Best 128GB SSD for 2011 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by thrasherx, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. thrasherx macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
    I currently own a 96GB Kingston SSDNow V+100 but am looking for a slightly larger drive, preferrebly with SATAIII. I plan on having my OS, Applications, and Adobe Caches on the drive and obviously care about speed, but want to avoid fragmentation (either throuh garbage collection, or TRIM). This will be my main drive for as long as it lasts.

    There doesn't seem to be any one drive that is widely recommended. These seem to be the most popular options:

    $198 - Crucial m4: Looks like a winner. Enable TRIM or no?
    $279 - Intel 510: Mediocre performance, reliable, slightly expensive
    $210 - OCZ Vertex III: Questionable Sandforce reliability?
    $200 - OWC Mercury Extreme Pro: Questionable Sandforce reliability?
    $232 - Samsung 470: SATAII, but good.
    $??? - Samsung 870: Looks promising

    Will there be any perceivable speed differences between these? I know what the benchmarks say about each, but sometimes that doesn't translate to real world experience.
  2. thrasherx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
  3. APtalent macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2010
  4. thrasherx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
  5. 88 King macrumors 6502

    88 King

    Jun 18, 2011
    London, UK
    All those drives will have around the same performance for daily use, unless you want to do a lot of large file transfers, which seems unlikely due to the small drive capacity.

    The main question is which SSD controller you want to choose from, since this is a crucial component if you want to use the drive for a long time. Also there is a programme call Trim Enabler in the mac pro section which enables trim support on 3rd part SSD in OSX.

    Lastly, you may want to spend a bit more or choose a "slower" drive with large capacity. The extra space is useful if you want to install Bootcamp in the future.
  6. APtalent macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2010
    The SSD doesn't support trimming (as far as I know) and I've been hesitant to using a third party application to enable it. I've read that it may cause instabilities. I don't let it idle much either.

    I've had the SSD for about 6 months now; haven't noticed any slow downs.
  7. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    OWC uses Sandforce so it has great garbage collecting. You don't enable TRIM because you do not need it at all. No slow downs. Sandforce is known for this.
    The older 3G versions are quite stable compared to other manufacturers.
    The 6G SF-2281 versions are the ones that have slightly higher failure rates. I have 2 of them and have had no issues (6+ Months now) but others have.
    Apparently Samsung has onboard GC as well. Crucial and Intel need TRIM enabled to stay peppy. So scratch those if you do not want to use software to enable them.
  8. thrasherx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
    Right, but it has native garbage collection. Good to know. I have a Mercury Pro 3G and it's great.

    128GB should be enough, since I'm planning on eventually having a 6TB+ RAID 5. By the time I need more space, the drives will be a quarter the price :)

    I understand the garbage collection vs TRIM and don't care which I have so long as it works. There's a Lion TRIM enable that's done through terminal. Basically, it patches the kext that looks to see if you have an Apple SSD. I'm assuming that it should work well with modern TRIM drives, but need to research it.

    Thanks for your help everyone! The Crucial m4 looks like a good compromise of performance (SATAIII) and reliability (non-Sandforce for those who care).
  9. thrasherx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
    I think that I'll stick with the Kingston for the time being. SSD prices will keep dropping for the next few years while technology will improve and MTBF will increase. Thanks for the suggestions.
  10. Makaveli6103, Oct 14, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011

    Makaveli6103 macrumors 6502

    Jan 31, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    What about Corsair Force 3? But I am leaning towards the Crucial M4 or OWC when my iMac arrives next week.
  11. thrasherx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
    I don't know much about the Corsair model. I think either would be great. Once I see how hard the install is, I'll know how much I want to mess with the Sandforce controller. If it's not bad, then I'd consider a faster drive that I'd potentially have to replace. The Kingston V+100 has a similar/ the same Toshiba controller as the Apple SSDs.

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