2 regular HDD's in 15" MBP 2012?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Gwyinbleid, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Gwyinbleid macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2013

    So I just bought a refurb MBP (June 2012) model and I'm super psyched about it. YAY! The model I got comes with a 750GB 5400rpm drive. However, because I do audio recording work, I want to replace that with a 750GB or 1TB 7200 rpm drive. Before you suggest an SSD, I will probably upgrade to one down the line (3-4 years when the write issue is resolved and prices have drastically come down), but for now, am looking specifically at a 7200 RPM drive so let's keep the discussion on that topic rather than "Get an SSD." Haha. My questions are as follows:

    1) After preparing the new drive for installation, what battery life/performance drop should I expect if I installed the 5400 rpm drive in the optibay as a second, storage only HDD?
    2) Will the stock 750GB 5400 rpm drive fit as a secondary drive in the optibay, even?
    3) Would this be a bad idea or not - having 2 platter drives in the computer? If I would do it, I plan on having the spin down on it be something like 2 minutes because I would rarely access it. I would only use it to store large and infrequently accessed files. SHould I just keep the superdrive in and put the 5400 hdd in an external enclosure and use it as a portable backup?

    Are there any other issues you think might come up that I haven't thought of in this specific case?

    thanks all for your responses,

  2. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Lots of people do it, you'll be fine. Expect to see some battery life loss depending on how much you use both drives, but your CPU and screen use way more power.
  3. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
  4. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Get an SSD. I know you dont want to hear it, but IMO its crazy not to because it makes a world of difference. You get better battery life, less heat, its quieter and you can even do an SSD+HDD Fusion Drive setup to combine them and get the speed/capacity advantages of both drives.

    Okay, as for the questions you care about
    1/2) I tried using both a 750GB 7200 WD Black and 1TB 5400 WD Blue. Both fit fine and both had the same performance hit.

    3) The worry I have with two spinning platters is vibration. On my setup I had an SSD in the main bay and an HDD in the optical. Whenever the optical spun up I could tell (both audibly and physically). It wasnt drastic, but I imagine having both be spinning platters would be loud and shaky.

    Also, I set up my HDD to be "Storage Only" but even though I never accessed the files in there it spun up a lot. So I'm not sure if thats due to it being in the optical bay or what, but even with the spin down set to 2min then it may still get a lot of unintentional disk access.

    P.S. Id also like to know of the SSD write issue you speak of.
  5. johnnnw macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2013
    Write issue? Erm?

    A write issue doesn't exist, unless you're talking about some sandforce controller problems that existed in the past.
  6. Gwyinbleid, Mar 12, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013

    Gwyinbleid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2013
    Well the problem with the "SSD write issue" at the moment is twofold:

    1) Decay - NAND flash can only be written on a certain number of times. For the regular user, that's fine, because they aren't constantly writing and re-writing data on their SSD to the extent that their cells cycle extremely quickly. I believe there were some tests done for the average user, I honestly don't remember the source but it was fairly reliable as far as these things go, that yielded a result of something like 31 years worth of write/rewrite capability for the memory cells. And that's great because the average user will have their iTunes folder and listen to it or create new Word/picture/whatever files that, under regular use conditions, don't have a great decay effect on a drive.

    2) Fill - the fill issue is simple: the fuller the SSD is, the slower it runs.

    Now SSD's for the average person are fine. But in audio work, they are not as good, from the research that I have done. Mainly, as you are writing over the cells so often (ie, a 100+ track song where you record tracks over and over to get them just right) you are severely decaying the drive.

    TO be honest, I don't do crazy audio work so I don't know if the decay issue would be really huge for me. The fill issue... could affect me. I can't get a huge SSD as I am not made of money. I am seriously toying with the idea of getting a 240GB Mercury Electra 6G and installing that in the main HDD bay and then taking the drive that comes on the macbook and installing that in the optibay and using that as storage.

    THe other thing I am confused about, with an SSD at the moment, is that I also want to do a 100gb Bootcamp partition for windows 7 (for some gaming, woo! lol) and I've heard that doing that on the SSD can cause problems. Would I just be able to get around this by creating that partition on the 750 5200rpm drive in the optibay, installing W7 on it and running games from there?

    Still confused as to what to do. lol
  7. lukarak macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2011
    Well, for such professional uses, you could get an SLC drive and it will last a lifetime.

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