I'm deciding to buy my first MacBook Pro for developing iOS application. I never use any Apple desktop or laptop before, and also never develop any application. I think if I want faster result when I compile an application, higher CPU and RAM are better. But I'm not sure about storage type, does SSD significantly results faster compilation time than HDD?

Pros of SSD: faster read & write speed

Cons of SSD: expensive!

Is it worth to use SSD instead of HDD?

P.S. I choose MacBook Pro instead of iMac or Mac Pro because I have to bring it to training center to study iOS application development.

3 Answers 3


It depends on your project size, but an SSD is unlikely to make a huge difference in compilation speeds - it's almost entirely a CPU-bound task. However an SSD can still make a big difference in your productivity with Xcode, and OS X in general. It particularly helps when you're indexing files in a project, or searching the documentation.

You'll also notice a big improvement whenever you're swapping to disk (e.g. if you're doing another task while a big compile is happening).

Unless money is very tight, I strongly recommend getting an SSD. You can save a lot of money buying a 3rd party SSD and installing it yourself (which is pretty easy in a MacBook Pro) - prices have been dropping sharply lately, I'd estimate about 50% from where they were at the start of the year.


If you can afford it SSD is the way to go. If storage space is also an issue, and you can sacrifice the optical drive, you could install an OWC Data Doubler which enables you install a second 2.5" drive. It's not the most straightforward of installations but isn't that hard. This is what I've done in my 13" MBP. 120Gb SSD for OS and Apps. 500Gb HD in the Data Doubler for storage.


There is storage solution in between of HDD and SDD, namely hybrid drives.

A hybrid drive is a hard disk drive with a smaller solid state drive built in. Seagate offers these drives under their "Momentus XT" range up to 750GB (ST750LX003) at a price of approximately 70% above regular HDD prices.

An additional tip: verify that your backup procedure is good. SSD's in our experience fail more often then HDD's. And when they SSD's fail, there is no data to recover.

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