SSD Pros and Cons

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Shawn Dover, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Shawn Dover macrumors newbie

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    Feb 25, 2011
    #1
    I am planning to get a new 13" MacBook Pro and am debating whether to get the 128GB SSD option from Apple. (Installing a third-party SSD on my own really isn't an option.) The appeal of an SSD is, from what I understand, the speed. But I also hear that there are disadvantages to this technology, and ways in which one should SSD's differently than hard drives. I've tried running searches on this forum and others. Besides the problem of a limited number of writes (and I don't know how serious that is), I can't make heads or tails of this issue. Can anyone clue me in? Or point me to a thread or article on this, so I can make an educated decision about whether an SSD is worth the money or whether I should stick with proven hard drive technology?

    Thanks.
     
  2. DanFreemanPhoto macrumors member

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    Jan 17, 2011
    #2
    Don't worry about the limited life....people think they'll last a year and that's it. They'll last ages....most manufacturers offer 3 year warranty straight away, so that says a lot.

    Why would you not want to install one yourself out of interest?

    There really isn't any other disadvantages....apart from the price of course!

    Oh...and they are completely silent...which is a nice touch too ;)
     
  3. 1BadMac macrumors 6502

    1BadMac

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    Jan 27, 2010
    #3
    Don't read into the hype of the limited life writes, etc... 99% of users on this forum (even those abusing SSD's as scratch disks with lots of filling and emptying on a daily basis) will never "wear out" an SSD.

    My prior SSD was an OCZ Summit with the supposedly dreaded Samsung chipset. I bought it used on eBay, and used it myself for close to 18 mos. It was just as fast when I sold it as it was when I received it and performed the secure erase.

    It is the single best upgrade you will do to your laptop - very noticeable and quite to boot.

    The only "con" if you will is the premium price you pay. But that's all a part of having fast/new technology. If you want to drive a sports car - you pay more.
     
  4. Shawn Dover thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 25, 2011
    #4
    Why would you not want to install one yourself out of interest?


    Because I don't know how, and don't want to void the warranty. I'm happy to be convinced otherwise if there is any easy guide on how to do this.
     
  5. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #5
  6. 1BadMac macrumors 6502

    1BadMac

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    Jan 27, 2010
    #6
    Apple considers RAM and HDD user replaceable items in the MacBook Pro's. There is documentation as to that fact. The "catch" is that if you have to send it in for service - you are best off to return it to stock (so keep your old parts).

    If you Google, there are seriously hundreds of pages, topics, and YouTube videos demonstrating the 2 minute task to do the physical swap. It will also tell you what two screwdrivers you will need, etc... From there, your installation disk will basically walk you through getting OS X loaded.
     
  7. dnlt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    #7
    I am buying a mac for the first time and I am not sure if I should get the
    ssd-90$ or the standard 7200rpm as well :[
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #8
    It does not void your warranty. RAM and HD are user replaceable.

    Here is a video showing exactly how to do the install. The vid is for the 2010 MBP, but the iFixit teardown says the new 2011 is the same.

    I bought a kit from OWC that comes with the SSD, a small USB enclosure used to clone the drive, and a tool kit with everything you need. Very easy.
     
  9. vincenz macrumors 601

    vincenz

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    Oct 20, 2008
    #9
    The only con is the price. I really want one myself, but I need at least a 160 GB one. 256 would be better, but for 500 bones, forget it. I might as well trade in my computer and get a brand new one for that price.
     
  10. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 29, 2011
    #10
    As said above, the RAM and HDD are considered user-replaceable parts by Apple. Thus, replacing these will not void your warranty. Good rule of thumb to return your setup to stock before sending it in for repairs though. I've read horror stories of people having their shiny new SSDs stolen by repair shops! Anyway, replacing the drive yourself is way more cost efficient, especially for the larger capacity drives. In most cases you can buy a much faster SSD than the drives that Apple uses - I believe they're Samsung in the 2011s (correct me if I am wrong). Here's a video from OWC though, it's not that difficult to do yourself! This one is for the 15" unibody MBP.


    http://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/macbookpro_15_unibody_mid10_hd_m/
     
  11. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a

    Fubar1977

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    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, UK
    #11
    I would order and fit one yourself rather than pay "Apple Tax" on one.
    You will save a fortune and if you follow the guide derbothaus posted you`ll be fine.
    I did mine in ten minutes, easy job.
    You`ll need a 00 Phillips screwdriver to open the MBP and a T6 Torx driver to take the mounting pegs off the old drive.
     
