Problems with OS X and SSD? Intel X25-M doubt...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ribbon, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. ribbon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #1
    Just wondering about the problem SSD seems to have with OS X, since I read their performance go down with the time. Is that true? Is there any way to avoid it?

    I've read that Intel SSD are by far the best ones, and I've been thinking of buying a Intel X25-M 80GB for system&apps, but I don't want to spend such amount of money with my SSD only lasting for... 3 years?
     
  2. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #2
    It is not an OSX related problem. It happens to all SSDs, it's just that Windows 7 supports the TRIM feature which helps return the read/write speeds closer to what they were with a new drive. Even without it modern SSDs have garbage collection features that help with this.

    It doesn't mean that your SSD will break or be unbearably slow in 3 years. All it means is that it will be slower than it was when new, which is still helluva lot faster than a regular hard drive.

    I've had my X25-M 160GB for about 6 months now and the performance degradation is unnoticeable. Still boots really fast, programs open instantly etc.

    Just get the SSD, use it and don't worry about it. TRIM support will come eventually, possibly in OSX 10.7 in a year or two or with a 10.6 service pack.
     
  3. gonzaload1987 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #3
    Besides Intel, OCZ and Kingston are offerring some interesting new ssd which are very fast, specially in write performances, beating Intel. Maybe there aren't the fastest ones, but you will notice an increasing of the speed...
     
  4. dingmah macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    AB
    #4
    Life expectancy for the Intel X-25M G2 is rated @ 1.2 million hours Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF). Which works out to 136.99 years of continuous use... you'll be fine. I know I'm enjoying my X25-M in my uMBP :)
     
  5. tyua macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    #5
    i have a postville 160gb in a mbp 15' 2.8ghz c2d
    ssd are great stuff, and intel ssd are excellent
    even if your ssd performance goes down progressively, with intel ssd it is not noticable, but you may have troubles with others ssd
     
  6. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #6
    I have to take mine out of my MBP and put it in my server so I can run the secure erase commands. The only way I know how to do it (Using ubuntu live CD) doesn't support the ATA secure erase function via the Macbook Pro, because the BIOS doesn't allow it. For those who don't know , the ATA SE command is not the same as a zero write format. it's a factory-state reset that only takes a couple of seconds and sets the cells to blank (hence restoring factory speed).

    You can get more info here

    btw, even boggled down with usage based wear, it's still faster than any rotational drive i've used :D
     
  7. ribbon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #7
    what do you think more convenient: updating to 8gb ram (from 4gb) or buying that ssd from intel (80gb, the 160gb is too much expensive for me)?

    considering that i use to have a lot of hours vmware up (program with visual studio)

    btw, i guess i'll take a look at ifixit guides, but replacing the standar hdd for the sdd is as easy as:

    open the case with a scredriver. unplug the old hdd. plug the sdd. switch my mac on booting from SL install disks and run disc utility in order to format a install the operating system. am i right?

    thanks in advance.
     
  8. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #8
    It's tough to pick. When I went from 4gb to 8gb I was able to allocate more ram to my windows VM running win 7 with MS SQL server 2008.

    The SSD made a huge impact in the performance of my queries.

    If your apps depend a lot on local database servers the SSD makes a more significant difference.
     
  9. ssd macrumors newbie

    ssd

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #9

    1. RAM.
    2. SSD

    80 G2 Intel / 8GB RAM heavy Paralells user here.
     
  10. ssd macrumors newbie

    ssd

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #10
    Not that tough. RAM first of all. That will allow VM to breath. Hard drive thrashing occurs mostly because of lack of RAM. That said with running SQL Server 2008 under XP SP3 in Parallels I have about 1.75-1.25 RAM available in SL (out of 8GB). Not sure why SL is so memory hungry as I am only running Firefox, Mail, Preview (3-4 pdfs opened), Things, iTunes and Parallels (2GB slice).

    Love the machine, btw. 2.8 C2D is very difficult to stress. At peak times have still around 40-50% load on both cores.
     
  11. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #11
    How much ram do you allocate to your XP VM?
     
  12. ribbon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #12
    ok, just the last question :)

    do you know of a "how-to" which guides me to open my macbook an installing the ssd (maybe I can do both upgrades: ram+ssd. goodbye saves :( )?

    thanks a lot for your help and patience :)
     
  13. stonyc macrumors 65816

    stonyc

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan
    #13
    ifixit.com, and apple.com have guides for RAM/hard drive upgrades... very easy, just make sure you have the right kind and sized screwdrivers.
     
  14. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #14
    You only have to unscrew the bottom to install the ram with a Phillips 00 tip screwdrive (although the 0 tip seems to work just fine)

    For the HDD you also need a torx T6 key or screw driver and a little more attention with the cables.

    Search for "replace macbook pro ram" and hdd on youtube and you will find plenty of videos.

