Hard Drive Debate: Storage vs. Speed

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by logicstudiouser, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. logicstudiouser macrumors 6502


    Feb 4, 2010
    I have a lot of files I like to take on the go, so that is why I just bought a 2TB Seagate M9T SATA drive for my macbook pro. At just $99 (price of the seagate backup plus to get the bare drive), it is a fraction of the cost of getting a 512GB SSD for $500.

    Is the price for less storage worth it that much? 5 times the price for 1/4 of the storage.

    What is your preference, storage or speed? In this example, would you rather get a 2TB internal SATA drive or 512GB SSD in your macbook pro?

    If you have SSD, how do you manage with the smaller storage availability?
  2. Dekema2 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2012
    WNY or Utica
    I have a 128 GB internal SSD. While small I always carry my 1TB HDD with me and keep applications on my SSD. Keep in mind I just bought this.
  3. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    On my iMac, I went for the 256GB SSD over the 1TB Fusion drive for the sake of pure speed and reliability.

    I keep all my iTunes and Aperture libraries in external storage. Problem solved :)

    If I were you, I'd stick with the SSD.
  4. littlepud macrumors regular


    Sep 16, 2012
    SSD all the way for internal (boot) drive. Going from even the fastest HDD to an SSD is like night and day. 256 GB SSD is probably the minimum comfortable size.

    If you have a secondary drive (ex: non-retina MBP with the optical bay swapped), then a "spinning rust" HDD makes sense for bulk storage. If a secondary drive isn't feasible (rMBP), then external HDD storage is the way to go (USB3 for most desktop uses, TB for professional-grade mass storage). You could also conceivably use NAS or cloud storage depending on your specific needs.
  5. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    I'd never go back to a HDD for my primary drive. It's unbearable.

    I keep my iTunes and data archives on external drives... for the time being. :)
  6. 5to1 macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2008
    If you regularly need to access that 2TB of data on the move (where plugging in an external wouldn't be feasible/comfortable) fair enough. Otherwise its like buying a station wagon so you can lug every possible thing you own around, right down to the kitchen sink, when the vast majority of the time a small nimble sports car would get you everywhere you need to go faster and with less hassle :/
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I have a 256GB SSD that holds all my needed stuff, and then my libraries both music and pictures, are on external drives.

    So I guess I've opted for overall speed, for most of my day to day uses and then have an external drive for the larger stuff.
  8. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Dual drives: 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD, best of both worlds....why compromise...
  9. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    I care about speed much more than storage capacity. I have a 120 GB Kingston SSD in my MBP that has only 14 GB used. I could get by with a 64 GB SSD just fine. My PowerBook has a 32 GB SSD and that's more than enough for what I do with it.
  10. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    I have seen little difference in speed when opening apps between my iMac with a HDD and a MBPr 15" with a SSD. That being said, I would never buy a laptop with a HDD because you are much more likely to move it about, increasing the chances of damaging the HDD. This is of course not a big issue in a desktop.
  11. 5to1, Aug 11, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014

    5to1 macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2008
    Given I have multiple devices I'm also finding I neither need nor find it wholly beneficial to store music/photos on every device. That free's up a lot of space, where once my laptop may have had several GB's of photos and music.

    Now I have an iPad, iPhone, multi room home audio/video setup and laptop, its just an unnecessary task to locally store and then keep in sync all those libraries on each device.

    For music I use Deezer predominantly (comes free with my phone contract), playlists are accessible across all devices and can be streamed. But I largely listen to music on my phone when on the move, which is more efficient then my laptop (in terms of battery usage), or my multi room audio system when at home.

    Pictures are stored on home server and streamed, other then a small subset which I keep on all my devices for regular access (most recent trips, screensavers, most looked at pics, etc).

    Videos are also stored on home server for streaming to devices/access to each TV in the house. My SKY (satellite TV) package also allows me to stream content to supplement casual viewing needs on the move. And if needed for a trip I pull a couple of movies from the server onto the device(s) I'm taking with me.

    Internet access is becoming so ubiquitous (everyone I know has wifi, all work spaces have it, most areas where I'd want to access data have internet access and as a backup I have 4G through my mobile) its starting to become easier for me to just stream casual use data (films/music/videos) and maintain it in one place, rather then keep data on every device in sync.

    I still purchased a rMBP with a 512GB SSD, but thats to ensure I have critical data (that which is essential to my work) accessible 24/7 instantly. When time is money, its worth maintaining that data on my computers.
  12. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    I recently bought a 1TB Samsung 840 EVO drive for my 2011 iMac, and it was well worth the cost IMO.

