Upgrade to 512GB Apple SSD ... Am I Making The Right Decision?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cmckechnie, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. cmckechnie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #1
    OK, so I've been holding off ordering my new 15" MBP until I had a better understanding of this SSD issue (as of a week ago I was going with an HDD, but then this SSD option came up which kind of threw me for a bit of a loop). Anyway, after much reading about what the Apple SSD is and comparing it to the Intel 510/Vortex options, I think I've decided to go with the Apple 512GB upgrade option ($990 education upgrade).

    I'm an FCP/Photoshop/AE/Motion/ProTools/etc user and basically what I decided was that if it was a slam-dunk decision to get a third party 256'ishGB SSD, I would deal with a smaller sized drive (i've got about 200GB on my main drive now with just apps on their with all media on other internals on my MacPro). Any of the other $1,000+ large GB options are just too expensive. I've never had an SSD before, so any increase in speed over my current HDD setup would be great for me, so even though the Apple SSD offering may not be the fastest, I think the reliability of it being from Apple (under AppleCare, support TRIM under Lion, etc) I believe this makes the $990 upgrade price worth it, for me.

    So my question is this: is this sound reasoning? I'm not asking you to tell me what I need per se, but rather is my logic sound in my decision-making process. I just don't want to go with this option and then find out i've missed something obvious.

    Many thanks for your thoughts,
    cory
     
  2. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000

    yetanotherdave

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #2
  3. Wattser93 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    #3
    Have you thought about getting a smaller SSD (like a 128gb model) and putting a larger spinning drive in place of your optical drive? That would save a bunch of money for you.

    For apps you don't use often, and media, there's no reason to pay for SSD prices to store them on an SSD. It's cheaper to store large things (like media) on a HDD and smaller, more frequently used stuff on a SSD.
     
  4. cmckechnie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #4
    And here I thought I had it all figured out :)

    I read somewhere that third party SSD's may not be supported in Lion ... how likely is that to happen? I can't see Apple doing it myself, but I guess you never know until you know.

    I've got a bunch of HDD's in my current MacPro that I'll get enclosures for (plus a Lacie 1TB external already, so I'm not really worried about more storage) but I guess another 500GB 7200 RPM drive is nothing to sneeze at. Or should I get the 128GB SSD "for now" ($90 upgrade seems like such a a no-brainer, right?) and then upgrade to some larger/faster/cheaper SSD in a month ... the new ones should be out that soon right?

    I'm really sceptical about taking out the optical drive and putting in another HDD. I fear that it wasn't designed for that and unforeseen problems could arise (heat, structural integrity, etc). I have have no worries about physically doing it, but rather the unforeseen and/or annoyance of having to put the optical drive back in if I need it serviced.

    Hmmmm, what to do, what to do .... thanks for the responses though, it's just I thought I had it all figured out ;)

    cory
     
  5. axu539 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
  6. karohan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #6
    Typically it would be best to get an aftermarket SSD upgrade because they would be far cheaper and would provide better performance. However, I would wait and see if TRIM really is supported on the drives that have been coming with BTO Macbook Pros. That might be reason enough to pay more for Apple-upgraded SSDs.
     
  7. cmckechnie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #7
    But the Apple SSD's are already competitively priced are they not (even taking into account the HDD you're replacing)? $90 for 128, $450 for 256 and $990 for 512 (all with education discount). If they support TRIM now (as opposed to having to wait for Lion), even better.

    I's get more confused the more I research.
    cory
     
  8. kappaknight macrumors 68000

    kappaknight

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #8
    Typically... but I have yet to see another 500 GB SSD that is priced under $1,000.
     
  9. cmckechnie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #9
    That's the thing. If this is a "good performing" drive with 500+GB and if the possible added bonus is that it somehow supports TRIM now, then it would seem to make sense to get it .....

    But then waiting makes sense too, but I guess waiting always makes sense ... hmmmm
     
  10. Zinn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    #10
    it starts getting ridiculously expensive as you scale disk space up with SSD drives. If you need the storage space, but want the speed of an SSD, just do what was already suggested and get the optical bay enclosure for your hard drive and add a smaller-capacity SSD. You really don't need everything on your SSD, just your programs and frequently swapped files.

    If you get this enclosure http://www.mcetech.com/optibay/ it comes with a USB enclosure for your original DVD drive so you can still use discs and stuff if you need to for some reason.

    It's just not worth paying close to a grand for a 512gb SSD when you could get a 120gb one for $250 and just run the stock extra hard drive in your optical bay.

    TRIM is a nice feature, but it doesn't make much of a difference at all in terms of OS responsiveness under typical usage patterns. If you're worried about it, get a drive that supports now and it will work later when you upgrade to Lion. You can certainly live without it.

    Again, it is *not* worth close to 1 grand for a hard drive when you can get the same performance for a lot less money by doing a little work yourself. Not worth it at all!

    (BTW it took me all of 5 minutes earlier today to swap the stock hard drive out for an 80gb Intel X25-M G2 SSD on my new Macbook Pro. It's very easy, and the drive supports TRIM. You can get this for ~$180 if you look around)
     
  11. torbjoern macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    The Black Lodge
    #11
    Who needs TRIM when there are disks with SandForce technology out there? The SSDs from Apple are ridiculously expensive!
     
