Replacing my MBP HDD with HDD/SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mordred12, May 29, 2013.

  1. mordred12 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    #1
    This is my first post here.

    I currently have MBP, 15-inch Early 2011, 2.2 GHz, Core i7, 4GB RAM, OSX 10.8.3. The HDD is a 750GB Toshiba, under system profile it shows:
    Physical Drive:
    Media Name: TOSHIBA MK7559GSXF Media
    Medium Type: Rotational
    Protocol: SATA
    Internal: Yes
    Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
    S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified

    Now getting to my query. My hard disk is really damaged/ corrupt by now, and yes I've tried every single measure such as fsck -fy, running disk utility from repair mode, verify and repair disk and disk permissions, but the disk seems beyond salvation. I AM using it now, but it's unreliable and I can never tell when it is going to give up on me.

    Now can I replace my Hard disk with ANY generic HDD or SSD available in the market, or should I only get certain "branded" or "Apple approved" products? And what are the pros and cons of getting an SSD against an HDD? If I do get an SSD, how much space will the default OS and system files take up?

    Thanks if you can get back to me on this :)
     
  2. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #2
    I would get the SSD from all other choices.
    First, its super fast.
    7200rpm HDD being 70 Read Write while SATAIII SSDs can go up to 500 R/W.
    Two, no moving parts mean hard to break apart.
    HDDs can easily die due to several moving parts.

    The only issue would be space.
    If you use a lot of HDD spaces like me, conversion from HDD to SSD might be hard.
    I recommend getting a external HDD drive to store you "large" files.
    The OS takes little under 10GB for space.

    Also, the speed of the SSD differs depending on size.
    64GB being the slowest, 128GB next, then 256GB and 512GB have the fastest of all.
    My suggestion is OCZ Vertex 4, OCZ Vector, Samsung 840/Pro.
    I personally not a fan of Samsung products due to bad service and reliability but its you choice.

    As a final option, you can take the optical drive out and use that space to put another HDD or SSD.
    I have this setup so I boot and store apps on SSD while large files are on my HDD.
     
  3. mordred12 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    #3
    hey thanks a lot for the help. i've read in forums about issue of SSD firmware update. is it absolutely necessary to update firmware of ssd, and if we dont then what happens? And of the brands you suggested, which one makes firmware update easier? Since you use SSD, tell me about your experience please.
     
  4. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68020

    PBG4 Dude

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #4
    If you're worried about firmware updates, then buy from a manufacturer that has an OS X firmware update program. I understand your hesitence, as Apple just firmware updated the SSD in my MBA, and made it sound quite mandatory (will save your SSD from waking up dead one day was how it was billed in software update).

    As for OS size, my 128GB SSD had 103GB available when I pulled it out of the box last year. This included iLife, which does take a bunch of space (GarageBand has a couple GB in loops buried in an Application Support directory, for example).

    As for a comparison of HDD <--> SSD speeds, there is no comparison. SSDs are an order of magnitude faster than HDDs. Probably the best performance increasing upgrade one could give to a computer that isn't starved for RAM.
     
  5. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a

    Yahooligan

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #5
    I can't comment on any other than the Samsung 840 Pro 512GB, I purchased one recently and it has the latest firmware on it so I didn't have to worry about upgrading it. I also replaced the optical drive with a second HDD bay, so I have a 512GB SSD for OS and Apps and a 1TB HDD for data (Photos, videos, documents, downloads, etc). I'm very happy with this setup.

    Some things to note:

    - If you replace the optical drive with a second HDD and plan on buying the external Apple Smartdrive it won't work the same and, unless you add the correct nvram boot args, it won't work at all. Apple was stupid and made it so that the external drive only works on MacBook models that didn't have an optical drive option. The NVRAM boot args allow it to work fine once OS X is running, but you won't be able to boot with it.

    - Samsung offers us a method to upgrade the SSD firmware, but this requires a properly-working optical drive. Their method is to put the tool on a bootable CD which contains a small DOS install.

    - I wouldn't even bother with the Samsung 840, there have been a number of complaints about reliability that don't exist with the 840 Pro. The Pro uses MLC NAND, the non-Pro uses TLC. Without going into great detail, TLC will "wear out" faster and you'll no longer be able to write data. The 840 Pro with MLC NAND will endure 3x as many write cycles, all else being equal. The 840 Pro will also have better write performance.

