Early 2011 MBP + Crucial M4 512GB + Lion?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Steve's Barber, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. Steve's Barber macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2011
    Been waiting for SSD costs to get down to $1/GB. It ain't happening anytime soon. :D

    Scoured the forums. Have Crucial's SSD problems been rectified with their current firmware? (version 9 I believe). SATA III working ok on on early 2011's? Will I still need the Trim hack with Lion? It gets good reviews but there seems to be a lot of folks that get bad ones.

    I'm "this close" to ordering the 512GB model. $700 is "acceptable" for me (but not without a little grumbling).
  2. Quinoky macrumors regular


    Sep 18, 2011
    Groningen, Netherlands
    I have a 2.4GHz 15" MBP with a 256GB Crucial M4. Works absolutely brilliant, haven't noticed any performance or reliability issues whatsoever.
  3. jstahmann macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2011
    I have 3 MBPs -
    early 2011 13" 2.3Ghz i5/8 GB
    early 2011 15" 2.2Ghz i7/16GB
    late 2011 13" 2.8Ghz i7/8 GB

    I was running a Crucial M4 512 GB in the early 2011 13", and then moved it to the late 2011 13" and it's working great. I have one in my 15" MBP as well. These things scream with SSDs.

    I had to update both Crucial M4 512 GB drives with the latest firmware version 9 when installing them, but have had no issues with either drive. Go for it!
  4. DoctorOwl macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2009
    I bought one last week after researching a lot of forums and stories about it. As long as you put it in the HDD bay (not the optical bay), most users report you'll likely be fine with the current firmware; and they aren't using the TRIM hack

    Go buy one and become one of us. One of us, one of us ...
  5. Steve's Barber thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2011
    Yes, I've been reading that FW version 9 seems to do the trick.

    Well crap. Being the cheap, tight-assed bastard I am I'm actually looking for a reason NOT to get one. You guys are making this hard.
  6. azxr macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2011
    I will make it harder for you not get one. :D

    Early 15" 2.3 AG MBP purchased 2 months ago. Put in a 128GB M4 right from the start and no issues. I did not turn trim on. It is running firmware version 9.

    Actually I am going to order a 256GB version in the next couple of days and put this 128GB in another machine.
  7. chanc2 macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2011
    I have a M4 128GB (FW 009) in my early 2011 15" for about 3 months, it works perfect even with TRIM turned on.
  8. Steve's Barber thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2011
    Damn you. Damn you all!

    I just placed an order for the 512gb. I have 3 days to figure out how to tell the wife I needed this. (Or come up with some creative accounting).
  9. thefizzle657 macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2011
    I bought a 256GB M4 to put in my late 2011 17" and while it has only been a week or so since I've been using it I've had no issues and it is blazing fast. I had to try hard to justify the cost but it was definitely worth it. After researching it and other drives it came down to the M4 and Samsung and I chose the M4.
  10. Tony N. macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2011
    Man, why do you need 512GB? OS X is so small and light compared to Windows that I have plenty of space left even with my 96GB Kingston SSD.
  11. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    I'd highly recommend a 128GB or 256GB--at the most and utilizing a 7200RPM 750GB HDD in the OptiBay - plenty of space and still just as fast.
  12. Steve's Barber thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2011
    What makes you think everyone is just like you? :)

    I actually have a 1TB internal HDD right now. I edit tons of RAW photos and can have up to 100gb on hand for each project. Going "down" to a 500gb will be a challenge the way it is. But I have 4TB worth of externals so I'll just have to be selective when I offload.


    I edit photos. (A lot of RAW) and 256gb would be tight. The main reason I'm going to an SSD is so I can get them in and out of photoshop much faster.

    One day I might though. What external DVD reader/writer you guys using? (If any).
  13. dmk1974 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    I'm thinking about getting this M4 drive to replace my SATA II SSD (Kingston). What scores do you guys get with the M4 on DiskSpeedTest app? My Kingston gets 180 write and 205 read.
  14. rev.b macrumors regular


    May 1, 2009
    Crucial m4 128 Gb firmware 009 in a MBP 17" early 2011 (week 8!) with EFI 2.3, works just fine, even with TRIM enabled.


    I don't think you'll notice any difference on daily use from your Kingston, specially if you go with m4 128 Gb.
    Writes are around 180 Mb/s and reads near 500 Mb/s, as advertised.

