Jump to content


Solid State Upgrade


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 AussieMacGamer

AussieMacGamer

    Owner, 2nd Largest Topic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3036 posts
  • Location:Nirvana

Posted 16 January 2011 - 06:50 PM

My trusty old Macbook Pro is coming on 4 years now. It has served well, which is why i'm not ready to replace it just yet. I intend to use it as my portable until the day it croaks over and dies. I am thinking about doing a caddy upgrade, replacing my superdrive with a superdrivelike contraption that actually just hosts a dock for a 2.5' drive and a SATA connecter. You can get them for about 20 bucks over ebay. Then placing a SSD in there as my boot drive. For what i need it at the moment, this upgrade would create a dreamy little boost in speed for what is already a reasonably zippy notebook (despite it's age).

I'm just looking for any opinions, advice, cheapest price on a drive. I'm thinking 60-64gb is the price to capacity sweetspot for a boot drive. Does anyone know any good websites to buy such drives?

Any info at all would be of help. Thanks,

IMG Resident Crackpot
"What you need is a dog or a girlfriend, or both, or one in the same!" -Gary Simmons Aka. The Battle Cat
15" Macbook Pro C2D 2.16Ghz ATI X1600 3Gb Ram w/Samsung 840 SSD R.I.P

Late 2012 iMac 27" Corei7 3.4ghz GTX 680 MX 8gb RAM 3tb FusionDrive
Now Playing: Battlefield 3, The Witcher 2


#2 teflon

teflon

    Bastard of the Popeye Analogy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9589 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 16 January 2011 - 08:01 PM

You wouldn't put the SSD in the caddy as you seem to have described. You'd want to be putting it in place of your current HDD, and then put that HDD (or, if you feel like it, a 500GB+ drive) in the place of the superdrive.

64GB should be ample size for a boot drive, and you'd be able to easily have all your main data on there, and then have your media, like photos, music and video over on the conventional drive. If you're getting an SSD, you need to be sure to get one of the most recent revisions, as they have come leaps and bounds over older drives.

But, all of this is still damned expensive. If you've got the stock drive still, that's only a 5,400RPM drive, and you'd get a big boost from 7,200RPM. Furthermore, there's the Seagate Momentus XT series, which combine a 7,200RPM drive with 4GB of flash, and automatically fills that on itself with most used data. Things like all those little OS files that you load at boot, and frequently loaded files, and it learns damned quickly too. You should see improvements from just the 2nd boot, which would plummet down to near SSD speeds, whilst in every day usage, it's more likely to feel just like a rather fast HDD, not an SSD.

Still, it's another option, and one I've been looking at, since SSDs are still damned expensive.


Final point, have you upgraded to 3GB of RAM? (as I believe you're limited to on that revision of MBP)
Polytetrafluoroethylene to my friends.

Macbook Pro - C2D 2.4Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Geforce 8600M GT 256Mb / 15.4"
Cube - G4 1.7Ghz 7448 / 1.5GB RAM / Samsung Spinpoint 250GB / Geforce 6200 256Mb
Self-built PC - C2Q Q8300 2.5Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Radeon 7850 OC 1GB / W7 x64
and a beautiful HP LP2475w 24" H-IPS monitor

#3 PeopleLikeFrank

PeopleLikeFrank

    Uberspewer

  • IMG Pro Users
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2690 posts
  • Location:The Republic of Soviet Canukistan
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 17 January 2011 - 12:51 AM

SSDs are still pricey, but it's getting to the point where a ~60GB or smaller drive is cheap enough. The Crucial C300, which is one of the best drives out there, can be had for ~$135. On sale, you could probably find one for closer to $100, which is well worth the performance boost, IMO.

I'm thinking about doing the same thing, since the optical drive in my MBP is starting to give me the 'could not calibrate laser power level' error, and I rarely use it anyway. (Third optical drive to die in my MBPs!) So I figure an SSD/HD combo would serve me better at this point. The only issue as far as I'm aware is that a HD installed in the optical slot won't do the head-park-on-drop thing, but there was some issue preventing putting the SSD there & booting. My info could be out of date though.

