is 120gb SSD Intel 520 SATAIII for - 209 a good deal ? its for my macbook pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AppChat, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. AppChat macrumors regular

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    Mar 10, 2012
    #1
    i was thinking of replacing my 500gb 5400rpm stock drive in my macbook with this.

    do you guys think its worth the price? was hoping for SSDs to go down more but its been slow :s

    ive heard intel is reliable and 120gb will be a bit finiky to handle but i can push the big media like videos onto an external hard drive

    heres the link to the product

    http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=179&item_id=045627
     
  2. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    That doesn't seem like an exceptional deal or anything. I'm assuming you're in Canada, have you checked out newegg.ca? They have the OEM version (no retail packaging) of that drive for $189 The truth is, SSDs have dropped considerably in the last few months. You just have to catch them on sale.

    Other options:
    The Crucial M4 and Samsung 830 both seem to be considered reliable drives in addition to the Intel SSDs. I personally just ordered the 128GB Samsung 830 for $139 USD yesterday from newegg during a 1 day sale. It looks like newegg doesn't sell it in Canada. The Crucial M4 128GB is going for $165-175 canadian.

    If you are tight on space, consider removing your DVD drive and placing it in an external dvd enclosure instead. I'm going with a 128GB SSD + my 750GB hard drive moved into optical bay (dvd location). I just got a hard drive caddy from Amazon for ~$20.
     
  3. AppChat thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    yeah the store also sells OEMs of that drive for 199. is it bad to get an OEM rather than one in retail packaging for that differene? like warrenty etc still applies?
     
  4. AppChat thread starter macrumors regular

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  5. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I am pretty sure the same warranty applies. You just dont get the retail box. Check for sure on the neweggs page. I personally don't think it's worth it to step up to the intel drive over the Samsung or crucial. If money is tight, be patient and check slickdeals.net for SSD deals that usually involve newegg.

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    http://www.amazon.ca/Crucial-CT128M4SSD2-2-5-Inch-Solid-State/dp/B004W2JKZI/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1332520050&sr=1-1-catcorr
     
  6. user418 macrumors 6502a

    user418

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    #6
    The drives should be the same except for the packaging. Having purchased the same drive (in store and online bare drive) I was disappointed in the flimsy packaging of the bare drive. The retail version did include sturdy plastic packaging and a booklet giving drive installation, warranty, and contact info. Both drives were the same and both drives worked. Guess that's all that really matters...
     
  7. duffman9000 macrumors 68000

    duffman9000

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    #7
    I don't think it's a good deal. It's a great drive, but you are paying _A_LOT_ for Intel firmware verification. This is the only Sandforce-based SSD that I would trust.

    I'm current using a Crucial M4 128GB drive and it's taken a ton of abuse. I can go on and on as to why I wouldn't choose a 120GB Sandforce drive, and I would only choose an Intel 240GB or higher Sandforce drive.
     
  8. Fleet would mac macrumors member

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    Mar 8, 2012
    #8
    The warranty is AFAIK identical. The difference is in the packaging. The retail version comes (according to Intel) with a few accessories, the most notable of which is a USB to SATA cable, which is useful for connecting the SSD externally in order to clone the original hard disk before the SSD is installed. If you've already got one of these or an external USB/SATA drive enclosure, then you can save a bit of cash and go for the OEM version.

    BTW, unless you can guarantee getting TRIM enabled, I would avoid drives with capacities of 128/256/512 GB (like the already-mentioned Samsung 830 and Crucial M4), and go for those with capacities of 120/240/480 GB (like the Intel 520) instead. The slightly lower capacities result from around 7% of the drive being used as a "spare area" for significantly better garbage collection, thus partially offsetting the effect of not having TRIM enabled.
     
  9. duffman9000 macrumors 68000

    duffman9000

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    #9
    You can enable TRIM on a Crucial M4 :). The 120GB and lower capacity Sandforce drives do not recover all performance after TRIM when the drive is abused. This may not apply to Intel-branded, but I know it applies to OCZ.

    This non-sense started with the previous generation of Sandforce drives, but seems to be fixed in the new generation 240GB and larger drives. A Vertex 2 240GB would lose half of it's write performance (for me) in about 2 months. I can't print how I feel about OCZ and Sandforce.

