Worth upgrading MB to dual SSD & HDD combo

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by LERsince1991, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. LERsince1991, Apr 15, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014

    LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi,

    I have been looking at getting a new MBP however the current offerings aren't what I am after in terms of performance so I have rethought my strategy and will keep my unibody MB but upgrade the speed with an SSD.

    But is it worth it and is it the right route to take?

    I plan on removing the optical drive and replacing it with a mount for a normal HDD, I will move the current 500gb HDD to that bay for storage and then buy a new 240gb SSD to use as the main drive.

    I will keep current projects and software and the OS X on the SSD of course and things like music and old projects that I still need on the second HDD.

    Current Specs:
    13" Macbook Alu Unibody late 2008 (I think).
    8GB 1066mhz RAM
    500gb hdd 5200rpm
    Nvidia Geforce 9400M 256mb dedicated graphics card

    The total cost will be under £100 for the upgrade.
    Something like a Crucial M500 or a Samsung 840 Evo
    along with a mount for about £10.
     
  2. Silverrune macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    #2
    I would say yes, it is probably the right route to go. I don't know if you need the extra storage though. Depends on the person I guess. But remember that the speeds of the HDD will be quite slow in the drive bay.
     
  3. kuruption macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    #3
    I did it about 6 months ago and used a crucial m4 128gb SSD and used a cheap optibay type bay for the hard drive and put the dvd drive in an external enclosure. I put the sad in the internal bay and the hdd in the dvd bay. The only reason I did this is because I think that putting the computer into deep sleep when the battery dies only works in the normal hard drive bay. However the sudden motion sensors also only work in that bay I think so it may be worth getting a hard drive that has this built in if you put it in the dvd bay.

    It is possible to make the new combination into a fusion drive (google it) but I haven't bothered as once you do not have a dvd drive you can't reinstall windows as you can't install it from a usb on a unibody macbook (or I haven't managed to do it anyway).

    After doing it my computer went to booting in 2.5 minutes to 25-30 seconds so is well worth it in my opinion and the the installation time was about half an hour and wasn't too hard!
     
  4. Cassady macrumors 6502a

    Cassady

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #4
    Best thing I ever did. Crucial M500 didn't play nice in the optibay - swapped it round, and all been golden. HDD for iTunes, iMovie and iPhoto, plus archived docs etc., SSD for work related material. Snappy like crazy!

    Mid 2012 MBP i5 8gb RAM.

    My 16gb ram is landing end of the month, as is my 7200rpm 750gb 2.5" HDD - will swop out original Toshiba, and should be good for another few years! :)
     
  5. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Then I will go ahead with this in a month when I finish some major projects (the reason I want to upgrade!).

    I do need the storage as I have about 400gb on it at the moment with the adobe creative suite as well as other big program's like autoCAD, Maya and Aperture with 140gb of iTunes. I also archive everything on external HDDs (7tb) so storage is still needed and I cannot justify the larger ssd drives against this solution.

    Given the speed of the existing hdd I don't think I will notice much speed decrease moving it to bay 2.

    I looked at the fusion drives first but figured they won't be much good for my use as they apparently have only very small ssd drives in them such as 4-8gb and swap the highly used files between this. I work on Photoshop files between 2-3gb so want to have these on the ssd whilst working so it doesn't take 5 minutes every time I save the file (back to where it is located). A small 256ish ssd should cover all the OS X, Apps as well as the current projects I am working on #

    ----------

    P.s. Probably a silly question! But... Does anyone know of anything else I can upgrade with my system or once with an SSD this has been completed will it be fully max'ed out again?

    The ram is 8gb which I believe is still the max for the late 08 macbook Uni.

    I belive it has gigabit Ethernet which would be faster than the current USB ports so maybe I could get USB 3 out of the Ethernet or something? Graphics are soldered on I believe?
     
  6. CostaMoses macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #6
    I would say go for it, OP! On my 2011 mbpro I did the same exact upgrade that you described back in december and this thing still feels like a brand new computer.

