Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me

TOPIC: MacBook Opticbay SSD upgrade recommendations

MacBook Opticbay SSD upgrade recommendations 26 Dec 2013 19:27 #37354

  • Chazfest
  • Chazfest's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Senior Boarder
  • Posts: 71
  • Thank you received: 4
  • Karma: 1
Hi all,
I've decided that I'm going to get a superdrive caddy for my mid 2010 MacBook Pro, to swap out my superdrive for an SSD.

Before I do this, I've got a couple of lingering questions, and wondered if anyone fancied weighing in?


1) Should I directly swap out the superdrive for the SSD? Or should I move my current 7,200rpm HDD to the superdrive caddy, and stick my new SSD in the original HDD spot?

2) I've been looking at the "Samsung 840 Pro 256gb" and the "Crucial M500 240gb". I'll be using it solely for applications and OS. All other files will be kept on my 750GB HDD. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with either of these? Or any alternative recommendations? Obviously the M500 is more appealing at face value, as I'll save a few quid, which will pay for my caddy and a beer ;)


A few specs on my setup:
Mid 2010 MacBook Pro.
2.4ghz Core i5
8gb RAM
HDD = 7,200rpm 750gb
Applications folder = 32gb
Library (combined) = 82gb

Any tips or advice on brands, specs, sizes etc would be hugely appreciated!!

Thanks in advance :)
The administrator has disabled public write access.

MacBook Opticbay SSD upgrade recommendations 26 Dec 2013 22:35 #37358

  • dgwvideo
  • dgwvideo's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 1919
  • Thank you received: 225
  • Karma: 32
I'm not sure I can recommend the best setup for where to place your drives with that type of retrofit, but I can tell you that a 256 GB system drive would be way too small for my use. I have a 500 GB SSD system drive and there is no significant amount of media on it and it occupies 367 GB (without my iTunes library on it). Considering you'll want to leave about 15% of that drive free for drive management, you are starting with roughly 217 GB before any formatting. Perhaps that's enough for you, and I am running many applications but still am amazed how quickly drives fill up. Just a thought you may want to consider.
Creating history....one edit at a time !
Last Edit: 26 Dec 2013 22:37 by dgwvideo.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

MacBook Opticbay SSD upgrade recommendations 26 Dec 2013 22:50 #37359

  • daviddelreal
  • daviddelreal's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 238
  • Thank you received: 10
  • Karma: 4
I'm running a 120GB SSD as a boot drive in my early 2011 15" Macbook Pro and I use it for OS and Apps only. All that iTunes and media is on an external drive. This works great for my situation, plus I have 750GB HD in the optical bay as a scratch drive for FCPX. If you're using it the same way then 256 or 240 should be plenty of space.
Last Edit: 26 Dec 2013 22:51 by daviddelreal.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

MacBook Opticbay SSD upgrade recommendations 26 Dec 2013 23:07 #37360

  • Chazfest
  • Chazfest's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Senior Boarder
  • Posts: 71
  • Thank you received: 4
  • Karma: 1
Interesting points. I've calculated that my combined library + applications + OSX data amounts to less than 150gb. So I'm thinking that 256gb should be fine.
Out of interest, which SSD did you got for, David? And I notice that you switched your HDD over to the optical bay? And put the SSD in the original HDD space. Is there any reason for this move?
The administrator has disabled public write access.

MacBook Opticbay SSD upgrade recommendations 26 Dec 2013 23:15 #37362

  • matchcut
  • matchcut's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 3
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
Not sure if this will help

1) I did moved the drives around and put the ssd in the main drive bay and 750 in optic bay

2) I got the the SSD from OWC one of there 240 6G drives and i also picked up a segate 750 XT hybrid to replace the main drive and also the opti bay kit from OWC

And last but not least and here is the fun bit combined both drives in to a fusion drive...

it works really well and its very very fast
The administrator has disabled public write access.