    - The larger the SSD the better the performance. 512GB > 256GB > 128GB

    - One final warning. Once you go SSD you won't be able to ever go back to a normal HDD because SSDs are just too awesome. :)
     
  6. firenze86 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    #6
    I'm new in the forum, and I'm writing here because I would like to replace my MacBookPro HDD with the HDD/SSD configuration.

    I was thinking about replace the superdrive with the SSD and keep the original HDD in the main bay, so that he can continue work "safe" with SMS.

    I have a Late 2011 MacBookPro 15", and I'd like to buy a Samsung 840 pro 256 gb.

    Someone of you has this configuration on my exactly model of MBP?
    I'm asking this question because in some comments in the net I read that, even if the SATA3 is fully supported in the superdrive bay, unfortunately Apple has a different firmware on that port which makes SATA3 devices very likely to malfunction and to cause incompatibilities.

    Thank you all in advance!
     
  7. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #7
    You can use an external optical drive other than the one meant for MacBook Airs.

    I don't know how much truth there is to "The larger the SSD the better the performance."
     
  8. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a

    Yahooligan

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #8
    Can you boot from them? If so then I might as well return the external Superdrive and buy one that works "properly" for half the cost.

    In the case of the 840 Pro there is definitely a performance difference between the 128GB and the others. The 256GB and 512GB seem to be fairly equal, so perhaps it would be more accurate to say, in the case of the 840 Pro, 256GB/512GB > 128GB.
     
  9. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #9
    Yes.
     
  10. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #10
    Its excellent. Well, I use the Crucial M4.
    Not the fastest but really reliable and have one of the best garbage collections.
    (meaning no TRIM needed)
    And honestly, there is no need to update firmware unless there is a problem.
    Im running one of the oldest firmwares and have no problem what so ever.

    Tbh, Im just amazed with the speed.
    Even the not-the-fastest drive can boot my mac in 7 sec.

    ----------

    Early 2011 have SATA II in optical and late 2011 have SATAIII.
    Honestly, there is no point in getting a SSD if you're just storing data.
    Unless you want to pull out your data 2 sec faster than your HDD.
    I have my HDD in optical bay and have no problem at all.
    Unless you are going to drop it something, SMS wont do much.
     
  11. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a

    Yahooligan

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #11
    Thanks for the info, I'll be remedying this situation today. :D
     
  12. firenze86 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    #12
    Thank you for your answer!
    I have read (also in this forum) that, as you say, Early 2011 have SATA II in optical and late 2011 have SATAIII, but, despite of it, late 2011 have reliability issues with high speed ssd on that port.

    I agree with you about SSD usage.. in fact I think to install OS and application on it, and larger or less accessed data on the HDD.

    Your configuration confirm me that HDD in the optical bay works fine.. :)

    About SMS, since the HDD mounted on my MacBookPro has a fall protection inside it, it should be safe also in the optical bay...
    Correct me if I'm wrong please:
    -SMS detect a movement and can communicate it throught SATA connection to the HDD
    -since HDD has a fall protection that can be triggered on SATA connection (verified on the datasheet), if I don't disable SMS, it should work also in the optical bay
     
  13. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a

    NewishMacGuy

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    #13
    1. I think all of 2011 uMBP-15s and 17s also have SATA III in the optibay (mine does). Only the early 2011 uMBP-13s had SATA II there. Though it is true that you can only reliably use SATA II drives in the optibays on the 2011 uMBP-15 or 17.

    2. SMS will not work on the optibay, but many HDDs come with their own independent sudden motion protection systems.

    3. For the OP - while SSDs are theoretically less trouble prone (more reliable) than HDDs, out in the real world they're still relatively new and not as well tried and tested as the HDD tech. SSDs have had their fair share of DoA and early failure reports, so I wouldn't put a lot of stock in the reliability theory just yet.

    4. Also for the OP - If you don't need a lot of storage space, putting a 256GB SSD in an old laptop makes a lot of sense, but 500GB+ SSDs are still fairly pricey. Thus a hybrid might make more sense for an older laptop.


    ___
     
  14. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #14
    As stated above me SMS only activates on the main bay.
     
  15. vizi0n macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Location:
    QC, Canada
    #15
    Just for your info, I installed a 128gb Vertex 4 in my optibay (2012 15" MBP) and it worked right out of the box, no firmware update needed.

    So I guess the new ones from the factory are shipped with firmware 1.5 or more recent, which is compatible with your Mac.
     

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