HDD vs. SSD? - but not what you think

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by splinteredFish, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. splinteredFish macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #1
    Hi there. I'm making my first post on these Boards because I really need some advice from you guys. (Strange, but it seems the more I read the more unsure I get sometimes.)

    It's finally time for me to upgrade from my ole' trusty 2003 PowerBook G4 with it's massive 60gb, 4200rpm hard drive. :eek: I know, really! For the past week I've been going back and forth between the Retina and the Original MBP, and every configuration possible. (I've now decided 99.9% on the Original MBP 15", 2.6GHz.) The thing I'm struggling with is the hard drive configuration. My greatest issue with my old machine is the 60gb hard drive is nowhere near what i need. On my new MBP, I'm going in with the idea that at some time in the future I will replace the Optical Drive with a second hard drive of some sort.

    So here's my question for you guys that know much more about this stuff than I: Which is better, strictly from a technical/functional standpoint, not financial:

    1. Get BTO with 256Gb SSD now, and then later put 750Gb HHD in Optical Bay?

    2. Get BTO with 750Gb HDD now, and then later put SSD (whatever size) in Optical Bay?

    Does it even matter? Is it better if Apple puts in the SDD from the beginning? Does doing so add some sort of extra chip/bus/controller or whatever that wouldn't be present if I added one in myself later?

    This then also leads me to one other question: If I were to go with option #2 above, where I start out with the 750gb HDD -- when I go to add in an SSD, does it matter if the new SSD goes into the Optical Bay or into the original HDD space? IOW, is it okay to have the SSD as your "second" drive in the Optial Bay, or is it better to put it in the original HD slot and then put the original HDD into the Optical Bay? (The SSD, wherever it is, would be used for the OS and Apps.)

    I really appreciate your input! Thanks.
     
  2. boomhower macrumors 68000

    boomhower

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #2
    Go with Option #1 but do the SSD yourself. Paying Apple $500 for a $200 SSD is just plain insane.(Actually $580 since your losing the original HD too.) Whether you get the SSD from Apple or Amazon the computer comes the same way, no extra chips gained or lost.
     
  3. awer25 macrumors 65816

    awer25

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    #3
    I went with option 2 (SSD in optical bay slot) and haven't seen any differences between that and option 1. Either is fine. Buy the HDD from Apple though and the SSD aftermarket.
     
  4. ivoruest macrumors 6502

    ivoruest

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Guatemala
    #4
    Go for OPTION #2.

    Buy your mac with the 750Gb HDD and buy the SSD from a third party such as Crucial or OWC, etc. Then switch the SSD in the HDD bay and the 750Gb HDD to the Optical Bay. This I recommend. Also you can buy a Bigger HDD if you like and have a 128Gb SSD for OS and the 1Tb HDD for massive storage.
     
  5. splinteredFish, Jun 21, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012

    splinteredFish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 21, 2012
    #5
    thanks, boom.
    so then you're saying that there's no tangible advantage to starting out with the SSD vs. adding one in later? (aside from time or cost savings later)? Once the SSD is in, it would perform the same whether it was installed originally or afterwards?

    Edit: I should also add that opening up the case to add/change stuff is not something I want to do right away. I would do it later on down the road, maybe a year or two from now. I just don't want to crack open a brand-new laptop right off the bat.

    ----------

    This is what i was sorta hoping for! My current dealings with a 60gb hard drive are giving me nightmares, so I'm even a little leary of whether the 256 SSD would be enough. I kind of like the security of the 750gb, 7200-rpm drive right now. (plus, it's cheaper than the SSD, too).

    Thanks!
     
  6. ugp macrumors 65816

    ugp

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Inverness, Florida
    #6
    I am doing option 2 myself today. Decided to go with the the Non-Retina MacBook Pro $2199 model.
     
  7. splinteredFish thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #7
    Thanks for the reply. If I were to switch the 2 drives around, what is the benefit? Do I loose performance or something by keeping the HDD in it's original slot (thereby I don't have to touch it), and just putting the SSD in the optical?
     
  8. splinteredFish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 21, 2012
    #8
    thank you all for your replies! Seriously!!! :)

    so it sounds like there is really no permanent advantage to getting the SSD now, or adding it later. It's just an issue of how soon I want the benefits/speed of the SSD. And I do want that speed, as soon as I can get it.

