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  #1  
Old 02-05-2013, 2:42 AM
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Default Upgrading to a SSD?

So I am considering upgrading one of my laptops to a SSD. I have two questions,

First being that I have a 2008 Macbook my GF gave me It runs great and have no problems other than its a tad slow. It only has 2gb of Ram and a 250gb HDD. I was considering throwing in a Samsung 120gb SDD and 4gbs of ram.

Now the only thing stopping me from doing this is that I read that older laptops SATA ports won't really recognize/ take a advantage of the SSD's speed. Is this true? or is it marginal and the SSD will still speed me up a good bit?

The second laptop is an ASUS with an I5 2410m processor and 8gb of ram, I have a 640gb HDD on this one, but I only use around 80Gb's...

If I can still get good speed out of the SSD in the Mac I will just go with it.

Anyways, what do you guys think, what would be the best route and do you have any insight/ recommendations for SSD's?
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Old 02-05-2013, 3:03 AM
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Also, if I do throw in a new SSD in a MAC how would I do a recovery without a CD? thanks
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Old 02-05-2013, 4:36 AM
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I think you will see a speed increase though newer computers might see more of an increase. I put a hybrid SSD drive in one of our laptops and it made a huge difference in startup and shutdown. I put a full SSD in one of our desktops and it gave it new life.

As for your second post, are you asking how you would get the data over to the new drive, including the OS?
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Old 02-05-2013, 5:14 AM
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I think you will see a speed increase though newer computers might see more of an increase. I put a hybrid SSD drive in one of our laptops and it made a huge difference in startup and shutdown. I put a full SSD in one of our desktops and it gave it new life.

As for your second post, are you asking how you would get the data over to the new drive, including the OS?
I don't need any of the old data I just need the OS. Is there anyways to burn a new copy of the MAC OS? Or am I sol?
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Old 02-05-2013, 5:43 AM
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Easeus has a program to image your drive and place it on an SSD drive. They both need to be connected to your computer to make the imaging work
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Old 02-05-2013, 8:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Futurecollector View Post
I don't need any of the old data I just need the OS. Is there anyways to burn a new copy of the MAC OS? Or am I sol?
Yes. Depending on which OS, you can either burn it onto an 8GB Flash Drive, or DVD (some might allow a CD, but IIRC Lion and ML are 4.9GB so you would need a DL DVD).

I use LionDiskMaker (works for ML too). You do need the dmg file however, which you can re-download from the app store.
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/07...-install-disk/


If you are on an older OS, (Leopard, Snow Leopard) you will need the factory DVD or the dmg file. If you are going to install new drive, I would update to the latest OS, not sure if the 08' MBP support MountainLion.
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Old 02-05-2013, 8:42 AM
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Okay, looks like you are GTG.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5444

Quote:
OS X Mountain Lion system requirements
To install Mountain Lion, you need one of these Macs:

iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
Xserve (Early 2009)
What OS is your mac currently running? The fact your mac supports MountainLion will make this easier. Start looking for an 8GB or larger flash drive you can wipe if you don't have one yet. (You will need it)
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:48 PM
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Yes. Depending on which OS, you can either burn it onto an 8GB Flash Drive, or DVD (some might allow a CD, but IIRC Lion and ML are 4.9GB so you would need a DL DVD).

I use LionDiskMaker (works for ML too). You do need the dmg file however, which you can re-download from the app store.
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/07...-install-disk/


If you are on an older OS, (Leopard, Snow Leopard) you will need the factory DVD or the dmg file. If you are going to install new drive, I would update to the latest OS, not sure if the 08' MBP support MountainLion.
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Originally Posted by lorax3 View Post
Okay, looks like you are GTG.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5444



What OS is your mac currently running? The fact your mac supports MountainLion will make this easier. Start looking for an 8GB or larger flash drive you can wipe if you don't have one yet. (You will need it)

Thanks for all the replies guys!

