Best SSD to put in my Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by microcolt, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

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    #1
    I've been looking into getting a SSD for my late 2009 Mac Pro. I need something that's at least 256GB but what is the fastest and most reliable SSD for a Mac Pro? I don't want this thing failing on me in a month as I'm hoping to make this my primary drive.


    Thanks in advance for your help!

    Edit: Price is not a factor.
     
  2. macrumors 68030

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    #2
    The two brands that comes to mind in that size is corsair and crucial. Of course, intel is really good but I think they only go up to 160 GB.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Techhie

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    #3
    If you want a drive of that size with speed and reliability, you are going to pay for it. Corsair has several drives in that category, although all vendors are going to be over $600. link
     
  4. macrumors regular

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    #4
    Thanks, I will take this one into consideration.
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    ValSalva

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    #5
    My Crucial M225 256GB SSD was installed in August 2009. No slowdowns at all. Very fast and reliable. One other brand to consider is OWC. They have a nice line of their own branded SSDs.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    You may want to look at SSDs that sport the SandForce SF-1200 or SF-1500 controllers.
    These controllers have sort of a garbage collection algorithm integrated, which is really nice, especially since OS X doesn't support TRIM (yet). Brands using SandForce Controllers are, for example, OCZ, Mushkin and Corsair.
     
  7. macrumors regular

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    #7
    My new MP 4,1 was delivered Monday (to replace a dying MP 1,1). I added an OCZ Agility 2 240GB as the boot drive (using the SATA connections in the OD bay). It makes an incredible difference in the time from login to having all the startup items loaded and ready to go.

    {edit: Recent review/discussion about the Agility 2 can be found at Anandtech}

    As my wife refuses to every clean up her user files, I've moved the user home folders to a mechanical disk (WD caviar black) and only the OS lives on the SSD. Later this week I'll redo the SSD to create a bootcamp partition and move the Windows OS from a mechanical to the SSD too.

    The MP 4,1 with a 2.93 GHz quad core and 16 GB RAM is a very nice improvement on the MP 1,1 (which was 2.66 GHz and 7 GB).
     
  8. macrumors 603

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    #8
    Ahh... music to my ears! :D I would encourage you to consider running 2 Intel drives in RAID0 for the ultimate in performance and great capacity 2x160GB :D :eek: It will give you stunning random RW performance and amazing sequential speeds as well.

    I'm not too familiar with the latest Sandforce controller based drives, but prior to that Intel owned the game for its robust controller that could maintain top performance even when the drive had been used extensively... something lesser drives grappled with.

    No kidding! Esp. with an SSD. I'm curious BTW... what do you do that uses 16GB of RAM?
     
  9. macrumors regular

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    #9
    All 16? Nothing that I know of yet. I use Parallels to run a number of Windows applications when I'm too lazy to reboot and don't care about a slight (not noticeable) performance penalty. I use a number of Windows based video applications to merge my race video with data and then take the file into Final Cut to edit, enhance and turn into a home movie. I'll be switching from standard to HD video by the end of this year. So, I like to be able to allocate a big chunk of RAM to Parallels for it's use to ensure good performance. At 7 GB I was using it up between the OSX side and Parallels.

    Apple's 3 GB of RAM was not going to be enough and it was cheap enough to simply go to 16 instead of some intermediate and then the likely hassle of trying to add more later.
     
  10. macrumors 603

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    #10
    I see... did you consider 12GB?
     
  11. macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Intel SSD drive expensive
     
  12. macrumors regular

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    #12
    Not meaning to hijack the thread...

    VR... Do you have such a setup? If so, which MP, and what are your boot times?
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    Techhie

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    #13
    I thought that the full throughput for those drives couldn't be achieved without a PCI RAID card :confused:
     
  14. macrumors regular

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    #14
    Yes, but the price differential was not great and I figured with the cost of the workstation that the extra money to max it out with 4 GB modules was trivial ($150). Apple wanted $1850 for 16 GB and I paid $610. For the Apple price, I could have bought 32 GB using 8 GB modules and I knew I didn't need that much but I wanted more than the 8 GB from using 2 GB modules. So, for me, 16 GB was a nice compromise at a reasonable price.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I have the first SSD from OWC (200GB) and it's been flawless. Those bigger ones and the RE's look pretty nice!
     
