Dual 7200 Internal Drives Macbook Pro 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by maxfischersweet, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. maxfischersweet macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2010

    Ok dont know if i made a good choice because i just got to0 anxious and jumped on it. plus i had money burning holes in my pockets after selling off a lot of old gear. Heres the deal yo. maybe a long thread, sorry.

    Before i get into the dual drive thing.

    I am a photographer, i work on multi layer large psd files that get in the gig range sometime. I have an HD camcorder as well and want to start doing some video work. I doubt ill get into it much, but I WOULD LIKE TO AT LEAST VIEW AVCHD FILES OR AT LEAST CONVERT A 2 MINUTE VIDEO FASTER THAN 20 MINUTES. (i really dont know much about video, but i record 30fps.)

    Anyways. I currently have the first macbook pro 17" 2.16ghz maxed ram 2gb ati radeon x1600 with 256ram and 100gb 7200 hd. Mac osx 10.4. I use it with external display to do all my editing. i keep all files on external 7200 firewire 800 drives.

    So I decided to go with a refurbed macbook pro 13" 2.53ghz unibody with 4gb ram (8gb future upgrade), and the 9400m nvidia graphics and 5400 250gb hd.

    And here is a list for my reasoning. (i already bought it)

    -I am worried about running into snow leopard problems with my CS3 suite so this model runs 10.5 leopard. I hear theres really no problems with cs3 on it.

    -i dont want to spend 800 bucks on the cs3 upgrade, for now. plus i cant afford that too.

    -i had a budget of about $1200 max for the computer. other money going towards photo equipment upgrades.

    -i got it from apple directly. i was looking at ebay forever and i could have gotten a better deal on a better computer, but i just worried about that, even though i have sold and bought lots of stuff from there.

    -im getting kinda tired of lugging around a huge 17" laptop. (my backpack with camera gear ends up being over 80 pounds. haha, i know it wont do much, but still) I do like more desk room when im at my desk. it gets crowded with the macbook, display, external keyboard and pen tablet and speakers and printers.

    -i am probably going to sell my 17" on ebay after i receive my new 13" and set it up. i could get up to $600 for it, it seems. its only going to bring me less money if i wait longer to sell it. (kinda sad that over 3 grand is only worth 600 bucks now)

    So did i make a good choice? i mean it doesn't seem i could have done much better unless i went for a desktop or took a risk on ebay.

    Ok now to the dual drive thing.

    i dont like the idea of the 5400 hard drive in the new 13". so i want to upgrade it to a 7200. i came across those seagate momentus hybrid ssd drives 500gb at 7200. I will most likely get one of those.

    then i came across the whole thing of changing out the optical drive with a second hardrive. then i was like why not put another one of those hybrid ssd momentus in there.

    i remember working on the computers in college that had dual 500gb drives, and one was completely dedicated to scratch. maybe overkill, but that machine killed. of course it was a mac pro though or maybe it was a g5, but still.

    when i got my 17" macbook pro, i used the optical drive for 3 days non stop importing cds into my first itunes library. then. i never used the optical drive again, ever. however if i order the dual drive thing from mec they give you a free external enclosure for the optidrive you remove.

    what i am wondering is can the macbook pro 13" handle 2x 7200 drives. as in power and heat? I know people say they handle dual drives. but just wanting to make sure.

    or should i just go with 2x regular 250gb seagates 7200 hard drives for $50 bucks each, and save the money.

    i know the scratch disk should be seperate from the OS, but can it be partitioned on a drive with the files you work on? or is that pointless.

    thanks for any help or advice. or just reading this far. haha sorry.
  2. diablo2112 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    A couple of options you might want to consider to improve performance, and get lots of storage, and a few other issues to consider (noise, battery life, cost).

    1) 2 large (identical) drives, probably 7200 RPM, in a RAID. The is the best storage/speed/cost combo. Downsides will be noise, vibration, slightly lower battery life, and increased risk of failure. (for all options, doing a regular, external backup is a great idea).

    2) SSD (128 GB + 500 GB Hard drive). Setup the SSD as the boot drive with apps and your scratch file; keep data on the HD. This will give far-and-away the best performance, but at somewhat higher cost (128GB SSDs are coming down in cost, though). Downsides here are the most complicated setup of all options, higher cost, and some heat/vibration issues from the 500 GB drive. You could mitigate the later by carefully choosing a 5400 (or 5200 rpm drive). You don't need blazing transfer speeds off the data drive in this configuration. Heck, you might consider the new 1TB 2.5" drive for this.

    3) 2 drives in non-raid configuration. You can use your existing drive, and add another. Benefits here are low cost/high storage capacity/easy setup. Downside to this approach is lack of performance and the same heat/vibration issues.

    4) the ultimate: 2 SSDs in RAID, perhaps to 256GB units. This one does it all, ultra performance (this would scream), decent storage capacity, NO NOISE or VIBRATION, longer battery life. Only downside here is cost. This is the pricey option, at least as much as the 13" MBP.

    As a final comment. IMHO, hard drive speeds, especially read speeds, are the limiting factor in perceived performance and "zippiness" on the MBPs. Nothing like ultra-fast bootup, quick app starts, etc. I recommend the SSDs if at all possible.

    Options are good. :)
  3. maxfischersweet thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2010
    Hey, thanks.

    I would love to do the dual ssd but pretty pricey for now.

    But i do have a question about the scratch disk.

    You said it would be good to get an SSD and have that as bootup and scratch? I always heard you need those 2 on separate disks. Does the fact that it is SSD (no spinning platters and moving head) remove that boundary of putting them on two separate drives. I guess you would do a partition? or would you even have to do that?

    I am starting to think about just getting 2 regular 500gb or 250gb 7200 drives, as long as it doesn't vibrate or melt the computer to death.

    battery life isnt much of a concern. how hard is it to replace the battery in the 13" since it says its nonremovable.
  4. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    You might want to consider getting a Seagate Momentus XT. As that is a HDD/SSD hybrid. So it is affordable and fast.

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