Best SSD for MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kobyh15, Apr 25, 2011.


Which SSD would you choose for a MBP?

  1. OWC Mercury Extreme 6G

    24 vote(s)
  2. OWC Mercury Extreme (3 Gbps)

    8 vote(s)
  3. Crucial C300

    4 vote(s)
  4. Crucial M4

    18 vote(s)
  5. Intel 320 Series

    26 vote(s)
  6. Intel 510 Series

    10 vote(s)
  7. Intel X25-M G2

    4 vote(s)
  8. OCZ Vertex 3

    39 vote(s)
  9. OCZ Vertex 2

    11 vote(s)
  10. Other

    15 vote(s)
  1. kobyh15, Apr 25, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011

    kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    It seems like there have been many threads over which SSD is best for the MBP. I thought it would be practical to post a poll so that those that are thinking about purchasing a SSD can see a graphical representation of the thoughts of those on these forums regarding SSDs. I tried to post a good variety of the newer SSDs that are available for purchase. Take into account speed, compatibility, reliability, price/performance ratio, and overall ease of use/setup when voting. If you choose other, post which drive you are specifically referring to so that others may follow up with their own research. Hopefully this will be useful!
  2. dslrjunky macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2011
    you dont seem to account for the price:performance ratio?
  3. kobyh15 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    Thanks! Added your suggestion, very important aspect of deciding which SSD to buy.
  4. oButto macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2011
    This thing is really a tossup between whether you're lucky and your MBP runs SATA III w.o problems or not.
  5. kobyh15 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
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    Yeah I know. I have a 2011 13" and I'm tryingto figure out which way to go myself!
  6. C-DAWG macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2011
    I just installed a 120 gig OWC 6G sata III SSD. I did a fresh install, used time machine to get all the software back to where it was before the swap, then did a PRAM reset. Everything is running fantastic. I did a battery calibration yesterday evening and hibernation worked as well. I have yet to have a single issue with the drive (knock on wood). My boot time is 19 sec. I would recommend this drive.
  7. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    I bought the Intel 320 120GB based on reputation, and the absence of any compatibility issues. I knew any SSD I chose would be fast, and didn't figure that I'd see much of a difference between the moderately fast SSDs and the fastest SSDs. No issues at all. Everything is lightning fast. Boot up is between 17 and 18 seconds. I love it. But I'm not voting because I don't subscribe to the idea that there is a "best". What's best for me won't be best for everybody. So take my testimonial if you'd like to, but I'd caution against voting one particular model as "the best".
  8. tech324 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2010
    Will the new 2011 MBPs support most Sata III drives? I have a 13inch MBP 2011 and I am looking to get an SSD for it.
  9. kobyh15 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
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    Agreed. I thought that a pole would offer some who have some knowledge of SSDs to see a graphical representation of the views of those on this forum. I would greatly encourage testimonials from those that own any particular SSD. Thanks for your input. On the fence between the OWC 6G and the 320 myself.
  10. kobyh15 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
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    Yes they should in theory.
  11. NickZac, Apr 26, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011

    NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    I think most SSDs on the market are now overpriced and lesser than the previous generation SSDs that they are 'replacing'.

    Other than perhaps the Intel 510, the factory Toshiba is the best SSD longevity wise, as it will outlast all of the other drives on this vote.

    Too many people are putting too much emphasis on statistical speed. I am yet to see any test that shows noticeable speed differences between the factory Toshiba SSD and the Vertex3/OWC6.0 in real-world tasks. If you can load MS Word in 3 seconds with the factory SSD, and then can load it in 1.3 seconds with the 6.0 SSDs, have you saved enough time to stop for a coffee and doughnut? Hell, even the older Intel X-25, which is a dinosaur speed wise, is still fast...and it is a helluva lot better drive than the Vertex or OWC SSDs quality wise. How many programs and data files are going to run significantly faster than 200-300mbs to make the actual load and computation times worth the extra money for the inferior flash memory?

    And still, the issue that no maker has addressed (SEE bottom of this for a potential correction as this may have been addressed) is that the 20-some nm flash memory does not last nearly as long as the 34nm flash memory...furthermore, 20-some nm memory should be CHEAPER to produce, making the SSD cheaper. Why are we paying more for a hard drive that will fail sooner? Okay, so 2xnm flash will last about 60% as long as 34nm...well that is still a long time. With that said, the lesser life and cheaper production costs means that we will at least get SSDs that are cheaper and faster, right? WRONG.

