Added SSD and 2nd HD to new MBP 17 i7 - WOW!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by neoben, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. neoben macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    #1
    Howdy...

    Just bought a new 17" i7 MBP. Incidentally, even though this is a 'BTO' option, and not one of the standard configs, I still found this in an Apple store, ready to go, and walked out with it.

    Anyhow, I purchased the caddy kit from MCE, and in about 1/2 hour, removed the DVD, swapped the main HD into the now-empty DVD space, and added a new Intel SSD into the main HD spot. Very easy, and the MCE kit not only came with fairly good instructions (not perfect), but they also provided the tools, and an external case for the DVD drive so I can still use it externally.

    I have to say, I am BLOWN AWAY by the speed difference. Booting is well over 2X as fast. Most small apps (Safari, Mail, etc..) open in a second or two, without so much as a bounce in the dock. Big apps (FCP, Motion) now open in seconds, as opposed to a minute or so that it used to take.

    This is an expensive upgrade ($500 from Apple, and I spent $400 myself, but now have 2 HDs, as opposed to Apple's option just for 1.

    One other interesting fact. The stock HD (5400rpm) connects via SATA at 1.5Gbs, but the new SSD connects at 3Gbs....

    You can get a 6Gbs SSD now for a lot of money, but I don't think the MBP can support that SATA speed.. 3Gbs appear to be the limit...

    So, I was skeptical, but am now a champion of this swap, if you have the $...

    Best,

    Ben
    [Neo-Fight.tv - The Technology Show For The "Not-So-Geeky"]
     
  2. ebd.i.am macrumors 6502

    ebd.i.am

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
  3. neoben thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    #3
    Good question. Don't know yet...

    Previously, I'd only run on the battery 2 or 3 times. Was getting 4-5 hours of use using non-intensive apps.

    I havent' actually edited video on this baby yet, but that always sunk the batt life of my previous MBP.. I'd get 3 of normal use, but only around 90 mins of actual editing.

    It'll take 2 or 3 weeks of use to really get a feel for it...

    What's nice is that the 2nd HD spins down when not in use, so that's gotta save a bunch of battery....

    Right now, if I unplug, just surfing the web and checking email on wifi with 75% brightness, it's reporting 6hrs, but that's pretty anecdotal...

    Best,

    Ben
    [Neo-Fight.tv - The Technology Show For The "Not-So-Geeky"]
     
  4. rockstarjoe macrumors 6502a

    rockstarjoe

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Location:
    washington dc
    #4
    Did you run into any problems with the wifi? I heard it was connected to the Superdrive now so you have to detach it and then reattach it when swapping the MCE for the Superdrive... is this true?

    Also, how is the external case for the DVD drive? I heard that they are not so nice but I'd love to hear your opinion!
     
  5. Jon03021 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #5
    Could you please run a benchmark of the SSD's performance? Then maybe you could fill the drive with data and then run the same benchmark? we are all very curious as to what the speed differences are.
     
  6. neoben thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    #6
    Yes, you have to remove the wifi connector. No problems, very easy, and easy to reconnect. I'm running with full bars right now, just as before.

    The DVD case is nice, but has no front face, so from the front you can see the bare metal of the DVD drive. Not a huge issue, but it's not going to win any beauty contests.

    It works, though, and the rest of the case is a nice rubberized plastic...

    Best,

    Ben
    [Neo-Fight.tv - The Technology Show For The "Not-So-Geeky"]
     
  7. neoben thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    #7
    Regarding benchmarking and filling the drive.... Sorry, no time for these tests. YMMV.

    Best,

    Ben
    [Neo-Fight.tv - The Technology Show For The "Not-So-Geeky"]
     
  8. cyclical macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #8
    The stock HD is in the optical bay? And it's only connecting at 1.5Gb/s? Does this mean the optical drive's SATA connector isn't capable of SATA2 ?
     
  9. neoben thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    #10
    Photos? No-tos... Sorry...

    The Stock HD connects at 1.5gbs on either the HD or DVD connector. I don't think the stock drive is 3Gbs capable...

    Just to clarify, the stock hd says that it 'connects' at 3GBs, but has a 'negotiated speed' of 1.5Gbs. You can see this in the system profiler...

    Best,

    Ben
    [Neo-Fight.tv - The Technology Show For The "Not-So-Geeky"]
     
  10. Gorilla Power macrumors 6502

    Gorilla Power

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #11
    Congratulations, good to know. Btw, which SSD did you get ? Crucial C300 ?
     
  11. neoben thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    #12
    Intel X-25....or some such... Seemed the best price/performance/size according to some websites...

    -Ben
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    neo-fight.tv - {The Weekly Technology Podcast}
     
  12. jaforres macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    #13
    I just put the x25 in my 2.53 Macbook pro 13. I must concur... WOW
     
  13. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #14
    so what size is the SSD you got? I am assuming either an 80 or 128GB?

    You obviously put your apps and OS on the SSD and kept itunes on the 2nd HDD? I ask, because i am seriously contemplating doing this, but my iTunes library is 90GB (just music, no movies or anything), so not everything would fit on an SSD and i don't want to spend $400 on a drive..
     
  14. Gorilla Power macrumors 6502

    Gorilla Power

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #15
    My brothers :D
     
  15. neoben thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    #16
    The SSD I used is 160GB.

    I have system and user folders on the main drive, but moved most of the media to the HDD (which is 500gb)..

    I don't have much music on my drive, but I moved my iPhoto, Aperture, Movies, and Documents folder to the HDD.

    Currently, the SSD is sitting at around 100GB of data, and the HDD at around 300GB.

    -Ben
     

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