SSD or Hybrid or new Machine?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ELMI0001, Feb 6, 2012.

?

If you had to choose one ...

  1. Upgrade MacBook with an SSD drive

    16 vote(s)
    66.7%
  2. Upgrade MacBook with a Hybrid drive

    5 vote(s)
    20.8%
  3. Put the money towards a new machine

    3 vote(s)
    12.5%
  1. ELMI0001 macrumors 6502

    ELMI0001

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Olympic Hills GC
    #1
    I've been going back and forth on a hard drive upgrade for my MacBook or putting the money towards a new machine. I've read all the SSD forums I could find, I've read all the Hybrid forums I could find. I want to see a poll with real results from real people - you!

    My criteria; more space (160gb is filling up), a speed boost, and cost (to some extent).
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    You could always go the Optibay route (replacing the optical disk drive (ODD) with an SSD or HDD and using the HDD bay for the HDD or SSD), that is how I do it with my 2009 MBP and it works quite well.

    Unlikely to see that here, as it is not a good sample you get here, due to many members not seeing this thread or bothering to post in it.


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    Maybe have a look at Advanced Search to find similar threads:
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  3. ELMI0001 thread starter macrumors 6502

    ELMI0001

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Olympic Hills GC
    #3
    In the Buying Tips and Advice section you mean?

    I wasn't sure where to post it. I guess MacBook would have worked too. There's so many SSD threads, probably in here too, but I was hoping to capture enough people so all the discussion could be in one place.
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #4
    I meant this message board. You will not get a representative poll result on any message board, as a message board is visited by many diverse experiences, but not all of these experiences will see this thread and adequately poll in it.
    That is just the nature of a message board. All you will get is a selective and subjective poll result, meaning almost nothing, as either people with problems with this configurations you ask about, don't post and vote, or people without problems don't vote or post. It will not be a balanced poll. That is all.

    PS: I was just referring to the "real results from real people" in your OP.
     
  5. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #5
    I upgraded my early 2008 Macbook with a hybrid SSD. I also upgraded the RAM to 4 GB. Now I'm stuck. I can't justify one of those new Macbook Pros because my machine works to well. Darn. I should have chugged along with that 5400 RPM drive a bit longer and perhaps I would have broken down and gotten myself a shiny new Macbook Pro with all its thunderbolt goodness and shiny shininess.

    So the bottom line is what is more of a priority for you? Is it saving money or having the latest machine? A hybrid SSD plus new RAM will set you back scarely $100 and less than an hour of work including the time it takes CCC to clone your old drive. BTW, do invest in a USB to SATA cable so you can clone to the new drive and test booting from it before installing it in your Macbook. This limits your total "downtime" to less than 5 minutes.

    I've only cloned Snow Leopard but I believe you can clone Lion without any problem. If you want a recovery partition when you are done cloning, there is a utility available for free from Apple to create one.

    The single biggest bang for the buck in upgrades is hybrid SSD drives because they don't cost much more than regular drives but are "almost as fast" as SSD. The second biggest bang for the buck is RAM. SSD upgrade comes in third only because of the relatively high cost. SSD will give you consistently fast performance while hybrid SSD will only be faster "most of the time".
     
  6. ELMI0001 thread starter macrumors 6502

    ELMI0001

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Olympic Hills GC
    #6
    Oh yeah, that's a given. I've talked to computer stores in the area and I get a wide variety of responses as well. On the message boards you get a certain type of user.

    ----------

    I'm already at 4GB, but it can be pushed to 8GB. So that's a cheap option I've considered.

    I'm undecided on my bottom line ... I could go 256gb SSD or 750GB hybrid. I need more space, but I doubt I'll use up the 750gb. Maybe the 256gb, but not for many years. I think either way I'll get the same use out of the machine, 2-3 more years, then it will be time to upgrade. If my late 08 alu unibody makes it to 2014 or so I'll be thrilled.

    Thanks for the tips. I have to say I'm leaning towards SSD, but we'll see. I read the SSD threads and I think it's the way to go, I read the hybrid and I consider those too. Sometimes I think it'd be nice to go with a new iMac and stick a 64gb SSD in the MacBook after moving all the music/movies/photos to the iMac. :confused:
     
  7. caligomez macrumors regular

    caligomez

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Location:
    San Juan, PR
    #7
    Hey, I've been looking into a Hybrid Drive for my MBP. I would need more than 500GB and 7200 rpm, or else it won't be a real upgrade. So far I've only found the Seagate Monmentus.. Is that the one you installed? Can you recommend one? (Or two? :D)

    Also, I read that they are power hungry.. Is the difference from the Apple standard issue HDD (mine is a Hitachi I believe) noticeable enough to consider that a real con?

    Thanks!
     
  8. webcity macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #8
    While the Hybrid drives are ok, they are still no competition for a real SSD. It would definately be worth checking out some benchmarks of both drives before purchasing.

    My vote goes to SSD. I would upgrade to an SSD in any machine now because they offer such a huge increase in performance.
     
  9. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #9
    I have the 500 GB Seagate Momentus XT. Yes it is power hungry as the 500 GB portion is a 7200 RPM drive. The "green" drives are either 5400 RPM or SSD.

    I agree that SSD is better. I have small SSDs in our Mac minis and they are a bit faster but make no mistake, a hybrid SSD drive performance is closer to SSD in performance than it is to a normal HDD but it's price is closer to a normal HDD than it is to a full SSD. SSD is the best option for power savings and raw performance. Hybrid SSD is the best bang for the buck right now.
     
