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New MBP retina or update current MBP?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

i'm very sorry if one of my questions has already been asked, but i have searched and searched forums etc. and haven't become any wiser on my "problem". 

 

I currently have a MBP 15" from 2010 - i'ts 2.4Ghz intel core I5 (duocore), 4gb ram and 320gb 5400rpm hdd.

 

Now should i sell my current macbook (while it's still worth some money) and buy a new MBP 15" with retina - or should i update my current MBP with a new SSD drive - what are your thoughts - what will be the smartest choise, in regards to the future in laptops?

 

Now a bonus question; if i update my harddrive for a SSD is it still worthwhile when considering the SATAII connecter in my MBP? AND should i buy a sandforce og marvell-based drive (eg ocz vertex 3 vs vertex 4)?

 

Big questions, hope you can help me. thx in advance.

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRK90 View Post

Now should i sell my current macbook (while it's still worth some money) and buy a new MBP 15" with retina - or should i update my current MBP with a new SSD drive - what are your thoughts - what will be the smartest choise, in regards to the future in laptops?

The laptops will go the way of the Retina MBP but it's quite an expensive upgrade.

Your current machine will be worth about $900-1100. The new one is $2199. In the best case, you are $1100 down.

For that money, you get a much better quality screen, faster CPU and GPU, 256GB SSD, an extra 4GB RAM, Thunderbolt, USB 3 and a lighter machine.

If you were to upgrade your current model, 8GB RAM is $46, a 256GB SSD is $275 ($250 without the kit):

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-830-Series-MZ-7PC256N-Internal/dp/B005T3GPXY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1339964390&sr=8-2&keywords=samsung+830+256

or $180:

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-2-5-Inch-Solid-State-CT256M4SSD2/dp/B004W2JL2A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339965578&sr=8-1&keywords=crucial+m4+256

You can even get the 512GB for $400.

While the slower SATA will mean your drive will run a bit under 300MB/s, that's still pretty fast and you notice SSD on random reads/writes, which are generally much slower than this limit anyway.

If you have the money to go for the new Retina model and don't mind the expense, it would be a great laptop - eventually, you will have to take the hit on the large upgrade cost. Apple is selling 256GB SSD for $500 though so it's about $250 more than it should be. They could easily have brought the retina model in at $1999 and made a profit. From their perspective, if people are willing to buy at $2199, pricing lower just means $200 lost profit per sale.

They will realise that pricing the components reasonably is the only way they can replace the old-style models. The Air started higher than the Macbook and eventually dropped enough in price to get rid of it. I think this will happen faster with the retina MBP as SSD prices are already low, Apple just needs to stop over-charging for them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRK90 View Post

should i buy a sandforce og marvell-based drive (eg ocz vertex 3 vs vertex 4)?

No, don't by an OCZ drive. While they are faster/cheaper generally, they are the least reliable. Samsung 830 or Crucial M4. Apple uses Samsung for their own SSDs.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Great reply :-)

 

If i upgrade - should i just buy an extra identical 4gb of ram? and will this be an upgrade worthwhile?

 

I thought the thing about the OCZ (up until vertex 3) that made them less stabile (and a bit faster) was the sandforce controller - with the vertex 4 they have switched to marvell, like crucial. If not i'll just choose a crucial, a bit cheaper anyways.

Could you make any comments on how the speed/responsiveness will improve from an extra 4gb of ram and a good SSD.

 

I will have to go and experience the new retina live before i decide - it would be nice to get the better screen and lighter/thinner machine. But if i could get performance, that in real life resemble that of a new MBP with SSD, from upgrading my current MBP, this would be a nice option (i feel it's on the verge of lacking responsiveness/performance).

 

 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

If i can get a Samsung 830 at the same price as OCZ vertex 4 and crucial M4, then what to choose?

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRK90 View Post

If i upgrade - should i just buy an extra identical 4gb of ram? and will this be an upgrade worthwhile?

