Join 3,501 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


MacBook Pro w SSD?
February 14, 2012 5:35 AM   Subscribe

Any Mac gurus out there ready to predict when we can expect a MacBook Pro with a solid state drive, like the Air, as a standard feature?

Should I hold out for this item? Or is it years off?
posted by Hobbacocka to Computers & Internet (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
You can already get SSDs as a factory option; they're just expensive ($200 for a 128GB). If you follow the rumors; the Pro is supposed to get a refresh (likely this year, definitely next otherwise) making it more Air-like; which will almost certainly include a SSD.
posted by ConstantineXVI at 5:39 AM on February 14, 2012


PS: SSDs are going to be expensive for a while; don't expect a 15" Pro with a 500GB SSD for the same price as the spinning-disk based model. That said; unless I'm hitting RAM boundaries; the 13" Air has handled almost as well as my 2010 Pro most of the time. SSDs make for a wonderful performance boost.
posted by ConstantineXVI at 5:43 AM on February 14, 2012


MacBook pros already have SSD as an option. I have a 17" mbp with. 512gb SSD.

Blazingly fast.
posted by dfriedman at 5:46 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah but I'm hoping for one w/out the spinny disk thing, which is basically just a loud liability as far as I'm concerned. The Air would be perfect for me, but I need more screen.
posted by Hobbacocka at 5:49 AM on February 14, 2012


The SSD option replaces the normal HD; so you don't have it (unless you're referring to the optical drive; which is a computer's appendix as far as I'm concerned these days)
posted by ConstantineXVI at 5:52 AM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


As mentioned above, you can get a MacBook Pro without a "spinny disk thing", just expect it to cost more. And don't expect the performance to be what you can get third-party and install yourself in less than five minutes.

(Or you can do what I many other people do, get the fastest SSD you can afford and throw your "spinny disk thing" where the optical drive (the other "spinny" disc thing) is and now you've got both speed and storage. Worried about your drive dying on you? That's what backups are for.)
posted by Brian Puccio at 5:53 AM on February 14, 2012


Answering my own question:

Pro-->Air
posted by Hobbacocka at 6:01 AM on February 14, 2012


Everyone already answered your own question. You can buy a Macbook Pro today with an SSD.
posted by Jairus at 6:03 AM on February 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah. For $3500. And the likelihood of buyer's remorse when a more well thought out model appears this year. (Although the comments on the article indicate interesting misgivings re performance of an Air-like MBP.)

But thanks for your helpful comment.
posted by Hobbacocka at 6:06 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I picked up a Cucisl 256 gb SSD for $300 to go with my new MacBook Pro - replacing the hard drive took me less than ten minutes. No need to pay Apple's prices for the upgrade.
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:12 AM on February 14, 2012


The price of a MacBook Pro with SSD is somewhere between $1999 and $2999, depending on the size of the drive. As others have pointed out, this isn't likely to go down significantly any time soon, as SSD components are still expensive. Certainly Apple moving to SSD-only would drive down the price a bit, but one has no more reason to expect buyer's remorse here than with any other technology hardware purchase, which will all be replaced by better and cheaper options within a year or two. As the Air is Apple's best-selling laptop, it makes sense that they'll move everything in that direction. The Air is more expensive, so that direction is more expensive.

Maybe the question you intended to ask, as you've rejected good answers to the question as asked, was how long it will be until SSD drives are priced comparably to non-SSD drives. That's likely still several years away.
posted by scottreynen at 6:35 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah but I'm hoping for one w/out the spinny disk thing, which is basically just a loud liability as far as I'm concerned.

It seems like you're confused about what an SSD is. The unambiguously correct answer to your question is that SSD is already a standard feature in the Mac Pro line.

Could you clarify what other spinny disk thing you think is in an SSD-equipped Mac Pro? Do you mean the slot loading CD drive?
posted by odinsdream at 6:41 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think perhaps answering a different question might help. "What is different between the Macbook Pro and the Macbook Air that means that the Air cannot have a spinning drive?"

The difference is that the form-factor of the Macbook Air precludes the ability to fit a standard 2.5" HDD. Internally, there's no 'drive bay shaped hole with a SATA data+power connector'. Instead there's a bank of chips on a thin circuit board that plugs in.

