MacBook Pro 15-inch: 256GB Solid State Drive [Add $500.00] vs Crucial M4 256GB

intelliot

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 18, 2006
92
0
How does Apple's $500 SSD option compare with the Crucial M4 256GB?

Which is faster? How much faster?

What are the downsides to upgrading to an SSD myself?

e.g.
- Have to install it myself (30 min)
- Have to transfer data myself (1 hr)
- Sleep may not work (?)
- Performance tuning (?)
- Compatibility (?)
- Temperature sensor (?)
- Configuration (?)
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
crucial should be twice as fast since it's SATA3.

http://www.harddrivebenchmark.net/hdd_lookup.php?hdd=APPLE+SSD+TS128C

the apple 128 and 256 get a 1000 score, the crucial get about 2000.


benefits:
- faster
- cheaper
- you get a spare 500/750 GB HD

downside:
- more or less what you listed
- TRIM support?!? someone else should know this, and whether it's important
- reliability?

Getting the 256 from apple seems like a bad deal. I went with the 128 apple SSD in the end... it is not that overpriced, and I can just start using my MBP when it arrives. The plan is to upgrade maybe in 2 years, when 300-500 GB SSDs are cheaper and all the problems with SATA 3 go away.
 

intelliot

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 18, 2006
92
0
crucial should be twice as fast since it's SATA3.

http://www.harddrivebenchmark.net/hdd_lookup.php?hdd=APPLE+SSD+TS128C

the apple 128 and 256 get a 1000 score, the crucial get about 2000.


benefits:
- faster
- cheaper
- you get a spare 500/750 GB HD

downside:
- more or less what you listed
- TRIM support?!? someone else should know this, and whether it's important
- reliability?

Getting the 256 from apple seems like a bad deal. I went with the 128 apple SSD in the end... it is not that overpriced, and I can just start using my MBP when it arrives. The plan is to upgrade maybe in 2 years, when 300-500 GB SSDs are cheaper and all the problems with SATA 3 go away.
Thanks.

How reliable/accurate are those benchmarks? They claim that the Kingston is the fastest, and it's $449 on Amazon.com. {Kingston HyperX 240GB SATA III 2.5-Inch 6.0 Gb/s Solid State Drive with SandForce Technology SH100S3/240G}

- Will there be any problems with sleep?
- Would be good to get the TRIM question answered - if someone could just point me with a link to info, that would be awesome.
- Any issues with allowing Lion to create a "Recovery HD" partition?
- What are the "problems with SATA 3"?
- Temperature sensor (?)
- Configuration (?)
 
Last edited:

intelliot

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 18, 2006
92
0
"Yes, that's right, OS X finally has TRIM support but Apple only enables it on it's own branded SSDs. To Apple's credit, given the number of problems I've seen with SSDs over the past couple of years it makes sense to lock down and only support drives you've validated."

- Does TRIM support matter?
- Is it true that it can only be enabled on Apple's own SSDs?
- Are there any current compatibility problems seen with third-party SSDs?
 

intelliot

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 18, 2006
92
0
Has anyone gotten the Late-2011 MacBook Pro 15-inch (released 26 days ago) with a 256GB Apple SSD, and benchmarked it?
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
I got the 128 GB one last week and it is exactly the model that appears in the benchmark. I guess the same is true for the 256 GB. If apple had suddenly switched to SATA 3 SSDs I think we would have heard.

I don't know how accurate the benchmark is. A few people here on the forums have installed a Crucial M4 and seemed quite happy. I haven't heard much about kingston on the other hand.

Try search the forums a bit more, I think most information about 3rd party SSDs is available somewhere.
 

RedReplicant

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2010
693
5
"Yes, that's right, OS X finally has TRIM support but Apple only enables it on it's own branded SSDs. To Apple's credit, given the number of problems I've seen with SSDs over the past couple of years it makes sense to lock down and only support drives you've validated."

- Does TRIM support matter?
- Is it true that it can only be enabled on Apple's own SSDs?
- Are there any current compatibility problems seen with third-party SSDs?
You can enable TRIM on third party SSDs. I've got it running on my Corsair Force.
Like the poster above, it's expensive because it's good to go out of the box. Plus, you wouldn't need to switch out the SSD when you take it in for service. :)
HDD/SSD is considered user replaceable, he doesn't need to remove it for service.
 

jlc1978

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2009
2,688
1,034
What are the downsides to upgrading to an SSD myself?
I did that - no serious downsides other than it's not covered under Applecare. As a bonus you can slap the HDD in an enclosure and use it as an external drive.
 

seanmorr

macrumors newbie
Nov 6, 2011
23
0
I recently bought a 15" late 2011 Macbook pro with an upgraded screen and a 128gb ssd drive(apples drive)

I was happy with it and it was very fast and snappy in real world use (had an air previously and the pro with the ssd feels just as snappy).

My goal was to put a 500gb in the dvd space in addition to the ssd and put a win7 installation on the 500gb...this proved to be insanely complicated and yes I did a ton of research and tried a bunch of different techniques.

soo...I realized the 128gb was not going to work for me since I am going to have to put a bootcamp partition on the main drive.

realized I was going to need a 256gb ssd drive(theres no going back to a regular drive after using a ssd) and settled on the crucial m4.

have it installed now, working great, no apparent problems and benchmarking at 500+mb/s speed

In real world use I can't tell a difference between it and the apple ssd...lightroom might be a bit faster...haven't done any video editing since I changed drives. It benchmarks much faster but in real world use very hard to tell.

I think the 128gb apple drive is a reasonable deal, but the 256 is not...the m4 is about $130 or so cheaper than the apple drive and there are some other good options like the samsung 820 and the intel drives.

so did I make some poor buying decisions? yes but I'm happy with my build now, plus I have an extra 128gb ssd ;)
 

jlc1978

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2009
2,688
1,034
One other thing - get the right screwdrivers - Lowes and Home Depot both sell cheap multi tip sets that have the needed Torx drivers.
 

intelliot

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 18, 2006
92
0
@seanmorr thank you very much for the input. Based on your experience, I think I will go ahead with Apple's stock 750GB HDD, and swap it out for an SSD myself.

Now I just need to decide between the Crucial M4 256GB, and the Kingston SH100S3/240G.

Crucial M4 256GB - $374 on Amazon

Kingston HyperX 240GB SATA III 2.5-Inch 6.0 Gb/s Solid State Drive with SandForce Technology SH100S3/240G - $449 on Amazon

Anyone know anything about this Kingston SSD?


Also, should I bother looking into TRIM?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,328
10,079
California
One other consideration is just because a synthetic benchmark shows 2X the file transfer speed, does not mean you will see twice the difference on your machine in day to day use. Normal usage just opening your apps and using them you will likely see little to no difference between the two drives you mentioned.
 

intelliot

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 18, 2006
92
0
Yes, I'm very aware of that, but I'm a software developer and spend my entire life on my laptop, so every microsecond counts :D
 
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