Monday, 21 February 2011

MacBook Unibody (early 2009) with OCZ Vertex SSD

My 13" MacBook Unibody (early 2009) comes with a SATA-1 250GB hard disk. The controller maybe capable of 3.0Gbps but it only runs at 1.5Gbps, probably due to the bottleneck at the hard disk. While everyone is crazy about SSD, I want to know if my 2 years old MacBook Unibody can boost up to next level speed.

Mine is a MacBook Unibody early 2009 model. It is not a MacBook Pro which has an SD card slot. So, it is not-so-common to find reviews of SSD upgrade. Most of reviews are made by MBP users. But here is a good one (since it is about OCZ on OCZ forum, I feel like reading a commercial ad):

OCZ Vertex: MacBook Unibody, BootCamp and Win7 - Benchmarks and impressions

I was reading this article while shopping in the mall. And so I went for the OCZ Vertex 60GB SSD. Prior to visit the mall, I also read another one, which indeed scared me a bit and being careful on the brand to choose. To my surprise, even an Intel SSD doesn't work on the MacBook Pro.

Installing a SSD in a Macbook Pro unibody

My 2 years MacBook Unibody took over 2 minutes to start up (count from the moment I press the power button). Clean installing Snow Leopard on SSD is really fast, about 15-20 minutes. It boots in 25 seconds. It takes 45-50 seconds to boot into Windows XP, however. It takes 20 seconds before the Windows XP loading screen appears. I guess the EFI is not as optimized as Asus eeePC S101. The netbook has a faster boot up speed, even it runs on Atom CPU, DDR-2 memory and SSD with max w/r 80MBps.

Here is a simple speed test. I timed the time required to load Symbian S60 3rd Edition FP1 emulator.

around 60s on P4 HT 3.0GHz, DDR-1 RAM, SATA-I hard disk
around 50s on Atom 1.6GHz, DDR-2 RAM, SATA SSD (MLC)
around 30s on C2D 3.0GHz, DDR-2 RAM, SATA-II hard disk
around 15s on C2D 2.4GHz, DDR-3 RAM, SATA-II OCZ SSD

Does it worth the money? I would say... if you are freely to spend.

(I will post photos here later).

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