Best bang for buck SSD right now?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by daneoni, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I'm starting to reconsider the MBP i just ordered and i'm thinking maybe i should save money and just get an SSD instead and wait for a redesign before buying a new mac. My Core 2 Duo whilst starting to show it's age still handles 85% of what i do easy.

    I wanted to know what the best SSD is to buy right now. Ideally i want 160GB but i'm willing to go as low as 128GB. Also SATA III is not compulsory given that it seems to be a budding market right now and read/write speeds haven't exceeded 300-400MB/s

    Right now i'm looking at:

    1. OCZ 160GB Vertex 2 SSD
    2. Corsair Force Series 160GB SSD
    3. Crucial 128GB RealSSD C300 SSD (SATA III)
    4. Crucial 256GB RealSSD C300 SSD (SATA III)
    5. OCZ Vertex 2E 240GB 2.5" Sandforce SSD
    6. OCZ 200GB Vertex 2 MLC-Flash, 2.5" SSD

    I'm leaning towards either 1, 4 or 6.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #2
    The Sandforce based drives (OCZ Vertex 2) on your list will be the top performers and are priced very competitively with your other options. Its not much of a decision really.

    But, this is really a lousy time to buy a SSD. The Vertex 3 and Intel 510s are already shipping or going to be shipping in the next week or so. Those are all next generation drives that blow the ones you mentioned out of the water. Granted, you'd need Sata 6g to take advantage of the performance but if you have any plans to upgrade your MacBook in the next year or two that would be the smartest way to do it, I suspect.

    If not, grab a Vertex 2 and enjoy the heck out of it. They are fast drives!
     
  3. daneoni thread starter macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #3
    So it's better to just wait till SATA III drives saturate the market?
     
  4. Voondebah macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    #4
    From that list, I would also suggest vertex 2. I've heard that the crucial drives can have a problem with performance degradation on Macs because of the lack of TRIM and poor garbage collection.

    You could also look into Intel's drives. The numbers aren't as impressive, but they are still very good and will provide you the same benefit as far as launching applications goes. It's just the sequential writes that kinda suck, so transferring large files will not be as quick.

    I'm personally an intel fan because I have faith in their reliability more-so than sandforce-based controllers. I haven't heard of any issues with either really though, so it's just my own personal paranoia.
     
  5. HacKage macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    #5
    If you're going to spend on an SSD, I would wait until the Vortex 3 comes out and spend the little bit extra for the extra performance.
     
  6. nygfan80 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    PA
    #6
    Do the new MBP have the Sata 6G compatibility?
     
  7. HacKage macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    #7
    Yes, the latest MBP has SATA6G, although some threads are reporting some problems?
     
  8. daneoni thread starter macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #8
    So Vertex 2 now or even better wait for Vertex 3
     
  9. Voondebah macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    #9
    Or you could wait even longer and hope that prices drop when Intel releases it's g3 consumer ssd's at some point in the future! ;)
     
  10. auero macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    #10
    Ive had an OWC drive for a while now and highly recommend it.
     
  11. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #11
    I doubt you would really feel that much of a difference going from a vertex 2 to a 3 without SATA 3 there is hardly any difference. Biggest help with SSDs is still the low random access time and the jump from an HDD is tremendous. The difference between 280 and 500mb/s show only to result in a very small gain in most real world benches.
    But the older drives should drop a little in price once more of those next gen drives are out. That is what I would hope for if I were you.
     
  12. dagamer34 macrumors 65816

    dagamer34

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #12
    You will spend more time waiting for the Vertex 3 than you will probably ever save by picking a Vertex 3 over a Vertex 2. The jump from an HDD to an SSD is so noticeable that I'd advocate buying one right now for just about everyone except those that like to be on the bleeding edge.

    Sequential read performance is the only primary benefit of the Vertex 3 that you'll see when they are immediately available, and I'd argue that unless you're doing lots of file copying, it won't matter that much to you. Prices in theory should be cheaper, but the MSRP has them listed as $50 higher than street prices for the Vertex 2.

