HDD Upgrade Question

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by milescortez, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. milescortez macrumors member

    May 30, 2010
    First of all I love these forums and thanks to all who participate and provide helpful feedback.

    I am running a Macbook Unibody 13'' 2.4GHZ with 10.6.6, 250 original HD (5400), 6GB of RAM, plenty of available space on the HD (i use TC and other external storage for all of my data-heavy media (photos, movies, music etc.). Lately the spinning beach ball of death has been appearing a lot. I run Onyx regularly, disk utility etc. I am looking at upgrading. I do a fair amount of multitasking and regularly use HandBrake to convert video to apple TV and iPod formats for my kids. I stream from my TC in the basement to the AppleTV gen2 upstairs. I also regularly do a clean install of snow leopard (every 6 months or so). It's not uncommon for me to have mail, safari, excel, itunes and HB all cranking at the same time. So here are the upgrades I am considering----I've already maxed out the RAM.

    1. Upgrade to a new 500 or 750GB HD spinning at 7200 (Probably $150) and keep all media on the MB. How much will this really help with performance?
    2. Wipe the drive and reinstall snow leopard and use Drive Genius etc going forward.
    3. Upgrade to a 250GB SSD (either Crucial, OCZ or OWC) (probably $550). I know this will help with boot time, opening apps but probably not with the HB processing. Since I leave my comp plugged in and only reboot about weekly not sure how much this matters to me.
    4. Upgrade to a pimped out MBA 13 with 256SSD, ($2,000)
    5. See what the new MBPs look like in a few weeks...
    6. Upgrade to a pimped out 27inch iMac i7 Quad Core, 256GB SSD with 2TB HDD, 16GB RAM (keeping media and everything else on the iMac) ($3500 with 3rd party RAM from Crucial)

    Obviously the cost is a big range. I could probably sell my MB as is for $700. I could get the imac AND upgrade the MB to last me a few more years, let the kids play with it etc. I had a Macbook because I use to travel a lot but now with limited travel, iPad, iPhone 4 etc I don;t really find it necessary to be portable all the time.

    The iMac option seems pretty sweet but with all that storage (I also have 7TB --2+2+2+1--external) and the trend toward cloud storage I am wondering if it's necessary although it sure would be nice to have everything on the desktop for access speed and multiple redundancy externally.

    If Money was no object I'd do it ALL! Since that's not the case I am here for suggestions. I just want everything to run faster!

    Thanks for the suggestions....can't wait to read them.
  2. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Sep 10, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    The bottleneck for Handbrake is processing speed, and the only thing that will help you with that is the iMac. Also, you're not running Windows; you don't need to wipe and reload all the time, and you don't need to run Onyx on a regular basis. Your machine is already on all the time, so those scripts will be running as needed anyway.

    If your system is slowing down, you could easily have failing hardware, like a bad hard drive.
  3. milescortez thread starter macrumors member

    May 30, 2010
    Yeah I probably overdo Onyx. Regarding the clean install of SnowLeopard it's mostly to get all the excess crap off the drive. I was going to do that again this weekend but I ran a clean up with Drive Genius and everything seems to be running better. On the HB issue that's what I figured---that processing was the bottleneck. I am assuming a quad core i7 imac cranking with 16GB of RAM would help a lot. Some of the 1080p video files take 8 to 10 hours to process-I'm hoping that a pimped out iMac could cut that at least in half. Thoughts?

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