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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Advice wanted on boot SSD config

Advice wanted on boot SSD config
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Phoible
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Mar 2, 2011, 05:27 PM
 
I just got my new 13" MBP (i5), and I'm trying to decide what to do for storage. I think I want to upgrade it to an SSD (I'm also going to install 8GB of RAM).

I migrated all of my data over from my old Macbook, and I have like 140GB of data. I'm not going to be able to squeeze it down to 120GB (FWIW, the old machine has a 500GB drive in it). I could go for a 256GB SSD, but I kind of like the idea of having more storage available than that. I don't really want to shell out for the 512GB (I'm pretty sure that 512GB SSDs will hit a reasonably price within the lifespan of this machine, but that time hasn't come yet). I'm trying to figure out the best bang for the buck configuration...

Since I never use my optical drive, my current thought is to replace the optical drive with a spinning disk (probably the included 320GB or the 500GB Scorpio Blue from my old Macbook), and install a 128GB SSD in the boot drive slot. I could then boot from SSD, and keep my apps on the SSD, but keep all of my user data on spinning disk. Has anyone done this? It might be possible to get by with a 64GB SSD, but this seems a little small. I'm guessing that this would give the vast majority of the advantage offered by SSD.

I could potentially even figure out a way to symlink the media directories to the spinning disk, and store most of my home directory on SSD. Has anyone tried this sort of configuration?

Thoughts or advice would be appreciated.
     
Phoible  (op)
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Mar 2, 2011, 05:52 PM
 
And, one more question. How well would this play with Time Machine? What does time machine do with symlinks?
     
Waragainstsleep
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Mar 2, 2011, 07:56 PM
 
I don't know what the bulk of your data is but both iTunes and iPhoto keep their data in a library folder. You can move the entire folder anywhere you want and point either app at a new library by holding Alt when you launch. I imagine that Aperture is the same but perhaps someone else can confirm that.
The above apps should cover most of your user data. Documents and other files can be kept anywhere without issue so if you have 10,000,000 big pdf files you can just as easily stick those on the spinning disk too.

I don't know for sure how TM deals with symlinks but I suspect it will ignore them. Either way TM can happily backup the second drive as well. If it does follow symlinks, just exclude the second drive from the backup.

As for SSDs, OCZ are leading the way in my opinion. Avoid the 320GB Vertex 2. Its certified for Mac but I have tried two and they don't work properly. Others are absolutely fine. Vertex 3s are about to arrive though and they should be seriously quick. May be worth holding off just for a week or two.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
CharlesS
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Mar 2, 2011, 10:58 PM
 
I'd wait a bit. The 24 nm SSDs which are said to be coming out this quarter are going to be significantly cheaper than the current models. No sense paying $100+ more than you have to.

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audvidsvs
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Mar 4, 2011, 08:54 PM
 
I just set mine up like this and so far it SCREAMS next to my older one.

I stuck a 256g SSD in the main spot and then a 750g 7200rpm drive in the optical bay.
I partitioned the big drive to have 1 to clone the SSD to as backup and the one other for general use and storage.

The machine boots from the SSD and feels truly snappy.

Just got it going today though but I will report back here too.

Oh yeah....it is the base model 13" I5 with 8gig of Ram.

Ed
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 5, 2011, 04:44 PM
 
I just ordered a 17" 2011 MBP with 128 GB SSD and will be replacing the optical drive with a 750 GB 7200 rpm OWC drive. The Aperture Referenced-Masters-Library will live on the SSD while image Masters will initially live on the OWC drive but quickly get relocated to external archive drives.

Cloning the SSD contents to an optical-bay HD partition is an interesting idea, I may try it.


-Allen Wicks
     
audvidsvs
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Mar 5, 2011, 07:40 PM
 
It seemed like a better way to back it up than using something separate?
Now if there is an issue with the SSD I can boot from the cloned partition and keep working.

I have read too many uncertainties about SSD and failure and backup to leave it to chance and having the backup inside the computer seems ideal.

Ed
     
Salty
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Mar 7, 2011, 03:58 AM
 
That's funny, I'd have never thought of using an internal drive for backup. To me half the point of a back up is that it's not in the same place as my laptop incase it got stolen.
     
audvidsvs
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Mar 7, 2011, 08:55 AM
 
I also plan to have a separate backup of the entire machine.
I am on the road a lot though and the idea is that if the SSD dies I can still use the machine without having to do surgery.
Also when on the road my backup is generally with me and the computer.
I also leave the Mac inside a MacTruck case closed and double bound to an immovable object. I use a chain on one side and cable on the other.
I can cut either quickly with the right tool but how many thieved will carry bolt cutters and cable cutters?
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 7, 2011, 04:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Salty View Post
That's funny, I'd have never thought of using an internal drive for backup. To me half the point of a back up is that it's not in the same place as my laptop incase it got stolen.
An internal drive is great for backup against inevitable hard drive failure. I set up my towers that way all the time, and manually perform internal backup as needed whenever a new batch of images gets loaded or a large bit of work gets created. Fire/theft backup is also necessary but requires off site backup which cannot conveniently be performed much more often than daily.

-Allen Wicks
     
CharlesS
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Mar 7, 2011, 07:23 PM
 
The theft backup doesn't have to be off-site per se, if what you want to protect against is theft/damage/loss that occurs when the laptop goes off-site.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 7, 2011, 11:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
The theft backup doesn't have to be off-site per se, if what you want to protect against is theft/damage/loss that occurs when the laptop goes off-site.
What you want to protect against is theft/damage/loss that occurs to the laptop data wherever the laptop may happen to be.

My MBP has no fixed location. I consider the "site" to be the location of the computer. "Off site" is then somewhere other than the location of the computer. E.g. I have an out-of-town jobsite that I travel to and I leave a backup drive there. I consider that an off-site backup because the computer lives with me.

-Allen
     
audvidsvs
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Mar 8, 2011, 07:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
What you want to protect against is theft/damage/loss that occurs to the laptop data wherever the laptop may happen to be.

My MBP has no fixed location. I consider the "site" to be the location of the computer. "Off site" is then somewhere other than the location of the computer. E.g. I have an out-of-town jobsite that I travel to and I leave a backup drive there. I consider that an off-site backup because the computer lives with me.

-Allen
To take it a step further,most of what I do will involve customer configuration files of proprietary apps and I constantly back these up to several USB flash keys both for security and redundancy.
I will continue to do this but now I can also keep a backup on the machine on a separate drive. Faster & more convenient if not as secure.
     
   
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