SSD for Laptops: a good thing or no?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kwong2006, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. kwong2006 macrumors regular

    May 16, 2006
    After the recent MBP 17" revamp, I am looking into replacing my Mid-'07 17" MBP. However, I am also investigating whether it is wise to buy an MBP with SSD.

    I know that SSDs are of limited life (I heard 1 year, max), which makes me iffy about it. But, the advantages are hugh as well.

    So, are SSDs worth it for an MBP?
  2. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    Where did you hear that SSD lasts only a year? That sounds like a load of BS to me. That would be a deal-breaker for the vast majority, if that were true.
  3. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Maybe they mean a year before you run out of space compared to a regular drive. :D
  4. kwong2006 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 16, 2006
    My friend said that with the sheet amount of reads and writes per day, it will easily fail within a year, due to the millions of writes that the drive has sustained.

    Am I wrong to believe that is true?
  5. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    Yes. They will last quite a few years. In fact, odds are fairly high a traditional hard drive will suffer some sort of mechanical failure before an SSD goes out. Also, remember SSDs do not go out all at once like hard drive do, it happens piece by piece.
  6. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    I don't have a link to any article, but I remember reading somewhere that the SSD has a longer life span than a traditional hard drive.
  7. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    Like the posts above, I don't think it's true.

    Also, if you have enough RAM you are not going to be getting a lot of page outs/writing to the drive. If that is something that concerns you, watch your activity monitor and ensure that you aren't getting loads of page outs. If you are, more RAM! :)
  8. Screwball macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2006
    I for one retrofitted my Penryn MBP with an Mtron 3500 SSD!
    You need one of these if you really want to experience the computing power of an MBP and i'd had a 200GB 7200RMP Hitachi in it before! But you've got to pick the right one because some of the SSD drives peform quite on the mediocre side! Put in an Mtron or Memoright, and you have a beast! ;)
  9. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    The hard disk is the biggest bottleneck in current computers due to its mechanical nature. I really hope this year SSD drives will finally become affordable and spacious enough to truly work as replacements. I'd be fine using regular hard drives for storage but keep the OS and programs on a SSD for speed.
  10. Loki.Mephisto macrumors regular


    Feb 12, 2005
    Germany / Austria - Mozart, no Kangaroos!
    Your´re wrong.

    Today´s SSD last a lot longer than that, a lot!
  11. keekl macrumors regular


    Nov 9, 2008
    Isn't SSD the technology that will replace mechanical HD or is there something else on the horizon?
  12. PowerFullMac macrumors 601


    Oct 16, 2006
    SSDs will be a lot better when they are available with higher capacity and when they are cheaper.
  13. T10HJS macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2008
    Milton Keynes
    Following on from the above comments I'm sure the SSD has a longer life span.
    I have also been looking into getting one, i was going to add it as an extra when purchasing my MBP but i wasn't up for spending an extra £300 for it, so have been looking into getting one and installing it myself, think I'm going to hold back for a bit and wait for the price to drop as they become more common.
  14. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    Sorry, but your friend doesn't know squat. Each cell (each bit) is usually rated for 100,000 writes. SSD controllers use wear leveling techniques that spread the writes across all the bits so the same cell isn't being written to all the time. I think Samsung published some figures that if write to the entire disk several times a day it would take about 8 years to reach that figure. Addtionally an SSD has extra memory that is used to replace bits if they go bad over time.

    The main downside to SSDs right now are cost and smaller capacities than hard drives. I've had 3 hard drives fail in the past year. I don't think hard drive durability is anything to brag about.
  15. PowerFullMac macrumors 601


    Oct 16, 2006
    What kind of cheap ass HDs do you buy? :D
  16. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Current SSD drives can easily out last any notebooks today.

    I just ordered an intel x25-m 80gb SSD and it should arrive any hour now.

    80gb for me is plenty as a stripped down leopard is only 7.9gb and all the apps I need is only 11.5gb, which leaves me a good 52gb of free space.

    And I keep all my movies, pictures, music in an external 1tb hdd. =)

    Anyway, if I were you, just buy the stock 320gb hdd with the 17" mbp and buy the intel x25-m (the fastest ssd out there) thus far.

    Check out the review:

    They even recommend upgrading to the intel x25-M ssd drive for far more performance than even going straight up to nehalem i7.
  17. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    Apple 7200rpm notebook drives :D. To be fair they weren't all in one machine. Two different MBPs and one external Lacie drive (hint for everyone, never buy a Lacie drive, they use junk Maxtor drives).
  18. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    The Apple/Samsung SSD I have is very fast I only wish the capacity was larger. The Intel X25 is supposed to be the fastest at the moment. The X25 160GB should be available this month, a few vendors are listing it in stock (although > $1000).
  19. PowerFullMac macrumors 601


    Oct 16, 2006
    Making me a bit scared now... I hope my MacBook HD wont die soon! :eek:

    My old iBook took 4 years to die so let's hope it takes at least that long for my MacBook to die.

    Also, if I buy a external HD and set it up with Time Machine then what if both my internal HD and the external one die around the same time?

    Not nice thoughts at all, these...
  20. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    This is very true. The last time my notebook drive failed, my time machine backup wasn't working (it was always stuck on preparing) so I lost about a month of some files. So now I religiously back up with time machine and use a spare external drive for a SuperDuper machine. That's why airplanes, spaceships, etc... use triple redundant systems.
  21. Dreamail macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2003
    It's generally a good idea, even if you use Time Machine, to once in a while (the more often the better) take another full copy on a separate external HD and store that somewhere off-site. E.g. at a relative's or friend's place.

    As a 'last resort copy' just in case your Time Machine backup turned out useless, or if your stuff gets stolen (Time Machine including), or your stuff gets destroyed by a fire, tornado or other disaster.

    Never keep all your backups in one place.
    Even if you only bring a fresh copy to your parent's home once a year it might be better to have that old copy than nothing.
  22. IndianinUSA macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2009
    MemoRight SSD

    I recently purchased the MemoRight 2.5" 128GB for my new MacBook Pro. My friend also bought the 64GB version. These rock big time! The speeds that we are getting using our MBP's is insane.

    We selected MemoRight because the Intel X25 is MLC. They do have an SLC but only in 32GB and that is no way big enough.

    We bought them here - - and they were delivered within 48 hrs.
  23. speedy523 macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2009
    actually the intel x25-E is the fastest SSD out :)

    But to answer the OP's question, i'd recommend waiting for a bit and seeing what 256gb SSD Apple is actually using. If you want some of the fastest performance out there and space, i'd go with the Samsung 256gb SSD which just went into production a little while. I recommend waiting because, even though Apple is using Samsung SSD's in its other models, its better not to risk it, and if it doesnt, you should go buy that if you want performance and speed.,6628.html

    Check that link for the Read and Write Speeds for the top SSD's out there, and you'll be surprised by the Samsungs numbers for the space they give you :)
  24. kidtronix macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2002
    Brooklyn, NY
    My boss gave me an Intel X25-M drive, but if I put it in my computer, it breaks the warranty right?

    I have a current model Macbook Pro, which I haven't opened, but I opened a MacBook Pro from early 08' (version before black keyboard), and the harddrive was "glued" to the computer in a way to see if it had been breached. I kind of don't want to f with my warranty...
  25. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    The Unibody Macbook Pro and Unibody Macbook should have user serviceable hard drives.

    Call AppleCare if you have any questions related to warranty and they will be able to help you.

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