Upgrading MacBook Pro Performance: RAM and SSD (2)

After successfully upgraded my RAM in the previous post, I will move to the most interesting part. My standard optical hard disk drive was going to be replaced by the latest and sophisticated technology in data storage: Solid State Disk. What is so good with SSD? Remarkable improvement on reading/writing speed, no buzzing sound whatsoever, lower power consumption, you name it! As a tech enthusiast I think that soon after its price is friendlier than now, SSD will lead the conventional hard disk to an extinction.

Upgrade #2: SSD

Lots of people in online forum have seduced me by showing their MacBook performance after replacing HDD with SSD. This performance, particularly in reading and writing speed, is significant compared to conventional hard disk we have used until today. What mesmerizes me so much is that start up time which is reduced greatly. You will also open apps faster than ever.

The same question again: what brand should I purchase? This time I felt glad because some options are available here. Most people recommend OCZ for its outstanding performance. Samsung is also considered as best choice in some reviews. Yet my preference goes again to Corsair. According to my little research in local market, Corsair GS series has the lowest price in 480 or 512 GB range with reasonable performance. Ah! I forget to tell you that I want either 480 or 512 GB SSD due to vast amount of data I have.

FindTheBest review shows that my option is not the best choice if we talk about performance. Corsair has Neutron GTX series if you want their flagship product which is obviously more expensive. Corsair GS 480 GB in here costs about $420. Anyhow I managed to buy a second-hand product for $360, and guess what? It had never been used since the owner get it as prize from a local competition. That’s why I love shopping in second-hand market.

Unboxing the SSD

Unboxing the SSD

It was a bit tricky here since I intended to replace current hard disk which had contained OS and data. Consequently, I had to transfer all data from my older hard disk to the new SSD. There are 2 ways to do that: clone the hard disk or do fresh install. Since Apple doesn’t include DVD installation anymore, second choice is really a bad idea for people like me who live with poor internet connection. I opted the first way.

Cloning a hard disk to SSD is simpler than installing the OS and all apps that once there. Cloning will create 100% identical copy so there would be no problem like missing file or something like that. To clone a hard disk, I need a clone software and set my SSD as a USB drive. The first step is easy, I used Carbon Copy Cloner and of course you can use other similar software. The second step made me confused at first: I need a USB to SATA interface. While wondering where I could get that thing, I realised that I have a Seagate external hard disk. Take a look at photos below.

Seagate external hard disk comes with detachable SATA to USB interface

Seagate external hard disk comes with detachable SATA to USB interface

Again, I installed the SSD by myself following a nice instruction below. Besides Philips Screwdriver, Torx T6 is also needed in hard disk replacement. You can get both in a hardware store. The Torx T6 however was pretty rare, I finally got it in Ace Hardware when they only got 4 left.

So the last question is how much does it really affect my MBP performance? Here are some quantitative facts:

  • Starting up OSX in 8 secs
  • Building and running my final project faster (Java project using NetBeans)
  • Opening Microsoft Office feels like no loading at all
  • Starting up Windows 8 virtualisation in 9 secs



One thought on “Upgrading MacBook Pro Performance: RAM and SSD (2)

  1. Pingback: Upgrading MacBook Pro Performance: RAM and SSD (1) | It's always a matter of perspective

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