Reverting to HDD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ShaneBunting, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. ShaneBunting Suspended

    Aug 10, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Earlier in the year, I went mad with upgrades on my MBP. It's a mid 2012 13" btw.

    I maxed the RAM to 16GB. Replaced the HDD with a 240GB SSD. Months after I removed the DVD drive and fitted an optibay with an additional 500GB HDD.

    But now, I'm bored with the speed and I miss having masses of storage onboard and big Windows partitions.

    So I'm considering selling my SSD and buying a 1TB conventional drive.

    As for the optibay, I'm not sure whether to keep it or restore the original DVD drive. I have missed the Superdrive more than I thought I would, but nothing too extreme like.

    What do you guys think? Have you done this?:apple:
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    What do I think? I didn't know you could get bored with the speed.

    Do you need 1TB of storage? Is your current configuration NOT working for you?

    Personally, having an SSD increases the user experience and I'd not want to replace it with a hard drive. The only reason why I'd consider it, if the storage requirements required I needed a large drive. My advice, is not to change it because you're bored with it.
  3. ShaneBunting thread starter Suspended

    Aug 10, 2009
    United Kingdom
    The speed is great, but I think I would rather have more space. The SSD is too small for running Windows on another partition with any programs on it. And my original plan, which was to install windows on the second drive can't be done due to BIOS restrictions set by Apple. So I don't know what to do.. Wait til Mavericks? lol
  4. Millionaire2K macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2011
    I would put back the super drive and install a 960GB SSD. Then split the drive between Windows and OSX.

    Is a 960GB SSD drive in your budget? Its $600 on Amazon.
  5. johnnnw macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2013
    I would never ever go back, don't think I could.
  6. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    Its difficult to go back.When you havent experienced the speed of a SSD, a HDD is great. But going from a SSD back to a HDD is not so easy!

    I recently sold my 2012 MBP, which I had upgraded with a 512GB Samsung 830 SSD.
    I sold the SSD first so removed it and placed the original HDD back into the MacBook Pro. I REALLY felt the speed difference. Everything just took so long in comparison. You really notice where before something used to open in 1-2 seconds, where now you sit and wait for 10 seconds or so, and it really destroyed my love of that notebook. Luckily it sold a week or so later so I didnt have to put up with the slowness any longer.

    Have you considered selling your current SSD and going for a Crucial M500 960GB SSD instead? Best of both worlds!
  7. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    Ditto :)

    You mean the opposite, right)

    Have you considered selling your current SSD and going for a Crucial M500 960GB SSD instead? Best of both worlds![/QUOTE]
    That is still a $700 upgrade. Twice less expensive than it used to be only a year and a half ago, but still almost as expensive as a brand new iPhone 5.

    It really boils down to what you do with the machine. If you prefer to keep everything internal, including the optical drive, there is not much choice but to install a large HDD inside (or perhaps an hybrid HDD/SSD, although I was told that their performance wasn't up to expectations and price tag), put the optical drive back and call it a day.

    If you don't mind having an external drive, you could install a fast HDD in a box and connect it through FireWire 800, letting it hold the Windows partition. Of course speed would be quite slow, and again, it depends what is your purpose of running Windows natively.

    Or, you can keep your setup as it is. Without more precisions it would be hard to guide you.
  8. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    By your username, you need not look for such great deals.. :D
    Now if I can muster up enough cash... anyone looking for a kidney?
  9. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    I think you will get bored with the slowness of a HDD faster than with the speed of an SSD.
  10. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    I think you misread. :) Someone that has not used an SSD is probably pretty happy with their HDD because they don't know any better. Ignorance is bliss. :D For someone that HAS used an SSD before there's just no going back, IMO.

    For the OP, I really really really don't think you'll be happy going back to traditional HDDs just to get more space. That's like going from a Porsche to a pickup because you want to haul stuff around. You could sell your SSD, get a 512GB one or larger, and then replace the 500GB HDD with a 1TB or similar and effectively double your current space without giving up performance.

    Or you could go with a 960GB SSD and upgrade the 500GB HDD if needed.

    I don't know how you use your laptop, but for me...

    512GB SSD primary, 1TB HDD optibay, 4TB USB3 external, and a 6.5TB NAS works out well for me. I have enough local storage to do whatever photo and video work I want to do, when I'm ready to archive it I put it on my NAS, which backs up to an off-site service. The 4TB USB3 is for Time Machine backups.

    If I ever run out of that time there will probably be even larger SSDs to choose from. :D
  11. Millionaire2K macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2011
    You don't get to be a Millionaire by spending like an idiot. :D

    Always look for good deals! ;)
  12. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    Great advice :D
    Maybe I can donate my eyebrows though... I mean, theres a market for eyebrow selling, isnt there? I bet I could get a few extra $$ that way.. :D


    You could always get both!
  13. Millionaire2K macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2011
  14. VTECaddict macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2008
    You can't? I'm pretty sure you can...
  15. akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    Right with ya. Easily the most visible upgrade you can do to a computer. Able to see in every day usage and almost every workflow and application. The SSD...especially the current SATAIII speeds @500/500 are insane. Prices continue to come down. I didn't realize there was a near TB option from Crucial for $600. That's amazing. Wondering how it performs!

