Intel X25-M or Vertex 2? Please Help to Decide!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jaffaman27, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Jaffaman27 macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    Hi all!

    I'm going to be buying a new iMac 27" i7 and need an SSD to go with the 1TB HDD. I would be using it as a system/application/win7 -drive.

    I've decided that something along 80gb should be big enough and narrowed my choices down to these two but can't decide between them:
    1. Intel X25-M G2 80GB
    2. OCZ Vertex 2 Extended 90GB

    Both are supposed to be fairly decent drives and the prices are more or less the same (Vertex 2 a bit more pricey but that's not the deciding factor).

    Things I've been wondering and can't find a clear solution:
    - What kind of garbage collection/trim solution these drives have if any? So how do they perform in the long run? Experience for both kinds would be appreciated.
    - I've had the feeling that Intel is more reliable & safe drive. Not so prone to die.. And Vertex 2 more mixed bag.. Any truth in that?

    Things that are more or less clear:
    - Vertex 2 is faster in most cases, but probably in real life the difference is not really noticable..
    - Intel lets me easily update the firmware with my mac, but Vertex it's more difficult if even possible? Any one who has the extended version of Vertex 2, what fw you have pre-installed?

    Any other, clearly better options that are same size/price range and are proven to work well in mac as well?

    Anyway..if anyone could help, I would greatly appreciate your input.
    The reliability question is kinda important since I would be getting the SSD installed aftermarket by a local Apple reseller and that costs enough as it is, so I wouldn't like to find myself with a dead SSD in 6 months...

  2. tonywang.xmpt macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    I dove in and went with the Intel X25-M G2.
    The main reason I went with Intel is because:
    - very popular amongst laptop user (specifically mbps)
    this means that there'll be a lot of help available whenever needed.
    - same company as the core processor itself
    It would make complete sense in that the Intel processor would be perfectly compatible with an Intel SSD.
    - firmware is easily upgraded and accessible (on intel's website)
    Though it's not completely necessary to upgrade the firmware,
    its extremely easy
    and contains a ton of support and guides on their website.

    All in all,
    I have absolutely no regret in purchasing my Intel SSD.
    My computer runs at an astonishing speed
    and haven't had any sort of problems with it whatsoever (so far)
    This of course is all personal opinion.
  3. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I'd say go with the Intel as it's more popular and seems to work great from the solid reviews it gets.
  4. Jaffaman27 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    Alright, Thanks guys...
    Anyone else with an opinion/insight for my issue..?

    So far it's Intel 2 - Vertex 0...

    The popularity of Intel among the users is one thing that makes it feel more safe bet. And I haven't read too many reports of deaths of Intel drives. Some from Vertex tho...

    But at the same time Intel is fairly old drive and the price has only risen lately...:eek: So if I buy Intel now it's more than it was 6 months ago and that sounds a bit wrong development to me...dunno...

    And also I've read comments like this:
    "I often get questions from Mac users asking what the best SSD is for OS X. Since Apple still won’t support TRIM you need a very resilient drive under OS X. That path leads you to SandForce. Pick up a Corsair Force, OCZ Vertex 2, G.Skill Phoenix or whatever SF drive tickles your fancy if you want the best of the best in your Mac." - Anandtech
  5. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Intel was a good pick before SandForce but come on, Intel G2 came like a year ago. Vertex 2 is faster than Intel is plus has built-in garbage collection, no need to worry about TRIM. Some benchmarks. I would get Vertex 2 or wait for Intel G3
  6. foranor macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    I'd get the Vertex. I had 2 Intel G2 160GB and had only trouble with both.
  7. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I vote Intel. I still haven't gotten over the fact that OCZ basically uses its paying customers as beta testers, and will leave you out in the cold if one of their myriad drive designs turns out to be a failure. I experienced this personally, btw.

    The reason the Intel drives change so slowly is that it takes a LOT of testing to make sure these drives will work properly in the long term. I trust Intel to do that testing, and I don't trust OCZ. We have more than a dozen Intel SSD drives at our office and have yet to have a problem. Even without TRIM the drives are astonishing.
  8. Jaffaman27 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    Thanks again for the input...
    Nice to hear actual experiences...

    So here is what I've gathered so far:

    + more trustworthy (in general)
    + more support (fw upgrade fairly easy, more mac-users)
    + cheaper
    - should be more cheaper (older drive, a bit slower, less space)
    - no garbage collection afaik (and no easy way to restore - no toolbox for mac)

    + faster in most cases
    + not "last" gen drive
    + price ok for what i get
    + some kind of garbage collection for os x
    - might be more prone for failures?
    - not so many users to get support
    - no easy way to update the fw if necessary

    Zhenya: What OCZ drive you had bad experience with? Vertex 2 or some older drive?

