Which budget SSD for a MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MacFanUK, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2009
    I am going to be ordering a Macbook Pro when I get back to uni next week and I would like to get an SSD for it. I have not had any experience with SSD's but have read a few things on the internet (although may not be reliable :rolleyes:).

    So what's my best option? I don't have a huge amount to spend and would probably be happy with 60GB (or there abouts) just to try the technology so to speak.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. tempusfugit macrumors 65816

    May 21, 2009
    your best option is waiting until they are worth the money.

    your other best option would be intel's line, which seems to be the macrumors fanboy ssd of choice.
  3. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    The x-ssd's are the fanboy choice of everyone out there at the moment, not limited to macrumors. But yeah op, anything less than the intel ones aren't worth it.
  4. MacFanUK thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2009
    Thanks for the suggestion but I don't think the Intel SSD's are exactly 'budget' options. The cheapest I found was an 80GB at £171...ouch, although they do look to have better read/write times than the others.
  5. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    The problem with the budget drives are that they were meant more for ruggedness of no moving parts rather than performance that flash based mem offers. The beast SSD's (someone will correct me if i'm off on my outdated info) will use Intel's proprietary controller (only on the x series ssd's) or the samsung controller (like those that come stock from Apple). I believe Indilinx's Barefoot controller has favorable reviews but I think its relatively fresh on the market.

    The bargain bin basement disposable budget ssd's will use jmicron controllers, and those suck out loud due to stuttering issues that make them unsuitable for daily OS use.
  6. Dreamail macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2003
    I think you should make a conscious choice regarding capacity vs. quality.

    If you could live with 30GB you have a good choice of high quality drives.

    Here my choice would be the 32GB Intel X25-E.
    Simply because it is fast and reliable. And has likely a much longer life span due to the use of SLC storage elements.
    This means you get the speed you'd expect plus wouldn't have to worry about writing lots of data constantly.

    If you want 60GB+ you might have to lower your speed/quality standards. It would still be faster than most standard HDs but might not be as fast as you might have hoped.
    Here a wide variety opens up.

    Here my choice would not be any Intel X25-M drives as their speeds are a bit overrated nowadays. 70MB/s write speed is not terribly fast today where OCZ Vertex EX or Summit drives offer 200MB/s.
    Granted the Intel drives are good but how much can the OCZ drives slow down and still be faster than 70MB/s? A lot.

    The reason why Intel drives are favored is their excellent built-in garbage collection which guarantees that the drive stays as fast as it can throughout its lifetime.
    Yet from what I understand the latest OCZ drivers (version 1.3) has similar capability and is not far behind Intel anymore. Certainly not in the realm where 200MB/s will end up slower than 70MB/s.

    There are other companies working on agressive automatic garbage collection but from what I can tell these don't necessarily have good driver support for Macs. You might need a Windows machine to upgrade those drivers. With OCZ it's still not perfect but at least you can get by on a new Intel Mac without the need of BootCamp and Windows installed.

    Depending on your budget the plain Vertex series starts around $230 for 60GB. Although that drive is not faster than Intel's.
    Next one up would be Vertex Turbo at $250.
    All the way to the Vertex EX at $660.

    But shop around you might find it cheaper at places like TigerDirect.com or even Amazon.com.
  7. Dreamail macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2003
    The problem with the really cheap drives is that their drivers are not terribly good.
    With those it is very likely that once they reach 80-90% capacity that they really slow down to a crawling halt. And end up much slower than even a cheap standard HD. Until you recondition the drive - which can only be done on Windows likely.

    If you want to spend < $150 on a 60GB drive you probably end up with more troubles than it's worth. If you're not prepared to spend $200 for a 60GB drive perhaps you should not do it. Get a 500GB standard drive instead.
  8. akbc macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    Intel isn't really "budget" at all.

    Look into OCZ and stuff, they offer pretty damn cheap 60GB SSD's nowadays.
    But my suggestion is you do NOT get an SSD just for the technology's sake.
    You're in Uni, if you go into dorm, you might want to get lots of music, movies and get loaded with lots of files and 60GB won't do it. and external HDD's are just pain in the butt.