    Bump the size of your primary. Sell your 250 for $150-175 on Craigslist. But a $300 512--plenty of room for your partition. Keep your opti-bay or put the SuperDrive back in. Doesn't've got a 2012 model. The quickest I/O options Apple has EVER offered! Twin USB 3 ports and thunderbolt man! Grab yourself an external drive. Maybe turn your current SSD into one instead of selling it....OR buy a big 4TB USB 3 drive for home storage and backup.

    Don't go backwards. RAM, CPU, GPU (well, this can be significant too) other upgrades IMO compare with the difference in performance between the ol' 5400rpm HDD to a SATAIII SSD!
  16. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    I never used one, but seen many demos. Simply, the almost $450 required for a 512GB SSD when I wanted to upgrade was enough to put me off.

    Makes $495 for the SSD, $130 for the 1TB HDD (not counting mounting brackets), $430 for the 4TB drive, and $520 for the NAS.

    That makes it more or less $1500 of external storage an upgrade. Good for you if you have that much money lying around, but for most people, it is extremely expensive.
  17. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    No offense, but since you've never used one you have no idea what you're missing. The demos, etc only show so much but they don't allow YOU to actually experience the difference with your own workload. I was put off, too...until I received my rMBP and experienced the difference for myself. It made using my cMBP seem so slow that if I didn't upgrade then I knew I wouldn't be happy with its performance anymore.

    I'm not sure why you think what I posted was a recommendation or requirement for anyone when upgrading. Why would upgrading to an SSD involve anything different than an HDD in terms of external storage? I had this same setup BEFORE I upgraded. It's a setup I use for what I personally work on, it has nothing to do with SSD vs HDD, it was an example of how I personally manage my space.

    FWIW, the 4TB external was less than $200.

    I recommend that EVERYONE have some sort of external backup, that is unless they don't care about their drives' contents. Again, that is just common sense and not something to do with SSDs.

    The NAS is also a personal decision. Why? My house has 4 laptops and 2 desktops, a NAS makes more sense to use as a general backup destination than each one having an individual external drive. It also makes backing up off-site (Using CrashPlan in my case) super easy.

    Someone that wants to upgrade to an SSD can do so without having to consider "special needs" in comparison to an HDD so long as the SSD has enough space for their needs.

    Anyone that has no external backup is living on borrowed time no matter what drive they have in their computer.
  18. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2012
    Samsung 840 EVO SSD 1 TB is cheap, but it's extremely fast. Get that one :)
  19. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    That's a nice looking drive, falls between the non-Pro and Pro but also provides models with more capacity than either of them. The EVO hasn't been released yet. Initial list price is $650, so I'll be surprised if the street price drops down significantly at launch.

    Definitely would be on my short list of SSDs should I be looking to upgrade/replace today.
  20. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    Nobody said external drives are not necessary. In fact they are, but the space you considered necessary could be debated, and $1500 of external storage for 6 computers is not too much. I back up two Macs with a single 1.5TB drive that was on special for $110 a few months back, and still have about a year of backups. True, I don't backup my downloads as they are easy to re-download anyway, the bottleneck being the internet connection itself. What could be discussed also is the amount of mobile external storage one needs. Having a blazing fast machine but having to haul an external drive at all times because internal is too small is a tradeoff not many would be willing to make.

    Even with a SSD inside, I am not sure I would trade 16GB of RAM for a SSD: swapping must be much faster, but SSD is still slower than RAM. Given enough money in my pocket I would stick the 512GB SSD inside the MBP and switch the 500GB HDD in an enclosure. But I wouldn't gain speed when running virtual machines, and I find a bit wasteful to stick a SSD in an enclosure. So money and only average performance in some applications put me off. I do have a few, empty HDDs that are not connected, and looked for a cheap way to put them all online, and have failed to find one.

    BTW what you show is not a 4TB NAS, but a 4TB external drive. That makes a whole difference in price / speed, although you surely share this drive from a dektop to the other machines.
  21. Yahooligan, Aug 1, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

    Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    Thankfully, with the optibay, it's not a trade-off many people have to make. Ultimately, the OP's mistake is not planning out how much local space they'd need or they underestimated that need.

    The OP essentially has 750GB right now and misses having "mass amounts" of space...yet they're only talking about replacing the current SSD with a 1TB HDD? That's a gain, but hardly a massive amount more than their current setup and it will be massively slower. It's an "upgrade" that doesn't make sense. The OP would have 1.5TB of slow storage. I also have 1.5TB of storage, but I didn't have to make a compromise and forgo having an SSD.

    Why would there be a trade between one or the other? :confused: Nobody has said anything about giving up memory for SSD. 16GB is $125.

    You would absolutely gain speed in virtual machines if the VM image resides on the SSD. I don't know why you'd think otherwise. Booting the VM, launching apps within the VM, saving and restoring the VM state...these are all tasks whose speed is increased immensely when coupled with an SSD. You seem to have some misconceptions about what an SSD will help out with and since you haven't had any personal experience with them I find it odd that you would make assumptions about them that are the complete opposite of what people actually experience.

