Rationalize the SSD (Apple vs. Intel x25)

abnospam

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 17, 2008
210
0
Ok, so I keep hearing people say "apple tax" and "buy an after market, its cheaper". So I some math and its not adding up.

The mid-level MBP 15" is $2,000 with a stock 5400 HD @ 320 GB.
Upgrade that to 128 GB SSD by Apple for $300 for a total of $2300.

Now, an Intel x25 is about $500 so, that would make it $2500 or $200 more.

Now, 160GB vs. 128 GB makes the 128 GB upgrade compare out at $400 (+ 33%), or $100 more. Now give the value of the 5400 HDD about $50. So you are very close to even, but I don't really need a spare HD.

So, now this is the comparison:

Apple SSD + Apple Support + $100 vs. Intel x25 performance + 32 more GBs + spare HDD + Hassle of non-supported hardware


So, I am not sure this is so obvious. What do you folks think?
 

gfiz

macrumors 6502
Dec 18, 2009
349
1
Virginia
samsung drive vs. intel drive.

your argument might have merit if the disparity between performance of said drives wasn't so far apart. It's like arguing the value proposition of an Lexus and a Jetta
 

Azmordean

macrumors 6502
Mar 10, 2004
250
0
Silicon Valley
Unless I've been hiding under a rock, my understanding is OS X still does not support TRIM.

Unless and until OSX supports TRIM, I would NOT use a SSD with OS X, built in or aftermarket.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
Unless I've been hiding under a rock, my understanding is OS X still does not support TRIM.

Unless and until OSX supports TRIM, I would NOT use a SSD with OS X, built in or aftermarket.
Do you somehow think the Samsung drive Apple uses is mysterously better because they use it as their stock drive? You can't argue performance benchmarks as cited above.


I can appreciate that th OP feels the need for a pack of strangers to rationalize his purchase or future purchase. What I can't appreciate is the theories outlined in the post when they clearly show a lack of understanding of SSDs. While I disagree with citing one is more like a Lexus and the other is a VW (Jetta specifically), I can see why that would be said.

Price per GB ... you look at it on a cost per GB then you're not exactly far off in price difference. Also note the Intel Gen 2 SSD was under $400 until demand skyrocketed. Today (I check nearly daily) I can get that drive off Amazon frequently for $470 shipped. Today it is $499 from Intel, next week I bet I can prove it's $470 shipped from another supplier with Amazon.

To think that you're without support, the oh so incredible Apple support, because you've used an aftermarket piece of hardware is not inane. What is inane is to think that Intel's support is mysteriously non-existant. Intel offers support.

Apple doesn't support trim, the thought that the Samsung is a mystical drive that supports it is misguided. Not that it was said but it was mentioned by Azmordean that "Unless and until OSX supports TRIM, I would NOT use a SSD with OS X, built in or aftermarket." Not that trim isn't important but given that I, along with many users, are successfully using SSDs in their machines without trim says something.

While you do not need the spare HD it is not bad to have. Even still, I don't see the argument of having an Apple SSD + Apple Support + $100 vs hassle. I guess that is because most Apple machines I've owned have quickly been stripped of their drives and replaced with others. IE: MacMini 5400 RPM out and 7200 RPM in. MP 500 GB out and 1TB in then later a 160GB Intel G2 SSD. PowerBook 80GB out 100GB in ... etc etc. The only one I didn't touch was the MB Air. Each time I've had support and if it was the drive then I still had support through whomever manufactured the drive. I've never voided a warranty by touching the drive.

So to answer your question abnospam, Apple tax applies to ram and HDDs. SSDs are slightly different because they're still new and seriously overpriced to date. What rationalizes it? For many there is little rational other than the geek hardon one might get knowing they have such tech under their hood. I enjoy using the SSD in my MP mostly because it's my "heavy lifter" and I've found PS CS4 to be quite a joy to use. While it was always great with my other drive (7200 RPM) the SSD has spoiled me slightly. It is entirely up to you if you want to kick drive space out the window for speed.
 

abnospam

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 17, 2008
210
0
I can appreciate that th OP feels the need for a pack of strangers to rationalize his purchase or future purchase. What I can't appreciate is the theories outlined in the post when they clearly show a lack of understanding of SSDs. While I disagree with citing one is more like a Lexus and the other is a VW (Jetta specifically), I can see why that would be said.
Wow - when you hit reply, you had a choice. Either respond with arrogance or be helpful, I now see which way you decided to go. May you have a happy life.

anyway...
I still have not seen one person say unequivocally that all MBPs have Samsung SSDs. Furthermore, I haven't yet seen which model they are referencing of the Samsung nor the specs that are published on that model. Forgive me if I am missing it, but someone please let me know the actual drive and model used by a MBP if I bought one today. The article posted is almost 5 months old!

p.s. Lets make this moot and get x25's in the new MBPs coming out this month.
 

gfiz

macrumors 6502
Dec 18, 2009
349
1
Virginia
i have no idea what brand drives they are...they use Samsung controllers, which is really the most relevant aspect of the SSD you use. They're arguably the second worse controller available on the market (after JMicron). Any controllers by Intel, Marvell, Sandforce, & Indilinx would be many times over more preferable.
 

chriszzz

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2008
293
0
Wow - when you hit reply, you had a choice. Either respond with arrogance or be helpful, I now see which way you decided to go. May you have a happy life.

anyway...
I still have not seen one person say unequivocally that all MBPs have Samsung SSDs. Furthermore, I haven't yet seen which model they are referencing of the Samsung nor the specs that are published on that model. Forgive me if I am missing it, but someone please let me know the actual drive and model used by a MBP if I bought one today. The article posted is almost 5 months old!

p.s. Lets make this moot and get x25's in the new MBPs coming out this month.
It doesn't matter what Samsung drive they are. Unless they are using Intel or OCZ drives (which they aren't), they aren't worth the price they are charging.
 

chopper dave

macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2007
139
0
Unless I've been hiding under a rock, my understanding is OS X still does not support TRIM.

