256GB Samsung SSD for Macbook Unibody late 2008

Mdv2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 26, 2008
150
1
I've had my Macbook Unibody late 2008 since its very launch and have upgraded various parts over the years, e.g.:

-a new battery
-2 x 4GB DDR3 memory
-320GB 7200 RPM hard disk
-charger

Although it has crossed my mind to replace this machine, but it would only be a waste of money as it still functions well (although I'd love the battery to last longer than 3 hours).

The only problem left is a lack of hard disk space and therefore, I'm considering to buy a Samsung 256GB 840 SSD to be used in combination with my current 320GB hard disk (I know that macbook doesn't support SATA III, but should I decide to buy a new macbook in the future, this SSD will be migrated.)

I've got a few questions I would appreciate your feedback on. Firstly, the hard disk bay shows a SATA link speed of 3GB as well as a negotiated link speed of 3GB. Although the superdrive shows 3GB of link speed, it only has 1,5GB of negotiated link speed. What does this concretely mean for speed, can both the optical bay and the hard disk bay reach SATA II speed? Hence, if I decide to buy a SSD, should I put my hard disk or SSD in the super drive's optical bay?
 

mcnamaragio

macrumors newbie
Dec 25, 2012
8
0
Did you install samsung 840 in your Macbook?

Is the negotiated link speed 1.5Gb or 3.0?

Thanks in advance.
 

Mdv2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 26, 2008
150
1
The 830, because I have read in various reviews its better than the 840. I know, it sounds strange, but look it up.

The negotiated speed is 3.0.
 

paul-n

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2012
140
0
In such an older machine you won't feel any difference in usage between 840 and 830, just go for the cheaper drive.
 

mcnamaragio

macrumors newbie
Dec 25, 2012
8
0
In such an older machine you won't feel any difference in usage between 840 and 830, just go for the cheaper drive.
The problem is that not every ssd works well with this macbook. 840 is cheaper but I have not found any results about this ssd on this macbook.
 

Donia330i

macrumors regular
Jan 24, 2013
166
7
Bump! I'm also looking to add an SSD to this same machine. Which Samsung is the best? 830/840? Is anything else needed? Is there a certain model I would need to get? Thanks!
 

ekinnyc

macrumors regular
Dec 22, 2008
110
8
i was paging through reviews of the 840 on newegg and noticed that someone said that the SATAII connection cannot negotiate well with this drive, so OS X cannot format/write it over the SATAII connection. this person was using a late2011 macbook where the main interface is SATAIII but the superdrive interface is SATAII.... so i am wondering, just how well would a SATAIII SSD work in a late2008. i am thinking of making the same upgrade
 

Mdv2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 26, 2008
150
1
i was paging through reviews of the 840 on newegg and noticed that someone said that the SATAII connection cannot negotiate well with this drive, so OS X cannot format/write it over the SATAII connection. this person was using a late2011 macbook where the main interface is SATAIII but the superdrive interface is SATAII.... so i am wondering, just how well would a SATAIII SSD work in a late2008. i am thinking of making the same upgrade
I can't speak for the 840, but my late2008 provides full SATAII support for a SATAIII SSD.
 

ekinnyc

macrumors regular
Dec 22, 2008
110
8
guess ill be going with the 830
128GB for $115 on amazon thru a 3rd party retailer

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3454120&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=1

Drives for Macs

Sandforce-based drives are now recommended as the best option for Macs as of late 2012. This is because they offer the best I/O consistency of all consumer drives, and Anandtech found this to be very important to the user experience in Mountain Lion. Sandforce drives also suffer the least performance penalty from TRIM being disabled, though you should still enable it if you can. The Intel SSD 330 240GB is a good option, though it uses flash rated at 3K cycles instead of 5K (still enough for desktop use). The Mushkin Enhanced Chronos and Chronos Deluxe (or SanDisk Extreme) are also good options that are less expensive than the SSD 330, I'd prefer the Chronos Deluxe for Macs if possible. OWC makes Sandforce-based drives designed for Macs, but there's no reason to pay a premium unless you need a Mac-specific form-factor.Samsung 830s work well when TRIM is enabled, and are what Apple ships in their own systems, but don't offer the same I/O consistency as Sandforce-based drive. The Samsung 830 has been discontinued but you may be able to get good deals on clearance. Marvell-based drives are NOT recommended because they suffer without TRIM, but if TRIM is enabled the difference is small.
and here is something from page 115 of that thread

Apple used the nVidia MCP79 SATA controller chipset in all of their iMacs, MacBooks and MacBook Pros, from roughly 2008 to late 2009 models.

