weird upgrade- possibility or dum idea?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macmac4me, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. macmac4me macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2011
    Scenario: I want to buy 2011 macbook pro and I want to replace the stock HDD for an after market SSD because I heard the Toshiba SSD’s apple offers as an upgrade are mediocre ( I want something around 200 gb with a write speed of about 500mb/s)... However, I don’t want to void the warranty and crack open my macbook. so my questions are:

    1) Can I just get an external SSD and load snow leopard and everything else on it and run/boot my laptop while ignoring the internal hard drive?

    2) Will this slow down the speed of everything (opening/running programs/apps, downloading and uploading speeds) EVEN IF I connect the external SSD through firewire or thunderbolt port? I think those ports have speeds over 500 mb/s but idk if there is an overall difference in lag between the external ports and the motherboard compared to the lag between the internal sata/pci-e port and the motherboard.

    3) I came across pci-e ssd… Is pci-e another port an ssd/hhd can connect to or is it some card slot? I honestly don’t even know how the guts work lol

    4) Final question…Is it equally important to have a lot if ram even though ill have an SSD? (I will be doing a lot of video editing so iwas told to upgrade ram adnd video card)

    I’m not much of a electronics wiz and I might not know what im talking about, but im reading forums and trying to get the most bang for my buck so if you have any links for good products or any suggestions I’m all ears… Thanks
  2. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040


    May 20, 2010
    Boulder, CO
    1. Theoretically yes.
    2. Nothing beats direct SATA speeds.
    3. PCI-E is an interface that a MBP doesn't have.
    4. No.

    And finally, it doesn't void the warranty to replace the internal HDD with an SSD. No matter what Apple or Best Buy or any other retailer will tell you, it does not void the warranty. In fact, in the user manual for the MBP, it includes directions on how to swap out the HDD and RAM.
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    External would produce roughly the performance of a standard HDD, unless it was in a TB enclosure (which don't exist yet). Replacing the hard drive doesn't void the warranty, so just put it in the computer.

    PCIe SSDs are desktop only as well.
  4. 42streetsdown macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2011
    Gallifrey, 5124
    you definitely can run your OS from an external, but i don't know what kind of speed losses you'll get. I've run Lion on an external Firewire 800 HDD (7200RPMS) and it ran fine. there was a speed difference, but it was very useable. If used properly i think you could get near internal speeds with Thunderbolt, but I still haven't seen a thunderbolt drive on the market. so i dunno about that.
  5. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Just grab the Apple SSD if you are concerned about the warranty. Or, get a 3rd party SSD like I did and swap it out before you bring it in for service.

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