Weekly Poll: Have You Jumped on the SSD Bandwagon?

Much has been said about solid-state drives (SSD) being the next “big thing” in terms of computer performance. If you regularly find that your Mac is running slowly when opening apps and booting, it might be obvious to immediately think that the problem is down to insufficient RAM.

Although the amount of memory in your Mac does make a big difference, we’re starting to get to the point where we all have plenty of RAM for everyday tasks (4GB is more than enough for most Mac users). The main piece of old technology inside your MacBook or iMac is actually the hard drive, and that can contribute significantly to poor performance with certain tasks.

Not convinced that you’ll notice a performance benefit? Check out this video and come back in two minutes. I’ll wait!

So why hasn’t everyone jumped ship to this new performance-boosting miracle? The main problem with solid-state drives at present boils down to price. They’re still far more expensive than a standard Serial ATA drive, and out of the budget of many Mac users.

The question I’m asking today is whether you’re sporting a shiny new SSD (and reaping the performance benefits), or waiting for the price to drop over the next year or so. Have your say in the poll, and let me know your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear what you all think!


  • http://trickpedia.com Sid

    Yes they are too expensive .. will surely buy it when ever their prices come down (who wont :P) ..

  • http://log.ttanh.com Tuan Anh Tran

    This setup would works: 40 GB ( or a bit larger ) SSD for OS and Apps and another traditional HDD for data.

  • EdR

    I’m gonna wait a few years till i can get a 1TB+ size ssd for a reasonable size, then upgrade my imac

    • EdR

      Dam, I mean ‘reasonable price’ wish I could edit my comment.

  • http://codebymonkey.com Paul Adam Davis

    Not yet, but I will. I don’t think they’re too expensive, just got things to buy that take priority.

  • http://realityloop.com/ Brian Gilbert

    I installed a Hybrid drive the other day, Seagate Momentus XT, 500GB with 4GB SSD.. it’s a good middle ground until full SSD prices come down.

    • Brian Hanifin

      I also jumped on the Hybrid bandwagon last week! There is a noticeable difference in boot time, and overall speed. And I already had a 7200 RPM drive in my MacBook Pro.

      I would consider a small SSD for the OS… if my laptop made room for two drives (without sacrificing the DVD drive).

  • http://www.jefffinndesigns.com Jeff

    Giggety-giggety-gettin’ one!

  • Shoey

    Specced my Macbook Pro with a 120GB SSD; was ridiculously expensive but the machine is ridiculously fast. I could never go back to SATA now

    • Brian Hanifin

      I ran out of space on my 200 GB MacBook Pro drive recently! I mostly store family photos and video on it. Anything older than 2.5 years old had already been archived to an external drive!

      I suppose I could get by with a smallish SSD if I stored all of my family photos and video on a network drive. I did just setup a 2 TB drive attached to my wireless router.

      Then again, simply browsing the family photos would be painfully slow over a wifi network connection, especially in comparison to how everything would fly on the SSD drive.

  • http://novastormsoftware.com Justin

    I just picked up an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro about two weeks ago. One benefit is that I’m no longer upset when I get an update that requires a reboot, since a full reboot (from power on to everything fully loaded) takes under 30 seconds, including typing in my password. Shutdowns take about 3 seconds. It used to take about 2 minutes with my HDD because of all the programs I had installed.

    Given the choice of a baseline “white poly” MacBook with a SSD or a fully loaded i7 Pro with a HDD, I’d take the SSD any day. (Ignoring the fact, that is, that if it was free I’d just take the i7 and upgrade the drive.) :)

    • Brian Hanifin

      The boot time on my early 2008 MacBook Pro is around 30 seconds with my Hybrid drive. I’m not sure how they do that when there is only 4 GB of solid state memory on the drive.

  • Gregory

    *sigh* If they weren’t so expensive, I would’ve bought one a few days ago. Instead, I got myself a MUCH cheaper 320GB hard drive to replace the one on my macbook…

  • chazoul

    Pricey, yes. But the different is tremendous for 200€.
    Ok, you’ll only get a 80Gb SSD, but a Mini boots in 13-15 seconds and everything is really-really fast on SL.

    My question is to know if it last longer than a HDD – in real life and I’m not talking about “moving parts” etc.
    Using CleanMyMac or Repair Permissions or Onyx etc. could damage the drive ?

    • chazoul

      May I had that people are worried about buying a 40-80Gb SSD,
      But to me it’s all I need, as 17Gb are used for the whole system+apps.

      • http://log.ttanh.com tuan anh tran

        you’re right. 40 gb should be enough for OS and apps. saving data? i can bare with that by saving on SATA

  • http://www.drkrush.com Derek

    I bought a crucial SSD on sale a couple months ago for almost half off. Originally it was around 600 and i got it for a little over 300.

    So far I think the upgrade was totally worth it. It’s made me a lot more productive and a bit spoiled ;)

  • Perry F.

    Ever since I put a 80GB SSD drive into my Mac Pro and made it my boot drive, this computer has been insta-quick.

    I upgraded to a 2008 Mac Pro from a 2006 white 20″ iMac. I was certainly happy with the performance gains of the new Mac Pro, but I think I expected too much and oversold just HOW fast the new computer would be.

    I upgraded the video card to 1GB VRAM and upgraded the RAM to 8GB, and don’t get me wrong it was nice and quick, but finally I decided to try the SSD drive.

    The second that thing was in and OS X was installed on it, I got the computer I was dreaming of getting. Single best upgrade I’ve ever done, and now my machine runs for 30+ days at a time, encoding video, gaming, compiling and writing iPhone/iPad apps and OS X applications, tons more. I haven’t seen a spinning more than once or twice for a split second in over 6 months.

    SSD A+ highly recommended.

    • Perry F.

      (meant to say haven’t seen a spinning beach ball)

  • Perry F.

    FYI — i don’t have a TON of apps installed, but i have some heavy apps installed. even so, i’m religious about keeping ALL data and non app/system related stuff off the SSD to keep space on it. I have an 80GB drive and only have about 24GB free. I’ve done all the shrinking tricks as well, removed languages and resources i don’t need from apps, delete caches, and much more.

    so keep in mind that unless you only plan to have 6 apps or so and can live without some of the iLife stuff, a 40GB drive might not cut it.

  • http://www.perfectronics.co.uk g

    I upgraded my macbook pro to a 64GB OCZ vertex last year and just recently my mac pro to a 256GB Crucial RealSSD C300 with the maxupgrades converter and a 1.5TB hard drive as a storage dump.

    works well, just make sure you take back ups regularly as SSD’s life is alot shorter than hard disk, I had one go in our SBS server raid array, they are stupidly fast in servers btw.

  • Geoff

    The thing that a lot of people aren’t aware of is that all SSDs are not created equally and it comes down to the controller chipset on the drive.

    Some cheap SSDs show little if any improvement over traditional drives.

  • David

    So far I have the same setup (plus a 1 TB external drive) but i am seriously considering giving up my superdrive drive for a SSD boot drive as well. I have an external Asus Blu-Ray drive that works wonderfully! its actually faster than what comes to burn speed and its portable (no AC adapter included) that way in the rare occasion that i do need my Optical Drive I just toss it in my bag.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/702565-REG/ASUS_SBC_06D1S_U_BLK_G_AS_External_Blu_ray_Combo_Drive.html

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