Macbook Pro Dual Booting, HDD/SDD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iVT, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. iVT macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    Okay, so I am looking to purchase a new Macbook Pro before college where I'll be majoring in Landscape Architecture. The computer requirements states that I will have to dual boot with Windows to run some applications specific to the program (3d design type of program that is only Windows compatible) so I was wondering about some suggestions as to what I should do when selecting my drive(s)/computer setup... this is what I've got so far...

    2.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 (from what I've read, the 2.3 upgrade isn't worth the cost)

    8GB RAM through Crucial ( (this is the best option, correct?)

    What would you guys suggest as far as drive/drives? I was thinking of getting the 128GB SSD upgrade, but will this work if I'm dual booting Windows from time to time? If anyone has any experience in the Landscape Arch/regular Arch industries and could give me an estimate as to how much storage I will need that would be appreciated as well!

    Thanks so much for any suggestions.
  2. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    If you want to only use a single drive, the 128GB SSD isn't enough for OSX, Applications, personal data, Windows, and landscape software.

    I have the 120GB SSD running OSX and the OEM 750GB drive running Windows via Bootcamp. It works fine, but once you get used to the speed of an SSD, using Windows on the HDD is painful. In hindsight, I might have gotten the 240GB Vertex 3.

    Like I said though, this works fine and is a good mix of speed and storage capacity. Just make sure you make enough room on the Bootcamp partition initially for Windows AND all the software you may need, then add 50GB or so. Also, if you're going the route of SSD and HDD in the optical slot, remember that Windows must be installed from the Superdrive while plugged into the MBP's internal SATA connector. It won't boot a Windows disc at all through an enclosure or adapter.
  3. iVT thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    Thank you for your help--so would you suggest getting the 750GB OEM HDD and buying a 120GB SSD, or just purchasing a 200+GB SSD? How would the performance of the computer compare between the two options?
  4. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    It really depends on how much space you need. The 750GB comes with the MBP, so you'll have that regardless. For my use, even a 240GB SSD isn't enough for personal data (movies, music, pictures, etc) so I needed the SSD+HDD. The benefit of the 240GB SSD+HDD over the 120GB SSD+HDD is just that there's space to run Windows on the SSD too. Right now, I only have OSX on the SSD, and Bootcamp on the HDD. Depending on how often you boot Windows, it may not be a big deal. I only use Windows for games, and they don't really play any different on an SSD vs a HDD, it's just the initial booting up that's slow.

    If cost is an issue, the 120GB SSD and 750GB HDD work just fine. If you had the extra $200 and you'll be running Windows somewhat often, it's probably worth it to get the 240GB SSD.

    If you think you really won't need more than 240GB overall for everything, then using a single 240GB drive is pretty nice. You'll keep your DVD burner and have everything running off an SSD.
  5. iVT thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    I really appreciate all this help :). I'm thinking I might have to go with the 120GB SSD and 750GB HDD option because I'm not sure that I can quite afford the 240GB SSD since this laptop is going to cost me so much in the first place, haha. Hopefully I won't have to run Windows too often in school; I asked the professor that will be teaching the class if there is a Mac version available at the school (because I found it online, but it costs $4000 :)) so if I'm lucky I may be able to avoid booting Windows too often. Thanks a lot!
  6. jon08 macrumors 68000

    Nov 14, 2008
    Hey guys, let me borrow this thread real quick... I might be getting a new late-2011 15" MBP and will be buying and SSD + a 750 GB HDD for it (since the low-end MBP I'm planning to buy only comes with a 500 GB HDD...).

    What would be the best choice for a 5400rpm 750 GB HDD?
  7. macfan74318 macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2011
    At 5400 RPM I would go with the Western Digital Scorpio Blue ( it is quiet, reliable, and one of the fastest 5400 RPM drives available. I personally would go with the WD Scorpio Black because it is at 7200 RPM and is considerably faster.

