Crucial m4 or OWC Mercury Pro 6g in MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kefaith, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. kefaith macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2012
    Hi, I have some queries I'd really like the answers to.

    I'll be getting the new 2012 15" high end MBP and will be maxing out on ram (16GB) and upgrading the CPU to the highest possible, whenever it comes out. I was wondering which SSD should I be getting. I have a 2011 imac with the 256gb ssd from apple, and I'm pretty happy with the speed of it, given its just a SATA 2 SSD. Therefore my only worry is compatibility / reliability with MBPs, since performance is not much of an issue to me. (I already find it really fast)

    So now I'm kinda leaning towards either the 256GB Crucial m4 or OWC's 240GB Pro 6g. I have done by research before asking for help and I know that OWC SSDs are Sandforce controllers while the Crucial m4 SSDs are Marvell controllers. So my question is:

    Which should I be getting so I wont be having problems regarding compatibility / reliability and / or beachballing / slow-downs, and stuff like that?

    By the way, I have no interest in SATA 2 drives because if so, I'll just get the 256GB from apple (cost not really an issue because I dont wanna be having possible issues with 3rd party SATA 2 drives)

    I'd appreciate any inputs you guys have regarding this! =)

    Thanks in advance!
  2. shanimal macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2011
    I have the M4 so i can tell you its a good drive (its been only a couple weeks since purchase but still.) personally, if i had the money, i would buy the samsung 830 only because i know the samsung brand and i have had good luck with there electronics in the past and present. not to say owc is by-any-means bad, just going of my personal experience.

    if you were only going to get the owc or the crucial, price isnt a factor, and if i didnt have any prior knowledge about Crucial or OWC (just went off reviews) then i would probably get the OWC due to the fact it has double the write speed of the M4. but, since price was a issue for me, i got the M4 and i couldnt be happier (well... i could, be not without spending A LOT more money.)

    I dont think you could go wrong with either of them. Someone with more expierence with OCW drives will surely chime in.

    PS. I like the storage in Crucial more. ei - 128, 256, and 512 instead of 120, 240, 480. i like the extra 8, 6, and 12gb for the OS.
  3. kefaith thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2012
    Thanks for the quick response! =)

    But what about issues with TRIM? OWC claims that their drives don't need / shouldn't be used with TRIM enabled. How about Crucial's m4? Do you use TRIM with your m4?

    I'm quite confused especially after reading tons of forums and reviews on all different SSDs the past few days.
  4. shanimal macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2011
    I hear ya. very confusing indeed, especially for the "average" user. I have TRIM enable on my M4 and i havent had any troubles with it. Real life perceptive performance with it off, so far, is non existent. at least for me it is.

    i have the TRIM Enabler app so i can turn it on and off at will. with it on i see a 10mb/s increase in read and write speeds; like i said, non existent difference to perceptual performance. I dont know about OWC, but if the website says dont use it then dont use it. i have heard read some articles and forum posts saying that TRIM and Garbage Collection can be used in cahoots with each other.

    I have not had any issues when TRIM is enabled, and i will continue to use it until i have a definitive reason not to. I dont believe it could hurt the M4 so i would still do it unless someone here knows for a fact the it messes the M4 up.
  5. negativzero macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2011
    Get the OWC SSD since you have said price isn't a factor.

    That said, I'm using the M4 myself and have no problems with it. As far as read speeds go the M4 is up there with the best drives on the market. The write speeds fall a little short though, but for me that wasn't too important since its not very often I do my audio encoding anyway.

    As far as trim goes, I'd do without it. Most Sata3 SSDs have excellent garbage collection anyway. Only turn it on when you find your SSD starting to get slow.
  6. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    I vote for the M4. Used it and it works great on a MBP. Besides the extra space on 256 vs 240 gb is an added plus.

    I will be looking to get another M4 once thunderbolt enclosures are available.
  7. kefaith thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2012
    Hmm but isn't the M4 a non-sandforce drive? I read in anandtech's forum that M4s are marvell controllers, not sandforce.

    I don't really get what you mean by "Only turn in on when you find your SSD starting to get slow".
    Does that mean that when I feel that its getting slow i turn in TRIM and leave it on? or do I turn it off eventually at some point?

    Also, how long have you been using your M4?

