Your SSDs!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Ifti, May 22, 2012.

  1. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I'm running a Vertex2 in my MBP, which has worked perfect for the past 2 years or so I have had it. I chose this because of the SandForce controller, as at the time it was stated that it TRIMs on-the-fly, considering OSX doest TRIM non-apple SSDs very easily. Nevertheless, I've not looked into SSDs since!

    I'm looking to pick up a MacMini when the new refresh comes along later this year. It will probably be a server model, as I like to go for the best CPU I can afford, since it's a non-upgradable part, and I want the system to last for as long as possible.

    8GB RAM will go straight in.

    I also want a SSD to go straight in.
    I need no more then a 60-120GB, since all of my content is stored on my NAS, and will be retrieved from there. I will also have the second drive within the Mini for any local storage needs, if need be.

    I don't know which SSD to go for though.
    Is it still advisable to stick with a SandForce based drive?
    I was looking into the Vertex3, but now the are many more offerings by other companies, like Samsung and even SanDisk!

    Which SSD do you have, if any?
    Why did you choose it?
    If you could repurchase? If so what would you get and why?
     
  2. Spacedust macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #2
    Vertex 3 is a very reliable drive. I use two such drives in my server since December 2011 and so far 4000 hours and no issues. Firmware can be easily upgraded using dedicated BootCD Linux distro.
     
  3. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #3
    Sandforce 2281 based SSD's and the Samsung 830 are usually the best performers and the ones that most of us are using in our Macs.
     
  4. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I'm pretty much leaning towards a Vertex 3, although some reviews I've read state that the 240GB version offers much better performance then the smaller 120 and 60GB?
    Can't really justify the cost of anything bigger then a 120GB, as even that would be overkill for me TBH.
     
  5. voyagerd macrumors 65816

    voyagerd

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2002
    Location:
    Rancho Cordova, CA
    #5
    I plan to get an Intel 520 series next month unless I hear something about the 530 series. The 520 series are Sandforce based.
     
  6. tshrimp macrumors 6502

    tshrimp

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    Mar 30, 2012
  7. voyagerd macrumors 65816

    voyagerd

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2002
    Location:
    Rancho Cordova, CA
    #7
    My SATA 5Gb controller doesn’t support TRIM :(

    You read that right, ~5Gb(PCIe 2.0 1x connection)
     
  8. borostef macrumors 6502

    borostef

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    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    #8
  9. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    #9
    I have a Crucial M4 and it works great.

    One thing to keep in mind is that most SSD's will have faster write speeds if you get larger capacity; the Crucial 256 doubles the write speed of the 128 because it writes more data in parallel.

    As for TRIM, you probably don't need to worry about it. The current generation of SSD's do their own garbage collection. So if you have a Mini that's left on all the time, the drive will pick up after itself. Plus, you can use the HDD for anything that requires creating and deleting lots of temp files.

    My older Mini has an OWC drive which I can also recommend. They specialize in Mac support.
     
  10. mrrippey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    #10
    I wish mine worked. I don't know if I am doing something wrong but both my Intel SSD and Crucial M4 I've sent back because of various issues. The Intel would not format and the Crucial formats but wont clone, CCC crashes everytime and TechTool doesnt even see it. I tried to verify and repair which works then CCC and Techtool 6 dies......and I know how fast SSD's are, I had on in my MacBook Pro that I added and its insane. Oh well

    -Rippey
     
  11. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #11
    The Intel 330 series is also SandForce-based and retains much of the performance as the 520, but with a lower price tag.

    I just had a SandForce 12xx-based SanDisk SSD fail on me after a mere 4 months of service. I replaced it with an OCZ Octane, which claims to offer better support for compressed files (e.g. Apple apps). It's currently on sale for $100 after rebate on amazon.
     
  12. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #12
  13. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    #13
    Do you have any data to support that recommendation? Everyone in Windows-land would enable Trim wherever possible and worry about it where not.
     
  14. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #14
    Numerous reports of instability after enabling the trim hack have been posted on these forums and others. That's why I prefer a Sandforce based drive, since they have very good garbage collection.
     
