2009 Macbook pro Dual HDD drive questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by alphaae, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. alphaae macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2013
    My goal is to increase the performance of making videos, motions designs, and graphics. I primary use After Effects, Photoshop, and Premier Pro

    My initial idea was to just install a Hybrid XT drive at 7200RPM drive. Faster drive speed plus a small SSD would be an improvement over my 5400RPM stock drive

    Upon further research to improve my performance Adobe recommends that if you can use multiple drives to change how the program read/writes information in increase performance. SO I could take out the optical drive and put a second drive.

    So here are my questions

    1.) Which would be a better option put 2 regular HDD drives, do one small SSD drive for os and one large for stoargae, or just save the money and go with the Hybrid drive?
    2.) Since I only have the mid 2009 version my link speed for drives is 3GB so would an SSD drive make that much of a difference on performance?

    Here are the specs on my machine
    2.8 GHZ Core 2 Duo
    8GB RAM
    5400RPM stock drive

    Thanks for the help in advance
  2. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    A few notes:

    Having your scratch drive on a different partition is advice that assumes you have old platter-based HD's. The idea is that you can speed things up by putting your scratch drive on it's own drive so that if you are reading files, hitting your swap file, loading another program, you're not slowing down Photoshop's access of it's scratch data. SSD's make this obsolete since they have virtually no seek penalty.

    The hybrid drive is probably not going to give you the performance you want. You could see some improvement by moving your scratch disks to another hard drive, but not a huge one. First thing you want to do is max out your RAM (which it looks like you already have done). Ideally you would want your program files, swap file, and Adobe scratch file on an SSD.

    Last, your MacBook Pro has the NVIDIA chipset that has weird issues with many SSD's. They might only run at 1.5GB/s (SATA I) speeds, which isn't a huge deal because it is still a huge improvement over the hard drive you have in there now. You'd go from say 70MB/s to 240MB/s with even a SATA II SSD and you also will have no seek penalty. Even if you are stuck on SATA I speeds you're double what you already have.
  3. alphaae thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2013
    thanks for the reply robvas

    Just to clarify what you said and that I'm understanding it correctly.

    Updating to just a SSD drive in my main storage would be the best advice and to just forgo taking out the optical drive?

    That's also sad to hear that SSD drives are having problems with my current Nvidia chip set. Do you know if it is always a problem or have some people been successful at putting SSD drives in?
  4. alphaae thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2013
  5. karsten macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2010
    I've got a crucial M4 in my 2009 with the nvidia chipset, and it runs at sata 3g just fine. not sure what the hard rules are for which ones have trouble
  6. seveej macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2009
    Helsinki, Finland
    If you do not use your optical drive very much, I'd really recommend a SSD+HDD setup. The very same SuperDrive could find a new home in an external enclosure.

    I have no experience with your specific model, but if both SATA links have the same speed, you might want to use the optibay slot for the HDD, as the SSD would then be under the handrest, and would not tend to become warmer.

    Also, when deciding upon SSD capacity, I'd recommend that the capacity is enough to handle system, apps and all frequently used files. This has two advantages, firstly in access speed, secondly in that your HDD can go to sleep more often (power savings and noise reduction).

  7. alphaae thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2013
    Another question that came up in reply to doing the dual set up as far as the link speeds was looking at getting a 7200rpm drive for the regular HDD.

    Since I only have the 3gb link speed if i get a 6GB SATA drive they are they backwards compatible? Will it work on the 3gb connection?

    Also in regards to the SSD right now just looking at my app folder I have about 31gb of apps.

    Do you think a 120GB SSD would be enough space to hold apps OS?
    (SSD running about $100-$150 right now for good drives :D)
  8. micktravis macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2013
    This is exactly what I just finished setting up. I have a 2009 MBP 5,1 and the Superdrive bit the dust a while back. I bought the optibay thing from OWC and stuck a 120gb SSD in, and I've just finished migrating stuff over to it. The speed increase in amazing (although I also upped my ram from 4gb to 8gb) but it's honestly faster seeming than when I bought it, by far. It boots in about 10 seconds and Photoshop opens in less than 1. I recommend taking the leap.

    edit - I just checked system profiler and it lists the link speed and the negotiated speeds as 3 gigabit.
  9. zepman macrumors regular


    Jul 1, 2010
    Stay away from Sandforce based SSDs. The Crucial M4 or Samsung 830 will work without problems. I use a 830 in my 2009 Macbook Pro.

    Yes, they're backwards compatible.
  10. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    YES, you will get a very big jump in performance with an SSD even on SATA 3gbps. Even older ATA 1.5gbps SSD's were markedly faster than platter drives.

    As far as what to do? Well, a pure SSD will always be faster than a hybrid drive. When using your large adobe files, remember that you won't really gain any performance if the files you're working with are on the platter-drive.

    I would save for a decent sized SSD. You can get a 256GB Crucial M4 for $200. That should be enough storage for the OS, most important apps, AND the files you'll be working with. Then you can stick your existing drive in the optical bay.
  11. alphaae thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2013
    I heard it's hard to get your hands on the 830s since the new 840s are out.

    Anyone heard any news on the new OCZ Vectors. I know the older SSD of theirs where a nightmare.
  12. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    I've heard the OCZ drives have gotten better. Pretty much ALL of the early SSD's, or 'first gen' you might call them were awful. Seems like whenever any brand comes out with a new SSD, there's a 50/50 chance of it being a bust. That's why I tend to wait with SSD purchases and not jump on the newest one. Performance might be slightly, marginally, insignificantly better in some synthetic benchmark, but it's not worth the risk of finding out it's a dud 6 months down the road. At least for me anyway.
  13. peterson12 macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2012
    Here we go again. Is someone really reading up on the latest developments? I agree Crucial M4/Samsung are good stuff but don’t take away Sandforce. They were good, had few issues in the middle and now they are back with new updates which, btw, are performing superbly.... I suggest you should check with your vendors
  14. zepman macrumors regular


    Jul 1, 2010
    There was a bug with Sandforce-based SSDs and the MCP79 that made the SSD run at only1.5 Gb/s. I know OCZ released a fix for it. Maybe other manufactures have too. If so, thats great!
    Maybe the very newest SSD don't have that problem anymore. The computer in question only has SATA2. Therefore the person might go for an older and potentially cheaper SSD. I know that the M4 or 830 will work very well with that MCP79 and therefore recommended them.

    I agree with Peterson that it is good to ask the vendor if the product works with your hardware. Don't just trust a stranger on the internet. They might be wrong, myself included.

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