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I have a higher end (i7, 2.5ghz, 16gb RAM) 2011 MBP with an older HDD that has been pretty unreliable for the last year or so. I have an unused/unopened 250bg SSD sitting on a shelf and was thinking of buying a matching one for ~$60 and a Tray Adapter ($8) to replace the optical drive and running both SSDs in a RAID0 config.

I do both design and front-end dev work so I typically have photoshop and illustrator open along with a bunch of browser windows and tabs and/or several VScode tabs while running a LAMP or MERN stack along with a bunch of browser windows and tabs.

My desktop can handle all that at once, but if I could get away with running even half (either the PS/Illustrator/Sketch/XD side OR the VSCode/MERN) at a time on this laptop, I'd be psyched. I only use while on the road (which is not very often) and while making system or hardware changes to my desktop.

The main drive is SATA3 and the optical drive is SATA2, which I'm sure would slow things down at startup using RAID0. But I'm wondering (hoping) if, that aside, the RAID0 configuration will boost performance/speed for the kind of work I'll be dong? I'm sure anything will be an improvement from the HDD, but will RAID0 (with 1 disc being connected via SATA2) give me a noticeable increase in performance over just a singe SSD on SATA3? >= $68 worth of improved performance? =)

  • I ran a 2011 with 2 disks; I had a SSD for the OS and apps, and a hybrid for data storage. it felt like a new computer. I wouldn't worry about raid. It'll bring you more problems than benefits. – Thomas Jun 16 '20 at 14:12
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If you have to stripe data across both drives, then you'll be constantly limited by the SATA II bottleneck.

You'd be much better off just buying a larger SSD for the hard drive slot, or installing two separate SSDs as separate drives.

At best, you might want to look at creating a Fusion drive between a larger mechanical in the Optical slot and an SSD in the HDD slot. (Or even two SSDs...?)

  • gotcha - so a fusion drive combining the SSD in the main slot and the mechanical HDD in the optical drive bay will give me better performance than 2 SSDs in RAID0, correct? Would the SSD on it's own (and no HDD - leaving the optical drive where it is) be faster than the Fusion drive? – Daveh0 Mar 26 '20 at 19:11
  • Not to mention that RAID0 is a bit risky. If one of the drives fails the array fails. You'd have to make sure your backups are REALLY up to date. – Steve Chambers Mar 28 '20 at 15:55
  • @Daveh0 Yes, replacing the HDD with an SSD is the best option. You can get 500Gb or 1Tb SATA drives quite cheaply. – benwiggy Mar 28 '20 at 17:48

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