While 2009 may end up being the first year that we see widespread adoption of SSDs (Solid State Drives) in notebooks, 2008 will go down as the year that it all started happening.

My experience with a SSD on the MacBook Air was an overwhelmingly positive one. While most application usage performance didn't improve, boot and application start times were noticeably quicker. Also, amazingly enough, battery life was improved by a good 5 - 15% depending on the usage model. I was quite impressed.

The size and price of the MacBook Air's SSD option were both tough pills to swallow however. Available only as a 64GB drive and as a $999 option from Apple, the option honestly doesn't make financial sense on a notebook that has a healthy shelf life of only a year or two thanks to a non-upgradable CPU and memory.

Shortly after publishing my MacBook Air review we were contacted by DVNation with an interesting offer: to try out a 128GB SATA SSD in a MacBook Pro.

If you'll remember, one of the issues with the MacBook Air's SSD is that it's still based on older PATA controller technology. When the first SSD drives hit the market they were almost exclusively for industrial applications, where reliability not performance was the top concern and they also happened to be PATA drives. Once it became clear that there was consumer interest in SSDs, development quickly shifted to SATA drives and Flash-to-PATA controller technology lagged behind. The overall market for SSDs was small enough that it didn't make sense to commit a ton of resources to the development of these things, thus we saw SATA drives improve in performance and PATA offerings stagnate. While the Flash memory side of the Samsung SSD in the MacBook Air was fast enough, the controller became the bottleneck and thus there were some instances where the SSD option was actually slower than the already sluggish mechanical disk that ships with the Air.

I was very eager to find out what would happen if I paired the latest MacBook Pro with an even faster SSD. Built with the latest in Flash-to-SATA controller technology I expected to see both performance and battery life improve.

DVNation shipped me the drive, a Memoright MR25.1-128S (the same thing as the MR25.2-128S apparently). I didn't realize how expensive it was until I got the package. DV Nation had shipped me a 15" MacBook Pro with a sticker price of $3,074, expensive but not the shocker. The next line told me the price of the SSD: $3,819.

That's right, the Memoright 128GB SATA SSD costs almost $4K just for the drive. And you thought Apple's SSD option was pricey.

The Drive
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  • Timothy123 - Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - link

    The Honda Civic actually gets a 5 star depreciation rating.
    http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/alg/index.html#seda...">http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/alg/index.html#seda...

    It being one of the cars that depreciates the least.

    Look at the list, you will only find TWO American cars on it, a Viper, which is really an odd inclusion, and a Jeep Wrangler.

    Really really really bad example in using the Honda Civic.
    Really really bad to be honest with you. This lack of judgment and knowledge makes me question the entire worth of the article.

    Really really bad.
    Reply
  • hansmuff - Monday, April 21, 2008 - link

    OMFG Hondagate!

    You're correct about the depreciation, but the JUST LEAVE HONDA ALONE response is quite silly.
    Reply
  • niva - Wednesday, April 16, 2008 - link

    A Honda owner scorned is apparently worse than a Mac Fanboy being told he owns an overpriced pos. GG! Reply
  • Duwelon - Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - link

    o rly? Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - link

    We really really don't care. Really really not. Reply
  • whatthehey - Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - link

    Dear Timothy123,

    We at Honda Civic Owners Anonymous are here to help you. We know the pain you feel at having purchased and tricked out a piece of shit $15,000 car so that you can play gangsta pimp around the neighborhood, only to realize that what you now own is a $40,000 piece of crap that sane people laugh at. We can help you with your problems! Please call us:

    1-800-CVCSHIT
    Reply
  • Denithor - Wednesday, April 16, 2008 - link

    That really is the funniest thing I've read all day.

    WTG!
    Reply
  • Frumious1 - Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - link

    I also wanted to lend my support for your insightful comments Tim. There's nothing I appreciate more than someone that jumps to the conclusion, takes one sentence, and then posts a bitchfest in the comments. But then what should we expect from a Honda owner? "Anand made fun of my car. Waaaaaah! Moooooom!" Reply
  • Avalon - Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - link

    That was really really really the silliest thing I've read all day. LOL. Reply

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