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Old Apr 15, 2012, 06:32 AM   #1
AcesHigh87
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SSD Options for Early 2008 Macbook

I'm looking into purchasing an SSD for my Early 2008 (White) macbook. I'd read in a few places that it could accept SATA II drives (3Gb/s) but looking at my System profiler it seems I can only handle SATA (1.5Gb/s) is this accurate information? If so, would an SSD even be worth it on only SATA speed?

That aside I found this SSD at new egg which is decently priced and well enough reviewed. Ignoring the above issue of SATA vs. SATA II would this be a decent drive to speed up my aging macbook?

Lastly, when / if I do this what would be the best way to transfer everything? I can buy an external enclosure easily enough and it was suggested previously that I use Carbon Copy Cloner to make a 1:1 copy of my internal onto the SSD then just install it. However I've read now that it's better to do a clean install and then migrate from a backup. If this is the case, why is it better? Also, how does one do that on Lion? I made a disk with the installer but no guarantee it works. Would I be able to install SL and upgrade to Lion (which I already purchased) if I wanted to? What worries me with this is that my Time Machine backup holds data for both my macbook and iMac (poor choice I know but I was limited on drives) so will that cause any problems with migration?

Sorry for such the long post. Before I spend $100+ on this thing I just want to make sure I'm getting the best I can. Thanks.
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Old Apr 15, 2012, 08:50 AM   #2
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It wont work with sf-2xxx.
Try buying sata2 with sf-1200 or intel ssd's.
For example ocz vertex 2e. I got one in macbook unibody 2008 and it works rather great.

For migrating I would recommend you installing clean osx and then migrate from old hdd with usb cable not from time machine.
You would be able to upgrade from lion but more efficient if installing clean lion because upgrade adds some weight to the os.
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Old Apr 15, 2012, 09:13 AM   #3
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I have a 120GB Intel 320 SSD on my black early 2008 macbook.
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Old Apr 15, 2012, 09:48 AM   #4
AcesHigh87
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Originally Posted by Strzempa View Post
It wont work with sf-2xxx.
Try buying sata2 with sf-1200 or intel ssd's.
For example ocz vertex 2e. I got one in macbook unibody 2008 and it works rather great.

For migrating I would recommend you installing clean osx and then migrate from old hdd with usb cable not from time machine.
You would be able to upgrade from lion but more efficient if installing clean lion because upgrade adds some weight to the os.
Intel and OCZ SSD's are significantly more expensive, that's why I was looking at the above one. I'm not sure I understand your reasoning for why it won't work. Care to indulge more?

Also, with the system you describe, I would need to be an external enclosure anyway. If that's the case why is it better to do a clean install? You mentioned it is (as I have heard) but did not offer a reason why. Plus it brings up the possibility that the Lion disk I burned won't necessarily work as it's supposed to.

As a last note as well, how does one do a clean install? I assume you enter the disk (or I could probably download Lion again and put it on a USB if that would work better) and hold option when booting for the first time; select the disk (or USB) and then go through formatting of the drive and installation? I've never done a clean install but if it is the better option I want to know what I'm doing.

Edit: I looked into the sf stuff you were talking about and found out it was the controller so I know what you mean now. UNfortunately looking into OCZ and Intel SSD's hasn't left me too impressed. They cost more and the reviews are terrible. Most OCZ reviews involve people complaining that the drive failed between 4 and 6 months of use. That's rather miserable for an SSD. Intel on the other hand reviews well but costs more than $20 more than the one I was looking at for less space.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate you telling me the one I was going to buy won't work (I don't understand enough to know why but I'll take your word for it) but are there any aside from OCZ and Intel that will work?

Edit Again: I'm confused now. You say that any SSD with controller sf-2xxx won't work. However over at OWC they have this which is sf-2281 and is compatible with the Early 2008 macbook (4,1).
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Last edited by AcesHigh87; Apr 15, 2012 at 10:16 AM.
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Old Apr 18, 2012, 07:10 AM   #5
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Just wondering if anyone has an idea on this...
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Old Apr 18, 2012, 07:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by AcesHigh87 View Post
Just wondering if anyone has an idea on this...
I can recommend the Crucial M4 SSD for older SATA MacBooks.
It's a latest generation, fast and reliable SATA3 drive that is also backwards compatible with SATA. It's supported on Macs too.
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Old Apr 18, 2012, 08:58 AM   #7
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I just install Plextor m3 on MacBook Aluminum Unibody (Late 2008), It work perfectly!! I got the great deal on New egg a couple of day ago, along with the fact that it is 5-year warranty.

After a long research, SATA-III Drive with Sandforce based controller seem to have issue with Nvidia chipset for sure. On other hands, A few report from user state problem about Marvel Based Controller (The one used in Plextor m3 and Crucial m4). I have no idea about Intel chipset though.

