what SSD to buy with 250 USD? Which ones are compatible with OSX?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sarah.kho, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. sarah.kho macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    #1
    Hi,

    I am wondering which SSD is the correct choice to go with. I can spend around 250USD for the SSD and I want it to be compatible with OSX. I read some forums about trim and garbage collection but I am not sure which models come with those features and which one of them are supported by OSX.

    Basically I am looking for a ~120GB SSD with something like 250 USD.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  2. iHalo macrumors regular

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    Sep 14, 2008
    #2
  3. millerb7 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2010
    #3
    I have a 120GB OWC SSD (paid $235) and cannot be happier with ;)
     
  4. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #4
    x3

    I also own a 120GB Mercury Extreme Pro and think it was the best invention since cake.
     
  5. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    May 29, 2007
    #5
    Just installed the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 240 GB this past weekend.
    Best. Upgrade. Ever.
     
  6. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    Dec 11, 2010
  7. kovalchuk71 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 9, 2008
    #7
    Thats not ~$250 though ;)
     
  8. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    May 29, 2007
    #8
    The 120 is the same drive, just less disk space.
     
  9. kovalchuk71 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 9, 2008
    #9
    I was just kidding around. :)
     
  10. brdnboy macrumors regular

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    Feb 25, 2008
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #10
    I have the same basic question. Looking to buy a 120/128gb SSD for around $250. I was considering the Intel X25-M, OCZ Vertex 2, OWC Mercury Extreme Pro, Kingston SSDNow V+, but it seems the OWC is the consensus. Does anyone have another recommendation or any reason not to go with the OWC.
     
  11. Mag1c22 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    #11
    if people are reccomending the OWC and not other brands, i'd stick with OWC, you may hear a horror story about how the drive went to ****, but why are you looking for problems with the drive?

    it has a warranty!
     
  12. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #12
    Go with the Mercury Extreme Pro as it doesn't cost anymore than other SSD's and is probably the best. The Intel is solid but slower than other SSD's with older wear leveling technology and costs the same as newer and faster SSD's, the Vertex 2 has poor user ratings with numerous reports on manufacturing issues, the Kingston has good reviews but not many people have used them in Macs. Crucial is probably the second best behind the OWC M.E.P. The Mercury Extreme Pro is the fastest SSD currently on the market in both initial and sustained read and write speeds (it writes about 3 times quicker than the Intel and 2x quicker than the Crucial), has been used by many people in MBP's, is made by a company that caters to us Mac people, uses the newest wear-leveling technology, and finally, the Mercury Extreme Pro has the best professional and customer reviews of all SSD's by a landslide.


    Check this guy out, exact same package I bought
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/YSSDMP120/
     
  13. millerb7, Dec 22, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010

    millerb7 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2010
    #13
    To answer one of your questions that nobody has seemed to answer yet.

    NO SSD currently is "fully supported" by OSX... meaning, the firmware software (Yes, I said firmware software) for updating firmware ETC.

    OWC (yes I own one, it rocks, yadda yadda) is currently working on this.... it is slated to release early 2011.... they will be the first with OSX firmware software when it releases. Go ask around the other companies, intel, OCZ, the reps will straight up tell you that IT IS NOT (I repeat, NOT) in the works.... they don't feel the demand for it.... which is surprising from intel as they work so well with the macs.

    Anyways, the ONLY issue floating around is a sandforce issue with hibernate with OSX. If your machine hibernates or idle sleeps it'll freeze on wakeup. The easy fix, disable idle sleep... problem solved. Shut the lid when you want sleep.

    Anyways, Sandforce is aware, and working on a firmware update.... but here is the next problem... to update, you NEED windows. No a virtual machine, ACTUAL windows (bootcamp seems to work).

    The update is slated Q1 2011, with all the other drives you will NEED windows, if OWC's OSX version comes out before or the time of the firmware update... then OWC will be the only SSD on the market (that I'm aware of) with full OSX compatibility.

    Anyways, I have no insider information, just from talking to TONS of reps, and direct observations. If anything I said isn't accurate, feel free to correct me.
     
  14. millerb7 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2010
    #14
    Same exact package I bought. That enclosure it comes with is TOP QUALITY... I am SUPER impressed. Even comes with a little carry pouch for it as it's meant to be a travel bus-powered enclosure.
     
  15. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    May 29, 2007
    #15
    This issue does not affect everyone.
     
  16. nippyjun macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    2 questions:

    1. Is battery life better or worse with these ssd's compared to the stock 5400 rpm hard drive.

    2. The idle sleep issue. When my battery runs down all the way my mbp shuts down and once I charge it and I start it up it resumes from where I left off. Is this behavior affected by these sandforce drives?
     