  10. sbk1799 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    #10
    SSD and 8 GB Ram

    I was in the same boat recently. Then I upgraded my 2009 MBP with an SSD and 8 GB RAM. It's like having a new computer. I've fallen back into love with it.

    Boot time has gone down 90% (unscientific estimation) and no more spinning wheels. It's like having a new Mac for $400.
     
  11. Ripmax2000 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    #11
    http://www.barefeats.com/tbolt03.html

    Quote from the article:
    Though slightly faster than a "plain" HDD, the Seagate Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid HDD can't hold a candle to a "pure" SSD.
     
  12. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #12
    It depends on your budget and your space needs.

    I went SSD and it made a big difference to speed, even in my 2008 pre-unibody MBP. I have a NAS at home to keep my big files that i don't need all the time on my laptop.

    If i needed space above 240GB i would have got a hybrid.
     
  13. r0k, Feb 7, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012

    r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #13
    Tom's hardware did some tests where they said the performance of the XT was excellent for it's price. I notice your link goes to benchmarks for 6GB/S SSD drives on ESATA and Thunderbolt but I'm not sure historically when Mac hardware moved to 6GB/S speeds for SATA. On today's hardware I would agree that SSD kicks hybrid SSD's butt, but on older hardware like the OP's Mac or mine, I believe we are running 3GB/S SATA which cuts the SSD performance benchmarks in half and the "difference" is not so much. I took this into account when I was considering whether to go pure SSD or hybrid.

    When I was buying SSD for our Mac minis, I was looking for 3GB/S models so I didn't have to pay a premium for 6GB/s to go in Macs that only supported 3GB/s. Sadly when the newer 6GB models came out, manufacturers simply stopped making the older models rather than cut their price so the entry price for SSD hung around $150 despite the fact it got to be twice as fast (when used in newer machines).

    Earlier I mentioned that a hybrid SSD is "closer to an SSD" in performance. To me that is based on boot time which on our SSD based minis is about 15-25 seconds and on my hybrid SSD based Macbook is 20-30 seconds. There are long lags when I run an app that I haven't run in a long time but the lag is still less than a 5400 RPM drive because the mechanical portion of the hybrid is running at 7200 RPM.

    Lastly performance "gets better" with time as the cache firmware in the Monentus XT prioritizes files I use every day versus files that can sit on HDD. Those barefeats benchmarks appear to be run "cold" so that the cache never gets time to learn anything to improve performance.
     
  14. Ripmax2000 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    #14
    The SSD is way more than double the speed, so even if it was halved you're still looking at it being 4 or 5 times faster.

    Remember the hybrid drive is also measured at SATA III too, so whatever is in the flash memory should be just as quick (for the new one anyway).

    I've put an SSD into an old Windows laptop that was only 1.5 Gbit/s and it made a HUGE difference.

    The difference between normal HD and hybrid seems minimal. I tried using a hybrid at work for a while, didn't see any difference at all. I agree they do learn, but thats only if you are working with the same things very often.

    I doubt its worth the price of the upgrade to replace HDD for hybrid.
     
  15. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #15
    How long have you had the XT?
    I had mine since it came out in my MacBook pro, and now it's getting really slow. Start up is 3-4 minutes now and I get beach balls even after I upgraded to 8'gig of RAM.

    I'm not sure what have happened to it, maybe it's getting to full, around 50gb free, but that shouldn't affect the start up time, should it?
     
  16. hchung macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    #16
    I'd go with the SSD. The caching system on a hybrid has limitations as there's no easy way for them to truly figure out what's the most often used static data to cache. A hybrid will work pretty well if you're just a basic user, but if you work with large datasets, you won't get most of the performance benefit.

    I used a 256GB Crucial C300 on a 2008 Macbook Pro and it was a better dev machine than my 8-core Mac Pro.
     
  17. r0k, Feb 8, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012

    r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #17
    Mine is about half full. I get beachballs only if I leave Chrome running with 70-100 tabs open. I restart Chrome and I'm good to go for another week. My startup time is consistently 15-30 seconds. I don't see how filling up a Momentus XT should make it slow down. There are cascading caches. There is a rotating drive where everything is always written. When data is read, it either comes from the 32MB RAM cache, 4GB SSD cache or 500GB 7200RPM rotating drive if it has expired out of one of the faster caches. I rarely edit movies. I rarely run gimp. Most of the time I run Chrome and LibreOffice. Occasionally I run Xcode. Every now and then I run Virtualbox. I transcode DVDs almost weekly which leads to 1GB to 4GB output files that I always send to an external firewire drive. I almost never run games. So maybe what is happening for me is the stuff I use is being held in the 4 GB "SSD cache" since I'm not moving huge amounts of data around.
     
  18. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #18
    I often run safari with a lot of tabs open, that could be the culprit. I work a lif with big files in HD editing, you think that could be another problem?
    The boot time worries me actually, as it it takes so long that I'm starting to worry it will just hang with the "circle" going around and around.
    I used to have 30 sec or less boot time
     
  19. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #19
    Honestly, an SSD + maxed out RAM = Bliss.

    You don't need a new machine; check Activity Monitor - I have $10 that says your CPU usgae rarely peaks over 15%.

    I can high recommend the Data Doubler/Optibay solution for increased storage too.

    IMO - drop your optical disk drive, install 120GB SSD for boot/apps and recycle your original 160 GB HDD as the main storage space. Then in a year or so, when HDDs are cheaper again, and your space requirements may have increased too, pick up a 500+ GB HDD to swap out your 160 GB.


    The battery may need a replacement, but there's no reason why your machine can't extend for at least a couple of years yet!#
     

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