SSD OCZ OWC totally confused

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by TeaZy, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. TeaZy macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
    I want to buy a SSD boot drive for a MacPro but after reading everything i'm really confused as to the best one.

    Options are:

    OCZ Vertex 2 120GB
    Mercury EXTREME Pro 3G 120GB or 115GB


    They both come in 34nm vs 25nm versions and it seems the newer 25nm are less reliable and slower. Is this true for both brands?

    And there is also a problem with the 25nm OCZ now coming in two versions (different memory bandwiths?) but it nearly impossible to tell which one you have. Is this also the same for the OWC drive but not as well documented?

    Any insight into this would be a great help. I don't want to bother with an SSD drive if they are going to be unreliable.
  2. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
  3. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    From what I hear, the new Crucial SSDs are the fastest, especially with read times. In fact, the read times hit 415 MB/s, wheres the read times for the Intel SSD only hit 270. Both are a huge improvement over a mechanical drive though. Now, the Intel's SSD write speeds are a little higher than the Crucial M4, 220 compared to 175. However, since it will be your boot drive, your main concern is probably read times. This is most important when it comes to booting up and loading applications. Also, I have heard that both of these drives are extremely reliable, so either one would be a good choice really.
  4. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    no ssd hits over 270 to 295 on a mac pro. the mac pro has only sata II

    300 is max 270 is what you get when you use them. that said samsung 470 has been reliable. crucial m4 has been reliable.

    all sandforce has had a lot of trouble go to ocz vertex forum and read the complaints . by lot of trouble 2 to 3 percent convert to bricks with complete data loss intel .5 percent brick with complete data loss. no ssd will be much faster then an intel in a mac pro in a single sata II slot. At best you may get a 25 percent difference in iops at a cost of 300 to 400 percent higher failure rate in the case of ocz vertex. I am not making it up.

    Now when the new mac pro comes out and has sata III then speed increase will be better it may be worth the higher failure rate and in fact maybe the failure will be reduced.
  5. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    The OP does not have a SATAIII controller so Crucial M4 will not hit 415MB/s.
    I'd get from OWC as they are extremely Mac friendly and offer a 5 year warranty. My Mac Pro hits 280MB/s Read and write easily on SATAII with OWC SSD. No problems so far.
    The M4 is in the same ballpark as the new OWC and OCZ's but SF-2200 is faster according to every place that has tested them both.
  6. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2009
    Uhm... lol? I take it you dont have much knowledge on this subject.
  7. ejosepha macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2009
    I have the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 120GB as well. It works fine, but using Xbench, scores consistently are the following.
    Total : 375.18

    Disk Test 357.14
    Sequential 217.05
    Uncached Write 295.22 181.26 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 280.93 158.95 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 113.45 33.20 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 374.84 188.39 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 1007.21
    Uncached Write 1442.10 152.66 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 507.90 162.60 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 3538.45 25.07 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 974.23 180.77 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Is this normal or an expected result? When people talk about 280mb/s whether reading or writing, including the numbers that are mentioned on the OWC site, I am not sure which test to use to see that kind of result, or if perhaps I am reading this test inaccurately. Perhaps there's another test to verify performance.
  8. philipma1957, Jun 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    see my intel 320 series scores.

    your scores have one really good win over the intel

    your uncached write is 152 vs 54 also you have a second good win

    your uncached read is 25 vs 17

    these help with osx performance you may boot quicker which is nice , but your sequential scores are so so more important for long copies of big files.. Your drive is known to crash on mac pros Not that often but more then mine.

    It is kind of like two very fast cars and yours is a little faster but breaks down more. It is not like a fast car vs yugo. I do not mind being in a very fast car that almost never breaks vs the fastest car in the world and it breaks somewhat often.

    Maybe you do 15 miles of mixed driving every day and my car stalls 2 days in a year needs a 230 dollar part and your car stalls in 12 days a year needs a 230 dollar part each time it dies (a new ssd).

