SSD options with dual partitions?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nehas91, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. nehas91 macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2008
    Hello everyone,

    I have a HDD that is failing it's SMART status and I was thinking of getting an SSD to replace it. However, I do not know much about the various products and technologies available and which one would be compatible with my MBP. The specs are listed below. Also, on my current HDD, I have created 2 partitions, one is the OS and other one is where bootcamp/windows is installed. Now my question is, if I get an SSD, would I be able to make 2 partitions and set it up as my HDD is set-up currently (with two partitions, one of them having windows via bootcamp)? Furthermore, are there any recommendations if 250GB will be enough storage or should I opt for 500GB? Currently, I am looking at the Samsung 850 EVO and PRO series, would one be beneficial over the other?

    Mid 2009 MBP
    Model Name: MacBook Pro
    Model Identifier: MacBookPro5,3
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz
    Number of Processors: 1
    Total Number of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 6 MB
    Memory: 4 GB
    Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz

  2. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    You're limited to SATA II in your laptop. I put a 256GB Crucial M4 into my mid 2009 13" MBP and it worked great. I also tried it with a Samsung 830 Pro, which also worked well.

    Samsung and Crucial make very good SSDs. I'd pick whichever one you can find on sale and go with that. I'd personally go with the 512GB option, as 256GB is kind of limiting when you want to have a Windows partition as well.
  3. cerberusss macrumors 6502a


    Aug 25, 2013
    The Netherlands
    T5 really said it all :)
    It'll feel like a new laptop!

    But I have to say one thing, though. Are you sure you're not due for a whole new laptop? I mean, this one is from 2009. Unless you don't do anything with it except for a bit of Skype, some webbrowsing and some emailing, personally I'd just install the cheapest and smallest SSD possible. Then sell it and get yourself a new laptop.
  4. treekram, Feb 25, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016

    treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    Some SSD's don't work properly in some MBP's of that age so be cautious if you decide on something different than the 850's. The Samsung 850's should be fine - I haven't seen any reports of problems with the Samsung 850's in any Apple laptop with SATA2. (Although some people have had cable issues with SSD's of any brand so you may need to buy a new drive cable if the SSD doesn't work but the HDD does work in your computer.)

    The Pro is little bit faster (not a factor in your case), has a 10-year warranty from what I understand vs. 5 years for the Evo. That and the price make up the differences between the Pro and Evo.

    Yes, you can do 2 partitions and set it up as you do your HDD currently. However, how you get to that point is another question. A lot of people here use Carbon Copy Cloner with success in migrating OSX from an HDD to SSD. They have a free 30-day trial for their software.

    However, Bootcamp is another issue. I'm presuming you don't want to re-install the Bootcamp partition. CCC will not clone a bootable partition of Bootcamp. The CCC folks suggest using Winclone and it looks like the software you need will cost $40. Maybe people will respond to that question here. Otherwise, you'll need to do some research on that issue.

    You didn't mention how big your current HDD is and how full it is so it's difficult to give a suggestion on how big a SSD you would need.
  5. nehas91 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2008
    The SSD's have backwards compatibility? So if I get a 850 EVO, if I decide to get a new computer in the future, I won't have to worry about upgrading again.

    You are correct, it is time for an upgrade but at the moment, I can't afford one so my best bet is to upgrade the HDD and RAM and use it until I am able to get a newer laptop. I do use it for 50% school and 50% photoshop work which is not optimal but for the time being, I'm hoping I can make it work for some time with the upgrades to the HDD and RAM.

    I am not really up-to-date with HDD hardware, would you mind telling me which kind of cable I should be looking for incase I do need to buy it?

    Yes, I am thinking of just using CCC to clone my HDD to the new SSD. The only thing I have in my Windows partition is a fractal program (Apophysis) and basically the windows partition is used to run that program and store the render files.

    My current HDD is 500GB. It's divided into two partitions: 445GB for OS and 55GB for Bootcamp. For Bootcamp, it usually uses up to 25-30GB and for the OS, about 100-150GB. Besides from applications, the largest files on the HDD are photoshop PSD's, movies, and pictures (the PSD's and pictures I backup to an external hdd so I could always reduce those).

    The one thing I'm concerned about is that if I get a new rig in the future which has a lot more files/programs, (and I put this new SDD in there) I want the SSD to be able to have enough space. But then again, I could get another new SSD instead though I am not sure if SSD prices will decrease or not?
  6. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    You haven't mentioned what OSX version you're running. I noticed that because 55GB seemed small for Windows (Bootcamp). But I run XP on one of my PC's and XP was also the last Windows version I used professionally. I have no idea what later versions use but 55GB seems small to me if you're running the latest Windows. The only reason I mention that is there are OS version dependencies for the programs that migrate the partitions. The latest version of CCC requires Mountain Lion or later (an earlier version supports Snow Leopard/Lion). You would also need to check the Windows/OSX dependency for whatever software you use to migrate Bootcamp.

    There's only one laptop that Apple sells at the moment that can use a SATA SSD and that model is 3-1/2 years old so whether or not you'll be able to use the Evo/Pro 850 -IN- a future model is questionable. However, USB3 will be around for years to come so you will be able to re-purpose the SSD in the future. If you can do without the Superdrive, you can put another SSD in your computer if needed. There are also compact USB SSD's as well.

    The following is the cable assembly that iFixit sells.

    It's not cheap but there's good information (particularly the Apple part #) if you want to look for the cable at someplace like Amazon. If you go to Amazon, check the reviews for people using the cable for SSD's.
  7. nehas91 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2008
    I am using Mavericks and Windows 7 (I think though I might have to double check).

    Wait so the newer apple laptops don't use SATA SSD's? What do they use instead?
  8. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    The 2012 MBP non-Retina, still being manufactured, was the last to use the standard SATA connector. The 2012 MBP Retina and early 2013 MBP used mSATA, which has a smaller SATA connector and doesn't have a housing. After that, the MBP's have used PCIe SSD's with an Apple-proprietary connector. The Macbook Air has also had a similar history.
  9. nehas91 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2008
    Thanks for all the advice everyone! I'll probably be getting the Samsung 850 Evo. Just a few more questions, is there a checklist of things I should do after I install the SSD to set it up for optimal performance? Or any specific settings etc I should be wary of?
  10. treekram, Mar 1, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016

    treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    You can enable TRIM. Some people consider it absolutely necessary, others consider it absolutely unnecessary. I have not heard of people have problems one way or the other with the 850 Evo. I have it enabled on a couple of my computers, but not on another - the Apple TRIM for 3rd-party SSD's came after that computer so I haven't bothered to enable it. More importantly, on my two computers with TRIM, I routinely write large files and then erase them hours or days afterward so in that case, TRIM is supposed to help performance. There's tons of information out on the web about TRIM (you need to have later versions of Yosemite or El Capitan to use the Apple TRIM, for Mavericks, you need a 3rd-party TRIM). If you're happy with Mavericks, I don't think it's worthwhile to upgrade just for TRIM although if you plan to upgrade at some point in the future, now may be the time. Or if you don't want to deal with it, the TRIM police will not hunt you down for not using it.

    Other than that, you shouldn't fill your SSD to the brim (important when the SSD is the OS disk). What percentage should you keep free? I've seen figures like 10% or 20%. In your case, with limited memory, you should see how much swap you use (in the Activity Monitor, under Memory, the last line should be "Swap Used") and if you're using Swap, try to keep more of the SSD free.

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