Evidently there is a long-standing negotiation issue between SandForce SF-22xx series and nVidia MCP79 controllers. SSDs that use the SF-2281 with default firmware will often default to a negotiated link speed of SATA I (1.5 Gb/sec) when connected to an MCP79 SATA controller.

This means if you have an older Mac in the aforementioned model range, you're getting cheated on some of that speed you'd normally be getting if the drive connected at SATA II (3 Gbps / sec).

To find out what chipset you have, go to About This Mac > More Info > System Report, then click on the words "Serial-ATA" in the left hand column. If you see the words "NVIDIA MCP79" anywhere in the right hand column after this, you have the chipset in question.

At the moment, OCZ (of all people), SanDisk, and OWC offer a Mac-centric fix for this, which is a custom firmware that locks the negotiation to SATA II speed only.

Note: the OCZ fix ONLY applies to "3" series Vertex, Agility, and Solid drives.

Intel probably won't issue a fix for their SandForce controlled SSDs, especially given all the fighting they've done with nVidia.

Patriot is telling PC people with MCP79 chipsets to replace their motherboards.

Samsung 840 Pro and Standard drives, even though they use their own proprietary MDX controller, are reported to not work right with nVidia MCP79 chipsets either.

I can personally confirm the Samsung 830 doesn't have this problem as I have one currently hooked into a Late 2009 MacBook which has the MCP79 chipset and it has a negotiated link speed of 3 Gbps.


So what SSD's will be bad for these older Macs?

Definitely Intel 330, 335 and 520 series SSDs as they use the SF-2281 and their forums have many posts asking Intel to do something about it already.

Patriot and Corsair, as they're still supposed to be working on it.


What SSD's should work in these older Macs?

Most of OWC's SSD line, as in the ones designated to work for these models, should work, despite being mostly SF-2281 based as they have already issued updated firmware.

Samsung 830's if you can find them.

Shipping SanDisk Extreme models as they have a firmware patch to force SATA II negotiation only.

Crucial M4's with at least 000F firmware.
 

ekinnyc

macrumors regular
Dec 22, 2008
110
8
one more thing OP... for the 830, did it fit right into the HDD bay of the macbook, or did you need to get some sort of mount? anandtech mentions that the drive is 7mm and is too small for 9.5mm enclosures?
 

Mdv2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 26, 2008
150
1
The 256gb is just a little more expensive... I think you'll regret buying only a 128gb after some time.

And yes, I bought an enclosure off eBay for about $10 from Hong Kong.
 

ekinnyc

macrumors regular
Dec 22, 2008
110
8
The 256gb is just a little more expensive... I think you'll regret buying only a 128gb after some time.

And yes, I bought an enclosure off eBay for about $10 from Hong Kong.
just to be sure... is the enclosure for the HDD bay, or are you talking about the optical drive enclosure
 

Mdv2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 26, 2008
150
1
just to be sure... is the enclosure for the HDD bay, or are you talking about the optical drive enclosure
My bad. Yes, it does fit perfectly in the HDD bay, but I bought an enclosure for the optical bay.
 

ekinnyc

macrumors regular
Dec 22, 2008
110
8
thanks

and lastly... is the SSD in the HDD slot, or did you put it in the optical bracket
 

ekinnyc

macrumors regular
Dec 22, 2008
110
8

Mdv2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 26, 2008
150
1
No issues at all. All my heat problems originate from the CPU.
 

Mdv2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 26, 2008
150
1
Good luck finding one - they don't make them anymore.
Yeah, I was waiting for the price to go down, thinking it would with the new one just being introduced, but since it didn't happen for a few weeks, I decided to buy it anyway. I was lucky cause quickly after it became substantially more expensive and it is now sold out pretty much everywhere.

Can't understand how they can make the 840 less capable though...
 

ekinnyc

macrumors regular
Dec 22, 2008
110
8
Good luck finding one - they don't make them anymore.
they dont, but theres still supply out there. i picked mine up from buydig for $120. yes, the 840/840 pro are around that same price, but compatibility was a factor, and in my mind the premium was worth it.

those interested, buydig has 128gb and 512 in stock. they are an authorized samsung retailer.
 

robvas

macrumors 68040
Mar 29, 2009
3,010
479
USA
Yeah, I was waiting for the price to go down, thinking it would with the new one just being introduced, but since it didn't happen for a few weeks, I decided to buy it anyway. I was lucky cause quickly after it became substantially more expensive and it is now sold out pretty much everywhere.

Can't understand how they can make the 840 less capable though...
It's a 'value' drive but it's still good. They have the 840 Pro as well.

If you didn't buy on Black Friday you probably missed out. I was looking for an SSD earlier and the deals are few and far between and all the 'old' drives aren't in stock anymore.
 

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