Another 3rd-party SSD Thread - Looking for information re: mid-2012 SSD's

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NMF, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. NMF macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #1
    Hey all. I know there are tons of threads about installing a third-party SSD in your MBP, but I can't seem to find answers to some specific questions pertaining to the more recent models of MBP. My questions are:

    1. TRIM. What's the deal with that? The thread from the Anandtech SSD guy says that TRIM is only supported in SSD's that ship from Apple. However, that post is almost a year old. Is that still the case? If so, is TRIM no longer needed or something? I see a bunch of people buying Samgsung 830's and Crucial M4's. Do those have some sort of garbage collection that negates the need for TRIM? I'm looking for real, in-depth concrete answers please.

    2. Location of the SSD. Optical bay caddy or location of the original mechanical hard drive? I'd prefer to put it in the optical bay caddy, but that raises some other questions. Will SATA 6G speeds be maximized? I have the recent 2012 model MBP (15"). If SATA 6G is available, does it depend on the caddy? Do I need to buy a specific SATA 6G caddy, or will any suffice? I can't seem to find any specifics listed in the caddies I see on eBay and Amazon. Finally, is it easy to set the MBP to boot from the optical bay SSD by default? I don't want to have to hold the option key every time I boot.


    I appreciate any help with these questions. I can't find the answers anywhere.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Sairo macrumors regular

    Sairo

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Almere
    #2
    I cant really answer question 1but as far as I know there are ways to activate trim by command lines. Please dont ask me how.

    The main HD is the one supporting Sata III. In the optibay it acts like Sata II.
    The caddy doesnt mather because you end up pluggin in your slimdrive connector.
    Just be sure you buy one of decent quality.

    From within the settings of your MacBook you can adjust which drive to boot first.
     
  3. NMF thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #3
    Oh... I thought OWC confirmed that in the 2012 models the optical connection acted as SATA III as well?
     
  4. DrJohnZoidberg macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    #4
    Most (all?) modern SSDs have some automated garbage-collection. Its effectiveness varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. It is possible for the average user to run an SSD on OS X without TRIM and not suffer unduly from performance degradation. Enabling TRIM on third-party drives is possible with a little command-line hack. It is worth enabling TRIM if you heavily use your SSD (lots of writes and erases to the drive). There is anecdotal evidence that some drives respond to better than others to OS Xs TRIM being enabled. Some complain of increased 'beach balling' when they've enabled TRIM. The Samsung 830 (which is basically what Apple use as their 'own brand' SSD in the Retina MBP) appears to have no issues with enabling TRIM.

    Sairo is working on outdated information. The 15" 2011 MBPs had an issue with the speed of ODD SATA bay. This appears not to be the case with the 15" 2012 MBPs. It is impossible to say - at this stage - if the issue has truly been resolved, but there have not yet been any reports of 2012 MBPs having this problem, so it looks promising. As you say, OWC have tested, and found the 15" MBP's ODD bay to work at full SATA III speeds.
     
  5. NMF thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #5
    Thanks a ton.

    So, as someone who does a fair bit of writing to his drive and doesn't care to deal with any maintenance or errors or troubleshooting (I want to install it once and never have to think about it again), my best bet would be to grab a Samgsung 830, install it to the optical bay, and enable TRIM. Right?
     
  6. RansomeW macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, Ca
    #6
    Another question then.

    Based on what I've read, I plan to leave the HD in its place and install the SSD in the OptiBay. My question relates to making the SSD the boot drive.

    After reading a bunch of how to's, I'm questioning the "current" best way to get the OS on the SSD and make it the boot drive. Do we really have to buy a copy of Lion and create a bootable thumb drive and then erase the hard drive or can we just have the OS on both drives and make the SSD the boot drive. I think for the simplicity, I wouldn't mind giving up a little HD space to have a second bootable drive on my system.

    Thanks.
     
  7. DrJohnZoidberg macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    #7
    Yes, probably. If - by some fluke of probability - it doesn't work in the ODD bay (and at this stage there's every reason to believe it will work), it will certainly work in the HDD bay (and the HDD could be move into the ODD bay).

    I'm sitting at a PC at the moment (so I can't check for certain), but you can have a copy of OS X on multiple drives and select the correct boot-disk in Disk Utilities (or something).

    If you have a newish MBP you can boot to recovery/internet-recovery (hold down 'command-R' at boot) and install Lion from there. No need for USB drives.
     
  8. NMF thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #8
    Excellent. I think I'll go that route for now. If I end up having to switch the drive locations that's fine. My main concern was TRIM.

    Also, does anyone know how the OWC 6G Pro SSD's stack up against the Samsung 830 and Crucial M4? I'm interested in the best performance possible (within reason with concern to price).
     
  9. Vampire5003 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    IMO I would put the SSD in HDD slot (so I get SATA 6) and put normal hard drive in optical bay. That should increase speed a bit. Oh and for the SSD brand debate, Crucial M4 are cheaper, reliable, inexpensive, and most of pretty fast for the price paid (it costs as much as 50% less). The Samsung 830 is what Apple uses for RMBP and it is one of the fastest SSD's out, but it will cost a bit more than the Crucial M4. Honestly, its going to end up being your decision, but if you have no budget or more to spend on the SSD then get the Samsung 830.


    PS: Newegg has SSD's on sale! Check them out!
     
  10. Sairo macrumors regular

    Sairo

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    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Almere
    #10
    And does this work by TRIM enabler or by command lines?
    Sorry for the outdated info gotta do my research better next time.
     
  11. NMF thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #11
    Does the type of caddy you buy have any relation to the speed your drive will operate at? For example, if I bought this caddy (recommended in a different thread) would my SSD be able to run at SATA III? If not, what is a good, inexpensive option that many have used? I'm reluctant to spend $50 on unless I absolutely have too.
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #12
    All three of those drives are pretty close in real world performance. You will see some test better than others in specific benchmark tests, but they are all so close you will not notice the difference.

    I would shop based on compatibility/reliability and price. In the main SSD thread there are pretty consistent recommendations for the Samsung 830 and Crucial M4. I see no compelling reason to pay more money for anything from OWC.

    ----------

    Either one since they are the same. All that enabler app is doing is running the terminal commands for you. Exact same end result.

    Don't obsess too much over TRIM. :) Let's just say worst case scenario and you have run your drive ragged a year from now to the point write speeds have slowed from no TRIM. All you need to do is enable the TRIM hack, boot to single user mode, and enter the command "fsck -fy" (without the quotes)... and presto all unused space on your drive is TRIM'd and as good as new.
     
  13. NMF thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #13
    Thanks. I think I'll enable TRIM anyway though, I really don't want to mess with this stuff at all after it's installed. If I wanted to constantly track and tinker with my machine I'd have bought a PC. :p That's why I'm leaning toward the Samsung 830; if it's the drive that Apple uses in the rMBP then it should work fine with TRIM and never give me any issues in OSX. I don't mind paying more for things to "just work" and require no further maintenance from me. I'm a Mac user after all!
     
  14. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
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    California
    #14
    That is a good drive and has been recommended in this thread by forum member Hellhammer. He writes very thorough SSD reviews for Anandtech and I value his opinion.
     

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