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Old Feb 15, 2013, 07:15 PM   #1
MacProFreak
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Advice on SSD needed

Hello everyone,

I upgraded my macbook pro (mid 2009) with an intel SSD and it has been flawless for 3 years now.

What brand / model of SSD (512GB) would you recommend for the Mac Pro? I just purchased a mid 2010 quad model. What is important to me is reliability, as I can't afford to lose important data, even though I make backups all the time. My intention is to have two SSDs, one for the OSX (Snow Leopard) and the other for Windows 7 ultimate via bootcamp. Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 09:28 PM   #2
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I am running a pair of Samsung 840 Pros (512Gb), each is plugged into a Velocity Solo x2. I have been very happy with this set up.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 11:12 AM   #3
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I also recommend the combination of 2x Samsung 840 Pro SSDs with Velocity X2 adapters.

Very good speeds and highly capable.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 03:41 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for the replies. Very interesting, I didn't even know you could hook up sata 3 drives to the mac pro, because I didn't know that this velocity adapter even existed LOL - good to know, this seems like it can transform the machine into a very fast beast, huh? I can't wait to see those in action.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 07:36 AM   #5
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Also check out the Sonnet SSD adapter (Sonnet Tempo) - expandable to allow two drives with mounting option. May work better for your needs/installation without tying up another PCIe slot.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 04:52 PM   #6
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If reliability is your top priority, Intel and Samsung seem to be the best. However, the Apple SSD (usually a flashed Samsung with Apple firmware) would be the only one that would "officially" support TRIM in 10.6.8 unless you made some unsupported changes. You will pay more for the Apple drive for sure, but can perhaps consider that for the OS X drive and an Intel or standard Samsung for Windows as it will support TRIM on any SSD.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 05:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by monkeybagel View Post
If reliability is your top priority, Intel and Samsung seem to be the best. However, the Apple SSD (usually a flashed Samsung with Apple firmware) would be the only one that would "officially" support TRIM in 10.6.8 unless you made some unsupported changes. You will pay more for the Apple drive for sure, but can perhaps consider that for the OS X drive and an Intel or standard Samsung for Windows as it will support TRIM on any SSD.
So what problems would I encounter if I get a, Samsung 120GB 840 Series Basic SSD if it doesn't support TRIM... I'm looking to get one for my Mac Pro that only has Sata2 that would have Mountain Lion on it. No TRIM, quick degrading drive?

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...5#post15444235

Last edited by Badagri; Feb 18, 2013 at 05:51 AM.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 05:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Badagri View Post
So what problems would I encounter if I get a, Samsung 120GB 840 Series Basic SSD if it doesn't support TRIM... I'm looking to get one for my Mac Pro that only has Sata2 that would have Mountain Lion on it. No TRIM, quick degrading drive?
The Samsung 840 supports TRIM, just use the third-party Groth's TRIM Enabler. What monkeybagel is saying is that only the SSD's that come from Apple "officially" support TRIM. Apple (OS X) does not invoke TRIM on third-party SSD's, which is why you need Groth's.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 07:13 AM   #9
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Just to clarify, this one? MZ-7TD120BW http://www.samsung.com/us/computer/m...ge/MZ-7TD120BW

I doubt much point it'll be worth it to get the Pro since I'm on Sata2.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 07:26 AM   #10
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Just to clarify, this one? MZ-7TD120BW http://www.samsung.com/us/computer/m...ge/MZ-7TD120BW

I doubt much point it'll be worth it to get the Pro since I'm on Sata2.
Yes that one will work fine. There isn't really a reason to go for the 840 Pro if you're a regular consumer. Consumer workloads aren't very IO intensive so you most likely wouldn't notice any difference between the two.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 07:30 PM   #11
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See, these forums are awesome and I didn't know about the TRIM. Just downloaded it and ran on my macbook pro with an intel SSD. I had to restart the computer for it to work. Wow, I can see an increase in performance already. What was already fast became faster, almost instant (applications start and saving stuff). Great info guys, thanks a bunch you all rock!
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 09:24 PM   #12
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Check out the mSATA adapting idea presented here:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...2&postcount=10
Starting from about the middle of the post: "- Then of course there are..."
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 11:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
Check out the mSATA adapting idea presented here:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...2&postcount=10
Starting from about the middle of the post: "- Then of course there are..."
Very interesting post. I'm a noob when it comes to all this terminology and technicalities of SSDs and RAIDs, so my question would be what is the best solution (reliability first, speed a close second) for a dual boot mac pro (Snow Leopard and Win 7 ultimate)? Again, my machine is a mac pro Nov/2010 that I will soon be dropping a W3690 into. I've been reading a lot here, and quite frankly it gets confusing sometimes, because I'm not sure if the fastest will be the most stable. I know what I don't want, which is wasting time fixing eventual problems that could have been avoided.

