OWC Vs OCZ(Both SATAIII 6GB/S SSD's)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mak713, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. mak713, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011

    mak713 macrumors member

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    #1
  2. NikonD3s macrumors newbie

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    Both require you to have Windows 7 in order to update the Sandforce Controller's Firmware to make them work? That's an additional $100+.
     
  3. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

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    Leaning towards OWC. I'll wait for Anand's review and also to see if the hibernation/sleep issues are resolved. I'll probably wait for some to get it and report back on this forum to insure compatibility too. I'm just going to wait it out a bit.
     
  4. mediasorcerer macrumors regular

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    u can use a free trial,or get a copied version just for the install,or linux distro will do,u can git that for free,unfortunately most ssd,s require windows to update,and it can be hard too,to make it work,but even so,they make your machine rip.
     
  5. mediasorcerer macrumors regular

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    good post,these two are definately the contenders ay!

    i had a ocz v2 120 last time,and it was fine no probs at all,but,owc seem to be a pretty reasonable company,its almost as fast as the ocz,and it may be more mac friendly,maybe,i dont believe theres a whole lot of diff,in fact,i bet in real world use,the owc may surpass the ocz for allus i know.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    +1 How OWC can continue to tout themselves as a Mac specific vendor, yet STILL offer no way to update firmware on OS X is just amazing. At least OCZ offers a Linux boot CD solution.

    Both OCZ and OWC switched their SSD drives from 34nm NAND to less robust 25nm NAND while keeping the exact same model names, making both deceptive vendors in my view.

    I believe OCZ has a Linux boot CD firmware update solution, but not OWC. OWC requires a Windows install on the SSD under Bootcamp. What "free trial" of Windows do you speak of that would allow this as I am not aware of this option.
     
  7. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

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    That tells you that OWC is relabeling someone else's drive. Which isn't surprising, they aren't a big enough company to make their own SSD's.
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    Barefeats has a test up on the new OWC SATA III SSD.
     
  9. KJmoon117 macrumors 6502a

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    Neither is OCZ but they still make awesome products.

    Blame SandForce, they aren't a big enough company to give attention to the Mac market. Too bad they have one of the best controllers out there.
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    I take your point that Sandforce makes the controller so vendors are somewhat reliant on Sandforce to provide firmware and firmware updates. You are kind of making my point though that OWC's claims about being a Mac SSD vendor are really just marketing speak and have no basis in reality.

    I'm not sure I would say Sandforce makes the "best" controller. At this time they probably make the fastest controller, but when you factor in reliability and compatibility also, I think the equation changes. Kind of like saying a Corvette is the best car because it is fastest.
     
  11. OWC Larry macrumors member

    OWC Larry

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    #11
    OWC Mercury Pro SSDs

    Our product line is both designed and built in the USA based on reference Sandforce specifications, but final engineering/design to our own. In looking at the new 2281 120GB capacity, I believe we are currently the only manufacturer to be be building with a true 16 channel solution... which is why our 120GB is benching so much faster than other 120GB SF2281 based solutions. There are more than one way to design and build these products and in early testing we safe significant impacts to performance in various real-world testing of 10-75% when dropping from 16 or 12 channels down to only 8. Anyway... moving on...

    The reason we don't have a Mac specific updater today is because originally there was a commitment by Sandforce to provide a universal solution, so we didn't pursue this. Last fall we did begin development when this never came to fruition and are actually very close to releasing a clean, Intel Mac universal, firmware update solution for our drives. At the moment, regardless of what brand SSD you have - if it is Sandforce based, the only currently reliable path to do so on a Mac requires that Windows be booted via bootcamp. Our current information on this here:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/Customized_Pages/Framework.cfm?page=sf_firmware.html

    As for why it's taking this long to provide an update utility for Mac.... well - without going into a ton of detail, Apple is who has made this an extra special challenge and we're excited about our expectation of soon having a beta release of a our Mac universal updater none the less. We are very careful and cautious as this is a data solution product and I should need say no more.

    FWIW - this is an example of quite an engineering adaptation, our MacBook Air 2010 SSD solution:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/Aura_Pro_Express

    Yes, we're not a giant company - but with well over 120 direct employees and well over 130 on our team overall - we're not tiny either and significant resources go into these projects to make the products possible.

    Various aspects are very frustrating with the SSDs, especially firmware issues beyond our control... but, again, very excited to soon have the update issue within that sphere. :)

     
  12. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Nice one
     
  13. MastaK macrumors member

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    I placed an order for 240GB today, I will report on its performance or any problems as soon as I receive it.
     
