Cons of Opti-bay vs Momentus XT vs Traditional Drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by c1phr, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. c1phr macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2011
    I have a feeling there are probably some other posts like this, but I had a hard time finding them when I searched mroogle.

    I love my 2010 15" MBP, but the stock hard drive is rather slow.

    Originally, when buying, I had planned on upgrading to a Momentus XT down the road, though with all the issues plaguing those drives, I've decided to hold off.

    1) Revisiting alternatives, I've been seriously looking into doing an Opti-Bay mod and dropping in a 40gb SSD for my applications and OS, and keeping the Apple 320gb drive around for data storage. I really can't afford the Opti-bay mod plus an SSD any larger than 40gb unfortunately.

    2) However, I can wait for the Momentus XT to be revised (and thanks to an article on Engadget, it looks like Seagate is trying) and I was wondering if grabbing a *fixed* 500gb M-XT would be better.

    3) Option 3 is probably the best for battery life: Buying the largest 5400rpm drive I can find. I know I won't ever fill it, but the density of the drive will give me satisfactory speeds. (Mac Performance Guide article showing this relation)

    My question is really about the cons of these two options. What are the battery life hits each gives?

    1) I haven't done a lot of research into what adding an SSD would do to power consumption, since this is a fairly fresh idea. This is also the least likely in my set up: I've never been frustrated with Application start times, and I never turn my mac off, so boot up time is relevant.

    2) I've heard some people say that the M-XT really kills battery life since it's a 7200rpm drive, others have cited vibration issues.

    3) Hard to find cons here, except for the fact that it's a 5400 rpm drive.

    So overall, what would you guys recommend? If you want to know my usage: Web/Software development with Aptana Studio, Eclipse and eventually Xcode (VS 2010 every now and then in Virtual Box as well), Adobe CS5 apps (LR, PS are the main two).
  2. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    The most important thing to know is once you have had an SSD you can never go back to a fixed drive. I think those Momentus drives are a top gap solution that will always be problematic. Get an SSD boot drive and Optibay the stock drive. You won't regret it.
  3. Grouchy Bob macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    AssWipe, New Mexico
    Curious about the dual drive setup...

    Do you find that certain applications always insist on installing to the boot drive or SSD in this case? (And won't allow installation to the 2ndry drive).

    I've heard Adobe apps are notorious for this. (could be mistaken, I need to try this some day).

    Are there any anomalies with the dual boot setup similar to the above?
  4. c1phr thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2011
    That is something I thought of a few minutes ago as well. As I said, I can't afford an SSD much larger than 40gb, which is fine, but I can't install all of my apps to it. I don't mind keeping games on my traditional drive, but does anything (OSX, the application, etc) complain when not installed in the Applications folder on the first drive?
  5. Grouchy Bob macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    AssWipe, New Mexico
    Naw... you should be able to run an app from anywhere. It's the installation that concerns me. I'm a bit fuzzy on this but I believe Adobe CS4 insisted everything go onto the boot drive. (Could be wrong).
  6. c1phr, Feb 27, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011

    c1phr thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2011
    Ah, okay. I'm not entirely sure, but I think I recall the CS5 installation asking where to put applications.

    In revision to my original post: I think the Momentus XT or large traditional drive might be the path I choose. Don't really wish to try to manage a separate drive, and I can't justify paying the overhead for an SSD right now. Like I mentioned earlier, I haven't been frustrated yet with application start up, and I only reboot my machine for updates.

    Large Traditional: Looking at probably
  7. axu539 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2010
    Any application that requires an actual installer will insist on installing on the boot drive with OS X. However, this is recommended anyway, since the whole point of the SSD in your case is to make apps load faster.
  8. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    I opti the stock and SSD the boot, like some of the other posters.

    Just bought another opti on Ebay for $17 US.

    Better than $100 + form some of the US sellers, me thinks.
  9. Grouchy Bob macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    AssWipe, New Mexico
    Not sure about this. Other than Adobe (who seem to disregard all standards at times), every installer I've seen allows me to chose an alternate drive as the destination. Now... the app might require certain files to reside in the system folder but the app itself should run from anywhere. (I think. :confused:)

    In my case, I'd prefer the apps to be off-loaded onto a secondary hard drive anyway and use the SSD for data.

    I have a single 256gb SSD for editing photos with large file sizes so in this respect, it makes more sense to take advantage of SSD speed. I can live with loading an application "once" from slower drive media. It's them pesky RAW photos that demand fast file i/o with photoshop. :(
  10. FunkTechNician macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2009
  11. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Getting anything other than an actual SSD is simply delaying that upgrade, and it's the most noticeable upgrade you'll probably ever make. I can't speak for the Momentus XT drive but I just got an OCZ Vertex 2 and I can boot my Windows 7 VM in Parallels in about 8 seconds.

    Others have said it and I'll agree with them, once you go SSD, you never go back. Save up your money bro. It's worth it.
  12. strang macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2009
    Most of the problems with Momentus XT has been fixed. Firmware SD24 addressed every issue/non-issue that I had.

    The only downside now is that the drive doesn't sleep unless you force computer to sleep, or close the lid. For me it's fine, since I disabled that depending on power source.

    Battery -> timed at 15 minutes
    Powered -> never

    Honestly with my 2010 MBP I've never been more happy. SSD is expensive, M-XT cost me $129 for 500 GB locally.
  13. ryanrich macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2010
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Momentus XT gets my vote, for the next two years or so, and then high capacity and extremely fast SSD's will be available for way better prices.

    I'm running SD24 on mine and haven't experienced a single issue, and after a week or so of use it's honestly only a few seconds behind an SSD in my daily apps, but with 500GB of storage. An excellent middle ground in my opinion.

    Check this video comparison of M-XT vs SSD vs HDD:
  14. shstiger2009 macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2011
    I'd go for the optibay method with a 40GB SSD. I was going to do this, but I decided I'm just going to replace my HDD with a 120/128GB SDD and leave the ODD alone. But if money were an issue I'd go the optibay route.
  15. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I would go with a 750GB 7200 RPM. It has probably equal or higher density than the 1TB 5400 RPM models, as those all have one more platter, and will provide you with the best performance of any standard drive. My WD Scorpio black really hasn't drained battery life at all compared to the stock drive, and noise and vibration are minimal. Personally, I just can't justify the faster load speeds for such high prices. Maybe when they come down, I'll check into an SSD.

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