Hybrid drive Vs Crucial M4 Vs Samsung 840 SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Justinhub2003, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Justinhub2003 macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2012
    Cincinnati Oh
    Over the past 18 months I have purchased and used multiple drives in my 13" MacBook Pro. I have been on a quest to find the perfect drive that is reliable, affordable, offers lots of storage and has great performance.

    So over the past 18 months I have had:
    500Gb Seagate Momentus Xt Drive
    Crucial M4 256GB SSD
    Cruclal M4 512GB SSD
    Samsung 840 500GB SSD


    I figured I would write up a little about each one which hopefully helps people decide of a decent consumer hard drive solution.

    Seagate Momentus XT 500gb: I bought this drive after reading some decent reviews and really have nothing but good things to say about it. Sure copying and transfering files is no where near SSD speed but once the drive learns your favorite apps, then it launches apps very much like an SSD drive. The downside is im not sure what it does under dual boot situations. Which OS does it choose to learn and adapt too? I also saw a mild battery hit when using it. When I made the move to SSD, I wasnt nearly as impressed as I would have been coming from a normal 5400rpm drive because it offers some great SSD like features. I would give it an 8/10 (if it fits your needs and your just a consumer)

    Crucial M4 256GB SSD: this was my first SSD and it has been reliable and just works since I bought it. Sure its not as fast as other drives but the failure rate was much much lower than other drives and reliablity is huge thing for me as I tend to use my laptop for work a lot. Once I had a full SSD , I knew I've never let my self go back to an HDD. My Macbook Pro 13" (early 2011) couple with 16GB, absolutely flies with this setup. It feels much much faster than my iMac at work even. I would give this drive 9/10

    Crucial M4 512Gb SSD Because my experience was so good with the 256gb M4 and I was running out of space, I decided to buy the M4 512GB on Black Friday for 310$ (after rebate). I took it home, cloned it and then popped it in my MacBook Pro and all was well..... for a few days. I started to notice an weird issue when my system would become unresponsive when I plugged in an external USB drive or Firewire drive. Well just 9 days after buying the drive, i plugged in a USB drive and my system once again froze but then this time never woke up. The drive became totally unrecognized. The drive shipped with firmware 010G (which I stupidly put on my 256Gb too when i noticed it was out of date) and Im guessing that was the culprit. But none the less, I can't have 9 day in failures on my drives and it really ruined Crucials good name for me. I have to give this drive a 2/10

    Samsung 840 500GB SSD: When the M4 512gb failed, I was able to return it to the store and use store credit towards the purchase of this 375$ drive. I was very skeptical of this drive because it uses a cheaper nand but I read very positive reviews from anandtech and others and in all the benchmarks I saw, it outperformed the M4. And so far, its lived up to the hype. Its been amazing and reliable. My only grief is that their is no firmware update solution for Mac (to even download a bootable disc, it needs to be on PC) but other than that it outperforms the M4 and if the 830 is any indicator, it should be very reliable too.

    I did read that TLC nand does not last as long as MLC and that a 500GB should last around 10-13 years compared to 21 of MLC but I dont plan on owning anything that long. I mean I changed hard drives 4x in 18 months, so Im not too worried about that. I so far give this drive a 9/10... and believe TLC will end up being the new and affordable SSD for the average consumer.
  2. Blue604 macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2012
    I have 2009 MBP 13".

    I upgraded to WD Black 7200RPM 750GB and 500GB. Blackmagic shows around 85MB/s in both Read and Write. Actually faster than your Hybrid drive.

    I also got M4 512GB recently and get around 205MB/s in Write; 267MB/s in Read.

    I had the same trouble with M4 512GB, which I wrote:

    I updated firmware to 040H. But to me, I think the wake/sleep problem only happens in optical bay. It's running fine for the past 3 days in Main HDD bay.

    Did you install your M4 512GB in optical bay too?
  3. Justinhub2003 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2012
    Cincinnati Oh

    Your WD Black 7200RPM maybe faster in raw read and write (which the Xt is not great at all at) however the advantage is the SSD caching it does. Literally every app in my dock launched instantly like an SSD. However when I launched an infrequently used app it was back to spindle drive speeds again. Though I cant remember if I did this speed test via external Firewire which would affect the speedtest. Either way it was a decent drive but yea, no power house in read/writes.

    And no, I was installing straight in the normal drive space on my MacBook Pro.

    On my 512GB M4 (and 256GB which I still have ) I was getting 250 write and 500+ read.

    Is yours slower because of the optibay enclosure connection?

    I really loved my 256gb M4 but the 512 really disappointed me
  4. Blue604 macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2012
    Mine is 2009 MBP 13", so it's SATA2. Yours should be SATA3.
    I had the drive dead from going to sleep. I put it in powered usb external drive for 20 min to wake it up. So far I have no problem running in main HD bay. I still have about 3 weeks for return at NCIX. I will see how this goes.

    If this doesnt work out, I will get Samsung 840 like yours. It's just in Canada, we don't get deals like you had. I paid $379 for M4 512, and the best price for 840 512 is around $430.

    Attached Files:

  5. throAU, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012

    throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Just on the hybrid drive - it does handle dual boot, and it does seem to help (my MBP runs boot camp).


    Bear in mind: being a spinning disk, the inner tracks (towards the end of the disk) are slower than the outer tracks.

    So if you boot camp or partition it, the later partitions will be slower when accessing data that is not in cache.

    SSDs don't suffer from that problem.

    Peak read/write figures are not the XT's strong point. Where it will kill other spinning drives is with small random read/writes of commonly accessed data. Which is more representative of what a multi-tasking OS typically does when running multiple applications, rather than running streaming IO benchmarks.

    I have the second gen Momentus XT (8gb of cache, updated firmware - think it caches writes now too) in my home machine and a samsung SSD in my work machine. In general use, sure the SSD is a bit faster - but the Hybrid is WAY faster than any spinning disk i've used. I'd deem it "fast enough" to not annoy me when I use my home machine any more. In fact, I barely notice much speed drop at all.

    But the kicker? 750 gigs for under 150 bucks. Over here, a 256gb SSD costs double that.

    If you're waiting for SSD $/gb to come down and are currently stuck with spinning disks because you need the space - the Hybrid 750gb is a no-brainer. Compared to a normal laptop hard drive it is in a totally different league in actual use.

    You get a good speed benefit without having to micromanage a small SSD and a large HD for bulk storage, without giving up your optical drive and without rolling your own fusion drive.
  6. Justinhub2003 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2012
    Cincinnati Oh
    Ah. gotcha. That makes since.

    yea the samsung 840 500 already jumped to 399$ since i bought it.


    Oh I agree!

    like i said, the move from Mom. XT to an SSD was not very dramatic in terms of every day use.

    i noticed more improvement moving from 5400rpm to XT than XT to SSD

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