SSD shopping for 1st Gen Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Blaraphon, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. Blaraphon, Sep 27, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012

    Blaraphon macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I am interested in upgrading my hard drive in my mid-summer 2008 Macbook Pro to an SSD due to a pretty severe drop in performance. I have formatted the drive several times and just feel it's due for replacement.

    I checked out the SSD shopping guide sticky and still have some questions. Firstly, it seems that I must have at least OSX Lion to have TRIM? Not a huge deal, except my decrease in performance seems to be from upgrading to the Lions in the first place...

    Secondly, I can't seem to find what SATA speed these 1st Gen MBPs run at. I'm guessing it's 1.5, and I suppose I should just buy a SATA III drive anyways incase I choose to remove it in the future, but if I can save a huge chunk of change, I would like to know what speed it runs at.

    Thirdly, I found that somewhere, somebody confirmed a height of 9.5mm for these drives...but another thread claimed a 9mm drive is required.

    Fourthly, can I simply clone my current Mountain Lion drive to the SSD using an external enclosure, or is there something else I have to do before installing it? What about the recovery drive?

    Fifthly (I'm not sure I've ever counted this high using the "ly" system...strange word 'fifthly') I'm open for SSD suggestions. I have been cruising on Newegg looking at OCZ drives for great prices, and I seem to find great reviews on them (even though it seem common that people hate OCZ SSDs...)

    I think that's it, any help is greatly appreciated :)
     
  2. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #2
    I believe the TRIM enabler utility will work on OSX 10.6.8 and newer.

    I believe you have the early-2008 model, just before they switched to the unibody design currently in place. This one has SATA 1, you'll be limited to 1.5GBPS. I'm stuck at SATA II, 3Gb/s, and I went with a SATA 3 drive anyway. There isn't really a huge price difference.

    A 9.5mm drive will fit fine. Some SSDs are 7mm, and they'll work just fine too.

    I'd just clone over your current OS install, I assume you're still running SL because you mentioned transitioning to Lion or ML earlier.

    The Crucial M4(the 256GB model has been on sale for $160-170 recently), Samsung 830(newegg just had the 256GB model for $170 yesterday) and OCZ Vertex 4 are all good drives. Intel makes good drives, but I'm not knowledgable about which models work best with OSX.
     
  3. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #3
    Not to hijack but I may be in a similar situation soon. I plan on installing a SATA III drive into a 2010 SATA II interface.

    Which drive did you go with and what read/write speeds are you averaging being that it adapts to SATA II? Just wondering if I will see a large increase over the ~70 MB/s read/write speeds that I am getting on a 5400 RPM drive.
     
  4. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #4
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1432670

    I went with the Crucial M4 because it was $165 at Frys, about 10 minutes from where I live. I figured if I had any issues I could easily return it. If I were buying today(yesterday actually) I world have picked up the Samsung 830 at newegg while it was on sale for $170.

    What kind of 5400rpm HDD are you using? My stock 250GB drive was more like 40/35 MB/s read/write.
     
  5. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #5
    It's stock as well actually - it's a Toshiba MK-50. I went with 500GB stock configuration when I was new to computers and didn't even think of being able to upgrade components on my own.

    Thanks for the information on the SSD - I took a look at your thread and those are some great numbers - I expect to see similar numbers, although I am undecided between a 128GB or 256GB variant. It is my understanding that the amount of storage has an effect on the speed of the drive.

    If you wouldn't mind - what was the process like? I asked this question today, I believe, in the SSD thread in this sub-forum. Did your M4 come with a firmware disk or did you have to burn the latest onto a disk or other media?

    I plan on doing a clean install with the model-specific operating system disks (Snow Leopard) that came with the computer. At which point do I update the firmware - before or after the OS X installation, if at all?

    Sorry OP for hijacking. I hope you can get some information out of this as well and again thanks T5BRICK.
     
  6. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #6
    I guess you've probably got a newer model MBP than me.

    It's easy. I didn't have to update the firmware on my drive, it had the current version when I installed it(apparently this is no longer the case, there is a new firmware as of 9/25/12).

    I guess if I were you, and I bought a new drive that didn't have the current firmware, I'd follow these instructions before I installed my OS and restored my files. If I recall correctly, there was a sticker on the drive that listed the firmware version.