  16. macrumors 603

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    #16
    Yes, I have three G1 X25-M running in RAID0 and read's are hitting the ICH limit. ;)

    Full details here... http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=841556

    EDIT: Boot times are pretty nice, but I wouldn't say it's in an eye blink or anything. I mean you have to keep in mind that a lot of the boot process is not necessarily disk constrained when you start factoring in network DHCP and USB device initialization and crap like that. If I unplug everything except a monitor, it is insane! :D


    Yeah, you can't be OWC for RAM upgrades. I've been considering bumping up to 12GB (3x4GB) to keep tri-channel operation. Anyway, 16GB should do you for awhile! :D
     
  17. macrumors regular

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    #17
    One day when I get time I'll try and run some tests to see if 3 modules vs. 4 makes any real difference in speed during use. I really doubt it. I considered the issue and decided to ignore it in favor of quantity instead of maybe a little speed.

    My boot speed is 30 seconds (chime to login screen) down from about 37 in the MP 1,1. The real benefit is the incredible decrease in time from login to being ready to run after all the startup items launch. It's incredibly fast (maybe 10x) and I'm only running a 'bare' SSD and not a RAID.
     
  18. macrumors regular

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    #18
    OCZ Collosus, say no more......that's whats working my OS on my Nehalem 2009 Mac Pro 2.26 x 2 dual processor 8-core.

    Fast like hell.
     
  19. macrumors regular

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    #19
    Can you quote some numbers please? I'm just trying to understand if what I have is compariable to others as it didn't really "wow" me like I thought it would. I'm running 2 of the gen2's in RAID0 in a MP1,1 and am very satisfied with the performance, just not the boot times.

    For comparison:

    Single 750GB seagate (stock) ~70 sec.
    2 1.5TB segates RAID 0 ~55 sec
    2 80 gB X25-M gen2. ~48 sec.

    This is from pushing the power button to login screen. It takes about 18 sec to get from the power button press to the gray Apple logo, which would be the point of handoff from the firmware to the OS.
     
  20. macrumors 603

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    #20

    Here are my boot times... with 3xG1's in RAID0

    Power button...
    to Bong = 9 seconds
    to Apple logo = 19 seconds
    to Desktop = 42 seconds

    I auto login.

    I assume the first two are the same for everyone.
     
  21. macrumors regular

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    #21
    It looks like my times are in line with yours. 42 sec for 3 ssd's, 48 sec for 2.

    Thanks much!
     
  22. macrumors regular

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    #22
    Well thanks for all the feedback and comments, but I decided to go with: http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4622486&CatId=5300
    Mainly because it was 574(with rebate) and I was able to buy it today(I'm an anxious bastard :D). My Mac Pro fly's now and I don't wait for anything anymore, the only bottle-neck on my computer is my internet speed ><.


    Although I do have one question, my boot time seems to not have decreased but stayed the same about if not gotten longer but after I get the spinner under the Apple logo I'm in like lighting. So, whats the deal? Whats my Mac waiting on?
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    That's about where the SSD takes over from the motherboard.
    Before that, the SSDs/HDDs aren't involved yet.
     
  24. macrumors regular

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    #24
    OCZ Collossus

    That's what is inside my Mac Pro 2009 8-core 2.26. I use the OCZ Collossus for my OS while I have conventional harddrives for the rest of the bays. 2 x 640 Western Digital black in raid 0 and another WD 1Tb black in bay 4.

    With the SSD my boot time is 14 seconds.

    Plus the original mac hitachi harddrive 640gb went into the extra optical bay for bootcamp with windows 7 ultimate.

    Im loving it.

    You will too.
     
  25. macrumors 603

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    #25
    The time before the spinner is all related to the firmware loading for various components in the system (main board and GPU, bootloader, etc.)

    As I mentioned above, boot times also depend on a number of non-disk related activity as well such as networking, device initialization and loading drivers, etc.

    Rest assured though, that any disk related activity is happening ALOT faster than before! :D
     

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