Its actually a Macbook not a Mackbook pro, its the Black 2.4 intel core 2 and its running 10.6.8

I see in the app store I can get 10.8 for only 20 bucks, but I want to do a clean install.
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Old 02-05-2013, 1:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Futurecollector View Post
I see in the app store I can get 10.8 for only 20 bucks
So it is eligible for 10.8? Okay, good.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Futurecollector View Post
but I want to do a clean install.
Right. So here is what you do:

1. Downloading 10.8 from the AppStore does not automatically install it, it just downloads an icon in your application folder that when you launch will start the process.
2. Pay the $20 and download 10.8, but do NOT start the install. You are actually downloading a 'full' copy of ML, not just the upgrade so you want to install it to a flash drive so you can do a fresh install.
3. Download LionDiskMaker (linked above) and plug in an 8GB flash drive you are okay with wiping. Lion diskmaker will find the flashdrive, and see you just downloaded MountainLion and will ask if you want to create a bootable flashdrive. (Flashdrive must be 8GB or larger). A few clicks later you will have a flash drive to do your fresh install.
* Note: once you downloaded ML, the full dmg can be found by right-clicking the ML icon in the applications, and viewing the package contents. You can save this to an external drive if you want.
4. Remove the flashdrive, install your SSD, and plug the flashdrive back in. Power the mac on while holding the option key, and elect to boot from the flash drive.
5. Fresh install of Mountain Lion on the SSD, and you're done.
*You may need to open disk utility once you've booted from the flashdrive to format the drive to Mac osx journaled. Not sure if you have used Diskutility before, but it's really easy to do. If you get this far let me know and I can walk you through it.

Edit: Read this article: http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2012/07...b-flash-drive/.
Same stuff I said above, but written better.
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Old 02-05-2013, 2:52 PM
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Installing a SSD in my gaming rig and my laptop was the best performance upgrade to both machines. Adding as much RAM as you can afford helps out a LOT as well. Good luck. In both cases I decided that doing clean OS installs would be better than cloning the existing setup. Good luck.
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Old 02-05-2013, 7:33 PM
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So I think in the end I'm going to go with the Asus, take out the 640gb HDD and slap it in one of the external cases to make it a external drive and just use a 120gb ssd. Thoughts?
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Old 02-05-2013, 7:50 PM
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Originally Posted by lorax3 View Post
So it is eligible for 10.8? Okay, good.




Right. So here is what you do:

1. Downloading 10.8 from the AppStore does not automatically install it, it just downloads an icon in your application folder that when you launch will start the process.
2. Pay the $20 and download 10.8, but do NOT start the install. You are actually downloading a 'full' copy of ML, not just the upgrade so you want to install it to a flash drive so you can do a fresh install.
3. Download LionDiskMaker (linked above) and plug in an 8GB flash drive you are okay with wiping. Lion diskmaker will find the flashdrive, and see you just downloaded MountainLion and will ask if you want to create a bootable flashdrive. (Flashdrive must be 8GB or larger). A few clicks later you will have a flash drive to do your fresh install.
* Note: once you downloaded ML, the full dmg can be found by right-clicking the ML icon in the applications, and viewing the package contents. You can save this to an external drive if you want.
4. Remove the flashdrive, install your SSD, and plug the flashdrive back in. Power the mac on while holding the option key, and elect to boot from the flash drive.
5. Fresh install of Mountain Lion on the SSD, and you're done.
*You may need to open disk utility once you've booted from the flashdrive to format the drive to Mac osx journaled. Not sure if you have used Diskutility before, but it's really easy to do. If you get this far let me know and I can walk you through it.

Edit: Read this article: http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2012/07...b-flash-drive/.
Same stuff I said above, but written better.
Your Avatar makes perfect sense now! lol,

Thanks a lot for the help, after reading the links you provided, I should just be able to make the boot disk from my GF's new MBP, since she is the owner of the new one I even understand its not illegal, but encouraged!!!

As much as I hate it, I'm really beginning to like Mac.
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Old 02-05-2013, 8:03 PM
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Your Avatar makes perfect sense now! lol,
.
Hehe. Yup. I use Windows at work, but I've been loyal to Macs at home since OS 9 or so. If you run into any problems, just post here or shoot me a PM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 8:53 PM
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I've run many many different SSDs at work, and the only ones that have held up are the Intel SSDs.

All other have failed within a year under load. Literally, we've had a 100% failure rate of other brands. I've never seen any other product fail so regularly and certainly.

