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Old Mar 19, 2010, 11:42 AM   #1
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OWC SSD or Intel

So I have MBP 15" Mid 2009, and I am looking to buy an SSD, I am considering the OWC because they say it won't degrade and offer a 5 year warranty, but others are still saying go with the Intel because of familiarity and it is better established, as of today what is the advice anyone can give, I'm not in a rush to buy one but I want it to last at least a couple of years for me to consider it money well spent
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 01:27 PM   #2
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The OWC one is just something else rebranded. If it does die/degrade within 5 years, new SSDs will have higher capacity and speed and a lower price, and replacing the one that degraded won't be very expensive for OWC. Intel is one of the best SSD manufacturers right now, but OWC sells good products (even if they don't manufacture them).
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 01:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
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The OWC one is just something else rebranded. If it does die/degrade within 5 years, new SSDs will have higher capacity and speed and a lower price, and replacing the one that degraded won't be very expensive for OWC. Intel is one of the best SSD manufacturers right now, but OWC sells good products (even if they don't manufacture them).
cheers for that, obviously no one has had an SSD very long, but has anyone seen a noticable drop in speeds say even after 1 year?
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 01:42 PM   #4
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I would go with Intel just from what I heard though if you can a better deal on one from OWC, do so.
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 01:53 PM   #5
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I don't know much about SSDs yet, but here's what I remember about why they slow down. When you get a SSD, it is empty and writes are fast. When you write to it it starts to fill up. When you erase something it doesn't actually erase it right away since that takes time, so instead it writes somewhere else. Eventually, all the bits will be bull even if the disk isn't that full. At that point, the SSD has to start erasing stuff before it can write something new, which takes extra time and slows it down a bit. Newer SSDs have TRIM suport, which lets them erase blocks when the are deleted in the OS (normally the disk doesn't know what's in use and what's not, only the OS knows by he file system). OS X doesn't have TRIM support yet, though.
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 02:39 PM   #6
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From the reviews I've read the intel G2 SSD is the one I'd go for especially considering the longevity.

Even without TRIM and considering long term use, the intel G2 SSD has a new algorithm that is very efficient along with bigger DRAM that read performance has only a degradation of 2% and 8% write speeds.
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 08:19 PM   #7
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I just found out OWC SSDs use a Sandforce controller, and they are supposed to be very good. They are similar to the OWC Vertex LE drives.
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/sho...spx?i=3751&p=1

The only problem that I can see is that Sandforce kind of came out of nowhere, and their controllers may not be proven yet in the long term. You should be good since it has a 5 year warranty, though.
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Old Mar 20, 2010, 05:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m85476585 View Post
I just found out OWC SSDs use a Sandforce controller, and they are supposed to be very good. They are similar to the OWC Vertex LE drives.
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/sho...spx?i=3751&p=1

The only problem that I can see is that Sandforce kind of came out of nowhere, and their controllers may not be proven yet in the long term. You should be good since it has a 5 year warranty, though.
thanks, i had dug up that article too, i think i may go with the OWC unless i can find the LE at a reasonable price in the UK
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Old Mar 20, 2010, 07:29 AM   #9
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ordered, not sure how many days it will take to reach the UK, but I'm looking forward to it now
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Old Mar 20, 2010, 12:41 PM   #10
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one question, from wot i have been reading on other forums, it is best to keep them empty (about 20% free) for best for performance...however as the drive is 128GB but 100 actual use is it ok to fill it up?
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Old Mar 20, 2010, 01:16 PM   #11
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Go intel.

Sure, the performance goes down as you get closer to maximum capacity. But, keeping at least 10gb free is enough.
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 02:27 PM   #12
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cancelled the OWC mercury and ordered a 160GB intel. I will be able to keep at least 60GB free, but what about degredation?
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 03:04 PM   #13
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Got a scorching deal on an Intel X-25M 80GB. I've been following these threads on SSD's for a while now, and couldn't say no.

Is there a guide on how to take your existing HD, copy over what's needed to the SSD, dump the user's folder on an existing HD and set that all up?

I'm sure I could figure it out on my own, but a guide is always helpful. Thanks
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 03:06 PM   #14
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do you mean clone the system?
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 06:16 PM   #15
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Yeah. I'll probably jusy copy over the users folder to another hdd, then delete it, then use disk utility to copy over what's left to the new SSD. Any special way you need to format an SSD?

I know for the home folder you have to goto advance options in users, and it's in there somewhere. I'm sure I can figure it out.

And of course, back up prior to doing anything.
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 06:18 PM   #16
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ugh, i don't know how long I can stare at my G2...got it for a pretty awesome price of $389 from Mwave last week, and it's just taunting me. I may have to throw it in my PC desktop. But I can tell it really wants to live in a new MBP with OS X on it...
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 07:58 PM   #17
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OWC or Intel SSD?

I've been struggling with this one myself, weighing the pros and cons of the OWC 100GB the Intel 80GB and the Intel 160GB, I even considered a OZC Vertex 128 for a while. In the end I went for the OWC despite finding some good prices on the Intel drives. I guess what swayed me in the end wasn't the performance as much as the data management and data protection of the Sandforce 1500. The performance is not that much better then the Intel but the idea of running the Intel without TRIM, at least until Apple catches up to Mr Softy, was a concern. I'm hopeful that the Sandforce data management offsets the lack of TRIM.

