The Best SSD + confusion..

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iOrbit, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. iOrbit macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    #1
    so I'm looking to buy my first ssd very soon (likely late july, on conjunction with mountain lion). i'v been researching, and i'm left kind of unsure about what is best. heres what i currently understand:

    Intel apparently makes the best SSD's but are a bit pricier?

    SAMSUNG SSD's had a bad past initially and had some problems??

    OCZ and or other brands use SAMSUNG parts?

    so what is the best SSD in terms of performance and reliability and brand with credibility?


    and heres my confusion:

    i was going to buy crucial, they are the cheaper ones at great prices at the moment, i assumed all ssd's priced the same are about the same in performance. but on Amazon, the specs surprised me and suggested the opposite, so why is Crucial still the most popularly purchased SSD mentioned here and else where?

    its read speeds seem to match others, (near 500mbps) but write speed is listed as around 100mbps on amazon?? when ones like the OCZ vertex, have 500mbps both ways? (confused)

    also, is brands like SanDisk considered good?

    i want to get a good SSD that actually is up there in write/read speed. i know very little about SSD's so i don't know what other things there are to consider when it comes to performance.
     
  2. boomhower macrumors 68000

    boomhower

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #2
    There's a lot more to it than specs and brand. I'm not going to write an essay here but suffice it to say the controller used in it makes all the difference. Short answer is buy a Crucial M4 or Samsung 830. Crucial is just a touch slower and the Samsung is more expensive. Chances are you'll never see the speed difference outside of benchmarks. Trash collection techniques are very different but both are effective with the Samsung having an edge. The Samsung is the better drive at a bit higher price.
     
  3. iOrbit thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    #3
    thanks for replying, i can afford the difference here between those drives. since apple is using the the samsung 830 model in its rMBP, it does give me more reason to lean to it.

    i was reading an article about the SSD drives, apparently the best ones use the new Toshiba Toggle Mode flash, architecture??

    do you know anything about that?
     
  4. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #4
    I'm new to the SSD game, installed a Crucial M4 in my 2012 MBP. All I can say is it is rock solid and I'm absolutely convinced it is a solid and dependable drive.

    My speed tests are 261 write & 515 reads. As others have said, you will not notice the real world differences in write speeds...for the cost, the Crucial is a much better value.
     
  5. jcpb macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 5, 2012
    #5
    OCZ is alright IF you like playing with fire on your data. It has higher return rates than average, plus the company likes to shortchange its users like a typical snake oil salesman.
     
  6. throAU, Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012

    throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #6
    2c.

    buy the most reliable one. forget benchmarks, they don't matter.

    even the "slow" SSDs in the 2010 MBA are "plenty fast" compared to a hard drive. as in, its not even close.

    Yes, sequential throughput may not be as high as some others, but your machine will mostly be doing random-ish IO and this is where ANY SSD will kill a spinning drive.

    high benchmark scores are good for e-peen measuring, but i've had too many friends with dead SSDs or SSDs doing "wierd stuff" to recommend going for the bleeding edge performance wise. i doubt you'll notice any significant difference between a "fast" ssd and a slower more reliable one in normal use. the sequential benchmark scores are pretty irrelevant - look at the random IO scores and compare to a score for random IO on a hard drive to get a better idea of real world performance difference. e.g., an SSD that can do 200mb/sec sequential IO vs a SATA hard drive that can do 120mb/sec is way more than 2x faster in actual use, because it can do a few thousand random IO operations per second, vs a spinning disk that typically can do less than 100/sec (even 15,000rpm SAS are only up around 150/sec or so - due to waiting for the disk to rotate and the head to reposition - SSD doesn't have that.).

    the problem with SSD is there is no warning of impending failure, generally. a spinning disk will click unusually as it remaps (or attempts to remap) sectors. an SSD will just continue to work until suddenly, it doesn't. and all your data is gone.
     
  7. boomhower macrumors 68000

    boomhower

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    Oct 21, 2011
    #7
    Never heard of it but Toshiba drives are slow comparatively. Go with Crucial or Samsung. Samsung uses their own controller. Crucial is the same as Micron who is their parent company and uses a Marvell controller.(The Intel drives use the exact same Marvell controller as well.) If you got the cash just get the Samsung and be done with it. Only downside on it is no OS X native firmware update tool, Crucial has one. That's the main reason I went with the Crucial. In real life you'll never tell the difference between the two. I took the cheaper price and easier updates.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #8
    Only Intel 510 Series uses a Marvell controller. 320 Series uses Intel's in-house controller, while 330 and 520 Series use SandForce SF-2281.

