What is the best SSD to buy if you're looking for capacity greater than 160GB?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jamesryanbell, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

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    #1
    Just curious as to your opinions. :)

    (By "best", I'm referring to best size and speed for the dollar)
     
  2. CW Jones macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Seems like the OCZ Vertex 2 180GB is a pretty good buy. not a bad price per GB
     
  3. Constantine1337 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 3, 2009
    #3
    Whatever you do, stay away from SAMSUNG SSDs.

    Just go for any, with the newest SandForce Controller, since it has garbage collection (which you WILL need for OSX).
     
  4. tatical macrumors member

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    #4
    What's wrong with Samsung SSDs? I have a 256 GB Samsung SSD & it still runs like a champ (even though the drive supports TRIM & OS X dosen't)
     
  5. mac jones macrumors 68040

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    #5
    iv'e been using a X-25 and a couple Vertex's for a while.

    The vertex was sort of slow compared to the Intel.

    I then updated the firmware on them. It doubled the speed. Unbelievable.

    Much faster now than the Intel. At least on paper, but it also feels that way.
     
  6. milan03 macrumors 6502

    milan03

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  7. JasonH42 macrumors 6502

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  8. racketeer71 macrumors regular

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    Jan 15, 2010
    #8
    OCZ Vertex 2 is the way to go.

    Anandtech specifically says you'll "need" a Sandforce based SSD, if you're running OS X. I take their word for it. Contrary to a lot of people that seems so think/guess/hope that the SSD they've bought is the best, Anandtech has a different level of authority.

    And regarding Samsung: In some benchmarks, they exhibit a performance on par with old school harddrives. Worst SSDs ever - and it's a joke that Apple lower themselves to that standard.
     
  9. racketeer71 macrumors regular

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    Jan 15, 2010
    #9
    On what basis? What is your criteria? What benchmarks or tests have you performed to reach that conclusion?

    A review of the Crucial C300 explicitly state:

    ----
    The C300 is clearly a drive made for Windows 7. With no TRIM utility, poor 512-byte aligned performance and clear degradation over time with heavy random writes, the C300 is best used with Windows 7 and its native TRIM support. Luckily for Crucial, there are a lot of Windows 7 users out there.
    [...]
    I often get questions from Mac users asking what the best SSD is for OS X. Since Apple still won’t support TRIM you need a very resilient drive under OS X. That path leads you to SandForce. Pick up a Corsair Force, OCZ Vertex 2, G.Skill Phoenix or whatever SF drive tickles your fancy if you want the best of the best in your Mac.
    ----

    So I kindly ask you to backup your claim that Crucial C300 is "excellent" for use in a Mac, compared to the competitors.
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #10
    Intel G3 SSDs will be out soon, 300GB should be reasonable priced. If you need it now, then take a look at SandForce drives
     
  11. George Knighton macrumors 6502a

    George Knighton

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    Oct 13, 2010
    #11
    There's a version of their 256 GB drive on sale at Newegg for something like $440.

    I bought one...but it's a suspiciously low price and I hope it wasn't a mistake.
     
  12. Westyfield2 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    If you haven't got the cash for the OWCs (or you're the other side of the atlantic like me!) OCZ Vertex 2 is the one to go for.

    Note there's quite a difference between the OCZ Vertex 2 and the OCZ Vertex 2E. The 2E doesn't have anything like as much over-provisioning as the 2.
     
  13. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #13
    Pretty soon, it'll be Intel again. Just wait a few weeks, 300GB drive is in the horizon at the price tag of a current 160GB.
     
  14. milan03 macrumors 6502

    milan03

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    #14
    And a few days after it'll be SandForce with their new 500MB/s 2nd generation drives. So there you have it.
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #15
    500MB/s can only be achieved with SATA 6Gb/s and MBP does not support it. Also, I doubt SF based drives will be as cheap as Intel drives so it's possible that Intels will deliver the best performance&capacity per $. We will see...
     
  16. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #16
    At a high cost per drive. A controller like that will drive SSD prices quite high. Also, recall, SanForce has to use a higher bandwidth SATA revision (In this case 6Gb/s) to allow such high transfers, transfer speeds which are not achievable on current MacBook Pros.

    One more thing, SandForce is still a test experiment. Their controllers do everything *very* different. You can read all about it on Anandtech's review article. Anand was clear to point out that SF based SSDs are still young for them to say they are truly reliable.
     
  17. milan03 macrumors 6502

    milan03

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    #17
    Do you all remember how expensive Intel's SSD's were when they came out? If you do, you will know that the new ones aren't necessarily going to be extra cheap.
    On a side note, the speed of current SandForce SSD's are gonna be faster than Intel's next gen ones, and you can expect the current SF drives to drop waaay under Intel's new ones. So ultimately consumers will win with GB per $$$ dropping substantially.

