Which SSD to choose for Early 2011 MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tomekwojcik, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. tomekwojcik macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Location:
    Poland
    #1
    Hi guys,
    I'm thinking about upgrading my MacBook Pro with an SSD drive. So far I didn't come up with any particular drive that doesn't cause problems, so I thought I'd ask for help here.

    My options are:
    Samsung 830 Series 256GB
    Intel SSD/330 MLC 240GB
    OCZ Vertex 4 256GB

    My machine is:
    MacBook Pro 8,1 (Early 2011), i5 2.3GHz, upped to 8GB RAM (don't know RAM model unfortunately, as it was fitted by Apple dealer I bought the machine from). Currently running 10.6.8 but I'm planning to go with 10.8 once (if) I upgrade the drive.

    I've read a few dozens of threads and posts here and there about problems with SSD drives in Macs and to be honest I'm kinda sad now. What I need is reliability and data security. I'm a dev (Web for money, Mac/iOS for fun) so I depend on FileVault and need to be sure I won't run into any issues like my Mac randomly freezing, not waking up from sleep or losing data without any apparent reason. The performance boost is a nice feature (not that I'm complaining about performance of my Mac) but the main reason I started to think about SSD is the "no moving parts" thing. I've seen my share of failing HDs and each time my Mac lags for even a second or comes up with a beachball I'm all like "crap, the drive dies" :).

    Hope you guys provide me with some valuable insight into the topic and help to choose the best option.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. afinch1992 macrumors 6502

    afinch1992

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx
    #2
    samsung 830 is the best out of them in general I would say. also you might want to get an external drive and timemachine your drive just in case
     
  3. tomekwojcik thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Poland
    #3
    I do Time Machine backups every single day, before bedtime. I've lost data once and won't allow this to happen again :).
     
  4. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    Glasgow, Scotland
  5. tomekwojcik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Location:
    Poland
    #5
    Yeah, I've read about M4. Unfortunately I wasn't able to track the drives down in Poland.
     
  6. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cimmerian End
    #6
    Out of those drives I would either go with Samsung or OCZ, your choice of course. I would read up on the specifics of each and decide which one you want to go with. Intel makes good drives but from what I have seen they usually cost more than the others.

    It looks like you will have quite a nice machine there if you install a SSD. Any chance you will keep running 10.6.8? It's fast and responsive on a C2D, I'm sure you won't be able to blink without missing something on a i5/8GB/SSD.
     
  7. tomekwojcik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Location:
    Poland
    #8
    I've read a lengthy thread on OCZ forums about problems people encounter using Vertex 4 drives in 2011 MacBook Pros. Honestly, the thread scared the hell out of me. I'm seriously considering Samsung even though my opinion about their products is low since my friend's display enclosure melted due to heat.

    Unfortunately I can't stay on 10.6.8 even though the OS proved itself over the years (it's been powering my old 2007 C2D MB since 2010). More and more apps require at least Lion and since I do some iOS development I'm somewhat forced to upgrade. Nevertheless, I'm fairly sure my Mac will gladly run Mountain Lion even if I don't upgrade to SSD in the end.

    Thanks for your opinion.
     
  8. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cimmerian End
    #9
    If you truly feel like the Vertex 4 will give you issues then perhaps go with the Samsung 830. I wouldn't let horror stories scare you too much though, there is also a lot of success reported with that drive. As far as Samsung, I have had good experience with their products. I've had a few products from them and everything has worked fine.

    That is unfortunate. :( SL is great, but yes ML will be speedy regardless.
     
  9. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #10
    This may help you


    Two months ago I was able to obtain four different SSDs, all for free. :D So I decided to do a quick roundup or "shoot out" on the disk speeds and firmware updates. Once completed I RMA'd each drive to see how each companies customer service handled my RMA and the time they did it in.

    I did 5 speed tests on each of the following drives with Trim Enabled via Trim Enabler on a 2012 13-inch MacBook Pro in the MAIN hard drive bay. A $10 Optibay Hard Drive Caddy as also used to test firmware updating via Bootcamp.




    EXPERIENCE:
    Over all, my best experience was with OCZ, they handled my RMA case the most timely, especially with their advance RMA. They did not interrogate me with questions about my "defective" product and did not request and receipt or proof of purchase. It was a let me help you, ok lets get an advance RMA setup and send you a working product customer service which I found the most friendly and timely.