    Samsung and Toshiba both use Toggle-Mode interface. At least Toshiba is using the 2.0 revision in their 24nm MLC NAND, which is the fastest NAND interface at the moment. Not sure if Samsung uses 1.0 or 2.0. However, you shouldn't worry about the NAND because it makes no difference whether you have Toggle-Mode or ONFi if the controller or firmware is crap.

    Samsung 830 and Crucial m4 are both great choices.
     
  9. John Fridinger macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    #9
    About to buy a new cMBP, change out the HD for SSD , refining what I want to get, from other threads and now this one as well it seems I'm down to between a Samsung 830 or a Crucial M4, AND now wondering what "no OS X native firmware update tool" means..?
     
  10. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    #10
    If there is updated firmware for the drive, on a Crucial drive you can do the update directly from your MBP. On the Samsung drive I believe you have to use a Windows computer...thus no OS X native firmware update tool. I have a Crucial, though, so I'm not sure exactly what the process is like.
     
  11. apolloa macrumors G3

    apolloa

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    #11
    My opinion,

    I have a Samsung 830 being delivered to me hopefully on Monday, I have an OCZ Agility 4 on order, I was waiting for it as it was on back order and read some info about it and got scared! Because it's a totally new controller and Macs were having some issues with the Vertex 4 using the same drive, so I switched to the Samsung.

    I looked at Intel and for a 512GB Sata 3 drive I find them overpriced, also Samsung is just as reliable. I also looked at the Crucial M4 and very nearly brought it, but the Samsung is a bit faster so I got that one and it is what Apple use.

    But I have read so much about SSD's and from what I can conclude, for a Mac it's Samsung, Intel or Crucial for reliability an performance. When the Vertex 4 has been proven to be reliable and the firmware more mature then that would also I think be good, especially in a RAID 0 configuration.

    Anyway, so as others have said, IMO it's Crucial or Samsung. But you do need bootcamp to update the Samsung firmware, which I use anyway.

    You should also listen to what Hellhammer says, he has written articles for SSD drives on Anandtech investigating the in and outs of them, the performance, weather trim should be used or not.
     
  12. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #12
    Hellhammer, what is your take on the Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Drive?

    I know you're a samsung or crucial guy, but that 179.00 for 240 gig deal at newegg....damn...
     
  13. imorton macrumors 6502

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    Aug 21, 2010
    #13
    I'm curious also to know about these SSD's also?
     
  14. boomhower macrumors 68000

    boomhower

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    Oct 21, 2011
    #14
    To be fair you can update the firmware on you Mac but it's not nearly as elegant. You have to create a bootable CD/DVD/USB. Not the most difficult thing in the world but not as easy and more prone to have issues. Considering the minimal performance difference between drives in the price range it's small things like this that made the difference to me. The updatability and battery life difference were more important to me than the performance increase of the Samsung that I would never notice outside of benchmarks.
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #15
    Pretty much the same stuff as Agility 3 (i.e. SF-2281 with ONFi 1.0 NAND). It' not bad but the failure rate of SF based SSDs seems to be higher than e.g. Samsung's or Crucial's but most units are still fine. I would buy one for that price.
     
  16. John Fridinger macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    #16
    Regarding the Samsung 830...
    What would be the steps in doing this, if one has a bootable USB, which I think I would want to have around in any case... Or are you saying a windows system on a bootable..? I have zero experience with windows and am not looking to change that, so maybe Crucial is the way to go here...

    Wondering also how much SSD firmware tends to update, assuming there is any tendency, Samsung for instance...
     
  17. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #17
    I've owned SSDs since the first generation of OCZ Vertex's.

    I loved and stood by OCZ and their SSDs. I owned

    2 x Vertex 60GB
    2 x Vertex 2 60GB
    Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120GB
    2 x Vertex Plus 120GB

    And Only one drive ever failed. I never had issues with firmware updates or anything. When I had to rma the drive it was done with ease and was expidited to me.

    I currently have a Corsair Force GT 240GB in my iMac with no issues and I've updated the firmware with no issues via Bootcamp.

    I don't care for the speed of the M4 so I'd never suggest it based on my tasks but I heard its reliable as well as Samsungs.

    Corsair make some of the fastest SSDs as does OCZ. Per user reviews, OCZ seem to have the highest failure rate and because so I would suggest other SSDs before them even though I myself never had issues.

    I think all SSDs are priced very competitively now however. My preferred brands are Corsair and Samsung.
     
  18. blahbrah macrumors 6502

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