New Processor or SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Cpt.N00B, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Cpt.N00B macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2011
    Dear all, I want to upgrade my MacBook Pro 15' Mid 2009.

    The main reason why I want to do so, is because I want speed up my laptop. I normally use it for work (Microsoft Office/iWork), Web Activities, Gaming, and sometimes Multimedia (movie/photo editing on adobe cs5) and light programing. The first 3 functions (work, web and gaming) is daily (more than 4 hours a day), and the last 2 is weekly, maybe 1 - 3 hours a week. All of this run just fine on my mac, but i want it to be faster. (especially a noticeable boost in general performance).

    Oh yeah and VMware Fusion for running windows 7 in a emulator at same time. this slows down the MAC OS dramatically on my current mac. I want this to change.

    My current specs are:

    Macbook Pro 15' Mid 2009
    3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
    7200-rpm 500 GB HHD
    OS X Snow leopard.

    I have 2 options right now:

    - I can either buy a 256 GB SSD from a well known third party for about 500 USD and replace it in my macbook pro


    - I can pay 3000 USD on a 15 inch Macbook Pro with:

    2.3GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
    8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    7200-rpm 500 GB HHD

    and maybe a 256 GB SSD from third party.

    Which should I get for greatest boost in general performance? I willing to spend money, but I do not want to waste them. :confused:

    If Quad-core and 8 ram with SSD is not going to be A LOT FASTER than my CURRENT MAC with a SSD upgrade, I prefer to just go with a SSD as it is way cheaper.

    Thank You so much
  2. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    I would just buy the SSD. If your not being bottlenecked by the C2D CPU, then an SSD is going to make a huge difference. You might also want to consider adding another 4GB of ram.
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    First, upgrade to 8GB RAM in your current machine, then if that isn't fast enough, I would get the SSD. The virtualization software is very memory hungry, so that's likely the issue, as your processor is pretty fast
  4. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    This. And don't upgrade your RAM or HD from Apple. Price gouging at its best.
  5. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    buy the new MBP and everything will be faster
  6. hawse771 macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2010
    Ft. Worth
    Definitely just get a SSD and upgrade your Ram since you use VM/Win7 talking $600 max compared to 3k - whatever your laptop is worth (1500ish?)

    Your computer with 8GBs and a SSd would be faster than a new 15" with regular HDD on most tasks.

    But you may want to wait a little bit, with the new SSD coming out anytime now, older SATA II SSD should see a drop in price, you might be able to pick up a 256GB for 375-400 instead of 500...might be wishful thinking but they have to go down when the newer ones come out.
  7. pricej636 macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2010
    He is STILL going to have to upgrade RAM on the new machine with what he's doing, and of course the SSD is going to make any machine seem faster in general. Might as well keep his perfectly working computer and upgrade it.
  8. nikhsub1 macrumors 68020


    Jun 19, 2007
    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
    Sorry but the current machines are likely 4-6 times faster than his current machine... I say go for the new quad core and 8GB ram, get an SSD when you can afford it. I have the 500GB Momentus XT hybrid drive and it is pretty damn fast. I wouldn't spend the money upgrading the old machine at this point but that is just me.
  9. koruki macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2009
    New Zealand
    If you upgrade to a quality ssd now, there is nothing stopping you from putting the ssd into a new MBP should you upgrade later.

    disclaimer: advice from someone who sold an intel ssd powered 2010 i5 MBP for a 2011 quad i7 :rolleyes:
  10. nikhsub1 macrumors 68020


    Jun 19, 2007
    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
    Yes but the 15 and 17 have SATA III which his machine does not... capable of 6GBs... the SATA III SSD's are quite a bit faster than the SATA II's... food for thought.
  11. paolinselva macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2008
    Biella, north of Italy

    Hi, I bought the new 15" 2.0 and already is more then twice as fast as yours.
    The 2.2 o 2.3 will be even faster

    What matter here is the number of threads
    a processor with 8 threads is a much better performer when you want to keep open many apps, you'll switch from one to the other in less then a blink.
    8 gb RAM and 8 threads will make you fly.

    I opened 32 apps, among which heavy ones like 2 versions of photoshop (cs3 and cs5),bridge, vmware fusion, iweb, iphoto, premiere elements, cinebench,all the browsers I have, excel, word and so on.

    then I ran handbrake full throttle with a test file and the result was only 5% slower then when I teste in best conditions.:cool:

    Take my word: it relly is and feels FAST !:eek:

    If you add a SSD you'd better fasten your seatbelt.:D

  12. Bigmacduck macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2009
    Invest in RAM and SSD. That is improving VM performance most.
  13. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    Save your money, invest in a Seagate Momentus XT and add 8GB RAM.

