Considering SSD for boot & apps / What for other media - external / 2nd internal?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nfable, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. nfable macrumors regular


    Apr 9, 2007
    Just getting done with a project, and thought I'd reward my MacBook Pro 15" 2,2 (late 08) by giving her some more speed.

    I have 4 ram installed (can only address 3)

    Considering getting the 40GB SSD from OWC for a mere $99 as my Applications folder only takes up 8GB and MAC OS X is ~5GB.

    The point I'm debating on is whether to get the
    1 TB WD 'Caviar Black' 7200RPM w/64MB cache
    EXTERNAL to be connected thru FW800 or esata


    500 GB Seagate 7200RPM w/16MB cache INTERNAL and hooking it up to the interface, removing my SuperDrive.

    I know that FW800 is pretty snappy, but there's gotta be a choke compared to having something inside the MBP itself. The space is not so much a concern as the speed. Granted, I'd have a fairly limited machine if I went external unless I lug around the external - but I'm thinking of ultimate performance and not occasional hassle.

    So is 7200RPM, 64MB cache thru FW800 faster than 7200RPM, 16MB cache thru logic board?


  2. daze macrumors 6502


    Mar 11, 2006
    San Jose, California
    I would hazard to say that internal would be much faster considering the internal SATA link is 3.0Gbps.
  3. fr4c macrumors 65816


    Jul 27, 2007
    Hamster wheel
    I would go internal to avoid having to carry a external.
  4. nfable thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 9, 2007
    It does seem having a wider pipe on would win out, but if the cache is 4 times greater I'm wondering if that leverages for FW800?

    Need for speed beats out any encumbrance for my needs.

    thx guys,
  5. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    The primary factor in how fast either of these drives are is their size; the full sized external drive will be much faster than the 2.5" internal. Neither drive will be even close to limited by their interface.
  6. nfable thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 9, 2007

    What would make a 3.5 7200 from FW800 faster than 7200 2.5 notebook drive internal?

    I just thought of using the express card slot for an eSata connection, so I guess my question should be...
    Is an eSATA thru express card slot 7,200rpm external w/64mb cache going to be faster than a 7,200 rpm w/16mb cache internal 2.5?
  7. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Larger platter size. Because the 3.5" drive is physically larger, it can read or write more data per rotation. So the larger external drive is always going to be faster, unless it were severly constrained by the interface.

    FW800 or esata will both be able to keep up with the maximum transfer speeds the vast majority of external drives. Keep in mind that throughput speeds are heavily influenced by what kind of files you are moving. If you are moving 1 very large file, you will hit your maximum throughput. If you are moving folders of small files, transfer rate will be much lower.

    In your case I would base the decision based on convenience vs. speed and space. If you primarily want the convenience of the extra internal space, go that route. Note that you will consume ~20-30% more battery life by having the 2nd drive. Otherwise go with the external drive.

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