I have had my x-25 SSD for a month now...and..

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Jason Beck, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #1
    ...And I absolutely love it! I have a 2008 Aluminum 2ghz Macbook (Aluminum), and the added SSD that I replaced the 160gb HDD with really sped things up a bit. Well more than a bit. I boot to a usable desktop in less than 14 seconds flat. For what this computer is, that is pretty rad.

    Just goes to show you how capable your hardware is. As a graphic design student I am in Adobe Creative Suite throughout my day. I also spend quite a bit of time in Word doing papers for school. I love the fact that the programs are so responsive now. The Intel x-25 80gb was perfect for me. I have 40 gigs of Apps with a 3 gig iPhoto library. I used the internal drive I replaced as an iTunes and dowloads drive and it works perfect for my 30 or so gigs of music.

    I did buy an external Sata to USB drve to use a 320GB 7200 Hitachi I bought off eBay. When I plug that in and turn it on at home, I back my system up. It is also storage. So I got the little notebook drive I carry everywhere and the home solution. Things are grand now.

    I never realized how much of a bottleneck a hard drive can be to a cpu. When you put an SSD in a computer, even a 2.0ghz c2d chip can speed through most of todays applications. I am finding that working with large images (over 100megs) is a breeze and loading brushes and filters, etc.

    If you want to get performance out of your computer I urge you to drop in an SSD. I have had my drive filled to test it out and it now resides comfortable at 40 gigs of the 80. I have noticed no degredation in performance in this drive either. When I installed it I did install from a Time Machine backup and last week I decided to do a clean reformat and install of everything (which is easy using OSX, much less of a headache than using Windows). I used to loathe formatting in Windows. In OSX it just took the better part of an afternoon. If I missed something, I just went into the backup on the home storage and pulled it from the backup disk. Nice.

    Installing the drive in the Macbook was particularly easy, even though I didn't have the required Torq driver. I used pliers and gripped each screw firm and just used enough pressure to unlock the screw and unscrewed them by hand. I repeated the process in reverse to get them on again.

    The absolute first thing anyone should do when getting an SSD, especially this one, is update the firmware. I noticed a 10% increase in performance from the drive. Well.... maybe 5-10%. I also disabled the sudden motion sensor in the Macbook as the SSD has its own. I also got a nifty program called SmartSleep and enabled classic sleep mode so that when my computer sleeps it doesn't write the ram contents to disk. I also deleted the hiberante file (got 4 gigs of space back in the process).

    Needless to say this was the best 230 bucks I have spent in recent times. Other than upgrading the ram to 4gbs in this Mac, I have not done anything else. Its speedy enough for me to use for whatever. I think I will sit this refresh out and wait for the next Macbook Pro refresh. SSD drives will let you squeeze some nice performance from your computer and are really worth it. I am one happy camper. I followed all your advice and got the x-25 and could not be more pleased.

    Like I recall someone saying, "Just get the Intel gen-2 one and use the hell out of it and don't worry." I would also like to add that shutting down the Macbook now is amazingly fast too. For reference, I have had many hard drives and even a few 7200rpm drives and this is by far the absolute best. Thanks Intel, well done.

    And now.. I must go play some Warcraft 3 or Torchlight till the wife gets off work. : ) By the way, off topic i know, but there was an update to SixtyForce recently and n64 games play like a dream. : )
     
  2. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
  3. nuckinfutz macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    #3
    Jason it may have been a novella but it contains a lot of pertinent data for Macbook users.

    I try to explain to people that a computer is based on building blocks of storage products that vary wildly in speed. A spinning hard drive is only eclipsed in slowness by the optical drive in a computer. It is like putting the brakes on your data being fed to the CPU and main memory.

    I see people obsessed about whether they should get the 2.4Ghz computer or the 2.6Ghz model and I laugh because the difference there may roughly be 10% and barely perceptible to the avg human.

    An SSD can give you a more more perceptible boost across almost every software application. It's a great investment.
     
  4. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #4
    I'll say. I have not felt that good about spending money for a while. The technology is even getting better ever few months. I hope that this is the way things are going. Moving parts suck. I know the need for super drives, but we don't need platters anymore :D.

    I had to add this... The speed that it loads maps in Warcraft is pretty amazing too. LOL I wish my xbox 360 would load like this! ahhaha :D
     
  5. lyons238 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    #5
    i was going to get an ssd, but i cant afford to get one with enough space for my needs, and i cant afford to lose my optical drive to put a normal hd for storage there. so i got the seagate 7200.4 500gb and i have to say im very happy with the speed and overall performance.
     
