Would it be worth it to put in another HDD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ThinkCreative, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. ThinkCreative macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2012
    So I have the kit to add another hard drive but can't really afford a ssd currently. I have a 7200 RPM 500Gb drive right now and was wondering if it'd be worth it to add a 5400 500Gb drive for storing files or boot.

    I am a music producer/audio engineer and use Logic to record, mix, and master with samples and midi sequences. I understand the 7200 will write files quicker which is useful while tracking 8+ tracks at a time and reading audio files from. But would it help my processor to have the application boot files stored on a separate drive?

    Basically is this worth it at all or should I just wait to buy a ssd? I just moved so I gotta wait till I get going again haha. Just wondering if this will help aid my computer from overloading so much. Thanks!


    2011 MacBook Pro 2.2 i7 with 8GB Ram
  2. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I think you answered your own question.

    Is it worth it to me to do an HDD + HDD setup... uh no. But you could a RAID0 with them
    to help the performance of the MaBook until you get the SSD, that is more valuable than the added storage to me. Either way the SSD + HDD setup is so much better so I have no value in your setup in question,
    Sounds like you do though.



    No, not at all.

    Just buy an SSD.

    Nope, will just increase storage.
  3. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Diff between 5400 & 7200 won't be noticed. A HD in the optical slot will make machine run hotter.
  4. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    The main speed advantage of an SSD for most real-world cases is the access times. You could gain a very mild boost of speed with a RAID 0 configuration, but that requires identical drives (so your 5400rpm+7200rpm combo won't work for a RAID).

    Bottom line, if you need more storage go for it, but don't expect to have any boost in speed. You will get a boos in heat and a reduction in battery life, however.

    My advice? Hang on to your money, SSD prices are dropping rapidly. What about a smaller SSD, like a 128GB SSD? Stick that in the optical bay and keep your 500GB in the stock location (where it will get the best noise reduction and cooling, which it needs alot more than the SSD). Then you could either use the 128 as a boot drive and the 500 for other applications.. OR, set up your own homebrew fusion drive with the 128GB SSD and your 7200RPM Hard Drive. Your Mac will see a 768GB drive and it'll be very fast most of the time! (The fusion drives moves the most critical stuff to the SSD).

    You can get a 128GB SSD under $100 now.

    Otherwise, if you don't need more storage, you'll just be wasting your money with another drive. You won't see any real speed improvements, even in an ideal RAID 0. Because even with a RAID 0, the access times will still be poor, though two spinning drives in RAID 0 will approach SSD read speeds. That is really only going to matter for transferring certain files or perhaps loading large files into applications like final cut pro. It won't change how quickly files open, how quick the machine boots, etc.
  5. ThinkCreative thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2012

    Yeah, I am just going to buy a SSD. I wasn't aware they were that cheap already! I'll look at the SSD drive guide thread for brands. Should have looked before I posted haha. Really just looking to aid my processor while using Logic, I'll end up putting my boot and applications on the SSD and storing audio files on my HDD. Unless I am recording 8+ tracks t 96Khz haha, then I'll record those files to the SSD. Thanks for all the help!
  6. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    It won't help your processor any, it'll just get data TO your processor quicker. Some things won't be any faster simply because they require more processor power.

    The SSD I was talking about was the Crucial M4. You can get it on NewEgg for $99 for a 128GB version, $200 for a 256GB version, or $400 for a 512GB version. It's cheaper than the other popular ones, and it also has the advantage of being able to be updated within a Mac. With a Samsung and some other brands of SSD, it can only be updated in Windows.

    Even if it doesn't speed everything up, you WILL notice a big speed difference.

    Logic will open faster and certain processes will work faster. However encoding audio, compressing audio, etc., that won't happen any faster on an SSD. That's limited by the performance of your CPU. Similar to the stuff I do with photography. Pictures open very quickly, I can move large files (like 50GB folders full of RAW image files from a shoot) very quickly, big applications like Photoshop open in an instant. However, running filters, stitching panoramas, those sorts of heavy single tasks, are only marginally faster. There is a bit of a bump of speed because all of the files get where they need to be near instantly, but then it has to wait on the CPU to finish it's work before it can move on to the next task! That's true no matter how fast of a drive you use.
  7. ThinkCreative thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2012
    Yeah I hear that. I'd love for Logic to open a 60+ track project in 30 seconds haha. Thanks for the explanation on all of it. I guess a Mac Pro 12 core processor is needed! lmao. Really I have tracked the problem back to one plugin I use that is CPU hungry all the time and doesn't understand multicore processing. So all my threads may be low and clear except for one that peaking causing my CPU to peak constantly. Guess I'll just have to wait for an update :(
  8. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    12-core Mac Pro with 32 gigs or so of RAM should be good. Maybe a set of 4 960GB SSD's in a RAID 10 configuration, of coure you'll need a RAID controller... might as well throw in a pair of Radeon 5870's in Crossfire while you're at it, just in case you ever branch in to video.

    Yeah that'll do it!


    Yeah, we can always identify new ways to make things faster, but then we have to remember our wallet makes the ultimate decision :p
  9. StUPoT macrumors member

    May 23, 2011
    I have a SSD and HD in my late 2011 MBP and won't ever look back!
    I got a 128gb OCZ-VERTEX4 SSD for £90 so like $140. and put the original 500gb sata where the optical was and put the optical in an external inclosure.
    My MBP is so quick now and doesn't get any hotter.

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