Hard Drive speed


Right now I have a Macbook Pro, 2011. If I get a 7400 or SSD external drive for my software instruments & audio files, but my computer's hard drive speed is 5400, will I still gain the advantages of having a faster external drive?

I'm going to say no if you get an external USB 2.0 (max speed 20-25Mbps no matter what drive SSD or Firewire i just tested it) Firewire port maybe 75Mbps. Thunderbolt well those are about 200 bucks but will speed up transfers. But in reality you will be getting a bottleneck at the 5400 drive. it can only accept and use data at its speed. You are at the mercy of the port speed and the 5400 drive speed.

You are better off upgrading the internal drive to SSD because you do have a Sata 6Gbps buss. So you are upgrading your internal speed from about 100 mbps to about 500 mbps. Then upgrade the ram to 16 gig.

I just went through all of this with my Mac Pro and Mac Mini. I bought the Samsung EVO 250 gig 6Gbps and it is SMOKN.. When buying an SSD stay away from the 3Gbps they are cheap and some places are hiding that specification...


also I love the guys at OWC.. http://www.macsales.com
They are very helpful. Its an expensive endeavor to chase speed.. my wallet and credit card can attest to that.. uhg..

Also do a Geekbench 3 (free at app store) test before you upgrade and then do one after.. You can test your current drive speed with Black Magic Disk Speed Test..(app store) select your drive then select some folder like documents and hit test. Im betting you will see about 80 to 100Mbps maybe? Compare that to these

Usb 2.0 20-25 Mbps
Usb 3.0 130-150 Mbps (not on your computer)
Thunderbolt 180+ on par with USB 3 (on your computer)

Internal SSD 6gbps about 500 Mbps+
You can go about this incrementally based on performance needs and of course $$$. Add the faster external hd for SI and audio. See if it gives enough of a speed boost for your needs. Separate drives for OS/apps, audio, and SI means that each hard drive's read/write mechanism works efficiently (less mechanical wear and tear) vs one (internal) hard drive mechanism doing all of the work.

Boot time will definitely be faster if you replace the internal drive with an SSD and to a degree, the 7200rpm. I was using the Seagate Momentus Hybrid for the internal hd which worked great before replacing it with a Crucial 500 GB SSD

At this point, I have two internal Crucial SSD drives in my 2010 i5 MBP: 500 GB and a 960 GB via OWC Data Doubler for sample libraries. Projects are written to an external FW800 OWC Mercury Mini enclosure housing the Seagate Hybrid.
I also have a 2011 quad i7 MBP.

It's configured with a 750GB Hybrid drive, and a 1TB 7200rpm hard drive.

I got all the parts from OWC, including the Data Doubler bracket for adding a second hard drive.

For my optical drive needs I picked up a Newer Technology Mini Stack Max enclosure, that contains Blu-Ray/ DVD/ CD combo drive, 1TB7200rpm hard drive.

It's also a USB3 and FW800 hub.

Everything cost less than 500GB SSD.

Thanks Liquid Logic, CSeye and gdoubleyou for the information and recommendations. I will now digest what I'm reading and figure out my next step. For that next step,
would it be better to upgrade my hard drive or RAM? Right now I have 2 sticks of 2GB.

You can also replace the superdrive with an SSD (or rather, move the HD to the superdrive slot and put the SSD in the HD slot) so you can have both speed and space. There are kits that come with a HD bay to replace the superdrive and an external USB case for the removed superdrive.