    Perhaps my biggest issue is that companies have silently switched their memory over to the cheaper 20-some nm, and instead of posting this have simply listed their memory type as "Premium NAND", "High Speed MLC NAND" and crap like that. They used to say "34nm MLC NAND"...they no longer specify anything memory type/size wise; this only further questions how inferior their current flash memory may be or is to what they previously used. Furthermore, you may be surprised once you see the speed differences of 34nm versus 2xnm. They aren't very all.

    Crucial now lists their drive's memory as "high-speed synchronous MLC NAND". Now, Crucial's spec sheet says:

    I'm not a Vertex fan, but it is nice than they are one of the companies that have at least identified that differences in 34nm and 25nm flash memory does exist, and subsequently have posted specs on both of them. I assume they will soon make it 25nm only given this seems to be what other manufacturers are just doing without even alerting customers.
    The Vertex 2 is now available with 25nm flash memory...

    AND, the Vertex 2 25nm is SLOWER than the 34nm Vertex 2
    Once again, at least they publish this.

    I LOVED my 34nm Mercury Extreme Pro and feel that it was one of the best SSDs made. I did not want the 6.0 due to the memory used so I was going to purchase a large SATAII/3.0 model. It's changed. Notice that the sizes of OWC's SATAII Mercury Extreme Pro is now SMALLER than it was before. They no longer use 34nm flash memory on their drives anymore. They now use
    A few months ago, a test and opinion was made on OCZ's choice of flash memory, but now they don't even tell you what type of memory they are using themselves...Awesome! Also, their listing for the drive, tests, comparisons, and specs have all been left the same. Do you think that the updated drive now runs at the EXACT same speed as its 34nm counterpart? I am a little skeptical that this drive will run the exact specs given that every other 2x nm SSD runs at a considerably different speed than their 34nm counters. They never announced this change... Even if it runs the exact same speed and lasts just as long, not disclosing information on their own flash memory is IMO frustrating.

    Edit: Ultimately, I am curious as to why makers have stopped disclosing this information.

    So if you get a MBP, you can go from a standard HDD to a 120 SSD, that uses 34nm flash memory, for 100 would be crazy not to.

    EDIT: I may be completely wrong:
    I've read literature on this but if that is the case, this is a mute point.

    EDIT EDIT: Also See

    OWC's 25nm drive was not reported to run as quickly as the 34nm one
  12. kobyh15 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    That's a lot of good information NickZac. Thanks!
  13. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    The life of the SSD of 2x versus 34nm seems to be questionable and a marginal difference given flash memory's durability. Even if the lesser life is not an issue, I have a huge problem with companies that start selling 25nm SSDs in SSDs that were traditionally 34nm without any type of notice and especially at the same price as their 34nm drives, because they are 1) cheaper to produce, and 2) currently slower in most SATAII drives than 34nm.

    If life is not improved, which it obviously isn't (whether it dies sooner than 34nm or not is irrelevant as it surely does not last longer), and speeds aren't improved, which they obviously aren't for SATAII drives, and the memory is cheaper to produce, than why the hell are the prices for SATA3 drives higher?!?!?! Stick with the Toshiba used in the Apple, at least until prices on SATA3 drives decrease as they should.
  14. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    i personally love my OWC 120GB SSD Sata-2 34nm NAND flash - awesome drive

    As for all those harping on about the reliability of the intel drives - yes the x-25 seemed to be a robust and reliable, however the 510 was riddled with incompatibility issues! As for the 320 series is far to early to tell if the reliability is comparabile to previous intel models.

    Finally, the so-called reliability of intel drives, was based on a single French study; how big is the French SSD market - and companies like OWC were not included - i am sorry, however as someone who looks at clinical studies and evidence based medicine - that study everyone seems to quote lack credibility - a large sample for e.g SSD failure rates in the USA or pan-Europe would be more credible IMO
  15. Jiten macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    Thank you NickZac, that was a very informative post. Learned a thing or two about SSDs. Thanks to you, I'm doubly glad I went for the default factory 120 gb on my MBP. I'll probably end up adding a 300gb 320 Intel (based on its reputation on reliability) as my optibay drive.
  16. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    I did not even know a French study existed on this topic. I have advocated the Intel drives as being the top of reliable based on customer reviews. And yes, the 34nm OWC is a great drive as I owned one myself and found it to be better than perfect...but OWC is too small to individually consider either way due to a smaller sample size of reviews when compared to other SSD makers. The only way to estimate the reliability of the OWC is to base it off of other drives driven by the SandForce 1200, unless you can find a substantial sample of reviews. Perhaps it is more reliable than other SF driven drives, but many of the statistics that OWC uses themselves are based off of SandForce's published statistics.