    My least pleasant experience was a toss up/tie between Samsung and Crucial because they did not offer an advance RMA which is huge because if the drive is still functional this reduces down time which can be costly to some people.

    During my time with each SSD, they all function and performance flawlessly. I did not have any issues with any of the SSDs at all. I did notice the Samsung and OCZ were the fastest upon more intensive tasks, such as editing 300MB PSD files that were 25 megapixels and also large data transfer. For day to day web browsing task, its near impossible to notice which drive is the fastest. While the Crucial M4 read speeds were the fastest, I find it over shadowed by its underwhelming, slower write speeds barely passing the mid 200s, especially since it has a SATA III interface.

    I know OCZ has a less than stellar reputation for reliability but I've own every generation of Vertex SSDs, Vertex, Vertex 2, Vertex 3 Max IOPS, Vertex 4 and also the very cheap and slow Vertex Plus and NONE of them have ever failed. My original Vertex 60GB SSDs are over 2 years old and still running strong in a PC.

    WRAP UP:
    To wrap it up, if I had to pick just one, I would pick the OCZ Vertex 4 for more than just its blatant fast speeds, but for the great customer service experience I had with them and the ease of updating firmware via OSX. My next choice would be the Samsung 830 for its reputation for reliability and its second fastest speeds.

    INTERESTING ARTICLES:
    Samsung release two firmware updates in one week to 830 SSDs.
    Crucial release firmware update to M4 due to SSDs stop working after 5000hrs of use.
    OCZ Vertex 4 v1.4 and v1.5 firmware tests
     
  10. afinch1992 macrumors 6502

    afinch1992

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    Sep 13, 2012
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx
    #11
    what he said ^ :p I still would say the 830 has a slight edge for my personal taste in reliability, but to each their own
     
  11. tomekwojcik thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 17, 2012
    Location:
    Poland
    #12
    Wow, this post is amazing. Thank you very much :).

    So it looks like I'm back with OCZ vs Samsung. OCZ's obvious strength is a native FW upgrade utility since it looks like that FW is everything with SSDs. I guess I'll have to probe my friends for their opinions of OCZ drives reliability.

    This thread from OCZ forums is particularly scary. It's quite recent, too, although it mostly mentions old firmware versions. Their forums, though, are full of threads like that. Especially with Mountain Lion.

    So I guess, I'll have a hard time choosing the drive :).
     
  12. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #13
    I like both OCZ and Samsung. Ive owned every generation of Vertex drives and never had one fail. My brother has a Vertex 4 256GB and its amazingly fast and hasnt had any issues. We had to update it to firmware 1.5 which was super easy.

    I really do like the Samsung drive too, its a win win either way I think.
     
  13. jaglad macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Location:
    Royston, UK
    #14
    Go for the Samsung 830 for your Macbook Pro, I have exactly the same machine, had a OCZ Agility 3 in it first, worked well, had a couple of beach balls, that drive is now on the iMac using a Go Flex adaptor with no problems. Bought a OCZ Vertex 4, really fast but didnt work on the Macbook Pro properly, kept crashing, although I think the drive was faulty so sent it back.

    Current Samsung 830 in the Macbook Pro is performing the best out of the all the drives, not had a single beach ball on the macbook pro and is fast as lighting.
     
  14. benamaster macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    #15
    I'm quite happy with a Crucial M4 in my Early 2011 17" no issues ever.
     
  15. Verloc macrumors member

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    Nov 9, 2009
  16. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
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    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #17
    Saw in another post that Amazon had the 512gb M4 for $349 today.
     
  17. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #18
    OP said he/she can't get an M4 where they live.
     
  18. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
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    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #19
    Ah. Never mind.
     
  19. tomekwojcik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Location:
    Poland
    #20
    After much consideration and browsing through these and other forums/sites I decided to give Samsung 830 a go. Ordering the drive as we speak.

    Thanks to everybody for participating in the thread. If you wish I can post my experiences later, when I install the drive and set up OS X on it.

    Thanks again, everybody :).
     
  20. eron macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    #21
    Just get the Samsung. That's what I'm using. The speeds and price are more or less the same. What you want is reliability. Samsung has that.
     
  21. paul-n macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    #22
    I would also recommend the Samsung 830, compared to the Vertex 4 the Samsung consumes less power in idle compared to the Vertex 4.
     

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