Upgrading storage drive for more performance: 13" 2011 MBP

jakeonfiree

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 20, 2013
14
0
At the moment, my MacBook Pro has the original 320 GB 5400rpm HDD that it came with. It has gotten quite a bit of use and I have been thinking of upgrading, either to a 7200rpm HDD or to something like a 120GB SSD.

The issue I have been experiencing is, I guess, pretty normal for a 3 year old 5400rpm hard drive that's had quite a bit of use. App loading is slower than I'd like as well is start-up. My old laptop, a Toshiba Satellite, experienced a very significant improvement from replacing the stock 5400rpm hard drive with a Crucial M4. I've been wondering if I would experience significantly lower startup and app launch times with a 7200rpm HDD over my 5400rpm or would I need to go to SSD? I'm looking for most app start-up times to be around the 2 second mark. At the moment, some larger apps like Logic and IBM SPSS Statistics are taking around 10-15 seconds.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,295
8,944
California
You will notice very little if any difference going from a 5400 to a 7200RPM HDD. The big boost will be an SSD as you suspected.

You can get a 128GB SSD pretty cheaply now and you would really notice the difference.
 

jakeonfiree

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 20, 2013
14
0
That's sort of what I thought. After I changed out my HDD for an SSD on my old laptop, app boot times were almost instant. Guess I will go with that! Thanks.
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,049
1,106
NYC
I upgraded a friend's 2010 13" MBP from 4GB of RAM to 8GB and a 250GB HDD to a 250GB SSD (840 EVO). It was out of warranty, the RAM was giving errors and the HDD had some bad sectors, so it was a good excuse to upgrade it a bit.

My friend says it feels like a new computer!
 

jakeonfiree

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 20, 2013
14
0
Oh, I'm sure. I have already upgrade the memory to 8GB and I guess fairly soon I will be upgrading the drive from the HDD to an SSD. After seeing how quickly laptops with SSDs launch apps and such my HDD seems like abysmally slow.
 

Jambalaya

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2013
686
98
UK
I have a WD 750gb HDD running at 7200rpm in my Mini and it's great. I needed at least 500gb and I couldn't justify cost of an SSD it was more than treble the price. You can put the SSD in and use the old HDD as a backup device / external storage in an enclosure, buying one makes the upgrade easier too.

FYI running blackmagic speed test I get around 100, your gen MBP would show about 250 with an SSD. My guess is your MBP would be about 50 with current HDD (you could download and check). Anyway that should show you relative merits.
 

nickandre21

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2012
533
1
Well any increase in performance with a 7200 will be slight at the most maybe knock of a second or two from your current app load times. But with an ssd the difference is alot. Since you do use pro apps ssd would be ideal. Just remember to turn of motion sensor and enable trim on the drive.
 

esskay

macrumors 6502
Jan 3, 2008
305
7
If you have a little time, set some alerts on slickdeals and fatwallet and you'll find that great deals on SSDs are quite frequent. If you're patient you can even wait for the specific brand/model that you want. Maybe you can even splurge for a 256gb! ;)
 

BigBeast

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2009
642
40
Also, just know that when you install a third party SSD, TRIM is not enabled, so you'll have to do that yourself. Follow the commands below to enable TRIM support for your SSD.

The terminal commands below are copied from a MR member named pastrychef. I'm unsure if he's the creator of the script, or if he just copied/pasted from someone else, but they definitely aren't my scripts. So credit where credit is due.

Open terminal.app (must be logged in as administrator or root). Next, copy the first script (the Perl script) into terminal.app and press return. Enter your admin password and press enter. Next, enter the second script into terminal.app and press enter. Reenter your password if necessary. Next, reboot. Finally, open up system profiler, navigate to your SSD information, and confirm that TRIM was enabled. Enjoy.

First Script:

sudo perl -pi -e 's|(\x52\x6F\x74\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E\x61\x6C\x00{1,20})[^\x00]{9}(\x00{1,20}\x54)|$1\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00$2|sg' /System/Library/Extensions/IOAHCIFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/IOAHCIBlockStorage.kext/Contents/MacOS/IOAHCIBlockStorage

Second Script:

sudo touch /System/Library/Extensions/
 

BigBeast

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2009
642
40
There's an app for that! ;) TrimEnabler
True, but the fewer apps that I have to download the better. Plus, I should only have to enable TRIM once, so why download Trim Enabler when I've already posted the script that does the same thing?
 

ecschwarz

macrumors 65816
Jun 28, 2010
1,235
227
True, but the fewer apps that I have to download the better. Plus, I should only have to enable TRIM once, so why download Trim Enabler when I've already posted the script that does the same thing?
I'm almost positive that TRIM often must be re-enabled after each point update on OS X - this is why TRIM Enabler and similar apps offer an option to monitor if TRIM is enabled or not. Still, if it was a once-only situation, I'd be all for just entering a few things into Terminal.