Upgrade Wisdom: .206mhz or SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jonnysods, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. jonnysods macrumors 603

    jonnysods

    Joined:
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    Location:
    There & Back Again
    #1
    Hey everyone, I'm eyeing off a 17" MBP in the next month or so, to replace my 2008 3.06 iMac. I want to make sure I can squeeze everything I can out of this beast, so what should I do - will getting an SSD instead of the clock speed increase assist me in:

    • heavy photoshop use/illustrator use
    • moderate-high final cut use
    • high video encoding/ripping etc
    • a lot of audio editing/encoding

    Which would be the better performer?
     
  2. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #2
    An SSD will help your applications move quicker in general but unless you get a decent and sizable SSD(read:$$$) you'll want to do all your media work on external drives anyway. For that, an express card based e-sata solution and a striped raid should work well. (I suspect you may have explored this option)
     
  3. All Taken macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 28, 2009
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    UK
    #3
    There are various benchmarks regarding the minor speed bump on the net. The performance increase is negligible to the average joe - does 3-4 seconds average speed increase whilst ripping audio as an example mean much to you?

    In my opinion using the funds to purchase a SSD will give you far more benefit than a barely measurable speed bump.

    Is the hard drive not the single biggest bottleneck after RAM?

    Go SSD and I assure you that you will not regret it - loading large files in photoshop is a breeze.
     
  4. Sneakz macrumors 65816

    Sneakz

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    #4
    It's a 266MHz difference. And SSD is the obvious answer.
     
  5. reebzor macrumors 6502a

    reebzor

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    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #5
    I agree with the SSD would be a bigger bump, but remember, you can always just buy an SSD in the future and put it in when you have more money, you're never going to be able to upgrade your processor.

    If speed is really a HUGE deal to you, and you are on limited budget, I'd get the upgraded proc, save some money, then buy an SSD.
     
  6. fenman macrumors member

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    Dec 17, 2009
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    UK
    #6
    In that timeframe your are likely to have other upgrade options, better revisit this when you are ready to buy. If you were buying now I would say SSD.
     
  7. aarond12 macrumors 65816

    aarond12

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    Location:
    Dallas, TX USA
    #7
    SSD or...

    Why not a RAID-0 internal drive array? Follow me on this: MCE Tech has a product called "OptiBay" that exchanges your optical drive (DVD burner) for another hard drive. This way you can have two internal hard drives and create a RAID-0 (striped) array for speed AND storage. (Both drives must be the same size.)

    http://www.mcetech.com/optibay/

    If you do this, be sure and get a large, external drive for Time Machine. RAID-0 arrays are NOT fault tolerant. If one of the drives dies, you lose all of your data.

    If money is not an object, try a RAID-0 of two smaller SSDs. You will get the combined capacity along with the reliability of an SSD.

    -Aaron-
     
  8. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

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    Athens, Greece
    #8
    the extra CPU will give you some extra power when processing video etc. The SSD will make your computing experience more pleasant all around. I think that the 2.8 macbook is plenty fast anyway.

    If it's not an emergency I would wait a couple of weeks since you are buying a laptop in the upper range.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #9
    The cost of SSDs are such at this point, that I think its not a good use of money. Yes, data access speeds will be increased dramatically, but any memory intensive operations won't see any impact. Plus drive sizes are so small now that you'll have consider a second hard drive either internally or externally. Finally w/o OSX supporting the TRIM feature at the moment performance of the SSD will degrade.

    I'd go with the cpu upgrade since you cannot upgrade that after the sale, but you can upgrade the drive to an SSD after the sale.
     
  10. jonnysods thread starter macrumors 603

    jonnysods

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    #10
    Thanks for all the advice

    I think I'll go with the SSD investment - $300 for such a marginal increase doesn't seem like a lot of wisdom in light of what you are all saying. I could put that amount into getting a 256gb SSD.

    When I say I'm going to do it in a month - I'm really waiting on that Apple event to see if they update some MBP's. I'm really, really hoping to see and i3/5/7 update.

    I've been too spoiled by my Mac Pro....!
     
  11. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    Seattle, WA
    #11
    You're making the right choice. Such a marginal increase in CPU performance does not warrant a $300 investment. I did it at a time, but I wouldn't do it again. Put that money into your SSD drive piggy bank.

    Good luck!
     
  12. jonnysods thread starter macrumors 603

    jonnysods

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    #12
    Now I'm pumped for the faster SSD experience. Thanks everyone!

    Where is a good place in CAN/US to get them online?

    Also, what's this I hear about them wearing out over time? Is there any validity to that?
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #13
    Of course, FLASH ram only has a certain number of write cycles. That number is generally so high that you'll not have to worry about it wearing out before you replace the computer.

    The SSD will slow down as time goes on because OSX doesn't have the TRIM feature implemented but over all you're experience should be somewhat positive. Provided you can live within the smaller drives.
     
  14. jonnysods thread starter macrumors 603

    jonnysods

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    #14
    Where is a good place to get a deal on ssd's?

    What is the best brand in the 256gb range? Anything I should watch out for? I don't know a lot about them (yet) or what is good and bad specs wise.

    Thanks!
     
  15. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    Mar 27, 2009
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    Seattle, WA
    #15
    +1 vote. Wait to see what late January brings as far as any potential refreshes, then reassess.
     

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