    Attached Files:

  9. ejosepha macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2009
    I bought the OWC because I didn't want to deal with TRIM and wanted an SSD that kept up its performance in the OSX, which I think it has when I compare performance Xbench scores over the past 8 months or so (I originally bought the drive for a Macbook Pro). I just wonder what the claims of 263-285 for reads and writes for this drive on the OWC site refer to. Or which test they are using?
    I don't have Windows and don't want to bother with TRIM, etc. How do you keep performance up on the other SSDs over time. I had a Corsair SSD a while back and had to deal with secure erase, etc. to deal with performance degradation.
  10. Peteman100 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    If you can't take advantage of SATA 6G, get an Intel 320. It'll give you less headaches.
  11. mikefla macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    I highly recommend the OWC SSD drives, they are fast, high quality and come with a 3 year warranty. OWC is a very good company at addressing warranty issues. I am using one right now. They are very fast! And you can enable TRIM support under LION and I believe Leopard. If you are interested in purchasing one I can probably save you a couple dollars, I am a reseller for OWC.

  12. ejosepha macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2009
    Does my Xbench score above with the Mercury Extreme Pro fit within the norm for this drive?
  13. ejosepha macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2009
    Is the Garbage Collection with the Intel 320 sufficient or do you need TRIM or Secure Erase to keep up performance from time to time?
  14. VirtualRain, Jun 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011

    VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    There are at least a few good SSD threads already on the front page of this forum.

    In particular, these two threads are a wealth of information on choosing the best SSD in light of the problems SandForce is having...

    You will note from that thread that some SandForce based drives are seeing problems (particularly OCZ and Corsair). OWC also uses SandForce so you may want to steer away from them if you want to err on the side of caution, even though they are not currently in the news. However, they do come with a 5 year warranty, so you're covered that way, but that doesn't mean it won't turn into a bag of hurt for you.

    The recent consensus around here seems to be towards Intel and Samsung who both own the development of the complete product, including the controller and firmware, are getting great reviews, solid performance, great pricing, and a good reputation for reliability.

    EDIT: Here's another good thread on these drives and TRIM...

    Oh and Xbench is pretty much useless for doing benchmarking. It's inconsistent as hell. You can probably get 25% variation on separate runs. It was built long before SSDs came into being.
  15. mikefla macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011

    Attached Files:

  16. mikefla macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    There are no current issues with the OWC SSD drives that use SandForce. The issues that have been previously identified have been addressed by firmware updates and all the current sold drives already come with the latest firmware. I have no issues with my drive, imagine a shutdown that takes about 2 seconds, that is sweet!

  17. gpzjock, Jun 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    Food for thought

    Bare Feats have plenty to say about SSD use:

    Before all this fun stuff broke loose I went with a OWC Mercury Pro 120 GB running in an Icy Dock with the standard 3 gb/s motherboard controller. I can't compare it to any other SSD until somebody comes up with a test that is consistent and easy for everyone to use but I am very pleased with it's performance compared with my previous HDDs.

    NovaBench says it has a drive write speed of 130 MB/s don't know how others compare.
  18. ejosepha macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2009
    Thanks for the info. Not sure if there's a difference between your model, the Mercury Extreme and the Mercury Extreme Pro, which I have installed in my MacPro 2010. Perhaps the Pro is a more recent model, or just a different name, though the Xbench scores are slightly different.
    I wonder if those who are recommending Intel or Samsung are using them with TRIM in Windows or whether they are efficient in keeping up their performance in the Mac osx with their own internal garbage collection or provisioning, as the Mercury Extremes Pros are advertised to be.
    thanks again
  19. handheldgames macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2009
    On the samsung 470 256gb, I'm using the Trim enabler from on 10.6.7. Since Samsung provides Apple with their 256gb ssd's, I'm just enabling the trim feature for the retail drive. No problems to report.
  20. ejosepha macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2009
    I have read spotty results and sometimes problems with these workarounds. I wonder how well these SSDs would perform just with their built in garbage collection and provisioning and in osx only.
    The Samsung 470 looks like a great SSD but I don't want to fiddle with this. If Lion comes with the TRIM function built in, that would open up things in terms of choices.
    Perhaps the Intel 320 works on its own as does the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro. Or others.
  21. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm not trying to rain on OWC's parade. In fact, all indicators are that their customers are having a great old time. I haven't seen any bad news related to OWC SSDs, and as others have said, they come with a 5 year warranty, and they are generally well tested on Mac platforms. However, prospective buyers deserve to be aware that both Corsair and OCZ use the same controllers as OWC. Both these vendors are having issues with firmware with the 22xx series controllers that OWC uses in their latest 6G drives.