  12. slumpey326 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 18, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    #12
    need to subscribe this thread because I will probably want to try for myself in the future to put an ssd in.
     
  13. Shawn Dover thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 25, 2011
    #13
    Can someone recommend a 256GB SSD, and where to purchase it? Also, how would I load my OS and programs onto the new SSD?
     
  14. Primetime89 macrumors member

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    Feb 16, 2011
    #14
    Are there still any issues with after-market SSDs? I remember reading about issues where Macbooks couldn't sleep after people installed their SSDs.
     
  15. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    California
    #15
    OWC is well regarded. They have a nice install kit also that includes an external USB enclosure and tool kit.

    Use Carbon Copy Cloner to copy your old drive to the new drive.
     
  16. Cheerwino macrumors regular

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    Jan 26, 2011
    Location:
    S.C.
    #16
    Maybe I'm missing something but the OWC 240GB SSD drives are almost as expensive as the $600 Apple upgrade to the 256GB SSD. I don't see the reason to DIY unless you already own the computer. Are they that much faster?

    Sure, you get to keep the 500GB SATA and maybe save a few bucks but I'm not seeing the value, at least for me. What am I missing?
     
  17. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    California
    #17
    I don't think you are off on this at all. I suppose there is some value to be had by selling the 500GB SATA drive on eBay or something, but beyond that it makes sense to go with the factory SSD. Of course, we don't know what brand/speed they are yet.

    I just ordered a new 2011 13 MBP from Amazon in stock form and will add the SSD later. The tax savings from Amazon and other online Apple sellers is a big issue for some of us.
     
  18. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #18
    Crucial also sells a 256GB SSD direct from their website for about $500.
     
  19. amoergosum macrumors 6502

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    Oct 20, 2008
    #19
    I've just read this comment on the Apple support forum. What do you think about it?

    >>>

    "On a side note, I have seen nothing but complaints from video editors using SSD drives. They constantly get freeze frames and rendering issues. Obviously, the technology is not there yet."
     
  20. namtaB macrumors regular

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    Feb 22, 2011
    #20
    I have it on my MBA and haven't found one con yet. Its blazing fast, quiet, runs cool, etc. I use it as a work computer so I don't have anything other than music, documents, spreadsheets, and files that aren't too large. But if you're gonna save lots of big files on it, the SSD can get very pricey depending on how much space you need.

    In terms of the limited reads and writes issue, I look at it based on how long I will use the laptop. Its similar to the battery charge cycles issue. If you're looking at getting 3-4 years of use out of it, I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  21. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #21
    Get OWC if you can. I am getting 2x240GB SSD for laptop and boot in my Mac Pro when they upgrade to SF-2200. You may want to wait as well. I have no problem running them on SATA 3Gb and moving them when I upgrade to SATA 6Gb. I'll pick up another 100MB/s read and write at that point. Buy for the future.
     
  22. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000

    johnnyturbouk

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    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    #22
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I was really apprehensive re changing ram and hdd. I watched owc videos twice, brought $8 30 piece magnetic screwdriver from amazon and can't believe what the fuss was about! Handy tip, I downloaded the owc video to mp4 to play on my iPhone so I could follow and mimic every step. Easy, took me 30 mins max- as the screws are quite fidly!
     
  23. snouter macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2009
    #23
    Cons are smaller size and expense. Also a con, once you use an SSD laptop you can never use a platter HD again for booting and apps.

    Pros are the SSD rocks booty.

    I'd get a platter drive and plan to upgrade the SSD aftermarket and use the 7200rpm in ane optibay mod.
     
  24. Shawn Dover thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    #24
    Thanks, everyone, for the replies. I am convinced to go with an SSD. However, since the current Mac OS doesn't support TRIM functionality like Windows, is there anything I should be doing to prolong the life of the drive and maximize its performance? Is there an app that provides TRIM functionality?
     

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