Right choice on SSD for 2011 BTO 17"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by noetus, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. noetus macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2007
    New York Cirty
    What do you think of my buying decision?

    So my trusty 2006 C2D 2.33GHZ 15" MBP with custom WUXGA 1920x1200 screen is getting a bit long in the tooth (though it has performed flawlessly since I voided the warranty by swapping the screen for a WUXGA one on a brand new machine...)

    My new 17" (need that WUXGA) 2.3GHz (please don't rib me for paying the extra $250 for that) early 2011 BTO MBP is arriving in a few days. Currently somewhere between Memphis and Chicago on a truck.

    I'm looking to get as much performance as possible out of it. Haven't had an upgrade for 4+ years so throwing a bit of cash at it.

    First thing that will go in is 8GB of Kingston 1600MHz ram, replacing the stock 4GB.

    Second thing is an SSD in the main drive bay... but which one? I have spent some time doing the research on this. I went through all the 6G drives and finally settled on (and ordered) an OWC 6G 480GB drive. But in the meantime I read about all the problems early 2011 MBP owners are having with 6G SSDs, especially owners of the 17-inchers. So it might work. Or it might not. And even if it does, it might stop working after a while. Tin foil could help. Though it might not. Well, I need my new $4K machine to be reliable, don't you think? Plus I am going to be 6 months in the field in Guatemala. I really need the thing to work reliably. Plus I read that 3G vs 6G is not really going to be making a large real-world difference. I'd be hard-pressed to notice the difference, really.

    So I decided to cancel the order with OWC and do a bit of research on 3G drives. Crucial seem good, but they don't seem to make a 3G drive with a big enough capacity for me (at least 360GB, preferably a good deal more.) It seemed to be between a Vertex 2 (reliability issues?) 480GB and an Intel 320 600GB, not as fast apparently, but would I notice in real-world usage? And the Intel is supposed to be rock-solid reliable, and the extra 120GB will come in handy.

    So that appears to be my final buying choice. I am pretty much maxed out on the cash I am willing to throw at this thing. Could I have done better with the same $$?

    early 2011 BTO Macbook Pro 17" anti-glare 2.3GHz
    Kingston HyperX 8GB 1600 KHX1600C9S3P1K
    Intel 320 600GB SSD

    Total cost: $4116
    (minus a few $ after selling the stock 4GB ram and 750GB hard drive, so really not far off $4K final)
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    If you need that big of a SSD, the Intel is pretty much your only option. Otherwise you'll be paying more for less capacity.
  3. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011

    i suppose i understand your intention (can't relate..) to go all out and throw down on a new computer, but the 2.3ghz (not trying to "rib" you) was pretty overpriced in the sense that you won't notice the difference and an internal ssd that big can be compromised too. just go for a lower capacity ssd and store your media and the like on an external 7200rpm firewire drive.
  4. noetus thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2007
    New York Cirty
    When you say a larger SSD can be comprised what does that mean, exactly?

    I can't go below 360GB for the main drive, and that's a minimum. If 3G (Sata II) that means either the Kingston V+100 (512GB) or Vertex 2G (480GB) or the Intel 320 (600GB). The Intel 320 seems to win on broad reliability/performance criteria. I could go for 6G (Sata III) but that seems to be a can of worms right now, for minimal (if any) noticeable real-world speed increase.

    As for the 2.3GHz, I believe the larger cache can make a difference, it's not just the extra 100MHz.
  5. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    you won't notice a difference between a 2.2ghz and a 2.3ghz. when i say compromised, i mean you can use a 128gb ssd for your main applications and such and store your media on an external or optibay hdd.
  6. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    Care to explain why you need a $1000 SSD? Well, the real question is why do you need such a large SSD, versus the SSD+Optibay route.

    That's kind of a subjective question, but I would have to say definitively yes.
  7. polbit macrumors 6502


    Sep 18, 2002
    South Carolina
    C'mon, there is a huge difference between 2.2 and 2.3, Handbrake is at least 2% faster, and 2.3 runs 1.6 degrees cooler!

    Kidding aside, I was just lazy and impatient (and talked myself into the "it will stay current longer" logic), and grabbed the high-end model at the Apple Store since I wanted the HR AG screen, but since you did BTO, what's your excuse noetus :)

    As far as SSD, I would go with the Intel. I had the 128Gb Crucial C300, and it worked great, but it was just way too small, and I've read a lot of negatives about the controller it uses and how the performance can degrade after time. At $200, it's not a big deal, but when you are spending $1,000 on an SSD drive, it matters I think... I'm back to using the stock 750Gb HD for now, but having been spoiled by an SSD drive, it's really hard to go back to a mechanical HD, so I'm thinking about getting the 300Gb or 600Gb Intel 320. I've played with friend's new MBP 13" with the 320, and even though my C300 supposed to be faster, there is no way you can notice the difference. Both are so much faster than the stock HDs...


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