*Gasp* I'm downgrading from SSD back to HDD.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by daneoni, May 24, 2011.

  1. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    I'm probably a rare case here and reasons for my action slightly differ but...i'm returning my 240GB Vertex 3 tomorrow and going back to my Hitachi 7200. The V3 was redonkulously fast and gave me zero issues whilst using it i loved it but at the same time i couldn't shake an unsettling feeling which was "You're on a suicide mission"

    Three things put me off;

    1. Lack of FW update support in OS X.- This turned out to really bug me...more than i ever thought it would. Probably because i spent over 9hrs! this weekend trying to update my FW and ultimately failed. SATA3 drives are still experimental and therefore FW updates IMO are important and will have a big say on longevity. I shouldn't have to get a Win 7 system just because i want to update the FW of what is meant to be cross-platform hardware. "Ok then get Intel/Crucial which are OS-independent for updates" right? Intel is even more expensive than the OCZ ruling it out for me. As for Crucial, well...

    2. Lack of official TRIM support for 3rd party drives in OS X. Some drives (arguably all drives) need TRIM support and OS X has yet to deliver nor do i see a clear light at the end of the tunnel. Crucial drives have been known to significantly lose write performance with time in setups without TRIM i.e. there is a strong probably the drive will slow down later on if you're not using TRIM because of delayed GC.

    3. Unproven switch to 2x NAND On paper there shouldn't be any problem but in the real world no one knows what will happen nor do i feel like being a guinea pig...especially in the absence of points 1 & 2.

    When i consider that i am plonking down $600+ for; uncertainty, inconvenience and the dearth of OS support for fundamental features, i begin to wonder if the raw speed boost is really worth the drawbacks/sacrifices/premium price. For me, not right now. Yes there's a lot of hotness but there's also too much craziness for me. Hence i'm going back to the girl next door.

    So the drive is going back and i'll check back again in a few months and see what my options are then. Too bad...i really loved Speedy Gonzales (i named him) but alas i can't keep him
  2. LeeTom macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    Don't do it! By simply doing nothing, you will get all the benefit of the SSD without any of the hassle. Just run Time Machine backups.

    Don't update the firmware.

    Coming in Lion.

    This is a theoretical problem with no empirical evidence. (translation: in your head)
  3. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    OK, I'm totally confused. The drive was "redonkulously fast and gave [you] zero issues" -- so, why do you need to do an FW update ?! Usually one does such updates to solve a problem.

    This will be a problem eventually, but, since you already have the drive... Maybe Lion will appear before it seriously impacts you?

    We're all guinea pigs for lots of technology. Why pick on this? Just do your backups.

    You worry too much. Hard drives suffer infant mortality. GPU's sometimes turn out to be failure-prone. The world might end on October 21st. Why not relax and enjoy the speed of your drive?
  4. gorskiegangsta macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2011
    Brooklyn, NY
    To the OP:

    1. Unless the drive is giving you problems or is outdated to the point of being unusable, you won't need to update the FW. Most SSDs already have good to excellent compatibility with various hardware.

    2. Valid point, although it is coming in Lion in, presumably, a couple of months.

    3. This is theoretically correct, but only theoretically. In practice, most users (even power users) won't get affected by supposed reduced lifespan and reliability of 2x nm NAND chips.
  5. jimbo1mcm macrumors 68000

    Mar 21, 2010
    Not a bad idea to return it

    Maybe things will settle down in 6 months. And yes, they are experimental and early adopters will pay the price. I am using a Samsung 470 SSD which has been around for a while and the Trim hack appears to be working properly. It is only 3GB, but for what I use it for, it seems to be working nicely.
  6. daneoni thread starter macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Not a solution for me.

    For third party drives or just Apple drives as is the situation currently in Snow Leopard

    The new update improves performance and reduces power draw.

    Again is Lion bringing support for third party drives or just Apple drives as is the situation currently in Snow Leopard

    I thought about getting a SATA II drive but i know i'll just keep wanting a SATA3...especially after having been expose to the Vertex 3.
  7. Ladybug macrumors 65832


    Apr 13, 2006
    Don't let anyone make you feel bad about your decision, you tried it and were not completely happy and that's that. One size does not always fit all. You can always upgrade later. Best of luck to you.
  8. daneoni thread starter macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
  9. rikscha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2010
    you are absolutely right, if I am spending 600 $,£,€ on a hard drive, I expect it to be perfect without any issues. I understand all the counter arguments but for this kind of money considering that I can get a drive for considerably less money without any issues you definitely have a point. Considering that in half a years time you will know for sure about Lion, there is no point of getting it now. I think it is legit to simply wait half a year. It is not that much of time.
  10. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    You're not downgrading at all.

