Solid State - worth it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by friareunuch, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. friareunuch macrumors member

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    Jun 2, 2009
    #1
    So, I did a cursory search for this topic and didn't see anything, so I apologize if I'm covering old ground here.

    I'm gearing up to buy a new MBP. Picked out my machine and set the money aside, but then someone gave me a $250 gift card. Was thinking about using that to justify getting the 128GB SSD. I store all my media on an external, and have about 20GB on my powerbook's HD, so space isn't much of an issue.

    Is there a catch, other than the high cost per GB? Any known glitches, etc?
     
  2. indiecraig macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #2
    You're better off buying separately and installing yourself if you can. This way you know what brand and model SSD you are getting - the speeds vary greatly between them. Also, for the price of the 128GB SSD you can get a 500 GB 7200 rpm internal drive and still have lots of change. You say space isn't an issue, but with that much you probably wouldn't need an external. Personally, I'm waiting another 6 months or so to see if the prices keep falling. Ideally I'd like a 256GB SSD at around £250, but that's still a lot more per GB than laptop hard drives.
     
  3. Corrosive vinyl macrumors 6502

    Corrosive vinyl

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    Sep 22, 2006
    #3
    You can use that $250 toward better hardware besides an SSD, like maxing out RAM or getting the high vs. low end model, which could mean better graphics card, faster RAM, etc.
     
  4. Unprocessed1 macrumors 65816

    Unprocessed1

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    Jun 23, 2008
    #4
    In all honesty an SSD upgrade makes a FAR greater impact than a RAM or graphic card upgrade. Using an SSD for the past year, I can never go back to a HDD.
     
  5. duky macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    North Carolina
    #5
    The SSD Apple offers is poor value even for SSD standards. I'd say put it towards a better SSD the likes of the X25-M or Vertex. I've compared my ssd to my roommate's apple one and others on xbench and it outclasses it everytime so I'd highly recommend the vertex--it'll be cheaper too..
     
  6. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #6
    Actually the Solid State Drive that Apple offers may not be the cheapest but it is only bestest by the Intel X25-M in terms of speed and reliability.

    Usually burst speeds do not really represent day to day performance very accurately.

    You should take a look at random read and write speeds.
     
  7. zw-gator macrumors 6502a

    zw-gator

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    #7
    I'd wait until all the bugs got worked out.

    There are reports that over time the speed advantage SSD has over a HHD diminishes.

    I'm waiting at least another year before taking the plunge.
     
  8. yoyomaster macrumors regular

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    Apr 5, 2009
    #8
    I'm primarily waiting for the price to drop.
     
  9. friareunuch thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 2, 2009
  10. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502

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    Northeast USA
    #10
    i say go for it. but i would buy an intel or ocz vertex drive.

    after installing it in my MB all other HDs seem sooo slow to me.
     
  11. JCastro macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 12, 2008
    #11
    I think it depends on what your end goal is. If your goal is ultimate speed then it might be worth it.

    Another thought that a friend of mine had what durability. We both travel a lot. Laptops end of getting tossed around no matter how well you try to take care of it. He had two or three HDD's die on him in less than a year. He thought that maybe it was from getting tossed around and the lens that reads the info slamming into the hard disk. It was a thought and he acted on it and has not had a problem since.

    I personally think the real value is in the 7200 speed HDD's. Just get one with good reviews and you will have money left for other things like RAM.
     
  12. acurafan macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2008
    #12
    main reason right there, we had several high execs' hdd killed after their road trips, ended up replacing their hdd with intel 80gb SSD, they were ecstatic!

    not only are ssd fast, they're way more rugged and so far i been out to the west coast 3 times and it survived the TSA and x-ray machines.
     
  13. windywoo macrumors 6502a

    windywoo

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    May 24, 2009
    #13
    Don't SSDs suffer from shorter lifespan than HDD? And in small writes they are actually slower than HDD unless you have DRAM on it which increases cost and consumes more power than an HDD?

    I am only speaking from what I have read though, I was put off buying them by what I listed above and the high cost. I am willing to be convinced otherwise.
     
  14. acurafan macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2008
    #14
    i am speaking from experience with them, so far my company has deployed over ten Intel 80gb SSD upgrades for users and they have been solid. for work, there is not much software installed beyond a basic OS image.

    since size mattered i ordered pair of corsair 256gb ssds for personal use and they have been solid even after testing with filling up the entire ssd, reformat, and reloading various OS on it.
     
  15. windywoo macrumors 6502a

    windywoo

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    #15
    I like the way you keep describing them as "solid" :) I heard the Intel ones were good but they are amongst the most expensive, and since I am a penniless student it will be a while before I can afford one :(
     
  16. aleni macrumors 68000

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    Jun 2, 2006
    #16
    SSD is far better for getting a better improvement than any other upgrades.
     
  17. friareunuch thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 2, 2009
    #17
    thanks for the input, everyone. much appreciated.

    i've heard now from multiple sources that the vertex and the intel x25-m are the strongest, with the vertex being a better deal for the money, and the intel being the fastest overall.

    i looked briefly on newegg and amazon, and both of these options were considerably more expensive than the 128GB option (samsung?) for the BTO MBPs, plus I'm not sure how hard drive replacements shake out with applecare - anyone know?

    Does anyone offer those two SSDs for cheaper than newegg? Just trying to figure out if the performance increase of the ocz/intel SSDs justifies the extra cost over the standard apple BTO.
     
  18. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Tampere, Finland
    #18
    15-inch MBP: changing drive voids warranty, changing battery does not
    17-inch MBP: changing battery voids warranty, changing drive does not

    Search apple.com support section. If something is said to be user serviceable, then doing that keeps warranty intact. If it is not listed as user serviceable, you must let Apple do it if you want to keep your warranty. Simple as that...
     
  19. JCastro macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 12, 2008
    #19
    Can you support this? Perhaps a link to the Apple Document that says this.

    Until then, I don't think this is entirely correct. If you change out your HDD/SSD Applecare/Apple Warranty will not cover the new part. But they will still cover the MB/MBP. The caveat to that is that if you break or damage something while performing the HDD switch it is your fault and will not be covered.

    My User Manual that came with my MBP has a guide inside for replacing the HDD. The first line says that the user can replace the HDD.
     
  20. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    Denmark
    #20
    Samsung.
     
  21. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 13, 2009
    #21
    What?

    Changing the drive certainly does not void the warranty in the 15" Macbook Pro. Instructions on doing so are in the user's manual!

    http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacBook_Pro_15inch_Late2008.pdf Page 38.
     
  22. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    England
    #22
    The Hard Drive is user serviceable?
     
  23. Hal1980 macrumors member

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    Feb 25, 2009
    #23
    Doesn't the Samsung SSD (the one I believe Apple is installing now) best the Vertex in all tests?

    The Vertex I believe is comparable if I'm not mistaken, but still not as good as the Samsung.

    1. Intel
    2. Samsung
    3. Vertex

    Is this not a fair ranking?
     
  24. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #24
    I think 7200 drives still give the best bang for the buck. You will tell a difference on boot up, cold app launches, and disk intensive activities.

    Until then, most people I know are excited about the performance enhancements of ssd's but are waiting for capacities to rise and prices to drop before pulling the trigger.
     
  25. duky macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #25
    I was looking at both those two things. Day to day performance and benchmarks between my own computer and computers with Apple-installed SSDs online. My Vertex drive was better in both respects (random reads and writes on xbench and a simple boot test). Perhaps I didn't use the MBA for long enough but I think value wise you're much better off either buying the X25-M or Vertex..
     

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