Would it be worth putting an SSD in my 13" MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Alandalf, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Alandalf macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2010
    I've just got an MBP 13 and quite frankly I think the 5.4k drive is letting it down. Would it be worth buying an SSD to put in it? And would it void the warranty?
  2. kernkraft macrumors 68020


    Jun 25, 2009
    The warranty wouldn't be avoided as the HDDs are user-replaceable. Try a 7200rpm HDD (Seagate Momentus has 320GB, 500GB) for a fraction of the cost of an SSD. As OS X doesn't support TRIM, SSDs slow down over time and this cannot be reversed or cured. There are some cheaper or older SSDs where in short use, people reported similar performance to HDDs.

    The biggest advantage of SSDs are at launching applications and booting up. With certain files, they might perform worse than HDDs.

    But if you really want to try them, consider Kingston's SSDNow with 64GB or Intel's X25. But with a 13" MBP, there might be no real justification for an expensive SSD. Wait at least half a year - Q4 will bring price reduction and larger capacity even in the budget range.
  3. Covart Guest

    Aug 15, 2010
    Buy yourself a 500GB 7200rpm hdd and install. Yes, it is slightly slower than an SSD and sure your computer will take an extra 10 seconds to boot up, but which would you rather have... harddrive space or super access speed?

    By the way, difference between two identical computers in opening Google earth between a WD 7200rpm HDD and a 128GB SSD is roughly half a second.

    If I had to do it over again, I think I would go with a large 7200rpm over my SSD. And no, a new hard drive doesn't void your warranty.
  4. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Jul 12, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    I got my 13" for portability and eventually got 8gb of ram and a 160gb SSD on it. If you add the costs I could have bought a 17" with the same money.

    Forget the prices for a while and select size according to your needs. Dimensions, weight and screen resolution should be your criteria, along with whether you plan to use an external monitor.
  5. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    Why are people still ill informed? TRIM is no necessary if the controller can account for it, aka Sandforce, etc.
  6. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    Did you get the Apple SSD or aftermarket? The Apple SSDs are slow.
  7. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    I think it would depend on your needs. Most people would get by perfectly fine with a 64GB SSD. From what I have seen people have a lot of documents (which takes hardly any space), a handful of pictures, maybe 100 or 200 songs and possible one or two short videos that were likely accidentally downloaded. All of this could fit on one 4.6GB DVD.

    What really takes up space for most people is the operating system, updates, installers, applications, temp files and the page file. So assess your actual hard disk usage. If you fit this group then a 64GB SSD would be an affordable option to boost performance. Those giant 7200RPM drives would be a waste.

    As for the larger SSD's unless you have cash to burn and must have the best performance possible I would not bother.
  8. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Jul 12, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    You can always have the SSD for your computer to run on and keep your video/music/photos in an external firewire drive.
  9. itripped macrumors member

    Apr 25, 2010
    While that is a valid option, I like to tote my comp around a lot. For example, I bring it into the office with me daily as I have a short commute. In my situation, having to bring yet another peripheral would soon be cumbersome. My laptop bag has one side pocket which is pretty much full from the mouse and power supply (and ipod usb cable).

    In my scenario opting for the larger capacity 7200rpm drive would make way more sense, at least until SSD prices fall. For now, I'm making do with the stock 320 gb drive until I start running out of space. I expect to last about a year before it becomes problematic. By then I'm hoping larger capacity SSD drives are available for comparable prices.
  10. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA

    You could have, but it wouldn't be as nice as your 13" MBP with an SSD.
  11. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    I've been using a 160 GB SSD (X25-M G2) for the last 9 months I think and have been very happy with its performance in my mid-2009 13" MBP. Programs start instantly, boots very quickly. Basically the great thing about the SSD is that you no longer notice the hard drive because there is no grinding noise and waiting times. I haven't noticed any real slowdown either though some will probably be visible in synthetic tests.

    I use my MBP for work mostly and at the moment have about 100 GB still free. I don't carry around my music collection but even then I'd probably have about 50 GB left. If you keep your machine clean the bigger SSDs should do you just fine.

    At the moment I'd wait until the end of the year though since Intel will release their next generation SSDs, which will come in sizes up to 600 GB. That will probably be absurdly expensive but the 300 GB model should be somewhat affordable if the pricing is the same as it was for my 160 GB.
  12. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    I agree. Although I have used 17 inch Mac laptops for more than 7 years, if I were going to buy a new laptop today, I would get the base 13 inch MBP and upgrade it with 8Gb of Ram and a 256Gb SSD.
  13. kernkraft macrumors 68020


    Jun 25, 2009
    "Ill informed"?! Are you suggesting that there is no speed degradation and tear with SSDs, even without TRIM support? What Sandforce controllers do is just to limit write cycles, thus reducing wear. But even the Sandforce drivers differ in that regard as these SSDs, the controllers and the drivers can be tuned so much by the manufacturers. In the end it comes down to priorities. What do you want? Writing speed or reading speed (and sequential or random), durability or prices that people can actually pay...