Simultaneously Apple is saving weight and cutting out the middleman in putting an SSD in the Air. Also making it cheaper to service, and locking out other third-party equipment manufacturers from providing parts (there are now vendors that do supply these bespoke replacement parts, but it's not like you can interchange between your mac laptop and a desktop).

However, the SSDs that go into a 'Macbook Pro' are the aforementioned 2.5" spinning hard drive shaped package that's an interchangeable part that you can buy from anywhere. Apple chooses to buy the most expensive of these and mark up the price like madmen to cash in on people with poor impulse control.
posted by Jerub at 6:54 AM on February 14, 2012


Maybe the question you intended to ask, as you've rejected good answers to the question as asked, was how long it will be until SSD drives are priced comparably to non-SSD drives. That's likely still several years away.

I appreciate all this feedback. It is very helpful. I guess what I'm struggling with now are the various tradeoffs between trying to mod an existing MBP model (per Tomorrowful's suggestion, as the price point is important to me) and waiting for a redesign per the cited article.

As Jerub points out, the updated model will mean an integrated, non-upgradeable drive. But it will also obviously be thinner, and niftier, and not bogged down w an optical drive. The cited article also includes comments w concerns about speed performance.

At this point, it seems the sensible thing to do is keep clunking along with my current laptop, and wait and see what Apple comes up with.

Thanks again for all the helpful feedback.
posted by Hobbacocka at 7:01 AM on February 14, 2012


I think someone may have mentioned above, but you can get a current generation MBP, and replace the optical drive with a SSD using this kit. All reports suggest that this is a pretty easy job (I've replaced the regular hard drive on Macs several times before, and that is very easy--this seems marginally more difficult, but something I plan to do). The people who make the kit will give you an enclosure so that you can have use your optical drive externally via USB.

This way, you have the economy of buying a stock MBP, you add your own SSD (where you will put the OS and apps, for a great speed boost), the high capacity of the stock drive for files, and an external Super Drive. I think this sounds like a great deal. And my understanding is that none of it voids your warranty.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:14 AM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah but I'm hoping for one w/out the spinny disk thing, which is basically just a loud liability as far as I'm concerned. The Air would be perfect for me, but I need more screen.

I think you may be a bit misinformed as to the reliability of SSDs.

Sure, they're a wonderful performance boost, but no moving parts ≠ reliability.

If the discussion here is any indication, they're not exactly bulletproof.

Best get a robust backup solution if you convert to SSD.
posted by zen_spider at 7:56 AM on February 14, 2012


Seconding Admiral Haddock. The barrier to SSDs is price vs capacity. That's changing slowly.

In a 2009 MBP, I replaced the stock 160 with a 640, pulled the SuperDrive out to an external enclosure, put in a 60GB SSD for the OS, a bit of fiddling about to get only the OS onto the 60, plus a copy of Parallels for cheap, plus a toolkit to do the work.

All for a little over $300, shipped via OWC.

(zen_spider thanks for reminding me to clone the OS drive... haven't done that yet.)
posted by omnidrew at 8:07 AM on February 14, 2012


Yeah but I'm hoping for one w/out the spinny disk thing, which is basically just a loud liability as far as I'm concerned. The Air would be perfect for me, but I need more screen.
posted by Hobbacocka at 7:49 AM on February 14 [+] [!]


The 15" Macbook Pro and 13" Macbook Air have the same screen resolution.
posted by cellphone at 8:47 AM on February 14, 2012


The Air would be perfect for me, but I need more screen.

If the screen is the main thing preventing you from getting an Air, you may want to take a second look. The 13-inch MacBook Air has the same resolution screen (1440 x 900) as the 15-inch MacBook Pro. It's just in a 13-inch form factor, so it's pixel density is greater.
posted by perrce at 11:31 AM on February 14, 2012


If SSD's are too pricy, you can get a MBP and install a hybrid. I've had mine for a few years now and it's been bounced around between several cases and laptops and still runs great.

Should you wait is an interesting question. The current rumors are removal of the optical drive, "retina" resolution screens, SSDs, USB3... If even the just the optical change is true, that means the next generation will be a substantial change, one you'd be wise to wait to adopt anyway.
posted by chairface at 1:21 PM on February 14, 2012


« Older Help me find a reason to excha...   |  Camper (motorhome) filter: we ... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.