Saturday, December 12, 2009

Putting a solid state drive in a MacBook Pro

This week I ordered a Corsair P128 128Mb Solid State drive and it's now in my MacBook Pro 2009.


Purchased on ebay at AU$520 (the buy it now price), it arrived within a few days. I tried to find a store that stocked them but all the places I called had them at higher prices and had no stock - so there's no point in not ordering on line.

I'd only used 100GB of space on the existing drive so I wasn't too concerned about a smaller drive and these days I'm storing a lot on line any way.

Disassembling the MacBook Pro 2009 is surprisingly straight forward, no scary keyboard prising or any of the things I've faced with other models. Just a bunch of Philips 0 screws in the back and the whole rear plate lifts off as you see in the picture above.

A Torx T6 driver is needed to take the mounting pegs out of the drive and while I probably have one, I couldn't find it and had to go and buy one.

The result? "Bong" to login prompt used to take about 40 seconds now it's 14, but I rarely shutdown so that's not much of a gain. Application launch time is noticeably snappy, with the Safari window up half way through the first bounce. Tools like Eclipse start much faster and I know I'll enjoy that.

Here it is launching Apple Pages:

Normally, Pages takes about 7 bounces plus a second to launch so this is an amazing improvement. You can't read it but I type "that was quick!".

I hear mixed reviews in battery life, some say it will be better, some say it won't. I'll update when I have some impressions.

While it's certainly a luxury option the biggest thing is that it's more robust than a spinning disk in a laptop. I would often hear the drive's heads retract if I moved the laptop too quickly.


After using this for a week I'm pleased to report that it was worth it. The snappy application launch performance makes it feel like a new machine and will certainly extend the life of this one. Battery life does not seem to be longer in any noticeable amount. It might be that I'm using the laptop more due to the novelty.

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