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Speed and reliability in your MacBook Pro When Traveling — Solid State Drives (SSD)

I’ll be photographing for five days in June leading my photo tour, away from civilization, and for that I’ll be taking my MacBook Pro Core i7 (see review).

The MBP is what I use at the end of a day’s shooting for downloading and reviewing images, as well as for instructional purposes with attendees, slide shows, etc.

After a day-long shoot, I’m tired, and the last thing I want to do is wait for the computer— starting with image download, backup, and reviewing images. So I want it to be fast.

My vehicles also bounces around on dirt roads, and while secure the laptop, I’m a lot more comfortable with a solid state drive (SSD), because it’s essentially immune to shocks that might kill a hard drive.

But I’ll be driving as high as 12,600 feet in the White Mountains, and an SSD has no “heads” to crash in the thin atmosphere up there.

While SSDs are reliable, I still carry one backup drive, the bus-powered AL-Pro-Mini, because after all, the laptop can be stolen, and the software gods can always do something Bad.

Drive of choice for my MacBook Pro — SSD

MPG Pro Laptop Boot (system) Drive

My laptop is currently outfitted as an MPG Pro Laptop with dual 200GB solid state drives forming one doube-speed 400GB volume. It’s about 5 times faster than the fastest hard drive!

Alternately, I might be lucky enough to receive a review sample or two of the new OWC 480GB Mercury Extreme Pro SSD, in which case I might swap to that configuration for true “field testing”. In that case, I’d probably run a 240GB boot drive (SSD), and a 480GB SSD for extra storage, though a single 480GB drive would be ample for my needs.

In any case, I can feel safe taking my laptop so-outfitted over bumpy roads and to high altitude, and the SSDs eliminate any disk related performance issues, so that’s as good as it gets.

Not that an SSD/HDD combination is possible: users needing a lot of storage can outfit the MPG Pro Laptop with both an SSD for the boot (system) drive, and a 500GB or even 1TB hard drive for additional “overflow” storage.

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