    My suggestion is getting a 500GB 7200RPM drive for now :)
    Pretty quick, large capacity... It's a good investment.

    If you want an SSD. ALWAYS go for 128GB+ good ones.. such as Intel, high-end OCZ and/or Samsung controller-equipped SSDs...

    I'm using a Samsung 256GB SSD with 200mb/s read and 220mb/s write, along with pretty decent random read/write as well. Speed boost is just amazing.

    My uMBP boots in about 13 seconds to a usable state where I can start opening apps.

    Anyways, good luck :)
  9. antskip macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2009
    Perhaps consider first the Intel 80GB - via (e.g.) Amazon UK for £230.99 - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-X25-M...1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1253661547&sr=1-1.
    Otherwise the OCZ Vertex (also available (e.g.) via Amazon) or Crucial. All are very fast and excellent SSD's.
    You can buy a 60GB OCZ Vertex for £187.95 from Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/OCZ-OCZSSD2...3?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1253661576&sr=1-3.
    Crucial has a 60GB for £132.24, and a 120(128)GB for £250.69 - http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/listmodule/SSD/~2.5-inch Solid State Drive~/list.html
    Avoid "value" and old stock SSD's. If not going with Intel, don't consider an SSD without 60-128MB cache (Vertex, Summit and Crucial all have sufficient cache).

    I have a 120(128)GB OCZ Summit SSD (Samsung-controller), and it has been a revelation, after using a HDD - for 3X the cost of a 500GB HDD, it has been worth every cent. I have used it now for 5 months and not noticed any reduction in performance - which has from the beginning been almost instantaneous, as well as utterly silent and vibration-free. A good SSD is the best upgrade for the pound available IMHO for any computer. Just fantastic not to have a whirring, disaster-prone, hot, HDD! Any recent, "high-end"/performance SSD is a generation better than any HDD. Look at price and size, but avoid "value" options.
  10. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    You have some bad information.

    1. The X25-E is not for consumer use. It's designed for corporate use, not some college dorm student. The Intel drive he would be interested in is the X25-M 80GB (G2) which is available for $250 if he looks hard enough (Just use google shopping and sort by price).

    2. Intels are not known for their 'garbage collection' abilities. The X25-M is famous for it's random write/read speeds which are far ahead of anything else (including the Vertex). Random speeds are more important for casual users than sync speeds. Intel has lower sync speeds, which is bad for people who transfer 8gb files around constantly. If you don't move around large files all day, sync speed is NOT important.

    3. The X25-M is the top choice at MacRumors because most research/comparisons show that the X25-M excels compared to any other SSD in terms of real world use. They are one of the most popular drives and Intel driver issues are as uncommon as OCZ driver issues.
  11. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    If you have time, you should read the Aug30 article from anandtech. Great honest information.

  12. gianly1985 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
    "Low" budget ---> SuperTalent Ultradrive GX 64gb (OCZ Vertex clone, but cost less)

    "High" budget ---> Intel x25-m 80gb

    "Very High" budget ---> Intel x25-m 160gb


    You can completely IGNORE the rest of the market.
  13. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009

    "Low" = $200 shipped

    "High" = $260 Shipped

    "Very High" = $500 Shipped
  14. fehhkk macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    You're much better off with a 7200rpm 500GB hard drive than a slow, cheap SSD.
  15. antskip macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2009
    The query was from the UK, so the quotes perhaps are more helpful in pounds, and available in the UK, I would think. :)
    Some of this Intel hype is just over the top. The old Intel SSD's were and are very fine, but for most people ridiculously priced. The new generation Intels ought to be at a reasonable price, and are overall tops in their respective sizes - 80GB and 160GB. But to not consider the many other fine SSD's out there, in various sizes (mainly 120GB and 250GB) and models and prices is IMHO not good advice. Also IMHO most people will scarcely notice the difference amongst the performance models of SSD in their real worlds. What they will notice from the start is the storage capacity, the price, and the availability. There are plenty of brilliant SSD's out there in the marketplace worth considering. Every one is a qualitative leap ahead in performance compared to any HDD they replace. That difference you definitely will notice. :) I have been using a 120GB OCZ Summit Samsung-driven SSD for 5 months now, and it is as blazingly fast today as it was at the beginning - and I bought it at a good price, with ample storage capacity. Like most things in IT, there is no one way or one manufacturer worth considering.
  16. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    The X25-M has much better random speeds (MUCH BETTER) than any OCZ drive. Based off normal consumer usage, I'd recommend the drive with the best random speeds ala X25-M.