MacBook Opticbay SSD upgrade recommendations 26 Dec 2013 23:27 #37363

  • Chazfest
  • Chazfest's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Senior Boarder
  • Posts: 71
  • Thank you received: 4
  • Karma: 1
Thanks for the info, Matchcut. Can I ask why you moved the HDD to the OptiBay and put the SSD in the HDD bay? Does it make a difference? Does the OptiBay space allow for better heat ventilation for rotational drives?
The administrator has disabled public write access.

MacBook Opticbay SSD upgrade recommendations 26 Dec 2013 23:37 #37364

  • matchcut
  • matchcut's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 3
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
I,m sure i read somewhere that there was some kind of issue were with a SSD 6g drives can be flaky in the optical bay

i think it's in this article

macperformanceguide.com/blog/2012/20120225_1-OWC-Updater.html

and then this from the OWC website

Testing has demonstrated that Apple factory hardware does not reliably support a 6G (6Gb/s) Solid State Drive or Hard Disk Drive in the optical bay of 2011 MacBook Pros (ModeI ID8,1; 8,2; 8,3). If your OWC Data Doubler bundle comes with a 6G drive, you should ONLY install that drive in the main drive bay and utilize the Data Doubler to re-task your existing drive or install a new 3G SSD or HDD in the optical bay. PRE-2011 models can utilize a 6G drive in the optical bay, but will do so at a reduced 3G (3Gb/s) speed.

in short to get full speed you need it in the main bay for your machine
The administrator has disabled public write access.

MacBook Opticbay SSD upgrade recommendations 27 Dec 2013 02:13 #37375

  • daviddelreal
  • daviddelreal's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 238
  • Thank you received: 10
  • Karma: 4
Yep, and that's why I moved the spinning hard drive to the optical bay and put the SSD in the main drive area.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

MacBook Opticbay SSD upgrade recommendations 29 Dec 2013 16:26 #37616

  • cinemaloha
  • cinemaloha's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 163
  • Thank you received: 36
  • Karma: 4
Chazfest wrote:
Interesting points. I've calculated that my combined library + applications + OSX data amounts to less than 150gb. So I'm thinking that 256gb should be fine.
Out of interest, which SSD did you got for, David? And I notice that you switched your HDD over to the optical bay? And put the SSD in the original HDD space. Is there any reason for this move?

The optical bay is limited to 3Gb/s on pre 2011 MBP vs 6Gb/s for the boot drive. You want the speed of SSD on your boot drive to run the OS & apps for optimal speed & media/docs should be contained in your secondary drive in the optical bay.

I have an early-2011 MBP with a Crucial M4 512GB on my boot drive with all apps (especially FCPX since it's my field editing system). And I have a Seagate 750GB Momentus XT Hybrid-SSD 6Gb/s (7200rpm) but is limited by the optical drives throughout of only 3Gb/s.

The SSD as boot drive & spinning disk drive in optical bay configuration is recommend especially for FCPX. While. I was already in the upgrade process, I decided to max out my RAM. So do that too if you haven't.
Last Edit: 29 Dec 2013 16:26 by cinemaloha.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

MacBook Opticbay SSD upgrade recommendations 29 Dec 2013 18:17 #37627

  • Chazfest
  • Chazfest's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Senior Boarder
  • Posts: 71
  • Thank you received: 4
  • Karma: 1
That's great info!! Now I actually understand why everyone seems to be shifting the original HDD to the OptiBay and the SSD to the original bay. Makes perfect sense, thanks for clarifying.

Unfortunately, on my mid 2010 MacBook Pro, I only have SATA 2. I just checked in system profiler and I have 2x Intel 5 Series Chipset, both with link speeds of 3 gigabit. Weirdly though, the one that currently holds the SuperDrive shows a negotiated link speed of 1.5 gigabit. Weird.
However, I've heard from a few sources that the SuperDrive is limited to 1.5 gigabit, and when you swap it out for an HDD, the negotiated speed gets bumped back up to 3 gigabit. I hope that's the case :/
Last Edit: 29 Dec 2013 18:18 by Chazfest. Reason: Grammar
The administrator has disabled public write access.