We've tried Patriot, Samsung, Sandisk, OCZ, Crucial and several other brands with various controllers and size.

Even worse, we run them in raid 1 or 5 and have had a lot of simultaneous failures. It seems like some of these models give you X number of writes and then die like they are on a timer.

I recommend an Intel 320 model, it is literally the only SSD I have found which is even remotely reliable. No failures in over a year on 50+ servers!
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Old 02-06-2013, 8:45 AM
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SSDs make a huge difference in speed but there are a few things to keep in mind with SSDs:
  • ALL SSD have limited writes which the SSD's controller tries to manage by making sure to spread the load evenly but some do a much better job than others and some brands use better memory than others - brand and model matters a lot.
  • SSD's slow way down as they fill up so buy at least twice as much SSD as you think you'll need which will also help it to last. 240-256GB is the sweet sport for both performance and price. 120GBish drives are much slower.
  • Keep the drive's firmware up to date - SSD's are cutting edge technology and firmware bugs (many are serious) need to be fixed which means staying on top of the latest releases - another reason for staying with the major brands.
  • SSDs need an operating system that supports TRIM. Unlike a conventional hard drive an SSD's on-board controller has to actually erase a bit before overwriting it and that takes time, the TRIM command sends an erase command with every delete speeding up future writes. Without TRIM they slow way down over time.
  • You can image the SSD from the existing drive but at least with a Windows machine you're usually best off with a fresh install.
  • Back up often because SSDs still aren't super reliable.
The only brands models that I would trust are listed in order but the firmware must be up to date:
  1. Intel 320 and 520 series drives.
  2. Crucial's M4 series
  3. Samsung's 840 series
  4. Kingston
  5. Plextor
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Old 02-06-2013, 4:04 PM
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Lots of good info in this thread.

I've been running a Corsair GT 240GB SSD for about 6 months and love it. When I get home I turn on the computer and Windows 7 is booted up before I even finish taking my shoes off. I primarily use my computer for gaming and I have noticed a dramatic improvement in loading times for games.

I keep most of my games and operating system on the SSD. Music, movies, and pictures are on my old standard drive.
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Old 02-06-2013, 5:51 PM
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Originally Posted by sholling View Post
[list][*]ALL SSD have limited writes which the SSD's controller tries to manage by making sure to spread the load evenly but some do a much better job than others and some brands use better memory than others - brand and model matters a lot.
  1. Intel 320 and 520 series drives.
  2. Crucial's M4 series
  3. Samsung's 840 series
  4. Kingston
  5. Plextor

This is something I haven't really read about (other than you, and the person above you), How long will they really last? I mean am I going to have it crap out on me in a year? I don't really do much computing minus some photo editing maybe a bit video stuff, but I think I will keep most of my actual data on a HDD.

Basically I just want a faster laptop for my college research and paper writing.
I just threw in 8gbs of Ram, adding 4 gbs, and man, I was able to notice a increase in speed and load time.
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Old 02-06-2013, 6:06 PM
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If you buy a crappy SSD it will probably last less than 2 years

If you buy an intel 5 years, maybe longer
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Old 02-06-2013, 6:15 PM
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If you buy a crappy SSD it will probably last less than 2 years

If you buy an intel 5 years, maybe longer
2 years inst't bad,

I think I narrowed it down to a Crucial M4, and the Samsung... The intel is on the expensive side. I only intend on keeping this laptop for about 2 more years anyways, so I would be happy with that, they all do offer 3 yr warranties...

One more question, when the SSD's crashed on you, where you able to access any of the info at all, or how do you secure your data after it crashes?
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Old 02-06-2013, 7:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futurecollector View Post
This is something I haven't really read about (other than you, and the person above you), How long will they really last? I mean am I going to have it crap out on me in a year? I don't really do much computing minus some photo editing maybe a bit video stuff, but I think I will keep most of my actual data on a HDD.