    If you don't want to get rid of your optical drive or aren't understanding what people mean when they say "optibay" then I can understand why you're talking about external enclosures. The optibay replaces the optical drive with a 2nd 2.5" drive bay. Are you aware of this? The OP, as well as myself and countless others, have two drives INSIDE our MBPs. I have 1.5TB of internal storage; 512GB SSD and a 1TB HDD, all inside. I don't carry around an external enclosure to have the second drive and I don't take the 4TB external drive with me when I travel.

    Depends on what you mean by "cheap" and "online." An empty 4-bay NAS can be had for relatively cheap, but they won't be the fastest in the world. I'm a big fan of Synology and their consumer 4-bay NAS, the DS413j, is $380. If you just want to toss the drives in an enclosure and connect them via USB3 then a 4-bay USB3 enclosure is under $100.

    I never said the 4TB was a NAS and I actually don't share it with anything. If you read back, I said it was a 4TB USB3 drive that I use for Time Machine backups (Specifically, for my cMBP that has 1.5TB of drives) and that I also have a 6.5TB NAS. Yes, I can, have and do use the NAS for Time Machine, and that is what my rMBP backs up to, but video editing on my cMBP and having it back up my projects over wifi doesn't work very well, especially given the Time Machine + NAS "bug" that results in random slow Time Machine backup speed. I couldn't risk my cMBP taking extra long to back data up so it has its own USB3 drive for backups and the 4TB USB3 drive was both inexpensive and takes care of that problem.

    The bottom line is that nothing external to my Macs is "required" if someone wants to use an SSD. They need to evaluate their space needs and purchase accordingly.

    The OP replacing two drives totaling 750GB with a slow 1TB HDD and keeping the 500GB just sounds like someone bored, period, that wants something to do. That much more space is not what I would consider to be substantial. I stick with my suggestion of getting a larger SSD and selling the small one, then determining if replacing the 500GB HDD is necessary and, if so, replacing it with a 1TB HDD will double that space.

    I also think there is a difference between getting "bored" with the speed and getting used to it. Going back to an HDD-only config...I just can't imagine it. I would get frustrated with the slowness within minutes, not because it's truly slow but because it is simply much, much slower than an SSD.

    Imagine living somewhere where there's traffic all the time and you can't get around very fast. Eventually you just get used to it and it's fine. Now imagine taking a nice, long vacation where there's no traffic and you can go anywhere you want in virtually no time. Eventually that becomes the new normal and you get used to it. What was "quick" is now "normal."

    Now imagine going back home where there's traffic all the time. It would probably drive you nuts and you would always be wishing you never came back from that vacation.

    Yes, SSDs really do make a HUGE difference in the user experience and can give new life to a Mac that someone might be thinking about getting rid of.

    Until you've experienced an SSD yourself you really don't know what you're missing. :)
  22. hod macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2013
    Edinburgh, Scotland
  23. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    There, the OP should have asked for additional advice on what he intends to keep internal, and what could be put on external drives, i.e.when the computer is likely to remain plugged in and on a table.

    Maybe we misunderstood and he intends to sell the SSD for a bigger one, and replace the HDD with a bigger one as well?

    You took the rMBP as an example, which is a model unable to take a 16GB upgrade. In a MBP, there is no question. If you have it, upgrade both to 16GB and get the biggest SSD you can afford.

    Traditionnally choosing a SSD would require making a trade-off between speed and capacity. Since my VMs are taking more than 400GB, they would need a very large SSD (to SSD standards), and that is without accounting for other data and the OS, assuming the optcal drive stays in its slot.

    I could do with an external optical drive, but that wouldn't be very practical. However, I have space needs slightly above the financial sweet spot of replacing the HDD with a SSD.

    I do love what the Synologys can actually do, especially when it comes to videosurveillance capabilities. However $380 is too expensive to put now-considered-small HDDs online, available for use by all computers on the network. $100 is better, but even the first-price USB 3 enclosure is close to $140.

    You just explained your usage pattern is very different from mine. I don't do any video, and have no need for such massive backups. Even my research data fitted on a DVD-R. This may change if I come to work on high-res DICOM or EEG data, though.

    Well, I asked myslef the question wether or not to replace the internal with an SSD, and it boiled down to the same question: do I need the actual flash speed? Now my research is over the answer would be no. As my RAM amount finally allows the computer not to use any swap most of the time, and that swap was the biggest drag on otherwise fast machines, I am simply not sure how it would fit my typical usage. Since I have space needs above the financial sweet spot of SSDs, that SSDs are not returnable and I would lose massive amounts of money by reselling, it was too big a risk for me to take for basically would be just a "test". On the other hand, there seem to have less point trying to get a better deal by waiting as SSDs haven't fallen in price as fast as HDDs did pre-Thailand floodings.
  24. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    Cannot fathom the OP's logic. Easy enough to link a folder under Windows on the SSD to a folder on the HDD. So what's the problem?

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