In this post, I just want to share my personal feeling and experience in getting a SSD upgrade for my MacBook Pro (Mid-2012) last weekend.
Having been suffering from harddisk slow down for about half a year, since I upgraded my MacBook to OSX Yosemite, I tried numerous ways to improve the performance of the machine, including replacing RAM to a pair with a total of 8GB, as well as software-wise tweaks such as resetting SMC, PRAM, disabling FileVault (OMG that was a horribly night-long process), Clean My Mac, etc. Frankly speaking, none of those works as desired. It just gets slower and slower.
I know that’s a problem of software updates. Mavericks was good and old MacBooks runs fast and stable, but not the case anymore on Yosemite. That’s a typical Apple strategy, or norm, or ‘known secret’ that they intentionally slow down older devices with OS upgrades to force you to get a newer one. Simply think like this, more advanced system requires more power from the machine it is running on. Seems fair but consumers cry and complain, over time.
Nevertheless, finally, I decided to give SSD a try, took out some money and shopped for a reliable SSD drive for upgrade.
I was thinking to get a Crucial MX100 or MX200 as a replacement beforehand. The price seems fair and the performance looks okay on paper. I am not getting a product from the top of the line but reasonable deal with an acceptable read/write speed, plus a reliable global brand.
I went to some retail shops late at night and most were closed. A few still opened and a couple of them sell SSD drives. There were Crucial SSD in the first store that I stopped by. I was trying to get the best one but the shopkeeper told me that there is no stock until last few days of March. Well, ok. Then I stood there for like 5-10 minutes reading through the product list but I was completely ignored. None of the staffs spoke to me and gave me further advice but were just fooling around. Fine, I turned away and no thanks in future. (FYI, the first shop at the right hand side of escalator in Wan Chai Computer Centre 2/F)
Then I went to a shop right around the corner with 3 staffs on duty. I stopped and one guys immediately came out and helped me out. Overall he gave me a number of options including Kingston, Samsung and Plextor, with a lot of supporting details, etc. Though I was super tired, it was still good to listen to more comprehensive advice. I know he was trying to sell me on that but that’s how it should go, right? Eventually, I picked Plextor M6S SATA 6Gb/s 2.5″ SSD (256GB) with Read/Write 520/420 MB/s, with a slightly higher-than-market price. That’s still decent and far more than enough.
I headed home and installed it right after I backed up via Time Machine to my LaCie Rugged Mini 1TB external hard drive and created a bootable installer on a USB 3.0 thumb drive (to make sure the speed is fast and stable). Power off and screw off the back panel. Carefully follow the video tutorial. Eventually I made it and booted my machine up again. The recovery (with over 150GB of data) from Time Machine took around a hour to finish. The bouts time is blazingly fast comparing to my previous, original Hitachi HDD, which is around 10-15 seconds versus 3-4 minutes. Really a huge difference.
Launching apps has been super fast too. Photoshop and Chrome take 3-4 seconds (previously, around 40-60 seconds+). Forgive me to be late to the party but the SSD speedy performance impressed me a lot that I regret not getting one earlier (well, I can’t get a better on in 2013, or higher price in 2014, maybe). On the power side, I do noticed that it is more power efficient than the old HDD. That’s not an official test but I do noticed a difference. Additionally, despite of the speed, it does not get hot at all. Really, really impressive purchase.
So besides excitement, I hope I can still manage to reuse the old HDD for storage, for low turnaround files. And finally, I highly recommend you upgrade your slow 5400rpm HDD to SSD. Let me know what you think down below in the comment section.