Advice on optical drive/SSD upgrade to my trusty mac?

Hi iFixit, thanks for an awesome website.

My MBP 15" A1260 is coming up on 4 years. Instead of dropping serious cash on a new one, I think I'll extend its life a bit more with an SSD, moving the HDD to the optical drive. Can you give me some advice please? In essence:

- Will the SSD upgrade provide a worthwhile performance increase?

- Will the HDD move to the (PATA) optical drive bay result in much slower HDD performance?

Detailed questions below:

The specs:

MBP 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM

The SSD:

- I'm looking at a 128GB Crucial M4. Is this a wise choice?

- Anything I should know about the SATA connection in my latpop? I know it's 1.5 Gb/s; will the SSD be throttled to pointlessness? 150MB/s makes me question the point of this upgrade a bit... :(

- Or, should I thus be considering a different SSD?

The optical bay:

- I've found the PATA to SATA caddy from AMZNeTek on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/caddy-Macbook-A126...).

- The drive going in there will be a 500GB Seagate Momentus, 7200RPM. Will I see a serious decrease in speed when I move this drive? I see PATA/ATA 100 can do 100MB/s, which of course is round about what the HDD will do in the best case.

- Anything I'm blatantly missing...? :)

Thanks for your time,

Stephen

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Hi again iFixit,

For the archives: I went ahead with the upgrade. It was worth it.

The HDD in the PATA caddy isn't noticeably constrained when benchmarking.

The SSD connecting to SATA 1.5 Gbps is indeed very throttled, but still much faster than the HDD. I suppose seek time and random read/write speeds are helping, despite the slow connection. A very snappy Mac OS!

As SSD prices come down further, this upgrade will become a more and more reasonable proposition for you older mac owners. Now, if only I could get the battery to last 3* as long...

Stephen

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Dear Steve, just a few months ago I did the swap on my A1226 and although I was told I would not see a performance difference I did. Don't expect 6gbs speed because the transfer rate on the A1226/A1260 is only 1.5gbs, the part where I saw improvement was the boot time. If you have the cash definitely go for it. The ssds are so much better they run silent, cooler and faster not to mention the fact that you dont kneed to worry about the hard drive getting screwed up from moving it around while its on.

John H. Laney

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Thanks John.

Yes, I did the same. Of course sustained read/writes are not nearly at the full speed of the SSD, but the performance improvements are still very noticeable. Absolutely worth it, a new lease of life on my good old silver beast.

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Everyone I've read about who as done a SSD upgrade remark on much faster their box is. I see no reason not to expect a faster boot and data transfer from SSD to HDD.

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Hi machead, thanks for posting an answer. Sure, on paper it looks sweet. Just curious as to real-world usage on such a throttled 1.5Gb/s connection before I pull the trigger...

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IMHO The difference if there is one would be insignificant to a mere human in normal use.

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Steve will be eternally grateful.
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