play the tech upgrade game or you don't. I believe SSDs are worth it when it comes to playing the game.

    Yes, when doing everyday activities (what I imagine the OP might use his computer for 90% of the time, seeing as how I'd imagine using a 12" PB for anything else these days would result in suicide :eek:), the SSD is very nice and very cool.
  7. cobalt79 macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2010
    I asked the Apple Live Chat personnel about an after market SSD and it can void your warranty unless you buy from an Apple Authorized Retailer. The link is on the website. Might be worth checking their prices beforehand or else run the risk of losing any AppleCare coverage you might have purchased right after you bought the new machine!
  8. grahamwright1 macrumors regular


    Feb 10, 2008
    North of the Border
    I think they are letting you know that they will not cover any problems with non-Apple parts, such as a third-party SSD but you simply need to keep the original HD that came with your system in the event you have a problem. If I have problems with the SSD I'm putting in my new MBP, I wouldn't expect Apple to fix it, but I would expect them to fix the system if I replace the SSD with my original drive and the problem still exists.
  9. Kingcodez macrumors 6502


    May 13, 2009
    Yeah installing a HDD will not void your warranty. If you are even concerned in the slightest, if there's ever a problem just stick the old HDD back in there when you take it in to get fixed.. Simple.

    If there were to be a problem with the SSD it's that it would be dead on arrival, rather than anything else.

    OCZ makes good inexpensive drives, Intel is probably the highest quality, but others make faster drives also.

    Just for kicks, if your PB has SATA (I forgot) stick it in there and see how it goes.

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