    The older 3G drives also use Sandforce but the previous gen (12xx series) controller, which, as far as I know, was an outstanding performer, at least with compressible data. Again, OCZ was reported to have reliability issues with drives using this controller, but there's no indication that this affected other Sandforce vendors like OWC.

    Both the Intel and Samsung, and any other current or last gen drive for that matter, will run absolutely fine in average desktop situations without TRIM using their built-in GC... and as I mentioned in the other thread, you can do an occasional secure erase to be sure or even enable TRIM for a day to trim the drive when the mood strikes you and then disable it again after it's had a few hours to do it's thing.
  22. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Xbench is crud. In any event here are my scores. They will be different the next time I run them. And scores apparently differ with processors (again, crud) My speed scores mentioned earlier were with HDtach and Crystaldisk averages (they are accepted benchmark tools). R/W are completely saturated at 280MB/s. I was only referring to transfer bandwidth which is one of the yard sticks used to compare drive performance. Not the only one but an important one.

    Results 444.97
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.6.7 (10J869)
    Physical RAM 10240 MB
    Model MacPro5,1
    Drive Type Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD
    Disk Test 444.97
    Sequential 269.11
    Uncached Write 405.53 248.99 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 357.00 201.99 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 136.12 39.84 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 444.43 223.37 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 1284.03
    Uncached Write 1681.64 178.02 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 720.08 230.52 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 3413.07 24.19 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 1192.17 221.22 MB/sec [256K blocks]
  23. ejosepha macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2009
    I currently have the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro, but not the 6G. You can see from my Xbench score listed above that it is somewhat less quick than the newer version you cite here, but I was told that because MacPro can only handle up to 3G, it would be useless to upgrade. There's another Xbench of some else's Mercury Extreme listed above that is even significantly slower. Perhaps it's just your newer version SSD or maybe your cpu or who knows? I'd be curious as to why when OWC cites up to 285mb/s for the 3G version that some of my sequential or random reads and writes are significantly less. Perhaps it's Xbench. But I have repeated the test and these are consistent scores.
    Also, maybe if Lion contains a TRIM function,then if I buy an Intel or Samsung SSD that is a bit larger in size in the near future, at least I'd feel somewhat protected against performance degradation.
    I would like to buy a larger SSD soon so I'm looking for a performance upgrade as well as size and dependability.
  24. ejosepha macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2009
    I suppose if I find an additional SSD I could just install it into the 4th Bay, format it with disk utility, carbon copy clone from the current SSD boot drive (OWC) and then boot from the new drive by selecting it in Startup disk. This was how I installed the current SSD and CCC from the WD drive that came with the MacPro.
  25. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    This is true, however, when I get a new Mac I will not have to buy a new SSD. On a SATAIII connection the drive will almost double it's transfer speeds. New Mac and new SSD (sort of) I will be getting something new within the 5 year warranty. Most people will.

    All Mac Pros are limited to 280ish MB/s because of the SATA link speed. There are other factors and it appears the CPU has too much to do with the HD benchmarking in Xbench.
    The thing about benchmarks is that you really need to perform accepted benchmark tests. There are standards out there for a reason. HDtach, 3dMark, Luxmark, Cinebench, etc. If you use anything else you can't really do an apples to apples comparison without buying all the tech and having it your home so you can test it against your Xbench. Becasue no one uses Xbench as a serious benchmark.

    Because those numbers are not listed as sequential and random scores. They are total bandwidth scores. How much data can travel down the pipe in an optimal circumstance. The drive has to do a lot more work when performing the sequential and random tasks.

    They are only consistent within Xbench and have very little barring on reality.

    You don't need TRIM with Sandforce based SSD's. In fact it sometimes slows them down. You are automatically protected from performance degradation because you bought an OWC SSD. It has protection built into it's chipset. Which is why OWC pushed them for Mac's. In earlier SSD market they were some of the only drives that worked well on a Mac. Other manufacturers are starting to develop on board garbage collection or whatever you want to call it. So the options are now more broad.

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