Best SSD for 2009 MacBook Pro right now in 2014?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by A4orce84, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. A4orce84, Jan 19, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014

    A4orce84 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I have a MacBook Pro 15" mid 2009 (uni-body). It is still a nice machine and it works flawlessly. It is a bit slow compared to newer Mac's, so I want to get an SSD and breathe some new life back into it.

    I've been reading about OWC, Crucial, and OCZ drives, but I'm a bit confused in terms of what are the best bang for the buck drives out there today? I have a secondary HD where my CD drive lived, where I store my media and music (OptiBay drive), so I'm probably only looking for a HD that is about 120-150GB range for OSX and system files.

    Questions:
    1. Is it possible to make a top 3 of the best 2014 SSD drives today?
    2. Which SATA revision should I be looking for? (I'm assuming not every SSD will work with my 2009 Macbook Pro).

    TIA!

    --Asif
     
  2. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    #2
    The 2009 and all subsequent SATA HDD machines use SATA3, but that's not that important as all versions are cross compatible. As for what's worth buying or generally good value, the Samsung 840 EVO is on the top of the heap as far as I know.

    I do however have some issues with the company itself (use of child labor, lots and lots of astroturfing, dangerous working conditions at their chip fabrication plants and actually running several cartels over the last few years to name a few) which is why I've tried to talk people into not buying their stuff.

    This should be worth going by as it's from a trusted source and only about a month old:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-recommendation-benchmark,3269-6.html
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #3
    The Samsung 840 EVO and the Crucial M500 are very popular here with forum members and both a are a good value. Usually the EVO is a bit cheaper.

    Honestly, for your usage this gets a bit like is a Chevy or Ford truck better. There is very little difference among consumer SSDs. I would just get what you can find the best price on.

    Any SSD you buy new now is going to be a SATA III interface. Your Macbook is a SATA II connection, so you won't get the full speed benefit if a SATA III SSD. However, SATA is backwards compatible, so any SATA III SSD will work in your SATA II Macbook.

    ----------

    OP's machine is SATA II (3Gbps), not SATA III (6Gbps). I suspect you meant OP's machine is 3Gbps, which would make it SATA II.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA
     
  4. teleromeo macrumors 65816

    teleromeo

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    #4
    I have a crucial 966 Gb in my 2009 17" unibody. Works great. I partitioned it not knowing exactly why and then a few weeks later mavericks became available for free. Be sure trim is enabled, I use trim enabler since my main Os doesn't support it.
     
  5. cheesyappleuser macrumors 6502a

    cheesyappleuser

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    #5
    The Samsung 840 EVO is one of the best you can get, and if I were to buy a SSD that would likely be my choice. The Crucial M500 is not as good, but a few dollars cheaper.
    If you're not on budget and you use your disk heavily the Samsung 840 Pro might be worth considering.
     
  6. A4orce84 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
  7. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #7
    Kingston is never an option if you want performance. They have a big retail network, but the performance is always just mediocre. I have a 840 EVO on my late-2009 white macbook and it works fine and fast.
     
  8. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #8
    I'd still vote for the Crucial M500 - why did that drop off your list in favour of the Kinston?
     
  9. ecschwarz macrumors 65816

    ecschwarz

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    #9
    I'd vote for Samsung - although I don't like some of their other divisions, their semiconductor unit is top-notch and manufacture the whole widget, as opposed to just chips and then using some generic controller. In fact, their 830 SSD (or something very close to it) was even used as an OEM drive in Apple products for awhile - Toshiba has been added to the mix more recently. I've installed an 840, 840 Pro, and 840 Evo in various machines and have been happy with the performance with both SATA II and SATA III-equipped MacBooks.

    My choice would be the 840 Evo - good performance and capacity for your money and they are often discounted. I picked up a 250GB one about a month ago for $150 (got Best Buy to price match an Amazon deal) and the 500GB can be had for as cheap as $280, although I'm not sure how long that will last:

    http://9to5toys.com/2014/01/17/sams...-5-sata-iii-internal-ssd-280-shipped-reg-480/
     
  10. Weaselboy, Jan 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014

    Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #10
    Samsung.

    The Kingston uses a Sandforce controller and I am not particularly a fan of their controllers. Just based on anecdotal reports here, they seem to have a high failure rate and are buggy. Also, Sandforce controllers don't handle incompressible data well. Did I mention I don't like Sandforce controllers. :)

    If the Kingston was way cheaper, it would probably be okay. But given they are the same price, I see not reason to choose the Kingston.
     
  11. cheesyappleuser macrumors 6502a

    cheesyappleuser

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    #11
    Samsung 840 EVO all the way. ;)
    As ecschwarz already said, some divisions of Samsung aren't really good (in my opinion their mainstream products suck, from TVs to smartphones) but SSDs are one thing they're the best at. That sums it up.
    Plus, if the Kingston has a Sandforce controller, I'd be wary, seen that those were known to cause issues a couple of years ago.
     
  12. A4orce84, Jan 26, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014

    A4orce84 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Thanks everyone! Just got my Samsung 840 EVO (120GB) HD yesterday, and installed it in my macbook. Just did a clean install of OSX Mavericks, and am in the middle of getting all my applications / settings back!

