Last week my 2011 Macbook Pro crashed. Well, it started crashing a month or two ago. 1-2 times per day it would suddenly freeze up, often while I was watching video on YouTube or Vimeo, and I would get a gray screen, or a white screen, or a black screen, or sometimes a gray screen with vertical lines. That was it, I would have to reboot. Everything would be fine for a while, and then it would happen again. It wasn’t always when I was watching video, but it seemed to be video at least half the time.
Then last week it changed slightly. Sometimes I would get the blank screen or the vertical lines, but I would also get a split screen. That is, it was as though the screen image had been moved 2/5 of the way to the right, and then the right part was showing up on the left side of the screen. There would also be a bit of flickering and static lines around the screen. And as frozen as ever.
For some reason I assume my hard drive was crashing. My Applecare had expired, so I figured “No biggie, I’ll go get a new hard drive, do Time Machine, and I’ll get back up and running.” Not wanting to deal with a hard drive with a disk, I talked myself into getting a solid state drive (SSD). The largest size they had was 512GB, and it wasn’t cheap, but I’m betting that a year from now you’ll be able to get a 2TB SSD for the same price as a 512GB today.
Long story short on the problem–it wasn’t the hard drive. Once I got the new one in I still had the same problem. I did a little more research and it turns out it’s the logic board. No Applecare meant $800 in repairs, except if your laptop is still in good condition and has all the original parts you can participate in Apple’s “flat rate mail-in” program. $400 at your nearest Apple-certified store, they overnight it to Apple, they’ll fix anything that’s wrong with it, and overnight it back. So theoretically I’ll be getting it back in two days all ready to go.
But let’s get back to the SSD. It’s amazing!! I’m let down by most things technology. My computer is never fast enough. 16GB of RAM isn’t enough. 750GB on my hard drive isn’t enough space. I hate it when I have to wait 0.5 seconds for a website to load. I didn’t like the iPhone and returned it. Sure, I’m spoiled. Yeah, I know, back when you were a kid in the 50s you could walk to and from school uphill both ways, in the snow, and the webpage you had clicked on when you left still wouldn’t be loaded when you got back. And punchcards, yeah, tell me about the 500 punchcards you had to plug into your computer to get Facebook running. Anyway, when I say I’m impressed with the SSD, I’m not the guy who’s impressed with just anything.
Granted, I think my old hard drive had some issues, even if it wasn’t what was crashing. I’d get the pinwheel every time I tried to do anything. It was highly fragmented, and had some bad blocks. But I think the SSD really is that amazing that even were my old drive in top notch condition I wouldn’t be any more impressed than I am. Let’s put it this way–I think my computer is now 2-3 times as fast. At everything. Webpages load faster. It boots up faster, probably 10 times faster. Applications open much, much faster. I rarely if ever get the pinwheel. It is absolutely amazing.
I’m constantly thinking about how much time I spend in a week waiting for something to happen on my computer. I’d guess it’s a few hours a week. If my time is worth $100/hr, then the new SSD will pay for itself in the first week. I couldn’t recommend more highly that you get one.
Nobody paid me or gave me anything to write this post, although if anyone wants to I’ll gladly accept whatever you send me. If some SSD manufacturer wants to send me some product to review, I couldn’t be happier, but they certainly didn’t this time around.