    Apple instructions to replace RAM

    Apple instructions to replace hard drive
     
  15. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #15
    I just noticed that with my intel x25-m 80GB G2 model, I cant use vmware fusion or parallels.

    Both runs fine but when I have my laptop idle for 30 min or longer it freezes and everytime I take a look at the log it saids that there is an error with the windows system (either with vmware fusion or parallels) and freezes the whole system everytime!

    Last night I uninstalled vmware fusion and parallels and just pressed the shift + control + delete to sleep my external monitor (my 13" connected to the 24" led acd) and this morning it wasnt frozen.

    Anyway, I need windows for school so I just installed it via bootcamp and only allocated 8GB of space in the partition.

    Might as well use the bootcamp as booting times is significantly faster on the SSD.

    As for the degradation of the SSD in terms of read/write speed, I read an article where (even without TRIM), the intel x25-m G2 with its new algorithms and bigger dRAM allows only 2% degradation of read speed and 8% of write speed over the long run.

    So you shouldnt worry about anything. Just buy it!!
     
  16. ssd macrumors newbie

    ssd

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #16
    2GB. It doesn't use more than 1GB anyway (in my case).
     
  17. seepel macrumors 6502

    seepel

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #17
    Maybe not much better than your current method, but you can do it using an external enclosure. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=841182
     
  18. ribbon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #18
    wow, is this a common issue? since I need vmware (don't like to reboot just to use one windows-program)...
     
  19. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #19
    I use parallels with multiple VM's open (debian and Windows) all day and don't have this issue.
     
  20. ribbon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #20
    sorry to bother you again guys. just about to order a the 80gb ssd, but one last doubt:

    - will it be enough for mac os x and apps?

    - and the main: may i use in the same way as a hdd? i mean, using it for downloading stuff (until the ssd is full, so I may move the data to my external hdds), movies, playing music, and so son, or it should be better to do that right from a external hdd in order to slow down the "degradation" process? I don't know if I'm just too busy.

    cheers.
     
  21. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #21
    I found a work around solution. If you install bootcamp via windows, THEN install vmware fusion or parallels and run the windows bootcamp via vmware/parallels on OSX it works fine. No more freezes.

    As for the previous poster with an intel SSD said he doesnt have any issues, try doing this before going to bed.

    Leave your mbp running and press shift + control + delete to sleep the display and keep the laptop running all night. When you wake up in the morning try to press any key to wake the notebook up. For me even though I have vmware fusion or parallels 5 closed, it seems to lock up OSX because under console it shows an error regarding vmware or parallels.

    But if I use the bootcamp method and use vmware/parallels it works fine without any issues.
     
  22. seepel macrumors 6502

    seepel

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #22
    I had some activation issues doing this with Windows 7. So be ready for that. I had to reactivate by phone.
     
  23. ssd macrumors newbie

    ssd

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #23
    1. I currently have 80GB G2 Intel drive in my MBP. I don't know your needs but when re-installing Mac OS on that drive, one can customise the setup by unchecking Printer Drivers option and multi language pack. That alone save a few gigabytes. With my current setup:

    1. Mac OS X SL (customised setup)
    2. Photoshop CS4
    3. Illustrator CS4
    4. iWork 09
    5. Parallels, XP, SQL Server 2K8 (11GB VM)
    6. Firefox, Stuffit, VLC, other small utils
    7. My docs folder (1.3GB)

    I have about 42GB FREE.

    2. Use SSD normally as you would HDD. Don't think about the degradation. Intel and other SSD manufacturers for that matter, offer three (3) years warranty on their products so you should be more than OK for at least three years before you upgrade your entire systems (that what I would do).
     
  24. dclaessen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    #24
    "I have to take mine out of my MBP and put it in my server so I can run the secure erase commands. The only way I know how to do it (Using ubuntu live CD) doesn't support the ATA secure erase function via the Macbook Pro, because the BIOS doesn't allow it. For those who don't know , the ATA SE command is not the same as a zero write format. it's a factory-state reset that only takes a couple of seconds and sets the cells to blank (hence restoring factory speed). "

    You can get more info here

    I just performed the procedure described in the wiki article quoted above using the GParted Linux distribution (LiveCD). I simply had to boot from the CD (with the MacBook Pro cover and battery removed), and while running unplugging the SATA connection the the Intel X25M drive (note SATA connections are hot-pluggable). After immediately plugging it back in, I could issue the commands described in the article.
    I had huge problems with random freezes (which lasted for 20 seconds or so). Since then, everything seems fine again... I have used my drive for a year now, and started to get problems since 3 months or so.. Seems like "factory resetting" solves the problems, at least for now...

    Dennis
     
  25. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #25
    I have had my SSD installed for like a week and love it.
    Best damn 230 bucks I have ever spent in recent time.
     

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