    So far, I like what I'm seeing in terms of performance...it's a big jump up in speed. =)

    Last question: What's the TRIM software everyone recommends for use with an SSD in OSX Mavericks?

    Thanks everyone for your time and help, it is greatly appreciated!

    --Asif
     
  13. ecschwarz macrumors 65816

    ecschwarz

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    #13
    Congrats and good luck with your new drive...I used Trim Enabler (the free version): http://www.groths.org/software/trimenabler/

    Keep in mind that you need it around since the TRIM "hack" could be broken with each 10.9.x update. I just have it ready to go when I do a system update

    As for other settings, you can actually turn those off with the Terminal if you'd rather not pay to use those functions in TRIM Enabler (you can read about each and how they play along with an SSD in TRIM Enabler):

    - Turn off Sudden Motion Sensor: sudo pmset -a sms 0
    - Turn off Sleep Image: sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
    - Turn off local Time Machine: sudo tmutil disablelocal
    -
     
  14. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #14
    I upgraded a friend's computer with a Samsung 840 EVO. It's faster than the interface supports, yet the computer is way faster than before. It's an excellent upgrade for anyone with an older computer.

    I'm glad to see you went for the 840 EVO. The PRO would have been kind of a waste.
     
  15. teleromeo macrumors 65816

    teleromeo

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    #15
    I'm not sure but I guess trim is supported in Mavericks. Have a look in your system profile before installing any trim enabler.
     
  16. Traverse macrumors 604

    Traverse

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    #16
    Did you disconnect the battery connector during installation?
     
  17. ecschwarz macrumors 65816

    ecschwarz

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    #17
    Others might have, but I've left it connected plenty of times through upgrades. If you're not careful, it's easy to damage the edges of the battery connector if you use too much force.
     
  18. alex0002 macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I think Samsung was running a special deal a week or two back. Right now, checking on amazon for the 240/250 GB class drives, there is a $20 difference in favour of the Crucial and even more difference on newegg.com.

    Perhaps it will change again next week. :)

    However I certainly agree with your other statement to avoid the Sandforce controller. Perhaps there was a time when these were a good option, but now even SSD makers like Sandisk that previously used Sandforce controllers, have switched to other controllers (Sandisk now use Marvell controllers).

    Regarding the battery connector, I didn't remove mine. If you don't remove it, make sure you remove your watch and anything else that could cause an electrical connection. Work in good light so that you can see what you are doing and be very careful.
     
  19. davys macrumors regular

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    #19
    Just this week I installed the Crucial 550M in my mid 2009 MacBook Pro and done a clean install. I had previously increased ram to 8GB. I appreciate what was said earlier in the thread about the 500 vs the 550, bit I couldn't be happier with the upgrade, it gives new life to the laptop. Whatever you choose, I think you'll be pleased with the results.
     
  20. joaopl macrumors newbie

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    Oct 20, 2014
    #20
    I was thinking of going the same route (500/500/mx100) but am concerned about one thing.
    Nowadays, all crucial SSDs are 6G, while the max negotiated speed in this macbook is 3 Gigabits. I know they are backwards compatible, but I've seen reports that some SSDs (crucial included) will default to 1.5 Gigabits rather than 3 Gigabits when paired with this macbook pro (5,3 mid 2009).
    The only way round this being to get a 3G SSD where you can find one, or lock the SSD's firmware to a 3G link (usually through a PC).
    Can anyone confirm this? It seems to be a particular problem of this specific macbook pro.

    Best,
    joao
     
  21. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #21
    The 2009 had problems with the old Crucial M4 at first and the early firmware of the M500 which was fixed with 03 firmware ages ago, near the start of the year. The Intel SATA controller also doesn't get on with certain Sandforce controllers on SSD's also.

    Absolutely no issues with the MX100 or M500 that I have found, they handshake down and run in SATA 2 300 mode fine.
     
  22. joaopl macrumors newbie

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    Oct 20, 2014
    #22
    Thanks Gav.
    Is it still recommended to disable HD sleep in prefs for garbage collection? I was thinking of a dual SSD/HD setup, and with the HD having to be in the optical drive bay where there is no motion detection, disabling sleep would probably be a bad idea when carrying the laptop around?
     
  23. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #23
    I wouldn't disable sleep, you need to run Trim enabler to get trim working and if you're worried can disable the saver overnight once every couple of months to let the OS do the garbage collection itself. Bear in mind trim enabler has to be re-enabled after ever OSX point and OS upgrade, and best to switch the trim enabler off when upgrading to Yosemite.

    Some HDD's have built in motion detection, think the HSGT 7k1000 does but that drive you have a change into SATA1 or 2 mode via an HSGT boot CD. Though I seem to be even replacing those same HDD's with SSD's more and more often now.
     
  24. joaopl macrumors newbie

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  25. SaturnX macrumors newbie

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    Feb 27, 2014
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    Canada
    #25
    Not to revive a a long lost thread - but I'm in the same boat, looking to upgrade my MBP 5,5 (mid-2009) to an SSD.

    Like @joaopl - I'm a little concerned over compatibility given all the issues with the mid-2009 MBP and HDD upgrades due to the link-speed. (I've currently got a Hitachi that I've forced to 1.5Gb/s).

    @A4orce84 / @davys - How have your drives been so far? None of the dreaded beach-balling/lock ups/freezes?

    Thanks!
     

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