USB 3 portable external HD or remove optical drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JT3Jon, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. JT3Jon, Sep 20, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012

    JT3Jon macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2008
    I have a new 2012 macbook pro and need to add a large 7200rpm drive, and I'm wondering if it would be more cost effective and/or best to remove the optical drive and replace it with an HD, or build my own USB 3 portable external drive?

    This drive will be used for music creation, so it needs to have fast random read/write and have plenty of storage (I have over 500GB of samples/audio files that I use daily, more that get occasional use that I would like to have available). I tried using a 1.5tb Seagate USB3 portable drive and it couldn't keep up (guessing its a 5200rpm drive inside) while the 3TB Seagate USB3 (that needs an external power supply) is getting acceptable results. However, I dont like having to bring something that needs an extra power supply...

    The catch is I do still need to burn audio CD's, so either I get an external HD, or I get an external burner. Given the cost vs performance, which way would you go? Would switching the optical drive with a 7200rpm drive void my applecare? Would it cause too much heat and should be avoided? Any good portable external HD's that actually use 7200rpm drives?

  2. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    It will probably cost about the same for either option (Drive + Caddy & Optical Enclosure vs Drive + HDD Enclosure), you just need to decide which is more convenient. It sounds to me like you will be accessing the files more often then you will have to burn a CD, so perhaps look into replacing the optical drive. This technically does void your warranty.
  3. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I agree with what DarkVoid has said. If you do the optibay mod, just make sure to put it back to its original state with the optibay drive, IF you take it in for warranty work.

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