For example, I find the PCIe sata 3 adaptor very interesting, but will it bootcamp? Stuff like that is what gives me pause on buying these very tempting setups, including the solution you just proposed above, seems very cool, as long as it meets my needs and it lasts...
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 10:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by MacProFreak View Post
Very interesting post. I'm a noob when it comes to all this terminology and technicalities of SSDs and RAIDs, so my question would be what is the best solution (reliability first, speed a close second) for a dual boot mac pro (Snow Leopard and Win 7 ultimate)? Again, my machine is a mac pro Nov/2010 that I will soon be dropping a W3690 into. I've been reading a lot here, and quite frankly it gets confusing sometimes, because I'm not sure if the fastest will be the most stable. I know what I don't want, which is wasting time fixing eventual problems that could have been avoided.

For example, I find the PCIe sata 3 adaptor very interesting, but will it bootcamp? Stuff like that is what gives me pause on buying these very tempting setups, including the solution you just proposed above, seems very cool, as long as it meets my needs and it lasts...
Well, hmm... The dual boot presents an issue I personally have not tried so I won't tell you I know anything for sure. Win7 will boot from RAID and OS X will as well. This particular kind of RAID is a processored RAID offering JBOD (concatenation), RAID0, and RAID1. There are 3 dip switches on the adapter card I linked to which allows the user to set the operating modes - which also includes a clear mode. In clear mode you see two separate drives which can either be used that way or set up as RAID using the motherboard's chipset (which usually also offers levels 0, 1, and concatenation.).

This is to say simply: It should work, NP.

In the past I did set up a single drive dual boot with Vista and OS X 10.5 IIRC, but hated the idea of only having one or the other OS available to me. Parallels was my answer. At the time Parallels didn't provide good exploitation of the installed graphic accelerator so for gaming I added a second drive just for Windows - for games. I don't play much tho so that didn't last long. It was an experiment: I tried it, it worked, the end. I'm stuck on Q3a Q4, and QuakeLive and those run on just about every platform known to man.

Again, just to summarize: It should work without a hitch but I don't personally like or use partitioned dual boot solutions.



On the issue of stability and reliability and the confusion that comes from reading here; I can totally empathize with you. About 10% of the folks here actually seem to know what they're talking about, 50% just kibitz opinions and hearsay, and the other 40% are like you, just trying to understand enough to get something done. That particular mix creates a lot of cross-chatter, hyperbole, and confuses those looking for REALISTIC or factual information. One of the main problems is that it's so difficult to know who among those offering answers and opinions are the in-the-know expirienced ten percenters and who are the winging-it fifty percenters - because they both post in similar styles "with authority". LOL

Some points about hardware and system reliability:

If you're a data center and running hundreds or thousands of drives then all the scary talk about RAID is something to consider and higher level multi-unit RAID configurations are preferable.

If you're offering services where up-time is of the upmost importance then the same thing applies.

If you're an individual user or a small content boutique then it's good to maybe know about these things but you can safely ignore all the scary talk. Maybe think of it like you have a 20,000 : 1 chance of experiencing a sudden catastrophic disk failure with a single drive and a 10,000 : 1 chance of the same happening to you with a RAID0 configuration. 99% or more of drive errors are small, virtually meaningless, and transparently recovered in both single drive and RAID configurations - AND - the vast majority of the ones that aren't are user recoverable. By the time we get to people who actually have troubles within these statistics we're talking about a VERY small fraction of 1%... Maybe something like 0.001% or less. Of those 80 or 90% could have avoided the trouble by taking simple well known system maintenance and precautionary measures. Such as: always replacing any drives with between 10 and 50 thousand hours of uptime (depending how hard you typically use them) errors or no, periodically checking them, using tools that actually work in order to do said checking, periodically performing a low-level format (which forces bad blocks to mapped to the drives internal bad-block list, diagnosing and repairing system issues which may be causing freezes or kernel panics (which can cause problems for drives when the system suddenly goes down on them), keeping your system running cool and internally clean, and so on. Here's an example of a tool that actually works when ALL others (and I do mean all other currently available commercial and free apps of the same type which run on OS X) do not:


Here's an example of a tool that works well at keeping your system running cool - no thanks to Apple's pitiful cooling profiles:


SMCFanControl: http://www.eidac.de


RAID1 while not as fast as RAID0 is actually safer than a single drive and something like RAID level 5 is actually MUCH much safer than a single drive!

Solid State drives are actually something like 10 times more reliable than rotational media. Therefor that tiny tiny fraction of one percent just got another zero added behind the decimal place...