    I'm starting to lean much more towards the 750gb HHD to start, and then just add the SSD later when time/$$$ allows. It doesn't sound like i loose out on anything that way (once it's upgraded, that is). And in the meantime, I won't have any more issues with not enough storage space. (And it was really ugly! I had to wipe out programs just to be able to get my camera photos on there. Can't upgrade my iPad because there was not enough room to do a backup first, etc. etc.)

    So when I do add in the SSD, does it matter whether it goes in the old HDD bay or the Optical bay? Or do both bays use the same transfer speed (bus speed?)???
     
  9. WD007 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    #9
    did anyone see the article posted in the other forum about how an SSD wont help 12 MB

    I am concerned about this as I was about to purchase an SSd for my MBP 2012 13 2.5

    and now i am concerned if this is correct or if anyone has done a teardown or added sad and has some info

    thanks for all your help this is my first MBP and I am new to the Apple Ecosystem
    http://www.allvoices.com/contribute...-pro-13inch-ivy-bridge-release-handson-review
     
  10. awer25 macrumors 65816

    awer25

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    #10
    If you have the money, I'd say just do it now. You'll probably want to move your home folder (i.e. personal data) to the HDD and keep OSX and Apps on the SSD. IMHO, it's just easiest to do this from the start. Swapping out the disc drive for the SSD is also really easy - don't worry about "cracking open a new MBP". There are screws you remove, and it just slides right out.
     
  11. zeraien, Jun 21, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012

    zeraien macrumors newbie

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    Mar 9, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #11
    Option 2 every time my friend.

    And I recommend you keep the HDD in it's original slot, since that slot has better vibration dampening, which the SSD does not need.

    Once you get the SSD, simply use SuperDuper to clone your existing HDD onto your SSD and you're set. The whole procedure (without cloning) will take no more than 20-30 minutes. Cloning takes about an hour for 100gb.

    I do not recommend keeping your home folder on the HDD. Just keep non-essential stuff on the HDD, that way you'll reduce the amount of time that the HDD is spinning.
     
  12. icewing macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Location:
    St Louis
    #12
    I had the same questions as you. Typing this on my brand new 15.4, 2.6 with 750 gig (I went with option 2).

    Honestly this thing is awesome...sometime down the road I'll upgrade to an SSD when the prices drop, but at this point I haven't hit any "hard drive is too slow" experiences.

    Keep an eye on this forum and you'll see a lot of posts about various SSDs, benchmark tests, and swapping drives around in the HD and Optical bays, lots of information that will be really helpful.

    Good luck with your decision!
     
  13. splinteredFish thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #13
    thank you, zeraien! I had no idea about one slot being better for vibration than another. Excellent point! So you're suggesting I not keep my photos on the HDD then? That would mean making sure my SSD is large enough for all of my photos (and music, and movies, etc.). That could end up requiring the SSD to be really large, like 512GB at least. And that could get expensive!

    ----------

    Thanks ice! I had read on these forums (for days and days and days) about whether to get a HDD or an SSD, but never saw anything specifically about whether it mattered WHEN you get the SSD, or WHERE you installed it. These responses to my post specifically have been invaluable to me!

    May I ask: did you get the glossy, the high-res glossy, or the high-res AG screen?
     
  14. leenak macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #14
    Since you are coming from 60GB, do you really expect to use 1TB of data within a year?

    If it were me, because I'm lazy, I'd buy the SSD now (without discounts, it costs $400, on the market, looks like same SSD is $300) and then if I needed more space in a year, I'd add another SSD. Otherwise external drive options seem a good way to go.
     
  15. Rajpdx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    #15
    I'd get the build to order option with the 750gb HDD

    and then buy a 512gb Crucial M4 SSD. They are around $400 at the moment.

    Replace the 750gb SSD with the Crucial M4.

    If you need space later put the 750gb in the optical bay for data storage that is not speed dependent or buy a second SSD if they are cheap enough.

    good luck.
     
  16. splinteredFish thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #16
    hi there. i'm looking at getting the 750Gb drive, not the 1Tb one -- if I'm going to go HDD instead of SSD, I'd like a 7200-rpm one, and the 1Tb only comes in 5400-rpm.

    I had also thought about getting SSD initially, and then adding another SSD in the optical -- ending up with TWO SSD's. Sounds sweet. The nice thing is, it sounds like whether or not I get the SSD initially, I'll be just as good, or better, once I add in an SSD.