    Furthermore, OWC's newer 2xnm drive is reported to be slower, so now the reviews will be clouded and will likely reflect the SSD in a more negative light than it should be considered in.

    I try to keep up with what is modern, but with quick development and some conflicting views, I am probably off on some of this and wiser members will chime in sooner or later, so don't take everything I say too seriously. Also, it is always possible that a study will be published that shows something to be the complete opposite of the dominant viewpoint.
  17. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I completely agree with you on this one Nick. OWC swapped from 34nm to 25nm NAND on their Mercury Extreme Pro SSD without changing the product name or posting the spec change on their web site. Everybody went nuts when OCZ did this, but seem willing to give OWC a free pass? Not a very consumer friendly way to operate a company in my view.

    Below is the SSD reliability study from this Anandtech article. The study may be imperfect, but is is all we have at this point and has not been disputed by anybody in the industry. I would not just dismiss the study. You should read the Anand article.

  18. maclaptop macrumors 65816


    Apr 8, 2011
    Western Hemisphere
    Far too many get caught up in specs without the knowledge to know what's what.

    Study, then decide.

    My experience, having tried several, reveals Vertex 3 my favorite for both my MBP's & ThinkPads.
  19. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    I like(d) OWC but their method regarding this is IMHO sneaky and hypocritical, especially since they criticized the NAND flash memory used by OCZ, but they are not even disclosing the specs of their own flash. Furthermore, the people that have been using OWC's 2? nm Pro SSDs feel that they are indeed slower, and looking at the speed decreases seen in the 25nm Vertex 2 (which is probably the closest drive design wise to OWC), it makes a pretty strong argument that the current OWC is not as fast as it is advertised to be. I am very curious to see some speed tests as more people purchase them. As a customer, I find the way that this conversion to newer memory types was handled to be somewhat discouraging.
  20. kobyh15 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    Thought I would update this thread with my personal choice. Voted with my wallet and ordered an Intel 320 300 GB today for my first SSD. I was kind of sketched out over the offerings from OCZ and OWC right now, and the 320 offered the best price/performance/capacity sweet spot for me. I am a student and needed reliability, compatibility, and low power consumption over sheer speed and performance. I'm not a power user and in all honesty probably wouldn't even be able to tell the difference between SATA II and SATA III in my normal use. You just have to take a look at the options and choose what is best for you personally, don't get sucked into all the hype of the advertised speeds and what not.
  21. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    There are now two separate categories of SSD's. The new 6gb/s bus has now made the choices for the new 2011 Macbooks limited and somewhat problematic.
    IMO it makes no sense to buy a SATA 2 card for the new machines as it's not exactly future-proofing your purchase.

    THe problem is that out of the very limited choices for the 6gb/s cards, two of them have shown major issues (The Intel 510 and the Crucial M4, both with the same controller). The M4 is so new, that there's nothing to go on.

    As for the older machines and the SATA 2 bus that has been pretty much covered.

    I have the Vertex 3 250GB in my machine and it's nice. But it's new.
  22. kobyh15 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    I think it all depends on your usage. If you don't move large files around on a regular basis how is the 500 MB/s sequential reads and writes going to help you at all? Why would I pay a price premium for a new technology that has been problematic when I can buy a proven product that will literally give me the same user experience based on my usage model? I think future proofing is way overblown, buy what you need based on how you use the computer.
  23. pedrofan macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2008
    I have a 240gb OCZ VERTEX 3 in the main sata port, and a 480gb mercury pro in the optibay. Both goes perfect and incredibly fast. I think that any sandforce controlled SSD are the best for mac, as they don't need trim and have incredible speeds.

    These are the best SSDs for mac ever:

    OCZ VERTEX 2 Sata II

    OWC mercury pro 6G sata III
    OWC mercury PRO sata II
  24. Snesley Wipes macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2009
    How come no one is a fan of the new Crucial M4's? Crucial is a solid company and the price seems appropriate.

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