    I would never ever recommend anyone buying a machine without an SSD these days. It is just not worth the pain and lack of speed. Even lower space SSD's are really cheap now, and most likely people don't use their DVD drive anyway, so you could always move the HDD to that space instead (Which I have also done in my 2006 MBP - Even in that machine the SSD was worth it).
  13. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2013
    Don't think I'd be able to manage with a 128GB considering I already use more than that and I haven't even gone all out in the installed programs/games department.

    I don't want to have to lug around a bunch of separate drives for my mysic (currently about 40GB), documents (about 20GB) or pictures (about 10GB) or keep installing/uninstalling stuff simply because I need the space. For instance the install for the beta of World of Warcraft: Warlord's of Draenor is in itself well over 20GB, but I can fit it with ease and didn't have to delete anything.

    So for me around 250GB is about the miniumum I can live with. I keep my 1,5 TB movie, TV-show and anime library on a network drive that sits on my local network.
  14. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    That is one reason I still have 2 MBPs.

    I'd like to have speed and storage - who wouldn't? Unfortunately, for some of my work, I need to travel with ~700 GB of data, and so I have a MBP with a pair of 1 TB drives. Because I don't reboot often (and really - who does?), the speed is OK.

    I also have a rMbP, and it is noticeably faster when booting or opening applications. But in day to day use, it doesn't feel faster outside of rebooting or opening applications.
  15. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    SSD all the way. I will never have a primary computer without a SSD.
  16. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    I coped with buying a PNY StorEDGE 64GB SD card, and moving my iTS library to an external drive and also use iTunes Match.

    I also use a LaCie Rugged SSD 256GB drive to for additional files. I also own a 1TB USB drive, but rarely carry it now.

    For me, it's now a wont for speed. I've signed up for Office 365, which has 1TB for online storage for 5 accounts - it's easier to DL something I need from my server or OneDrive than dig out my larger external drive, find the cable, and go from there.
  17. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    I'm not a "media collector" guy, so I prefer speed in the first place.
  18. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    It's not a black or white answer to such a question ... it never can be.

    It depends on the workload that's being placed on the drive. Higher workloads would obviously see more benefit from faster/more expensive disk. If there is larger demand for IOPS vs Capacity, then obviously SSD would be the better choice.
  19. Steve686 macrumors 68040


    Nov 13, 2007
    US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
    The Fusion has 128GB SSD aside from the 1TB HDD. So far on my iMac, I am more than pleased with it. Boots in less than 15 seconds and seems to run my most used apps off of it rather than the HDD.

    But, I have 512GB SSD on my rMBP and ya, ALL apps open pretty damn fast.
  20. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Both speed and storage are necessary. A primary drive as an ssd means that boot times and applications load quickly. A secondary drive with a lot of storage is great for files that don't benefit from speed, like photos, music, etc.

    Eventually, SSDs will probably catch up with hdd in storage. Until then, it's good to have both.
  21. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    The Fusion will never be as fast as a pure SSD.

    Fusion: 550 MB/s read and 300 MB/s write.

    256GB SSD: 720MB/s read and 670MB/s write.

    And besides, I do heavy 4K editing, so I need all the speed that I can get.
  22. Steve686 macrumors 68040


    Nov 13, 2007
    US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
    SATA or PCIe?

    RAID external is making ground for 4K editing.
  23. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    The internal SSD is PCIe.

    I operate off a 12TB Pegasus R6 TB RAID array.
  24. andyp350 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2011
    I have the 512GB SSD and I still have to take a portable hard drive with me for tv shows/films etc. I went for the 512GB as I knew I would come to regret buying a machine where I couldn't have all my photos and music stored on the actual machine. 512GB has allowed me to put my whole iTunes library (minus videos) and my iPhoto library onto the laptop with enough room left to expand in the future and to have a bootcamp partition. Any less and I would have gotten very quickly frustrated with a machine I just spent a lot of money on, so for me the extra cost of the 512GB drive was more than worth it.
    It comes down to personal use I guess, if you only look at your photos or play your music when you're sat at a desk then keeping them all on a portable drive won't be so much of an issue.
  25. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd love a Pegasus R6 myself but I don't have the money. I find though a DAS is a better option then storing internally and/or using a NAS that does not have the performance thanks to the ethernet connection.

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