    ----------

    I have decided... finally! ;)

    Since there is no detriment to adding in the SSD later, I'm going to start out with the 750GB HDD option. That way, at least it will be a while (long time?) before I have to worry about running out of storage. And given my current 60GB frustrations, this is a big deal for me! I really only want to use my external hard drives for backups.

    But I really do plan to add in the SSD later, because I like the idea of the huge speed boost for the OS and the app's. At least with this direction, I can fairly safely assume I will have adequate storage until whenever it is I decide to add the SSD -- instead of running out of space before I'm ready.

    And honestly, it doesn't hurt that I save a few hundred $$$ on my initial investment either. :cool:

    Thanks to all of you for your opinions! They were all taken into consideration.
     
  17. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    #17
    when it comes to the life and speed of your SSD, you will want TRIM support. All current machines with Apple SSDs run TRIM support from the factory. Adding your own 3rd party SSD in will NOT do this. There are some 3rd party utilities you can find that will enable TRIM on non-Apple SSDs though, but doesn't work right for every model of SSD out there I don't think.

    Also, the SSD in the Optical bay slot will be limited to 3Gbps instead of the main hook ups 6Gbps. If your SSD is really fast, you could hit the 3Gbps cap. Some people move the hard drive to the Optical Bay, but if you do that you will lose its ability to protect the drive when it detects falls and stuff with the accelerometer.
     
  18. ugp macrumors 65816

    ugp

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Inverness, Florida
    #18
    The 15" Support 6Gbps in the Optical Bay.

    OWC recommended not to use them on the 13" right now for the 2012 Models.

    Regardless your SSD I would say would be better off in the main bay and then the secondary in the Optical Bay.
     
  19. doh123 macrumors 65816

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    Dec 28, 2009
    #19
    thats good to know.. that new with the 2012 model?
     
  20. ugp macrumors 65816

    ugp

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Inverness, Florida
    #20
    Yes. It's this is what really helped me with my decision to get the Non-Retina model. The fact that I can have two internal HDDs is amazing. This will actually be my first MBP and forgot you could even replace the Optical with a HDD.

    Could also always run 2 SSDs in a RAID 0 and get crazy speeds :D

    Here is a link to the Blog post from OWC.

    http://blog.macsales.com/14064-expand-the-2012-macbook-pros-with-an-owc-data-doubler
     
  21. icewing macrumors 6502

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    Jun 19, 2008
    Location:
    St Louis
    #21
    I have a iMac with a glossy display, love the way colors pop on it, so was originally going glossy...then I spent some time outside with my iPhone 4 and realized the glare was going to kill me. Was also planning on going with a 7200 RPM drive.

    I ended up choosing the hi-res AG with a 5400 RPM drive, saved a few bucks and couldn't be happier. Went with 2.6 so it had the extra VRAM, and 8 gig of ram. I LOVE this machine! Was also considering 17 inch, but am very happy with this.
     
  22. splinteredFish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 21, 2012
    #22
    this is my understanding as well! thanks for the confirmation.
     
  23. leenak macrumors 68020

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #23

    I just meant 750GB now + 256 later is about 1TB which is a lot of data.

    It sounds like you made your decision though :) Good luck!
     
  24. geta macrumors 6502a

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    May 18, 2010
    Location:
    The Moon
    #24
    sorry for the hijack... but...
    how do you backup after moving the Home folder to the second HDD ?
    im using SuperDuper, is it going to make the backup normal (seeing this setting as one HDD), or do i need to backup the 2 HDD separately ???
    and what happen if im using Symbolic link only for few folders (would like to keep the Home Library on the SSD) from the Home folder ???
    or should i move to the second HDD only the data (music, movies, projects...) , and then to make 2 backups for each HDD separately???

    im planing to make this move the next days, as soon as my optibay will come... and not shore with one of the options is the best way with the backups...
     
  25. ivoruest macrumors 6502

    ivoruest

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Guatemala
    #25
    Ok so this is a question I need a correct answer as well. I've read that the bandwith given to the ODD is much less than the BW to the HDD because its a PATA and the HDD is a SATA interface. So you don't want to miss this bandwith to your SSD which can take advantage of higher BW due to its speed.

    But I really need to clear this up. Anyone has an accurate answer to this? Or is the difference irrelevant to the speeds that both drives operate?
     

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