  6. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #6
    7200 is a big jump from the stock drives as well. You really get a decent performance gain from those beasts too. That Hitachi desktop one I have right now is really fast. I remember having a 7200 that I put into the old Macbook Pro 2009 model I had a few months ago, and the upgrade did it justice.
     
  7. concepthenry macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    #7
    TRIM support

    does trim support matter for intel drives in macs? I heard it's not supported in osx but not sure if this matters in osx snow leopard's environment.......
     
  8. mac8867 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    Saint Augustine, FL
    #8
    oh boy..... here we go again on TRIM... Please do a search for trim in the forums. We don't need yet another thread on it. The OP states they have been running an Intel SSD for over a month and still getting tremendous performance --- without TRIM. Do the search and read to see why.
     
  9. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #9
    Yah I have been pretty meticulous about benching my progress and have not noticed anything go down. Still great numbers for reading and writing and about the same as when I got it. Had the drive 80% full at one time. That was on accident. ahah : ) But the quality of this drive is pretty decent. Actually now that I think about it, this is my first Intel drive period.

    A quick search of the forums will yield many hits on TRIM for these threads. Google will give you many, and many other forums. Doesn't seem to be too much of an issue with these drives. Good firmware. It's getting better with each revision too. Out of the box it was fast, but when I upgraded the firmware it was just amazing.

    For an easy upgrade that isn't too costly (200 bucks for 80 gigs is fine with me) SSD is certainly the way to go. You don't even really have to wait for gen3, these gen2 drives are nice.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/beck84720#p/a/u/1/fRqk--eunG8
    There is a link to a video I made of rebooting after installing the drive. It booted to a usable desktop in 15-17 seconds flat. Shutdown took a couple of seconds because I had some stuff open. I actually did a clean reformat and noticed that since I wasn't using the Time Machine Backup from my old Mac Mini, that I got a nice increase in speed. Now, with a clean install and all the steps I did before, sleep adjustment, firmware, etc. I can start from cold in like less than 15 seconds and it shuts down in less than 3 seconds.

    The wife's Windows 7 laptop (Compaq 610) takes like 30 seconds or so to shutdown .. and I have not even bothered to time the startup. Less than a minute but over 30 seconds for sure. So for anyone installing an SSD, I would absolutely recommend a clean install and install apps and files as needed from a Time Machine Backup. Completely restoring a backup from a different Mac significantly reduced my performance.

    I'll probably sell this drive though when gen3 comes out. So if someone wants to score a sweet SSD in a few months, keep in touch.
     
  10. lyons238 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    #10
    yeah im happy with it. like i said, i wanted an ssd but the loss in capacity or an optical drive just wouldnt work for me. but good luck with ur ssd, hopefully my seagate will continue to work as well as its been.

    btw iv had 2 seagate 7200.4's and a hitachi 7k500, and i must say the seagate is quieter, faster, and takes up a noticeably less amount of battery. thats why i made the switch back to it. but if its in a desktop, the hitachi is a fine choice, as those qualities aren't that important in a desktop.
     
  11. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #11
    Yah for real. Hitachi has done be right with that desktop drive. I thought even about building a hackintosh and using it in it. :D

    Anyways just ran XBENCH and here are my results. Pretty much the same
    as when I got the SSD. I will post a new bench per week on here maybe so people can see whats up.

    4-25-10
    Results 202.04
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.6.3 (10D578)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacBook5,1
    Drive Type INTEL SSDSA2M080G2GC
    Disk Test 202.04
    Sequential 167.90
    Uncached Write 135.09 82.95 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 146.37 82.82 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 138.59 40.56 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 421.29 211.74 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 253.59
    Uncached Write 141.26 14.95 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 143.48 45.93 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 1420.04 10.06 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 980.16 181.87 MB/sec [256K blocks]
     
  12. Raje macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #12
    If you still want an SSD Q4 of this year may yield some options for you or others in your situation, as Intel will be releasing SSDs that have double the storage space for the same cost, so a 160gb SSD for $200. I would definitely jump at that.
     
  13. lyons238 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    #13
    i need atleast a 250gb. i prefer a 500gb thought, because i make music with reason 4. so i have a ton of music and a lot of refill packs for reason and things.

    right now im using 200gbs but thats going to rise.

    oh and nice bench marks jason
     
  14. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #14
    Hell yah! I am gonna jump on that too. I will probably sell mine for like 150 bucks if I can. : ) By then it will be only what 6-8 months old? I am treating it really nice too.
     