  14. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000

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    Thanks larry - very informing post! So can we all bombard sandforce with a petition for a f/w updater for intel macs!

    zero regrets on my owc drive - i copped a bargain for from the garage sale 120gb ssd - something small to play around with until the new sata-3 drives are out - i was very impressed, lightening fats and reliable - given this was a technically used drive! I plan on installing this into my sisters window laptop!
    PS i have boot-camp for this reason, and because i play a few games in windows, so a windows only updtae is not an issue for me - u suppose a freebie linux option like ocz provide would be an option larry if owc's intention for a mac-update is pushed back further and further!

    Really cant wait to cop my 240gb drive

    Will you also be relasing the enterprise solution? x2 240GB in raid 0 would be sick! (altho only the hdd negotiates to sata-6)
     
  15. NikonD3s macrumors newbie

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    Exactly what I was waiting to hear. Thanks Larry for monitoring this forum and coming out with the info. OWC looks after their current and future customers better than most, from what I can see.
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    Nice one what?

    I appreciate an OWC rep. explaining why they don't have a Mac firmware updater, but my point still stands. As of today there is no reason to buy an OWC SSD over a competitor if your motivation is somehow OWC's SSD is more Mac oriented/compatible.

    If OWC is able to produce a Mac native firmware updater, that changes things.

    If you are buying a SSD today, there are vendors such as Intel and Crucial who provide a way to update firmware on a Mac via boot CDRom images.
     
  17. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

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    Good to hear! I guess this is shown by the Bare Feats tests that Weaselboy posted earlier. The 120 GB OWC drive is faster than the 120 GB Vertex 3.
     
  18. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    In today's day and age I think that it's refreshing to see a company rep responding to concerns in an open manner.
     
  19. Weaselboy, Apr 13, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011

    Weaselboy Moderator

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    I would agree, although I did not see OWC address the issue of switching from 34nm to 25nm NAND while keeping the same model name. Everybody beat OCZ to death on this. Granted OCZ did it in such a way that performance was reduced, but the fact is 25nm NAND does not have the lifetime of 34nm NAND.
     
  20. brentsg macrumors 68040

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    Me too, but it still doesn't help me with the firmware.
     
  21. Achiever macrumors 6502

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    To be fair, though, OWC's warranties remained the same regardless of the NAND size/architecture. So it is OWC which assumes the risk if the drive dies within 3-5 years (depending on the model).
     
  22. theSeb macrumors 604

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    If I recall correctly, OCZ was beaten to death for other reasons
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4256/the-ocz-vertex-3-review-120gb

    25nm NAND is typically rated for 3000 program/erase cycles

    From Anandtech
     
  23. 73CortinaV8 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Thanks for the info, Larry.
     
  24. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #24
    You linked to a later issue involving OCZ's NAND specs that was stirred up by a OWC blog post. That is not what I was referring to.

    I am talking about the switch from 34nm to 25nm NAND. What happened was OCZ released the Vertex 2 with 34nm NAND and later switched it to 25nm NAND and they configured it in such a way that there was a speed hit. Users were understandably not pleased. OCZ eventually made it right by offering to exchange the drive.

    Then we have OWC trashing OCZ in their blog post implying OCZ is using substandard NAND. OCZ refuted the OWC post and stated their NAND does meet full specs. This is the issue you mentioned.

    After all that OWC changes their NAND from 34nm to 25nm. OWC implemented this change in such a way that apparently drive speeds were not impacted. But none the less, OWC did not announce the spec change anywhere on their web site (at least I could not find it).

    So let's review. In 2010 OWC comes out with the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD and they send out review samples to various tech sites. The drive is reviewed favorably and tear downs show the drive uses 34nm NAND chips. So if you are researching the OWC SSD you think, "This looks like a good drive and one that uses the more durable 34nm NAND." But what you don't know is in the last month OWC switched to 25nm NAND in the same name product still calling it "OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD."

    As you mentioned, 25nm NAND is usually rated at 3000 cycles. 34nm NAND is usually rated at 5000 cycles. Which would you rather have in your SSD? In normal usage it might not matter to some people, but as a consumer I would certainly like to have the information so I can make an informed decision which works best for me. OWC appears to have "over provisioned" the 25nm drives to try and offset the impact of this change.

    I suppose I just find it amusing that OWC trashed OCZ in a blog post over NAND specs, then a month later they make a substantive spec change to their own NAND without telling consumers.

    I think it would have been more consumer friendly for OWC to announce the change up front on their web site and call the 25nm NAND drives "OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD II" or something so everybody would understand their was a change.

    Intel handled this by a complete name change. They went from the X25-M with 34nm NAND to a new model with the same controller and 25nm NAND and renamed it the Intel 320 SSD.
     
  25. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Fair enough. I understand your gripes now.
     

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