Basically I just want a faster laptop for my college research and paper writing.
I just threw in 8gbs of Ram, adding 4 gbs, and man, I was able to notice a increase in speed and load time.
Life depends on the manufacturer, the quality of the memory that they use, and the quality of the 3rd party controller they use, and the quality of the firmware they wrote or tweaked for that controller and all of that effects even the best manufacturers. Pretty much everyone has had problems with either BSOD bugs, lifespan, and/or performance but the better companies fixed their products with regular updates and stood behind 2,3 or 5 years warranties and we're really just now reaching the point where the better ones are almost trust worthy. You'll find a ton of information and reviews on the site below.

http://www.anandtech.com/tag/storage

BTW make sure what you buy fits your laptop. They make 2.5" SATA drives in 9mm and 11mm thicknesses and mSATA drives for computers with special mSATA slots.

FWIW my 3 year old i7 notebook with 8GB and a 512GB Crucial M4 boots from power on to log-in screen in 20 seconds or so. Watch for sales because the 256GB go on sale fairly often.
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Old 02-06-2013, 7:12 PM
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2 years inst't bad,

I think I narrowed it down to a Crucial M4, and the Samsung... The intel is on the expensive side. I only intend on keeping this laptop for about 2 more years anyways, so I would be happy with that, they all do offer 3 yr warranties...

One more question, when the SSD's crashed on you, where you able to access any of the info at all, or how do you secure your data after it crashes?
You lose all your data, we were not able to recover any data in most cases.
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Old 02-06-2013, 7:13 PM
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Originally Posted by sholling View Post
Life depends on the manufacturer, the quality of the memory that they use, and the quality of the 3rd party controller they use, and the quality of the firmware they wrote or tweaked for that controller and all of that effects even the best manufacturers. Pretty much everyone has had problems with either BSOD bugs, lifespan, and/or performance but the better companies fixed their products with regular updates and stood behind 2,3 or 5 years warranties and we're really just now reaching the point where the better ones are almost trust worthy. You'll find a ton of information and reviews on the site below.

http://www.anandtech.com/tag/storage

BTW make sure what you buy fits your laptop. They make 2.5" SATA drives in 9mm and 11mm thicknesses and mSATA drives for computers with special mSATA slots.

FWIW my 3 year old i7 notebook with 8GB and a 512GB Crucial M4 boots from power on to log-in screen in 20 seconds or so. Watch for sales because the 256GB go on sale fairly often.
So you bought a 512GB ssd three years ago?
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Old 02-06-2013, 8:15 PM
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You lose all your data, we were not able to recover any data in most cases.
Hmmmm, I guess it just dosent sound to secure to me, so my SSD crashes and I send it back to the company without even formating the drive?
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Old 02-06-2013, 8:16 PM
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So you bought a 512GB ssd three years ago?
I would guess he bought it sometime after he got the laptop as an upgrade...
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:35 PM
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You lose all your data, we were not able to recover any data in most cases.
Like Mud said in most cases it's gone. When you send them in for replacement I'm sure they physically erase the salvageable drives but the NSA can probably still recover the data . BTW formatting a conventional drive does not erase the data, you need to overwrite everything multiple times with a disk-wipe utility to delete the data. One more thing you need to know you never want to defrag an SSD it's unnecessary and creates a lot of wear and tear and you don't have any need to index the files.

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So you bought a 512GB ssd three years ago?
No the SSD is about a year old. The computer was starting to feel slow and the heat from the 7200rpm Seagate that that came with it kept cooking and killing drives and finally the case (replaced under warranty) so I finally replaced the HD with an SSD. My notebook runs much-much-much cooler with the SSD and applications launch almost instantly. I'll get another 2+ years out of it now.

I also have 120GB SSD as the boot drive in my old Core 2 Quad desktop and a 64GB SSD as the boot drive in my home theater PC and although much slower than the one in my notebook the SSDs make them much more pleasant.
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Last edited by sholling; 02-06-2013 at 10:38 PM..
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:29 AM
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Like Mud said in most cases it's gone. When you send them in for replacement I'm sure they physically erase the salvageable drives but the NSA can probably still recover the data . BTW formatting a conventional drive does not erase the data, you need to overwrite everything multiple times with a disk-wipe utility to delete the data. One more thing you need to know you never want to defrag an SSD it's unnecessary and creates a lot of wear and tear and you don't have any need to index the files.


