Best 2x SSD setup for macbook pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sneak3, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. sneak3, Sep 28, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015

    sneak3 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2011
    Hey guys.

    So I have a 1 TB SSD as my main drive for OSX and Windows on Bootcamp.

    At first I was thinking about splitting it 3 ways and using a 2nd 2TB HDD for random crap. Now that I know I can't split it 3 ways smoothly, I'll need to get a 2nd SSD for frequently used Data storage.

    The question is: Should I be getting another 1TB SSD or a 500GB SSD for the 2nd bay?
    With a 2nd 1TB SSD, I could split it in 2 and leave 500GB for OS X Time machine and 500GB for Data.
    If I go with 500GB SSD, there will only be room for Data.

    I need some advice on the best way to split my soon to be 1 TB SSD in 3 ways.
    I'll be upgrading my drive in my mid 2012 macbook pro.

    1 for OSX, 1 for Bootcamp and 1 for frequently used Data/Documents.

    Should I do 333 GB each? Or maybe leave the Data one with less? Windows probably should have more space, right?
    I need some guiding lines if you will.

  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Why? And does it have to be readable and writeable to both OS'es?

    What do you do with a computer? Perhaps you could even get by with a virtual machine and skip the partitioning altogether.
  3. sneak3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2011
    Computer graphics. I really need to have bootcamp.

    And yes, it has to been readable and writable from both OSs, as there is no main OS. I'll use each one 50% of the time.
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    No one but you has any idea how much space you need for those things, only you know how many apps and what files you need to store on each section. Unfortunately you are asking a question only one person can answer and that is you.
  5. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    How do you have your present drive set up?
    Is the SSD giving you a lot more space? Use the extra amount as a guide to make your partitions larger. If your systems (OS X and Windows) have been OK in the space that they had, then you may want to add more to the data/documents partition. Maybe that partition is the main reason that you are upgrading to a larger storage drive, so make use of that extra storage for that one partition.

    Just my 2p.
  6. abundantmussel macrumors regular


    Mar 31, 2014
    Cork, Ireland
    Personally I'd probably do 250GB for Mac OS, 250GB for Windows and 500GB for data.
  7. zombiecakes macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2012
    it depends on what is installed, I keep the OS partition as small as possible, 40gb works fine for me
  8. austinpike, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015

    austinpike macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    I would also do 250/250/500 - OSX/WIN/DATA.
    But it depends, are you planning on storing the bulk of your work on the shared partition, or just using it for occasional sharing? What/how many apps do you need to install for each OS?

    Have you done any research on a 3-way partition scheme? Bootcamp assistant does not allow that kind of setup (which is unfortunate as it is really useful.) You can get it done "manually" but need to be careful as Windows is very particular about which partition it gets installed on, and both OSs create hidden partitions that can mess things up.

    Also, if you are installing Windows 7, it doesn't include USB3 drivers in the install .iso, which causes a world of hurt trying to do any custom installs on a USB3-only macbook (which I believe would include your mid-2012)
  9. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    if the "data" portion will be shared that should be your largest partition, operating system and applications can do fine on 128GB or less
  10. sneak3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2011
    Wow guys thanks so much for the solid infos!

    I had no idea it would be risky to create a 3rd partition...I want the thing to run as smooth as possible.

    In my mind I'd first create the bootcamp partition, install windows, ok. Then I'd split the HFS partition from OSX, but leaving the Windows partition intact.

    Wouldn't that work?

    ps. It will be bulk data. Documents, pictures, movies etc.
    ps. It will be windows 8.1 pro.
  11. sneak3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2011
    Okay I just did some research and it seems to take a good while to make that setup work.
    Gotta scrape that idea off.

    That means I'll have to replace my 2TB 2nd HDD with another SSD.

    Now the new question: Should I go with 1TB or 500 GB 2nd SSD?

    With a 2nd 1 TB SSD, I could split it in 2 and leave 500 gb for OS X Time machine and 500 GB for Data.
    If I go with 500 GB SSD, there will only be room for Data.

    ps. I updated the 1st post.
  12. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    It isn't risky per se, it works great once you have it set up. You just need to be prepared to do a few reformats/reinstall if something gets messed up the first time. With the process you suggested I think Windows would be unhappy (or not recognize) another partition being created in front of it. But I haven't tried to do it in a long time so I don't recall exactly what the issues are.

    If you were starting from scratch, I would do 2x500GB, split the first one 250/250 with OSX/WIN, and use the 2nd 500GB for data. 1x1TB SSD generally costs more than 2x500GB SSDs, so if you don't necessarily need the 1TB I'd try to avoid paying that premium.

    I don't see a lot of value in having the Time Machine backup on your internal drive - I'd think you'd want it external in case the laptop gets lost. If that isn't really a concern, and you already have a 1TB drive in hand, then I guess I would split that 500/500 for time machine/data, and get a 500Gb to split for OSX/WIN. I just don't think you'd really need 500GB for a system partition in OSX or WIN when you have so much additional storage available.
  13. sneak3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2011
    It makes sense leaving Time Machine in an external one.

    My current setup is 128GB each and they are both almost full. 250GB each is not a big improvement, especially because I need free space for scratch disk and I need to install more programs. 500 GB each is really a must.

    I have only one 1TB SSD and over here a 1TB SSD is less than 2x the price of a 500GB one. It's like 70% more.
    So in a way it seems that buying a 500GB SSD is not going to be a smart move futureproof-wise.

    I mean, if I don't go with the Time Machine in internal drive option, I know I wouldn't use the whole 1TB for Data but maybe in the future?
  14. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    An internal Time Machine drive is useless.

    What if your computer is stolen? There goes your data.
    Power adapter shorts out your computer? There goes your data.
    Drive fails? There goes your data.

    Any file you deem irreplaceable should always be in at least 3 places, with at least one of the copies off site should your house burn down. Example: 1 copy on your laptop's hard drive. 1 copy in say, a Time Machine backup on an external drive, and another copy in a cloud solution of your choice. That way, you lose your laptop: still have two copies. Your external drive breaks: still have two copies. The house burns down? Still got that one copy.

Share This Page

13 September 28, 2015