Some SSD questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by derek1984, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. derek1984 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2008
    Today I should be hopefully receiving my 17 inch Unibody Macbook Pro. I selected to have the 320 Gb 7200 RPM harddrive installed. I am really thinking about installing SSD after I get my MBP but I have a few questions regarding it:

    1. After doing some research, I think I am leaning towards the Intel X-25M 160 Gb. How is this SSD? Is it worth the high-cost compared to other SSD's?

    2. Would it be easy to install? I have zero experience taking out hard drives. If I don't feel comfortable doing it, can they do it for me at an Apple Store?

    3. Does this void my AppleCare warranty if I install an SSD?

    4. Will I need to shell out $300 on Time Machine? By taking out my current hard drive and replacing it with SSD, will I lose all of my programs I had pre-installed by Apple and have to somehow get them back on there again?

    Sorry if some of these questions are dumb but I don't have any experience when it comes to taking out hard drives. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. drew0020 macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2006
    1. Intel is the best, but also costs the most
    2. Very easy to install
    3. No
    4. Buy a backup hardrive for Time Machine. You can get one for less than $99 at Best Buy.

    These are the high level steps. Connect it to your machine. Make a backup of the current drive. Then remove the HD and install the SSD. Load the Leopard CD and then format it using disk utility. Then you will choose the option of install from backup.

    Takes a few hours but you should be good to go. I think there are more detailed steps on engadget, but this is exactly what needs to be done.
  3. dlewis23 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2007
    If you buy an hard drive enclosure you can use your current hard drive when you replace it, then you don't have to buy a whole new hard drive, its much cheaper.
  4. sschuldt macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2009
    1. I considered Intel X-25M but ultimately went with OCZ Vertex. 120GB=$320 and 256GB=$705 for Vertex vs. 80GB=$360 and 160GB=$760 for Intel. The performance of the Vertex is a lot closer to the Intel than the price would suggest and most comprehensive reviews have selected it as the the second best SSD option and first if price is a consideration.

    2. T6 Torx screwdriver and 10 screws for the back case then 0 size phillips and 2 screws for the hard drive retaining clip on the17" Unibody. Not as easy as 1 screw as on the 15" Unibody but still quite easy with proper tools.

    3. It does not.

    4. Time Machine, the software, comes with the current operating system - if you meant Time Capsule you won't need to buy one. My backup solution was to buy an external enclosure for the hard drive that I replaced and use that for Time Machine. Cost $15(USB) to $80(FW800) Also very simple to assemble.
  5. xoggyux macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008

    1.- If you can/willing to pay for the intel, go for that one, it is the fastest and the one and best reviewed. In the other hand you can just get a cheaper one (intel is around 700 while you can get 128GB for ~200) for a while and ten upgrade when you can get 256GB++ for that price or lower.

    2.- Very. In fact i believe wit the new unibodies are even easier (remove a hatch and swap the drive.)

    3.- Will no void the warranty of the whole computer though it will void the warranty of the drive (just be safe and if you need to take the laptop to apple, swap the SSD back to HDD first in case they behave crazy with you.)

    4.- Not really, time machine would be a nice idea if you do not own a wireless router already (thats the only way I could justify ~500GB for $300.) Before installing the SSD you can use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone your drive (effectively saving all your programs) you will need an external SATA 2.5" enclosure (or some drives come with an USB port which will suffice for that matter) but anyway you will want to have an enclosure due you will probably want to use that drive (the HDD) later.
  6. derek1984 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2008
    Thanks guys for all of your help. And I meant Time Capsule for $300, not Time Machine, sorry. The only part where I am kinda confused about is how to back-up my hard drive before I install the SSD. I know you guys have explained it to me but I am not the most computer savvy person when it comes to parts like enclosures and back up hard drives.
  7. drew0020 macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2006
    Buy a hard drive from Best Buy. Plug it directly into your computer (it comes with the cables) and use Time Machine to back it up. I think this is the easiest way to accomplish this.
  8. derek1984 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2008

    Is there a hard drive from Best Buy that you would reccommend? Like a certain brand? I guess to make it more clear, besides buying the Intel SSD, what else do I need to buy?
  9. speedy523 macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2009
    also, aren't the intel drives unable to work in bootcamp vmware because of an efi problem?
  10. plesset macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2004
    I have used the OCZ Apex and Core 2 in my MacBook Pro. They were both pretty solid drives, i thought.....until I put the x25 160gb drive in. There is no denying it, the Intel SSD is better. Its better not only on paper but in real world use. My laptop boots faster and opens programs quicker. It DOES make a difference. I can't speak for the new Vertex series since I haven't tried it but in my opinion don't waste your time with the other drives. Get the Intel.

    Obviously if Bootcamp is important to you I would try the Vertex. The Intel SSD does not work in Bootcamp.
  11. derek1984 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2008

    Thanks for the info about the Intel SSD. No, I won't be using bootcamp.
  12. xoggyux macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    You do not need to buy another drive, ere is what you need to do:

    First (the obvious!) is that the drive you want to clone does not have more data than the drive you need to copy into (for instance if you drive is 320 but with 80GB in use, and the SSD is a 128GB one, thats gona be fine, but if your HDD is over ~110 you going to have to backup manually anything over 110GB and erase it from the HDD so you can clone less than 110GB)

    Second (check if your SSD drive has USB, many of them have, though I think intel's doesn't) is to connect the SSD to your computer externally, if your drive does not come with USB then you should get an HDD enclosure (which anyway you will later need for your HDD as you will not want to waste it right???) anyway they are cheap, the very cheap ones can be found for ~$10 or less + shipping, I got myself one which is a bit more expensive (~$15 but refurbished, new is ~30, because it has eSATA interface also).

    Third once you have the SSD connected to your computer externally (either directly through USB or using an enclosure) format the SSD so it can be used (most drives comes "unformatted")

    Then using the program called Carbon Copy Cloner clone the HDD into the SSD (it is very easy and intuitive, once you open the program you will understand how to do it.

    Once its finished (for my 90GB drive took ~ 3hours-4hours) your SSD has exactly the same data as the HDD (it is even bootable) now you can take the HDD out of the laptop, and the SSD out of the enclosure and swap them (SSD goes to laptop HDD goes to enclosure.) Once the SSD is inside the laptop, it will work just as good as the HDD (I MEAN MUCH FASTER :D but you get what I mean) about the HDD though, once you make sure the computer is working fine, all your data is OK etc etc etc, you can format (erase it) it and then configure it to be used for backup with time machine to backup your computer (e.g. SSD) (what I did, since I have lots of HDDs in my house, is that I kept that HDD with the MAC OS X system intact so if I ever happen to have a problem with my computer I just swap the HDD and take it to apple, so they do not make up excuses about me breaking the computer because I switched to SSD, though this is only my paranoia you do not need to do this, anyway I hope this helps.
  13. derek1984 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2008

    Thank you for taking time to write all of that. It makes more sense to me now. Whenever I decide to get my Intel SSD, I'll refer back to this.
  14. xoggyux macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    IF Intel's SSD is still too expensive for now, and you do decide to get an alternative meanwhile I recommend this one which is the one I got, I also made an small review of the enclosure I've got which is very good, anyway good luck (ah... also if you still want someting better than that but not as expensive as Intel's take a look to TITANS series ~about $100 for the same 128GB or OWC vertex for about $130 more ($30 more than titan).

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