Thinking of Upgrading to OWC Mercury Ext. 6G. Advice?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Wild-Bill, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030

    Wild-Bill

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    bleep
    #1
    Hi,

    So I have 10.6.8 running on my 2008 Mac Pro on an Intel 2nd Gen 80 gig drive, with only about 16 gigs remaining. I have my Users folders on 3 - 1TB Western Digital Caviar Blacks in RAID-0. The problem is, I am running low on space on that SSD, would like to install XCode to start learning, but that takes about 10 gigs total space.

    I was thinking of upgrading to one of the new 6G SSDs with the thought that I will eventually upgrade to a new Mac Pro. I was eyeing the 120 gig Mercury Extreme Pro 6G. I've read of some people having problems with that drive.

    Should I just stick with Intel, suck it up, and pay the extra $40.00 price premium, or try the OWC drive?

    Additionally, I was reading that OWC recommends doing a clean install and using Migration Assistant? Do you think that would apply if you were already coming from an SSD install?

    Thanks in advance for your replies.
     
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #2
    I just imaged my 6G's from a backup. No issues. The backup was from an HDD and drive type does not matter. It is good practice to do a clean install but if you are certain your boot image is solid there should be no problems. In regards to stability I have had no issues thus far with OWC. Some people are shying away from Sandforce due to failures. I wanted the onboard garbage collection and "Documented" Mac support. Maybe take a look at Crucial m4 as well but be sure to use the TRIM enabler if you get any SSD that is NOT Sandforce based. Good luck.
     
  3. Boomhowler macrumors 6502

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    Feb 23, 2008
    #3
    also, remember that owc is the only company which has a firmware updater for osx (for ssds).
     
  4. VirtualRain, Sep 29, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011

    VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #4
    If I was you, I would either buy another identical drive off Craigslist and run a RAID0 array, or if you really want a new drive, I would look at another bigger Intel 320, a Samsung 470 or a Crucial M4 (if SATA3 is important to your future plans). I would not buy a SandForce based drive right now. There's too many reports of issues.
     
  5. Wild-Bill thread starter macrumors 68030

    Wild-Bill

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    #5
    Really?? I thought I read on here somewhere that RAID-ing SSDs had diminishing returns and not to bother? Interesting that OWC would take the bold move of releasing a Mac-centric SSD with the troubled Sandforce controller.

    Hmm..... Maybe I should try using Pacifist to install XCode on the regular drives and just wait it out??

    Thanks or the advice all. Lots to think about.....
     
  6. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #6
    It's all relative and I have had no issues whatsoever with OWC Sandforce controllers. It is not that dramatic. I have seen no hard data that shows OWC to be any more troubling than any other SSD manufacturer. OCZ has a slew of complaints on the other hand. Same controllers but different firmwares. + you get 5 Year warranty on 6G OWC. Numbers were floating around regarding failure rates.
    Intel 0.59%
    Crucial 2.25%
    OCZ 2.93%

    So Intel looks the best. All the rest were in the 2-3% range. I don't think so damning actually. And you could still get a bricked Intel, it is possible. Warranty is key.
     
  7. VirtualRain, Oct 1, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011

    VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #7
    All Sandforce drives use the same controller, reference design, and firmware. According to Tony at OCZ, there are only a few firmware options that vendors can set, one of which is life time throttling on NAND writes to achieve a certain warranty commitment. But rest assured, a Sandforce drive is a Sandforce drive regardless of what label appears on the outside.

    OCZ has the worst record only beacause they move a vast quantity of product. OWC is a relatively small niche player that ships a small fraction in comparison. Dont be lured into thinking that OWC is somehow different... They are the exact same drives.

    And a good warranty means little to the guy that has to live without his drive during an RMA. Sandforce controllers are notorious for premature failure (there are even a few recent examples here in this forum). Do yourself a favor and buy a different brand.
     
  8. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #8
    Doesn't change the fact that I have had zero issues. Nor why OCZ themselves talk up why their drives are better (or worse) because of their tweaked firmware. They do test differently on same machines (Kingston vs. OWC vs. OCZ) Not the difference between Agility and Vertex but the same NAND and controller test differently. So...
    Apparently the hive has spoken. No one should be buying these drives right now they are too problematic even though I have had no problems. Nor do I know anyone else to have any issues with them. I DO know a few who have issues with OCZ. I'll enjoy the extra speeds thank you. There are no differences except for the differences, etc.
     
  9. lewdvig macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Just put home directories on mech drives and make use of Time Machine.

    Rest easy.
     
  10. saulinpa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    #10
    My experience says to stay away from the OWC drives for now. No data loss yet but the uptime is not there.

    I had my OWC Pro 6G replaced as it sometimes would not wake from sleep. A firmware update was supposed to fix it - problem came back a few days later so RMAed the drive. I got the replacement last week and it acted up this morning. Same story. Wake up computer and looks fine until beach balls start. Power cycling and drive is not seen. Move to another drive bay - nothing. Try in a SATA-USB adapter - nothing. Desperately power cycle a few more times and it magically re-appears.

    As usual your mileage may vary but the whole point is that it shouldn't. I also have an Intel X25-M 80G that has had no problems.
     
  11. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

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    Aug 6, 2007
    #11
    It is by boot cd. Same as OCZ.
     
  12. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

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    Apr 4, 2009
    #12
    The Samsung 470's are not the fastest... but they are hella reliable! Although they are SATA II 3G drives, the price has been slowly increasing over time at some resellers like NewEgg where too many customers are getting trashed with solutions from well.....
     
  13. Wild-Bill thread starter macrumors 68030

    Wild-Bill

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    #13
    Just to update everyone, I decided to go with the Crucial M4 128GB SSD. I had thought about purchasing another Intel X25-M 80 gig and RAID-0 them, but the Crucial drive was actually cheaper, and I read that RAID-0 SSD is not necessarily a good idea.

    So I'll tuck the 80 gig away for a rainy day, or plug it into my Thermaltake external USB 3.0 caddy and use it for backups, freeing 80 gigs from my 2-TB backup drive.
     
  14. brentsg macrumors 68040

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    Oct 15, 2008
    #14
    And same as Intel.. so the original point is diluted a bit.
     
  15. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #15
    Maybe they think it counts as it "looks" like OS X? :rolleyes:
    Albeit from a 2nd string design team.
     

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