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Questions About Upgrading to SSD

Hey guys. I have went through similar posts, but still can't find answers to the following questions.

1. Is there a limit to the size of SSD for my Mac Book Pro? Apple website: says 128 or 256, but you can actually get larger one right?

2. How do you figure out the connection speed supported by the HDD and ODD cables? I only see 5400-rpm listed instead of data per second. I am trying to figure out the fastest connection speed for my model.

3. Install the SSD in the HDD slot or ODD? It seems that you really throttle the speed of the SSD if you install it in the ODD slot.

4. Any recommendation to which brand for the SSD? SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series seems to get quite a few votes. I see that Crucial advertise Mac Book Pro compatibility as well.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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I recommend this drive:

SATA II compatible! Cheaper than those expensive Samsung's too!


Thanks for the recommendation George!


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1 - No limits from the MacOS side, I doubt you'll hit the 8 EB limit! So far the largest physical SSD that would fit into your system is 4 TB! The largest HDD is 2 TB.

2 - Your systems specs is one of these: MacBookPro5,3 If you look at your system you'll see the SATA port speed is SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) so you'll need to make sure the given SSD drive you get has this listed in the spec sheet.

3 - The speed of the SATA ports is the same! So thats not what you need to focus on. If you are planning on leaving the HD in the system it needs to stay in the HD port as the crash guard protection is only available on that port so if you swap it over you'll risk the HD drive crashing!

4 - The brand is not that important as all need to comply with the SATA interface. Presently we are using 1 TB & 2 TB Samsung 850 EVO drives. As I stated above you do need to do some research to make sure what you think on getting will work at the slower SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) speed.

But! Before you make the jump here, make sure to keep in mind your system won't support anything newer than OS-X El Capitan 10.11.x. So don't go hog wild with the biggest & baddest SSD here.

I'm sure a 512GB SSD maybe large enough for your needs. Or look at going with a hybrid drive like Seagate's SSHD. I would also look at maxing out the RAM (8 GB) if you haven't already.

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Dan. Thank you so much for the fast reply.

I just need to make the following decision then.

1 - Ditch the HD or the optical drive

2 - 512 GB or 1 TB size for the SSD

About #3, I got the impression that the optical drive port is slower from this thread:

Replace optical drive with ssd

But the model in that thread is not the same as mine, that's why you say the SATA ports are the same, right?


- Flip a coin for your first point. If you don't use optical disks any more then put in the SSD in place of the optical drive.

- For 2 think though the costs and the lifespan of the system given its limits. If you can work through how mush stuff you can purge on your HD now, if you can swing it try to get the smaller cheaper drive. Just remember you'll need to leave 1/4 of the SSD free.

As for your link: That series had a PATA optical drive which is dog slow! The SATA port was also slower than yours just SATA I (1.5 Gb/s) which is why people moved the drive over. Many people found out the hard way this was a mistake as the drives often failed do to the lack of crash guard which was only available on the SATA port.

Your system is one of the few I would even do a dual drive config as many of the i5/i7 models have issues with the optical drive port. Here's a bit more on these: OWC Data Doubler. It makes no difference who's carrier you use as the issue is within the system logic board.


On the subject of 512gb vs. 1tb, I have a 240gb SSD and a 500gb HDD, so I have room for my many RAW pictures and games, ect. and I have many programs installed on my SSD but it still has over half the capacity left! I would think a 512gb would be plenty sufficient, and maybe you should even consider 240gb. As for the HDD vs. ODD, I think you should remove the ODD and put it in an enclosure so you can still use it, you'll just have to plug it in. SSD + HDD is the best combo!


George and Dan. Thank you so much for all the advice.

I am going to replace the optical drive with a 512 G SSD then. Don't remember the last time I used it. Time to find out what good deal is on for SSD.


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