Not sure about what to recommend for Australia. I usually buy parts from Newegg or NCIX, and both have frequent sales that can give you a sweet deal on SSDs, but I don't know what the shipping situation to Australia would be.
The dork formerly known as nobody
---
MBP: C2D @ 2.66 Ghz | GeForce 9600M GT 256Mb | 8GB RAM | 120GB SSD + 500GB HD | 10.6.2 / W7 x64
PC: Q9550 | 6950 2GB | 8GB RAM | 80GB SSD + 750GB HD | W7 x64

#4 DrJohnFever

DrJohnFever

    Notorious

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 191 posts

Posted 17 January 2011 - 05:45 PM

The Crucial C300 is great, however I doubt that he has SATA III (6GB/s) in his MBP.  Once you give them all SATA II, you see drives like the OCZ Vertex 2 (my favorite of all the Sandforce options, so I own one, but really any similar Sandforce SSD will perform in the ballpark) and the Intel x25-v pulling ahead of the C300, especially in write speeds where it usually can't compete with a Sandforce SSD anyway, despite having a better connection.
But it's just me.

#5 PeopleLikeFrank

PeopleLikeFrank

    Uberspewer

  • IMG Pro Users
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2690 posts
  • Location:The Republic of Soviet Canukistan
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 18 January 2011 - 12:31 AM

The C300 is a good drive regardless of whether you have SATAIII. But yeah, any of the Vertex or Intel drives are excellent choices. I have an 80GB Intel Gen2 in my PC at home, and it's brilliant.
The dork formerly known as nobody
---
MBP: C2D @ 2.66 Ghz | GeForce 9600M GT 256Mb | 8GB RAM | 120GB SSD + 500GB HD | 10.6.2 / W7 x64
PC: Q9550 | 6950 2GB | 8GB RAM | 80GB SSD + 750GB HD | W7 x64

#6 Sneaky Snake

Sneaky Snake

    Official Mascot of the 1988 Winter Olympics

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2581 posts
  • Steam Name:SneakySnake
  • Steam ID:sneaky_snake
  • Location:Waterloo, Canada

Posted 18 January 2011 - 02:34 PM

View PostPeopleLikeFrank, on 18 January 2011 - 12:31 AM, said:

The C300 is a good drive regardless of whether you have SATAIII. But yeah, any of the Vertex or Intel drives are excellent choices. I have an 80GB Intel Gen2 in my PC at home, and it's brilliant.

OWC makes a good SSD that was rated highly on hardwarecanucks
- Snake

Tulkas - 8 Xeon Cores @ 2.8 GHz || 16 GB RAM || ATi 4870  ||  512 GB Crucial M500 + 2 TB WD Black || OS X Mavericks
Odinheim - AMD FX-8320 @ 4.1 GHz || 16 GB RAM || GTX 760  || 120 GB Vertex 4 + 1 TB Seagate SSHD || Win 7 Pro x64

#7 Cougar

Cougar

    Legendary

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 703 posts

Posted 18 January 2011 - 07:53 PM

I got a 120 GB OCZ Mercury Extreme Pro for christmas for my MacBook and the speed is insane. Makes my i5 hackintosh seem slow. By far the best way to increase performance on an old laptop.

If you are going to use an optibay and a HD, keep the HD where it is so it'll have the drop protection. And be sure to get a drive with a Sandforce controller, since OS X doesn't have TRIM support. Otherwise your drive's speed can degrade over time. OCZ and OWC's drives are both sandforce.

#8 DrJohnFever

DrJohnFever

    Notorious

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 191 posts

Posted 19 January 2011 - 06:50 PM

But just so you know, OCZ isn't the only good Sandforce drive maker.  I believe that G. Skill, Mushkin, and Corsair all make excellent ones, you just have to basically find one that is on sale.  Also, DO NOT get an old model.  SSDs have come leaps and bounds in their infancy, so even a year is more than you would expect.

