Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Web Architecture Consultant specializing in open source frameworks.

10+ YEARS


Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

New 15" MacBook Pro with SSD

Just over a month ago, I reduced my computing machinery from 3 to 1. Since I was running to work, this quickly presented a problem of how to get my laptop to/from the office. I decided to go for the "no home computer" about half the time and it was a fairly pleasant experience. It's hard to stay up late and hack away on open source when all you have is an iPhone.

To be perfectly honest, I only made it about 2 weeks before I ordered a new laptop, but I cancelled the order shortly after. Last weekend, I re-ordered and my new 15" MacBook Pro arrived this past weekend. Here's the specs:

  • Processor: 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Memory: 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3

I also chose the solid-state drive (SSD) because I'd heard it's faster. I did some rough performance comparisons against my old laptop (a 2-year-old 17" MacBook Pro) and found it's quite a bit faster.

For these tests, the computers have exactly the same software and OS (I restored my new MBP from my old one). For the tests below, I used Java version "1.5.0_16" and had JAVA_OPTS set to the following:

-Xms512M -Xmx768M -XX:PermSize=256m -XX:MaxPermSize=512m -Djava.awt.headless=true -XX:+CMSClassUnloadingEnabled -XX:+CMSPermGenSweepingEnabled -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC. 
ComputerOperationTime (mm:ss)
New MacBook Pro with OS X 10.5.6 (2.8 GHz, 4 GB RAM)appfuse: mvn install3:23
cp -r appfuse appfuse20:28
gwt-project: mvn install1:24
Old MacBook Pro with OS X 10.5.6 (2.33 GHz, 3 GB RAM)appfuse: mvn install4:11
cp -r appfuse appfuse20:56
gwt-project: mvn install2:21

From these numbers, you can see that it's around 20% faster for building AppFuse (2.1-SNAPSHOT) and almost twice as fast at copying files and building the GWT project I'm working on. Needless to say, I'm impressed and pleased with my purchase.

Update: New MacBook Pros came out today with a faster CPU (2.93 GHz) and 256 GB SSD. I was able to call Apple and get a full refund on mine. Thanks Apple!

Posted in Mac OS X at Mar 02 2009, 07:24:28 AM MST 14 Comments
Comments:

Congrats on the new MBP. I got mine about 10 days ago. One thing you are not going to like is the battery drains while asleep. Over night it loses between 20% and 50% of its charge. There is a thread at Apple on this... nearly 12000 views and 237 posts. One of the most active:

http://is.gd/kBJK

Calls to Apple state they have no open issues. I have a sneaky suspicion that this is a hardware problem and Apple is keeping mums on it.

Posted by Jeff Genender on March 02, 2009 at 09:39 AM MST #

Even when using the "Deep Sleep"-Widget ?

Posted by Sakuraba on March 02, 2009 at 12:56 PM MST #

I'd be interested to hear if there's a story behind some of the more esoteric java options, e.g. -Djava.awt.headless=true -XX:+CMSClassUnloadingEnabled -XX:+CMSPermGenSweepingEnabled -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC In other words, is there a particular problem that you had which these options solved?

Posted by Donal on March 02, 2009 at 01:37 PM MST #

@Donal - I've used these when developing with Spring and Hibernate to sweep the PermGen and allow me to develop w/o restarting Tomcat/Jetty.

Posted by Matt Raible on March 02, 2009 at 03:56 PM MST #

Hi Mat, Do you make the JAVA_OPTS change system wide ? If yes, I'm curious to know how. Seb.

Posted by Seb on March 02, 2009 at 04:32 PM MST #

@Seb. Yes, I make these changes system-wide, but it doesn't mean they're read by all programs. You should be able to do this in your environment settings, which varies by operating system.

Posted by Matt Raible on March 02, 2009 at 04:52 PM MST #

So what about the drop in monitor size (17" > 15"). From a programmer's perspective, does it make much of a difference (I'm planning to get a macbook/macbook pro within the next week or so).

Posted by Joe on March 02, 2009 at 05:01 PM MST #

@Joe - I don't mind the drop in monitor size. 23" vs. 30" is a big difference. 15" vs. 17" is not IMO.

Posted by Matt Raible on March 02, 2009 at 05:04 PM MST #

@Jeff - I can confirm that I have the "battery loses juice while sleeping" issue. I unplugged it and closed the lid last night when leaving work. It was fully charged. This morning, I opened it and it's at 85%. Doesn't bother me, but good to know.

Posted by Matt Raible on March 03, 2009 at 09:30 AM MST #

This is sweet! I'm so pumped about it. Best news to come out of Apple in a long time I think.

Posted by Joy on March 03, 2009 at 01:55 PM MST #

Sounds great, I'm thinking about upgrading my 17 to a new one with SSD HD too.

What about the heat generated under the laptop? Is it any less with the SSD?

I think the 15 generated a little less than my 17 - which gets incredibly hot while compiling. Quite uncomfortable to touch actually :( Its the only downside to this fabuolous laptop.

I was so pleased to see the anti-glare still available in the 17 too :)

Cheers
Richard

Posted by Richard on March 03, 2009 at 04:45 PM MST #

I wonder how easy it is to change the hard drive on these things?

I would consider getting one with the basic SATA hard-disk and swapping it with a SSD later on this year as the new generation discs come to market and the price comes down a ways.

Buying a SSD drive now is a bit like buying those first generation 17" LCDs in 2003. Very cool at the time, but expensive and very rapidly out of date.

Posted by Aaron on March 04, 2009 at 09:25 AM MST #

hum you do realize that the 2.8ghz processor is about 20% faster than the 2.3 one right? As far as the file operations go, yeah SSD does miracles to the system performance even when compared to the fastest 7200rpm mobile drives. Too bad they still cost an arm and a leg and are lacking in the space department.

Posted by guest on March 04, 2009 at 09:55 AM MST #

All hail the SSD powered MBP

Posted by R on August 11, 2009 at 10:43 PM MDT #

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