I haven't used a Macintosh that didn't have an internal hard drive since I played around with a Macintosh Plus in 1986. Now the 13" MacBook Pro that I use here at the office is missing one ... and I couldn't be happier.
We've had a fair number of questions from folks on YouTube and our blog about how the RealSSD C300 would work in a Mac—and I've been lucky enough to get my hands on one of our first 256GB drives as we near production. Needless to say, it didn't stay in my hands long before I got it installed in my MacBook.
The installation process was quite simple for a 13" unibody MacBook Pro. I connected the RealSSD C300 to the Mac with a SATA-USB external drive casing and formatted it using Disk Utility. Then, using Carbon Copy Cloner (great piece of software—free and worth the donation they request), I cloned my hard drive to the SSD. Installing the drive was just as easy—just remove 10 screws to detatch the bottom casing. From there, it was a simple matter of removing the bracket that keeps the hard drive snug in the case, switching the mounting screws from the hard drive to the SSD and putting things back together.
Now, I knew going into this that the drive was fast—I've seen it in action in the benchmark tests we've run and have demonstrated here on our blog. But It's one thing to read about how the C300 can deliver over 50,000 IOPs—it's another thing to start seeing the kind of performance the drive delivers in real life. I have been amazed by how it has sped up what I thought was a pretty zippy computer.
- Boot-up time is one-third what it used to be.
- Applications load amazingly fast—I have yet to see more than one "bounce" in the dock.
- I don't remember the last time I saw a "spinning beachball" that I used to run into at times when switching applications or starting a new process.
- Drive-intensive applications like Photoshop and Parallels are incredibly responsive.
It's clear that the RealSSD C300 provides a very noticeable improvement in performance—it's helped make this machine more responsive than I've ever experienced with any other type of hardware upgrade. In fact, it feels faster than the much beefier iMac I have at home. And keep in mind, this isn't a fresh install of the OS on an empty drive; I've got the drive well cluttered with 190GB of data—I cloned the content straight from the HDD. I did have to make one minor tweak, though—it just didn't feel right looking at that "Macintosh HD" text and icon in the Finder.
Bottom line? I can conclusively say that the C300 feels right at home in this machine. I know you're probably itching to get your own. You have just a few more weeks to wait; retail drives will be available from Crucial by the end of the month.