    In fact you will be upgrading your storage capability.

    I recall when people want LARGER CAPACITY drives, cried, whined, and begged for them.

    Now those people are falling all over themselves to get the tiniest of drives because the boot 15 seconds faster.

    Oh my, 15 seconds faster.

    SSD's are truly overrated.

    The only thing you'll be giving up is your " Bragging Rights ".
  11. beosound3200 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2010
    why doesnt anyone here want their computer to be fast? i aint talking about boot, who boots anyway? but app opening, its like on the iphone, to buy a computer that costs a couple of thousands of dollars and then wait half a min for it to load photoshop, hell even iphoto and itunes, seconds arent important, user experience is what matters. how many times have you heard that android is no good cause it lags, its the same thing with computers, the goal is to make everything instant, just like iphone, wouldnt you agree? :)
  12. Ladybug macrumors 65832


    Apr 13, 2006
    I don't think anyone here is against speed. It's more a price and reliability issue more than anything. I will get a large Ssd when prices come down and some of the kinks are worked out. So for me, it's just a longer wait.
  13. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    True one size doesn't fit all but his reasons are downright ridiculous.
    If one really wants the latest and best a little hassle with a FW upgrade that you might do once if at all in the lifetime of the drive shouldn't put you off. Everybody has friends with a Windows 7 Desktop. Visit them open the damn thing while it is running. Plug-in the SSD, update the FW and be done with it. It is a process that takes 30 mins out of your beer drinking evening at your friends house.
    25nm is neither an empirical issue nor a theoretical. Yes it does have less cycles but so did 34nm compared to 50nm and nobody complained. The controller guys did all the necessary stuff so est. lifetime won't change. 25 compared to 34 is actually less difference than it was going from 50 to 34.
    The whole over hyped Vertex 2 thing was only about somethings that needed to be done differently because the nand sizes increased and less chips meant less speed and nobody said anything. Performance problem only and not even existent at 240GB.

    And Trim. Well that doesn't work but even the most degraded SSD will put any HDD to shame and it is possible to activate it too. Occasionally this should never be an issue. Anyway if you often write bigger files like media files on your HDD like many people probably do Trim is hardly necessary at all. It is more a problem with the workload a server might see but for an average person won't ever see a Vertex 3 in a performance state that is so bad that he can feel the difference.

    And forth. Check out real world benchmarks like app loading time. SATA 2 drives are so fast that with SATA 3 the CPU is a bottle neck. If the Vertex 3 doesn't cut it take some SATA 2 drive, but going back to an HDD for the mentioned reasons is just stupid.
    Not enough money, too little space are valid reasons. The ones mentioned are not.
  14. daneoni, May 25, 2011
    Last edited: May 25, 2011

    daneoni thread starter macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Point 1 & 2 were my main concerns. Point 3 is mostly an after thought. Everyone i know with a Win 7 computer is using a laptop and i can't say "Excuse me whilst i dismantle your laptop, yank the HDD and put my SSD in it...because i want to update its FW"

    On TRIM, the degradation in the C300 was severe and Anand was equally wary of possibility of this issue transferring over to the M4/C400

    As for SATA2, as i've already said, i know myself and will perpetually want a SATA3 drive since i know i have a SATA3 port. So buying SATA2 now as a stop-gap just means i'm setting myself up to spend even more money overall. I'd rather just wait. I can live with an HDD in the interim...however 'stupid' that sounds to others.

    My reasons may seem weird to others but they're are valid to me. I don't have easy access to Windows, majority of my friends use macs and those who have windows use it on portables whose SATA port aren't easy to get into. I may arguably not need to update my FW but i WANT to do it. Also it's not like the OEMs are releasing FW updates for shiggles...there's added functionality to be had. The drive that affords me FW update functionality has been proven to need TRIM to stay healthy which is currently not supported in my OS.

