SSD recommendation question

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kalex, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. kalex macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #1
    I have a 2009 Mac Pro 4,1

    Looking to get SSD to replace my boot drive.

    I know that my Mac Pro doesn't have SATA III 6G connectivity so my question is this: Does buying SATA III 6G SSD drive provide any benefits on Mac Pro 4,1 over SATA II 3G SSD drives?

    I'm considering getting OWC SSD but not sure which model. 120GB size is what I'll be looking to get. So far I checked and i only use around 30GB on my boot drive. Its going to get a bit fuller since I'm going to move lightroom catalog and preview files there but still will be well below 120GB

    Thanks
     
  2. Feek macrumors member

    Feek

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    Nov 9, 2009
    #2
    No, none whatsoever.
     
  3. treestar macrumors 6502

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    Feb 28, 2010
    #3
    Please explain. I didn't want to say the exact same thing because I have no clue if random reads and writes might be improved. There is probably a difference at the drive level.
     
  4. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

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    May 6, 2008
    #4
    Because SATA-II SSDs already more than saturate the bandwidth SATA-II has available. So it's not physically possible for SATA-III devices to operate any faster.
     
  5. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

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    Jul 5, 2002
    #5
    No direct benefit except for being able to continue using it later down the road on a 6G controller (then you can also use the new NCQ command for isochronous data transmission used e.g. for video).

    A good 3G SSD should come close to saturating the bus (~300MB/s) - a 6G may always saturate the bus due to better (faster) flash chips, but the additional 10-20 MB/s (which you probably won't notice anyway except in an artificial benchmark) will come for a comparably high premium, as 6G is new technology and thus costly.
     
  6. kalex thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Oct 1, 2007
    #6
    I'm looking to either get this:
    Mercury EXTREME Pro 3G SSD 115GB - $197.99
    or
    120GB Mercury Electra 6G SSD - $204

    Am I making wrong comparison and should I be comparing Extreme Pro 3G to Extreme Pro 6G? in which case difference is around $80

    Any other brand suggestions?
     
  7. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #7
    Intel in general has a good reputation there. Perhaps a little slower, but very reliable. You could even try to get the former Postville G2 generation and save money without sacrificing more than some MB/s in writing speed (which you won't notice anyway when used as system/boot partition).
     
  8. kalex thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Oct 1, 2007
    #8
    Thanks Neodym. Any particular models you recommend?

    Reason I'm so picky is I bought Phoenix SSD around 4 months ago and it was total disaster. It refused to work in my Macbook Pro and lived for total of 26 hours in my Mac Pro :)
     
  9. GlynJones macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    #9
    Been giving this a lot of thought and read a lot of reviews and I'm going to go with reliability over extreme speed and chose the Intel SSD's.

    Can't decide whether to get a used G2 or a new 320.
     
  10. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #10
    120GB Postville G2. Top reliability, acceptable performance and probably fair prices nowadays (successor 320 has problem reports). Have one in my MP 1,1 since last year and not one single problem. Other sizes within that series are a little slower - especially the low-cost 40GB, so beware!

    ----------

    G2! 320 has seen problem reports as of lately - cause unclear (could be related to Sandy Bridge chipsets but could as well be 320 itself).
     
  11. kalex thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Oct 1, 2007
    #11
    Thanks again. Just did a quick scan. Hard to find them. Is G3 version also acceptable?
     
  12. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

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    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #12
    Hello,

    I second the 160GB G2 suggestion. I have the 80GB version in my 2009 MP and I've never had a single issue with it.

    Also, the real-world differences in speed between SSDs are insignificant unless you're RAIDing them or going to SATA 3.

    Loa
     
  13. Strobe macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    #13
    I have the Intel 320 (G3) drive that I used for a month or so in my MBP. It worked flawlessly for me and its quite speedy. It's the 160GB model. However, I just sold my MBP and got the new revised MBA so I will be selling my Intel 160GB G3 drive :p.

    The issue with the 320 (G3) drives I thought was them showing up at like 8MB or something when you went to format them. I never had that issue with mine though.
     
