Buying an SSD - go with Apple's or third party?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Doju, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Doju macrumors 68000

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    Jun 16, 2008
    #1
    I want an SSD for my 2011 15" MacBook Pro (haven't ordered it yet, I'm going to soon) and I'm having trouble deciding which SSD to get.

    It seems I have three options, an Apple SSD (reliable, native TRIM support, Lion preinstalled, etc.) a third party SATA II SSD (thinking of an Intel 320 160GB, but it lacks native TRIM support, Lion not installed on it, etc.) or a SATA III SSD (seemingly unreliable, no native TRIM support, etc.)

    Right now I'm leaning toward Apple's 128GB offering, as it's relatively cheap and it seems like the most reliable option. Lion preinstalled (this seems like a big deal as Apple doesn't include install disks anymore), native TRIM support, and it's Apple approved. It seems people say it's slower, but it's still pretty fast, right?

    What do you guys think? A third party SSD would seem nice but right now it seems like it's just not a reliable option.
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #2
    Sounds like you understand all the issues and have come to the correct conclusion that the OEM Apple SSD is the most stable and safest option. Unless you are regularly moving around VERY large data files on your SSD, you will not notice any difference between the SATA II OEM and the newer SATA III drives.
     
  3. rcuber macrumors newbie

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    Aug 11, 2011
    #3
    Same decision

    I decided to go worth the 256 apple ssd. I called owc and talked to their tech personally. They said that from the apple 3g drive it would not make a diffrence to their 3G drive. It's a 20-50 Meg diffrence and he said I would not be able to tell. From apples 3G to their 6g he said that there is a significant diffrence. He said in boot up I would notice if I counted the seconds every time. On something like working with incompressible data then it's a 25 percent diffrence. On opening applications he said I can't notice at all. It sounds like you willing be doing some intensive things but not anything that you need the supped for. I'm going Witt the apple ssd becuase of price if mind and that I will have no problems and if there is then I can go to my local apple store and get it fixed.
     
  4. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 1, 2011
    #4
    I thought the SATA III controller only worked on the 2011 13" MBP?

    You should just go with a SATA II drive and call it a day.
     
  5. timewarrior macrumors newbie

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    Jul 26, 2011
    #5
    Sata III controller only works for the MBP 13" Optibay. The disk connection is SATA III for all 2011 macs.
     
  6. Doju thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #6
    I was considering a SATA II drive but there's no native TRIM support for third party drives, and OS X Lion doesn't come installed on it so that's a little messy.

    Doesn't that make it seem like the Apple SSD is the best option?
     
  7. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

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    Jun 17, 2011
    #7
    Depends. I'd get an X-25 over Apple's Toshiba anyday. I'd get Samsung 470 over Apple's Toshiba anyday. Vertex 2/Agility 2? Not so much.

    Anyway, you can TRIM enable just about any supporting drive in Lion anyway. It takes all of 2 seconds.

    If you have anything cheaper than a high end 15, then the Apple SSD upgrade is not worth it.
     
  8. cl-user macrumors regular

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    Dec 16, 2009
    #8
    Does the same equation work for Mac Pros? Blowed if I can divine which SSD most suitable for 2009 Mac Pro.
     
  9. wikus macrumors 68000

    wikus

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    #9
    OS X has a bug that doesnt use TRIM in 3rd party SSDs.
     
  10. superfula macrumors 6502

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    #10
    It's not a bug.
     
  11. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Do you believe everything people tell you? Enjoy your life of ignorance.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Doju thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Jun 16, 2008
    #12
    I know there's a TRIM enabler you can get, but it's not native, right? I thought I read somewhere on MR someone was saying there's no real evidence that the enabler does anything or is that great a tool.
     
  13. treestar macrumors 6502

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    Feb 28, 2010
    #13
    Ok, I think you are getting some bad advice.

    1. There are issues with SATA III in the 15" and 17" MacBook Pros. You'll be safer with a SATA II drive.

    2. There are issues with SLC based drives. You'll be safer with MLC.

    3. The Apple SSDs aren't the best out there. A lot of people are actually returning their MacBook Airs because Apple is installing either Toshiba or Samsung drives and people say the Toshiba drives are very slow.

    4. Drives with TRIM support can work fine with the TRIM Support Enabler. Drives with Garbage Collection (OWC, Intel drives) could have problems with TRIM enabled. You should let those drives do their own thing. Still, it's a topic of experimentation.

    5. TRIM is not the end of the world! You can use Disk Utility to "Erase Free Space" periodically and it will have the same result as TRIM, which is writing zeroes over free sectors.

    7. There is a handful of things to optimize when picking an SSD: Write times, Read times, Power usage, Weight. You can't pick your pleasure by getting an Apple SSD. The most significant improvement you can make over an Apple SSD is speed.

    8. Apple's offerings are expensive. You can do much better replacing the drive yourself.

    9. If you want full Apple support, buy their SSD. If you want better specs, do your comparison shopping. There are reliable and better non-Apple SSDs and this community knows which they are.
     
