SSD in MBP - My FAQ + videos

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by aznguyen316, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    I have gotten several PM's and questions throughout the threads asking about how the SSD is in the MBP. I made a couple videos to help demonstrate some boot times, as well as app launching speeds and the "instant on" feature of the MBA.

    MBP 2011 i7 13"
    120GB Vertex 2 in the main drive slot + 500GB HDD in caddy
    OSX 10.6.6

    Boot up, launching several apps, instant on test, and reboot test.

    Boot up and restart my MBP 2011 SSD vs GF's 2009 2.4Ghz C2D Unibody whitebook with stock 5400RPM drive

    If you have any questions, I'll be happy to try to answer them!

    Is 120GB SSD enough?

    For the OS + all your favorite applications? Yes. But I also have a bangload of music and due to the greatly increased speed of the i7 I have begun video editing for youtube, so for me, I feel I need more space. Thus I slapped in the stock 500GB HDD into the ODD slot and problem solved. I'm using 65GB on my SSD from OS and Apps which includes a 30GB install of WoW + 12GB install of SC2. My home folder was changed to my HDD.

    What SSD do you recommend?

    I would've recommended OCZ Vertex/Agility 2 but now after the 25nm "fiasco" I have to say no to them now. I got mine a month before they started switching, and so I have the full 120GB formatted capacity + the full speeds. So I can recommend any other SF1200 drives - OWC Mercury, G.Skill phoenix, I believe Corsair also has a SF1200 drive. I recommend these also b/c of the built in Garbage collection since OSX 10.6 does not have software TRIM. I can also recommend the Intel X25m drives as I had an 80GB and loved it, but wanted to have the SF1200 controller. With 10.7 upcoming to have built in software TRIM, Intel would be a great choice as well, just only slightly slower than the OCZ but more reliable I've read.

    How are boot times? Do you have instant on?

    Boot times to me look great. I haven't timed it but you can watch the two videos and see what speeds I'm getting. I don't know what exactly "instant on" is for the MBA since I've had SSD's awhile and always felt my MBP turned on from sleep pretty much instantly.. shrug. That's also in the video.

    How is battery life?

    Honestly I'm not sure. Battery seems great, I've always liked my battery life. I have half brightness etc when on battery and just use it regularly, I would say I get normal battery usage, same as the 2011. Never did a test but the battery calculator at the top usually has 6 hours or so.

    What else can the SSD do?

    Well as you can see from the app launching stuff, it loads stuff up FAST. No waiting, installations are a breeze. Playing WoW you get less slowdowns for loading new areas etc. I love it and cannot go back to a stock HDD.

    Is installation difficult? Will it void the warranty?

    Installation is just like any other HDD. Take out all the phillips screws off the back, take off the back cover. In the bottom left is the drive. Two more screws hold in place a black secure thing. The drove can be pulled out just a tad, remove the SATA cable. Now use a Torx T6 screwdriver and take out the four legs. Transfer those 4 to the new SSD, and reverse! Bam easy.

    As for warranty, in my personal experience, NO it does not void warranty. I've taken in my old MBP with the SSD still in place to Applecare for them to fix something and never had an issue with them.

    Is the caddy difficult to install?

    It's a tad more difficult than the main drive. You have to unplug a few cables, unscrew three screws from the DVD drive and also a couple more screws from the speaker area. Wiggle the DVD drive out and the new caddy is basically shaped exactly like the old superdrive. Wiggle that back in, transfer the short SATA connector from the superdrive to the caddy and reverse. Just take your time.

    OSX will recognize it without a problem. Format it and you're good to go. Windows bootcamp will boot from the caddy drive without problems either. As for having the home folder set to the caddy, just go to accounts and point to the drive from there. I recommend only doing this if you're a "pro" user as apple says some problems can arise doing this. I have not encountered any program installation problems whatsoever. Only issue I had was you have to remember to point back the home folder to your main SSD drive if you want to remove your caddy to put back in the superdrive. If you forget to move your home folder back and have removed the caddy drive, it will try to boot into OSX and fail, saying cannot locate the home directory or somthing. So don't forget! I've done it a couple times... lol
    For applecare purposes, I always put back the superdrive so they don't question me =)

    What about drive degradation??

    This doesn't bother me at all. With SF1200 GC is taken care of. You must be making a TON of writes on your drive for it to really be using up all your "writes". I personally feel an HDD would fail over a drop, bump, vibration or mechanical failure way before any good SSD would degrade into failing. I also tend NOT to do any big transfer to the SSD, as in not a means to transfer from one device to another. Things I write to the SSD tend to stay there. I don't do much deleting from the drive as my HDD does all the transfer work or temporary file stuff.

    SSD worth it?

    IMO, yes it's worth it. I'm a slickdeals guy so I'm always on the lookout for computer deals. I got my 120GB vertex 2 for $200 shipped, a good deal IMO. You can get SSD drives now for around $1.60/GB nowadays and that's a good price IMO. The SSD affects nearly everything on my MBP for computer usage. It just makes for a great experience all around.
  2. -greedy- macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2011
    definitely wanna do this on my new 15"!! i think 64 gb will be enough for my apps, the only question is should i get a sata 3 drive? i hear they are faster.
  3. -greedy- macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2011
    also where did you get your caddy/ superdrive enclosure/ tools?
  4. C1raider macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2011
    Great Post, THANKS!

    My biggest concern is battery life, I'm running the 2011 mbp 13 i5. I wouldn't take out my superdrive, just replace the hdd with an ssd and have a 1.5tb portable hdd when I'm hooked up at home. So my question is if I was to replace my hdd with an ssd what kind of improvement would I see to battery life. I will only be using programs like safari, itunes, skype, word, ect when not connected at home.

  5. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
  6. StandardMeth0d macrumors member


    Jul 2, 2010
    I would like to know if your 2011 model is having any sleep/hibernation issues as well.
  7. aznguyen316 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    Sleep I don't have any issues.. but the way I sleep is just close the lid and open... as for hibernation, I did explain in my post that I had one error in hibernation but I believe that's a problem with the caddy drive? I've read of that being a problem before. But I don't hibernate, it only went into hibernation when I let the battery drain and it went into suspend mode. When it was resuming it threw up a kernel panic. Only chance I've tested hibernate. How do you manually hibernate?
  8. Maziar macrumors 6502

    May 22, 2010
  9. mtkagan macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2008
    question, the hdd in the optibay can you unmount it while not in use so it isnt spinning? or how about when you put the computer to sleep (close lid), does the drive stop spinning.
  10. jimithing macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2011
    the intel x-25m is infact faster than the ocz... and faster than most on the market... in 80% of you uses it is faster.. the read write speeds we are pushed by the manufacturer to believe mean everything only matter with video encoding... where as the 4-8k random write is actually where 80% of your day to day uses will see speed increases... the intel comes in at 60-70 for 8k random write and the owc is about 20.. as is the ocz vertex 2

    read this:

    and see
  11. aznguyen316 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    It doesn't have problems spinning. It will spin down just like any other hdd and when it goes to sleep it spins down and goes to sleep.. Umm and no you cannot unmount it like an external HDD.
  12. StandardMeth0d macrumors member


    Jul 2, 2010
    Would you recommend keeping the HDD in the default spot in case any motion messes with the drive?
  13. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I'd love your opinion on my thread, linked here, on the type of hdd to use in the OWC data doubler (similar to optibay). Thanks!
  14. DanFreemanPhoto macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Does your HDD in the optibay spin down? Mine doesnt, and I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong :(

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