Add more drive capacity to MacBook Pro an optimize for performance


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 14, 2010
I have a MacBook Pro (MacBookPro6,1) that came with a 500GB Seagate 7200rpm disk (ST9500420ASG)
Having already maxed out the RAM to 8GB now I want to:

1. optimize drives for performance
2. add more capacity
3. a backup plan

I decided to ditch the optical drive and bought the
OWC Data Doubler and the 1TB WD Scorpio Blue 5400rpm disk (WD10JPVT)

Now I start to realize that the important thing is to separate the "BOOT" drive from the "MEDIA" drive.
To make the Boot drive fast I will have to replace the 500GB Seagate disk with an SSD drive.
I was thinking the 128GB Crucial m4 SSD (CT128M4SSD2)

So in my MBP I will have:
I do photography and video.
I could maybe partition the "MEDIA" drive into 2x 500GB "PHOTOS" + "VIDEOS"

As backup I have 3 disks:
- 500GB Seagate 7200rpm - original MBP disk
- 500GB Samsung 5400rpm I use as backup until now
- 160GB Seagate 7200rpm disk from an older MBP (maybe use this to backup the SSD Boot disk?)
I connect these drives via Firewire 800 in an enclosure.
Later could decide to get a 2TB Time Capsule to do the backups automatically and wireless.

What do you think? Is this a good plan?
Should I partition the MEDIA drive? I think the "VIDEOS" part will eventually become bigger than the "PHOTOS"..

Anything performance wise I should be aware of?
For example I have been doing some reading about moving the Home Folder and the Sleepimage out of the Boot drive.
Do I have to make a special partition for this on my "MEDIA" drive?

I want to optimize this machine for Adobe CS6 Apps like Lightroom, Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro.
A lot of these Apps write cache files in username/Library/Application Support/Adobe folders.
Do I need a "scratch disk" as well? Where could I make it and how big?
A disk for cache needs to be fast.. but I guess the 1TB WD 5400rpm is not ideal..
Should I get a bigger SD drive than?


macrumors 68030
Aug 24, 2007
Designating a HDD as a scratch drive will slow you down, I'd think. Just let it write to the SSD. Get a fast one with high I/O and you should be all set. Just use sym links to direct your stored media files to the HDD. Read about how to do that HERE.
Last edited:


macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
In general it is best to put everything on the SSD you are currently working on. Say you have a new batch of photos for a job. You import them into a library on the SSD. Do all you stuff. After it is done you archive it on the HDD Media drive.
Cache obviously needs to stay on the SSD.
Most people can fit working data on an SSD but depending on the support of the Application it may be needed to write some scripts for automatic transfer after it is done. So you don't have to manually copy the stuff always.

If you use the SSD only for OS and Apps the speed up is only limited. Once those apps are launched and in the RAM you don't notice an SSD HDD difference anymore. If the data you are working on is too big for RAM and often read from the HDD, it will slow you down.
I use the HDD for archives, quick backups, temporary storage of big stuff, movies and such. All the stuff you only want to have there but aren't currently using or where using just means reading, watching, listening not editing.
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