    The true benefit of any SSD is the decreased latency of random read speeds which goes from 6.9ms in a HDD to 0.1ms in an SSD. Those speeds aren't improving from one SSD generation to the next. Sustained random read performance like you see in benchmarks relates little to real-world performance, as you open up an app and have it loaded in 2 seconds, then it's the CPU takes over to do its job.

    Long story short, HDD -> SSD is a huge jump compared to Vertex 2 -> Vertex 3 for most consumer workloads.
     
  13. Thunder82 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #13
    I'm surprised there aren't any votes for the C300. Assuming you have a 6Gbps interface, it far outperforms the Vertex2 and any other 1st generation Sandforce drive. Check out the random read/write comparisons on Anandtech's recent Intel 510 review :

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4202/the-intel-ssd-510-review/4

    Also, can't get much better bang for your buck now, as the 256GB drive can be had for $460 on Newegg right now. (promo through 3/8)
     
  14. dagamer34 macrumors 65816

    dagamer34

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #14
    It's because the C300 doesn't have garbage collection because it isn't using a Sandforce controller. Until OS X Lion comes, performance will eventually slow down the fuller the drive gets.
     
  15. JasonH42 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #15
    Er, no actually, number 4 would be your top performer here. I've been running the C300 since release and it's excellent. If you have the 2011 MBP however the OCZ Vertex 3 is the one to watch.
     
  16. JasonH42 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #16
    Not true. My C300 is 80% full with much data rewritten daily and no slowdown whatsoever. Had it it since release, almost one year ago.
     
  17. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #17
    I continue to watch developments in this space also, and after seeing all the compatibility problems with just about every drive I will buy from the first manufacturer that makes a drive with a OS X firmware updater. If one exists yet, I am not aware of it.
     
  18. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #18
    thats what I'm running. :) More to the point, buying a last generation SSD now would be a bit foolish since Intel's are shipping already and the Vertex 3 are mere days away from availability. Since they are very close in price buy the new one and you'll be better off when the time comes to go to a Sata 6 compatible laptop. At least, thats my humble opinion.
     
  19. daneoni thread starter macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #19
    Guess i'll put the SSD purchase on ice for now and see how the transition from S2 to S3 unfolds. I just remembered that although Lion supports TRIM it only supports Apple OEM drives which are all S2.

    So in general it might be prudent to wait a few more months.
     
  20. laser71 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    #20
    For everyone recommending the Vertex 2, did you read about the 25nm vs 32nm fiasco? Apparently OCZ changed how they build their drives mid-cycle and the performance is now significantly slower for the drives. Do a Google search for tons of posts discussing it.
     
  21. daneoni thread starter macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
  22. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #22
    Hardly yes but Iops are through the roof and make no transfer distinction. If the drive lasts 3-5 years, you will most likely be getting a SATA lll upgrade anyway and now you get the bump in speed from 280/265 to 500/500. All for pretty much same price as current gen. I'm waiting. Makes no sense if everything is backward compatible anyway.
     
  23. maerz001 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #23
    German sites list the Vertex 3 to ship on 23th of march
     
  24. tasslehawf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #24
    Having just gone through a series of upgrades, (from a C2D to an i5 return to get the i7 quad), I would say my Optibay SSD is still the most noticeable speed upgrade. I wouldn't have even bought a new machine if I knew what I did now (and my wife didn't need a 'new' computer).

    I have the OWC Mercury and I love it.
     
  25. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    #25
    Your MBP can't take advantage of the newer faster drives coming out so buying current models would be fine.

    I saw this deal todaye;
    http://dealnews.com/Crucial-128-GB-...-Hard-Drive-for-205-free-shipping/440802.html
    SuperBiiz.com offers the Crucial 128GB Serial ATA Internal Solid State Disk (SSD) 2.5" Hard Drive, model no. CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1, for $234.99. Coupon code "LION3230" cuts it to $204.99. With free shipping, that's $1.60/GB, $35 under our August mention, and the lowest total price we could find by $26. This model features read speeds up to 355MBps and write speeds up to 140MBps. Coupon expires March 7.
    Brand: Crucial TechnologyModel Number: CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1

    I have no experience with this drive or SuperBiiz btw. Also check the manufacturers forum to see if people are having any issues with this drive.

     

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