    The next gen SandForce will push 500MB/s on SATA 6.0Gbps, but don't forget that will also saturate your SATA 3.0Gbps Mac's with a single drive. So EVERYONE wins.

    Just my 2cents...
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #18
    All SSDs were a lot more expensive e.g. a year ago, not just Intel SSDs. The price of G3s will be lower due smaller manufacturing method (34nm vs 25nm) which is cheaper to manufacture (though other manufacturers should get their hands on 25nm chips as well). Rumors are saying that 160GB will cost around the same as 80GB currently does (~200$) and 300GB will cost around the same as 160GB currently does (~400$).

    How do you know that current SF drives are going to be faster than Intel G3s? They aren't out yet so you are just guessing. If you looks at previous gen OCZ drives, they aren't much cheaper than current gen. E.g. 120GB Vertex is 210$ while Vertex 2 is 240$.

    Current SF drives do that already, SATA 3Gb/s can't provide more than ~285MB/s in real world.

    I'm waiting for some results and official information before making any conclusions. Both drives will be great, that's for sure. Which one is better, it's hard to say, yet. Intel G3s are expected to be released late this year whereas SF drives are coming early next year (if it hasn't changed).
     
  19. vsighi macrumors 6502

    vsighi

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    #19
  20. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #20
    The advice in this thread is pointing all in the right direction. The two best drives on the market are the OWC Mercury Pro Extreme and the OCZ Vertex 2. Both drives have Sandforce-based controllers, which is the way you want to go.

    The OWC Mercury Pro extreme is a slightly faster drive than the Vertex 2 in the benchmarks I have seen, slightly a mean a few MB/sec faster in reads and writes, not much.

    If I could afford to go OWC I would go this route with all my drives. I currently have an OWC 120GB Mercury Pro Extreme SSD in my Mac Pro and it's a great drive. Very fast, utterly silent, no heat issues, a perfect drive.

    The difference in price as you go up in size on these drives is staggering. The 120GB drive I paid $299 for, the 240GB goes for $599, and the the 480GB is $1499. 480GB is the largest drive OWC makes at the moment. You could essentially have a 960GB RAID array with two of these drives, or a 1.44TB RAID with 3 drives, or a 1.92TB array with 4 drives. At $1499 a pop, I don't think I am ready to go that route yet. It would be the ultimate upgrade for my Mac Pro.

    On my next MacBook Pro purchase, I am thinking about just buying the base model and upgrading the drive myself with an OWC SSD or a Vertex 2. I'm looking at the 240GB size, which would be plenty of space. The 480GB would be nice but doesn't seem economical right now.

    I am leaning against going with a stock Apple SSD because of the cheap Samsung SSDs that Apple uses. Samsung SSDs are the cheapest SSDs on the market, they degrade quickly and are NOT Sandforce-based. They won't last the long haul...I've read numerous threads about folks with the Apple SSDs that have had trouble with their drives becoming sluggish over the time forcing them to refresh the drive numerous time. With a Sandforce-based SSD, you don't have to do this. That's why I think either the OWC or the Vertex 2 are the best choice. PLUS, they are MUCH faster drives. I've seen the benchmarks on all of these, and the Apple stock drives fall way behind the OWC and Vertex 2 on speed, they are nearly half as slow!!!! I hope Apple starts using better SSDs in their computers, they are charging out the ass right now for second-rate components. That's why I think the end-user upgrade of the SSD is the best way to go.
     
  21. milan03 macrumors 6502

    milan03

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    #21
    Intel X25-M G3 (25nm) Sequential Performance Read/Write = Up to 250/170 MB/s

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3965/intels-3rd-generation-x25m-ssd-specs-revealed

    If I was to wait, I'd be waiting for current SF drives to drop the prices once the SF2000 comes out in Q1 2011.
     
  22. Constantine1337 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Mine degraded noticeably :(
     
  23. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

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    Oct 6, 2003
    #23
    Hopefully there will be more progress on developing PCIe SSD to solve the bandwidth problem and deliver stellar performance at a reasonable price. The OCZ RevoDrive is a great start. Now if others will jump in with their own versions component prices can come down further.
     
  24. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #24
    Sequential read&write performance isn't the only thing that matters. Intels are still the fastest in random read performance though OCZ beats it in other categories.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/126?vs=152

    It's likely that SF drives will be the best buys for Macs since they have built-in TRIM but I wouldn't underestimate Intels, yet :p What we know is that prices will go down, that is a great thing. This performance battle we can save for future when we actually have some benchmarks (where SF drives are likely kicking Intel's ass)
     
  25. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #25
    $/GB the Intel G3 Solid State Disk will win.

    In the same price bracket we currently get 160GB we will in some months get 300GB.

    Sure, it may not compete with the SandForce controller but it will be cheaper and deliver more than enough performance for mobile needs.
     

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