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  1. #1
    TWEAKED OUT!-Macbook Pro Core i7 2.66 GHz 15" (Mid 2010)

    Member Since
    May 19, 2011
    Posts
    6
    TWEAKED OUT!-Macbook Pro Core i7 2.66 GHz 15" (Mid 2010)
    Hello Mac-Forums,

    I am a long-time lurker and first time poster with a bit of a computational conundrum on my hands. I purchased the Macbook Pro Core i7 2.66 GHz 15" (Mid 2010) around this time last year and now I am looking to tweak the hardware for speed, efficiency, and data protection. I really needed a new computer to work on a design portfolio for graduate school at the time, and since I have a very mobile lifestyle, the MBP was best in my mind for price to computation and workflow for my tastes.

    I have since been accepted to a graduate school that will require graphics-intensive and memory processes and am now looking to modify the hardware (more RAM, possible SSD(s), and external drives) to achieve a good blend of mobility, power, and data safety, so I'd like some advice for a potential setup. I currently have the stock 500 GB internal HDD that I use for a OS X and Windoze partition, as well as an external bus-powered 2.5" iOmega drive that I use for Time Machine backup via Firewire 800 and additional storage.

    I'd obviously like to replace the internal drive with a 120 GB (or larger) SSD with partitions for OS X, Windoze, and potentially another small partition for temporary storage of on-demand project files. Advice on this partition hierarchy is welcomed. My goal with this would be to move the majority of my personal files including old project files, music, and so-on to an external drive to run via Firewire for my machine to feed off of.

    This is where I reach a problem.

    I don't foresee myself preforming too many renderings on my computer as my school provides a ridiculous render farm, but I will certainly need a serious scratch disk even though I am maxing out my RAM by upgrading to 8GB. On top of this, I feel as though I will need another drive purely for daily backups of my data potentially on a 3.5" 2TB drive. I've seen the OWC kit to replace the optical drive with another internal drive, potentially allowing another SSD to act solely as a scratch disk, but even though I don't really use my optical drive, I'm not too sure about that quite yet. On top of this, Apple in their infinite wisdom decided to get rid of the express card slot on the new generation MBP's, so I don't have an option for running an ESATA external device for a scratch disk OR backup which is really lame. The Thunderbolt port on the most recent MBP's only adds to my frustration with only having two USB's and a Firewire 800 port on my current machine. I wouldn't mind taking a little bit of a loss

    All things considered, based on the needs and concerns I outlined above, what advice does the forum have as a a solution that may suit me well?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    TWEAKED OUT!-Macbook Pro Core i7 2.66 GHz 15" (Mid 2010)
    thurstmw's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 29, 2010
    Location
    BoCo
    Posts
    295
    Specs:
    13inch 2.3 i5 MBP 64gb SSD 320gb HD 8gb 1333
    I am all for replacing the optical drive with another SSD or even a 500 gb HDD to use for a scratch disk/ storage. Just get a USB enclosure for the optical drive incase you ever need to use it. Then just use a 3.5 external firewire drive for backups?

    Yes that is a grizzlycorn

  3. #3
    TWEAKED OUT!-Macbook Pro Core i7 2.66 GHz 15" (Mid 2010)

    Member Since
    May 19, 2011
    Posts
    6
    @thurstmw

    Thank you very much for your feedback!

    If I were to replace the optical drive with a 1TB 5200 rpm drive and partition it equally for storage/scratch and use the 120 GB SSD in the main bay for boot/apps, I think that would be good. I suppose I could place the optical drive in an enclosure if I ever need to use it, and then I would run a 3.5" 2TB drive for backups of the new internal 1TB drive.

    I've certainly considered the option of selling this machine on eBay, but I haven't decide to bite the bullet as of yet. The graphics card upgrade, Thunderbolt port and etc of the newest MBP's would be phenomenal, but I feel like I would still have to shell out equal amounts of money to upgrade with an SSD, 8 gb of ram, and a new internal drive for a scratch disk. Basically, I would be out more like another $1,000+, when I really only have $500 budgeted especially because I'm moving away.

    If the MBP's continue to be updated at the rate they're going now, I'm wondering if I might regret updating now rather than in a year from now when the next best thing comes out when I'll be able to evaluate the performance of the initial upgrades. I guess at that point my current machine would get me less money, but technology is always such a gamble these days!

    Like I said, conundrum.
    What do you think?

  4. #4
    TWEAKED OUT!-Macbook Pro Core i7 2.66 GHz 15" (Mid 2010)
    thurstmw's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 29, 2010
    Location
    BoCo
    Posts
    295
    Specs:
    13inch 2.3 i5 MBP 64gb SSD 320gb HD 8gb 1333
    I agree that you should probably wait till next gens. You are still rocking an i7 and a very good computer. There might endup being a MBP refresh before their are even enough thunderbolt devices to warrant having thunderbolt.

    As for the 1tb hd in the optibay, you might have to hand out a bit more coin for the 1tb to get one that will fit. I am not sure if any have been released with the "normal" thickness yet but I know the necessary patter density has been achieved so if they aren't out yet they should be soon.

    People have had succes putting the larger ones into the main hdd bay but for the optibay it might depend on your the bay which you get. I know my optibay is a pretty tight fit.

    Some people (me) have had problems (computer not sleeping) putting the SSD (as a system drive) in the optical bay with HDD in the normal bay. People with better optical bay systems have not reported this problem. (I think the MCE is one of the better ones)
    Just some food for thought when trying to decide.

    Yes that is a grizzlycorn

  5. #5
    TWEAKED OUT!-Macbook Pro Core i7 2.66 GHz 15" (Mid 2010)
    Stretch's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 13, 2007
    Location
    Central New York
    Posts
    4,773
    Specs:
    15in i7 MacBook Pro, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB HD
    I'd recommend leaving the stock HDD with rotation platters in the stock location. It is a "cushioned" location with rubber mounts. The optical bay and adapters are not cushioned which isn't best for a drive with moving parts. Also drives for the optical bay need to be 9.5mm or thinner.
    Blog and Photo Gallery: http://philolin.me/

    Currently running OS X 10.10

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