#9 Sneaky Snake

Sneaky Snake

    Official Mascot of the 1988 Winter Olympics

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2581 posts
  • Steam Name:SneakySnake
  • Steam ID:sneaky_snake
  • Location:Waterloo, Canada

Posted 20 January 2011 - 12:00 AM

I recommend this sandforce


- Snake

Tulkas - 8 Xeon Cores @ 2.8 GHz || 16 GB RAM || ATi 4870  ||  512 GB Crucial M500 + 2 TB WD Black || OS X Mavericks
Odinheim - AMD FX-8320 @ 4.1 GHz || 16 GB RAM || GTX 760  || 120 GB Vertex 4 + 1 TB Seagate SSHD || Win 7 Pro x64

#10 AussieMacGamer

AussieMacGamer

    Owner, 2nd Largest Topic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3036 posts
  • Location:Nirvana

Posted 20 January 2011 - 05:04 AM

View Postteflon, on 16 January 2011 - 08:01 PM, said:

You wouldn't put the SSD in the caddy as you seem to have described. You'd want to be putting it in place of your current HDD, and then put that HDD (or, if you feel like it, a 500GB+ drive) in the place of the superdrive.
But, all of this is still damned expensive. If you've got the stock drive still, that's only a 5,400RPM drive, and you'd get a big boost from 7,200RPM. Furthermore, there's the Seagate Momentus XT series, which combine a 7,200RPM drive with 4GB of flash, and automatically fills that on itself with most used data. Things like all those little OS files that you load at boot, and frequently loaded files, and it learns damned quickly too. You should see improvements from just the 2nd boot, which would plummet down to near SSD speeds, whilst in every day usage, it's more likely to feel just like a rather fast HDD, not an SSD. Final point, have you upgraded to 3GB of RAM? (as I believe you're limited to on that revision of MBP)

I've already got a 500gb scorpio blue, i picked it up about two years ago. And I maxed out the memory pretty much a year into the life of this thing (it's in my sig teflon ;) )

View PostCougar, on 18 January 2011 - 07:53 PM, said:

If you are going to use an optibay and a HD, keep the HD where it is so it'll have the drop protection. And be sure to get a drive with a Sandforce controller, since OS X doesn't have TRIM support. Otherwise your drive's speed can degrade over time. OCZ and OWC's drives are both sandforce.

Teflon seemed to recommend otherwise. Is there any way the caddy will slow the SSD down?

Here's one i was looking at. Is it a slower drive at all? otherwise i think i may go for the crucial one, it might not be too much more seeing as we're at parity with the US dollar right now and i've bought RAM from them several times.

IMG Resident Crackpot
"What you need is a dog or a girlfriend, or both, or one in the same!" -Gary Simmons Aka. The Battle Cat
15" Macbook Pro C2D 2.16Ghz ATI X1600 3Gb Ram w/Samsung 840 SSD R.I.P

Late 2012 iMac 27" Corei7 3.4ghz GTX 680 MX 8gb RAM 3tb FusionDrive
Now Playing: Battlefield 3, The Witcher 2


#11 PeopleLikeFrank

PeopleLikeFrank

    Uberspewer

  • IMG Pro Users
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2690 posts
  • Location:The Republic of Soviet Canukistan
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 20 January 2011 - 07:46 AM

View PostAussieMacGamer, on 20 January 2011 - 05:04 AM, said:

Teflon seemed to recommend otherwise. Is there any way the caddy will slow the SSD down?

Here's one i was looking at. Is it a slower drive at all? otherwise i think i may go for the crucial one, it might not be too much more seeing as we're at parity with the US dollar right now and i've bought RAM from them several times.

That's not a bad drive. It's actually a decent non-Sandforce option as it does its own garbage collection. From Anandtech's review, they still recommend a Sandforce-based SSD, but the V+100 seems a viable alternative. It seems the C300 doesn't do garbage collection, so forget that recommendation - without TRIM support in OS X, you'd run into performance issues later.

Anandtech said:

SandForce continues to be the sensible choice, at least in terms of performance per dollar for a boot/application drive. I am careful to mention it as a boot/application drive because if you start storing a lot of incompressible data on the drive (e.g. movies, music, photos) then SandForce quickly loses a lot of its performance advantage. Then you're left with Crucial's RealSSD C300 which delivers more consistent performance regardless of data, at the expense of lower steady state write performance. Without TRIM, the C300 can quickly get into a not-so-great performance situation.

If you don't want a SandForce drive and are running an OS without TRIM support, the V+100 is probably a better option than the C300 thanks to its aggressive garbage collection. I realize this isn't the simplest recommendation, but that's the reality of today's SSD market. There are a lot of great options, but nothing is absolutely perfect.