    For everyone:
    - Any real life experience with Vertex 2 or other Sandforce drive? How is it, Is the garbage collection working well etc?
    - Vertex 2 Extended users: What FW your drive shipped with?

    So far Intel 3 - Vertex 2..
    Close call still...

    The first one to get 10 votes wins my choice.. :D
  9. b0rg macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2009
    Vertex 2

    I should go for the Vertex 2.

    I bought the OSZ Vertex 2 240GB and it is working great in my :apple: Macbook 17 Pro Mid 2010.

    It's fast, boot times of 17 sec (from the moment pressing the Power button)

    Only thing that is not (yet) working is Hibernation..
  10. Mabyboi macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
  11. Raje macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2010
    Either buy the vertex 2 or wait for the Intel G3 drives. No sense in spending money on last generation tech (unless it is a really good deal), in my opinion.

    I am pretty sure you can download firmware from OCZ site, but I am not sure.
  12. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    This, and nothing more than this. If you want Intel, then wait until G3 is out. Check the benchies of that and then compare. Sandforce is a (o so ever redundant word pickings) force that came out strong this time around and their SSD controllers are top notch.
  13. Kaiser Phoenix macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2005
    Ok Im in a unique position here as I have BOTH the INTEL X-25M in my MBP and the new Vertex 2E sandforce in my macmini.

    Although Im too lazy to organise a benchmark and all, ALL in all, despite the superior CPU in the mbp, the Macmini is super fast.

    Yes, the Intel is fast, but 2E is the real deal imo. Sometimes when I restart my machine, I cant even remember if I restarteded as its already back to the home page!!
  14. Jaffaman27 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    Thank you all once again.

    I think I'm going to skip the Intel G2 option. It being last years tech and all.. :)

    Going to buy the Vertex 2 or Intel G3 drive in case they release those in few weeks (which I doubt).

    And can anyone confirm this, but as far as I know Sleep in OS X with Vertex 2 works fine (with the latest fw at least)..!?
    Since if it doesn't then I really have to think the Intel more hard again...I always just put my macs to sleep so it's really important feature for me.
  15. Kaiser Phoenix macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2005
    Not sure what the issue is but my Macmini sleeps and wakes absolutely fine.
  16. Jaffaman27 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    That's good to hear.
    I know u said you are too lazy to make any benchmarking, but could you do me one favor? :)
    Could you check what firmware you have on your Vertex 2 Extended?

    Cuz I'm just getting many different reports on the firmware update possibility on a Mac computer. Some say that you can flash it in DOS with a CD, some say it's not working...
    So it would be good to have a recent firmware out of the the latest ones seems to be more stable and perform better on macs (sleep working etc.)

    I'm planning to buy the Vertex 2 Extended 90GB model or the 120GB model.
    And as far as I know the Extended versions are more recent models and so for would be logical to have more recent firmware in them when shipped.

  17. Kaiser Phoenix macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2005
    Sure I can check that for you but Im at work at the moment so youll need to wait about 6 hours till I get back home!
  18. Jaffaman27 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    That's fine thanks. I'm not in a rush.. :)
  19. Giuly macrumors 68040


    A) If you don't order your iMac with a SSD, it has no official mounting point.

    B) Instead of a Vertex, get one of these or these. All three are basically the same, they are only cheaper.

    C) If you can't update the firmware on Mac OS X (which is unlikely with the OWC drives, as they only sell Mac Parts), install Windows on an external hard drive via boot camp and update your firmware via Windows.

    D) You can easily figure out which SandForce drive is newer. Old drive have capacities of 50/100/200GB, new ones are 60/120/240GB.
  20. Heilage macrumors 68030


    May 1, 2009
    For what it's worth, back when I had a Vertex 1, I could easily flash it with a FreeDOS CD several times.

    There are bootable images at the OCZ Forums for it. :)
  21. Jaffaman27 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    I know that and I'm cool with it. AFAIK there is really no need for any mounting for the SSD. It should be fairly tight fit without it already.

    Thanks for the suggestion, but OWC is not readily available here in Finland. And G.Skill drives cost more than Vertex 2 (in here I mean).
    And I'm not going to order abroad since I'm making the order for my company and there for I can more easily get it to my accounting and get it tax-free (when bought from Finland).

    That is a possibility, but I hope I can flash the fw some other way. Like Heilage mentioned it should be possible. Even tho Vertex 1 and 2 are not the same since V1 is not Sandforce drive. So I'm hopeful for that, but not 100% sure yet...

    Yep, I know that..
    And I'm quite sure 90GB is even more recent addition to the lineup.

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