SSD upgrade

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by googlia, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. googlia macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2009
    Got a 15" i7 from earlier this year and want to upgrade to SSD.

    This is my only computer and trying to be used for lots of photoshop and hopefully other intensive programs that would be relevant in the world of photography. I'm thinking just getting a simple 80-120GB SSD for the computer to run everything and then store everything on external HDDs. I just got a 1TB OWC Mercury on the Go as my external and now looking for what the best thing to run the comp is. I was going to simply get an OWC ~120 SSD, but figure I should ask everyone here for suggestions.

    I am not very knowledgeable about non basic stuff like RAID and so forth, and don't read tech lingo very well, but I am a quick learner and not opposed to having to learn some more things if it will benefit me. I was reading some posts about dualing up the SSD in the optical drive and setting up a RAID. I can see how easy it is to physically set this up, but I don't know about setting up RAID. Though I will be reading other sources to learn about things relevant to my situation while I'll be waiting on responses.

    Bascially... Whats the best way to upgrade my situation. Already got the 15" 17 with the 500GB inside a 1TB OWC external. I want to just upgrade the comp so it runs everything faster and just store stuff on the slow externals. Please, open to all suggestions.
  2. stangrunner macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2010
    SSD upgrade.....

    You may want to think twice about the OWC SSDs.

    I have been dealing with a constant crashing/freezing problem with a OWC 40GB Mercury Extreme Pro in my late 2009 Macbook Pro 13 inch running 10.6.5.

    However, I see reviews and comments where some folk have had no problems with them. So, your mileage may vary.....

    Good Luck with whatever you choose....
  3. miata macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2010
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    Check out this link to get info on RAID set-up. It is pretty easy to set-up, but unless you are getting a pair of SSDs internally this does not apply.
  4. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Photoshop and memory are BFFs. If photoshop is your game, max ram (8 GB) is essential. Second most important is a speedy scratch disk, where an SSD would work well.
  5. ThinIce macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2010
    Your plan is a good one. Go with the internal SSD and connect to a FW800 external 7200 rpm drive for data storage. I recently upgraded my 2009 2.66 15 MBP with an SSD and it runs like it was turbo charged. The SSD is the best mac upgrade I have ever done.
  6. googlia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2009
    Thanks everyone for your imput. I'm now trying to wonder if I should take out the optical bay and RAID 0 a couple SSDs, or if that is even necessary, as storage would be external. Does anyone have any knowledge of the past SSD cycle, or have any clue on when the next "thing" or technology upgrade or anything that would put the current products out of date, thus lowering the price or increasing the GB/$ value that new ones naturally would?
  7. AttilaTheHun macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2010
    I will never buy a laptop without DVD
    if you want to raid two SSD it posible with a spacial kit check on eBay
  8. miata macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2010
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    The one obvious thing is that the price/TB of SSDs are dropping like crazy. One strategy might be to get the capacity you need now in a single SSD and do the RAID 0 think in a year or so when that option gets cheaper. That way you get a big boost today and another in the future when you will probably want more capacity anyway.
  9. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Do you not use your optical drive?
  10. Nugget macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    Houston Texas USA
    Upgrading from a hard drive to an SSD is a big performance boost. Moving from a single SSD to dual, RAID1 SSDs is not so big. I don't think it's worth the complexity just from a performance perspective. Since this is OP's only machine I'd be a lot more tempted to rip out the optical drive and go SSD with a supplemental HD (in the optical "bay") for Time Machine backups. Time Machine is much more useful if it can run all the time and not just when you're tethered to external storage. For a portable, primary machine this would be a killer configuration.

    I suspect that Time Machine is way more useful for most users than having an on-board optical drive. Also, Miatas are awesome cars. :)
  11. miata, Nov 21, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010

    miata macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2010
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    Another good strategy for sure. I've been considering this one myself.

    I had an HDD crash a few months back, so I have gotten super paranoid. Time Machine saved the day for me. If you use the internal Time Machine strategy though you still want to have some backup in case your MBP grows legs and walks off.

    I do like fast storage access, but the other advantage of a RAID 0 set-up is additional capacity. The OP could actually grow into that at some point and move the HDD to an external enclosure for more secure backups.

    One interesting strategy that I've been considering is using two internal SSDs with partitioning, so that I can get both a larger, super fast RAID 0 (striped) disk and smaller, super reliable RAID 1 (mirrored) disk for critical work data. This would work very well for me, since I only do my Time Machine backups at home -- which means I am exposed at work and even more so when traveling.

    Sure, there are USB thumb drives for those situations and I actually have a SD card that I copy critical docs to every hour. I just like the idea of having critical data transparently and synchronously mirrored to two physical drives.

    EDIT: This Bare Feats Review indicates that you can get significant throughput improvements with SSD and RAID 0. I guess the real question is will I notice? Or will some other component like the CPU become the new bottleneck?
  12. uMBPi728, Nov 21, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010

    uMBPi728 macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2010
    Glendale, Ca and Berkeley

    Go with OWC SSDs.

    I'm not one to gush over a company or tout how great they are. I tend to be a little conservative about how I express my likes or dislikes but I'll take exception with OWC.

    I've bought from OWC before and know that they have a great reputation. They're highly regarded in some circles. Although I haven't had any of their products "die" on me yet, I know they'll be willing to help me if I have problems.

    That said, my experience with Other World Computing products have been very positive. So far my dual SSDs in my Mid 2010 17" MBP i7 has been a pleasure to use. The mechanical install was easy, the software install took some time but satisfying. My photographic work flow is much faster and smoother. The SSDs are terribly fast and, the best thing of all, silence is golden. The only thing I hear is the whisper of the fans at startup and just a very low hush the rest of the time. Also, battery life has been very good, much better than the 6.5hrs I was getting with my Seagate 500GB 7200.

    I don't think you can go wrong with their products and if an issue comes up, give them a call.

    Choose wisely, good luck!


    BTW: I love my BLK 94 Miata.

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