No the SSD is about a year old. The computer was starting to feel slow and the heat from the 7200rpm Seagate that that came with it kept cooking and killing drives and finally the case (replaced under warranty) so I finally replaced the HD with an SSD. My notebook runs much-much-much cooler with the SSD and applications launch almost instantly. I'll get another 2+ years out of it now.

I also have 120GB SSD as the boot drive in my old Core 2 Quad desktop and a 64GB SSD as the boot drive in my home theater PC and although much slower than the one in my notebook the SSDs make them much more pleasant.
In regards to erasing, I would assume that a simple format on a SSD would work the same way as a Format on a thumb drive and the info would be gone forever right?
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Old 02-07-2013, 4:32 AM
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The only SSDs that I have seen on 3 desktop machines were suitable to a 15,000 hour bug where they stopped working, that even a power-off and back on, and a firmware update didn't resolve... I believe the tech is still too new for me to jump on the wagon for my personal/home or even work use.

However, we have Intel SSD in like 100 notebooks, and those have had ZERO issues.

I just don't trust them yet...
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:28 AM
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In regards to erasing, I would assume that a simple format on a SSD would work the same way as a Format on a thumb drive and the info would be gone forever right?
I'm not sure what's special about formatting a thumbdrive but formatting a hard drive is easily undone because no data is physically erased. There are freeware erase utilities available for SSDs and for thumbdrives that clear all of the bits. It probably isn't NSA proof (what is?) but it's good enough for most of us.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:30 AM
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With wear leveling would writing all zeros to the drive actually prevent data-carving?
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:50 AM
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With wear leveling would writing all zeros to the drive actually prevent data-carving?
I don't know but it assumes that the wear leveling function is going overwrite the file you're trying to kill off and not just write zeros elsewhere. The answer is I just don't know. I suspect that an actual erase (clear every bit) is good enough for most of us, erase plus disk-wipe maybe a bit better but maybe not - I don't know, but for keeping the DOD's launch codes out of the wrong hands erase plus a great big hammer might be the best answer.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:03 AM
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I bought a macbook pro 13in laptop last year with a 256ssd... its so worth it. Literally starts in 7 seconds, shuts down immediately. You will notice the difference on your SSD over your old hard drive for sure. For SSD's I am a huge samsung fan and intel fan... a lot of the other ssd's tend to break a lot. I use intel SSD's on my PC desktop as well. love them, love them
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Old 02-08-2013, 6:39 AM
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Transcend is becoming a fairly reliable brand. Ive had a 128GB Transcend SSD in my computer now for a little over a year. I got it dirt cheap too.

Otherwise, stick to Intel/Samsung. Intel honestly makes the best SSDs and theyre pretty cheap now. Ive seen 160GB SSDs by intel go on sale for 89.99 or 99.99! I definitely should have picked one up at that price!

I would recommend going with a SATA III SSD if you can. Sata III supports the fasted read/write speeds so if you ever get a new computer it will be able to take advantage of the speeds
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Old 02-11-2013, 1:35 PM
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So I am considering upgrading one of my laptops to a SSD. I have two questions,

First being that I have a 2008 Macbook my GF gave me It runs great and have no problems other than its a tad slow. It only has 2gb of Ram and a 250gb HDD. I was considering throwing in a Samsung 120gb SDD and 4gbs of ram.

Now the only thing stopping me from doing this is that I read that older laptops SATA ports won't really recognize/ take a advantage of the SSD's speed. Is this true? or is it marginal and the SSD will still speed me up a good bit?

The second laptop is an ASUS with an I5 2410m processor and 8gb of ram, I have a 640gb HDD on this one, but I only use around 80Gb's...

If I can still get good speed out of the SSD in the Mac I will just go with it.

Anyways, what do you guys think, what would be the best route and do you have any insight/ recommendations for SSD's?
Speed is very subjective... when is the macbook slow at boot or when using it? Have you considered maxing the amount of RAM first? RAM is the workspace into which your OS and Apps are loaded while you use them. I'd go that route first.

As for the Asus, I see no reason why you need a SSD when you are only using 80 out of 640 GB. Where is this lappy slow?

Save your $ and put it into a new laptop fund!
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Old 02-11-2013, 1:38 PM
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