rMBP: SDXC as extended drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Hrim, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2012
    I use a 128GB SDXC card for my rBMP. Every download that is not a picture is stored on it. Also, I installed Diablo 3 on it and uses it for my software that are not on the Application folder.


    It's a 133x Lexar 10 card I bought for 80$ online.

    I have the base 2.3/256/8 rMBP which I use for few simple tasks. The idea behind the SDXC was to use it as a Windows 8 drive and leave the main SSD pure from all these Windows file that would fill up too much space.

    As I have yet to perform that install, I can not talk about the success of this operation. However, I have few comments / questions about it.

    - Diablo 3:
    Playing on it is fast and loading times, except the first one, are on par with what I would expect. Yet, lightyears away of my W7 SSD based gaming rig.
    It was hard to play while downloading, even when the launcher said it would be optimal. I noticed that if I download a torrent on it and watch a video stored on the card, it would skip frames. I think that is an issue with the band witch or controller, which can't handle many files at once.

    I watched Timescapes in 1440p on the card and never it lagged or took time navigate through the movie. Other 1080p films are playing quickly and load in VLC fast enough for not being annoying overtime.

    I am not sure about this one, but it may be possible that torrent are performing poorly when writting on the card. I also think it may wear it very quickly. I'd rather wear it instead of my SSD so for 80$, I don't care, but that's something to think about if you invest in a more expensive, faster card.

    The card can sometime get a bit hot, but it's not particularly noticeable as you have to pinch it to feel the heat. I think many people are aware of this, but the slot accepts only 60% of the card, the other 40% are left out. That's an issue, I have to keep taking the card out when moving my mac inside the sleeve. It fits but I'm afraid I'll bend it somehow.


    There's a promising kickstart; Nifty Minidrive which may be able to solve this, at the cost of having a restriction regarding the type of SDXC card (only microSDXC will do the trick, and they are slower and more expensive at the moment). As they reached far more than needed funds, I'll just wait to see what happens. Hopefully they will release it and it will keep up to the promise.

    Now, I wonder if this card is making my macbook acting like a fool:

    From the beach ball to the sleep bug, the very slow performance of some applications that are not located on the card, but needs to access to the path in order to store a downloaded file on it, I have so many issue with the rMBP that I can't believe it's not somehow my fault. I only installed few softwares, changed the resolution to 2880x1800 with RDM.app, and have the gfxstatus active.

    Are rMBP or cMBP notorious to act like fools when a SDXC is used for more than uploading/downloading pictures and video ?
  2. macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2008
    Im planning on using the Nifty adapter on mine. I also don't plan on using it for any core applications or any apps really. I may try to put my itunes library on it to see how it performs, but it will mainly be for extra "non crucial" storage. I just feel like SD cards are not as reliable as normal hard drives. however it will be nice to have an extra 64 gb to work with. I feel like as long as i have a time machine backup of everything, I can use the 64gb sd card without much to worry about. Thoughts?
  3. macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Hum, if I were you I'd do it the other way around. All applications and OSes on my SSD, and media like music, pictures and movies on external.

    If downloading directly to SD is slow then download to your main drive then move completed downloads to external. Most torrent clients will let you do that automatically in their settings.
  4. macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2010
    Installing applications on the SDXC card is something I'd never consider doing. It just simply isn't fast enough for random reads/writes to not notice a slowdown.
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2012
    That's only for lightweight app like VLC, gfxstatus and tdm, the kind of stuff that doesn't need to be installed.

    As for Diablo, I don't think there's that much 4k random write?
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    Those apps don't take much space on the laptop's SSD storage at all, what are you smoking? A single 30-min DVD movie rip takes more space than all of those lightweight apps combined.

    And I have several residing directly on my MBPR.
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2012
    Please show me where I say these apps take place? I said lightweight.
  8. macrumors 68030


    Jun 16, 2007
    I think an SD is a nice solution to carry with you if you need extra storage and don't want to lug around a hard drive.

    However, I rather have a FW800 or USB 3.0 drive with me so I can at least get fast speeds.

    Once mSATA takes off, I could see them being in USB 3.0 enclosures...super fast speeds and very portable.
  9. macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2006
    Thanks for the thread. This is actually what I considered for a long while. After getting my rMBP my plan is to move my iPhoto library on to these SD cards since it uses up so much space... or just get rid of iPhoto entirely.
  10. macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2009
    Can you run a program like Blackmagic disk speed tester and run a test on the card? It's free on the Mac App Store. It will let us know the read and write speed.
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2012


    Not sure if I did it correctly, I waited a while but it kept running the test.
    Speeds are the same I get with my PC.
  12. macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2009
    You did do it right. For some reason the app likes to run the test over and over again until you quit. Thank you. For now I have a second drive in my MBP but it gets too loud and reduces my battery so I'm trying to see if this is worth for me

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