Upgrading to an SSD for my MacBook 5,1?

BB19

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 27, 2014
36
3
Hey! I'm looking to upgrade my MacBook5,1 HD to an SSD. Thinking of going with the OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSD that they recommend for my specific macbook. Are there any other brands they you prefer or recommend? Their 240gb is $146.99 which is one of the lower priced ones I've seen. Are they good quality or would you suggest I go with something else? Also, I've upgraded my ram to the 8gb max. What else can I do to keep my macbook5,1 up to date and feeling fresh? Thanks!
 

Big Ron

macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2012
354
54
United Kingdom
I can only repeat what I have posted on various other threads on this subject.

I fitted a Samsung EVO 840 250Gbyte SSD and its brilliant. It feels faster than my desktop Imac and only took 5 mins to fit. It now boots up in 12 seconds and shuts down in 5. Its a no brainer really, you won't regret it:cool:
 

BB19

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 27, 2014
36
3
Awesome! Now are there any specific limitations to what my MacBook5,1 can handle? I don't want to end up buying a really nicE SSD that can't be used to its full potential on my MacBook.
 

BB19

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 27, 2014
36
3
Just chatted with someone over at OWC. Here is what they said

"Hello There! For the MacBook5,1 we highly recommend the use of a SATA 2.0 (3Gb/s) SSD such as the OWC Mercury Electra 3G for your computer. While a 6G SSD does function, it will only do so at SATA Revision 1.0 (1.5Gb/s, 150MB/s) speeds rather that the SATA Revision 2.0 (3.0Gb/s 300MB/s) speed the computer can deliver. It is not completely verified, but we have seen it due to the SATA cable being inferior, but I believe it lies somewhere in the hardware."

In regards to my mac: "Yes, your machine has SATA 2.0. Technically SATA is backwards compatible, but the SATA 3.0 drives do not function as one would expect in nearly all 2009, and 2010 Macs."

Then I asked if he had opinions on any other SSDs that would be good for my mac: "Honestly, I am not aware of any other 3G brands out there. I have not looked, but I do not believe they exist."

It seems that I need to get my hands on a SATA 2.0 3G SSD according to the person I chatted with. He said that he doesn't know of anyone else that makes them.

So a few questions...
1. Are there other companies making SATA 2.0 3G SSDs that I should look into.
2. Is it even worth upgrading to a 3G SSD?

Thanks!
 
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Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,137
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California
So a few questions...
1. Are there other companies making SATA 2.0 3G SSDs that I should look into.

2. Is it even worth upgrading to a 3G SSD?

Thanks!
At one point a few years ago (before the SATA III standard) all there was were SATA I+II drives. At the time the Samsung 470 was very popular and worked well with MacBooks. I had one myself. You can still find them (here on Amazon), but they tend to very overpriced due to scarcity.

That said, SATA III is fully backwards compatible and literally hundreds of people here have used these drives in older MacBooks and they work fine.

I am not a fan of OWC's overpriced, Sandforce controller drives. There are much better alternatives available for less money.

Get yourself either the Samsung EVO mentioned earlier or the new Crucial MX100. Give this a look.

And yes, even your older Mac will benefit from an SSD. Even though you won't hit the peak advertised raw transfer speeds, you will still benefit a great deal from the much faster seek speeds of an SSD.

There is no reason to pay OWC $30 more than what you can get a new MX100 for. Plus you can pop the MX100 out and move it to a newer SATA III Mac is you purchase one.
 

BB19

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 27, 2014
36
3
Ok cool! I guess my biggest concern was that going with the OWC 6G would only give me 1.5Gb/s as opposed to the 3G doing 3Gb/s. Don't want any bottlenecking happening! I'll definitely look into the SSDs that you suggested! Guess that about covers it unless anyone here has any other tid bits or suggestions they would like to throw in. Thanks again!
 

brdeveloper

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2010
2,471
159
Brasil
Ok cool! I guess my biggest concern was that going with the OWC 6G would only give me 1.5Gb/s as opposed to the 3G doing 3Gb/s. Don't want any bottlenecking happening! I'll definitely look into the SSDs that you suggested! Guess that about covers it unless anyone here has any other tid bits or suggestions they would like to throw in. Thanks again!
I have a PNY XLR8 SSD (SATA III) which downgrades to SATA I if it finds a SATA II bus. So if OWC says their 6G drives are not recommended for SATAII Macs, they'll probably want to say that their 6G ones will perform worse than their 3G version SSDs.
 

Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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California
Ok cool! I guess my biggest concern was that going with the OWC 6G would only give me 1.5Gb/s as opposed to the 3G doing 3Gb/s. Don't want any bottlenecking happening! I'll definitely look into the SSDs that you suggested! Guess that about covers it unless anyone here has any other tid bits or suggestions they would like to throw in. Thanks again!
Back then negotiating the wrong link speed was a common issue with SSDs like this, and it happened with OWC and other brands also. I had the same 2008 model you do and got the SATA link speed to negotiate correctly by doing a PRAM and SMC reset.

Let us know how it works out.
 

BB19

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 27, 2014
36
3
Back then negotiating the wrong link speed was a common issue with SSDs like this, and it happened with OWC and other brands also. I had the same 2008 model you do and got the SATA link speed to negotiate correctly by doing a PRAM and SMC reset.