The dork formerly known as nobody
---
MBP: C2D @ 2.66 Ghz | GeForce 9600M GT 256Mb | 8GB RAM | 120GB SSD + 500GB HD | 10.6.2 / W7 x64
PC: Q9550 | 6950 2GB | 8GB RAM | 80GB SSD + 750GB HD | W7 x64

#12 DrJohnFever

DrJohnFever

    Notorious

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 191 posts

Posted 20 January 2011 - 02:29 PM

Um, the 64GB model seems to have pretty bad write speeds:

Quote

Sequential Write Throughput**
256GB - 230MB/sec write
128GB - 230MB/sec write
64GB - 145MB/sec write
You can find the Corsair F60 on that site for $25 more and it writes at the speed of 275mb/s... Sandforce owns write speed.

#13 AussieMacGamer

AussieMacGamer

    Owner, 2nd Largest Topic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3036 posts
  • Location:Nirvana

Posted 27 January 2011 - 05:47 PM

I think i might take the purchase online. Should i shoot for the Crucial C300 or the OCZ drive?

IMG Resident Crackpot
"What you need is a dog or a girlfriend, or both, or one in the same!" -Gary Simmons Aka. The Battle Cat
15" Macbook Pro C2D 2.16Ghz ATI X1600 3Gb Ram w/Samsung 840 SSD R.I.P

Late 2012 iMac 27" Corei7 3.4ghz GTX 680 MX 8gb RAM 3tb FusionDrive
Now Playing: Battlefield 3, The Witcher 2


#14 ikir

ikir

    Legendary

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 789 posts
  • Steam Name:ikir
  • Location:In front of my Mac

Posted 29 January 2011 - 07:26 PM

I have a Crucial RealSSD c300 and it is a dream! Incredible fast.
ikir's personal page
MacBook pro 13" retina 2013
i5 2,6Ghz, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Iris graphics
Roccat Kone XTD, Logitech K811, Belkin Thunderbolt Express

#15 Greg Grant

Greg Grant

    Uberspewer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2526 posts

Posted 30 January 2011 - 05:22 AM

I'm with Teflon on this, Seagate Momentus XT offers a lot of bang for the buck here. While boots, cached files and apps will load fast, I doubt an SSD will redefine your MacBook's experience.

The sweet spot would be the largest/fastest SSD you can afford. Really, if you're looking at the "Sweet spot" as sheerly a choice of economics consider this

Price per GB for Crucial RealSSD c300 from NewEgg:
256 GB = $1.89 per GB
128 = $2.07 per GB
64  GB = $2.03 per GB
the IMG audio guy...

#16 DrJohnFever

DrJohnFever

    Notorious

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 191 posts

Posted 30 January 2011 - 07:45 PM

View PostGreg Gant, on 30 January 2011 - 05:22 AM, said:

I'm with Teflon on this, Seagate Momentus XT offers a lot of bang for the buck here. While boots, cached files and apps will load fast, I doubt an SSD will redefine your MacBook's experience.

The sweet spot would be the largest/fastest SSD you can afford. Really, if you're looking at the "Sweet spot" as sheerly a choice of economics consider this

Price per GB for Crucial RealSSD c300 from NewEgg:
256 GB = $1.89 per GB
128 = $2.07 per GB
64  GB = $2.03 per GB

I saw a review a while back of the momentus XT and its not in the same league as an SSD. It's about halfway between HDD and SDD

#17 AussieMacGamer

AussieMacGamer

    Owner, 2nd Largest Topic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3036 posts
  • Location:Nirvana

Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:42 PM

What's the deal with the newly added "TRIM support for Apple SSD's". I'm a bit more keen and will be a little more cashed up next week to go through with this upgrade (following a horrendous monthlong journey with my pro apps and a gargantuan sized project) and the drive I was looking at before is now at a bargain price (102 bucks) so it seems like a good time to do it.

If this TRIM support in 10.7 turns out to be unavailable to me is this the wrong drive to buy?

