Upgrade whole MBP or just go to SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by alFR, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. alFR macrumors 68020

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    Aug 10, 2006
    #1
    I've got a 2.33 C2D MBP from early 2007. It's been a great workhorse and has no obvious hardware problems (touch wood) but it's now starting to feel like it's time to upgrade as it's getting slow for more intensive tasks (video editing, opening big databases like my collection of scientific papers or iPhoto, doing the occasional 3D renders I do). I'm debating between:

    1. Installing a Crucial C300 256Gb SSD in my existing system and waiting for Ivy Bridge next year
    2. Upgrading to a 2.2 i7 MBP with BTO SSD

    I guess the main questions in my mind are:

    • Whether it's worth putting a SSD in a 4 year old machine, given that the cost of the SSD is about 20% of the cost of a whole new machine with the same size SSD?
    • Whether the heat / battery life under load issues with the SNB MBPs (as mentioned in some of the reviews like the Anandtech one) are likely to be significantly reduced with IB.

    Obviously anything we discuss about IB's benefits in next year's machines at the moment is speculation, but do you think the SSD will give me enough of a performance boost to justify the cost? It may well be that the current MBPs run cooler and longer than my current machine anyway (CPU's currently chugging along at at 61C with 3 Safari tabs open, iCal, Mail and Omnifocus running and me typing this and I get about 2-2.5h out of the battery...)

    Thoughts?
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #2
    Sounds like it might be time to upgrade. Your renders and editing would be considerably faster with the new quads.
     
  3. alFR thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Aug 10, 2006
    #3
    Any thoughts on how much performance increase I'd see with the SSD in my current machine?
     
  4. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #4
    It will help with boot times and loading files, but it won't help you with calculations or video encoding.
     
  5. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    Dec 11, 2010
    #5
    Upgrade. Even for medium resource-intensive programs you get some gain.
     
  6. ListedFirst.com macrumors newbie

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    Dec 28, 2009
    #6

    Whether you get a new MBP or not, get an SSD. I personally like the Vertex 2 over the C300, but I'm selling off my Vertex 2 in anticipation of the Vertex 3 (hopefully this week). Thought I must say, I've had 2 Vertex 2 fail, and never a C300 (as long as it has the latest 0006 firmware revision).
     
  7. alFR thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Aug 10, 2006
    #7
    Yeah, I'm pretty set on a SSD whichever way I go. Oddly, at least here in the UK with my edu discount, the Apple ones are cheaper per Gb than the 3rd-party alternatives so if I get a new machine I'll likely go with the Apple BTO drive.
     
  8. cupcakes22 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    #8
    You can remove the optical drive, and replace it with a SATA enclosure that is designed to accomodate a second harddrive. There are numerous resources to do this on the internet, the more popular brand name being "Optibay." It may sound difficult, but it is quite easy. I did it in about 5 minutes with instructions from ifixit.com. They ship with an external enclosure for your disk drive, turning it into a usb external dvd drive. You can get a very cheap, say, 64-128 GB SSD drive and install your operating system and programs to it, then put all your large data files on the HDD. This gives you the best of both worlds for very cheap. I thus have a system that will boot in about 5 seconds, and start all my programs in less than one bounce of the dock, but I still have 750 GB of hard drive space to store music and movies.
     
  9. haveknot macrumors newbie

    haveknot

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    East Blue
    #9
    I would NOT upgrade it!

    SSDs are faster than HDDs only in areas such as read / write , boot sequence
    and shutdown time. You will not see any difference in the computer's
    performance especially in graphic and video editing. Not to mention, your MBP
    is an older brand. Even if you upgrade the memory you are limited to a LOW
    frequency RAM and graphics card which are underrated.

    Buy the latest model, instead. :)
     
  10. cupcakes22 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    #10
    Bullsh_t. An SSD drive upgrade is the best possible user-noticeable upgrade you can do for a computer now. This is why people are loving the new macbook airs, despite having ******, 6 year old processors in them. The SSDs make them perform as good as the MBPs or iMacs for many tasks if the latter have HDDs. Plus, buying the SSD for this machine doesn't mean it couldn't be carried to another machine later if he wanted to upgrade.
     
  11. haveknot, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011

    haveknot macrumors newbie

    haveknot

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    #11
    Oops, only that you forget to mention how short an SSD's lifespan is. Did I forget to mention that MB Airs contain flash storage* and not SSDs? And before I forget, try video editing and video encoding in a 1.66 C2D air, suit yourself - goodluck! :D
     
  12. alFR thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Aug 10, 2006
    #12
    A SSD is a flash drive, isn't it? I mean, the storage in a SSD is made up of NAND flash AFAIK, so what's the difference? :confused:
     
  13. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    Oct 21, 2008
    #13
    That's a tough choice. Personally, I'd be tempted by the new machine. They're leaps and bounds faster than your current machine, and I'm not sure that IB will be as huge a performance gain over SB. It'll still be a jump, of course, but worth waiting for? I'm not sure. And instant gratification is nice! :D

    That said, if you buy an SSD now, you can always swap it into the new MBP when you do upgrade, so it's not like it's a throwaway upgrade.