    I kept the OS and programs on the SSD, and media (iTunes, iPhoto library, etc) on the old hard drive that was moved into the optical bay.

    It only took about 30 minutes to complete the swap. Just be VERY careful not to strip the screws on the inside. Some come really tight from the factory.
     
  7. jg900ss macrumors newbie

    jg900ss

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Location:
    Europe, and Florida
    #7
    excellent idea. i did this too.

    i have replaced the hdd with an OWC 960GB drive, and the optical drive now has an OWC caddy with a Seagate MomentusXT 750GB drive, which is my Time Machine. i do weekly backups to a Synology NAS. boot times are VERY fast, and Time Machine does its thing over the internal bus. quick. my macbook pro is the 15" model with 2.0 Ghz i7, and Radeon 6490 chip, quad core, 1680x1050 display. i used the iFixit.com kits to do the swaps, and SuperDuper for cloning. This stuff JUST WORKS.
     
  8. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Location:
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    #8
    Would it make any difference at all what kit I use to mount the hdd into the optibay? Cheap vs expensive?
     
  9. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
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    UK
    #9
    Might as well get on with it.

    So this should do it right?!

    2nd Bay mount for hdd £7: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Replacement...d=1397603525&sr=1-87&keywords=macbook+optical

    I'm just comparing the Crucial M500 240gb at £85 and the samsung eve 840 250gb at £100.

    According to this the samsung is way way better: http://ssd.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Samsung-840-Evo-250GB-vs-Crucial-M500-240GB/1594vs1551

    as well as this: http://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/feat...840-evo-battle-mainstream-ssds/conclusion-162

    So looks like I am going to spend the extra £15 and get the samsung 840 eve 250gb drive for £100 : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-250...s&ie=UTF8&qid=1397604370&sr=1-13&keywords=ssd

    so total spend is £107, is that all I need then to go ahead with it?
     
  10. Cassady macrumors 6502a

    Cassady

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Sqornshellous
    #10
    OWC Data Doubler caddy I used came with a decent toolset, that included all the odd screwdrivers needed for the installation. Big bonus that, which would make spending the extra worth it, imo.
     
  11. stjames70 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    #11
    Just do it!

    I have the same MacBook unibody 2008 vintage as you.

    Slow like hell with its original HDD.

    Put in M500 960gb drive on original bay plus some spacers (SSD is thinner than most HDDs) and now the computer feels brand new and super fast.

    In fact, I cloned my MacPro 3,1 system drive and virtual machine to that drive.

    Runs all the software smoothly, only gripe is the non-retina screen which I envy from friends with current gen 13" MacBook Pros. Otherwise, I think I may be able to get at least another 3 years out of this baby.
     
  12. LERsince1991, Apr 16, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014

    LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    I already have a full set of torx and precision screwdrivers so I won't need them to be bundled with it.

    Nice to know others have done the same route! I agree it should last plenty more years after :)
     
  13. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #13
    All ordered through amazon prime so will be getting them tomorrow :)
     
  14. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

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    Sep 8, 2005
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, England
    #14
    I upgraded my 2011 MBP the same way, it really does make a huge difference!
     
  15. melchior macrumors 65816

    melchior

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2002
    #15
    while adding an ssd will undoubtedly make for a better experience, it is no substitute for a 2013 MBP. how much performance bump do you need to make the switch?

    i am personally using a pre-unibody 2008 MBP.
     
  16. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #16
    I figured I only need the macbook to last about another year and a half then I won't need it anymore and will probably trade it in for an air or iPad! So the ssd will bridge that gap :)
     
  17. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2008
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    UK
    #17
    Got it all installed a couple of days ago following next day delivery, it helps but not a huge difference, I think snappier is the best word. Decent upgrade still and as I said will bridge the gap I needed.
     
  18. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #18
    Also, in some Macs, the optical drive bay doesn't support SATA 3 - the old HDD is usually SATA 2 so that doesn't matter.
     

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