IMG Resident Crackpot
"What you need is a dog or a girlfriend, or both, or one in the same!" -Gary Simmons Aka. The Battle Cat
15" Macbook Pro C2D 2.16Ghz ATI X1600 3Gb Ram w/Samsung 840 SSD R.I.P

Late 2012 iMac 27" Corei7 3.4ghz GTX 680 MX 8gb RAM 3tb FusionDrive
Now Playing: Battlefield 3, The Witcher 2


#18 Matt Diamond

Matt Diamond

    Master Blaster

  • IMG Writers
  • 1973 posts
  • Location:Holland, PA; US
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 27 July 2011 - 04:45 AM

I think Apple's TRIM only supports particular drives at the moment, namely brands or models that Apple sells themselves. (I read it in a discussion weeks ago, should be fairly easy to confirm or deny it.)
Matt Diamond - www.mindthecube.com
Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.

#19 teflon

teflon

    Bastard of the Popeye Analogy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9589 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 27 July 2011 - 06:47 AM

You can modify some drivers in OSX to enable TRIM for non-Apple sold drives too. Even if you didn't, it'd be silly to avoid TRIM drives. It's better to have support for the command, should Apple add it universally in a point update, than not have it at all...


Delving back to some of the older posts in this thread. With replacing the optical drive and having an SSD in there on a caddy, pre-unibody MBPs all had IDE interfaces for the optical drives. That's going to put a huge dent in any performance of an SSD. I believe the ceiling was limited to 66MB/s on that interface...
Meanwhile, you've also only got SATA 1.0 for the HDD interface, which lets you go up to 150MB/s or so... So an SSD that can exceed that will be limited in speed. Still, you'll be getting the absolute best out of the interface, I'm just saying there's not as much need to go for the best and fastest there is to offer, you have the luxury of being able to look for a mid-low end SSD and still be pushing the limits.
Polytetrafluoroethylene to my friends.

Macbook Pro - C2D 2.4Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Geforce 8600M GT 256Mb / 15.4"
Cube - G4 1.7Ghz 7448 / 1.5GB RAM / Samsung Spinpoint 250GB / Geforce 6200 256Mb
Self-built PC - C2Q Q8300 2.5Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Radeon 7850 OC 1GB / W7 x64
and a beautiful HP LP2475w 24" H-IPS monitor

#20 AussieMacGamer

AussieMacGamer

    Owner, 2nd Largest Topic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3036 posts
  • Location:Nirvana

Posted 30 July 2011 - 09:27 AM

View Postteflon, on 27 July 2011 - 06:47 AM, said:

You can modify some drivers in OSX to enable TRIM for non-Apple sold drives too. Even if you didn't, it'd be silly to avoid TRIM drives. It's better to have support for the command, should Apple add it universally in a point update, than not have it at all...


Delving back to some of the older posts in this thread. With replacing the optical drive and having an SSD in there on a caddy, pre-unibody MBPs all had IDE interfaces for the optical drives. That's going to put a huge dent in any performance of an SSD. I believe the ceiling was limited to 66MB/s on that interface...
Meanwhile, you've also only got SATA 1.0 for the HDD interface, which lets you go up to 150MB/s or so... So an SSD that can exceed that will be limited in speed. Still, you'll be getting the absolute best out of the interface, I'm just saying there's not as much need to go for the best and fastest there is to offer, you have the luxury of being able to look for a mid-low end SSD and still be pushing the limits.


From what i saw there was a 3rd party enabler for trim support but how reliable was it? I still can't really get my head around the SSD data wiping business. That kingston drive does have TRIM support need be. For a hundred bucks and a three year warranty I don't think I can really go too wrong with it.

As far as the old interface goes, i'm not fussed if I'm running it through SATA 1, as you said at least i'll be getting the most out of this machine. That drive only writes at 145 anyways. As for shock protection, this Macbook Pro doesn't really ever move off this desk at the moment. Does the accelerometer not effect the superdrive as well?

IMG Resident Crackpot
"What you need is a dog or a girlfriend, or both, or one in the same!" -Gary Simmons Aka. The Battle Cat
15" Macbook Pro C2D 2.16Ghz ATI X1600 3Gb Ram w/Samsung 840 SSD R.I.P

Late 2012 iMac 27" Corei7 3.4ghz GTX 680 MX 8gb RAM 3tb FusionDrive
Now Playing: Battlefield 3, The Witcher 2