  15. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #15
    I have been using my system pretty heavily in Photoshop and other things, as well as light gaming. My SSD I know is getting a decent workout. In any case it is a week later and I would like to post my results in xBench. I won't update this weekly but perhaps every few weeks. I thought these results were interesting though.

    Results 224.77
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.6.3 (10D578)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacBook5,1
    Drive Type INTEL SSDSA2M080G2GC
    Disk Test 224.77
    Sequential 167.89
    Uncached Write 129.97 79.80 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 146.33 82.79 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 145.33 42.53 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 413.98 208.06 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 339.94
    Uncached Write 254.00 26.89 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 163.13 52.22 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 1471.01 10.42 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 980.49 181.94 MB/sec [256K blocks]


    Seems like I actually have had a performance increase. I really love the x25 and if you don't have an SSD and don't want to wait for gen3.. these drives are nice. Went to a birthday party tonight and some family were there, and they all have _new_ Macbooks and Macbook Pros. They don't have the Magic Mouse so they were all into mine.. but what really got them was my SSD performance.

    When I could shut my system down like instantly and reboot to a workable desktop in 15 seconds or less : ).
     
  16. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #16
    Okay well it's May 14th and quite a while since I posted a bench to this thread. In any case, I use the heck out of my drive with Adobe and other programs. I keep it at around 48 out of 80 gigs full but I have had to have it 75-80% full on occasion till I can make it home to my storage drive. I have not noticed any iota of performance decrease in this drive and I am still quite happy with it. I plan on getting a 160 gig SSD in my next macbook, but 80 gigs has treated me just fine. I just don't really have enough space to do a bootcamp partition. Well I do, but I don't want to use the space. If I do a partition for Windows I would want it around 30 gigs. Anyways here is my latest bench from Xbench, which I know is not the most completely accurate way to bench a drive. But it works.

    Results 225.86
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.6.3 (10D578)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacBook5,1
    Drive Type INTEL SSDSA2M080G2GC
    Disk Test 225.86
    Sequential 168.84
    Uncached Write 135.44 83.16 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 145.64 82.40 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 142.60 41.73 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 411.63 206.88 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 341.05
    Uncached Write 244.37 25.87 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 168.65 53.99 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 1412.39 10.01 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 1001.13 185.77 MB/sec [256K blocks]


    As you can see the numbers are pretty similar to my usual results if not a little better in the read spot. I would recommend this drive to anyone still. It's a good buy in my opinion at around 200$.. =)
     
  17. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #17
    Intel SSDs are good, but Intel is falling behind, you can find good drives from Corsair, OCZ and others now that compare equally or better to the G-2 drives...
     
  18. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #18
    Yep. I plan on selling my gen 2 drive in a few weeks to upgrade to a better ssd. I'm hooked.
     
  19. miicah macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #19
    So does OSX actually support TRIM or do you have to manually TRIM your drives every week or so?
     
  20. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #20
    No it isn't implemented. The newer Intel SSD have garbage collection and firmware tweaks, no Trim. Doesn't seem to effect performance, and I think that is due to the garbage collection features.
     
  21. runebinder macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #21
    Thanks for the thread Jason and the updates, looking into getting a SSD and the Intel 160GB is looking tempting after reading this thread.

    Couple of questions for you:

    Upgrading the firmware, was it fairly easy and hassle free?

    Have read SSDs perform better if a certain amount of space is not formatted, does the Intel come with that already?
     
  22. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #22
    I totally agree. I can NEVER go back to conventional hdd anymore.
     
  23. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #23

    As simple as getting a blank cdrom and burning the iso and booting from it.
    http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=18363
    Thats the link for the software too. it was easy and took about 15 mins.
    I'm just jealous u might get the 160gb one! Nice!
     
  24. idonotliketostu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #24
    There are faster drives than the x25 right now but the perceptive difference is so minuscule it wouldn't be worth the time. I had a x25 160*2 in raid 0 setup which increase the speed by about 50% on benchmarks, but I couldn't tell the difference while using it.
     
  25. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #25
    Wells no difference in the score and have not experienced slowdown. It's June now. As a designer I put the drive through its paces every day and have not had any complaints about it yet. Still shuts down in 3 seconds or less, and starts up to a usable OSX desktop in under 18 seconds flat. I highly recommend this drive.
     

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