Unless and until OSX supports TRIM, I would NOT use a SSD with OS X, built in or aftermarket.
1. the Intel drive without TRIM deals with the degradation better than the Samsung drive.

2. Lack of TRIM doesn't degrade performance significantly until your drive is over 75% full. Also, it takes several months of use for the performance to degrade. If you're really worried about it, you could do a full format (write 0's) every 4 months and restore from time machine, effectively bringing your drive back to a new state.

3. Regardless of TRIM/no TRIM, the intel drive is still order(s) of magnitude faster than a hard drive.
 

daneoni

macrumors G4
Mar 24, 2006
10,803
79
...2. Lack of TRIM doesn't degrade performance significantly until your drive is over 75% full. Also, it takes several months of use for the performance to degrade. If you're really worried about it, you could do a full format (write 0's) every 4 months and restore from time machine, effectively bringing your drive back to a new state...
Wasn't this purported to be bad practice
 

abnospam

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 17, 2008
210
0
Thanks everyone, some good info.

Without trim and without reformatting, what else can you do to regain performance?

Also, should I be worried about apple firmware and the intel SSD?
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
Wow - when you hit reply, you had a choice. Either respond with arrogance or be helpful, I now see which way you decided to go. May you have a happy life.

anyway...
I still have not seen one person say unequivocally that all MBPs have Samsung SSDs. Furthermore, I haven't yet seen which model they are referencing of the Samsung nor the specs that are published on that model. Forgive me if I am missing it, but someone please let me know the actual drive and model used by a MBP if I bought one today. The article posted is almost 5 months old!

p.s. Lets make this moot and get x25's in the new MBPs coming out this month.
Actually I was helpful, but clearly your feelings got hurt and you didn't read past the car analogy. Figures. :rolleyes:
 

Sneakz

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2008
1,167
162
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Why do people act like the slow down from lack of TRIM is a big deal. It's less than 5%. Minimal, not even noticeable. Still runs circles around hard drives and keeps up with even the newest of SSDs (C300, anything with SandForce).
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
Why do people act like the slow down from lack of TRIM is a big deal. It's less than 5%. Minimal, not even noticeable. Still runs circles around hard drives and keeps up with even the newest of SSDs (C300, anything with SandForce).
Because I really think people don't totally understand these things yet.
 

seepel

macrumors 6502
Dec 22, 2009
471
0
Wasn't this purported to be bad practice
It isn't really necessary, but I don't really see what the harm is. The only thing I could think of is the limited number of writes, but it is something like 10,000 writes per cell. If you do this 3 times a year for 10 years you're still only using about 0.3% of them. If you can really notice a speed increase I say why not? I suspect that you wouldn't though.

Every hard drive you buy is constantly degrading just like anything else. SSDs are a bit more quantifiable so everyone gets up in a fuss. These aren't the days of the busted JMicron controllers anymore, these things are solid and reliable.
 

Thiol

macrumors 6502a
Jan 26, 2008
693
0
It isn't really necessary, but I don't really see what the harm is. The only thing I could think of is the limited number of writes, but it is something like 10,000 writes per cell. If you do this 3 times a year for 10 years you're still only using about 0.3% of them. If you can really notice a speed increase I say why not? I suspect that you wouldn't though.

Every hard drive you buy is constantly degrading just like anything else. SSDs are a bit more quantifiable so everyone gets up in a fuss. These aren't the days of the busted JMicron controllers anymore, these things are solid and reliable.
The harm is that there is a difference between an empty cell and a cell with "0" written to it. "0" is just like "1." It's the same as filling your entire hard drive with data.
 

fibrizo

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2009
410
3
Why do people act like the slow down from lack of TRIM is a big deal. It's less than 5%. Minimal, not even noticeable. Still runs circles around hard drives and keeps up with even the newest of SSDs (C300, anything with SandForce).
Well, some things are highly impacted. Such as random writes. Here's a recent article on SSD performance with and without trim. Interestingly the corsair drive is a samsung chipset drive so it will help with this whole discussion in anycase.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storage/2010/02/04/windows-7-ssd-performance-and-trim/1


This graph has a non trim firmware for each drive with clean and dirty tests followed by a trim firmware with clean and dirty tests w/trim on

The corsair (Samsung) drive in random writes, outright just sucks, but froms from 3.8mb/s -> 1.1... even with the newer trim firmware still drops to ~2

The intel drive drops from 40 -> 7 without trim. Which is huge, but still funnily twice as fast as a brand new clean samsung drive.

With trim on, the performance dromsfrom 40.9 ->38.8 which is negligable.

And yes, even a dirty samsung drive is still just as fast and slightly faster than a spinning disk. Also this is why a samsung based 128gb SSD can be purchased for less than 300$ retail, while the 160gb intel will run 450$. But if you're willing to wait, I think we'll see a big price drop when they introduce the 320gb drive.
 

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