Early '08 15" Hard Drive Decision

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bunnspecial, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #1
    I just bought an early '08 MBP(the last pre-Unibody model) mostly as a toy and not a primary machine(although it can serve as a backup to my main computer). I want to dual boot Snow Leopard and probably Mavericks(or maybe Yosemite, although I'm dragging my feet on adopting it on my main machine).

    In any case, it was advertised as having a failing hard drive. It definitely shows, as it takes about 10 minutes to boot into Mavericks and is laggy on pretty much any program launches.

    I have two hard drive choices in front of me. I'm not going to buy something else for it-what I list below are my options and the only options I'm considering(remember again that this isn't a main computer).

    1. Intel 120gb SSD

    2. Seagate 500gb SSHD(hybrid HDD/SSD)

    I'm sort of leaning toward the latter, as I think I would appreciate the space(I can clone my current MBP on it plus have room left over for SL) and I'm not sure if the SATA II bus can take full advantage of the SSD.

    The SSD appeals to me for heat, speed, and power consumption, but I can easily find another use for it and again am not sure I can get the full benefit on this particular computer. Also, for what I'm wanting to do, I think I'd feel a bit cramped on 120gb of space.

    What would you all do in this situation as I've described it? Again, I'm not going to buy anything else-the above listed options(plus a couple of other platter drives I could probably scrounge up) are the only things under consideration.
     
  2. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #2
    It sounds like you've very nearly decided on the hybrid already.
    I would choose the SSD simply because I don't think I would be able to tolerate anything else after having been used to an SSD for so long.

    As for whether it will be able to take full advantage of the SSD, that depends on which SSD it is (meaning whether it is SATA II or III).
     
  3. iMacC2D, Apr 22, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  4. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #4
    Thanks for the info-that seems to me to make the hybrid drive an even better choice.

    BTW, while I do have computers with SSDs, I do use platter drives every day so have not necessarily been "spoiled" by them.

    Any thoughts on full SSD vs. hybrid on SATA I?
     
  5. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #5
    I'd get a drive caddy for $10 on ebay to replace the SuperDrive and use both.

    Otherwise I'd vote for the Seagate.
     
  6. bunnspecial, Apr 22, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015

    bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #6
    Well, I suppose the decision is made, as I'm typing this post from the subject computer with the hybrid drive installed.

    I haven't done anything "heavy" with it yet but in casual use(i.e. web browsing) it feels about as fast as my '09 Macbook(non-Unibody) with a low-end Kingston SSD. The MBP has a fair bit more going for it-including a higher-clocked processor of the same generation(T8600 Penryn C2D 2.4ghz in the MBP, vs a P7450 at 2.13ghz in the Macbook). It also has 6gb of RAM vs. 4gb in my Macbook(4gb DDR-2 SO-DIMMs are still too expensive for me to break down and max out the Macbook). The graphics are better, although I'm trying not to push it too hard on that front as I know the discrete GPU can be a problem spot in these computers(I'd hope that one that has survived this long would be okay).

    From my reading, I understand that hybrid drives generally take a little bit of use to learn your usage habits and know what to cache in the SSD portion of the drive. With that in mind, I'm going to try to use the computer as much as I can over the next few days and see if the performance improves.

    Ultimately, I decided against the SSD just because I could think of too many other places where I would actually get some benefit from it.

    My next big project is going to be to upgrade to an SSD in my main, every day late 2011 13" MBP. I'm not going to cut any corners on this one, and an going to put a Samsung 850 in it. Newegg had the 500gb ones really cheap the other day(I think $190) and I nearly bought one, but I really think that I'm going to hold out and get a 1TB. The last I checked, the Samsungs were around $400, and with the price of the 500s getting so low I'm hoping that the 1TBs will follow suit in the next few months.

    BTW, as far as the Optibay-I have one that was intended for a Powerbook G4, but as best as I can tell it should fit the non-unibody MBPs(when I had it apart today, it appeared to use the same optical drive). At least the one I have indicates in system profiler that the optical drive is ATAPI like the Powerbook, so there shouldn't be any issues there. My main issue with doing this is two fold. First, the optical bay doesn't have drop protection like the main HDD bay, so I'd be uncomfortable putting a platter drive in one. The ATA bus is slow enough-even if it's ATA/133(which I doubt, as no optical drive can even come close to that speed) an SSD will basically be wasted there.

    I'm also in the weird probably 1% of people who still use my optical drive frequently. I don't use it every day, but would guess on average I use it probably 4-5 times a week, whether to read a disk or burn. I work with a lot of people who still prefer physical media rather than flash drives or email, and CDs or DVDs-depending on the amount-are one way around that(one of my master's thesis committee members this past week was upset that I had only emailed him a PDF of my thesis and not brought him a physical copy). I have a 12" Powerbook where the previous owner installed an SSD and disconnected the optical drive to make the computer as quiet as possible, and it's big inconvenience to me on that computer(it's also one I don't want to take apart to reconnect the optical drive, as working on a 12" PB is major surgery). So, as I said, I really need to keep this functionality.
     
  7. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #7
    One other question for you good folks:

    Does anyone know if the 15" Aluminum PowerBook keycaps will fit these? I know the keyboards most likely won't interchange, but I do have a few PowerBook keyboards in my parts stash and would like to change out some of the badly worn caps on the MBP. They certainly look the same.

    If no one knows, I can always take the "try it and see" approach but I'd rather no dig out my box of PB boards if they're not at all interchangeable.
     

Share This Page