Questions regarding hard-drive upgrades for MBP 13 in.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JKK photography, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. JKK photography, Dec 4, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010

    JKK photography macrumors regular

    JKK photography

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    Jul 14, 2009
    #1
    I'll be picking up a new MBP (my first real Mac :D) here pretty soon. It will probably be the base 13 inch model (mid-2010), which will be a big step up over my current notebook/netbook, the HP Mini 311.

    Anyways, I have a couple questions, all regarding potential upgrades to the MacBook.

    First off, I've been looking at something to replace the stock hard-drive with. I've seen a lot about SSDs here, and in other places. From everything I've read, it is apparent that SSDs are very much a new technology. What's more, OSX doesn't support TRIM, which seems to be made out to be a big deal. Is it that big of a deal? I've also read reports where SSD degradation under OSX is much less severe than it is under Windows 7. Is this true?

    I'm not totally sold on getting one this time around, though: I'm also looking into 7,200rpm hard-drives. I know that the speed of these drives won't match that of a good SSD, but they are significantly larger storage wise. I've been looking at this one, which has some reviews by MacBook Pro users. They seem to be pretty happy. Here's my questions about this drive:
    1. Will it make battery life go down any significant amount?
    2. Will there be heat issues?
    3. Will there be a noticeable speed increase from the stock 5,200 rpm hard-drive?

    Now, comparing the SSD to the hard-drive, which would be the best to go with? More than likely, I would have to go with the 120GB version of the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro.
     
  2. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a

    SuperCachetes

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    #2
    I think your first newegg link needs some editing; clicking it doesn't get me there.

    I can't speak to the SSD issues, but I put a 500GB 7200rpm Hitachi drive in my 13" 2009 MBP and it works great. No measurable change in heat or battery life whatsoever.

    And when I first put it in, the MBP did indeed feel a tiny bit snappier, but it wasn't like I got a whole new computer. Plenty of people have the Caviar Black series so you should get some good feedback.

    My biggest problem with SSDs is that I can't afford the size I need, since the MBP is my main computer, and I'm unwilling to give up my optical drive. The 250GB that came in my MBP wasn't even giving me enough breathing room, which was the primary reason I upgraded. Good luck.
     
  3. JKK photography thread starter macrumors regular

    JKK photography

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    #3
    Thanks; I fixed the link.

    I have the same problem that you do with SSDs; they are simply to expensive to get a large one. Thanks for the reply regarding the battery life/ heat. Those were my two biggest worries about a 7,200 rpm drive.

    I've heard about the Intel G3 SSDs coming soon (late this year, early next I believe?) along with newer SF SSDs coming a little later. One of the features touted for this generation is that prices should fall. Should I purchase the hard-drive and wait it out until these newer SSDs hit the market?
     
  4. TheBaconKing macrumors regular

    TheBaconKing

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    #4
    If you need the space, don't want to pay high prices, and can't live without your optical drive then I would go with a HDD for now..

    If you can live without your optical drive then might I suggest the OptiBay or the OWC Data Doubler? You replace your DVD Drive with a second Hard Drive. I have a 60 GB SSD used strictly for Booting and Applications and plenty of free space on it. Everything else goes onto the HDD.
     
  5. Stvwndr219 macrumors 6502

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    Jan 26, 2009
    #5
    The smaller process SSDs are coming soon which will drive prices down, so if you can wait, wait. I have a 500GB scorpio right now and it works pretty well - I'm sure an SSD would be faster but I have no complaints right now. Besides, you can store more music and files on the Scorpio drive.
     
  6. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #6
    Not trying to hi-jack this thread, but I found it while searching to upgrade my current HDD. Since this thread is current, thought I'd ask a few of you some questions.

    I have a mid-2010 MBP 13" base model with the 250GB HDD. Do to my work, I need to Bootcamp Windows in the coming weeks, so I'm also looking to expand my hard drive. OWC has a 500GB conversion kit for $87 that I'm considering.

    I've reviewed their videos, etc.

    My question is for those who've done this, how difficult was it?

    Does the Mac OSX disk that came with the computer work to install a clean version of Leopard on the newly installed hard drive?

    If so, will a time machine backup of my existing HDD on the new hard drive work for all my currently install programs/stuff?

    Finally, any gotchas that you all think I need to be aware of before I start tearing into the MBP?

    I certainly appreciate any responses...

    Cosmo
     
  7. nizmoz macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2008
    #7
    All your questions are a yes. It's very easy to replace. You need to get the owc tool kit to make it easier as you need a tiny torx and screwdriver Phillips.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #8
    So install the new drive, then install leopard with the CD that came with my MBP, restore with Time Machine...

    Is that all there is to it? I don't have to do any sort of extra formatting prior to installing leopard on the new drive?

    Thanks so much for the info!

    Also, the OWC kit I mentioned above has the tools with it.
     
  9. TheBaconKing macrumors regular

    TheBaconKing

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    #9
    The new drive will need to be formatted, but it is easily done using disk utility. There are a bunch of videos and guides out there for doing it. The easiest way IMO is using the enclosure that comes with the kit (the conversion kit still comes with the enclosure right?). Just put the new drive into the enclosure and hook it up to your mac via USB.

    If you don't have the instal disk around you at the time of install (I didn't, I live at college and my install disk was at my parents.) you can use a program called carbon copy cloner which will make a bootable copy of your current hard drive and place it on the new one in the enclosure. All thats left is to install the new drive into your Mac and your good to go.
     
  10. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #10
    Thanks much, I think this will get me going...gonna order the OWC in a few minutes.

    I believe the kit has the new drive in an enclosure, so it should hook up via USB. Then the old drive can be used as an external storage device.

