Hard Drive Questions/Concerns - Internal and External

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ' r i S e n, May 23, 2011.

  1. ' r i S e n macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #1
    I got my MacBook Pro about five months ago and recently I had been thinking about upgrading to 6GB-8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. I decided that the RAM would be a waste of money based on my needs and now I want to address the hard drive in some detail with help/insight of users here if you would all be willing.

    I have a SATA 500GB at 5400RPM that serves me pretty well and I know I want to keep my optical drive (as it is my recent understanding that you can remove that and put another HDD in place of it, yes?) inside of my machine - leaving just one space for an HDD/SSD. So it's basically either keep my SATA or upgrade to a SSD, but is it really necessary for my needs? I use Photoshop CS5 occasionally on Mac OS X, just do photo work and Safari surfing as well as watching some videos, etc - basically standard stuff. I also plan on Boot Camping Win7 at some point within the next few of months and using that to play older games that recommend more than doable system requirements, and that's basically what I will be using my Mac for ...

    ... but is detailing what I want to use it for even necessary - in other words, what does an upgrade to a SSD actually increase? Is it just the speed of system, things like boot time and the opening of programs and such, or no? Is the SATA 5400 RPM (the one that apple used in the 13'' 2010 models) a solid, reliable HDD in the long run? Is there a need for me, personally, to upgrade to a SSD in your opinion?

    Also, one more small thing. I do not currently have an external hard drive and I am going to want to get one at the same time that I am able to get Win7 ... would I want an external hard drive to match the RPM of my internal hard drive, ideally? Does that make any difference at all? I basically want something that just does basic storage - storing my internal information in case of a need to reinstall the operating systems. Would Time Machine and an external HD cover both partitions - Mac OS X and Win7?

    I am looking at this for an external. It seems to be a good price and free shipping. Any insight on preferences such as brands?

    I'm sorry for the wall of text but appreciate any responses or time taken to address any of these points. Thanks everyone.
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #2
    If you can afford an SSD then do it. It is smokin' fast compared to spinning drives. I have a 60 gb SSD for boot and a 1TB 5400 rpm for data. All you need to do is use System Preferences to point your home folder to the spinning drive and keep your apps on the SSD. That'll take care of most of your problems. I use the OWC Data Doubler and have the SSD on the HD bus and the 1TB drive on the optical bus.
     
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #3
    It's not a bad idea, but there are very very few applications for which SSD is a necessity (I can't think of any off hand). That said, it will boot faster and load apps faster, but beyond that, there isn't a whole lot of benefit. It sounds like you would need a pretty big drive, so those get pretty expensive. As for the external, it really doesn't matter. The speed will be limited by the interface unless you get FW800, but for backups, speed isn't too important. Time Machine will not do anything with your windows partition, but you can make another partition on the hard drive and back up your windows stuff there.
     
  4. ' r i S e n thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #4
    I want to keep my optical drive in there so it's either HDD or SSD - based on what I use my laptop for, of course, as anyone would say SSD just in general.

    @alust2013: So would a SSD affect the speed/response/what have you of a program once opened, or just the opening process? Sorry if that's a scrub-like question, but I am new to all of this.

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #5
    Generally, it will not have any effect on how the program runs, unless you are loading large files inside the program (small boost in PS)
     
  6. ' r i S e n thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #6
    That makes sense, thank you for your help.

    I'm thinking a SSD is much more of a luxury at this point after learning that, and much less of a need as far as my usage.
     
  7. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Location:
    Kyoto, Japan
    #7
    The G-Drive you mentioned sounds OK, but check this out;
    http://eshop.macsales.com/search/DIY+On-The-Go
    I have one, the 500GB 7,200 rpm drive and it is so much faster when using the firewire, compared with the usb, really useful when backing up large movie files etc.
    You can install the new 7,200 rpm drive in the MBP and putthe old 5,400 rpm drive in the On-the-Go case too, for a very nice upgrade.
    :cool::apple::cool:
     
  8. phas3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    #8
    have you thought about getting the Momentus XT instead of an SSD? its cheap and faster than a regular 7200rpm HDD.
     
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #9
    Photoshop will use the SSD as scratch, and Aperture runs faster, too. Both of these are quite noticeable improvements compared to the 2.5" spinning drives.
     
  10. ' r i S e n thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #10
    Well, the thing is, I am only looking to spend money to upgrade if it is along the lines of necessary - but I am starting to think that it really isn't for what I want to use the machine for.
     

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