Time to get an SSD. Read and give your opinion

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MrCheeto, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #1
    After recently writing about drive failures, I immediately experienced three drive failures in the same week as writing the article!

    As these were merely backup drives, I hadn't lost any information, but now it has me worried. I was handling the drives while they were powered down completely and using them only as roughly as one might pick up, move and put down their iPhone, yet three of these drives died!

    Rather than gamble with yet another external hard drive, I'd like to just use a very robust drive in my laptop and then I would have slightly less to worry about with drive failure. I will still backup but it will ease my mind that at least my main drive would be less likely to have a failure.

    So my question, in your opinion and, more importantly, your experience, which SSD will offer the most gigs on the dollar, and will last through more read/writes? I hear that some drives are just awful in terms of longevity but what's the best balance of bytes/dollar and life span?

    Speed is my last concern. If I upgrade and have the same throughput, it wouldn't be an issue as I'm just looking for longevity.

    Are there any hidden issues with SSD's? I'm wondering if blocks suddenly go bad or if there are quirky issues and properties that aren't commonly published and discussed.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    You should get SandForce based SSD since OS X lacks TRIM support and SF based SSD has built-in TRIM so it shouldn't degrade that quickly.

    It's quite hard to talk about longevity since SSDs that are currently on the market have been there for less than a year so nobody can really tell what is the best SSD in terms of longevity. They are still very new technology.
     
  3. MrCheeto thread starter macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #3
    I thought Snow Leopard or Leopard was specifically noted for supporting SSD-preserving software... What the hell?
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
  5. MrCheeto thread starter macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    #5
    Sad days.

    Hear that? Anybody? That's the sound of Apple dropping the freaking ball!! Familiar, ain't it?

    So you say these drives will automatically run TRIM services?
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    Yeah, the SandForce controller does everything that TRIM would do, e.g. ultra-efficient block management and wear leveling. Some people say it's even better than TRIM

    http://www.sandforce.com/index.php?id=19&parentId=2&top=1
     
  7. MrCheeto thread starter macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #7
    Ahah! Thanks you very much! This is very good to know this information. That'll be ninety-nine cents, pleez.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #8
    Oh, forgot to recommend some drives :eek:

    Currently, OCZ Agility 2 is the cheapest 120GB SF driven SSD, but earlier this week OCZ announced Onyx 2 series which is said to go for 189$ for 120GB. Onyx 2 isn't as fast as Agility 2 is but it's still lightyears faster than a normal HD. If you're looking for bigger SSD, then wait for Onyx 2 to become available as it will be 439$ according to the Engadget article (Agility 2 currently goes for 475$ with MIR).

    OCZ is a good brand but I've heard people saying that their firmware updates are sometimes tricky (testing is done by customers) but you can avoid that by waiting awhile and reading some impressions
     
  9. Battlefield Fan macrumors 65816

    Battlefield Fan

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    Mar 9, 2008
    #9
    I strongly disagree. I've had my OCZ drive fail on me 3 times in the past year. Note that it was their top of the line drive and I spent over $600 on it. They forced me to pay for my own shipping and it overall hasn't been a good year with the drive. Many other companies sell SSD's that are just as fast but likely more reliable. Check out crucial.
     
  10. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #10
    The Crucial SSDs don't even come close to the SandForce drives in random and sequential write performance and degrade quite much, which the SF drives don't.

    They aren't really recommended due to their poor performance. Just check out the anandtech reviews.
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #11
    What OCZ drive was it? If it's relatively old, then it's not SandForce based and thus cannot really be compared. All SandForce SSDs are more or less the same, the only difference is the firmware so I doubt Corsair or G.Skill are more reliable.

    As I said, there is no reliable data about longevity. Of course some people like you have had issues with their drives but that happens with every manufacturer.
     
  12. Kingcodez macrumors 6502

    Kingcodez

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    #12
    Thought about a used X25-M?
    I currently run with a 160GB SSD, and a 640GB HDD, honestly, I'd rather just have the SSD and a good network streaming option. With just the SSD you can not have to worry about little bumps or anything hurting the Spinner. I know in bed sometimes my knee or foot will bump the laptop while moving, and I always immediately think of the spinner I have in there. I mainly have it because of my large itunes library, I converted most of my HD movies to .mp4 so I can play in itunes easier.

    Just look for a used X25, I'm selling mine on amazon for $350-ish right now, which is the cheapest on amazon, but on these forums, they are on for less. Yesterday there was one for $250, today there's some for 325, etc.

    It's like Apple vs everyone else, the X25's 'just work'.

    I'm switching to an ipad, so I'm getting rid of my rig (and using my wife's when I actually need a computer).
     
  13. uller6 macrumors member

    uller6

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    #13
    Intel X-25M

    Hey,

    After a few drive failures I decided to go SSD for more robustness as well. I've had my Intel X-25M 160 G2 for about a year now. The drive is a beast. No more beachballs, incredibly fast application startup, and high throughput. Also, my SSD hasn't slowed down at all over the past year. I have about 130 gigs out of 160 used, and the speed is exactly the same as when the drive was new. I can't speak to other SSDs, but despite the lack of TRIM on OSX the Intel firmware does a good job of keeping things running fast. I highly recommend this one. Just my 2C.
     
  14. grahamwright1 macrumors regular

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    North of the Border
    #14
    I have a Corsair F100 with the SandForce controller in my 2010 MacBook Pro 17 and it's been great. Super fast bootup times and application loads are almost instantaneous. I ditched the Superdrive and added a 5400rpm 1Tb in that space. I still have a couple of system slowdowns per day where everything hangs for 15-30 seconds, but it's really fast at all other times.
     
  15. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    Oct 29, 2005
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    Portland, OR
    #15
    A lot of the information in this thread is incorrect. You don't need a Sandforce controller for onboard TRIM, you can buy an older OCZ Indilinux drive, they have Garbage Collection. If you're money conscious, consider that (and do some searching, there's plenty of info on the topic already here on Macrumors, and there's a whole Mac section of the OCZ forums). And don't worry too much about wear.
     
  16. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

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    Sep 17, 2009
    #16
    i am not so sure if ssd are more reliable , ok they exist quiet a while now , but as they had been expensive most of the time and still cost easy double of a normal hdd , not many are around , ok in theory they should be more reliable, because of non moving parts , but i heard about them failing too sometimes for no apparent reason , if i simplify it a ssd is not much more then a ram module , and these can fail too (i said simplify)
    on the other side its a fact that most hdd's fail within the first 3 month
    and certain brands are not as reliable as others and after all it is a price question , you get what you pay for
     

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