Using SD card slot for additional storage

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by neonsuperfuture, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. neonsuperfuture macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2010
    #1
    Hello everybody, so I just bought a baseline 13" MBP and swapped the drive with an intel 80gb SSD. I read that it's a good thing to just use the ssd for applications where this is possible and avoiding filling it up, so I was wondering if it's a good idea to buy a 32gb SD card to keep some music, movies, documents while I'm out of home (I already put the 250gb stock hdd into an external case but I obviosly don't want to carry it around).

    I suppose the read/write speed of the sd (that I read it's awkward) won't be much of an issue if I just use it to play music and stuff like that (correct me if I'm wrong), but I'm a bit concerned with the power consumption of the thing, since it's connected via USB. Does anybody know if I would notice any significant battery life decrease with the card (almost) always plugged in?

    Thank you everybody, and I'm open to suggestions if you have any :)
     
  2. Alvi macrumors 65816

    Alvi

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    #2
    The SD Card will be very slow, it won't use a lot of battery, maybe processing power? not sure, If i was in your shoes I would've waited for cheaper SSD's

    however, maybe 80GB could be enough, what do you do? I have a MacBook Pro that has 160GB's and it's enough for what i do, like Photo Editing, Daily stuff, my iPhoto Library and more, i also have an external 500GB HDD which is partitioned in two for Time Machine and massive document storage like pics and raw video
     
  3. neonsuperfuture thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    well I've been with a 2009 13" mbp for nine months and I have nearly 50gb left on the 250gb hdd. I never ran out of space and I have everything I made out of nine months in it, so I don't need more space and this is how the 200gb are filled (more or less):

    40gb apps
    30gb music
    40gb movies
    30gb photos
    30gb documents
    30gb software (setup files, isos and so on)

    given that I don't need to carry around the software installation isos at all and I can live without each of my photos and movies always with me, I basically want to have most of my music and some random stuff while leaving the most of the files on the external hdd at home. I guess the 80gb ssd alone would do the job but I don't want to fill it up since I read the performance would decrease when the disk is almost full.. that's the reason I thought about an sd card to plug in when I want to listen some music or access some documents while on the go..

    I also don't want to go the optibay way since I would have bought a 160gb ssd with the same money and I am pretty sure a spinning hdd always kept in the macbook will result in *noticeable* battery life decrease..
     
  4. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

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    Southern Cal
    #4
    Get an optical bay caddy and shove that 250GB drive in there.
     
  5. Baral macrumors member

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #5
    I assure you it will not. The hard drive can be set to spin down when not in use.

    Also, an optibay for the same money as a 160gb SSD? You are waaaaay off, as optibay caddys can be had for $20.
     
  6. neonsuperfuture thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2010
    #6
    well I considered the optibay.. but I also read of issues when putting the laptop to sleep (that is how my laptop is most of the time) and I don't really need all that space *always* with me. If I could I would just place, let's say, an additional battery instead of the superdrive, that I have barely used twice in a year... I just thought the sd card could be like a usb flash drive but smaller.. is there any significant bottleneck I didn't consider?
     
  7. neonsuperfuture thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7

    yeah, but add to that the cost of an external enclosure for the superdrive and consider you can buy a 160gb ssd for 300$ on ebay if you are lucky enough. I paid 196 for the 80gb, add 40$ for optibay+enclosure and consider the hassle of not having a dvd drive and relying on a normal hdd for your music and stuff while a 160gb would have been enough for everything you need (or at least, as I said, everything I need). I guess it's just not worth it for my needs..
     
  8. Baral macrumors member

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #8
    You could get a 160GB SSD and then put all your media files on it, but as you already know, filling up your SSD and constantly writing/deleting files will cause its performance to take a hit. So you wouldn't want to do that anyway. SSD should be kept purely for OS and apps. I would suggest keeping 25% of the SSD free at all times.

    Sleeping shouldn't be a problem either. SSD + optibay HDD machines sleep and wake just fine.

    Just putting this out there to clear up any doubts you may have about this alternative. An SD card is not really a viable option.
     
  9. neonsuperfuture thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2010
    #9
    alright I may even reconsider it :)

    I'm still a bit concerned about battery life however, I know the hdd will be put in idle mode when not in use, but how about listening to music from the hdd while using apps on the ssd? won't this drain the battery faster than the sd card "solution"? I'm just guessing since I imagine disks spinning at 5400rpm versus a small card in a slot...
     
  10. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    #10
    i think you may have it quite wrong :p

    the laptops will never have issues sleeping, but will have issues with deep sleep (when the laptop battery reaches critical and forces the ram to be paged to the disk).

    as far as regular sleep the optibay will have no issues.
     
  11. neonsuperfuture thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    good to know, I remember I read this somewhere so I probably got confused. thanks :)
     
  12. neonsuperfuture thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2010
    #12
    alright so I may reconsider the optibay but I am a bit skeptical about throwing away the superdrive (or having it only at home) and about battery life. So let's put it this way:

    1) given that 32 gb of mobile storage is quite acceptable for me, will an sd card be noticeably slower than an hdd in the optibay for playing music/movies and storing/accessing documents/pictures?

    2) which of the two solutions will be less power consuming for those tasks?

    I'm not seeking the best benchmark out of geekbench, I basically want a light and fast notebook with the longest lasting battery I can get, I don't need much more :)
     
  13. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    #13
    battery life effects are up in the air on the situation....


    i notice no difference in battery other then 5 minutes at most which could be related to doing different things then the previous test.(dual hdd's)

    the optibay with a ssd will be lighter then a optical drive, with a harddrive will be the same weight.

    the sd card unless its class 10 will be slow, class 10 is expensive, invest your money in a ssd/hdd combo, or dual hdd combo.

    as far as your optical drive, put it in a external enclosure and keep it with you, or buy a external dvdrw @ $50 which is usb powered.

    optical bay is of course not for everyone, but the storage advantage is great, most of any discs i will need i can make iso/dmg images of with disk utility and keep them with me on my hdd disk so not having a dvdrw is not a big issue unless i needed to burn a disc in which i would use my external drive.

    hope this helps.
     
  14. neonsuperfuture thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2010
    #14
    seriously no decrease in battery life? if that's true I'm pretty much sold.. thank you for your help :)
     
  15. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    #15

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