SSD optibay upgrade thoughts?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by chazfest, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. chazfest macrumors newbie

    chazfest

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi all,
    I'm after some advice, and hopefully some user experiences from similar projects...

    I've got a mid 2010 MacBook Pro - 2.4ghz core i5, 8gb RAM.
    I've currently got a 750gb 7,200rpm hdd installed, and I'm looking to add in an SSD by swapping out my superdrive for an optibay (or similar) caddy.

    I'm a video editor and VFX artist, and I'm trying to squeeze out another year or so from my ageing MacBook. I'm hoping that by adding in a high spec SSD, I'll see general boosts in editing. I'll be using the new SSD solely as a boot drive, with OSX and my applications on it. I'll then pull my content from my freed up 7,200rpm HDD. Hopefully this will give me a boost in performance when editing.

    I feel like I've settled on the Samsung 840 Pro 256gb as my SSD of choice now. The benchmarks are high, and reviews are great. It's a little pricey, but I could do with the performance boost.

    I just have a couple of questions:

    1) Am I likely to see any performance boosts by using the drive solely as my boot drive, for OS and apps? Obviously, the place I'd like to see a big boost in is my NLE. And I'm hoping that by splitting the load between 2 drives - OS/apps on SSD, and content on HDD, I'll reduce my current bottleneck, and thus speed up both the reading of my files when editing, and also the general performance of my machine. Any thoughts on how realistic this is?

    2) I've heard that a lot of people choose to move their stock HDD over to the optibay, and stick the new SSD in the original HDD bay. Not sure why this is. Perhaps cooling reasons? Is it wise to do this?

    Huge thanks in advance for any tips/thoughts/advice guys,
     
  2. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    #2
    Hi,

    1. You'll definitely see a major performance jump. An SSD really gives your MacBook a fresh start.

    2. Well, you would want to do that in a mid-2011 MBP because those MBPs had an issue where the optical bay SATA port was limited to 1.5Gb/s.

    The mid-2010 MBPs only have SATA II ports, so you might want to go for an older SATA II SSD for a cheaper price. Also, I'm assuming that you'll be upgrading to another MacBook in the future, in which case you won't really be able to reuse a SATA III SSD. Finally, you won't really notice much of a performance deference between a top of the line SATA III SSD and an average SATA II SSD in your MBP. If, however, you can't find an older SATA II SSD for a significantly lower price, go for an averagely priced SATA III SSD.

    Regards
    Raptor
     
  3. chazfest thread starter macrumors newbie

    chazfest

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Thanks for the info Raptor, I didn't know my MBP was a SATA II machine, that's good to know. So would I only benefit from something like a Samsung 840 Pro in a machine that's actually got SATA III ports?
    My main criteria in an SSD is that it maintains a decent read/write speed. I'd been looking at the Crucial M500, but I'd heard that the read/write speeds were a little inconsistent. If I can save money, and still get something fast (that's not needlessly above the port spec of my MBP), I'd of course be jumping for joy! If you could recommend anything, I'd be all ears.

    Thanks,
    Chaz
     
  4. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #4
    There is no point in getting sata 2 ssd's as they are virtually extinct and no cheaper.
    Almost every SSD will keep sata 2 speeds up as long as you enable Trim. Some SSDs are more buggy than others. I would go with something reasonable and known to be stable. Samsung 840 (no Pro). The Pro isn't worth it.
    Curcial probably works too. I had troubles with the last version on my MBP. Frequent freezes that didn't show on my Windows desktop. Samsung has the least complaints compared to the volume they sale.
     
  5. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #5
    You might consider the Samsung Evo since it's cheaper than the Pro. It won't have as long a life but should be good for at least 10 years on typical use.
     
  6. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Location:
    Winterfell
    #6
    +1 for Samsung. The interface isn't everything. You'll still see very noticeable improvement even with the SATA II. Heck, I ran mine in an external FW800 case for nearly two weeks after cloning. I didn't mean to do it that long, but I got busy and I think I was still waiting for my Data Doubler to arrive and wanted to do everything at once. But even over the much slower FW800, the SSD was an order of magnitude faster than the OEM drive over the (in my case) SATA III. The seek times are just so fast that it makes it feel like a much more powerful system.

    Not so sure about that? As said, an SSD will make the system "feel" faster and actually perform better in many ways. So, for "the general performance of [your] machine," I think the answer is easily yes. For video editing specifically, are you certain that the read speed is your current bottleneck here?
     
  7. chazfest thread starter macrumors newbie

    chazfest

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    That's an interesting point. I don't think it'll transform my NLE per-say. But I do notice that when I pull my content from a FireWire drive, my whole system speeds up noticeably. Which figures to a point, I mean, I must be putting some horrible stress on my current HDD by reading the OS, my software AND my files while editing. I'm just hoping that it might relieve a little stress. If not, at least it sounds like it'll speed my overall system up a bit ;)
    I'm gonna take the advice of everyone here too, and look at the Samsung 840 (not pro).
    Thanks again for all this advice :)
     
  8. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    #8
    I haven't purchased an SSD in almost 3 years so I'm a wee bit outdated. However, as mentioned above, SATA II SSDs would most likely be no cheaper. Also, as recommended above, the Samsung EVO would be a wonderful choice. It's cheaper than both the 840 pro and the older 830, and you won't notice any speed difference in normal usage.

    Also, if you're only going to be using it for boot and applications, you might want to consider the 120GB model.

    Regards
    Raptor
     
  9. chazfest thread starter macrumors newbie

    chazfest

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Thanks Raptor,
    This response must've slipped through the net, I didn't spot it. I'm sold on the 840 EVO now. It seems like the perfect balance of price and performance, especially given my SATA II connection limit.

    One last question if I may, I've heard/read things about there being issues with swapping the HDD over to the optibay, due to the sudden motion sensor not working with the optical drive SATA port?
    Not sure if this is really true, I'm seeing mixed reports. I just wondered if anyone could chip in on this one? If it's not an issue, then I'm all set :)
     
  10. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    #10
    The 840 EVO is a wonderful choice.

    As far as I know, that's true. The sudden motion sensor doesn't work in the optical drive bay. But that wasn't an issue for me as I was using an SSD drive with inbuilt "G-Force Protection". Therefore, I think that it would be best if you put the SSD in the Optibay as most people do.

    Best of luck.

    Regards
    Raptor
     
  11. chazfest thread starter macrumors newbie

    chazfest

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Thanks again Raptor!
    I'm waiting for CES to come and go next week, just in case there's any developments that affect the price of the EVO. Unlikely I know, but as it's just a couple of days away, I figure I might as well hold off and put my order in at the end of next week.
    Anyway, thanks for all the help on this :)
     

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