  14. gldubzakjr macrumors member

    gldubzakjr

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    #14
    I have a mid-2010 15" MacBook Pro that has the 2.66GHz i7 processor and 8gig of Crucial memory and I have just upgraded to the Apple OEM (Toshiba) 256GB SSD hard drive and the speed is awesome compared to that of ANY standard hard drive. TRIM is supported by OS X 10.6.8 & 10.7 respectively; I have tested both. Go with the OEM, you're guarenteed everything will work and firmware updates will come straight from Apple as needed via the software updater. You can even find these drives on eBay for around $350.
     
  15. mediasorcerer macrumors regular

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    Oct 30, 2010
    #15
    kingston has just released a new hi performance ssd in 120/ 240 g formats,its as fast as the latest v-3 ,s and owc too,might be worth a look,
     
  16. Tim Red Beard macrumors newbie

    Tim Red Beard

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    #16
    2hvy4grvty, what drive are you currently using? I have the same system as you and I'm looking to buy an SSD and put my stock drive in a data doubler. Do you have a link to what drive you bought?

    How's it running? Thanks.

    TRB
     
  17. bb426 macrumors 6502

    bb426

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    California
    #17
    I have this one... works awesome with Bootcamp, but it hangs on me in Lion :mad:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1213115

    Just know before buying the HyperX (and actually, many other SATA III drives for the most part).
     
  18. awer25, Aug 16, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011

    awer25 macrumors 65816

    awer25

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    #18
    FWIW, many of use use SATA3 SSDs with no problems at all. I haven't had a single problem with my Vertex 3 and Sandforce drives don't really need TRIM anyway since they have their own internal garbage collection (and if it really bothered you and you use Bootcamp, just boot to Windows and let it sit idle overnight as it has TRIM for all SSDs).

    I'd say to go with a fast SATA3 drive, and if you're one of the 1% of people with a defective drive, just RMA it for another. You'll know right away if it's broken.

    Which 15" version are you getting btw? On the upgraded one, it's only $100 ($90 w/ student) to upgrade to the 128GB witch makes it a pretty good buy. For $200 on the base model, I'd go aftermarket.
     
  19. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

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    Jun 17, 2011
    #19
    Pretty straightforward by looking at the model number. It's a 128gb Crucial M4, FW 002.

    One thing to keep in mind when using SATA III drives with BOOTCAMP is that Apple by default boots Windows with IDE. You need an ACI hack to fully enable SATA III speeds, which I haven't done. Crystaldiskmark/Asssd both give me sequential read/write speaks of ~280mb. In OS X though, I hit 450+. And I'm far too lazy to do a complete reinstall of my windows partition, since I already removed my optical drive for an HDD... and you need the restore discs for drivers.

    @above: Newegg has on the orders of 25-30% RMA/DOA/whatever reviews for the Vertex 3. Compared to a Samsung 470... with about 3% negative.
     
  20. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #20
    Running Windows in Bootcamp is not going to do anything to TRIM the space on the OS X partition.

    To TRIM an SSD in Lion, just boot to single user mode and run the command "fsck -ffy" (without the quotes) and that will TRIM free space on the drive. For this to work though, the TRIM hack has to be enabled.
     
  21. bill-p macrumors 65816

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    Jul 23, 2011
    #21
    I would suggest going for an Apple solution as it's proven to work.

    Have a Macbook Air, and a Macbook Pro running an Intel SSD (X25-M 120GB in case you ask). The Air is substantially more responsive despite TRIM enabler, so I'm certain Apple does more to their SSDs than just enabling TRIM.

    And just to clarify, my Air runs a Toshiba SSD.
     
  22. awer25 macrumors 65816

    awer25

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    Apr 30, 2011
    #22
    Are you sure about that? I've read that TRIM in Windows works at the lowest level, meaning any sector that the drive deems needs deleting will be deleted regardless of how it's partitioned.
     
  23. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #23
    Yes I am sure. Windows is only going to TRIM the NTFS formatted volume and not an OS X HFS formatted volume/partition.
     
  24. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Take off your Apple glasses. X25 is a legendary drive.
     
  25. DWBurke811, Aug 16, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011

    DWBurke811 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    weight? what is there going to be between the lightest and heaviest drive, a few grams? i really doubt anyone is looking at weight when comparing drives.


    if you're ordering a new mac and it's $100 for a 128GB, it might be worth thinking about. i would always be thinking, "well, yeah the apple one is fast, but i wonder how fast a FAST ssd would be?" that's why i'm actually replacing my 256GB samsung 470(that my girlfriend "stole") with a 120GB Vertex 3 / OWC DataDoubler stuffed with a 5400RPM 1TB WD HDD. honestly, i know i would be okay just with the OCZ, but i want some room to keep BluRay .mkv's and FLAC audio on my laptop, rather than just NAS, for whatever reasons.
     

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