MacBook Pro drive setup advice?


Prominent Member
Jul 20, 2011
Reaction score
Hi, normally I use my ancient Mac Pro quad cpu tower for recording music... but it is so old that i can't use the last couple version of Logic and now the drivers on my much loved Tascam FW-1884 haven't been upgraded by tascam to 64bit versions and it is no longer working (it's about 10 years old!)

so, i've been forced to continue recording on my MacBook Pro 13" mid 2012 version (current model of non retina screen machines) which i have just upgraded to 16gb ram

i have been recording some new songs on it using the stock 500gb 5400rpm drive and Logic...

as i have been only tracking 1 track at a time on projects that end up only having 10 or 12 tracks so far i haven't run into any troubles yet with drive speed (my old mac pro has 7400rpm multiple drive setup)

most music recording machines have

1 drive for system and Logic Pro

1 Drive for recorded/playback audio files

1 drive for samples


as i kinda want the laptop to be semi portable for gigs or taking to other musicians houses i was thinking it might be nice to have everything self contained but i guess as it has 2 USB 3 ports I could have 1 USB port for a fast Audio/sample playback drive?


1. upgrade the stock 500gb drive to 128gb flash memory drive for system and Logic?

2. upgrade stock 500gb drive to 1tb hybrid SSD 8gb drive and 1tb 2.5" 5400rpm HD?

3. remove the superdrive and get mount for either 128gb SSD or 1tb hybrid SSD & HD 5400rpm drive?

4. get an internal 7400rpm 2.5" hard drive for either main drive in laptop or to put in space of the superdrive so that audio can be recorded and played back from it?

to complicate matters I need to replace my now non working Tascam FW-1884 (it won't work on my laptop as no 64bit drivers) with a new audio interface with at last 6 analogue outs for mixing 5.1 surround sound so far tentative choice is the Tascam US-366 and it uses USB so any other external drives would have to be firewire or thunderbolt as i might need the 2nd usb port for a midi instrument as it doesn't have a midi port like audio interfaces used to have, argh!

so i've noticed the new macbook pro 2.5GHz intel core i5 is actually faster than the quad xeon mac pro on some things so maybe it isn't all bad making this switch?
I was using a Macbook pro late 2011, i5(dual core) for logic 9, then logic x.
I removed the optical drive, installed a caddy, put a 1tb HDD in it, then removed the 500gb boot drive to install a 120gb SSD, that worked fine, then i decided to run the DIY fusion command, to blend the SSD and HDD together, and it was lovely, fast SSD like speeds with big storage.
But, after a while, using logic x, it was having a lot of CPU overload due to my plugins i was using, (waves, audio realism, TAL), they are just so CPU hungry, .
I eventually swapped it for an iMac mid 2011 quad core, it handles all my plugins no problems, no CPU problems, running 20gb of RAM, ( the RAM has made hardly any difference), just a bit quicker on the boot.
Ive just bought a caddy to replace the optical with my iMac, as i intend to do fusion on this also, it rocks,.
I sold my Macbook for about 450, and got the iMac for 600, so a little investment, but it handles Logic so much better...thats my experience anyway.
If you want i can send you some links on fusion, and caddis really is easy to do.
MUCH easier on a macbook, as its just unscrewing the screws and putting back together..imac is well daunting!!!
(btw, i mainly do sequencing, so i don't use audio files, or samples and things, just 303 type things and 808 emulators really).
Last edited:
thanks dude, yeah any links would be helpful...

so did you have to run some software to make the SSD and HD work as "one" drive or is that feature built into OSX now?

would it be faster to have the hardware do it like this drive does?
Seagate 1TB Laptop SSHD SATA 6GB/s 64MB 9.5mm Hard Drive (ST1000LM014) -

this is dirt cheap and 1TB inside the laptop would be fantastic...

i figure if this ends up being too slow once I start doing serious recording i can rip out the superdrive and put in an SSD or get a thunderbolt drive or something?