    IIRC, it took a year, a YEAR, for Intel to validate Sandforce firmware.
     
  10. AppChat thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    stupid question but what is TRIM? and is it good?

    Anyways i did make the buy and got the 520. installed it and its pretty dam fast. much improved then my 5400rpm stock drive that came with the macbook

    i ran a speed write and read test. test showed the advertised 500mb read speed, but only a 179mbps write speed? it says it can read up to 520mbps??
     
  11. duffman9000 macrumors 68000

    duffman9000

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    #11
    It's fast, that's for sure. The read speed sounds about right. The 240GB and higher capacity drives have faster write speeds.

    I bought a 512GB Crucial M4 and I would have bought an Intel 480GB, but the price difference was too great.
     
  12. AppChat thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    how come the write speed isnt 500mbps? my 2011 macbook pro supports SATA III
     
  13. duffman9000 macrumors 68000

    duffman9000

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    #13
    The answer is it depends on what type of data you are writing. Writing compressible data is faster than writing incompressible data on your drive.* That's a layman explanation. For a true explanation please see the excellent Anandtech reviews.

    Your read speeds sound about right. What program are you using to test?
     
  14. AppChat thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    well i used an app off the mac app store called blackmagic disk speed test

    read speed is def right on, 500mbps.

    but the specs say the intel ssd should also have a 520mbps write speed but the test shows it tops at 179mbps :s

    also the 250gb SSD was also avialable, but its 369 dollars XD
     
  15. duffman9000 macrumors 68000

    duffman9000

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    #15
  16. AppChat, Mar 23, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012

    AppChat thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
  17. duffman9000 macrumors 68000

    duffman9000

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    #17
    The higher capacity versions have always had better incompressible write performance. The write specs you are reading are for compressible write performance. Your SSD can write compressible data much faster than incompressible data.

    Why do the specs say 500 MB/s? That's the best case scenario writing the type of data you would not normally write. Reviews want to look at the worse case scenarios, like writing incompressible files like video.

    You sound worried dude but trust me you have nothing to be worried about. You have a great drive.:)
     
  18. AppChat thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    oh ok. thats good to know!

    the store did have the 240gb for 339. do u think that would have been worth the extra?

    also, what is TRIM? i hear it from time to time in threads about SSDs
     
  19. duffman9000 macrumors 68000

    duffman9000

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    #19
    I think 120GB is too small for my needs. The 240 GB at $339 is much better than the price it debuted at. IIRC, that drive was well over $400. I think it approached $2/GB which is expensive.

    You should read the Anandtech article I referenced for a TRIM explanation.
     
  20. AppChat thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 10, 2012
    #20
    i re looked it up, its 359 in canada :(

    bit to out of my budget

    my stock 500gb had about 200gb left of space.

    deicded to fresh install the SSD one and have 80gb left of space which is a decent amount. moved 90% of my photos and videos onto the apple 2tb time capsule.

    thanks again for your help and info! looks like iilbe sticking with the 120gb one!
     
  21. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #21
    Personally, I would go Samsung or Crucial if price is a consideration. With that said, you can't go wrong with the Intel and that is the one (and only) SandForce drive I would consider getting at this point given Intel's track record is exceptional. With that said, I was a little hesitant about going SF for a recent purchase and so I purchased a fourth, fifth, and sixth Crucial M4. Ultimately, I probably will wind up buying a 520 but not for at least a few more months after longer term user tests are available.
     
  22. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    You can use the Samsung Magician software (kind of like Intel's SSD toolbox) to overprovision the drive however you see fit. Samsung recommends 7-10%.
     
  23. AppChat thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    got theintel 520...vrey happy with it lol

    is enabling trim necessary?
     
  24. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I have a 300 GB Intel 320. I DO NOT have TRIM enabled. I probably won't until OS X supports it natively like windows (fingers crossed for Mountain Lion). Not too thrilled to use freeware to enable TRIM. Also, it may be much better now, but a year ago when I bought the 320 the TRIM tool was being debated as to whether it was useful or even degraded performance. So I just decided to leave it alone. After a year I have about 100 GB free and the 320 still feels as fast as the day I put it in. Also, I have a BootCamp partition with Intel's SSD toolbox to monitor the drive, and it still shows everything as perfect.
     
  25. lamboman macrumors 6502

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    #25

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