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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 06:57 PM   #1
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SSD worth it for me?

Hey Guys.

Could use some advise. I have a year old 17" mbp with a 2.66 i7, 4gb ram & 500gb 7200rpm drive. I know I could use more ram (as I often max it out ), so I'll be ordering 8gb next week.

But I've been thinking about my HD. I'm a developer and designer. I do about 80% web and 20% print these days. The files I get from fellow designers are often quite big and texture heavy (both web and print). Opening and saving is quite slow sometimes (but I deal with it). Even when working on the files there is a noticeable lag. I also use aperture quite a bit for all my personal photo work.

Apps I typically run:
All the time: Mail, itunes, dropbox, safari for personal.. etc… the norm.
Web: Fireworks, Coda, Textmate, transmit, terminal, firefox (lots of tabs!) etc..
Print: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
Photo: Aperture or photohop - cs5

When I'm programming (which is most of what I do now), its more about ram than drive speed, and more ram will help there. Just wounding if it's worth the $500 to upgrade to an SSD? I know it should help photo and print work (which would be nice) but what about the day to day and developing? Worth it?

Right now I'm on the fence. Not sure if having 8gb of ram with make the HD less of an issue? I'd rather not spend the money (and wait for more storage for less money). But if it's worth it for the productivity increase I think I would - after all it almost pays for itself? Right

Cheers,
Nick

If I got an SSD was thinking of a 240gb Mushkin or perhaps OWC drive - they both use the same controller, so not sure if the extra $40 is worth it.

As for size, 240gb would be fine for a good while, as I can offload longer term storage to my 500gb of which i'd get a fw800 case for.

Last edited by Nick; Feb 24th, 2011 at 07:26 PM.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 07:03 PM   #2
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get a 128GB SSD and put it in an optibay, keep your current 500GB as a data drive. problem solved, and for less bucks too.

that is, assuming you don't use your DVD drive that often OR are comfortable using it externally via USB
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 07:04 PM   #3
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I would go for a better SDD like a Vertex 2 from OCZ personally.....

Have you used a SSD before? It is not INSTANT like some ppl think it is...but it IS faster and would take off some strain off your battery....faster speeds as well and not as much heat.

COmbine that with your 8GB and you will have a VERY nice and snappy Lappy there.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 07:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Digikid View Post
I would go for a better SDD like a Vertex 2 from OCZ personally....
Curious to know how the OCZ Vertex 2 is better than the OWC Mercury and the Mushkin Callisto when they use the same Sandforce controller and components.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 07:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by broad View Post
get a 128GB SSD and put it in an optibay, keep your current 500GB as a data drive. problem solved, and for less bucks too. that is, assuming you don't use your DVD drive that often OR are comfortable using it externally via USB
Thats something to think about. I do use my optical drive from time to time... big thing is weight & size and packing it all around. I'd use my optical drive more than a second HD I think. So i'd end up packing it with more more than a drive.

I was actually thinking of going to a loaded refurb 2.13/4gb/256gb MBA just for the size issue. I use my laptop as a portable about 30-50% of the time. The 17" with bag gets big for luggin around.

I think I've decided against it. I just don't think I can go back to a lower res screen. Even the 1440 on the MBA. The screen is the big reason I went for a 17. Even though the hi res 13 MBA is so tempting.. Size vs portability debate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digikid View Post
I would go for a better SDD like a Vertex 2 from OCZ personally.....

Have you used a SSD before? It is not INSTANT like some ppl think it is...but it IS faster and would take off some strain off your battery....faster speeds as well and not as much heat.

COmbine that with your 8GB and you will have a VERY nice and snappy Lappy there.
I'm hoping for a snappy lappy.
I've used SSD a bit, but not in a work environment. I know it's not instant, and real world about 3-4 times faster.

I know the "new" 4 core machines with better video card would be faster. But I don't game and hardly wait on my processor. And for when I do, I don't care. Day to day speed is more important to me. Thus why I considered the MBA with ssd, and now just getting a SSD. Err, now I'm thinking about the MBA agian...

Last edited by Nick; Feb 24th, 2011 at 07:49 PM. Reason: my spelling sucks. :)
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 07:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CanadaRAM View Post
Curious to know how the OCZ Vertex 2 is better than the OWC Mercury and the Mushkin Callisto when they use the same Sandforce controller and components.
Me too.
Any thoughts between the Mushkin and OWC?
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 07:25 PM   #7
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Another idea...
What about a SSD drive for my system & programs in the express card slot? That seems like the cheapest and best all around idea. I never use it anyways. Thoughts?
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 07:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by broad View Post
get a 128GB SSD and put it in an optibay, keep your current 500GB as a data drive. problem solved, and for less bucks too.

that is, assuming you don't use your DVD drive that often OR are comfortable using it externally via USB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Another idea...
What about a SSD drive for my system & programs in the express card slot? That seems like the cheapest and best all around idea. I never use it anyways. Thoughts?
Just thinking about what you said, and my thought of a expresscard ssd.

I know splitting my apps off would remove the overhead from the disk drive, but wouldn't I need the SSD to be my working drive to see the real improvement? And not just speed increases in boot and app load times?
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 08:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Digikid View Post
I would go for a better SDD like a Vertex 2 from OCZ personally.....

Watchout for the new Vertex 2. Apparently their chip suppliers switched to a smaller electronics but it has slowed them down. There's a lot of very upset buyers. OWC recently blogged that they didn't do this. OWC seems to be the safe way to go. I got one a few weeks ago and really like it.

OCZ Issues Mea Culpa - Offers Free SSD Replacements | StorageReview.com
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 11:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digikid View Post
I would go for a better SDD like a Vertex 2 from OCZ personally.....

Have you used a SSD before? It is not INSTANT like some ppl think it is...but it IS faster and would take off some strain off your battery....faster speeds as well and not as much heat.

COmbine that with your 8GB and you will have a VERY nice and snappy Lappy there.
Nope the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro beats the Vertex 2 in many areas. The Vertex is a great drive but it is not "better" than the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro.

StorageReview.com OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD Review

Quote:
Conclusion

The 120GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro proved to be very fast in our tests, consistently ranking at or near the top in our benchmarks. It excelled in our real world tests, ranking #1 out of the SandForce models in our HTPC and Productivity traces, but slipped to third in the Gaming trace. In power consumption it led the pack in all activity-based tests with the lowest power values, only being bested by the Corsair Force F120 in the idle power consumption test.
Quote:
Bottom Line

The OWC Mercury Extreme Pro is easily the best SF-1200 SSD we've seen - taking podium positions in all of our benchmarks, and the top prize in many. While it is generally a little more expensive than other drives in its class, if you want performance and reliability, this is a fantastic offering.
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