128 GB Crucial m4 is now on sale at amazon.com for $146.34 follow to link below

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-2-5-In...4757195&sr=8-1

Also, New egg have daily deal on 128 GB Plextor m3 for $139.99 with rebate

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc..._-Homepage2011

Enjoy!!
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Old Apr 18, 2012, 09:29 AM   #8
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I recommend the intel 520 series. They are a bit more expensive but they are the fattest SSD available for consumers, plus intel allegedly spend a year working out all the kinks with the SF controller. I put a 520 in my MBP and the install was quick and painless. I chose to do a fresh install instead of cloning my HDD because I heard it helps prevent problems. If you don't want a hassle spend a little extra and get the premium SSD it will pay off in the long run. Plus the 520 has a 5 year warranty. Also last I heard Cruical dropped Mac as a supported system, that may have changed but it may not have.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 07:15 AM   #9
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After a long research, SATA-III Drive with Sandforce based controller seem to have issue with Nvidia chipset for sure. On other hands, A few report from user state problem about Marvel Based Controller (The one used in Plextor m3 and Crucial m4). I have no idea about Intel chipset though.
Early 2008 MacBooks don't have any Nvidia parts so I'm not too worried about that lol
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 11:11 AM   #10
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Also last I heard Cruical dropped Mac as a supported system, that may have changed but it may not have.
Crucial do support the Mac with the M4.

Last I heard it's actually Intel that don't officially support Macs with their new SSDs (according to their technical support line).
Also the Intel 520 currently has an unfixed bug with Macs using the Nvidia MCP79 chipset.

The main thing though is that you can get OS independent firmware updates - both Crucial and Intel offer these so either brand is a good bet for this reason.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 11:40 AM   #11
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With the above information then I think I might go with the M4. I'm sure the 520's are great and all but they are $20 more for 4GB less space, have lower customer reviews and, by the look of it, don't support apple. Crucial seems like the way to go here.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 01:38 PM   #12
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If Cruical is supporting Mac again then I would go with the M4 for an early 2008 MB because its only SATA II and won't really take advantage of all that the intel has to offer so why pay the premium. Plus the M4 gets great reviews from people and I wasn't aware of the intel issues with the nvidia graphics, thanks for clarifying that for me. OP with the new information I have I would recommend the M4 for you for the above stated reasons plus it is a bit cheaper than the intel, and saving money is always great. Either way you'll love an SSD I love mine its ridiculously fast. Its a great way to breathe life into an older machine! Im not sure how the install on the MB is but on my MBP install was super easy. I do recommend you do a clean install of the OS and then migrate your files and what not over.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 02:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by AcesHigh87 View Post
With the above information then I think I might go with the M4. I'm sure the 520's are great and all but they are $20 more for 4GB less space, have lower customer reviews and, by the look of it, don't support apple. Crucial seems like the way to go here.
M4 is good choice since update firmware can be done without OS dependent. Samsung need to update through Window 7 and some of manufacturer do that too. Crucial and Plextor are only two that do from bootable image to flash Firmware. SSD need some firmware update to fix some glitch. Word of advise, Update your drive before install your os. If something is wrong with your drive, you know it right away.

Enjoy your SSD!!
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 06:32 PM   #14
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M4 is good choice since update firmware can be done without OS dependent. Samsung need to update through Window 7 and some of manufacturer do that too. Crucial and Plextor are only two that do from bootable image to flash Firmware. SSD need some firmware update to fix some glitch. Word of advise, Update your drive before install your os. If something is wrong with your drive, you know it right away.

Enjoy your SSD!!
How would I go about doing that? I've never had or installed an SSD so I want everything to go as smooth as possible.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 10:53 PM   #15
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How would I go about doing that? I've never had or installed an SSD so I want everything to go as smooth as possible.
Check on this link for more information

http://www.crucial.com/support/firmware.aspx?source=web

General idea is using ISO image to write Bootable CD or USB Bootable, You can left Bootable CD in your Macbook or Plug in USB Bootable. Turn off and Install your SSD Drive. After installation is complete, Turn Macbook back on. Press and hold "Option" to select boot drive, choose CD boot. Follow the Screen and Volla!

PS. I just notice that they just release new firmware 000F!!
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 11:44 PM   #16
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I just recently installed a Crucial M4 in my early 2008 black MacBook and it went without a hitch...it's running great, I'd definitely recommend it. It came with the 0309 firmware, and I left that on for now. If you look at Crucial's forums, some people are experiencing issues with Macs and the 000f firmware, so I held off and didn't install it for now. Not worth it to me since 0309 is running just fine. I also have an M4 in my 2011 MacBook Pro and left it at 0309, and it too has been running great.
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Old Apr 20, 2012, 06:24 AM   #17
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I just recently installed a Crucial M4 in my early 2008 black MacBook and it went without a hitch...it's running great, I'd definitely recommend it. It came with the 0309 firmware, and I left that on for now. If you look at Crucial's forums, some people are experiencing issues with Macs and the 000f firmware, so I held off and didn't install it for now. Not worth it to me since 0309 is running just fine. I also have an M4 in my 2011 MacBook Pro and left it at 0309, and it too has been running great.
Good to know, I'll look into what people think is best.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by allapon View Post
Check on this link for more information

http://www.crucial.com/support/firmware.aspx?source=web

General idea is using ISO image to write Bootable CD or USB Bootable, You can left Bootable CD in your Macbook or Plug in USB Bootable. Turn off and Install your SSD Drive. After installation is complete, Turn Macbook back on. Press and hold "Option" to select boot drive, choose CD boot. Follow the Screen and Volla!

