Buying an SSD / Data Doubler

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by josephmccutchen, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. josephmccutchen macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2010
    South Korea
    I am thinking of buying an SSD and a Data Doubler soon, and I have a few questions:

    1. Right now I have a Western Digital Scorpio Black 750GB 7200RPM HDD in the main bay. When I buy the SSD/Data Doubler, I'm thinking of taking the WD and putting it in the opti-bay. Is that a good idea?

    2. I'm new to this whole SSD thing, so I'm thinking of buying only a 64 or 128GB SSD for now; I have about 400 GB of files, but I can put all of those on the HDD, and use Time Machine to back up as well. Is that a good idea?

    3. Kind of the same idea as #2, but in a different way: how will the performance be if I keep all of my files on the HDD, and just use the SSD for applications?

    4. The biggest reason why I want to buy an SSD is performance. I have around 30,000 photos in iPhoto, and it takes time to open.

    5. Last question: which SSD to get? I have a mid-2010 MBP 15", so I'm pretty sure that the SATA 6 is no use to me. Just not sure what would be the best.

    Any help in this matter is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  2. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    Samsung 470 is probably best, if not I think Intel 320 is pretty good too (Both SATA 2.0).

    A small SSD (128GB or less) is probably fine, depending on what kind of apps you want. If you've only got 10-20 GB of apps, it's probably big enough.

    Probably best to keep your OS and at least the libraries out of your home folder on the SSD. You can put music wherever you want, and just link iTunes to that folder. I don't know exactly how things work, but I think you'll only get the benefit of using an SSD if all iPhoto's thumbnails and stuff is on the SSD. I assume it won't matter too much if the photos themselves are on the HDD, as you'll only be looking at a small number a minute.

    In terms of what you should put in Optibay, you should definitely keep your SSD in the main drive bay, and put the HDD in the optibay. For that reason, a Scorpio Black is best (over the cheaper blue) because it has an inbuilt motion lock. The standard SMS in your notebook won't work over the Optibay SATA cable. Further, I think things just work better (i.e. more robust) if you're booting up off the main SATA connection.
  3. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    I disagre with that statement, unless the optical is not running full speed the HDD should stay in the main port for vibration dampening at minimum and I believe but am not sure but SMS doesn work in the optcal slot. Always mount spinning platters in rubber
  4. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    I'm heading down the same path as the OP and have the same computer - a 15" 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro (mine's an i5). I just bought my OEM 320gb-replacement hard drive which is also the 750gb Scorpio Black. Just grabbed from Office Depot for $120:

    Update this thread with what happened with this move OP along with how you did it. I'll probably grab the SSD in the next few months and follow in your footsteps.

    I had always heard to keep SSD in main bay and the hard drive in the optical bay.
  5. josephmccutchen thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2010
    South Korea
    I just ordered a Data Doubler/SSD yesterday from OWC, and being that I'm in South Korea, it will be next week before I receive and install them. I'll post again once I see how things go.
  6. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    SMS doesn't work in the optical drive. One could buy a HDD with a built-in SMS, though. The big thing is that, with some Macs, the firmware looks to the main drive bay for waking from sleep and freaks out when it can't find the OS there. Not sure which Macs are affected by this, but if your's is one of them, it would be prudent to put the SSD in the main bay.
  7. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    What a waste of money. Shoving all that money down some american companies throat. Those adapters are worth about one $. Maybe 2$ with the caseing. It is just mental to pay that much.
    I think we really need a faq for the whole SSD stuff.
    I have never read about any real proof. Only some people claimed that this might cause troubles. I never heard in this forum of an actual case where it was problemativ due to that setup other than SSD firmware issues, general incompatibilities, or people who just had two startup capable drives and got the system confused.
    Anyway I have a 2010 15" and it is perfectly fine with the SSD in the Optibay.
    You should definitely not unless it really doesn't want to work the other way.
    The main bay has proper mounting for the HDD with rubber. That means reduced vibrations and reduced noise. Additionally there is the SMS.
    And in the general theory a computer really doesn't care on which SATA port the system drive is mounted. It will search them all and if it finds multiple bootable partitions it will either ask or default to one. If there is only one bootable parition there is usually no confusion.

    As for the ops questions:
    1. No. Putting the HDD in the hd bay is better for noise and makes little difference on a 2010 MBP anyway.
    2/3. Naturally on the SSD everything is faster. Say you work with iphoto and only the application is on the SSD it buys you little. iphoto is in RAM once launched and if all pictures is on the HDD it will work as fast as always with only a HDD in the system (no point getting a SSD in that case other than for launching iphoto quicker[only the app not loading the library]). A good solution is to split data into working data and archived data.
    For pictures there is an app called iphoto library manager. It helps you to deploy mulitple libraries on different locations and switch quickly between both. You have a lib for recent photos you often need and a big one for stuff you need less often like everything more than 3 years old. You can write scripts that copy all the stuff over once.
    Music/Movies there is little gain from putting it on the SSD anyway unless you edit the stuff.
    All other working data the same applies as iphoto. Only launching of the app is faster but once the app is loaded in ram the SSD buys you nothing if it needs to work with data which lies on an hdd.
    Stuff like Word only needs disk access when you save(autosave) the file but is in RAM all the remaining time. If you understand what kind of diskaccess your apps need you should know what should stay on the ssd and what not.

    4. Split it that is the only way you will get the performance without paying for these really expensive big SSDs.

    5. Samsung 470 is a good bet. Or a Samsung 830. Check the prices many a quite good. I only wouldn't pay for Intel as backups are a must anyway and for a Consumer they simply charge too much for what you get. I have a 2010 15" running a Vertex 2 because it was much cheaper. Sandforce are great as system drives because that is were they show the best performance, not so good for data as they loose performance with compressed stuff like movies, music, jpeg.
    I would get at least 120GB. Otherwise too little stuff fits. If you mean to run Windows I would reserve at least 50GB for it. 30 as the absolute minimum.

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