    Now that I know there is a firmware update, I'm going to give that a shot. If I kill my drive or lose my data, I'll make sure to post on here first. :D

    ----------

    FYI, the update itself took less than a minute. I don't see any issues so far.
     
  7. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #7
    It's a 2010 model.

    I didn't know that the drives shipped with the latest firmware. If that is the case, I wouldn't need bootable media then for the update, would I? It seems I could then just install the drive and then format it in Disk Utility when booting from the OS X disk.

    Oh, and not looking to restore files I could care less. I plan to do a completely fresh install on the SSD.
     
  8. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #8
    Well, mine had the latest firmware when I bought it, but being that they just released a new firmware 2 days ago, I'd imagine there is a lot of inventory with with the previous firmware.

    The firmware update is actually really easy but if you don't feel comfortable doing it, the previous firmware didn't have any flaws.
     
  9. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #9
    Of course, I basically meant "recent firmware" I suppose. Not necessarily the newest release.

    I've looking into firmware updating, it is easy, it's just that I am confused on the order of things when updating the firmware isn't the only task to be completed. Although, the fact that it comes shipped with recent firmware is good because that essentially eliminates my problem - I assumed that they shipped with the original firmware.

    At this point I basically will not update it at all unless I have problems. I will simply install the SSD into my computer (with whatever firmware it is shipped with at the date of purchase) and insert the OS X disk and boot from it and begin a clean installation after formatting it via Disk Utility from the installation setup.
     
  10. Blaraphon, Sep 28, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012

    Blaraphon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    I'm currently running ML and if I just decide "screw it" i'm not going to bother downgrading. In that case, there is a primary partition as well as the recovery partition. What I'm wondering, is if there is a way to clone both of these partitions to the SSD, or would it just be easier to backup everything to Time Machine, install a new slate of Snow Leopard, upgrade twice to ML, and then recover from Time Machine?

    As far as the SSD itself, I've been looking at the OCZ Agility 3 and I'm having a hard time justifying spending more than this on an SSD without being able to run at SATA 6.0 anyway...any reason to not go for this one?

    Don't worry about it, these are questions I would have asked eventually as well!
     
  11. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #11
    I believe you can use Carbon Copy Cloner to copy both partitions, but I've read of people having issues cloning from a HDD to SSD.

    Why not just install ML, without all of the upgrade steps? This is what I used:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1433

    Just create the USB installer now before you remove your old drive, and you're set. You'll be able to boot off of it and reinstall 10.8, as well as restore your time machine backup.

    That one would probably work fine, although I have been avoiding Sandforce controller based drives due to all of the problems they've had.

    But the drives have been out for long enough, I have to believe the kinks have been works out. A 4 star review average is pretty good.
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #12
    If you use the latest version of Carbon Copy Cloner it will automatically copy over the Recovery HD partition when you clone the drive. After the clone you can look in the Disk Center window of CCC to verify the Recovery HD is there.
     
  13. Blaraphon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Damn, I have no idea why I didn't think about the USB drive to load straight to ML. That will be the best bet for me then. As far as the drive goes, I hadn't seen all the bad reviews on SandForce until now, so I'm glad you pointed that out. Looks like I'll be going with and OCZ Vertex 4 due to the price. Now I just need to commit on not just the SSD, but the capacity. I also need to open up my MBP since I haven't even done that since I purchased it o_O

    Thank you for all the help, T5BRICK :D
     
  14. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #14
    =) Thanks.

    And 'thank you' as well to T5BRICK for your help!
     
  15. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #15
    The Vertex 4 is a good drive. I ended up going with a 256GB SSD because I have an 85GB music library. I didn't want to keep it on an external disc, and I'm not ready to ditch my optical drive(even though I rarely use it, just can't let go I guess.)

    Also, as for swapping your old HDD for an SSD, www.ifixit.com has great guides.
     
  16. Blaraphon, Sep 28, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012

    Blaraphon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Yeah, I've been considering swapping out the optical for more storage, but I'm gonna hang on to it. I used to have my music library on my MBP, but it soon grew too large and I had to move it to an external. Now, I have a new gaming desktop built with a SSD primary drive and a 2TB HDD for all that shenanigans. The only reason I'm considering the 256 is to have more space if I consider to make a Windows 7 partition. I feel like I could still manage a 128 with both partitions since I mainly use my new desktop anyway...

    Oh, and I have a guide from ifixit.com that I think should be perfect :D
     

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