The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
SSD in Macbook Optibay..which size? What to put on exactly? Pitch & Harmony Plugins
Old 12th September 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
SSD in Macbook Optibay..which size? What to put on exactly?

Hi Slutz,
I just purchased the Macbook Pro 13", which luckily has Sata 3 on the Optibay..
my first idea was to put 2 SSDs in Raid 0, but this is way too expensive for me atm and will follow in 1 or 2 years.
Now I wonder If it is a good idea to use Optibay or whatever to replace the superdrive right now and buy just one SSD as companion for my internal HDD..
I also use a Firewire HDD for sample libraries..

So my questions is:
1. Does it make sense to put the Mac OS on the optibay SSD or leave it on the main HDD (seagate momentus xt 7200 rpm)?

2. Would it be a good idea to put the OS on the SSD and buy a SSD big enough to put the project I'm working on on that SSD to achieve greater performance the moment I work on it?

I think about a 240 GB SSD (maybe vertex 3) and I'd really like to know how you people manage a similar setup filewise..do you copy a project to an optibay SSD or do you just store the OS there?

I'm still going to uise the external FW-Libraries, as the HD is way too big for any internal HDD or SSD.

I hope this all makes sense and somebody can help me out
Old 12th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
I'm running a 110GB SSD in my 13" macbook pro.
I have a 7200 rpm 500gb drive in the normal hard drive spot (I upgraded that one myself first) and then put the SSD in an optical caddy (cheap on from ebay - cost about $14 USD & the same as the "optibay" branded one)

You can run your OS off either it doesn't matter in terms of location. I choose to put the SSD in the optibay position as it was just easier and less fiddly. You just tell the mac where to look after holding down option the first time you start it up. running the OS off the SSD is amazing.

Mac OS on the SSD and Project on the 7200 rpm drive (with the slower partition full of all the junk files like itunes, movies, misc libraries like iphoto etc)

My 7200 HDD actually has many of my samples on their aswell so its easier to travel but they are also copied and duplicated with the bulk of my samples on a firewire drive. If a project is disk intensive then you can always just put the individual project back on the SSD anyway as it is superior doing OS AND project in my opinion just I have less room there etc

macsales.com SSD is pretty F-ing fantastic (any SSD with sandforce is a plus on macs) and thats what I'm using (aswell as their ram)
Old 12th September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by BumBataa View Post
Hi Slutz,
2. Would it be a good idea to put the OS on the SSD and buy a SSD big enough to put the project I'm working on on that SSD to achieve greater performance the moment I work on it?
In answer to this question YES. But... You probably actually don't need a 240gb SSD. If you move all the misc library files from many of your applications to a second hardrive in your macbook (i.e. all your itunes library, movies, any 'naughty movies' you might have, you word document and other work folders, any images, your downloads folder and torrents etc you will probably find your not using more than 40gb to run your core system, maybe less) Even daw library files like apple loops and reverb impulses can be moved too)

Getting rid of all that junk off the SSD and onto the slower partition on a 2nd HDD is a good way to go. and you will probably get by with about 120gb of SSD, if not 240gb is perfectly fine to run and trimmed system plus the immediate projects you need
Old 12th September 2011
  #4
Gear Maniac
thanks, thats of great help!..i think i bookmarked another post of yours about SSDs.
I'm leaning towards the 240 GB vertex 3, maybe just wait a little more.
So that's what I was thinking, OS + a project on the SSD is superior to let's say just OS on it and project on the external or main mechanical HDD, even with 7200 rpm?

to add to your last post:
I have A LOT of one-shot samples, which rest now on my internal HDD (with all those naughty movies), maybe I could move them to the SSD as well? (I just measured, just like 50 gb)

regarding the case, is there any disadvantage in not picking the more expensive options? maybe connection, bandwidth limitations, inferior sata connector or something?

Another question is:
If I put in the first SSD now and maybe install another (same model) SSD in the main drive later on to run it raid 0, will there be any disadvantages?
I heard that SSDs degrade by time and maybe it is not a good idea to put in the other one a year or two later for raid 0?

I run Mac Lion btw. which has TRIM or whatever, as far as I recall reading somewhere?

macsales.com is not really an option as I live in germany
Old 15th September 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
Sorry for the late post, I didn't notice the email notification about your post.