    Also, you might have missed the real problem. We are advising a person with a 13" MBP. Is there really need to spend money for an SSD that has an expensive controller? I don't think so. Have you checked those prices for the SSDs that you are talking about? EVEN if there was an SSD that was completely free from deteriorating speed, you can still only buy ones that have the issue at entry level.

    I am not so enthusiastic about these newer technologies. Sure, most of them make SSD better, which, fundamentally still remains an expensive way of having small storage. 25nm SSDs are coming out in Q4. Wise money is on waiting to see prices down and storage, all sorts of reading/writing speed going up with improved durability.

    The computer in question is a 13" C2D. There is no point in overspending.


    Here is a link to a very good article about SSDs that you might consider. I wasn't aware of it until now, but it pretty much in accordance with my first post - read the conclusion. Kingston's SSDNow is actually not very expensive and on OS X, it might give the most thrill for the money. Otherwise, it's just a waiting game.

    (The graph below is from the same article on Anandtech, from one of their benchmarks with budget SSDs, a basic 5400rpm HDD and a hybrid XT.)

    Attached Files:

  14. oplix Suspended


    Jun 29, 2008
    New York, NY
    Do NOT buy the Seagate Momentus XT. You have been warned.
  15. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    Indeed, stay away from Seagate in general.
  16. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    Um, I have a 2010" 13" MBP with 128gb Vertex 2. So what? I could of afford the 15" or 17" but chose the 13" for portability, etc. Just cause OP got a 13" MBP doesn't mean they can't afford a good SSD.

    Also, really? 30gb? ...and the controller isn't what costs the most, it's the NAND.
  17. Maclver macrumors 68020


    Nov 23, 2008
    36°07′53″N 95°56′14″W
    Why is this?
  18. kernkraft macrumors 68020


    Jun 25, 2009
    He/she chose the 2.26GHz instead of the 2.53GHz. I don't think that spending a ridiculous amount on an SSD can be expected here. I haven't got anything against 13" MBPs, after all, I have one of them while I also have a 15" unibody.
  19. noire anqa macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2010
    If money is no problem go for the SSD, they really are so much better than HDDs. People claim so many usage stats such as an SSD is only x seconds faster, and y seconds faster in that. Sure, on paper. In real world comparisons however you'll really see the SSD shine.

    I remember those same stupid comparisons when apple moved to intel, or each time a new architecture comes out and the clock speed is the same. To stick with the apple moving to intel example - the biggest touted improvement was all those tiny lags people notice everyday were gone. All those milliseconds you spent waiting for an app to load, for a file to open may not seem like much but add them up over a minute and it starts to get interesting, add them up over a day and it starts to become significant.

    On paper the amounts are small, but subconsciously you notice these things! they do make a significant difference to how fast the machine feels.

    That said, i went for one of the fastest SSDs. I think, if you can't afford it, don't go for a crappy one - it's entirely pointless. Go for a 7200rpm drive as others have suggested - if you can, go for the Seagate Momentus XT hybrid. I've never had any issues with them and they really are noticeably faster than traditional HDDs.

  20. devan963 macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2010
    If you have the money go for it, it is the best upgrade i have made to any computer in the past few years.

    I have tried the 7200rpm drives and i had issues with the WD Black and Seagate both 500GB, sent them both back and purchased a Vertex 2 120 GB.

    I am very happy with the upgrade, i think i would have regretted sticking to the 7200rpm, i found one too loud and i could feel vibrations, while only slight, it was enough to be annoying.
  21. mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
    in my opinion SSD's are great for the 13", simply because their so small and easily portable. the extra safety would be a good idea
  22. pandamonia macrumors 6502a

    Nov 15, 2009
    O M G

    about 90% of this his highly inaccurate and highly misleading.

    a intel 80GB will do you fine if you not need the space.

    if your loaded get a Corsair force 240GB

    No HD in a notebook is faster than a SSD of modern design.

    Slowdown can be Cured and CAN be reversed.

    Seriously you need to stop with the bad info spreading
  23. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2009
  24. pandamonia macrumors 6502a

    Nov 15, 2009
  25. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...yes do it, I have a WD scorpio blue SSD in my eeePC netbook and its made a world of difference!

    I'm getting ready to install a Crucial SSD in my whitebook in my signature also:D

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