Solid State Drives, Macbook pros, and future robustness

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Xfujinon, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. Xfujinon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa City, Iowa
    #1
    G'day, forumites!

    I must confess that I am both obsessive-compulsive and a cheapskate. Soon, I will be embarking on a dual-degree program and will likely spend a lot of my time out of the home in the lab or library. Thus, in the interest of keeping a mobile workstation with me, I am leaning toward acquiring a Macbook Pro. However, I have a strong distaste for spinning disk hard drives, as I find them unreliable.

    What good fortune, then, that solid state drives are beginning to show promise (they are getting cheaper), and once they hit the 128 Gig mark I will roundly purchase one and swap the drive.

    However, I have a few questions from the more learned amongst you.

    1. How likely is it that a Macbook pro purchased soonish would be compatible with SSD drives released about three years from now?

    2. Once the drive was swapped, and supposing I cared little for the optical, how long theoretically would a MBP last? I've used my G4 iBook now for about four years, beaten it to death, but it still works okay. I am interested in at least a similar longevity for the MBP.

    3. Does anyone else plan on doing this with their MBP or similar laptop?


    Personally, if I could slam a SSD into the current iteration of the MBP, I would probably use it for as long as it would physically last; most of my work is not dependent on either cutting-edge hardware or I/O. However, I am a sucker for the design, and am afraid that a Macbook would not stand up to five years of steady use (but not abuse).

    Thanks much!


    ~X
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    SSD drives are made in 2.5" size. As long as it has SATA and certain thickness it can be used in MBP.

    Personally I am thinking about SSD ExpressCards, but the ones I found seem to be inexpensive consumer grade /slow.

    A thread on "MBP ExpressCard/34 speed? SSD ExpressCard?"
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=427722

    Although SSD may have less perceived risk, no real world data is available on how long it will actually last. Thus, no matter what storage medium, you need to backup.

    Mac laptops have sudden motion sensor, so one main cause of HD failure is eliminated.
     
  3. digitalpencil macrumors 6502

    digitalpencil

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #3
    Understanding that many people have issues with HDDs and their inherent reliability issues (drive failures etc) I won't go into to much depth to defend them, only to say that i've owned various machines/ext hdds over the years and have only had one drive crash from which, data was salvaged using a Unix bit-check. This, however I imagine is largely down to luck on my part, i know others have experienced many issues with HDD reliability.

    Otherwise,
    1. How likely is it that a Macbook pro purchased soonish would be compatible with SSD drives released about three years from now?
    Likely, i'd say.. it's difficult to accurately predict future-trends but I would think that IDE emulation/SATA will still be out there in 3 yrs.

    2. Once the drive was swapped, and supposing I cared little for the optical, how long theoretically would a MBP last? I've used my G4 iBook now for about four years, beaten it to death, but it still works okay. I am interested in at least a similar longevity for the MBP.
    I too, owned an iBook G4 and it still works fine 5 yrs later, I expect the same lifespan from my MBP

    3. Does anyone else plan on doing this with their MBP or similar laptop?
    Yes, once SSDs come down in price/improve max capacities I will consider dropping in an SSD. Either alone (dependent on size vs cost) or accompanying my current HDD with OS/apps stored on the smaller SSD via an optibay (of course i'll have to sacrifice my superdrive but I can always get an external drive)

    The be-all and end-all however is that if your considering compatibility 3 yrs down the line then this is mostly academic as you will likely be swapping your system for a new one by then and this will almost definitely come with an SSD as standard.
     
  4. Xfujinon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa City, Iowa
    #4
    Thank you both for your replies.

    As to swapping out my system in three years, I wish I could foresee that but somehow I doubt it...

    Because of academic debts piling up, I will probably use whatever it is I buy now for at least four years and beat it into the ground. I've made due with outdated, old Apple hardware for nearly a half decade (minus the refurb iMac I just got), but other than that I won't be able to swing for a new system on a three year cycle.

    Supposing I could still operate it with the SAME speed and performance as today, I wouldn't mind keeping it working for about five years or more. Before the Mac rush, I was using a Dell computer from 1996 (that I bought used) that took me through 2007 as a main workstation browser, Word typing, Powerpoint, etc. I doubt the Macbook Pro would be used at only this level; as a photography hobbyist I would probably do some of that on the road when I had time.

    Anyhow, here's to hoping the drives remain compatible!
     
  5. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #5
    As of now,

    New laptops has SATA
    3 year old computers has ATA (IDE).
    SSD are available in ATA and SATA

    So it's almost certain that in 3 years, they will have SSD for SATA. Currently there are no challengers to SATA, so SATA might be the standard for awhile.

    If you are on a budget, get a refurb. Go to
    store.apple.com
    and look for Refurbished Macs. Cheers!
     
  6. Xfujinon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa City, Iowa
    #6
    Many thanks to you, I have decided I will probably hold off (as many others have done) for the upcoming revision of the MBP, maybe into October or next January, as I have an iBook G4 that can be used for rudimentary applications until that time. Mostly it will be a mobile typewriter anyway.

    Thanks again for the help!
     

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