In November of 2009 I bought my first Mac. While I worked on Macs in my job, I had always been a PC man at home. But on that year’s Black Friday I found an incredible deal on a 13″ Macbook Pro and I felt like my home computing life evolved to a higher state of being!
Three years on I found myself wishing I could afford to upgrade this past Black Friday, but this was just not going to happen. This left me in a bit of a difficult situation. This range of Mac’s were notoriously under-powered and with three years of heavy use, my own one had slowed to a crawl with it showing of the beach-ball of joy at every other move of the mouse!
I remember seeing Eric’s post on SSD’s and their cost last year. It made me think about whether the costs had come down enough and when i looked I was pleasantly surprised to see that actually the prices had come down a huge amount! They’re still more expensive than regular HDD’s but a lot cheaper than buying a new Mac. So I took the plunge and went for a Crucial M4 256GB SSD. This would not only bring much promised speed but it would also nearly double the capacity from the stock 160BG HDD.
WOW – I have not been disappointed! – I paced it against my 2011 i5 16GB iMac in a couple of speed tests:
- Test 1 – Boot test: Booting both machines to a state where Skype is usable.
- Photoshop test – See how long it takes to open up a 750MB Photoshop file after both systems have been purged.
Obviously there are several things to bear in mind:
- These are not fresh installations. I cloned the old HDD to the SDD, so boot time relative to new MacBooks is slow. My next task will be to do a fresh install to really get the benefits.
- The MacBook is still 3 years old. It has had a RAM upgrade to 4GB but the rest of the guts are still 3 years old.
- When it comes to CPU intensive tasks the iMac is still king. The above video took over an hour to render on the iMac where it took less than 30 mins.
If you’re thinking of taking the plunge – I more than recommend it!