SSD & HDD in mid-2010 17" - worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Daze & Confuse, May 10, 2015.

  1. Daze & Confuse, May 10, 2015
    Last edited: May 10, 2015

    Daze & Confuse macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2011

    I have a MacBook Pro 17" that I love for the screen (17 inch, obviously, but anti-glare too, which I much prefer over glossy for a variety of reasons). It's just perfect for my photo editing requirements. The only trouble is that I keep totally swamping the 750GB HDD with RAW files, and repeatedly offloading it to an external disk or the cloud is rather inconvenient.

    So I was thinking of removing the DVD drive, and putting in a 256GB SSD for speed, and replacing the HDD with a 2TB one for storage.

    The OS, applications, and photo editing cache will go on the SSD; files on the HDD.

    I was thinking of a 256GB Samsung 850, but not sure if the EVO or PRO is the one to go for. I'd like the fastest, most reliable option, but only if my machine can actually use that extra speed. I'm not going to spend 30% extra for a PRO if it'll perform the same as an EVO in my case.

    The only 2TB 2.5 inch drive that I can find that fits is a Samsung M9T. It's only 9.5mm thick - the others all seem to be 15mm. It's 5200RPM, so should stay cool and quiet enough, and the comparative lack of performance shouldn't be that much of a problem, because once a photo I'm editing is loaded up, the SSD is going to do all the heavy lifting.

    I will stick to Mavericks, as I can then use the Trim Enabler app. (Doesn't work in Yosemite, and I believe it's worth it for the extra performance.) I only need Mail, Safari, Lightroom 6, Pixelmator and a few other bits and bobs anyway, so Yosemite doesn't strike me as all that necessary in my case.

    The battery is also rather old at this point, so I'll probably take the opportunity to swap it over at the same time. Where can I get one in the UK without waiting a week and paying the extra to have a 'genius' do it for me?

    (As an aside, I don't think that I really need to upgrade to the last of the 17" models (late 2011), as the spec I have is decent - 2.8GHZ, 8GB RAM. The HDD is clearly the bottleneck in my setup. I use PC express cards for USB 3 and SD card reading, so the lack of Thunderbolt and USB3 ports isn't really an issue either. Plus the 2011 models only have 750GB HDD anyway, so I'd still be looking to upgrade. Shout if you disagree.)

    I'm still not 100% on the whole Trim Enabler thing, but I'd prefer to play it safe than be running the very latest OS features I won't use (I don't have an iPhone or iPad), which I think my choice gives me.

    Does that sound like a sensible thing to do in order to get a couple more years out of what in all other ways seems to be a very respectable machine?

    Any suggestions or tips before I drop £200 on this would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks!
  2. mdbradigan macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2014
    Nashville, TN area
    For what it's worth - i just did this exact thing for my 13" mid-2010 mpb - new (aftermarket) battery, swapped out optical for bay with old 350GB HD, and installed new 500 GB SSD - and I'm very happy with it. It took a near un-usable computer and made it perfectly functional. Should last me another year until I upgrade to a newer retina model. Wasn't the cheapest thing in the world, but totally worth the $ in my opinion, for a machine you know and love, and was super easy to do myself.
  3. RichardC300 macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2012
    Chapel Hill, NC
    The EVO is definitely a better choice, because your laptop has a SATA II connection and won't use the SATA III SSD to its full potential.

    Also, Cindori (developer of Trim Enabler) recently released a new app called Disk Sensei, which allows you to "trim" the drive manually. That means you just have to run the app once every few weeks and any degradation resulting from TRIM being disabled should be gone and your drive should be restored to factory speeds. So you won't have to disable kext signing at all. You should check it out! Yosemite is great in so many more ways than just the OS X-iOS integration features.
  4. Daze & Confuse thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2011
    Can I ask why you chose that way around? It struck me as more obvious to put there spinning disk where a spinning disk was designed to go, and the SSD where there wasn't provision for a disk spinning 100% of the time.

    Many thanks.


    Interesting - thanks. So I won't see any benefits of the PRO on SATA 2, or they'll just be reduced? Does the PRO have advantages outside of performance, like longevity or reliability?

    And the Cindori app looks good. How much degradation would I expect over a couple of weeks? I'm surprised that you cannot not schedule it to run automatically once a fortnight.

    Would running trim that infrequently increase the danger of a disk failure or data loss, or decrease the life of the disk?

    Can you give me a few examples of what that might be, given my intended usage? Is it worth the $19.99 for the new Cindori app compared to free Trim Enabler?

    Many thanks.
  5. RichardC300 macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2012
    Chapel Hill, NC
    You won't see any benefit of the PRO over the EVO because of your SATA II. The speed of both SSD's will be reduced to SATA II speeds. Even if you had a SATA III, I would still recommend the EVO over the PRO because of the price. I think the only advantage in your case is that the PRO has a 10-year warranty and the EVO has a 5-year warranty. I'm not sure about longevity and reliability between the two, but both should outlast your laptop and Samsung is a very reliable brand for SSD's.

    And about degradation due to disabled TRIM... Over 2 weeks? Probably no degradation at all. There's several people that choose to go without TRIM on Yosemite and report no perceivable difference in performance even after a few months. You'd probably only see a difference in benchmarks. Also, I don't think using Disk Sensei's manual trim feature would put you at risk of disk failure or data loss nor would it decrease the life of your SSD. It would actually prolong your SSD's by trimming the blocks on your SSD.

    Is Disk Sensei worth $20? To me, no. I use Trim Enabler with Yosemite, and don't mind disabling kext signing. It works just fine. To you, if you find Disk Sensei's manual trim feature and disk health monitor features appealing, maybe. I feel like SSD's are so reliable, that I shouldn't have to keep an eye on it; just enable TRIM and enjoy your laptop's newfound speed.

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4 May 10, 2015