Another factor which pushed me towards the OWC SSD is my complete satisfaction with every dealing I've had with them. A few months ago I ordered the 8GB kit for my MBP. Performance bit flaky after installing the memory and a few runs in Memtest confirmed one of the sticks was bad. OWC next day aired me a new kit without hesitation. Funny thing about the whole memory thing is that spending $360 on a 4GB increase in memory came a lot easier for me then spending $400 on a hard drive despite the fact that everything I've read leads me to believe the gains I'll see from the SSD will blow the gains from the extra RAM out of the water. The only bummer is that the drive will not ship for another 19 days.
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 09:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by rickvanr View Post
Yeah. I'll probably jusy copy over the users folder to another hdd, then delete it, then use disk utility to copy over what's left to the new SSD. Any special way you need to format an SSD?

I know for the home folder you have to goto advance options in users, and it's in there somewhere. I'm sure I can figure it out.

And of course, back up prior to doing anything.
Format the SSD as Mac OS, Journaled with DiskUtility.

Use Carbon Copy Cloner to create a bootable clone on your X-25M. CCC allows you to deselect the data folders (music, pictures, documents, movies, desktop, etc.) from your user folder. Leave the library folder. The clone will be bootable. You can also use CCC to select only those same data folders beforehand to clone to another drive as well. That is exactly what I did here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=878721
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Old Aug 21, 2010, 08:53 PM   #19
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Personal SSD Experience I AM A SOLD SKEPTIC

I have a lengthy self taught background in PC but fairly new to MAC. I noticed my MBP has slowed a deal since I first bought it over a year ago. I started looking at the new machines with the i7 processors. Not to fix this but because the new processors came out and thought an overall faster machine would be cool. I'm a techno junky. I always like the shiny new stuff.

Let me step back a moment. In my job I wear several hats. I work in a small office for a large company. Up until recently our office had no tech support from IT. So over the years I have had to learn to keep the hardware, software, network wiring, server and switches running. I've built and repaired PCs. My job is actually more of general manager, accountant, bookkeeper, web designer, etc.

So with my multiple jobs I generally have a lot going on with my machine. For years I struggled with PCs, keeping them running. I finally switched to a Mac and I am SOOOO happy. I actually experienced my first near crash with the Mac last week. I had parallels running with several programs running in XP Pro, 2 term server sessions from within OSX and several other programs running in OSX. The system almost stopped responding. There was more going on at once than I've ever had and the laptop had not been restarted in days. Getting it shut down without just hitting the power button took some time. So I started looking into more powerful machines after this.

After some reading and research I went for a 120GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro with the external case for another $10. I put the SSD in the external case. Cloned my drive per instructions from youtube to the external SSD. Rebooted and held the alt key and booted from the external drive. Ran flawlesly so again used a you tube video to swap the OEM drive for the SSD drive. The kit I bought from OWC included all the tools needed. The whole process was so simple and easy I could not get over it!

I did some testing when the SSD was in the external USB case. Even in the USB case the drive was faster than the OEM 7200RPM drive. Once I got it in the laptop I was absolutely astounded at how quickly programs opened and how snappy the OS was.

About filling up the drive. I have about 114GB after format. After cloning I had about 10GB free and the drive is performing as stated above. I have nothing to complain about. I will probably move some stuff off to a server so I have a little breathing room.

Something else to keep in mind. I am not a tech, I am not trained. I learn by trial and error and doing. So my cloned drive was probably crapped up with mistakes I've made and software I've tinkered with or trialed. Even to spite myself the SSD drive smokes the OEM 7200rpm drive.

This was the most painless process for the amount of gain I've ever experienced. I plan to add one of these to my wifes laptop at some point and unless something bad happens or money prohibits I won't ever use a standard drive again.

I can't speak of the intel drives. After my experience here I probably won't bother trying an Intel drive. OWC was great to deal with. They were very professional and I am assured of Mac compatibility.

Oh I did not mention noise and heat. When I had the laptop apart there was a good deal of dust so I removed the fans for cleaning and also cleaned the metal heat sinks which are covered by the fans. My office is very quiet. So quiet I could hear the drive and fans running. I barely hear the fans, the drive not at all and the entire laptop is incredibly quiet.

I HIGHLY recommend that anyone looking to upgrade their laptop or purchase new consider the OWC SSD drives. If I needed lots of cheap space then I might consider another brand but I would be concerned about performance and ease of installation.
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Old Aug 21, 2010, 09:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
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The OWC one is just something else rebranded. If it does die/degrade within 5 years, new SSDs will have higher capacity and speed and a lower price, and replacing the one that degraded won't be very expensive for OWC. Intel is one of the best SSD manufacturers right now, but OWC sells good products (even if they don't manufacture them).
This is false. OWC have their own line of SSD's. They do not re-brand them. They have the fastest SSD's out there that I have seen.
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Old Sep 2, 2010, 03:39 PM   #21
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Thumbs up upgraded to OWC 120GB SSD

2009 MacBook Pro 2.8GHZ (with Express Card)
replaced the 320GB HD and did a clean install on the SSD.

Man, it flies. What an improvement. Definitely worth the money.

I also tried it in my 2006 Mac Pro as the startup and it made the system faster than when I added 16GB of RAM. Going to have to buy another for it.

Heat seems lower and battery life a bit longer on the MBP.
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