    It will be the best bang for buck IMHO :cool:
  14. dmbmar, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011

    dmbmar macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2010
    I have a similar question. I am about to buy a new 13" MBP. Leaning toward the low end. I use it heavily for all Office applications, plus Photoshop, iMovie, iPhoto etc. No gaming. I will install VM to run Win 7 on occasion.

    Worth the investment for SSD? 128 Gb will be sufficient as I store most of my docs / photos etc, other than what I'm currently using, on a home server. Or will I get a more noticeable improvement / more bang for the buck by moving up to the i7?

    If I go with SSD, I assume I'm best off upgrading on my own? What brand etc?

    Thanks for the advice.
  15. ScottFitz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 3, 2007
    After coming from an 80gb MacBook Air, I had to have the 500gb 7200x on my new 15MBP. I've got a good 100gb of video and music on my imac and have transferred it over. I absolutely hate running out of HD room. The 500 gb 7200x speed in my 2.0 quad core i7 is plenty fast for what I do. But, I am not a gamer.
  16. shstiger2009 macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2011
    I'm not trying to say you're wrong, but the Seagate Momentus XT gets weird reviews. Some are great, other have problems. Seems like hit or miss, and I was going to invest in one but this scared me away.

    My call is to buy the SSD. Your older computer will feel faster with an SSD than a new computer with the new SB processors, and I'll guarantee that. So spend 500 instead of 3000 and have a faster feeling computer.
  17. lukta macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    I would suggest what other people are saying. Get the RAM ($70-$100 USD) and if that still isn't fast enough then you can get the SSD. If both of these options still don't fit your needs you can keep the RAM (if it's compatible with the 2011, I'm honestly not sure) and the SSD and slap it in your new 2011 Macbook. Put the stock parts in the old one and sell that to cover some of the money spent on the new MBP.

    This is the most win win situation here since you wouldn't be investing in anything that you couldn't use again and it is the cheapest option going from Cheapest(RAM)-->Next most expensive(SSD)-->Most expensive (new MBP) rather than dropping it all at once on the new MBP.
  18. pricej636 macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2010
    The XT is an OK drive. I cant say I would buy another one. In my opinion the negatives outweigh the positives, but to each their own. The theory of the drive is great, and when its working as it should its a great SSD alternative.
  19. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    I understand where you're coming from, the original first release Seagate Momentus XT had issues with spinning down from power savebut with later revisions the issue was fixed (also you can get an update to fix the issue directly through Seagate).

    IMHO a $120 investment you're getting a 500GB 7,200rpm drive with an 4GB SSD cache, it's cheap and pretty fast.
  20. Tears Apart macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

    Jun 10, 2009
    Outside Closer
    If you want an "improvement in general performance" and you have the means you will not be disappointed in the new MBP.

    On the other hand your machine is not bad at all, and if you buy a decent SSD now as an upgrade you can then keep it for a future MBP you will own.

    Since you seem to use your computer a lot, I would buy the new MBP, after all you can most likely get some decent money for your current machine...
  21. Guy Mancuso macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2009
    Rule of thumb for me is buy the fastest processor you can get your hands on at the time you buy. You simply cannot buy that later. Max out the Ram for starters , ram is dirt cheap right now so go buy 8gbs and don't look back ( 120 .dollars from OWC) That's just your basics after that than you need to decide on SSD or not. You can simply do this for low cost get a 128 gb SSD put in the HD space and put your OS on it. Just need to be very diligent about your hard drive space and keeping your system clean since you don't have a ton of hard drive space. Even Sata II will fly with the new quad cores. I'm sitting here banging on one now and past this it is just more a luxury item going into Sata III. Sure plenty faster reads and writes but don't discount a Sata II drive today . You can always upgrade your hard drives at any time in the future but you cannot upgrade your processor. I have two hard drives in my system and that is something you can look at as well. But you lose the DVD drive which i could care less myself. But processor and ram are going to be your best friends to start. There are lots of good SSD drives even with 200gb that are not to bad in price and will come down within a couple weeks here as the newer Sata III drives come out.

    Now this comes from someone that is truly a throttle junkie and looking for every speed advantage i can get out of a laptop.

    Need to remember this also everyone has different needs with computing so what is good for me maybe too much for you. So weigh all your options

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