Help choosing SSD for Late 2009 Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by xanotos75, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. xanotos75 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Location:
    Bell, California
    #1
    Hi all.
    With the prices dropping on SSD drives I am having a hard time picking which on to buy.
    I'm looking for the best one that will work with my Mac Mini.
    I just bought the Intel X25-M 80GB for $139 and I keep seeing prices keep dropping (saw a G.Skill Phoenix 60GB for $100) and other in a good price range during this week.
    The hard part I'm having is making sure I got the right one for the Mini.
    Been reading on posts that Vertex 2, Corsair, and other fail after a while and are not as good on a Mini.
    Sadly, I don't have the nerves to open it and do the swap myself, so need to get one I wont have to worry much with.

    Any suggestions on most compatible SSD for a Mini?

    Thanks in advance

    Xanotos
     
  2. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #2
    The Intels generally have a good compatibility record. However, since OS X does not yet support the TRIM command, there's a chance it could slow down over time.

    The best bet at the moment are OWC's solid state drives, as they're made by a company that specializes in Mac upgrades. Technically, however, any drive based on the SandForce controller (Vertex 2, Agility 2, and Phoenix Pro to name a few) should offer consistent performance over time.

    Judging from posts both here and in the forums of manufacturers, no SSD seems completely foolproof yet, but in general people seem to be having better luck with the current generation of drives than those from years past.
     
  3. xanotos75, Nov 28, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010

    xanotos75 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 25, 2010
    Location:
    Bell, California
    #3
    Also forgot I will also be running Windows 7 under Parallels and Bootcamp. So if TRIM is not supported under OSX, will I be able to solve the problem by booting into Win7?
     
  4. THENIZZZEIL macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    Cerritos, Ca
    #4
    I have the OWC 60gb and maybe its this particular drive/brand but I've had issues with it freezing and locking up, i have a thread where people express their same issues with the OWC brand.

    I had a F60 by Corsair for a few weeks before opting for the OWC, it had really good results for the price, but have not heavily used it to say if it is any better or worse.

    As far as Intel's they are a pretty penny, in my opinion I'd go with the OWC (even though my last drive failed, i'm hoping for a better one) because they have great customer service and you'll know that if something goes wrong they will take care of you.
     
  5. rtrt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #5
    seems the new toshibas (same as new macbook air) have even better garbage collection than the sandforce.

    this suggests that they'll operate closer to peak perf without trim.

    anandtech had a good review.
     
  6. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #6
    My understanding is that TRIM would only be operating on the Windows partition.

    Thanks for the heads up. I just read the article and it seems that the Toshiba's garbage collection is aggressive to the point where Anand expressed concern about the NAND wearing out prematurely. Given that the SandForce drives seem to hold up fine during torture tests, and that the new Toshiba-powered drives from Kingston appear to cost more than SandForce-based ones, my option to tend toward SandForce still stands.
     
  7. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #7
    Hi,
    I have the Corsair 60GB Force for over a month and never had any problems (so far).
    Its funny, since I'm running it from the USB connection...
    (I have the Hybrid 320GB installed inside & don't want open the case AGAIN...)
     
  8. rtrt, Nov 30, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010

    rtrt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #8
    not heard of it being done from a usb external before.

    have heard that an ssd will perform well as a boot drive if you use firewire - whilst you don't benefit from the high sustained thro'put, you do get the advantages of the random read for small files.

    how do you find the corsair performs in the usb compared with your original mechanical boot drive?
     
  9. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #9
    Hi rtrt,
    this will show you how many HDs I have plugged-in my Mini - it's over 7.5 TB.
    Firstly, this isn't the 2010 Mini but the 2009. It come with the 320GB 5400RPM HD (which is now in one of the external enclosures).
    I changed it with Seagate Momentus Hybrid 320GB which is 7200RPM. That HD has 4GB SS memory for fast access. This HD is about twice as fast as the original 5400RPM HD.
    Then I seen the Corsair on sale & put it in the external since I don't want to open the Mini again (so far).
    This SSD is again about 25% to 75% faster than the original - despite being in external enclosure & running from USB...
    The Mini starts in 30 ~ 40 sec. from that.
    The 2nd pict is showing the OSes I can start from:
     

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  10. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #10
    Another recent data point: I just put a Vertex 2 in an old SATA II MacBook. Before I stuck it in, I booted from usb. Speed difference was slightly perceptible but certainly not enough to justify the cost of an SSD. Some other folks on here have had decent speed improvements using FireWire 800 (which isn't really tenable for Mini users that have legacy FW400 devices).

    Once the drive is on the SATA bus, however, wow what an amazing improvement. Boot time from chime to fully-loaded desktop is 16 seconds (and this is for a 3-year-old, twice-upgraded installation of OS X). Pretty much everything loads in 1 bounce or less, and Spotlight search is instant, just like searching in an iTunes library. Certainly the most perceptible performance increase I've ever seen in a computer.
     
  11. rtrt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #11
    thanks both.
    will have to try this out, when i get some time over the christmas holidays.
     
  12. xanotos75 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Location:
    Bell, California
    #12
    Thanks for the info everyone!! I ended up returning the X25-M and getting the G.Skill Phoenix (hugh mistake! No way of updating firmware from OSX) and have notice an increase in speed. Just need to buy DiskTester to completely format the drive and recondition it. Made the mistake ofd trying to have OSX and bootcamp with only a 60 gigger.

    Anyone know of a comparable software like DiskTester?
     
  13. THENIZZZEIL macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    Cerritos, Ca
    #13
    I jsut recieved a new OWC 60 gig one, they said it was flashed to the newest firmware so i'll post my experience from over the next few days and let you know if its any better.

    the great thing about OWC is they back their product up and will always have the latest updates and keep up with the times...

    good luck
     

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