samsung vs crucial

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by archdelux, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. archdelux macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2008
    I have a 2010 MBP (ie 3Gb/s speed)

    Which should I get:
    -Samsung 830 128Gb ($120) - will fit all system files, OS, etc.
    -Crucial M4 256Gb ($205) - will fit everything except movies and pics

    samsung also sells 256, but that is around $250.

    Will having all files on the SSD be noticeably faster than just having the OS/system files on the SSD?
    Is there a noticeable difference between crucial M4 and samsung 830?

    Will I need something like a data doubler if I am transferring my main HD to the optibay and installing the SSD in the main bay?

  2. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    I would wait for the next deal if I were you!

    I just bought my samsung 830 128GB for $89.99 no tax and free shipping on newegg!
  3. dmsmith macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2006
  4. archdelux thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2008

    Also, given that I can only use it up to 3gb/sec, should I just install the ssd into the optical bay?
  5. J&JPolangin, Jul 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012

    J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    Go to Amazon and save several of the crucial M4 size drives to your cart "save for later"...I had gotten a 256Gb drive for $189.99 shipped but decided to return it when I was able to score the 512Gb model of the M4 drive for $349.99 = NO space worries at all now:D

    I've had RAM from Crucial appear to be bad ~8 - 9 years later and they replace it no questions asked with a new item:D

    Samsung USA's customer support sucks (I've had problems with some of there top of the line TV's and other products and I "just say no" to Samsung if I can help it - unless its free)!
  6. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Jul 30, 2008
    You can snatch up both drives, at 256 GBs, for $180 (or even less) with the right deal from the likes of NewEgg.

    The Samsung is technically superior but has s*** Mac support in terms of firmware updates. You'll need access to a Windows machine. At one point you needed To update the firmware through Windows but I read that you can now use it to make a disc (no first hand knowledge on that, though). I also read that at one point you needed their software to enable some drive features (again, not sure what has changed in newer firmware versions).

    The Crucial M4 is a good drive with Mac support (and a somewhat shaky firmware update history). It needs TRIM more than some other SSDs out there, so don't be shy about using the TRIM enabler you can find linked on AnandTech.

    Note that if your Mac is old enough the speed differences between the drives may become a non-issue due to older SATA technology.
  7. archdelux thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2008

    Thanks. So for the Samsung drive, buying it from amazon out of the box will I need to use a windows machine to update the firmware? Or will it be ok if I just install it into my mbp without any firmware updates? Seems like that could be a dealbreaker
  8. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Jul 30, 2008
    You could install it without any firmware updates. You'd just use the firmware version that it comes with. The only concerns I'd have are: 1) firmware updates for SSDs are actually useful or important in some cases, and 2) you should do some extra research into the Samsung SSD features. I recently went through this exact same purchasing decision and I found numerous mentions of a few SSD features which had to be enabled through Samsung's software for these Samsung drives. That bothered me, but I don't have the exact answers in this. It may be that this could have changed with a firmware update just as the firmware upgrading process changed with a software update. In any case, the only way to manage the firmware is through Samsung's Windows-only software.

    I personally had the Samsung 256 GB SSD on order from NewEgg during a promotion for around $160, but cancelled at the last moment due to some of the things I was reading and NewEgg's crappy 'return only for exchange' policy on that drive. I placed an order for the Crucial M4 through Amazon, for a little more, and that's the drive I wound up tossing into my Mac Pro for the OS and applications. The only special thing I did there was to enable TRIM. I didn't need to update the firmware as it came with the latest version, but I like knowing that if a firmware update does come out, which I want, I won't have to muck around with one of the Windows computers we have to make it happen. I especially don't want to uninstall the drive to make it work because the firmware disc doesn't update the Mac, as has happened to various people.
  9. archdelux thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2008

    Thanks for the advice. It has given me pause on buying the samsung 830.. From the reviews, it seems that the samsung drive comes loaded with the latest firmware.. does this change your opinion at all? What additional features would I be missing out on by taking it out of the box and installing it into my MBP directly?

    The samsung is on sale now, so I am tempted to buy it anyway, but want to hear what you (and others) have to say first..