    One last sanity check to my proposed steps:

    1. Hook up new drive (still in enclosure) via USB to my MBP
    2. Format new drive
    3. Disassemble enclosure and take new drive and install in my MBP
    4. Insert Installation CD that came with my MBP
    5. Install Mac OSX
    6. Update Mac OSX software via Apple Update
    7. Run Time Machine to get my info back onto new hard drive

    All this sound about right. I'll research each step more thoroughly...but the basic steps are correct, yes?

    Thanks again...you all rock!

    Cosmo
     
  11. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #11
    Cosmo>> I just bought one of the SSD kits from OWC and here is what I did. The new SSD drive does not come installed in the external bay.

    1. Install new SSD in Macbook.

    2. Put old drive in the new external bay and plug USB into the Macbook.

    3. Boot Macbook while holding down the option key. A screen will popup asking which drive you want to boot from. Select the USB drive and boot. You now have a running system from your old drive in the external USB bay.

    4. Start Disk Utility and partition the new drive as OS X Extended with a GUID Partition Table as described here.

    5. Install Carbon Copy Cloner (free) and clone the old drive to the new drive as described here.

    6. Shut down the Macbook and unplug the external USB drive, then start the machine. It will boot to your new SSD drive.

    7. Go to system prefs and select Startup Disk. Click the new drive and restart. This sets the new drive as the boot drive.

    Done.
     
  12. nizmoz macrumors 65816

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    #12
    To the point yes. Like someone mentioned, you will need to at least format (ERASE) the drive once you boot from the Leopard DVD. Once it goes into it, the menu on top you will need to find Disk Utility and go in there to Partition and Erase the drive. Once that is done, it will install. Then you restore your time machine backup which will put your machine back to exactly the way it was before the replacement.
     
  13. JKK photography thread starter macrumors regular

    JKK photography

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    #13
    So then, one more question: TRIM support isn't in OSX (at least not yet; I can't see it being left out of Lion). Problem? Or, as I've read, is it great on some drives, but not entirely necessary on others (G1 Intel x-25 vs. G2 Intel x-25 was the example used, I believe)?
     
  14. TheBaconKing macrumors regular

    TheBaconKing

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    #14
    From what I understand the newer Intel Drives have garbage collection, and the drives with the Sandstorm Processor have it as well. I wouldn't trust just me though I would look that up.
     
  15. nizmoz macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Without Trim support, the system will become slower over time. I don't care what others say, without it's going to happen. Apple needs to put Trim Support in their OS so it writes the files properly for SSD drives. Reason why I am staying away from SSD right now on Apple till they get that resolved.
     
  16. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Slashdot's extensive test disagree's with you. As logic defying as it is, somehow OS X doesn't suffer noticeably without TRIM support.
     
  17. JKK photography thread starter macrumors regular

    JKK photography

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    Jul 14, 2009
    #17
    Do you have a link to Slashdot's article? That'd be great :)

    Anyways, I'm pretty sure that what I'll end up doing is going with that hard-drive that I linked to in my original post and let my funds recuperate. Then, around the time Lion is released, I'll spring for a new SSD, hopefully either the third gen Intel, or a newer SF SSD. Or, at least, that's what I'm thinking of doing at the moment.
     
  18. Eddyisgreat, Dec 5, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010

    Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    #18
    You're right, it will slow down, but you make it sound as if it will eventually slow down to traditional HDD speeds. It won't. Some SSDs handle the "erase-write" cycle (which is what needs to happen) better than others. The x25-m 1st generation drive handles this better than most because the g2 relies more on trim.

    On systems with FDE, such as mine, the issue is more pronounced since we have to flip bits (for the encryption) AND perform a "erase-write" cycle on each cell which means the data is written several times. It's still extremely speedy.

    I hope you aren't referring to this article when you are referring to OS X's performance being unaffected. Did you read the comments in the article? Anyone whose used an SSD for more than five seconds can see the glaring omission that the reviewer made in his testing:
    This is the problem . The reviewer never cleared the cells back to EMPTY on the SSD. They merely wrote zeros to it. Their baseline results were based off of a "dirty" ssd. Here's some of the comments from the article :

    etc etc. A fundamental lack of understanding in the article. As of right now, you cannot under any circumstances perform an ata level secure erase (not the same thing as disk utility) while in OS X. You need external utilities to do that i.e. HDDErase or certain linux distros.
     
  19. JKK photography thread starter macrumors regular

    JKK photography

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    #19
    Well, that's news to me. I had previously read that article (not the comments, for time reasons). So then, this is kind of solidifying my stance on getting a 7,200 rpm HDD (yes, I know that it will be slower than even a slow SSD), and wait for the next generation of SSDs to hit from Intel, etc.
     
  20. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    #20
    I don't want to get into all the technicalities but there's no reason to wait while there are suitable drives out right now. The intel g2 (though the intel g3 should be good). The OWC drives also, for several reasons, won't slow down as time goes on.
     
  21. JKK photography thread starter macrumors regular

    JKK photography

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    #21
    I'm looking at the G3 rumored features, and since they are 25 nm they should be cheaper. Correct?
     
  22. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    #22
    yup
     
  23. JKK photography thread starter macrumors regular

    JKK photography

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    #23
    Does anyone have any thoughts/experiences on, specifically, the WD Scorpio Black?
     
  24. nizmoz, Dec 9, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

    nizmoz macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Again it will over time. You can't just do a test and disagree. It will take a long while before it happens. Either way, TRIM is needed. 20 years of computer experience tells me not to do it. So I am not doing it.
     
  25. nizmoz macrumors 65816

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    #25
    I am using the WD Black Scorpio 500gb in my 13" Pro 2010 Macbook and its quiet. You can barely hear a slight hummmm from the laptop in that corner if it's quiet. Runs quick. It does use some more battery power. i basically get 7-8 hours vs 10. So nothing that would be a issue.
     

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