    Hope this helps,
  8. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    If you do get the Scorpio Blue, make sure you get the newer 9.5mm version. The older 12.5mm model has a much higher failure rate.
  9. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2010
    Colorado, USA
    I'm basically echoing everyone here, that a 120/128GB SSD is not enough for windows. I used to have one and get by with Mac OS, however Windows makes it just too small.
    Also, don't make the same mistake I did... I installed an "Optibay" for an SSD where my optical drive goes. Then I tried to install Windows, but obviously I failed to recognize that it was going to be exponentially hard without having any sort of DVD drive... :eek:
  10. jon08 macrumors 68000

    Nov 14, 2008
    As far as Scorpio Blue is concerned, I currently have the 500GB one in my early 2008 MacBook Pro, but what I've really hated about it is its constant head-parking, which results in annoying "click-clack" sounds like every 20-30 secs. I fixed that problem by installing this hack called HDAPM, which prevents the disk from idling, but still... Why the heck should I even be installing this kind of stuff.

    Now if I could be sure that the 750GB version of Scorpio Blue would NOT be parking head all the time in the late-2011 MBP (which I intend to buy), then fine, but otherwise it's just crap.

    7200rpm Scorpio Black sounds good, but then again, don't these 7200rpm drives make MBP vibrate and all that? And besides, they would drain the battery faster?
  11. hfg, Nov 9, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011

    hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    Easily solved... :)

    For about $30 you can buy a Netbook USB DVD/CD external drive and use that. Or, for about the same price you can buy a USB enclosure for your removed SuperDrive and use that as an external drive for the occasions you might need to read or burn an optical disk.

    Edit: I have now found out (from experience) that you cannot install Windows 7 from an external USB drive on the new Macbook Pros. You will have to do your windows install BEFORE removing the SuperDrive ... or you will have to replace it temporarily to perform the installation, then again remove it.

    Once your installation of Windows is complete, the external drives work fine. It seems to be just the Windows Installer on the Windows disk which have a problem.

  12. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    I too was wondering this. I'm about to pull the trigger on a bigger hard drive replacement to the 320gb one that came with my 15" 2.4 Ghz MacBook Pro i5 (MacBookPro6,2). I'm wondering on a 1TB (5400rpm) Scorpio Blue versus a 750gb (7200rpm) Scorpio Black.

    I do plan on getting an SSD drive also but I Think I'll do that in the near future to 1) figure out which SSD to buy and what tools/accessories I need and 2) to spread the costs out a bit.

    When I do get the SSD, I plan to put that in the main hard drive bay and move the Hard Drive over to the optibay.
  13. macfan74318 macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2011
    Just a quick question, how would you go about installing Boot Camp on the hard drive, I already have a 750gb drive with a Boot Camp partition and a OS X partition, If I install the SSD in the in the main bay and have the 750gb drive it the ODD bay once Lion installed on the SSD can I wipe the OS X partition on the 750gb drive can I still boot into the Boot Camp partition?

  14. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    If you're going to do virtualization, get an SSD. Otherwise, just put a Momentus XT hybrid drive.
  15. miker2209 macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2010
  16. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Because it is inconvenient and slower.
  17. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Firewire drives are expensive and still too slow for what todays hdds can do. USB 3.0 is no available on the Mac and both is really annoying if you need move something like the music library of internal disks, you cannot listen to anything on the road you always need to plug something in.

    I just wrot this in another thread.
    Try to put Windows on the SSD. Sometimes you need to restart Windows often and putting it on the HDD really starts to question what was the whole point of buying an SSD. You can also just use a 30GB Windows partition and install all bigger stuff on some other parition unlike OSX it is very simple an convenient to store data anywhere and not on the system partition. For read/write exFAT is the easiest format. You can always add the osx home folders to the windows libraries and read them at least (or write them if HFS drivers).

    Check out what the apps you need take on space but chances are you get by well with 128GB if you give Windows only 40GB-50 and OSX the rest. Share as best as you can and move all big stuff like Music, picture libraries (try iphoto library manager), Movies off of the system partition onto the HDD.
    Really it mostly depends on what apps you need and how big they are. All the other stuff can be moved around as needed. What you need often you keep on the SSD what you need less often or where you cannot feel the difference in speed moves to the HDD.

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