Late 2011 MBP

As I briefly mentioned in my last post, I recently got a new MacBook Pro as an early graduation present to replace my old MBP. Even though it was a brand new computer, I only upgraded a few components when I purchased it – opting to upgrade the remaining items by myself after. This was mostly due to the fact that a lot of the upgrades Apple offers are insanely overpriced. For instance, going from 4 GB to 8 GB of RAM adds $200 onto the price of the computer. An 8 GB kit of RAM off of Newegg typically runs between $30 – $50, depending on the brand and speed. Additionally, when you have Apple do it for you, they keep the original 4 GB of RAM – when you do it yourself, you can reuse the 4 GB of RAM in a later project.

Anyway, the two main components I decided to leave stock were the hard drive and RAM (if you couldn’t tell already). The RAM I quickly found on Newegg for $30 – it was a G.Skill kit (which happens to be my personal go to brand for RAM) at the same speed as the stock RAM in MBP. By quickly found, I mean the 8 GB of RAM was installed within 3 hours of bringing the computer home. As for the hard drive, I thought I would be able to handle the switch from the SSD in my old MBP to a 7200 RPM drive in the new computer, but quickly came to realize that the speed difference is HUGE. Last week I found a 256 GB Samsung 830 Series on Newegg for $350 – if that sounds a little high to anyone, Apple charges $500 for the 256 GB SSD option, and, again, they keep the original hard drive. After debating if I should just get it already or wait a little longer, I ended up buying it. One interesting thing to note is that the hard drive that came in the computer was 9 mm tall, while the SSD was only 7 mm – there’s no issue using a smaller drive in the MBP, but I was definitely surprised when I placed the drives side by side. Here’s a picture of the SSD fully installed.

256 GB Samsung 830 Series in Late 2011 MacBook Pro

After upgrading the RAM and swapping out the HDD for an SSD, the computer is insanely fast. Not to say it was a slouch before – the quad core i7 is definitely a huge improvement over the Core 2 Duo that was in my old MBP – but the difference between a traditional hard drive and a solid state drive is staggering. The computer is virtually quiet during normal operation, and only audible when the fans kick on if its working a little harder than normal. Overall, I’m loving my new MBP – its amazing how much of a difference 4 years makes in the computer world.

This entry was written by Marc Budofsky , posted on Thursday January 12 2012at 07:01 pm , filed under Hardware, OS X and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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