    You do know it's the same thing, right...?
     
  14. amarcus macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2008
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    London, UK
    #14
    You're getting an SSD either way, so you might as well go for the new machine.
     
  15. haveknot, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011

    haveknot macrumors newbie

    haveknot

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    #15
    Start thinking why they separately called SSD so, and not just Flash Storage. Flash storage in MacBook Air, iPad and iPod are fixed on their logic board, while SSDs are removable and enclosed media like HDD. you can not REMOVE the flash storage inside a MacBook Air because it is INTEGRATED. One has the advantage on architecture over the other - quality over price. :D
     
  16. alFR thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Aug 10, 2006
    #16
    Yeah, either SNB or IB would be over 3x faster than my current machine according to the benchmarks, so I agree it's not worth waiting from a performance point of view. The main reason I was thinking of hanging on was that Anandtech suggested that IB would run cooler / with lower power consumption than SNB due to it using a 22nm process.

    True.

    In some ways, yes, but if I can extend the life of my current MBP it'd get me the (theoretical) benefits of IB over SNB and save me some cash in the short term. Decisions, decisions... :)
     
  17. SpitUK macrumors 6502

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    Mar 5, 2010
    #17
    I would get the new machine while you have your edu discount. Your existing machine has performed great but it is old now and will be worth a bit to sell. Go for it!
     
  18. seek3r macrumors 6502

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    Aug 16, 2010
    #18
    You, in fact, can. You're confusing it with the RAM, which is soldered in on the MBA. The drive is a toshiba "blade configuration" SATA II SSD, and can be replaced.

    I have the same machine, since I'm trying to make it last 5 years or so (want IB, with all the goodies and TDP reduction it'll bring) I dropped a vertex 2 in (in addition to some other upgrades). It certainly makes userland stuff run much faster, so it worked as a very nice upgrade for me, but YMMV.
     
  19. Frankydan100 macrumors regular

    Frankydan100

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    Birmingham UK
    #19
    Id personally try your look with an SSD, you can buy an optibay to replace the superdrive on ebay for £12 then just fit a 64gb SSD (around £80 for crucial) to run OSX and all your applications.

    So you can upgrade your system for under £100, which isnt too much and hey if its not fast enough then you have a solid reason to consider upgrading to a new MBP!
     
  20. arcite macrumors 6502a

    arcite

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    #20

    Sure its tempting to just upgrade to a newer model right now; but considering that your current macbook is still running OK then spending $100-$200 to modestly increase the performance and waiting another 6-12 months for new models to come out will be more rewarding and get you more performance for the $$$. The next upgrade for macbooks will have higher res screens, better graphic cards, run cooler, better battery life, ect.... these are features that can be more beneficial than just raw performance. :rolleyes:
     
  21. apd macrumors member

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    Mar 8, 2011
    #21
    Of course on the flipside, there will always be a newer and faster model just a few months away......
     
  22. alFR thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Aug 10, 2006
    #22
    I'm not convinced personally that the screens or form factor will change a lot next year - the 15" screen res has been the same for years now and it's hard to see what they would do with the form factor apart from create a sort of hybrid between the current MBP and the Air, which I think would give them issues with ports, drive bays etc. - I reckon it'll be a couple of years yet before the Pros drop the internal DVD drive, for example. You're right about the graphics, but I'm not a big gamer so that's not so much of an issue. How much cooler they will run and how much better the battery life will be is more what I'm thinking of, but I don't really see any way of reliably predicting that.
     
  23. hvgotcodes macrumors member

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    Feb 2, 2011
    #23
    My own thoughts are

    1. You will definitely see a speed increase with SSD. Having recently upgraded a 2010 from 7200rpm to a crucial c300, I don't think I can ever go back.

    2. Your MBP is old enough such that you should have no reservations about upgrading. There is always something newer around the corner, but you have to pull the trigger sometime. You have watched at least 4 revision go by without upgrading; its time if you say it is.
     
  24. kousuke18 macrumors regular

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    Aug 25, 2008
    #24
    Since you plan on upgrading to a new mbp as well as a SSD you might as well start with the least expensive upgrade and go from there. If you feel you are satisfied with the speed increase of upgrading to an SSD than great, if not, you can start thinking about upgrading the whole laptop. You can also transfer the SSD drive over to your new mbp as well :)
     
  25. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a

    Macsavvytech

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    May 25, 2010
    #25
    Love how haveknot got put down on every false point he tried to make. OP to his original point, SSD have a shorter life then HDD. This was true about 3-4 years ago, however modern SSDs have a longer average life then a HDD. That is unless your using them in a Server environment when they are constantly getting written to, in this case your would get a Server PCIE or similiar SSD. In general but servers use multiple HDDs in RAID
     

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