  15. spda242 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #15
    I am using Crucial M4 128Gb with TRIM enabled. No problems at all and good performance.

    The only Sandforce based drives I would dare to try are Intels after all firmware problems with SF last year.
     
  16. spda242 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #16
    Avoid "OCZ Octane S2" (same as Vertex 4?) at all cost. it looks like OCZ has huge firmware problems with the new generation...is this a re-run of last year?
     
  17. dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #17
    I think these are the traditional "just on the market" bugs plaguing every ssd. It seems that whenever an ssd is launched you need to wait for 6 months so the manufacturer has fixed all the bugs early adaptors will run into via several firmware updates.
     
  18. philp101 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    #18
    I just fitted a Crucial M4 128gb ssd to my mac mini and am astounded at the difference in speed that it has made. totally recommend.
     
  19. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    #19
    Thanks. I haven't seen any such reports (not that I doubt they exist, If you say so.)

    But in Windows-land no-one would dream of not enabling Trim if it is available, whether with a Sandforce drive or not. So I have enabled Trim and so far it's working faultlessly.
     
  20. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #20
    You can read through these threads for a start, but they are very long


    "Windows 7 supports TRIM on all SSDs. As of Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.6, TRIM is enabled on 2011 Macs with SSDs. OS X Lion is to add TRIM support for all Apple SSDs. As of DP4, third party SSDs are not supported. This may change in the future though. For third party SSDs, there is TRIM Enabler, but it is known to cause problems for some SSDs see the forum thread for more info)."

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1177020

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1125400
     
  21. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    #21
    As I said, I didn't doubt your info.
     
  22. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    #22
    Funnily enough, the more I read up about this, I am not so sure about the recommendation to keep TRIM off with Sandforce drives.

    1. I don't see many (any?) "reports of instability" after enabling TRIM. The issues seem to be poor coding in the TRIM Enabler app, which the author has largely fixed. If TRIM enabler works for you, then it seems that TRIM is then enabled and the system is stable.

    2. Sandforce drives may have decent garbage collection, but that doesn't affect the fact without TRIM, there's a whole load of unnecessary reading and writing going on. When the OS deletes a file, it marks the file’s space in its logical table as free but (without TRIM) it does not tell the drive anything. Without knowing the data is invalid the SSD controller will run garbage collection on pages for which none is required and it will move data around that is actually deleted data, thinking it is valid data.

    TRIM will prevent garbage collection on invalid data and increase the free space known to the SSD controller. This means higher write speeds (less time waiting for garbage collection), reduce wear (less writing and less data rewritten).

    I think OWC not recommending TRIM has more to do with Apple not supporting it on their drives, so they wanted to downplay its importance. Even Sandforce themselves do not suggest TRIM has no value. And the idea that TRIM can in some way "interfere" with the proper working of Sandforce garbage collection is utterly ridiculous. I suspect that myth was first postulated by someone who had no clue how this all works and it's persisted as an "urban myth".

    I am switching TRIM on. It cannot do any harm and very likely will do some good.
     
  23. Oderus, May 29, 2012
    Last edited: May 29, 2012

    Oderus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    #23
    Forget OCZ, they have no Mac support (they actually lump Macs in the same category with Linux) and they aren't very reliable. I had to put my OCZ in a USB2 case and format it on a friend's windows computer before my computer would even see it at all!
    OWC is made specifically to be compatible with Macs, they would be a much better choice.

    TRIM isn't needed. Its not possible for TRIM on PPC macs but mine have showed no signs of slowing.
     
  24. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #24
    Internally, they're pretty much the same. I've had an OCZ Vertex 2 running in a MacBook for a year and a half with no issues (I was able to format it as well as my current Octane model in Disk Utility).
     
  25. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    #25
    I'm not sure the last you checked OCZ technology forum, but they had a bootable Linux CD for BIOS updates before OWC. OCZ also releases firmware updates more frequently. I've had good experiences with two (2) Vertex 3 and three (3) Vertex 3 MAX IOPS. I also had no issues with an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 3G and an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G.
     

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