HDDs today are on average and across the board more reliable and less prone to catastrophic failure than models offered say, two years ago. And the same thing can be said for the previous two years and the previous two years before that, and so on - probably all the way back to the first HDD ever which only lasted a month, was over a foot thick, and was never mass produced.

Last edited by Tesselator; Feb 19, 2013 at 11:34 AM.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 02:46 PM   #15
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Well, obviously I have 1/1,000th of the knowledge you have, giving the explanation you posted above

I am a single user, mostly for audio (Logic 9) and video rendering under OS-X and financial applications under Windows 7 x64 ultimate. So all these HD/SSD solutions are indeed confusing for me, even though I have some knowledge.

My idea will be having two separate SSDs (not one SSD with 2 partitions) where one will be OS-X and the other Windows 7. I will be using bootcamp, as I don't have to keep switching between those two environments all the time.

Then, having regular HDs on the remaining "drawers" for data.

Because I use Logic 9 and financial softwares, I have 2x 30" HP monitors at 2560x1600 and I will be using a nVidia GTX 285 "for mac".

My understanding is that this setup should be plenty (even more than I need) for these tasks, correct?

The velocity adapter is what I am leaning towards, as it keeps all 4 HD slots free. As long as I can bootcamp with them that is. I like the idea of sata 3 via PCIe - should be fast enough for my needs, hopefully reliable, although "hope" is something I don't like relying on.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 06:21 PM   #16
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My question is if you are not gaming, then why dual boot? I run dual SSDs, one for apps, the other for data. They copy to separate RAIDs for safety. I run Windows 7 Pro with Parallels, under my VM, I use AutoDesk Inventor (3-D CAD) and Quickbooks, it's fast and reliable.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 03:51 AM   #17
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I have to agree... "financial applications under Windows 7 x64 ultimate" doesn't sound like a good reason to set up a dual boot system to me either. Parallels will cover that for you offer you more convenience and cause you fewer headaches.

The Velocity looks nice. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2413654,00.asp and their array card looks pretty sweet too BTW. Heck if you wanted to you could even put that adapter I linked to inside that Velocity card and double up the number of drives it's capable of.

Is your configuration enough? Probably. It depends on what kind of audio I/O and editing you'll be doing tho - so it depends on that. For heavy-ish audio editing you typically want to max out your RAM and be reading an writing to the fastest RAID possible - like maybe a 4-drive RAID0 or that Velocity array card fully populated and configured in RAID0.

Last edited by Tesselator; Feb 20, 2013 at 04:22 AM.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 11:25 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
I have to agree... "financial applications under Windows 7 x64 ultimate" doesn't sound like a good reason to set up a dual boot system to me either. Parallels will cover that for you offer you more convenience and cause you fewer headaches.

The Velocity looks nice. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2413654,00.asp and their array card looks pretty sweet too BTW. Heck if you wanted to you could even put that adapter I linked to inside that Velocity card and double up the number of drives it's capable of.

Is your configuration enough? Probably. It depends on what kind of audio I/O and editing you'll be doing tho - so it depends on that. For heavy-ish audio editing you typically want to max out your RAM and be reading an writing to the fastest RAID possible - like maybe a 4-drive RAID0 or that Velocity array card fully populated and configured in RAID0.
I'm not talking about quicken and MS money. I'm a trader and use Ninja Trader and TradeStation. I have to use Windows running natively. The two 30" screens I have are mainly for the charts.

Under OS-X it's mostly for Logic 9 - 16 channels plus some other effect tracks. Some video rendering using final cut express (not pro).
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:12 PM   #19
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Yes that one will work fine. There isn't really a reason to go for the 840 Pro if you're a regular consumer. Consumer workloads aren't very IO intensive so you most likely wouldn't notice any difference between the two.
Updating the firmware on these drives, is it safe to use a sata to usb connector kit to flash them on Windows? rather than plugging them internally to do it.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:40 PM   #20
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Updating the firmware on these drives, is it safe to use a sata to usb connector kit to flash them on Windows? rather than plugging them internally to do it.
Yes, thats actually the best way in my experience.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 01:34 PM   #21
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Are you sure? because it looks like I have to connect it internally.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 01:53 PM   #22
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Are you sure? because it looks like I have to connect it internally.
You're right and things have changed..I do apologize
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 02:00 PM   #23
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Such a pain. It's always the same as well, never convenient. I know it doesn't sound much, but it's a pain to pull out the tower and pop both panels off for something so simple.

Edit: Priceless. Truly!
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 02:22 PM   #24
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Such a pain. It's always the same as well, never convenient. I know it doesn't sound much, but it's a pain to pull out the tower and pop both panels off for something so simple.
I agree, I've always updated before they go in and always with my trusty Icy Box USB to SATA connector.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 02:23 PM   #25
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Funny thing is, look above. Sods law.
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