If you only do light tasks, you probably won't notice the difference but 8GB is a good amount of RAM to ensure you aren't paging to the drive. It will mean less wear on your SSD.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRK90 View Post

II thought the thing about the OCZ (up until vertex 3) that made them less stabile (and a bit faster) was the sandforce controller - with the vertex 4 they have switched to marvell, like crucial. If not i'll just choose a crucial, a bit cheaper anyways.

Yeah it was the controller so in that case, the Vertex 4 might be an option. I don't have much confidence in OCZ though - the company just seems to be quite an amateur setup. I would feel safer with a warranty from Crucial or Samsung and also with their QA testing. There's also compatibility to think about as not all SSDs work well in Macs, especially the older laptops.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRK90 View Post

ICould you make any comments on how the speed/responsiveness will improve from an extra 4gb of ram and a good SSD.

The extra 4GB will mean that programs don't max out your RAM and then start using your storage drive. The SSD has a huge advantage over platter drives in terms of IOPs as they don't have the limitations of a mechanical design. The sequential read/write speeds are also much faster so opening, saving and copying files can be 5-10x faster on a good SSD.

Here's a benchmark of the Samsung in a MBP 2011:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mD1eo472jU

You can test your own drive using that app from the Mac App Store (blackmagic disk speed test) but it should be around 50-70MB/s read/write so going up to 375-450MB/s read/write is a significant jump, even with the 3Gbps limit. The overall experience will feel more responsive and there should be fewer beachballs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRK90 View Post

If i can get a Samsung 830 at the same price as OCZ vertex 4 and crucial M4, then what to choose?

Going from reviews of people using the drives in Macbook Pros, the Samsung seems to be the only one that doesn't have any issues. The Crucial one with the newest firware is probably ok too but the Samsung seems to be the best.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

So, i have almost decided to go with an upgrade - waiting a few years means, as you also mention, that i don't have to pay "overprice" for at new laptop because of the SSD's.

 

A couple of questions before i buy. If i buy a samsung 830 SSD, is the only way to update the firmware through bootcamp (windows)?

 

Also the RAM - i guess i should buy 2X4GB - should they be any specific brand? Is Kingston still the best ram out there? AND can i buy / will it have any effect buying ram with a faster clock-frequency?

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRK90 View Post

A couple of questions before i buy. If i buy a samsung 830 SSD, is the only way to update the firmware through bootcamp (windows)?

Yeah, via Bootcamp. There only seems to be one firmware update for it so far, issued back in January. I'd expect manufacturers to be shipping with the latest version. Firmware updates are usually only needed for serious problems. Crucial had one where the drive stopped working after 5184 hours of use:

http://forum.crucial.com/t5/Solid-State-Drives-SSD/The-5200-hour-bug-is-a-real-big-pain-200-M4-SSD-s-in-a-corporate/td-p/94655

Samsung's one was a hang on hibernation or something.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRK90 View Post

Also the RAM - i guess i should buy 2X4GB - should they be any specific brand? Is Kingston still the best ram out there? AND can i buy / will it have any effect buying ram with a faster clock-frequency?

As long as you pick any of the big names like Crucial, Kingston, Corsair, OWC, you should be fine. I'm sure they all come with a lifetime warranty anyway.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRK90 View Post

So, i have almost decided to go with an upgrade - waiting a few years means, as you also mention, that i don't have to pay "overprice" for at new laptop because of the SSD's.

 

A couple of questions before i buy. If i buy a samsung 830 SSD, is the only way to update the firmware through bootcamp (windows)?

 

Also the RAM - i guess i should buy 2X4GB - should they be any specific brand? Is Kingston still the best ram out there? AND can i buy / will it have any effect buying ram with a faster clock-frequency?


I just stick to the spec that is given. A couple people did use kingston hyperX with the last generation of minis when dealing with integrated graphics. It costs a little more. It's unclear whether it provided any real benefit. I usually just go with a major brand like Marvin mentioned. I memtest ram when it's installed much like I stress test new computers when I purchase them. I want to know that everything is fine with the hardware. If there are driver or software bugs that show up slightly later, it helps that I can mostly rule out the base hardware as the first thing to check.

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