  10. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Jul 30, 2008
    Personally I would only buy the Samsung if I had access everything needed to update its firmware, but the value in doing so is, of course, unknown. An important firmware update may come out down the road, or that may never happen.

    As for the features, hopefully someone who is very familiar with the situation can share some more insight on it. I couldn't answer as I ultimately got the M4, and despite a great deal of reading, I was never able to clear up the current circumstances behind that concern.
  11. archdelux thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2008
    Ok, thanks. I actually found a deal on the crucial such that it was actually a bit cheaper than the samsung, so i jut bought that. Thanks!

    Anything I need to know in particular about installing or using the drive (I'll search for how to enable TRIM)? I heard that you can't boot from the disk if you install it in the optical bay, is that right? It would save me hassle if I could just plop it into the optical bay instead of replacing the main bay and then moving the HDD to the optical bay. Any recommendations?

  12. dmsmith macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2006
    It depends upon whether you have Lion or not. And how you got there. I.e. did it come w/ the MBP.

    SuperDuper that comes with the m4 does not work on Lion. You'll need to get the latest version.

    I did the following on a mid-2012 MBP:
    • Installed SuperDuper.
    • Did a full time machine backup.
    • Attached the cable that came with the ssd and cloned the main partition to it.
    • Opened the MBP carefully using instructions in ifixit. (The screws are all different lengths so be careful not to mix them up.)
    • Removed the old and inserted the new.
    • While I had it open, maxed out the memory.
    • Closed up the machine.
    • Booted into recovery mode and ran Lion Internet Recovery.

    When it was all said and done all my programs made it. And the recovery partition was added.

    I think I could have just put the bare drive into the computer and started Lion Internet Recovery to do a clean install. Followed by using Migration Assistant (or whatever it is called). I think it would have probably taken longer though.

    Might have been able to reinstall from Time Machine, too.
  13. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Jul 30, 2008
    You can enable TRIM using this utility. Only catch there is that I would wait a short while after Mountain Lion is released before upgrading to find out if there is anything you should be aware of. And the TRIM enabler may require some kind of update before it can properly enable TRIM under Mountain Lion. I've seen a few people mention that they haven't had problems with the developer builds, but nothing official. And go ahead and restart after enabling it if you see something odd like the tool reporting that it's not sure if it worked or not, then check back to see what is reported after the restart.

    (A note for anyone reading: it isn't a good idea to enable TRIM for all SSD drives tossed into a Mac. OWC SSDs, for example, have a history of problems with the TRIM enabler as reported by users, and OWC also states that it should not be done with their drives on OS X).

    You should be able to set up the SSD pretty much like any ol' hard drive, such as through the instructions provided above by dmsmith. It should also work in the optical drive bay, though I've read of some people who have had problems with that which were resolved once moving to the standard hard drive bay. That's probably an exception to the rule and I wouldn't worry about that unless a problem actually comes up.

    The only other thing I'd add is that this is probably a great chance to organize and get rid of or archive any personal files which don't need to be taking up space on your hard drive and do a fresh operating system install on the SSD. Depending on storage space circumstances which may or may not apply to you it may be better for the drive, but hey, depending on how much you use your computer it might not hurt to do this here and there anyway.

    If not, Time Machine and drive-duplication programs like Carbon Copy Cloner should work great as well.
  14. archdelux thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2008
    Wow--great advice! Thanks for the help

    You mentioned that it depended on if I have lion or not...I have snow leopard. Was hoping to go from snow leopard to a clean install of mountain lion on the new drive. Does super duper have the same problem with SL?

    Also--Xian, you mentioned that some people have problems with the ssd in the optical bay but it is worth a try anyway..what kind of issues should I watch out for?

    Thanks again for your help and advice!
  15. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Jul 30, 2008
    I don't know about the SuperDuper problem mentioned, but as long as you use the latest version of SuperDuper for SL you should be good. As for TRIM, if you enable that under SL, just double-check that the version of the enabler you're using is recommended for SL. One may work for both, or there may be different versions. I haven't looked into that. :)

    Not booting from the drive or failure to recognize or set it as a boot drive is the one I saw several times. It works far more frequently than not, though, and when there is a problem it's just a matter of swapping the drive locations.

    No problem. Glad to help out.

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