Which SSD are you using?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Poki, May 6, 2012.

  1. Poki macrumors 65816


    Mar 21, 2012
    It seems many have gone the route of installing a SSD in the Mac Mini. It also seems pretty easy to do if you just replace the hard drive. The question now for me (and probably many others) is: Which SSD is the best? In this thread, I want specifically to compare 120 GB SSDs, as they're the most mainstream. 64 GB are too small and/or slow for most of us, and 240 GB aren't too cheap.

    Soo.. my preferences so far are the

    OCZ Agility 3 - Sandforce 2281, asynchron flash, 95€
    OCZ Vertex 3 - Sandforce 2281, synchron flash, 119€
    ADATA S511 - Sandforce 2200, synchron flash, 135€

    I know synchronous flash is more expensive, but it doesn't seem to bring huge speed gains. On the other hand, the ADATA S511 excels in most benchmarks and sits on top of most current SSD offerings, but is it worth the 40€ price increase from the Agility 3 in real world terms?

    And of course: Which SSD do you use or plan to buy? Why did you buy exactly this SSD? And are you happy with it?
  2. lamboman macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    Simply put, stick with the synchronous NAND drives. They don't cost a huge amount more, and their real world performance is superior.
  3. Poki thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 21, 2012
    I was thinking about that. But benchmarks don't seem to justify the price increase. Well, maybe the longer lifespan should...
  4. John Kotches macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2010
    Troy, IL (STL Area)
    I am using a "positively ancient" G. Skill Falcon which is fast enough for me.

    My next upgrade will be a 500GB range for the virtual machines I run so that they can experience the blistering speed too!
  5. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    buy this:

    crucial 256gb m4 it can be found for 215 or less usd new with warranty.

    not the fastest but price and reliablity are very good.

    I was able to get 7 of them at about 210. I am going to be modding a few minis and building some pcs with them.
  6. McGilli macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    I've been using 2 Intel X25-M 80gb G1's since they were released in my MBP.

    I'll be swapping one into my Mini this week....
  7. AlabamaSlammer macrumors 6502


    Feb 8, 2012
  8. tshrimp macrumors 6502


    Mar 30, 2012
    OCZ Agility 3 240GB $199. Has been working great on my mid 2011 mini. Since the cable for 2nd hd is like $40+, so paid a little extra and just replaced my 5400rpm hd with a larger sad.
  9. OTACORB macrumors 65816


    Jun 21, 2009
    Central, Louisiana
  10. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    Crucial M4 256GB plus the other 500gb drive in my server.
  11. Pheo macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    Intel 520 (120GB).

    Not too much more bother to install both SSD and HDD - which is what I've done! Just remember to ensure the HDD re-seats OK by turning the mini upside down.
  12. borostef macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2012
    Zagreb, Croatia
    I am using a Corsair Force 3 series 128 GB in my Mac Mini...
    So far I am very happy with it's performance.
    Read and write both around 450 Mb/s...
  13. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    I've had a vertex 2 in my MBP for 2 years or so now.
    Been completely happy with it and it's worked flawlessly. No plans to upgrade just yet!
  14. Poki thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 21, 2012
    Wow, haven't even realized the Vertex 4 series is already out. Just looked at it - the specs look great! 5 years warranty and seemingly great lifespan and speed (although 250 MB/s write doesn't seem so great), but there's still a price to pay for it. And 150€ for 120GB is more than 50% more than for an Agility 3 of the same size...

    Thanks for all the answers. Many SSDs out there seem to work great, so I guess I'll get the one that looks best to me from a price/performance standpoint.
  15. Battlefield Fan macrumors 65816

    Battlefield Fan

    Mar 9, 2008
  16. lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
    Question SSD users:

    Whats the best "bang for your buck" out there right now in overall performance, longevity, etc, on a budget of $200-300? I would prefer 256gb but would take a size reduction if it would allow me a faster SSD option.

    Thanks in advance. (Hope this isn't "hijacking", thought posting it here would help others as well!):)
  17. alq macrumors member

    May 6, 2011
    2x Crucial M4 256GB in my 2011 server modell, configured as software Raid0 :)
  18. Poki thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 21, 2012
    I'd say clearly the OCZ Agility 3. It's a pretty speedy disk for everyday-tasks and it's as cheap as it gets. The Crucial m4 comes closest, with slightly better performance for slightly more money.
  19. hchung macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2008
    Just as an aside, Sync vs Async shouldn't affect lifespan (since that specifies how the chip package is talked to)

    What does affect lifespan is whether it's SLC, MLC, or TLC. (in other words, 1-bit, 2-bits, or 3-bits per cell.)
  20. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    I've been using a SanDisk Ultra SSD (SandForce 12xx-series). It just died last week, after less than 5 months on the job.

    Do you use TRIMenabler with them? If not, have you had any slowdowns due to the lack of garbage collection?
  21. thatoneguy82 macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2008
    Beach Cities, CA
  22. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I clone them to a second ssd then write over them.

    It all depends on your use of them .

    If you use them to record long eyetv files you can fill them quickly. 6gb for an hour of recording so 33 hours is 200gb.

    then off load them to a big raid of hdds 4tb and 6gb.

    you can fill the drive once a week and empty the drive once a week

    after 4 or 5 months of this it will slow down a bit but not much .

    I have not used them more then 5 months and can't tell you how slow they will be in 10 months. I write about 40gb a week to mine so it fills in about 5 weeks. so far after 5 months and 4 clone then erase. It is about 3 percent maybe 5 percent slower. At this rate maybe after 20-25 months they will be too slow.
  23. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    Ah, ok. I'll be running Xcode and what not so I anticipate a higher-than-average amount of file creation/destruction... not sure if that will set me up for premature wear and tear but I'll do some research to see if folks are happy with TRIMenabler.
  24. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    Wirelessly posted

    Right now I have the following SSDs in Macs:

    1 x 240GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 3G
    2 x 480GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G
    3 x 240GB OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS

    The following are used in Thunderbolt enclosures:
    2 x 240GB OCZ Vertex 3
    1 x 256GB Samsung 830
    1 x 512GB Samsung 830

    Previously owned and failed:
    1 x 256 G.Skill Titan

    Previously owned and sold:
    1 x 240GB G.Skill Phoenix
    1 x 256GB Samsung 830

    If I were to purchase a new drive it would be the OCZ Vertex 4 to try a new chipset. I am a huge fan of the Sandforce SF-2281 chipset though. OWC wins as the best supported Mac supplier.
  25. hchung macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2008
    I've been using a 256GB C300 (predecessor to the m4) since July 2010 as my main computer. Pretty much daily Xcode builds and all. Querying the drive, it looks like it claims I've used up 3% of its expected lifetime.

    With an older firmware, there was a bit of stuttering earlier this year. Kinda wasn't keeping an eye on firmware updates for a while. After update, it's going pretty well. TRIM has not been enabled ever on it.

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