Questions about SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by BigQid, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. BigQid macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2010
    I am considering getting a solid state drive. Solid state drives, as far as I can tell, are good for making things launch faster.
    I don't download constantly on this computer. I mostly use this computer for internet and playing music and video. I intend to keep the music and video on the old hard drive and keep applications on the SSD.
    So I ask 1) are there other strengths or weaknesses of SSD that I'm overlooking?
    2) How big of a SSD would you recommend?
    3) Other than apps, what else should go on the SSD?
    4) Is there any other advice or considerations I should take into account?
  2. movieboy23 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2007

    What kind of computer do you have? Because quite frankly, if the processor is relatively old and the machine can only take up to 4 GB, I'm not sure an SSD is the right move.

    SSDs are great drives. The read/write times are blazing fast, my machine literally boots from off to ready-to-go in 3 seconds flat, applications launch instantly and things are generally faster. Also, if the drive should ever fail on you, data recovery is 100x easier than it is on traditional spinning drives.

    That said, the biggest drawback to SSDs is their price. You're paying a lot for a drive that doesn't have much storage space. A 64GB drive can be had for under $100 and I've seen deals for 120 GB drives that are as low as $190. However, like HDDs, not all SSDs are built alike, so you should do some homework and look at the read/write speeds for various drives as well as their reliability. Personally I like the SSDs from OWC and Intel since they've got great read/write speeds and very few reliability problems.

    SSDs are great for users who need fast OS/application boots and speedy file writing. However, for ordinary users who are just looking for a marginal performance boost in their machines, RAM upgrades usually do the trick.

    I wouldn't put an SSD on any Macbook because there's no real point. The processor isn't designed for power users and even with an SSD upgrade you would still be restricted by the machine's USB ports. I would recommend Macbook Pros + up for any SSD.
  3. BigQid thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2010
    I have a 1 year old 13" MacBook Pro with a cracked screen. I was considering fixing the screen and adding a SSD. My next option is to replace the whole computer, which seems silly to me since it mostly works fine. It does have 4 GB of RAM. I don't know if I can add more or not.
  4. movieboy23 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2007
    Sorry to hear about the cracked screen. Screen replacements on those machines can be pretty expensive since the LCD, bezel and housing are all one piece. Parts and labor on that will probably be upwards of $650. However, that is significantly less expensive than paying for a new 13" MBP.

    My rule of thumb is - if the logic board isn't giving you problems, then the machine is worth keeping, provided it was manufactured within the last 3-4 years.

    As for the SSD, I would go with something between a 120 and 256GB SSD on the MBP, depending on what you need storage-wise.

    Lastly, the 13" Mid-2009 MBP can be upgraded to 8GB of RAM, since you were asking.
  5. ataboc macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    what's wrong with an SSD on a 2.2 whitebook with 4 gigs of ram?
  6. BigQid thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2010
  7. movieboy23 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2007
    There's nothing wrong with putting an SSD on a Macbook. However, if you're willing to put money into an SSD, it makes the most sense to put it in a machine that will really be able to take advantage of the read/write speeds. Macbooks don't really have the processor power nor the port connectivity options to really be viable machines for working with the high-performance applications and large files that benefit from the faster read/write speeds and boot times provided by an SSD. And although the base level MB and MBP do have identical processors with integrated Intel graphics cards, I would definitely consider an SSD on the 13" MBP more worthwhile due to the FW 800 port.

    But this is all just my opinion.
  8. movieboy23 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2007
    What do you normally use your computer for? And would you consider the performance to be generally slow?

    Adding more RAM is typically a sound upgrade to boost the performance of the OS and to increase stability when running multiple applications, but it depends on what you're trying to do with your computer. For instance, some applications run better with different processors and dedicated graphics cards and won't really benefit from more RAM.
  9. ryhno45 macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2008
    Quick Question.
    If i wanted to open up apps like PhotoShop, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc.), faster, will it be beneficial for me to get a SSD? I have the first edition Macbook unibody (The one without firewire ports.) I have it upgraded to 4GB of ram and it is a 2.4 ghz intel core 2 duo.
    They have recently been opening up rather slow compared to when I first got it. I'm not sure if it is because the program now require more sources than previous version or if I should wipe the HD.
    Thank You
  10. BigQid thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2010
    I guess for me its not about the interaction with files so much as boot times. I don't care if it takes a couple seconds to load a video. Songs play right away on my computer as it is. I keep most of my documents on Google docs. I was going to only load applications on the SSD and keep other files on the old HDD so I don't need a big one. You can have 2 hard drives if you put the SSD where the optical drive is.
  11. roygenewatsonjr macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2010
    My opinion is that I ditched the optical drive and striped two SSD's in on a unibody Aluminum 2.0Ghz. They're ADATA S596's, which I find to be convenient with the USB port (it's saved me from RMAing a drive back!). For my own personal usage, I'm using 10.6 hacked to 64bit kernel with 6GB of 1066 RAM. What I'm using all of this awesomeness for is Logic Studio and BFD2. If you don't know what BFD2 is, it's 55GB of ultra high res drum samples. A typical kit can run anywhere from 3-10GB, which is a lot of RAM to take up, so I stream it from the disks.

    Let me assure you this is the fastest, most responsive computer most people have ever seen, and should you decide to ditch and get a new notebook down the line, the SSD surely isn't going to be out of style by then.


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