Let us know how it works out.
Good to know. I'm going to do a little more research and order one at some point this week. I'll let you all know how it turns out!
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Good to know. I'm going to do a little more research and order one at some point this week. I'll let you all know how it turns out!
As was stated earlier, OWC does have a premium on many parts and it may be more affordable for you to order it off Newegg instead.
 

BB19

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 27, 2014
36
3
Pulled the trigger on a samsung evo 250gb. I'm going to do a fresh install of mavericks when I put it in. Not really trying to deal with cloning my current drive. I have everything backed up with timemachine anyways. So is this just as simple as popping out the old drive and putting the new one in? I ordered the drive only so is there anything else I need to purchase?
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
24,956
7,888
Detroit
Pulled the trigger on a samsung evo 250gb. I'm going to do a fresh install of mavericks when I put it in. Not really trying to deal with cloning my current drive. I have everything backed up with timemachine anyways. So is this just as simple as popping out the old drive and putting the new one in? I ordered the drive only so is there anything else I need to purchase?
Nope. Just like you said, pop out the old one and pop in the new one.
 

BB19

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 27, 2014
36
3
Well, I just have to say that you all have been very helpful and informative considering that I'm a newb to this forum and posted for the first time on Sunday. I'll definitely be sticking around here for all my :apple:/mac questions. Thanks again!
 

BB19

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 27, 2014
36
3
Just got the Samsung EVO 840 into my macbook and did a clean install of mavericks. So far everything is running nicely. Takes about 25 seconds for it to boot up! However, I do have a few questions

1. Since putting the SSD in I've noticed my fan running constantly and the macbook getting really hot without anything demanding running. Is there a fix for this?

2. Blackmagic disk speed is reporting 206 MB/s write speeds and 268 MB/s read speeds. Is this normal considering my macbook can SATA II 3g speeds?

3. Is there anything that I should do to optimize the performance of my new SSD?

Thanks!
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,137
8,806
California
Just got the Samsung EVO 840 into my macbook and did a clean install of mavericks. So far everything is running nicely. Takes about 25 seconds for it to boot up! However, I do have a few questions

1. Since putting the SSD in I've noticed my fan running constantly and the macbook getting really hot without anything demanding running. Is there a fix for this?

2. Blackmagic disk speed is reporting 206 MB/s write speeds and 268 MB/s read speeds. Is this normal considering my macbook can SATA II 3g speeds?

3. Is there anything that I should do to optimize the performance of my new SSD?

Thanks!
1. Can't think of anything about installing an SSD that would cause this. Do see anything in Activity Monitor's CPU tab chewing up a lot of CPU cycles?

2. Sounds right for SATAII.

3. Nothing other than enable TRIM.
 

BB19

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 27, 2014
36
3
Did a google search and reset the SMC. That seems to have fixed the problem! I've also enabled trim so I guess I'm good to go. Thanks!
 
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BB19

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 27, 2014
36
3
Everything is running great. Computer starts up super quick and apps launch pretty much instantly. Other than that I haven't noticed much else. Definitely worth upgrading to an SSD but don't expect anything too crazy considering 5,1 MacBooks can't run at 6gb/s.
 

sleepykidd

macrumors newbie
Nov 18, 2010
10
0
Related question: I have a early 2008 macbook and my profiler seems to say that my hard drive controller is a Intel ICH8-M AHCI with a 1.5 gb link speed and negotiated speed to match. I'm interested in upgrading to an SSD but am I going to see much of performance boost considering the low link speed? This is compared to a 5400 rpm drive. From what I understand SATA 2 & 3 drives are compatible with SATA 1 controllers but will this bottleneck much of the speed I would get out of it? Thanks.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,137
8,806
California
Related question: I have a early 2008 macbook and my profiler seems to say that my hard drive controller is a Intel ICH8-M AHCI with a 1.5 gb link speed and negotiated speed to match. I'm interested in upgrading to an SSD but am I going to see much of performance boost considering the low link speed? This is compared to a 5400 rpm drive. From what I understand SATA 2 & 3 drives are compatible with SATA 1 controllers but will this bottleneck much of the speed I would get out of it? Thanks.
Like you said, you will be limited quite a bit in raw transfer speeds, but where an SSD really helps is with the very fast seek speeds and even though you have a slower connection, those faster seek speeds will still be very noticeable when launching apps etc.

I mean I would not spend $500 on a 750GB SSD for that old of a machine, but if say 256GB or even smaller could meet your needs, I would say it is well worth the $100.
 

angelfelix

macrumors newbie
Nov 22, 2014
1
0
SSD upgrade

Hi, I read your post and I have a question... the macbook 5,1 you own is the late 2008 unibody model right? because I saw in your profile that you have a late 2009 macbook. So anyway if your macbook is a 5,1 so, have you upgraded to yosemite? how's that working for you? Also, did you upgrade your RAM too?

Im thinking of upgrading to the Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD and also getting 2 4gb OWC ram modules in order to have 8 gb in my mac, I already have yosemite and it runs slow but I thought it would be worse so I have high hopes for it when I upgrade.

Thanks in advance and sorry about my choppy english I'm from Mexico.