Regarding one-shot samples yes SSD loads faster, but for one shots (e.g. drum hits etc) an SSD isn't really being used to its full potential. Complex multi sample libraries like new generation orchestral libraries and very heavily sampled piano libraries and other kontakt behemoths are what SSD was born to do.

Regarding less expensive options - by that I gather your talking about less expensive "optibays". In these devices there are no active parts. They just convert connection types SATA & power to the special mini SATA that DVD drives use(like converting little headphone jack to 6.5mm trs headphone jack connections) brands are not important so save your money here!!!

Regarding Raid 0 - the more I look at it, the less it seems like Raid is a good option for random reads & writes etc. It actually seems like it slows down SSD performance for DAW purposes. Maybe if you were editing HD movies and need to render and work on extremely large files, but the comments I've read from other users seems like Raid isn't what the audio community needs. SSD is, Raid 0 isn't.


Regarding project on main drive(SSD) vs 2nd internal drive - this is where I'm really unsure & it depends on what types of projects your using. I will say that project loading and all around performance in VERY heavy sample library production (e.g. orchestral, large piano/sampled drum library etc) it is better if the samples are loaded from internal drives. E.g. a mac pro with dedicated drives or from a 2nd laptop internal drive vs any firewire800 drive. So getting them inside the computer is good. But it isn't game over if you can't, but it is nice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BumBataa View Post
macsales.com is not really an option as I live in germany
- I live in Australia so I get their stuffed shipped to me rather than buying local, their Ram and SSDs are cheap to ship & perform better than the branded options. I don't use OSX Lion (the first OSX upgrade I am running in fear in the opposite direction to and will be for some time) so if Lion does really have TRIM then my knowledge & research into SSD is now out of date

regarding SSD wear
- Sandforce based SSDs (& those that use TRIM) have lengthened SSD life. In a laptop which constantly gets bumped and knocked... a mechanical drive WILL fail before a SSD will use up all the theoretical reads and re-writes. The lack of any sound, temperature and the fact you can drop your laptop and not be scared all your data is gone forever is why they are the new king, thats before any performance issues. If your using your laptop on stage, get an SSD.... simple as that. Restart & launch your project in the same time a fast guitarist can retune, let me see your stock macbook pro do that...

The application "Carbon Cloner" is your friend for setup, I can give you a run down on how to use that when you need it too
Old 19th September 2011
  #6
Gear Maniac
Thank you very much for taking your time to clear things up, this is really helpful for me!!
SO SSDs are really good for OS and - if money wouldn't be a problem - for those large libraries..
So my best bet would be to put my OS on it, and keep the large libraries on a firewire external until bigger SSDs are cheaper so I can hook em up via thunderbolt in the distant future maybe?!

Regarding capacity: I heard that the 240 GB Versions perform significantly better than the 120 GB SSDs, don't know if the difference is really that big especially if working with audio is involved?

Regarding projects on the SSD:
I remember when I only had an internal drive I had quite a few disk-too-slow errors, this improved a lot by using an external firewire-HD.
This was due to a lot of bigger vocal tracks I used simultaneously, my idea was that having put them on the SSD they could be streamed a lot faster than having them on the external firewire-HD?

Regarding One-Shots:
I thought about it, those samples are mostly loaded into the ram anyway I guess?

One last thing regarding recording to a SSD:
in short, is this a bad idea?
I don't record simultaneously, just vocals on a mono-track which works pretty alright to my internal HD, is there any advantage in recording it directly to my SSD, where i plan to store em later on anyway (see above)?


I'm really sorry that I have so many questions, so please don't hurry to answer or don't do it, if you don't have the time to, you already helped me out a lot!
Old 19th September 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
Well, in terms of using an external firewire 800 drive. A second internal SATA connected drive (7200 rpm OR SSD) will perform better than a firewire 7200 rpm drive. & for some tasks better than an SSD via firewire (emphasis on "some" tasks).