PS. I just notice that they just release new firmware 000F!!
Thanks for the link and information, I appreciate it

Does anyone have information on how to do a clean install of Lion and then bring my information over? Dp I just boot from the Lion disk I created when I put the SSD in and then transfer stuff over via migrate assistant?
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 02:07 AM   #18
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I would have to agree with most of the posters mentioning the use of the crucial M4 as well. One of the latest drives and I currently have it installed in my MacBook
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Old May 30, 2012, 01:10 AM   #19
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i just installed http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDEX3G120/ and one of these New 9.5mm PATA IDE To SATA its only been a couple of hours but this thing flies now. can't beat the price combo under 160 for
a lot of speed
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 06:03 AM   #20
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Ocz

I have macbook4,1 early 2008.

I tried upgrading with OCZ AGILITY 3 120GB and I had some issues. It was working really slow. I also tried upgrading firmware (it was latest, so no rescue).
Then I swapped with one other pc (linux). This agility works ok there. I changed it with OCZ VERTEX 2 120GB. Now works extra great. I'm very happy.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:06 AM   #21
jamshaidali102
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Smile Want to completely remove the harddrive from my early 2008 macbook

I want to completely remove the harddrive in my early 2008 macbook.
I want to replace it with a solid state drive .Which models i can use considering the sata connectors.As i heard its sata 1 and the newer ones come with sata II or sata III .Anyone has used samsung 840 pro series or OCZ.

Also i wanted to ask if someone has any experience of installing windows 8 on the early macbook.I dont want to upgrade to lion as i still have leopard.BUt i have free copy of windows 8 pro and so i want to use that.Any help is much appreciated.

Hoping to hear soon.
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Old Aug 4, 2013, 07:18 PM   #22
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Question

Hi everyone! I am updating my white Macbook Early 2008-macbook4,1 Intel C2D-2.1 GHZ, I believe SATA I ( I couldn't figure out what SATA is) Memory 4GB. I read the entire thread and it was really useful!!! I saw though that some info is almost a year old. Based on your thread and my search I'm now down to two choices and I'd like to have some advice:

-Crucial m4 128GB 2.5-Inch (9.5mm) SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive CT128M4SSD2 $102.86

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-2-5-In...4757195&sr=8-1

-OWC 240GB Mercury Electra™ 3G SSD 2.5" Serial-ATA 9.5mm Solid State Drive $219.99
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDEX3G240/

Will 128GB be better than 128GB? Plus, I noticed that the Crucial M4 I listed here above and also listed in the thread are SATA 6Gb, isn't that SATA III?

If it is compatible with my early2008 white macbook will this option work as well?

-Crucial m4 256GB 2.5-Inch (9.5mm) SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive CT256M4SSD2

Thank you!
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Old Aug 5, 2013, 01:20 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by escip834 View Post
Hi everyone! I am updating my white Macbook Early 2008-macbook4,1 Intel C2D-2.1 GHZ, I believe SATA I ( I couldn't figure out what SATA is) Memory 4GB. I read the entire thread and it was really useful!!! I saw though that some info is almost a year old. Based on your thread and my search I'm now down to two choices and I'd like to have some advice:

-Crucial m4 128GB 2.5-Inch (9.5mm) SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive CT128M4SSD2 $102.86

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-2-5-In...4757195&sr=8-1

-OWC 240GB Mercury Electra™ 3G SSD 2.5" Serial-ATA 9.5mm Solid State Drive $219.99
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDEX3G240/

Will 128GB be better than 128GB? Plus, I noticed that the Crucial M4 I listed here above and also listed in the thread are SATA 6Gb, isn't that SATA III?

If it is compatible with my early2008 white macbook will this option work as well?

-Crucial m4 256GB 2.5-Inch (9.5mm) SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive CT256M4SSD2

Thank you!
If I could make another suggestion, look at the Samsung 840 250GB for $170. Many users here are happy with it.

It will work fine in your machine.

Yes, 6Gbps is SATA III.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 12:36 AM   #24
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I had crucial m4 256g in my white macbook 2008. everything works great.
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Old Jan 10, 2014, 03:22 AM   #25
feraltrail
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Hi friends. Thanks for information to all!

But what about this ssd - TOSHIBA THNSNH128GBST (controller Marvell N8B97202.4JW)

It would be works fine? Help anybody. Thanks
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