Hard Drive Debate: Storage vs. Speed

logicstudiouser

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 4, 2010
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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?
 

Dekema2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2012
770
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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.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
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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?
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.
 

littlepud

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2012
254
93
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.
 

ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,119
635
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. :)
 

5to1

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2008
302
48
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?
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 :/
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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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.
 

556fmjoe

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
1,611
914
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.
 

MartinAppleGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,243
888
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?
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.
 

5to1

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2008
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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.
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.
 
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T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
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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).
 

SarcasticJoe

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
599
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Finland
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.
 

Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
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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?
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.
 

campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
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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.
 

duervo

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2011
2,307
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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.
 

Steve686

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Nov 13, 2007
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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.
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.
 

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,014
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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.
 

yjchua95

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Apr 23, 2011
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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.
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.
 

andyp350

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2011
807
453
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.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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The internal SSD is PCIe.

I operate off a 12TB Pegasus R6 TB RAID array.
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.