  17. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    May 29, 2007
    #17
    1. I had a 7k RPM 500GB drive. Since installing the OWC SSD I seem to have gained 1-2 hours battery life.

    2. SSDs support safe sleep (i.e. hibernate), same as with HDs. As previously mentioned some have experienced problems with waking from idle sleep. Forcing sleep (w/Command-Option-Eject or lid shut) does not exhibit the problem. There is another thread discussing that issue. For what it's worth I cannot duplicate the issue on my MBP with my brand new OWC SSD.
     
  18. millerb7 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2010
    #18
    Just like said above. SSDs store the image on the SSD just like a HDD does. Some say it's good, some say bad. My only issue is the hibernate issue so I just disable idle sleep and I'm fine.

    Also like said above, I'd say about 80% maybe (although we only hear the bad on forums, not good so hard to tell) have the issue, it's not 100%.
     
  19. adnoh macrumors 6502a

    adnoh

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    #19
    Firstly there are more users than not having trouble with the hibernation issue in OSX + SSD.

    This issue has been replicated on all Sandforce drives clearly indicating an issue with the firmware. Im glad to hear a fix may be on the way. However the companies that sell the SSD themselves (Sandforce is just the controller) have had their forums bombarded by people with this issue.

    I have seen the hibernation issue on both the Corsair and OCZ forums. Another problem with the Vertex 2 drive is that the latest firmware causes the system to stutter and hang every few seconds. Another user also had to a clean re-install of OSX when his drive woke up from sleep and had "lost" the hard drive.

    Losing hibernation may not be a deal breaker for you but bear in mind Sandforce made a deal with OCZ so give them exclusive firmware to make the Vertex 2 faster than any other Sandforce 1200 based drive. This has been proven in benchmarks.

    edit: browse the OCZ OSX forum and you will see the issues people are having here.
     
  20. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    Dec 11, 2010
    #20

    As said, SandForce has this issue.

    The Vertex 2 line uses both a SandForce and Indilinx controller depending on year and specific model so if you do not want to go SandForce, be careful as a lot of resellers will just tell you what you want to hear.

    Corsair uses Indilinx, BareFoot, and Samsung controllers but some people have claimed that they have Corsairs with SandForce

    Crucial uses a Marvell and Intel uses their own in-house produced controller and Kingston is an Intel X-25 clone (just to add as these are popular too).
     
  21. nippyjun macrumors 65816

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    Jul 26, 2007
    #21
    How about battery life? Is it improved vs. 5400rpm drives?
     
  22. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #22
    Yes, because the SSD does not require a motor, it is both quieter and more energy efficient. The energy rage of the 120/128GB SSD is .24 to 2.8 watts. The amount you will gain, battery wise, depends on your individual usage although don't expect to see a massive gain. It's one of the numerous advantages of a SSD and only part of why one should or should not purchase one.
     
  23. adnoh macrumors 6502a

    adnoh

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    Nov 14, 2010
    #23
    I should have been more specific.

    I was talking about Corsairs Force series which definitely is sandforce based and does cause a kernel panic post hibernation. Also I referenced the OCZ vertex 2 which is a Sandforce based drive you will not find a vertex 2 with an Indilinx controller as this was in version 1.

    @ OP, SSD's become slower over time (I wont go into technical specifics). A technology called TRIM prevents this but is not supported in OSX therefore a Sandforce based drive is better for a Mac.

    Stick with a sandforce based drive (OCZ vertex 2, agility 2, Corsair Force) and you will be ok as long as you dont mind losing hibernation. And before an OWC fanboi pounces on me, they are not available in the UK and so I cannot comment on them.
     
  24. Sankersizzle macrumors 6502a

    Sankersizzle

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    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Canadadada
    #24
    just to chime in here, i've got a Vertex 2, and the hibernation issue does exist with me, but it doesn't really bother me. i've only ever hibernated (since the drive went into the computer) once and it freezes about halfway through loading the saved state. it sucks, but it's so rarely an inconvenience that it doesn't bother me.

    HOWEVER, it is worth noting that you can't get update the firmware for the SSD from OSX, you have to use Windows, which is something i'm not going to do. so i will have to live with no hibernation forever.
     
  25. sarah.kho thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    #25
    Thank you all for the good information you provided.

    I live in Sweden and we do not have OWC here, at least I was not able to find a retailer selling OWC. on the other hand we have the OCZ, Intel, Corsair and Kingston available.

    As I read here I should not go with Corsair Force Series because it causes the kernel panic and the Intel ones are slower than other. This leaves me with OCZ and the Crucial and Kingston.

    From these three which one you do suggest to go with?


    Thank you for the help.
     

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