MCE Optical Bay Upgrade - Suggestions?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I've bit the bullet and ordered the MCE Optical Bay conversion kit. I will get a SSD to replace my Superdrive.



Honestly, I wouldn't do it except that my Superdrive is next to useless since I can't make it a Region-free drive without installing and running Windows to flash the drive's firmware, which I am absolutely NOT going to do. And I don't buy as many CDs as I used to.



I've already got an external DVD burner that IS region-free. I've also got a 1TB hard drive in the normal hard drive spot, so I don't really need any more capacity.



So I decided to stick in an SSD. I've also got a little cash to spend and I'm not considering upgrading my unibody MacBook Pro any time soon, so the performance improvement will be very nice (also thinking of upgrading to 8GB RAM now that prices are reasonable).



My questions:



What brand SSD should I get? I am on a budget and I will NOT break the bank on this. If I can get 75% of the performance for 25% of the cost, I'm happy. I'm more concerned about the SSD degrading over time rather than trying to juice out a little temporary speed advantage. I'm thinking putting my system on pretty much ANY decent SSD will give me a pretty significant speed boost, will it not?



What size SSD should I get? I'm thinking 40GB or 64GB. That should be enough for the system and a few frequently accessed essentials, right? What exactly should I put on the SSD beside the system for best performance? I currently use mostly FireFox, iTunes and iPhoto and run three IM clients and do a little bit of video ripping and conversion with Handbrake, usually all at the same time (I guess the RAM upgrade will help get rid of some of my beachballs, will it not?). Putting my iPhoto or iTunes library on the SD is out of the question, as I just have too much media.



How do I best convert my system location to the new drive?



How do I configure Time Machine to backup both drives onto a single external backup drive?



Thanks for the help!

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    Reading here http://www.barefeats.com/hard130.html - overkill for what you're looking for - maybe. But some of the issues you ask about are addressed in the article.



    As far as Time machine is concerned why not a simple mirror/raid 1 solution. You have the capacity. Do away with TM altogether - but that's just me.

    cheers r
  • Reply 2 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,430moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    What brand SSD should I get? I am on a budget and I will NOT break the bank on this. If I can get 75% of the performance for 25% of the cost, I'm happy.



    Wait for the 25nm models. The Crucial C400 should be priced around $1.60 per GB. You could even get the C300 after it arrives. I'd go for 64GB minimum but it seems the C400 128GB has a much faster sequential write:



    http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...php?t=18225221



    25nm drives are coming within a few weeks.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    How do I best convert my system location to the new drive?



    Clone over the system using Carbon Copy Cloner but exclude the largest folders.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    How do I configure Time Machine to backup both drives onto a single external backup drive



    It should back both up, just make sure none of them go on the exclude list.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    The OCZ 25nm drives are available at shops here in Hong Kong. I'm looking at the 100GB Vertex 2 25nm for $200. Is this a good drive and an acceptable price?



    The salesman said this is not a good choice for Macs because Mac OS doesn't support TRIM.



    He suggested the (35nm) Kingston V+ 100, and I'm looking at 64GB for $150. He said it's better for Mac because it includes what he called "trash collection". What's this?





    [edit]

    According to this article, it seems Mac OS really doesn't need TRIM support with SSDs and there will be only negligible performance degradation! Yay! Looks like I'll be choosing the OCZ, unless someone else has a suggestion.

    [/edit]



    Whatever I choose, I WILL be buying here in Hong Kong to avoid shipping times and costs ($40-$50), so that rules out Crucial, which is not available here.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,430moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    The OCZ 25nm drives are available at shops here in Hong Kong. I'm looking at the 100GB Vertex 2 25nm for $200. Is this a good drive and an acceptable price?



    The price is ok. Newegg have that drive for $220:



    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820227529



    Vertex 3 drives will be coming out but no release date:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN6L6guwI20



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    Looks like I'll be choosing the OCZ, unless someone else has a suggestion.



    It's better value than the Kingston and should have better performance. There are a lot of reports about OCZ drives failing but you just can't tell if they are unreliable. It's the same with any product. The people reporting are the people who got bad ones and you can read 100 reports but it might be 100 out of 100,000 people.



    http://www.techspot.com/review/271-o...ssd/page8.html



    "Another big question mark over the Vertex 2 and other SandForce SSDs is reliability. In fact, we are still a little dubious regarding SSD reliability in general, and with good reason. The original Vertex 120GB drive that we were given for testing died after 3 months of use and took all the data stored on it to the grave. The Vertex LE 100GB drive that we reviewed just 2 months ago has also died, which is a little troubling."



    That was with earlier drives but the OCZ forums have recent reports about the SandForce controllers failing and it seems like they use customers as beta testers:



    http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/fo...-issue-to-help



    In a way it's good that they acknowledge problems but it sort of seems like they don't know what they're doing. Apple use Toshiba for their SSDs and Samsung previously. After reading of people's experiences with various drives, the impression I get is that Intel's drives don't have many issues beyond that single slowdown issue they fixed a while ago. There's a rumour these drives will arrive in February.



    This site has some interesting tests comparing various brands:



    http://www.technical-direct.com/2010...-market-today/



    "For data retention, only KINGSTON, Intel and OCZ can accurately save all data; yet, over half of the brands encounter a Data Error problem."



    Intel came out tops on all counts, OCZ was 2nd and Kingston 3rd.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Thanks, Triattmum.



    Haha, just kidding.



    Thanks, Marvin. I appreciate your advice with regard to reliability. It definitely means I will need to back up prolifically.



    My most important data, of course (which will also be backed up) will be on my platter drive, being my photos and emails and stuff related to my user account.



    I've decided to put all the contents of the System and Applications and root Library folders on the SSD and keep the User folder on the platters for simplicity. How the hell do I configure the system to point to the platter for the User folder?



    By the way, I've done the RAM upgrade, from four to eight gigs, and I'm pleased so far. Switching betwen apps and quitting apps does seem snappier.



    My MacBook Pro will sure be pimped out after I install that SSD. Maybe I should install body LEDs. LOL.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,430moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    Thanks, Marvin. I appreciate your advice with regard to reliability. It definitely means I will need to back up prolifically.



    It's unfortunate that this is the case. I had personally hoped years ago that SSD would put an end to the worry of an instant failure but no such luck.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    I've decided to put all the contents of the System and Applications and root Library folders on the SSD and keep the User folder on the platters for simplicity. How the hell do I configure the system to point to the platter for the User folder?



    You can leave the Users folder on the drive, you just relocate the biggest space users like the iTunes and iPhoto libraries and your downloads folder. You do that on a per-app basis.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    Well, I carbon copied my system and everything but the space hogs in my user folder, but I had to manually fix aliases and point iTunes and iPhoto to the old libraries and a few other preferences were screwy.
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