Need help picking a SSD for a new 27" iMac I'm about to purchase

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Hayashi, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Hayashi macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2008
    After many hours of research on the forums and throughout the web I have narrowed down my choices for a SSD drive for my new iMac. There is so much miss information going around though that its really hard to choose one over the other, so I was hoping you guys could help me out.

    These are the choices I've come up with:

    Intel X-25M G2 - 160gb
    OWC Mercury Extreme Pro - 120gb
    Crucial's RealSSD C300 - 128gb
    OCZ Vertex 2 - 120gb
    Corsair F120 - 120gb

    My plan is to run both OSX and Windows 7.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. pubjoe macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007
    When anandtech looked into the sandforce drives, they recommended the corsair F series for a mac. I think this may have been accounting for it being slightly cheaper than the C300 too.

    A couple of people here (who have done the upgrade) opted for the same drive, so I just let them do the research for me, and ordered a corsair F60 for myself.
  3. Jaffaman27 macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    I installed Vertex 2 120GB and it's working beautifully...
    But any sandforce drive should do..
  4. Hayashi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2008
    I'm not sure since a lot of the information is quite old considering how fast technology updates these days and what was posted at the end of last year or the beginning of this year might now be true anymore.

    The Intel drive is one of the more reliable and tested drives and has been proven to work. The sandforce drives are very good but not as proved and the c300 doesnt have garbage collection or it does on the drive? It's all so confusing haha.
  5. symbology macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2010
  6. symbology macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2010
  7. wirelessness macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2010
    Reports I have seen indicate the Crucial Real SSD devices do not have back ground garbage collection like the Sandforce Controller drives do. Same for the Intel based drives. This would seem to rule these drives out for Mac users unless you want to go through the hassle of performing an actual Secure Erase procedure to recondition the drive and then restore your backup image. Not an easy process on an iMac either (not as simple as erasing in Disk Tools)

    Sandforce based drives seem to be the logical choice for Macs right now. If you read all the reviews most of the newest models perform almost identically, so go with the best price and the best customer support of your choice. I went with 2 Corsair Force F120's and so far so good.
  8. Hayashi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2008
  9. racketeer71 macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2010

    For me, there's no alternative to OCZ Vertex 2, if you're running OS X. I ordered mine today.

    Anandtech, in a Crucial RealSSD C300 review concludes: "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."

  10. zerostar macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2008
    South Florida
    Even without TRIM, OS X has had no problems with Intel X25 drives... I just did a 80GB Install at home (Keeping it cheap until prices drop, I even did a thread here) and I have had MANY of these in 40, 80, 160 at work in PCs and in our iMacs as well. They seem to last and continually out perform any of the other SSDs we have had... Write seems to be capped around 80-100MB on the 80GB model, but even with that its just a quality FAST drive and I'd take it any day over one with a lil quicker write.

    Seems like no matter what drive we have in a Mac, they seem to slow-down when they get full (Indilinx, Sandforce, Etc.). The X25 hasn't had this problem in my experience...
  11. wirelessness macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2010
    If a drive is near capacity it will not perform as well regardless of brand/model. That said, Sandforce based drives reserve space in NAND called 'Spare Area' this is used to reorganize data and clear unused blocks. In the absence of Trim support non-Sandforce drives will degrade over time as they are not capable of reorganizing data and freeing up blocks. Most drives will still perform very well when compared to HDD's and most users would probably not notice an issue until the drive is very degraded.

    Now that Sandforce drives have been around long enough to be proven equally reliable as other drives using different controllers there just doesn't seem to be enough justification to go another route for OSX.
  12. mangrove macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    FL, USA
    I own the OWC 120GB you mention. Lightening fast like most Sandforce SSD's, like the support at OWC.

    Did you ever check out their website where they rate SSD and HDD in your machine? Good reading also to help see what different RAM does for performance. Also this link is incredible for knowledge IMHO. He has lots of data on comparing various SSD in different Macs, but keep in mind, he is mostly a Mac Pro guy.
  13. mangrove macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    FL, USA
    I own different size OWC's and just so you know by boot SSD (40GB) is only 27GB full (including 3GB of downloads). OSX, applications and home are all on this. I use a 240 for my 2nd drive due to a big iTunes lib of 120GB.

    Blazingly fast-gear wheel to dock is sometimes i second, but to me 5 seconds is the norm. Only give this example since everything else is just a fast even when opening large numbers files while having 5 safari windows open, pages open with 2 files and mail open.

    In this way I can have SSD's for backup boot drives, which I got for $99 from OWC in August.
  14. bhagiratha macrumors newbie


    Nov 25, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    I just go the G.SKILL Phoenix Pro Series FM-25S2S-120GBP2 yesterday 9/14/10 to replace the stock superdrive in my 27" i7 imac. I will be doing so over the weekend. Hopefully, all will go as plan. I read the reviews on this SSD, and decided to make it my choice.

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