    The X25-M simply stated launches applications faster, boots faster, and keeps it this way much longer compared to the OCZ drives (Summit/Vertex). It's well known that OCZ is more concerned about marketing their drives at the cost of real world performance (Boosting up the Sequentials at the cost of Randoms). That should be enough for any consumer to stay away.
  17. MacFanUK thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2009
    Thanks guys for all the advice. I think I will look for a good 7200rpm drive instead. I think the SSD that I would like is too expensive to consider right now, so get the fastest SATA hard drive as possible.
  18. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    SLC drives are even faster, why shouldn't we all get those? Everyone should see how much space they use, then get the fastest drive with the right space which is within their budget. Not buying an SSD because you cannot afford the Intel is retarded, the crucials/OCZ will still be ALOT faster then a standard drive, especially in access time which is one of the mechanical drives biggest issues.

    The jump between a mechanical drive and a crucial/OCZ will be alot bigger then the jump between the crucial/OCZ and an Intel.

    Just because you cannot afford a Porsche doesn't mean you shouldn't buy a car...
  19. Thedesolateone macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2009
    A lot of people are missing the point.

    Samsung and OCZ drives may have better "braggable" (sequential) read/write times, but the latency and the random read/write times are far better on the X-25M and some Indilinx Barefoot drives as well (e.g. Crucial M225). The overall experience is also far better on the drives with better controllers. If you want to understand SSDs, there is some good stuff on Tom's Hardware, Anandtech and bit-tech;



    Of these, the most important are the first three anands and the final toms.
  20. yaroldb macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2007
    Last night I went out to my local MicroCenter and purchased a OCZ Vertex 60gb SSD for my Early 2009 Uni MBP. They had a sale for $179 after the mail in rebate. Installed Leopard and restored an image from my time machine. Now, I know the OCZ is not the fastest drive out there. That said, I am blown away by how fast this thing is. It normally took 8-10 seconds to open up a Microsoft word doc, it takes 2 seconds now. Most of the programs open is less than a second. My boot time is about 37 seconds (down from over a minute). I swapped it with my stock 250gb (5200rpm) drive. I use lightroom a lot. My concern was that if I put my catalogues on an external drive (USB) would it still have a lag. It did not. It's much faster than it ever was with my old drive and I could not be happier. The impact this has made on the speed of my machine is far above any upgrade I've ever done.

    Only you can answer if you need it or not. I didn't need it but for $180 I figured I'd give it a shot. In my opinion, it is well worth the money.
  21. deathspared macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2008
    I went with the Kingston 128 SSDNOW V Series about a month ago for my 13" macbook pro and I am extremely satisfied. It was $250 shipped and gives me 18 second boot time and I can open all my applications at once in under a minute. In comparing it with the old 5400 RPM drive, it is much faster.

    I am very happy I went this route on my laptop rather than paying more for the faster CPU. I have 20gb free and have rewritten on it numerous times over by now without a noticeable performance lost in day to day activities. It probably has the slowest transfer rate of any ssd but it is still much quicker in every way than my raptor drive on my pc.

    I know many people say don't waste your money on one of the low end SSD drives, but most of the time I don't think they have actually tried them. Anyway, if you are considering a cheap SSD, I don't think you'll regret the SSDNOW V for regular people. In fact, I am planning on getting a 64gb ssdnow v for my dad's mini for Christmas.

  22. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    For that price I'd rather take the Crucial M225 128 Gb.
  23. deathspared macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2008
    So would I. Where did you see that drive for $250 shipped?
  24. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008
    Sorry, read your price as £250, the M225 is around $330 shipped.

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