New system or SSD upgrade?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by voltaicass, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. voltaicass macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2010
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    I've had my 13" MacBook Pro for just over two years and I'm getting the itch. I figured this would be a good place to get some advice so here's what I'm starting with:

    2.26GHz C2D
    8GB RAM
    500GB Momentus XT hard drive

    My plan is to get a 115GB SSD from OWC along with a Data Doubler. So my SSD will house OSX and my apps and my user folder will remain on the XT HDD. But at the same time, I've found myself less and less in need of a notebook rather (the iPhone does all of my mobile stuff) and have thought about just getting one of the new minis with an i7 and discrete graphics.

    Primary use of the system is video editing (learning FCPX after years of regular ol' FCP) but I don't have critical projects, it's all hobby. I also do the usual- photos (Aperture), iTunes, handbrake, and Internet browsing.

    So I guess my question comes down to this- SSD upgrade for current system or moving to an i7 proc on a new one?
  2. Woodcrest64 macrumors 65816


    Aug 14, 2006
    The new Mac Mini with the quad core would be much faster than your C2D for video editing even if it had a SSD. If your iPhone is doing a lot of your mobile stuff and you're happy with that, get the Mini.

    I'm in a similar situation. I have iPad, Hackintosh, Sony Laptop and an Android phone.

    I use the desktop to do all my video editing/ photo editing. I like that because of the amount storage I have hooked up to it. However there are times when I really do want to just have my phone and laptop.

    You could get an SSD to hold you off until the Ivy Bridge Macbook Pros come out next year which will have native USB 3.0 support.

    I can't wait until the day comes until we can stream data from the 'cloud' for video editing or other large files on the fly with speeds as fast as the Thunderbolt port. I just hate having a bunch of external hard drives laying around with cables everywhere that I would need to bring with me if I wanted to travel and edit video. That's probably a long way off though :)

  3. voltaicass thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2010
    I appreciate your thorough response, Woodcrest!

    elpmas, would you care to elaborate?

    Does anyone else care to reply?
  4. RayK macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2005
    The new systems are very fast but if it's all for hobby I'd recommend an SSD and saving until maybe a release or two of the mbp. Just to get some cheap performance now and hold ya off until USB 3 and maybe some cheap and larger SSDs for lots of video storage.
  5. tbln macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    I had the upgrade itch for a while too but upgraded my 2009 C2D with a SSD without any regrets. I don't do any video editing but the the difference is extremely noticeable in all day to day tasks and this should hold me off for an upgrade until I see more worthwhile features, like usb 3, instead of just a cpu/gpu upgrade.
  6. Minhthien macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    You have a great hard drive already... I wouldn't upgrade it to SSD unless its like super cheap like $200 for 512gb :)! Save your money and just wait!


    Its not that EXTREMELY NOTICEABLE different! Launch programs faster? Yes but not by that fast! When i got my very first SSD I was shocking how fast its really boot up and start programs so fast but now I need space :(
  7. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    It's not extremely noticable? Granted I don't have SSD in my MBP but I do have an SSD in my Win7 PC. It boots under 10 seconds. From not having Starcraft2 open, I can open it, log in, load a map and start playing in under a minute. With a regular HDD I had to wait at least 1 minute for SC2 to even open and get to the login screen.

    SSD is an EXTREMELY noticable speed-increase while opening programs and loading things.
  8. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    Seeing that SSD is a lot cheaper than buying a new system, it's the most logical option imo. Since you don't do intense usage, I don't see the need for a new processor if your current mbp is performing well without a SSD. Furthermore, buying a Mac mini with a discrete graphics does have its perk, but you can simply use an external monitor. With the SSD+mbp, you get speed+mobility. :D
  9. voltaicass thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2010
    Thanks, guys. I think my plan for the time being is grabbing an SSD and seeing if I can prolong the life of the system for a few years. If I can I'll post back with impressions of the differences.

    Again, thank you all for your time and recommendations.
  10. tltuolliac, Sep 7, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011

    tltuolliac macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2009
    2011 MBPs aren't really much of a step up from even mid-2009 models like mine, and I'm presuming yours is, as well.

    What I'd do is replace the optical drive bay (keep the drive in an external enclosure, if you absolutely still need it) with a SATA enclosure bay, and put an SSD in there as your boot drive. That way, you can still keep the 500GB Seagate as an internal data grave, while having the advantage of using an SSD as an internal system disk.
  11. MacSince1990 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2009
    They're a tremendous step up.

    Quad core computing with HyperThreading (up to 8 cores), faster memory, and much faster graphics on the high end (1GB 6750) combines for a much faster package.

    If you're talking the low end MBPs (basically MacBooks thrown into an aluminum box and rebadged MBP), then yeah, there's definitely less of a difference. However, you're still, getting 2.7 GHz CPUs WITH hyperthreading.. which can nearly double performance in many cases.

    Probably a good idea.

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