Dual Hard Drives in MacBooks and MBPs
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  1. #1
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    Default Dual Hard Drives in MacBooks and MBPs

    I'm not sure that many are familiar with the option to install two hard drives in the Mac Books.

    The way to do it is to get OptiBay expansion module:
    http://www.mcetech.com/optibay/
    EDIT: or another option suggested by Photojojo: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other...ng/DDMB5KT1.0/

    It allows you to replace the internal Optical Drive with a second 2.5" hard drive. The OptiBay package for $99 also includes an external USB2 enclosure for the built-in optical drive. That's a very smart upgrade IMO!

    One of the best applications of this is that it allows you to get a cheap and small SSD drive (128GB or even 64GB) for OS, Applications, Settings and Temp Files, and add a large 640G or 750G spinning platter drive @5400 for your music files and other media content. The SSD provides significant improvement for general OS & App load times and run-time operation. The seek time and the random access speed is amazing. On the other side, it is sort of a waste to keep large music collections and other static content on SSD drives.

    Having 2 drives has one more very important benefit - balancing the load. If your OS or Traktor/Ableton or any other running app needs to load a new library, or do some big caching operation or anything else, it eats a lot of I/O, with (usually) very high priority. If at the same time you need you Real Time music application to load a new audio file or access other data, it has to wait - bye, bye real time. The OS always takes precedence. With two drives, the impact is almost gone. I/O hungry OS & App operations wont impact the real-time access to the music files, and vice versa - accessing large music files will not impact the OS & App operation on the main drive. Well, it's not absolutely no impact, but pretty close.

    There is one more thing to be mentioned: Power consumption with two drives. It will increase for sure! Still, if you put an SSD + a 5400 drive, it will be bearable. Both SSDs and 5400 are very economic and overall, it'd be almost as if you have a 7200 drive. Maybe a bit more, but still close.


    This is great way to improve the overal stability and reliability of your setups for Music production. I think it's wort!

    Cheers!
    Last edited by loop; 02-21-2011 at 11:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor djsakebomb's Avatar
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    I've been eyeing this for a few years now. Will most definitely do this when I get my next computer! (:
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  3. #3
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    Didn't know about this. Thanks for sharing.
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  4. #4
    Tech Guru Lecko's Avatar
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    There are cheaper eBay alternatives aswell, (don;t know if they are any good though)
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  5. #5
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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  6. #6
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    $179 for the bracket + 1TB drive is a great deal! The OWC plastic chassis is very good, as it will provide better vibrational isolation.

    The DVD enclosure in the OptiBay package is also nice, but 99$ is relatively expensive . Good to know there are cheaper alternatives!

    Chris, will you be putting SSD as primary drive?

  7. #7
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knaumov View Post
    Chris, will you be putting SSD as primary drive?
    I don't know. I though about it, but that's some serious $$ all together.
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  8. #8
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    I've seriously considered doing this. I need to call Apple and see what it does to the warranty…if it doesn't affect the warranty, I'll order one by the end of the week and they'll be a standard instant upgrade in any future MBP I may purchase…like the one I'm getting in October when my warranty runs out.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru Lecko's Avatar
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    If you open up your MacBook to change non user changeable parts (hard drive battery etc) it will void your warranty,

    If you got a fault on your logic board within warranty I can't see Apple being to generous and covering it if you have got this installed,

    I'm an ACMT and Apple are not the easiest to deal with
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  10. #10
    DJTT Tankard fullenglishpint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lecko View Post
    If you open up your MacBook to change non user changeable parts (hard drive battery etc) it will void your warranty,

    If you got a fault on your logic board within warranty I can't see Apple being to generous and covering it if you have got this installed,

    I'm an ACMT and Apple are not the easiest to deal with
    Can someone verify this? Will it completely void the warranty or just the cover for the specific parts changed?

    Also, have people had problems with 7200RPM drives causing vibrations or dramatically reducing battery life?
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