thats the fusion command..hes using it on a mac mini but its the same as a macbook pro, .it will be faster than an sshd.
All you HAVE to remember is have a memory stick with mavericks installer on it to boot from BEFORE you perform the fusion command, as he says at the begging of the fusion tutorial. you can get it on a stick using this..DiskMaker X
Also , you'll need a trim enabler, to help the SSD do a sort of "DEFRAG",,again its free.
its free.Trim Enabler | Cindori
A normal HDD will get about 80mbs read and write., after fusion i was getting abut 130 mbs write, and 500 read !! big difference!!!(depends on SSD used, i went for a cheaper samsung 840).
The SSD has to be in the boot drive bay (i think, its what I've been told, nd is better to be safe then take it apart again!)
It will work as normal, no need to sort out APPS or storage, or anything, it will work fine with time machine, you can restore from a HDD time machine on to a fusion drive.
You won't know the difference except the speed!!
Big storage with SSD speeds.
when i do my iMac, i will be using a 24ogb SSD with a 1tb HDD.
Last edited:
Thats it really!!!
It might be a lot to take in, but as long as you follow the command, IT WILL WORK, I've used that method about 3 times....just boot from a memory stick, then perform the command, then restore system.
Fusion is what the new Macs have preinstalled, since Mountain Lion, people have sussed out how to do it using terminal, which is how the people at Apple do it, just a 120gb SSD with a normal HDD...simple as that, but ALOT cheaper.
thanks, very informative...

watched all the videos and the guy that shows the superdrive removal for drive install says that you can't put an SSD into the superdrive area and that OSX won't let you partition the SSD in superdrive area?

ah... is this true? Does this mean i can't put a hybrid drive SSHD 1tb drive in the superdrive area?

i ran the blackmagic drive test mentioned in the first video and i got super slow results of course...

as the 1tb SSHD from seagate is so cheap (60 quid) was thinking to get that first to increase speed and give me more space for files in the macbook and then in a few months take out the superdrive and get a 128gb or bigger SSD

thanks again, dude!

I think the optical bay is not as fast as the boot drive bay,.
Its fine for creating an extra storage, or blending for a single volume.
You could try,as its an easy swap round if it dosent work, and if im right,it wont allow a boot drive from there, but im not 100% sure on that one. I would definitely go for a ssd in the boot drive and HDD in the optical drive. You can get secondhand from these classifieds very good condition for very cheap. Good luck I hope it all goes well remember it is very easy to do just a bit daunting because it's a MacBook!!! It is literally undoing screws!!!
Have you googled about the Seagate drive to check the reliability etc? Anyway it would be good to see some results from about the Seagate please post!!
Have you googled about the Seagate drive to check the reliability etc? Anyway it would be good to see some results from about the Seagate please post!!

here are reviews of the 1tb SSHD seagate Customer Reviews: Seagate 1TB 2.5 inch Laptop Solid State Hybrid Drive

would this SSHD seagate be faster for audio than a regular 7200rpm HD drive? they are about the same cost...

review of a 1tb 2.5" HD on amazon HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630 - Hard drive - 1 TB - internal - 2.5" - SATA-600 - 7200 rpm - buffer: 32 MB(0J22423): Computers & Accessories
— As an Amazon Associate, AVForums earns from qualifying purchases —
— As an Amazon Associate, AVForums earns from qualifying purchases —
The SSHD drives seem OK, they take a few go's to get the data where it needs to be for optimum use of the SSD,.
Seems if you use the data a lot, it will put it first in the data queue, much like a fusion process.!!
ok just a quick update...

i've ordered the Seagate 1tb SSHD for 69 quid... bottom line it doubles my storage of which I have ran out so it was desperately needed...

i guess it will be a sort of experiment to see how fast it is form the standard 5400rpm drive...

if it ends up not being fast enough when I start seriously recording I'll get a 256gb or 480gb SSD and see how they work together...

if I need still more speed I'll take out the superdrive and perhaps I'll try a 1tb higher RPM drive and then an SSD...

actually... I should probably use the SSD drive for recording audio onto as that is super duper fast...

and then use the SSHD drive as my system drive and for my non audio work (photography and design)

thanks for all your tips... am definitely going to be using them in the next day or two and coming months...

I'll update you on how the Seagate SSHD performs recording multiple tracks...


ps - my band got played on the radio tonight Gary Crowley Presents « Amazing Radio

5th or 6th song into this show...
well, this is the first time Amazon Prime has let me down... no 1tb SSHD drive for me today...

although the set of tiny screwdrivers and torx screwdrivers did arrive...

i'm all set...

ok the Seagate 1tb SSHD drive arrived today...

it took 4 hours to back up my 500gb stock drive...