    If its more reliable than OWC's drives then I'll just get the M4 since the write speed increase from OWC is not really a big motivating factor for me to get it. Like i said i really rather a reliable SATA 3 drive than a super fast one.

    I hope more people chime in. :rolleyes:
  8. shanimal macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2011
    Yes, I believe the M4 has a Marvell controller instead of Sandforce. More than likely that is what he meant. SSDs WILL degrade over time, just like HDDs, so when/if you feel your SSD is slowing down (probably due to insufficient use of its "Garbage Collecting") then turn on TRIM. I couldnt definitively tell you if turning on TRIM for a certain period of time then turning it off is the way to go.
  9. negativzero macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2011
    Yes, the M4s are using Marvell controllers.

    Anyway the TRIM issue is kinda subjective, there are reports of people who don't use TRIM and have no problems with performance after months, while there are also people who have people who need TRIM to maintain the performance of their drives. This situation is not unique to Crucial but common to all SSD manufacturers. So my advice is use at own discretion. If you're like me, you don't need it. Your usage may be different from mine so you might need it, but I will never know.

    As for reliability. I can't comment on OWC, but my M4 has been great so far, since getting it last year.
  10. fisherking macrumors 603


    Jul 16, 2010
    ny somewhere
    i have the M4, and, after talking with tech support at crucial, i did NOT enable trim (they assured me the built-in garbage collection was sufficient).

    have had this in a new mbp since november, and could not be happier with it's performance...
  11. kefaith thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2012
    Well then when I eventually get hold of them I'll just see how it goes regarding enabling / disabling TRIM.

    Can't wait for the new MBPs tho. I hope they kill optical drives and do something more useful and relevant with that extra space!

    Anyway, anyone else with OWC drives in their MBPs, or did comparisons between the both care to share their views ?
  12. mikepro macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    In "real world" use and experience, I doubt you would really notice much difference in actually using your computer with Apple SSD, or an aftermarket. (And, you don't even know if they will still use Sata 2 drives in 2012 editions).

    So, if you want the ultimate hassle free experience, and price is now object, just get it straight from apple. It will be warrantied, supported, no need to reload OS, no hassles worrying about TRIM, etc....
  13. MOKHAN macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2011
    Toronto, Canada
    I can also vouch for the m4. Very good value, and excellent stability, for the price.
  14. Ant-honey macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2004
    I can only speak about the OWC drive. Mine is fast and trouble free and I've really put it through the ringer so far. 3 months of trouble free, fast read and write. No issues.
  15. Philthy84 macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010
    Not sure how much the OWC ssd cost but the 256GB M4 is on sale at for $290 with free shipping. That's the best price I've seen on it. I already own this same M4 and couldn't be happier with it in my 15" MBP. Crucial's customer support is great and quick to resolve issues with updates.
  16. sfoalex macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2001
    I too own the OWC Extreme Pro 480. Mine arrive November 15th, 2011 and has been zero trouble.
  17. i make movies macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2007
    I have the OWC Mercury Extreme PRO 6g 480 gig hard drive.

    Pardon my french, but all I can really say is it $*%&ing *screams*. It's an absolute beast of a drive.

    Also, it looks like they just had a price drop. I bought the 480 Gb for ~ $1079 a little over 2 months ago and it looks like it's going for $997.99 now.

    I also maxed out the memory to 16 gigs. I have the early 2011 17" 2.3 quad core i7. Programs load instantly. Boot times are almost nonexistent.

    I couldn't be happier. Yeah, it's ridiculously expensive. But I use this laptop for work and anywhere I can shave off a few seconds for offloading media saves me hours in the long run.

    ANd you better believe that whenever Apple releases the firmware update to fix the Sata3 problem of the optical bay, I'm buying another 480 6g and setting them up in a RAID0.....close to 1 tb with read/write speeds over 1 gb/sec in a can dream.
  18. sfoalex macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2001
    Very similar machine. Love it too. 15.4" 2.2 GHz i7 quad. Same memory and drive. It is indeed fast.
  19. IngerMan macrumors 65816


    Feb 21, 2011
    I spent $349.98 and I got the Crucial M4 256GB and 8 GB of Crucial Ram. Installed them today, very happy. NewEgg +1...
  20. Medic278 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2012
    New York
    Good call I have Cruical as well and love them its a great all round product and works flawlessly on my machine. Happy computing!

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