  14. kalex thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Oct 1, 2007
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #15
  16. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 6502a

    nambuccaheadsau

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    #16
  17. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

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    Jul 5, 2002
    #17
    Not only when formatting, but also due to power failures during drive access afaik. That was one issue - the other being that you'd lose access to all your data on that disk, which is much more severe imo. Recently Intel seems to have a bad streak when it comes to product quality of their latest devices (SSD, SATA ports on their chipsets etc.) - but at least they usually fix their problems once they officially recognize them.
     
  18. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Vancouver, BC
    #18
    Although I'm not trying to defend them, it seems the use case that caused the problem is repeated power cycling and therefore fairly rare. (details) At any rate, it should be resolved shortly.

    As we all know, Sandforce based drives have had their share of issues recently as well (and OWC in not immune).

    If I was buying an SSD today, I would probably get a Crucial M4 (Micron's consumer brand), a Samsung 470, or an Intel 320 (once the new firmware is out).
     
  19. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #19
    That issue is universal, it affects ALL SF-2281 based SSDs. That is all I can say for now but Anand is still working on confirming the source of the issue, so stay tuned for an update about the SF bug.

    The only issue with Crucial is poor garbage collection. TRIM Enabler is out of question too since it seems to cause kernel panics (at least the last time I checked). Samsung 470 appears to be the best choice atm in terms of reliability.
     
  20. philipma1957, Aug 17, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Howell, New Jersey
    #20
    I was intel intel intel. I still have a 600gb intel but lately I have been buying samsung 470's on ebay and then buying a square trade warranty. I am getting 256gb ssd's for around 300

    wrong link
    http://cgi.ebay.com


    it is about 322 a get a small discount of 12 bucks 310 total and a square trade warranty cost about 40 bucks so 350 for a 256gb ssd I have around 7 but have sold some off in mac minis on ebay.

    http://www.squaretrade.com/pages/


    I am pretty sure it is all legit and a very good price if you want a bigger ssd.

    OWC wants more for a 256gb 450 for the electra 240gb and 550 for the extreme 240gb


    to be fair the 240gb ssd at owc with 3g speed is 418

    http://eshop.macsales.com/search/MX240Select


    so at 418 and very fast returns this might be better for some.

    Myself I grabbed 7 256gb samsungs at a small discount for 2000. They all seem good and I did not use square trade for all 7 I only purchased 2 square trade warranties.



    this is the correct link

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-2011-Samsun...ultDomain_0&hash=item27bd82bf51#ht_500wt_1314
     
  21. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #21
  22. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Howell, New Jersey
    #22
  23. beaker7 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 16, 2009
    #23
    If the prices are similar, get the 6G drive.

    Newer generation controller, newer firmware, potentially better random performance (depending on brand) etc.

    It is correct that that 6G drive won't deliver its full sequential performance on a SATA II bus. Thing is, sequential performance is the least important performance metric for a system drive.

    OWC 6G Extreme 240 is top dog right now. The 120 is solid too.

    ----------

    Sequentially, correct.

    Random metrics, incorrect.
     
  24. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
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    Vancouver, BC
    #24
    I wouldn't call it poor. I read all of Anand's reviews and recall his comments on the late GC of the M4, but the conditions under which he had to expose it are rather extreme...

    Now, I'm in no position to question his test methodology, but this is very extreme and in no way typical of desktop usage. Most users would never get close to sustained use at QD 32... most desktop IO is at QD1. I'm all for exposing the weaknesses of SSD's in reviews, but the real-world impact needs to be put in proper context.

    BTW, it's worth noting that aggressive GC has a downside in that it can increase write latency and uses up NAND erase cycles. If you're not running your SSD balls out at QD32 all the time, agressive GC is really unnecessary. In fact, as new NAND emerges with fewer lifetime erase cycles, you will see GC shift to less agressive algorithms out of necessity anyway.

    At any rate, the Samsung does seem to have the cleanest record when it comes to issues, and is a safe recommendation for anyone.

    BTW, have I seen hints that you write for Anand (I thought I saw some hints elsewhere)? If so, that's great! :)
     
  25. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    #25
    Just updated my firmware. I had no issues but I guess it's a must-install. I am impressed by how Intel provided a boot image and instructions on how to upgrade the firmware on Macs. It was a dead-easy process. Fingers crossed that no other issues appear.
     

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