best SSD (bang for buck) and how to handle dual hard drives.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Germwise, May 2, 2011.

  1. Germwise macrumors regular

    May 2, 2009
    I have a late 2009? 13" unibody MBP with a 500GB disk.

    I work in science with analysis of large data sets so I need a lot of storage to keep all my data. However, I would love to have a relatively small SSD to run all my software and the data I am immediately working on. Please don't get mad, I've tried to look up other optibay threads but they dont' really touch on these issues or they are outdated.

    1- Is it worth doing an SSD optibay upgrade? I figure it will cost me around 350 bucks, which is a almost a 3rd of an Air. Thoughts?

    2-Which SSD should I get? its been a while since i've followed computer hardware. I want best speed possible without going into top tier pricing. Ideally I'd like to spend less than 300 on the SSD. I need enough room to put the OS and several programs and maybe 50 gigs of data. How big should it be? which one should I get.

    3- How do I handle the installation? I'm not sure how to direct the OS to only put files on the SSD? Also how to I make programs put files only in the SSD.

    I do know how to put media on the HDD. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the best strategy would be to put most important files in the SSD so as to leave the spinning disk inactive as much as possible.

    4-Anything else I should know?

    Here are the things i'm considering to buy

    Bay for HDD in optical slot-

    external optical enclosure-
  2. parapup macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2006
    I did this recently on my 17" and it was totally worth it. I used OWC Data Doubler and 256Gb Corsair SSD from my old laptop. For a 115Gb SSD and Mounting kit - $229 + 75. seems good to me - mine is Corsair and works great. Check out Intel one as well - you can't go wrong with Intel.

    That part is easy. For the physical installation OWc provides clear cut instructional videos and provides all necessary tools. For the software installation - choose the SSD to install Mac OS X during the installation process. Then when you are done installing move your home directory to your 500Gb rotational drive. That is the easiest way to have what you want - apps go on SSD and all other big files like pics/videos etc can stay on the bigger drive. That's how I did it.

    Download and use TRIM Enabler - Google for it. Worked well for me.
  3. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    SSD's a very useful. The previous post is a good idea. If your strapped for cash, you can get a 30GB SSD and do what the previous poster suggested.

    It's really a very useful upgrade, and can be done on a shoestring.

    Note: Apple themselves are moving to Solid state. I wouldn't be surprised if the next round of machines will all have dedicated flash Boot partitions separate from the main HD options. (just a guess).
  4. Germwise thread starter macrumors regular

    May 2, 2009
    I did what parapup suggested.

    I went with OWC with their data doubler combo which was the 128SSD (115 usable) with the optibay for 279. I then bought the optical drive housing for 24 from max upgrades total around 310.

    Its about what I wanted to spend and hopefully I'll only use the HD for data storage.

    Stupid question, will the OSX install disc boot from the external drive or do I need to replace my main HD, then install osx, then replace the optical drive?

    also, time machine will have no trouble right?

    THANKS for all your help guys
  5. kdoug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2010
    Iowa City, IA USA
    It'll boot holding down the alt/option key. Time machine will have no troubles. Ideally the best time to do this is when your computer is new and you can clone your virgin disk with CCC. You than copy that to another partition, lets say USB drive. You'll never have to use the optical drive again.
  6. JayMBP macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2011
    Surrey, BC
    I have a 2011 MBP 17" and I order the kit from MaxUpgrades.

    The kit including optibay, enclosure for superdrive and a Vertex3 120GB and two day shipping was $370 IRC. They even managed to ship the same day I ordered. So it was definitely a plus. Considering you have a 2009, maybe pick a SATAII based SSD unless you plan to upgrade some time down the road so you could recycle the SATAIII SSD.

    The only downside is that it doesn't come with any instruction. But then again, it's not very different to others. Just be careful and you shouldn't have any problem.

    The optibay is very well made, feels solid when holding. I didn't have any fitting issue although some other users have reported some slight problems. I think it's because they are pretty tight fit, so don't tighten then screw all the way until you have all 3 on.
  7. kdoug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2010
    Iowa City, IA USA
    I ordered the Maxupgrades kit also. Seemed like a bargain compared to OWC's. I've been rally happy with the dealings I've had with them. I have no idea why there's a love affair with OWC. Opened or unopened, their 15% restocking fee is a sham.
  8. cherishzm macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2011
    Budget Upgrade

    I've put a Samsung 470 Series 128GB SSD in my 2010 MBP17 and am very happy with it. Benchmark numbers don't mean much in real life, but I get about 230MB/s both sequential read/write. Spent $150 for the drive and $15 for the Optibay, both from eBay.

    After two months of using the SSD, I'm used to the speed of SSD and many times when I use computers with regular HDD, I do feel SLOW.

    I'm sure SSD will be standard once it becomes more affordable, but it may take years because of the price per GB now. Most people will want/need 256GB unless they have SSD/HDD setup so it will take some time to have SSD as a standard option in Macbook Pro's or other PC laptops. Of course, MBA's have SSD's as standard but is 64GB or 128GB really enough for you??
  9. parapup macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2006
    If you have an external USB DVD ROM drive - yes, OSX DVD will boot from it (that's how I installed) - just press alt when starting up and select it for boot.

    Otherwise if you leave the current disk as it is - it will boot from there and then you can clone it to SSD and then boot from SSD and reformat the older drive. Not recommended if you have lots of stuff on the old drive - fresh install cloning is fine as the previous poster said.

    Time Machine should not have any trouble at all.
  10. Germwise thread starter macrumors regular

    May 2, 2009
    well I ordered through owc because its an amazon store giving me an extra 5% off with my credit card.

    at 279 drive plus optibay, it was pretty close to getting an intel drive (230) + optibay for $40

    Will I see any difference on a 6gbs drive? its another 60 bucks, not sure if its really worth it to boot up 1second faster. i don't do video editing of really intensive things. I just want fast program launch and fast booting and fast access to my day to day data.
  11. uplusd macrumors 6502

    Apr 8, 2008
    Silicon Valley
  12. SeniorGato1 macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2010

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