    The m4 256 gb has faster writes.
  15. Steve's Barber thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2011
  16. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2011
    why do u need 3 macbook pros?
  17. azxr macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2011

    It seems as if the built in garbage collection works just fine, so I didn't think it was necessary to do the hack. However if I do start to notice any issues, I would consider enabling trim.
  18. jstahmann macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2011
    Work and personal use.
  19. miker2209 macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2010
    Just tell her " This thing makes my computer faster so less time on work and more time on u baby " she'll so buy it.
  20. Steve's Barber thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2011
    Ok, my Crucial M4 is installed. No issues. Came with Firmware version 9.

    Cloned to an external, booted from that external, and cloned right back to the SSD (After formatting the new drive of course). Quite painless.

    For anyone that gives a hoot... I got it from B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/768804-REG/Crucial_Technology_CT512M4SSD2_512GB_m4_SSD_2_5.html

    Best price I could find from a reputable dealer plus free shipping. These speeds are insane. Going to be hard to slum around with the "common" folk here still using those antiquated HDD's. :D

    Is Xbench still valid app to benchmark SSD read/write speeds?
  21. lildrew macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2011
    I am going to do a similar setup. Crucial M4 for main bay and a 7200 rpm HDD for Optibay. As a professional photographer all I really use for programs is Photoshop and Lightroom.

    Do I use the Crucial M4 as a boot drive or the HDD and why?
  22. uzzadnun, Nov 9, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011

    uzzadnun macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2011
    First time post... w00t! Be gentle.

    I've been lurking the forum for a bit. I've finally decided to bite the bullet and post because I can't get a consensus on the m4 TRIM issue.

    For the M4s, it appears that people are split between enabling TRIM and not enabling it because they're letting garbage collector do its thang.

    For those of you not enabling it, why not?

    For those of you enabling it, why go through the hassle, if garbage collector already does it in the M4?

    I appreciate any feedback.


    I've read numerous places that you want your boot drive in the M4 in the original HDD spot. Booting to the M4 because your apps/boot times will run much faster. Installing to the original HDD spot because the SDD in the optibay has issues (hibernation problems).

    The only issue with installing your HDD in the optibay is that you wont get SMS (movement sensor). From what I gather, I dont think that's much of an issue as long as your laptop is stable (keeping movement to a minimum) while running.

    disclosure: I haven't done any mods but plan to do the exact mod I've outlined. My opinions are from what I've read on the internets so take it with a grain of salt.
  23. Steve's Barber thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2011
    Ditto here. Semi-pro. Small world. (Or just a lot of photographers) :)

    I use it as the boot drive and I think you'll find most here do the same. Why? So Lion users like me can get on with life when I turn the machine on instead of watching that little grey spinning wheel.

    The main reason I wanted an SSD is for editing out of LightRoom into PhotoShop. Took ages to load a pic into PS from a 5400 RPM drive. (That time has now been cut by 90%).

    I figure 500GB will gives me plenty of room for at least 3-4 weddings with all my other crap so I'm not ready to go the Optibay route just yet. Besides, I want some portable storage so when I offload client projects so I can put them in a safer place (besides the inside of my macbook).
  24. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    There is no clear consensus on this issue because nobody knows what the long term effects of TRIM vs. no TRIM will be on these drives.

    If you use the hack you need to understand you are hacking a core system level kext file that may result in instability or data loss. Again, we just don't know. Many users run the hack without issue.

    Even if you do not use the hack, the worst that can possibly happen is at some point your WRITE SPEED ONLY could degrade. This is assuming the built in garbage collection does not work well.

    Even if that does happen, all you would need to do is enable the hack and start in single user mode then type "fsck -ffy" (without quotes) and it will TRIM all free space on the drive. Then remove the hack and your drive is back to like new performance.

    What I plan to do (Samsung 470 SSD) is not use the hack and check disk performance every few months and if I see a big drop in write speed, I will run the hack once as I described.

    So far I am not seeing forum posts from users reporting performance drops due to lack of TRIM, so I tend to think the whole issue is a little overblown. JMO
  25. thefizzle657 macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2011
    Great explanation. This is exactly why I decided not to enable TRIM. The kext that gets replaced when using the hack is apparently one that many other kexts rely on and thus in some cases causes system instability.

    I've read that others using both the C300 and M4 haven't experienced any slowdown after several months of relying only on the built-in GC. Anandtech's review of the drive basically says that the GC sucks, but the tests that are run on the drive are much more intense than any usage that someone might see in the real world and as such IMO don't carry much weight.

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