Benchmarks Prove You Should Be Buying Your Next MacBook Pro With An SSD

Benchmarks Prove You Should Be Buying Your Next MacBook Pro With An SSD

I live on this long, steep hill that some days just feels so infinite and Sisyphean that I fear I might be the character of some inexplicably forgotten short story by Jorge Luis Borges. On particularly hot summer days, I’ll sometimes muse to myself, halfway up this interminable hill, that walking really is for suckers, and I should just lop off these wimpy locomotive appendages and treat myself to some of those robo-legs I’ve had my eye on for so long.

Apple doesn’t make robot-legs, unfortunately. What they do make are MacBooks that come with SSD drives… and to me, investing in one was pretty much the direct equivalent of having my computer’s old weak, broken legs cut off and some rocket-powered karate kickers transplanted in their place. You simply will not believe how fast computing can be with an SSD, or how slow your current “fast” computing experience is without one.

Need more proof than my say so? MacWorld tested a few MacBook Pros — a couple with SSDs, a couple identically specced without — and found notable speed improvements.

On a 13-inch MacBook Pro, the SSD upgrade led to 20 second boot times, compared to 38 second boot times on the HDD model. It was also 20% faster in Speedmark tests on various file operations. The SSD even allowed the Pro to outperform a model with a faster processor in various disk-intensive texts.

So, seriously, if you’re looking to buy a new MacBook Pro, you deserve to treat yourself to an SSD. Opting for an 128GB SSD instead of the 320GB stock hard drive will add $250 to the price of the base MBP, but considering the speed increase, the noiselessness, the advantages in battery life and the increase in durability and shock resistance, it’s easily the best upgrade you can opt for right now… as long as you can live with less raw capacity.

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  • Thomas

    Totally. My Hackintosh, already the fastest and cheapest Mac on the planet, just got that much faster – if not cheaper – when I added an Intel SSD for the OS and apps.

  • eldino

    True. My Macbook Pro 12′ (early 2011) with a nice OCZ Vectrex 2 ssd takes 8 seconds to go from off to full operative desktop, impressive!

  • Fin Devious

    I stuck a 128Gb SSD in my 2008 white Macbook and it absolutely flies.

  • mduncanvm

    I cant live with the less raw capacity. But once at least a 500GB SSD becomes available that has a fair price I will put one in my MacBook Pro 13.

  • Tonkinite

    You forgot to mention another issue: temperature. My MacBook Pro with SSD runs about 10-15 degrees Celsius cooler than my last MacBook Pro with HD. That means that not only does the laptop not heat up my leg much, but that the other non-drive components will last longer as well.

  • Sky

    I try to keep my hard drives running around 50% full, as this improves performance and longevity while reducing noise and to some extent heat. In other words 128GB SSD is the same as 256GB HD for me. I’ll definitely consider a SSD for my next laptop.

  • Michael

    Can i upgrade my HDD to an SSD manually? I have my computer backed up, so i just need to know how to take out the HDD and put in an SSD.

  • just a guest

    Intel’s newest line of SSD’s, the 320 Series, are the best SSD’s on the market, with a price you can’t beat!

    - 40GB: $89
    - 80GB: $159
    - 120GB: $209
    - 160GB: $289
    - 300GB: $529
    - 600GB: $1,069

    I’m gonna grab a 600GB for my 13″ Macbook Pro!

  • Moores2003

    Put a SSD in my Thunderbolt MacBook Pro…..doubled the boot time.
    KIngston SSD….

  • HerbalEd

    Instead of having to read through the first three very booooring paragraphs, the useful info in this article could easily have been written in one.

  • AK66

    The OWC Mercury Extreme SSDs are worth checking out. 2011 MacBook Pro models have new 6 Gbits/s SATA (all other Macs have older 3 Gbits/s SATA) and OWC Mercury Extreme 6G models support almost 500 Mb/s sustainable read and write speeds.

  • AK66

    Yes you can. You’ll need some tools and photo and/or video guide to make the replacement. IFixIt and OWC have good photo&video installation guides fog SSDs:
    http://www.ifixit.com/
    http://eshop.macsales.com/inst

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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