What advantages does an SSD have over a regular Hard Drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TSE, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. TSE macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Hi guys, my MacBook Pro "Penryn" model has been amazing thus far. Absolutely no hardware problems. My 250 GB HD is being split with 133 GBs to Mac OS X and 100 GBs to Windows Vista, but the problem I am starting to have is the hard drive is getting a little full. I have about 20 GBs left in Vista and about 40 GBs in Mac OS X. Not terrible, but getting there, as I have a ton of videos, music, games, etc.

    I am thinking about upgrading the hard drive soon, and I see these new "SSDs" that are the new rave in the computer world. They seem very expensive, and from what I've heard they are only in their early stages so they aren't perfect, but I am just wondering what the advantages of one was.

    I heard they have non-movable parts so they last longer, but the average laptop hard drive lasts 10-12 years, which is about double the average computer usefulness life.

    I heard they help with battery life, but from what I've heard the hard drive is one of the least battery consuming parts, so the actual battery life advantage at most is 15 minutes with just web browsing, etc.

    How fast are they compared to a 7200RPM regular hard drive?

    Is replacing the hard drive in the old Penryn MacBook Pros against warranty? I heard the hard drives aren't as easy replacable as the new ones.

    Am I missing anything?

    Are SSDs going to get as cheap as a regular hard drive anytime soon?

  2. pyrodex macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    SSDs have no movable parts, consider them like a large scale flash drive with more speed. However the technology they use isn't something that will last for a long time. Basically each CELL has a lifetime of reads/writes before they start to go bad. I've heard basically they will last 5 years with HEAVY usage, much more than the normal user usage.

    As for speed they have much lower access times than normal hard drives so applications will pop up faster and load faster.

    Of course the draw back to SSD is there is two different technologies out there so make sure you do your home work on the drives if you get one.

    SSDs are also behind in space, right now the biggest out there is 256GB that is easily obtainable and that is around 600-800$ so... yea if you have a 250 now and running low on space you need either a 320 or 500GB drive. Seagate just announced a 500GB 7200RPM so that maybe a shot for you if you want to try it.
  3. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    All of these answers and more can be found on the various threads discussed here as well as plenty of reviews already done on released SSD's, but since I like to brag :

    They have no moving parts but there is nothing to break as easily. With a mechanical hardware you can have head crashes, motor deaths that can result from a simple drop on the floor. With an SSD it would just as any other object falling but without the movement. Of course, the latest drives and chipsets retaliate against this issue by parking the heads when it experiences any movements but thats only so effective.

    I have the intel ssd but i've only gotten a few extra minutes of battery life. I havn't figured out why.

    The speed depends on which brand and which type you get. The cream of the crop right now is the intel drives but another forum member swears by the g.skill 256 gb ssd which uses the jmicron chipset in a raid configuration. If you look at many of the reviews you'll see that the particular controller is hated on by many for having stuttering problems, which the raid controller alleviates. I'd still avoid it.

    SSD's won't be as cheap as regular hard disks any time soon. They are still a specialty item and up until recently were used in specialty applications such as ultra portables or macbook air's. Their potentional is now being realized and priced accordingly. I'd give it another two years for the price per gb and performance gains fall in line.

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