HDD Upgrade on Early 08 Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Enigmatic, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Enigmatic macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    #1
    I've been thinking about upgrading my current 500gb 5400rpm WD internal HDD for something better in time for Lion and I've been a bit indecisive about my options. My current hardware is an early 2008 Macbook Pro (Core 2 Duo Penryn) with 4gb of RAM (I've got another 2gb coming my way once I heard that the max capacity is 6gb on this MBP).

    At the beginning it was a case of size so I was considering a 5200rpm 1TB drive but the more I think about it now, I've decided that I would rather go for speed instead (since I do a lot of graphic intensive stuff for my degree). Since my MBP is of the classic variety, I've been a bit hesitant in taking the plunge for fear that it might not work out given the dated hardware.

    So now I've taken to the Macrumors community in order to make the final decision. I've narrowed down my choices between a 750gb 7200rpm Seagate Momentus and a Seagate Momentus XT 500gb hybrid.

    Are the differences between the two huge and is the XT worth the extra dough on my hardware? Does it even work on my hardware or am I just better off going for the 750gb with a larger capacity?

    Any help on the matter will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. lindstedt56 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    #2
    They should both work on your hardware and either should make your computer boot time and app launch time quicker. The question is: do you want more speed or more capacity?
     
  3. Enigmatic thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    #3
    There's a $30-40 difference between the prices and I was really wondering if the speed difference between the two is a huge enough upgrade that I can overlook the extra 250gb (and price)

    The extra space would be nice but if the speed boost is bigger, I would rather take that.
     
  4. solowmodel, Jul 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011

    solowmodel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    #4
    I have a late 2008 MBP, 2.53GHz with 4Gb ram. Came with a 5400rpm 320Gb HDD, replaced it two days ago with the 500Gb Momentus XT bought from BestBuy last week.

    Subjectively, feels much faster, especially on boot up and the apps I use regularly.

    Came with SD25 firmware. My battery life was quite short already, so wasn't too fussed about the impact on that. I don't have the vibration issues that some people on this forum have, and no significant heat issues either. At the time of writing, my HD temp is 39 degrees celsius with both fans at 2000 rpm (not running any intensive applications at the moment). There is a slight increase in noise, more noticeable in the early hours of the morning when everything is quiet. Nonetheless, I'm completely happy with it.

    You might also want to look at the new 2 platter Samsung 1Tb drive if you more interested in capacity:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1170795
     
  5. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #5
    Do you still use the optical drive on your MacBook Pro? If not, you could go with a route where you get a smaller SSD for boot and a larger capacity hard drive for storage.

    When I had my early 2008 MacBook Pro that's the route that I went and it saw a huge increase in speed. Just grab one of these, a 500GB HDD 5400RPM and a 60GB SSD. It might be more than what you're looking at right now, but the speed benefit will be huge. Plus the SSD would transfer to a new computer that you buy, so you can reuse it.
     
  6. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a

    deadwulfe

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    #6
    Although I didn't have any nightmare stories with the Momentus XT, I still would not recommend that drive for dual-booting Bootcamp Windows. There were times where booting into Windows or OSX just wouldn't go, so I had to force power-down my laptop.

    However, if you have no intention of running windows in Bootcamp, then the XT will give you a very welcome boost in boot speeds and launching some frequently used apps.

    You have to realize that the XT is just a normal hard drive with some flash memory attached to it. If SSD-like bootups are worth the $30-$40 price difference, then by all means...

    I also want to point out that some people overly sensitive to vibration and battery life have made mention that the XT did not satisfy their needs, because of vibration and additional power consumption.

    Personally, I just installed a 1TB Samsung Spinpoint M8, because I wanted the space and it's surprisingly fast for a 5400rpm HDD.
     
  7. solowmodel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    #7
    Wasn't aware of the dual-boot issue!
     
  8. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a

    deadwulfe

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    #8
    YMMV

    I definitely had problems, but don't recall anyone else posting about the issues I had. My GF's 2006 MB has an XT installed and she has zero issues, but also doesn't use Bootcamp; hence my advice.
     
  9. Enigmatic thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    #9
    Thanks for the feedback, so there is a good jump in speed then. I think I can overlook the capacity issue since I have a ton of external drives ready to use.

    My optical drive is dead unfortunately so this might be a good idea too. So does this mean that every app is installed into the SSD drive? I'm quite interested in this method, so is there a readily available DIY guide?

    This sounds very unfortunate. I dualboot all the time since there are apps that I have to use on Windows. If this is the case, then the XT might have to be striked off my list. I wonder if this is just a case of unlucky buyer or if this issue is more widespread. I don't really care for vibration/heat or battery power though, since my batt is drained to begin with and I always use a griffin elevator with the laptop.

    Does the reboot problem happen very often?
     
  10. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #10
    I would install the OS and your main apps on the SSD and all of your music, movies, etc. on the HDD. That's the setup I have right now on my main computer and it is extremely fast without sacrificing storage. And it's really easy to take out the optical drive, there's a good guide here, and the optical drive is right there next to the hard drive, so you can replace both in one go.
     
  11. Enigmatic thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    #11
    How would bootcamp work through this dual drive setup? Would I install windows onto the SSD and will it recognize the other media HDD as normal?
     
  12. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a

    deadwulfe

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    #12
    It felt like every 3rd reboot into a different OS, at most. Probably less often, most times.
     
  13. Philflow macrumors 65816

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    May 7, 2008
  14. seattle29 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    #14
    How easy is a new hard drive to install in the 2008 non-unibody Macbook Pros? I'm a bit wary of doing it myself as it seems a complicated procedure. I've replaced RAM before but that was very simple. My local Apple centre wants nearly £40/$64 to install it for me, which seems expensive. Any other options?
     
  15. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #15
    I would partition the HDD and install bootcamp on the HDD, it'll still be the same speed as you have now and save the SSD for Mac OS X. You'll be able to partition either drive for bootcamp though.
     
  16. Enigmatic thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    #16
    That's not too bad, I can deal with 1/3. As long as there's no long lasting backend damage done to the OS through this, I don't mind a bit of hassle if the bootup time is shortened to begin with.

    How were you able to install a bootcamp partition of Windows without an optical drive? Do they work through a USB drive or an external DVD drive?
     
  17. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #17
    What I would do is if you have a friend who has a Mac with a working optical drive, you could put your computer into Target disk mode (Holding down T when starting the computer) and hook up the two Macs with a FireWire cable. Then you could install windows that way using the other computer and setting the destination as the partition that you created on your Mac.
     
  18. Enigmatic thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    #18
    Awesome, I forgot that there was this method. Cheers.

    Btw, the link to the optibay you provided before has expired. What specific optibay model should I look for for my MBP? I wouldn't want to buy one only to find out that it's the wrong model.
     
  19. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #19
    You would be looking for the optibay that has a PATA on one end and SATA on the other. (PATA would go to the logic board and SATA would go for the HDD)
     

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