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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

User experiences with SSD's


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phillipd

 
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I'm interested in putting an SSD in my Macbook Pro. Should I be wary of it wearing out? What is the max read/write cycles of NAND now a days? Are all SSD manufacturers drives of equal quality? Any differences in the number of write cycles, or strategies to spread writes over the drive, between manufacturers? Ever have trouble with your SSD? Did your Macbook gain appreciable speed with an SSD. Are write times really much faster with SSD?

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Doug P
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Lbatson21

 
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I've owned an Intel X-25M 80GB drive for about a year and a half now and haven't had any issues with it so far. I'm looking into purchasing a SSD for my mini as well. With the newer MBP they offer SATA III so the read and write times are phenomenally better with those. Here's a link to the one I'm looking at purchasing. Mercury Electra 6G The comparison specs on that page should speak for themselves. There are other options in the market as well.
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XJ-linux

 
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Drive: Super Talent 2.5 inch 128GB MasterDrive SX SATA2 Solid State Drive (MLC)
Purchased: 06-28-2009
OS's: Windows XP (VM), Windows 7 (VM), OS X 10.5, 10.6 & 10.7
Hardware: Mac Mini Late 2009, MacBook Pro 2009, MacBook Unibody 2008
Issues: None
Cons: Expensive at the time (price I paid for early adoption)
Pros: Very fast, increased battery life, reduced boot/shutdown time
Notes: I would never go back to standard platter based storage if given the choice. At work I get very frustrated waiting for my Windows7 box to boot, launch Office applications, etc... using a 7200rpm 120GB 2.5" SATA drive

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phillipd

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lbatson21 View Post
I've owned an Intel X-25M 80GB drive for about a year and a half now and haven't had any issues with it so far. I'm looking into purchasing a SSD for my mini as well. With the newer MBP they offer SATA III so the read and write times are phenomenally better with those. Here's a link to the one I'm looking at purchasing. Mercury Electra 6G The comparison specs on that page should speak for themselves. There are other options in the market as well.
The only thing that bothers me about the benchmarks they quote is the read times on regular hard drives vs write times. Read speed should always be faster than write speed, yet their "Factory" hard drive speed benchmarks are twice as fast for writing data. This really can't be right. So are their other SSD benchmarks suspect?
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Lbatson21

 
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Not quite. Those benchmarks appear correct. The 4k Random tests they are quoting are almost exactly what I got on my stock 5400 rpm drive. Below are specs for both a stock and my Intel SSD which is an older model drive with only SATA II. Below I've attached Xbench data for both drives
Attached Files
File Type: txt Xbench disk Toshiba 5400rmp stock Macmini.txt (617 Bytes, 3 views)
File Type: txt Xbench disk Intel X-25M 80GB SSD.txt (631 Bytes, 2 views)
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EndlessMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ-linux View Post
Notes: I would never go back to standard platter based storage if given the choice. At work I get very frustrated waiting for my Windows7 box to boot, launch Office applications, etc... using a 7200rpm 120GB 2.5" SATA drive
Speed is one great benefit but don't forget the other benefit is there are no moving parts to break. My current hard drive is getting some of that clicking noise and I'm worried the drive will eventually fail so I'll have to get a replacement.

SSD is very beneficial for people who carry their laptops around often. You don't have to worry about carrying your laptop delicately.
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harryb2448

 
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But they still fail.

Have used/using OWC Mercury Extreme and Kingston SSD Now drives with no problems, had a G.Skill Falcon fail in four days. It is a bit of a lottery the same as platter drives.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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robduckyworth

 
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I have a Corsair F60 in my PC.

been running solid for a good few months now, really nippy even though its only a SATA II.

If your considering upgrading to an SSD, let me just say, its money well spent - easily the most noticeable speed upgrade youll be able to do to any computer.

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phillipd

 
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Just bought the 480GB SSD model from OWC! Can't wait for it to get here! 8-)
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EndlessMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
But they still fail.

Have used/using OWC Mercury Extreme and Kingston SSD Now drives with no problems, had a G.Skill Falcon fail in four days. It is a bit of a lottery the same as platter drives.
You are right. It's the same with USB thumb drives. Some are better than others but at least they don't fail and break from moving your laptop due to the moving parts. I'm not rough when I move my laptop around so I'm surprised that my hard is having problems. I will eventually get an SSD also.
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phillipd

 
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OMG! I installed my new OWC Mercury Electra SSD last night. after the restore from my time capsule, on first boot, I was amazed! What used to take about 30 - 45 seconds, took 5! All the programs from the Doc snap on within one second! Even iMovie with gigabytes of clips! This is great!

Here's the one I bought: Mercury Electra 6G SSD 2.5" Serial-ATA 9.5mm 6Gb/s Solid State Drive
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Lbatson21

 
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Glad you like it. I'll be picking up a smaller GB version myself. Can't wait.
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zacster

 
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I put a Mercury 3g into my older Intel iMac a few months back and it gave new life to an old computer. I've lost any desire to buy a new one. Even on an old machine, the programs load almost instantly.

Here's something to try for kicks; go into the applications directory, highlight about 20 heavy duty apps, and then click open. Watch them all pop open at once.
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iggibar

 
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Here's my experience from some solid state drives when used on a 2.4ghz Unibody 15" MBP:

240gb OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD 3G: Ran fast, but noticed LOTS hesitation with apps when opening. I cost me $400, and honestly, it wasn't worth it at all. I returned it.

120gb OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD 3G: Ran fast, had no noticeable side affects, and I picked it up pretty cheap...~$130 if I remember. Worth the price.

60gb OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD 3G: Did not perform as fast as the other two OWC drives, but ran consistently all the time. Bought it for just shy of 80 after discounts, which made it an awesome deal.

30gb(32gb real space) OCX Agility Series SSD: Ran well. Was my first ssd on my MBP. Ran very consistently all the time.

With all those, I find myself with a 500gb WD Black. Trusty, reliable, and CHEAP!
SSD prices are still to high to justify the few gained seconds to an average person. Save your pretty penny...for now.

With that said, if your mind is made up on getting one, you have to know what SATA version your computer has. If your computer has SATAII, most SATAIII drives will scale down to it, but issues have risen with compatibility problems with MBP's. If your computer has SATAIII, then getting an SATAIII ssd would be the obvious choice, unless price is an issue. My MBP is limited to SATAII. Almost all new Apple computers use SATAIII now.

If you've got money to blow, go for it. Just to make sure though, don't get anything that doesn't cross the 500mb/s border.

For me, I'm not going to worry about an SSD until I upgrade from my trusty MBP

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius
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I don't own an SSD but I have played with SSD-equipped Macs for a while now. Greased lightning, and that's mighty addictive, but I still think the price is overall too high unless you really have a need for that speed.

That said, as soon as I hear about a breakthrough in SSD technology coming to market, I might be all over that. I fully expect this to happen sometime this year or next.
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