SSD upgrade questions on late 2011 MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by msdarkroom, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. msdarkroom macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2012
    I am considering adding a SSD to my 2011 MBP (2.4 i7, 8 GB) and have some questions.
    I appreciate any help here...

    I am looking to add an SSD for performance reasons. I currently have a 7200 rpm HD.

    I have looked at the SSD buying guide and I am confused about some things. I have a late 2011 MBP and don't know what SATA 1.5/3/6 is all about or which SSD route I should be going. I'd like to take out the optical drive and put the SSD in an enclosure so that I can easily take it back out when I sell someday. I'd also like to be able to use the optical drive externally if I need it to burn discs for clients (they actually ask for this - I know, I know).

    So. What SSD do you guys recommend?
    What size - I am only looking for a performance upgrade and have tons of storage room. I believe this means I need to put apps and the OS on the drive and not photos, correct?
    How do I actually move the OS from the 7200 rpm drive to the SSD?
    I am a heavy Lr and Ps user and use Image Verifier when archiving my images. It is not uncommon for me to get a GB of page outs when running image verifier.


  2. Irock619 macrumors 68000


    Sep 16, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I recently upgraded my early 2011 model and I love it. I bought the crucial M4 256GB. I assume you have the SATA 3 connection. Using the SSD in the optical drive bay will not support SATA 3 I believe. Your read and write speeds will be slower. I would put the HDD in the optical drive bay.

    As for memory that depends on your use. For me 256gb is more than enough, for you it may not be.

    Installing the OS is simple. Create a thumb drive with the Internet recovery partition on it. It only requires 1gb of space and it will boot into recovery when you hold the option button while booting up. Here is the link on how to create a recovery disk assistant on a thumb drive....
    Once you install Lion you can do a Time Machine restore and that's it.
  3. msdarkroom thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2012
    Thanks for the reply.

    I'll put the HD in the optical bay and get an external enclosure for the SuperDrive. Good idea.

    Do you (or anybody else) know how

    this crucial SSD:

    compares to this OWC SSD:

    The crucial one is cheaper and has a little more memory. They both seem to have about the same peak read and sustained read speeds (from what I can tell). If it performs the same and is reliable then I'll go with it.

  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    There is no good reason to pay more for the OWC drive.
  5. Irock619 macrumors 68000


    Sep 16, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I can only speak for the M4. It has great reviews and is reliable. I have no issues with mine at all.
  6. msdarkroom thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2012
    Good to know.
  7. msdarkroom thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2012
    Alright, so here is where I'm at.

    SSD where the HD is now, using one of these:


    I then move the original 750 GB drive to the optical bay using this: World Computing/DDAMBS0GB/

    and put the superdrive into this: World Computing/VLSS9TOPTU2/

    Does this look like everything I need?

    Also - does this void my Apple warranty?

    Thank you for all the help here.
  8. AlexBass macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2012
    When the time comes for moving from HDD to SSD as your main booting drive, the differences are PHENOMENAL, it's one of the best things you can do to a computer and will make it like-new.

    You say your mac is a late 2011 MBP, that means it's Serial ATA III (SATA 3). This means that your drives can reach link speeds of up to 6Gb/s (higher, the better), although most SATA 3 SSD's remain in the 4-5 Gb/s region. SATA I has link speeds of 1.5Gb/s and SATA II, 3Gb/s. For SATA 3 purposes, I'll be discussing SATA 3 drives for the optimum performance for your system.

    There are many, many solid state drives out on the market and which one to get really depends on a number of factors- Reliability, speed and cost. All SSD's have no moving parts, thus consuming less battery life and making them quieter, and in most cases, make them more reliable *cough* OCZ Vertex *cough*.

    Here is a useful article to read-,3237.html
    It covers speeds and cost. For reliability, it's best to read reviews on amazon.

    As I mentioned above, the difference in performance between HDD and SSD is amazing, so any SSD you choose will be great speed-wise.


    No, this does no void the warranty.

    Yes, this is everything you need, if you're set on getting the Crucial M4. There are better SSD's out there, however, such as the Intel 520, Samsung 830 or OCZ Vertex 4.
  9. boomhower macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2011
    Good plan. As long as you don't damage anything physically your warranty is fine.
  10. msdarkroom, Jul 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012

    msdarkroom thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2012
    Thanks for all the replies and information!

    I looked at the Vertex and now I have no idea what to buy. :)

    My heavy workload stuff is photo editing. Lots of Lightroom and Photoshop with 20+ MB DNG files (which grow like crazy when they are opened in Ps).

    I'm unsure of if I should get the 256 or 512 version. If I get the 512 I'll go with the Crucial because the price difference is massive. If I go the 256 route I'm all ears.

    So. Do I need the 512? (Added: I think I'll use it - so I'm leaning towards the 512 Crucial.)

    I will have a 750 GB drive in the optical bay, and when I'm finished with my edits I move things off my MacBook to an archive RAID setup and an offsite backup.

    Thanks again everyone for the very detailed info.
  11. AlexBass macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2012
    If you'll have a 750GB HDD in the optical bay, why do you need the 512GB SSD? Surely you would be using the SSD for the OS and most used applications whilst using the HDD for storage and backup? I think 256GB would be just about enough if you're using the HDD.

    I think you're looking for something which is raw speed and affordable, in which case you should go for the Vertex 3/4 or the Samsung 830. Intel SSD's, although the most reliable and just as fast as the Vertex, are a lot more expensive.

    Crucial 256GB speeds-

    Samsung 830 256GB speeds-

    OCZ Vertex 3 240GB speeds-

    OCZ Vertex 4

    The figures speak for themselves. I personally use Samsung because they are reliable and fast, but not too pricey like Intel.
  12. msdarkroom thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2012
    Good points and good numbers. Hard to argue with that.

    Vertex 4 it is.

    Thank you.
  13. user418 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2010

    Yes, replacing the ODD does void your warranty. If you take it in for service with that configuration Apple will not assist you. You would need to reinstall the ODD prior to going in for service. Replacing the HDD and or RAM are ok and leaves your AppleCare intact.

    Also, with that many page outs you might want to look at adding more RAM.
  14. Irock619 macrumors 68000


    Sep 16, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    That is incorrect. Removing the disk drive will void your warranty. For warranty service you would have to remove the HDD and replace the optical disk drive.


    This ^....Ram is so cheap you might as well upgrade with 8GB of Crucial Ram. Amazon has them for about $40.
  15. jon909 macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2012

    Newbie here and hope i am not hijacking the topic:)

    I have a question before purchasing the Samsung 830 for my Early 2011 MBP, 15 inch, 2.2Ghz i7 Quad Core, just to be sure buying the right model to fit into the Hard Drive Bay. Link below and hope someone could verify this is the one i should be getting, if not, please do point me the right direction, Thanks in advance.
  16. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
  17. AlexBass macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2012
    My apologies.


    This will fit, I have very similar models and they work perfectly together. They come with either Laptop kits or Desktop kits, it doesn't really matter which you go for but you have selected the laptop one just in case there is a useful accessory.
  18. msdarkroom thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2012
    I'm at 8GB of RAM now. I am under the impression that I'm maxed out with the 2011 MBP.
  19. user418 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2010

    Apple reports and supports 8 GB RAM but your late 2011 MBP will run 16 GB RAM as does mine.
  20. msdarkroom thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2012
    Good to know. Thank you.

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