Can someone please suggest the best option? (adding SSD or HDD)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by adamk77, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. adamk77 macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2008
    I have the late 2008 model of the 15" Unibody MacBook Pro. After reading so many wonderful things about the new Intel X25-m 34 nm SSD drive, I have made up my mind of getting one and using it as the boot drive. I currently have the 5400 RPM, 320 GB HDD. I would like to continue using this drive after I install the SSD. So I am looking for some helpful input on what the best way to achieve this is. I have been reading the forum and came across two possible options.

    1. Install the SSD into the default HDD slot. Place the old HDD into an external enclosure.

    Should I opt for Firewire 400 or USB 2.0 enclosure? Firewire 800 seems too expensive. Also, will Firewire 400 or USB 2.0 be the bottleneck, or will my 5400 RPM HDD be the bottleneck? Should I just spend the extra money and get the Firewire 800 enclosure? If so, which would you recommend?

    2. Replace the Superdrive with the HDD, and install the SDD into the default HDD slot, and put the Superdrive into an external enclosure.

    This option sounds attractive to me because I rarely use the Superdrive, but is this easy to do? I know that it is a SATA connection, but I'm not sure about the power. Can I simply connect the power connected to the Superdrive to the HDD, or do I need to buy some sort of an adapter? Is there a bracket to accommodate the 2.5" HDD so that it does not rattle?

    So which option would you suggest? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7A341 Safari/528.16)

    Wow those are nice. Sorry I'm a noob to this too. Been wanting to go OP's route as well. Would you say these OCW enclosures are the most popular among the mac crowd?
  3. adamk77 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2008
    Those look nice, but they are USB 2.0. After a bit more research, it seems that Firewire 400 is faster than USB 2.0. USB 2.0 has a higher theoretical limit at 480 mbps, but it never reaches that true potential and usually averages around 250 mbps, whereas Firewire 400 does not suffer from the same fate.

    So I've decided to go with Firewire 400. I've settled on this external enclosure This one does both USB 2.0 and Firewire 400, which is good in case I need to hook it up to a machine that does not have Firewire 400.
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Since your computer has FW800, you should get a FW800 enclosure; I don't know what your budget is, but if you can afford it, may I suggest an enclosure with an Oxford chipset—fast, reliable, overall best chipset for Firewire money can buy.

    Personally I have one of these: World Computing/MSTG800U2K/

    Again, excellent in every way.
  5. adamk77 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2008
    I'm not certain if my 5400 RPM drive can even take full advantage of Firewire 800. Firewire 400 mbps works out to 47.7 megabytes per second, and I'm assuming that my 5400 RPM HDD isn't that much faster than that.

    But the enclosure that you linked to looks fantastic. It definitely wouldn't hurt to future proof myself by buying that. The thing I have to work out is whether I'm willing to spend $80 for the enclosure. That's almost $50 more than I originally intended on spending. Hmmm. But most definitely worth pondering.
  6. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    Isn't the superdrive connection faster than that of the HDD? I seem to have read that somewhere and concluded that it would be best to put the SSD in place of the optical drive, leaving the HDD where it is. I can't find that reference anymore though...

    The difference was SATA versus EFI maybe? I know little about these things.
  7. adamk77 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2008
    As far as I know, the Superdrive is also a SATA. But I think (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that the power connection is different.
  8. MacModMachine macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2009

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