  12. Zinn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    #12
    What does that have to do with anything? SandForce is a manufacturer of controller chips for SSD drives. Plenty of drives with SandForce controllers (like the OCZ Vertex 2 Pro) support TRIM.
     
  13. torbjoern macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    The Black Lodge
    #13
    AFAIK, if you have a SSD with SF controller, you don't depend on TRIM support in the OS to avoid performance degradation over time.
     
  14. Zinn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    #14
    You might be thinking of garbage collection. It's not something specific to SandForce controllers, but a lot of newer SSD drives have a garbage collection process, which is an algorithm similar to TRIM that runs in the background and cleans stuff up to minimize performance degradation. Any SSD without TRIM will suffer some performance loss over time, but it happens more gradually and is not as severe in drives with more aggressive garbage collection.

    Apple uses SSD's with one of JMicron's controllers in the latest Macbook Air revisions, and this ArsTechnica article speculates that they prefer it because of the drive's aggressive garbage collection process. It helps make up for the fact that OS X doesn't support TRIM (yet)

    Also check this article on garbage collection: http://www.anandtech.com/show/2829/14
     
  15. axu539 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #15
    While this is somewhat true, I believe TRIM still does a more thorough and better job, since it is executed from the OS, which is more filesystem aware. Also, Apple's SSDs are very aggressively priced right now, which is why this is a consideration. Apple is not overpricing SSDs anymore.
     
  16. Ianblackburn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    #16
    I agree - everyone seems to trot this line out about getting e ssd after market cheaper, but I couldn't find one (I suppose if you resell the included hd you would be on par) but for me the 512gb ssd that apple offer was a no brainer. Just waiting for it to arrive in my 15" :D
     
  17. Ianblackburn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    #17
    sound pretty solid to me, and was pretty much the logic I deployed (just bought a 15" with 512ssd).

    There seems to be a lot of talk about getting ssd after market, and how much cheaper it would be, but I didn't find that to be the case, and coupled with the points you make about apple support, I think it is an easy decision. You can always question the future improvements, price drops, but at some point you have to bite the bullet and buy, so once you have decided you need this machine, get the best you can afford, and disregard future predictions.

    Cheers

    Ian
     
  18. axu539 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #18
    Currently, at these prices, the 512 GB SSD just isn't practical for most people compared to a small SSD + large HDD setup. However, I'm incredibly jealous that you guys can afford the 512 GB SSDs on top of the already-quite-expensive machine. I'd love to be able to get performance AND storage without having to do any tinkering to make it work. (Yes, I know the tinkering is easy, and I have done it myself, but sometimes it's nice when things just work.)
     
  19. adztaylor macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    Preston, UK
    #19
    As much as I'd love a 512GB SSD I just can't justify the price for that. Can't wait till these prices come down.
     
  20. Ianblackburn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    #20
    I must admit, coming from a PC world, I'm surprised how much I've spent, but I always get the best I can afford at the time, and that approach has never yet let me down (I don't want to think about how many years I've been buying these things though ;)
     
  21. finchwizard macrumors member

    finchwizard

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #21
    I do the same. Buy the best you can, which usually lasts far longer in the long run. If I bought lower end stuff, I'd replace it twice as often.

    I was thinking also getting the 512GB in a 15" Macbook Pro, the price is at least $300AU cheaper than any third party SSD you can install. Whether you buy it from Australia or the US.

    I'm more interested in the ACTUAL specs of those SSD's, even if the speeds are pretty decent, and not the fastest, it's still a hell of a lot faster than normal drives.
     
  22. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #22
    Get an 128gb SSD from Apple and then replace your optical drive with a Scorpio Black hard drive after-market. 512gb SSDs are just too expensive right at this moment, you won't regret waiting a year.

    No they aren't, for once Apple seems to be pricing something LESS (!) than their competitors.
     
  23. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #23
    Agreed - getting the small 128GB SSD from Apple makes the most sense with all current pricing, capacity and performance taken into account, as long as you add another HDD into the ODD. It's stupid easy to do, and there are NO issues in doing this.

    Although there are massive benefits to having the OS, apps and high freq used files on the SSD, there is not a lot to gain by adding ALL your files to it; the marginal utility drops away dramatically. Although SSD only will happen eventually and is desirable, currently it just makes no sense to sacrifice huge capacity, or huge dollars.

    I do think there will be a ceiling here though, as the cloud and streaming move in to take away the need for most people to keep large libraries on their individual machines. Perhaps when 2.5" drives match current 3" ones, ie about 2TB give or take. One day 2TB SSDs will be commonplace too.
     
  24. dwhynman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #24
    I just got my new MBP with a 512 SSD yesterday. I am very happy with the purchase. First of all a 512 SSD now is like $1500 even if they drop almost in half you are still getting a good deal on an installed SSD if you go with apple. Also how fast do you need. i am pretty happy with 7 seconds to boot windows with parallels. This machine is awesome. I would highly recommend this to anyone that does not mind spending the money and feels squeamish about popping open their laptop and swapping out the drive themselves.
     
  25. Tyrion macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    #25
    Could you post some benchmarks and maybe the brand/serial number?
     

Share This Page