2 minutes to install the new drive and another 4 hours to copy the backup back onto the new drive...

rebooted and bingo bang it works!

it has really sped things up... doubled my read/write speeds over the stock 500gb drive...

very happy!

ok, so i just realized the Superdrive bay is actually really slow...

  • hard drive: 500/750 GB 5400 rpm Serial ATA standard, 1 TB and solid state drive (SSD) options (128, 256, or 512 GB) on 6 Gbps SATA bus
  • optical drive: 8x dual-layer SuperDrive writes DVD±R and DVD+R at up to 8x, DVD-RW at up to 4x; dual-layer DVD±RW at up to 4x; reads DVDs at 8x (double-layer at 6x), dual-layer and DVD-ROM at 6x; writes CD-R at 24x, writes CD-RW at 16x, reads CDs at 24x on 3 Gbps SATA bus
  • drive bus: SATA 1 (1.5 Mbps)

for music recording/mixing this makes putting a drive in there pretty useless unless its for archives or backups etc...

is it fast enough to put the System disc in it?

right now I have a the Seagate 1tb SSHD drive in the hard drive bay and it is double the speed of the stock hard drive.

would i get better performance putting the original 5400rpm hard drive in a USB 3 enclosure than putting it into the superdrive bay?

also, what is the last line in the specs
  • drive bus: SATA 1 (1.5 Mbps)
referring to? The super dive is plugged into a 3Gbps SATA bus right?

what is this other SATA 1 bus? is that for the SD card slot?


i guess I can return the superdrive HD tray then if it is going to be so slow or will a 5400rpm stock apple drive not saturate the superdrive bottleneck anyway?

me head hurts...
If i remember rightly, the superdrive bay, can do 6Gbps from 2011 models onwards, i think 8.1 version.

Im not sure if that would be quicker than USB3, never tried one.
I know that the superdrive bay WILL allow 6gbps, as i used to use one, i saw some bits on Google about it last year.
I think it might be easier for you, just to get a USB3 and see?

BTW, the screenshots are of the SSHD speediest?
MacBook Pro 2011 Models and SATA 3.0 (6.0Gb/s) - Update - 5/27/2011 | Other World Computing Blog
Last edited:
If i remember rightly, the superdrive bay, can do 6Gbps from 2011 models onwards, i think 8.1 version.

Im not sure if that would be quicker than USB3, never tried one.
I know that the superdrive bay WILL allow 6gbps, as i used to use one, i saw some bits on Google about it last year.
I think it might be easier for you, just to get a USB3 and see?

BTW, the screenshots are of the SSHD speedtest?

I have the superdrive HD swap kit on order, it was actually supposed to be delivered today via Amazon Prime but hasn't arrived for some strange reason...

I figure I'll just put the 500gb 5400rpm apple HD in the superdrive bay when/if it arrives and test it out...

if it is really slow I'll get a 10 quid USB 3 enclosure and see how that goes...

I hope you are right, I do have a mid 2012 macbook pro 13" so fingers crossed it is fast...

thanks again dude!

and yes, that screenshot is from the new Seagate 1tb SSHD drive test...

other things I've noticed so far is that email app pops up instantly when it used to take a minute or so to be ready...

i think this alone makes upgrade worthwhile!
Last edited:
Yes,deffo agree on the speed thing, right now i have the stock 500gb drive in( waiting on extra funds, and a job first!!) , not having apps pop up, or watching the app logo bounce, for me, is a right pain!!!
My itunes was opening in about 1 bounce, now its taking 4( on a good day).
Im pretty sure the gbps speed will be fine, Apple wouldnt put slower parts BACK in would they??
Good luck with the install,.
Im not a genius or anything, but if you get any problems, which i doubt you will post back here.,
I was a bit nervous taking my macbook superdrive out,.
But, it did go really smooth and in the end i didnt know why i was flapping a bit!!
thanks... just got home and Amazon stuff was finally delivered a day late... just picked up the boxes from the neighbor and will clear a workspace and get to work installing stuff...


The latest video from AVForums

RESTORATION vs. REVISIONISM: At what point do 4K video and audio 'upgrades' cross the line?
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Top Bottom