    I made my decision. In hindsight i probably shouldn't have made a thread about it but i was bored last night and thought why not. When Sandforce decides to get off their butt and allow OS X support for firmware updates, and/or when OS X provides universal TRIM support then i'll gladly reconsider. In the interim i'm happy to deal with a few seconds of delay.
  15. EvilEvil macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2007
    New York City
    Good for you. The price to space ratio for isn't quite there yet or SSD drives. I'll be picking up some SSD drives for my MBP when I can get a 500 gig SSD drive for 100 bucks or less.
  16. mac8867 macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    Saint Augustine, FL
    So basically, it's a cost thing for you. The reason I can say so with confidence is the answer you will give to this questions:

    Q: When was the last time you updated the firmware on your Hitachi 7200 drive?
    A: Never

    Q: How often do you notice performance degrading on your Hitachi 7200 drive?
    A: Most people never think about it

    Everyone spends so much time worrying about the "extreme" SSD, they never just let the damn things "be the hard drive" of their computer.

    So, go get your money back and enjoy your computer.
  17. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I've upgraded the firmware of my SSD (OCZ vertex 2) in boot camp.
  18. daneoni thread starter macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Two different and incomparable mediums. HDDs are time tested, all the kinks of HDD technology have been mostly ironed out and thus rarely need updates if at all. The only drive to get regular firmware updates is the Momentus XT which i don't have and if i did i would most definitely be upgrading it's firmware.

    I also defrag (yes you read that right) my regular drives after several months of usage. It's not a money issue, even though HDD are much more cheaper i don't mind shelling out the money for an SSD (hence why i bought one) but i also want my money to be well spent. If there's a possibility of failure i want to be able to chalk it up to pure hardware defect not because i wasn't running the drive in optimal conditions (lack of TRIM or latest FW).
  19. Blipp macrumors 6502

    Mar 14, 2011
    These are my thoughts exactly. I'd love the speed increase but I can't justify $300 for a 120GB drive at any speed. We got past the >$1/1GB days a long time ago and I'm not going back.
  20. tamvly macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2007
    Well, updating firmware is generally regarded as a rather rare event. But I understand your angst.

    The situation with these drives is fluid and a more "reliable" path will appear some time in the future. Maybe reliable is the wrong word, maybe it's "transparent". Whatever, if what you have doesn't make it for you, who is anyone else to dispute it?
  21. s.hasan546, May 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2011

    s.hasan546 macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    Why would you keep wanting sata III? Have you used a sata II drive? I can barely notice the difference between my older vertex 2 and crucial m4 and my friends vertex 3.

    ssd arn't overrated, SATA III drives are overrated. You can BARELY tell the difference. SATA II drives can be found for pretty legit deals. Kingston 96 gb for $99 right now from newegg. $1/gb. Not too bad, and still very very fast.

    lol you'll be waiting another few years for that to happen.

    you could jsut go 60 gb ssd + Optibay for $100ish
  22. Bobby Corwen macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    Why yes, I highly agree.
  23. alust2013, May 25, 2011
    Last edited: May 25, 2011

    alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I've got nothing against speed, in fact speed is great. But I'm a student and don't have a ton of money, so spending $400+ on something that halves my system's storage capacity just doesn't make sense. I have been using computers with HDDs for years now, and it doesn't bother me that my boot time and app launch times are a little longer. I can wait an extra second and a half. I get what you're saying with user experience (the Android issue is debatable, perfectly described my first gen, but my new one is just as fast as any new iOS device), but I think, as a previous poster said, one size doesn't fit all. That's not to say I wouldn't buy one if they weren't reasonably priced.
  24. beosound3200, May 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2011

    beosound3200 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2010
    well some people never cease to amaze me, here i am thinking that the only problem why people arent buying ssd is price which is quite normal when you look at the price, but as i can see there are people who can find a problem where it doesnt exist. this isnt exactly a new tehnology, we're already on the third generation of ssds, you gonna wait for another 5-10 years or what? my advice to de op - you have to take everything you hear and read with a grain of salt. Firmware? who cares? reliability? im a 100 percent positive you wont see the end of that drive. trim? well if you see any performance degradation than you should start thinking of changing smth... there are a lot of situations in life where ignorance is a blessing, this is the one... i dont think this is the situation where you should be a perfectionist, and im almost positive that you are not one where you should be, so change your focus so you can benefit from it ;)

    no one is saying you need to buy one if you dont have money you dont so what one day you will, but to get rid of one? well thats something

    well its not 1-2 sec its more like 10 sec for ms WORD!!! vs instant (5400)
    you get the point about android speed? it was just a comparison
  25. s.hasan546 macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    exactly. people blow everything out of proportion. ocz was like the worst and had what like 2% failure rate? big deal. condoms aren't even 100% effective :D

Share This Page