That's the real beauty of the optibay. Forget about internal software RAID.


one shots - yeah, they are mostly in ram (where talking just basic small percussion one shots?)

capacity - with some thats the case. Capacity of spinning drives definately matters, bigger is better. The step up from HDD to SSD is great anyway, capacity normally does have some academic increases also but I wouldn't stress

projects on SSD - this all depends. Once again a 2nd internal SATA7200 rpm drive is better than projects AND OS all on the one 7200 HDD. Its also better than projects on a firewire800 drive. DAW & Project all on an SSD might just be the best for all. This is all because the mechanical drives have to jump around and thats were all the inefficiency happens. SSDs just seems to grab all your info at once. Watch one of those youtube vids of somebody opening 50+ applications on their mac with an SSD! Thats what SSDs are good at, just grabbing your data no matter where it is on the drive.

So a dedicated internal 7200 drive to pair with your SSD is where its at! DAW and immediate projects on the SSD, sample library on the internal drive (if your a guy that uses huge sample libraries that need a lot of concurrent bandwidth - e.g. LASS, Ivory pianos, Imperfect Samples etc)

If your more of a recording guy/less super huge sampled instruments then DAW on a minimal SSD and projects on the internal HDD. External drive for smaller sample libraries if necessary

Last edited by bensaddiction; 19th September 2011 at 09:34 AM.. Reason: spelling
Old 19th September 2011
  #8
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by bensaddiction View Post
Well, in terms of using an external firewire 800 drive. A second internal SATA connected drive (7200 rpm OR SSD) will perform better than a firewire 7200 rpm drive. & for some tasks better than an SSD via firewire (emphasis on "some" tasks).
I thought so, that's where the Firewire connection is the bottleneck.
I meant to add a SSD later on via thundertbolt, if that ever becomes available


Quote:
Originally Posted by bensaddiction View Post
one shots - yeah, they are mostly in ram (where talking just basic small percussion one shots?)
Indeed, mostly smaller drum-shots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bensaddiction View Post
So a dedicated internal 7200 drive to pair with your SSD is where its at! DAW and immediate projects on the SSD, sample library on the internal drive (if your a guy that uses huge sample libraries that need a lot of concurrent bandwidth - e.g. LASS, Ivory pianos, Imperfect Samples etc)
I also now believe OS and the project I'm working on onto that SSD is best, especially if the recorded (Vocal-)track-count is hight.

Only Problem I see with putting all libraries onto my internal HDD could be storage, I'll have to calculate that, although the internal HDD is 500GB when it's freed by moving most of the stuff and programs etc. to the SSD my libraries on the external 1-TB-HDD could well be more..I'll see..
I am also DJing, so there's quite some MP3 stuff to store, but it's not that much.

Thanks again for your help, I think it's plain calculating time now, I also think that especially storage-wise a 240 SSD is better, wish I could go with a 120, as this really isn't cheap.
Old 19th September 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
Also per recording to SSD. Most of the criticism used to be when the write speeds were less than conventional drives (not the case anymore), also when block damage was an issue and before Sandforce and their being no TRIM on snow leopard etc.

I'm not a remote recording guy who needs to record more than say 12 simultaneous tracks for long times, so I don't know if SSD is ever really problem for recording too. If you were recording somewhere were vibration or knocks were an issue then an SSD is the solution. Also my 7200 rpm drives fail or corrupt data alot due to knocks, transport etc. Normally data has been corrupted somewhere because the disk has skipped while reading or writting. SSDs don't do that, (I've had corrupted data on my internal and firewire drives ALOT since I bought my SSD 10 months ago - it has absolutely no problems). So thats why I feel like SSDs are more durable, longer lasting and reliable in laptops.

Just make sure any SSD has good reviews running IN A MAC. not the windows reviews. If in doubt - get the macsales.com SSD.

But what ever you take from this the optical drive caddy is the smartest and cheapest upgrade to your make. Even if you just put your current firewire drive inside your mac via SATA connection vs firewire 400 or 800 you will notice those samples load so much easier and faster and your voice count will go up
Old 19th September 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
And about DJing etc, thats where the 2nd internal drive helps. My mac has a huge mp3 library on the 2nd partition on the 7200 HDD. My collaborator DJs regularly with my macbook this way, smoother and faster Serato or Torq vs just the one normal HDD or HDD + firewire
Old 19th September 2011
  #11
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bensaddiction View Post
Even daw library files like apple loops and reverb impulses can be moved too
I didn't know that. That's several GB of files. Does Logic find the files automatically or does one have to initiate some sort of a re-scan?
Top Mentioned Products
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump