Best SSD for $/GB

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Boostin, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. Boostin macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Hey guys, very new to the forum. Im going to buy a 17" macbook pro (first mac) and have been reading a lot about the SSD's out and am interested in them. I would like at least a 128GB one but dont want to spend a forture. I am definitely not going to go through apple and pay the outrageous prices they are asking but just wondered if anyone knows or has an opinion on the best SSDs out there per $ spent. Also, how much faster then lets say the 320GB 7200rpm drive that you can BTO on apple site for the 17"? any opinions/facts or whatever would be great. THANKS. :)
  2. Intense macrumors regular

    Sep 18, 2008
    I am personally going to wait from upgrading to SSD for now. It is extremely tempting to ditch out $300+ for 128Gb SSD ... yet the 128Gb seems to becoming an obsolete number for a primary hard disk.

    I'll wait until i can get a 256 SSD in the range of $300 ... That's more reasonable in my books... that's just my take on it... i hope i didn't offend anyone
  3. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    Okay! Before I begin, please read up on the Pros/Cons of having an SSD. Just want you to understand that SSDs are somewhat in a "unstable" market, meaning they have not been tested throughly in real world situations, and things happen (i.e., data loss, slower speeds, and etc.) Anandtech is a good place to go. That said, look at the new information that came out a week ago from PC Perspective about the Intel SSD (X25-M and possibly the X25-E). Same news but on ArsTechnica.

    Just want to make sure you understand what you are getting into. SSDs are not as "predictable" like traditional HDDs, yet. If you are going to be using the MBP lightly (i.e., music, browsing, occasional Photoshop and/or movie editing), then by all means go for the SSD if you have the money. If you are going to be working the MBP really hard (i.e., intense movie/sound editing), then go for a 7200RPM drive. Read the last two links about "fragmentation" and you'll know why. Read speeds drop dramatically from 250MB/s to something around 20-10MB/s with an Intel SSD. Those slow speeds are what people are used to seeing with older large traditional HDDs. Other SSDs, supposedly, don't suffer from this. But those SSDs max out their reading at 80-100MB/s.

    There is so much information out there that I can't really put it on here. But what I will say is to limit your SSDs choices to Intel and anything with Samsung internals. That's my opinion and that is what I looked into before plunging for a 80GB Intel X25-M.

    Why just Intel and Samsung? The other controllers (i.e., Jmicron) suck. See Anandtech article.

    Pro: Fast and pretty cheap considering its SLC-like speed. Very few, if any, MLC SSDs even come close to its read speeds.
    Con: What makes it fast, makes it slow. Again, read the last two articles up there about "fragmentation." Luckily, this problem only shows up for those who are huge power users. For me, I do basic music, browsing, occasional Photoshop/Xcode and I have yet to see these problems.

    Pro: Faster than traditional HDDs. Somewhat inexpensive. Nice non-Jmicron controller.
    Con: Slower reading than the Intel SSD ~80-100MB/s vs 250MB/s.

    To find a Samsung SSD, look for those that look like a silver/aluminum casing. This Corsair 128GB is one of them. Pretty cheap too considering I paid double that for my Intel SSD last year.

    I know I went on and on, but let us know if there is anything else you want to know.

    UPDATE: I know this is off topic, but why is the link for the Corsair SSD linking to and redirects to Newegg? This is the link I placed: IS it something Macrumors is doing?
  4. Boostin thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Thank u very much for all the info. I really do appriciate all and any info I can get. What about brands like Titan, patriot and others. Also I keep seeing read/write speeds in the range of 75mb/s and 170mb/s. What does that actualy mean? And how does that compare to the 320gb 7200 rpm that u get in BTO MBP online from apple?

  5. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    A bunch of reviews say to stay away from brands with JMicron controllers due to sputtering. Those include the OCZ Core series, Patriot, Super Talent, and Silicon Power. Nothing wrong with the brands, just the controller has some issues. Also OCZ has one with Samsung parts, but it's pretty expensive. The G.Skill Titans, I believe, are decent since they use two controllers to temporary fix the JMicron issues. But I think some people are having problems with them in Windows.

    Those numbers mean that's how much data, theoretically speaking, it can read or write in a second. Compared to a 7200RPM drive, SSD is almost always be faster when it comes to reading. With writing, it can be a hit or miss. For laptops, an SSD will be faster when it comes to reading and writing. But for desktops, a SSD isn't much of a competition compared to a few drives in RAID.
  6. uicandrew macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2006
  7. oz33mgs macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2010
    Here is your answer...

    Ok so i just happened to be looking for the same thing as you and this forum popped up after i discovered (i think) what i was looking for. How about a little less than $2.00/Gb? has a few Kingstons at some really decent prices.
    Read/Write speeds are decently less than the average, but it's still SSD and I don't think I care. In my case, I don't think I would notice either.

    Kingston SSDNow V Series SNV425-S2BN
    $249.00 & free shipping
    Read @ 200Mb/sec
    Write @ 160Mb/sec
  8. seepel macrumors 6502


    Dec 22, 2009
    No one seems to have mentioned the Indilinx controllers. In my reading most sources say that these rival the Intel drives. I've also read that it is a good idea to stay away from the Samsung controllers, perhaps my information is a bit dated?

    Anyway, a great drive in my opinion is the OCZ Vertex, it has an Indilinx controller.
  9. atari1356 macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2004
    OWC sells an "Extreme Enterprise SSD" which is expensive, but they claim that it doesn't suffer the same speed degradation that other brand SSD's do (for 5 years).

    They have a video here showing boot/application load speed compared to a stock hard drive (and at the end they make the 5 year claim):

    UPDATE: here's a review that explains how the reliability is accomplished, and an article about the "SandForce" controller used
  10. wrxlvr macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2010
    Did you really just recommend a Samsung SSD? That's the only brand I'd steer clear of.

    Intel or OCZ if you want a good SSD.
  11. Gen macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2008
  12. Mr.Gadget macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2006
    Post Falls, ID
    How do the Macs set with TRIMM? I understand the advancements with TRIMM have solved most problems with these SSDs slowing down. I am going to go out on a limb and figure OSX has TRIMM support built in (at least with 10.x).
  13. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009

    osx does NOT have trim built in and there has been no word as to if they will include it in the near future. Indilux controllers are great at sequential read/write but not so great at random read write, Intel are much better at random and since random is more important it makes them better drives. That said the OWC drive kills the intel drive in benchmarks but it is more $$$ and the real life differance is probobly very minimal other than the OWC claims to not lose speed with time which is a benefit.
  14. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    It's still very much the "early adopter" phase for SSDs. Because of the price/size ratio, I wouldn't really recommend sticking in an SSD into a laptop if your budget limited, since you're making a big compromise on performance/space.

    The "best" drives out there right now are the Intel G2 SSD drives, and they cost $280 for 80GB and $460 for 160GB. Prices that you really want to think about spending a ton of dough on.

    At least for laptops, I won't be recommending SSDs for a good long while. Price/size ratio isn't really there yet, even with the benefits in performance. Desktop use is a bit easier to understand, but 40GB is $130, and the price is dropping in 1/2 every year. No reason to really spend $300+ when the slope for price drops is still pretty steep year to year.
  15. gfiz macrumors 6502


    Dec 18, 2009

    TRIM isn't supported, but there is another feature called "Garbage Collection" that is based on the controller, and runs independent of the OS. Most of the newer Indilinx controlled SSD's, and all of the new Sandforce controlled SSD's have it, and would work with a mac. But it doesn't perform the same function as TRIM.

    I'll be honest, despite reading dozens of articles over the last year, I'm still not entirely certain what the difference is, except to say that everyone one of those articles makes the distinction. Hopefully someone who understands this better than me can give a better explanation. While I love the Intel drives, I'm still struggling with if that's the way I'm going to go versus one of the drives that support garbage collection.

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