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SSDs and Laptop Fans


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#1 Diablofett

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:14 AM

Has anyone here installed an SSD into their Macbook Pros? If so, have you noticed any lessening in the fan speeds and frequency?
I highly doubt the reduction in heat is much, but I was curious to hear what the performance was like in regards to overall heat.

#2 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 10:02 AM

No difference in my experience. Late 2006 model.
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#3 bobbob

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 04:48 PM

Some macs have a cable/temp probe that has to be hooked up juuuust right or it'll think the drive's overheating and spin the fans.

#4 Frost

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 05:55 PM

They're still too small for my needs on my MacBook Pro (I'm pushing the limits of my Momentus XT's size as it is), but I am in the middle of an experiment with attempting to upgrade my PowerBook with an OWC Mercury Legacy Pro. I like that machine for writing (keyboard is awesomesauce), and I'm a little tired of the Scorpio's constant wind noise harshing my creativity.

I haven't quite gotten past the stage of OWC's equipment frakking up yet and I'm on RMA #2 waiting for drive #3 to come in. Not off to a good start... they just went to a new design on their SSDs though from what I hear so maybe they're still working out some kinks.

I might try Crucial's new M500 later this year, budget willing. Apparently they're supposed to bring 1 TB in the $500-600 range, which is cool with me. Knock OCZ off their damn $2500 price gouging pedestal.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#5 Diablofett

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:01 AM

View PostFrost, on 06 March 2013 - 05:55 PM, said:

They're still too small for my needs on my MacBook Pro (I'm pushing the limits of my Momentus XT's size as it is), but I am in the middle of an experiment with attempting to upgrade my PowerBook with an OWC Mercury Legacy Pro. I like that machine for writing (keyboard is awesomesauce), and I'm a little tired of the Scorpio's constant wind noise harshing my creativity.

I haven't quite gotten past the stage of OWC's equipment frakking up yet and I'm on RMA #2 waiting for drive #3 to come in. Not off to a good start... they just went to a new design on their SSDs though from what I hear so maybe they're still working out some kinks.

I might try Crucial's new M500 later this year, budget willing. Apparently they're supposed to bring 1 TB in the $500-600 range, which is cool with me. Knock OCZ off their damn $2500 price gouging pedestal.

Yes, I believe that all SSD models that are currently on the market are long-overdue for a pricing correction. It's technology, most products become outdated a month or two prior to release!

#6 Hansi

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:48 PM

View PostDiablofett, on 07 March 2013 - 09:01 AM, said:

Yes, I believe that all SSD models that are currently on the market are long-overdue for a pricing correction. It's technology, most products become outdated a month or two prior to release!

Well at least in the UK that's already happened at the 256GB and below level.

#7 Frost

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:38 PM

Yeah, the 512GB and below SSDs have had a lot of healthy competition going that's helped bring prices down. Still stratospheric compared to hard drives, but at least they're not longer thermospheric. Ha... ha.

>512GB is still ridiculous though, with OCZ being just about the worst offender ripping off professional customers for $2500 for a 1TB SSD. Profit margin on that Octane SSD is probably about 90%. It's asinine.

As I said though, Micron's entering the high cap SSD market in the next few months via Crucial, with the M500 (replacement for the m4) having capacities up to 1 TB. They haven't set prices, but they did say the price of the top end 1 TB will not exceed $600. That's a huge positive and should dry up the other manufacturers' price gouging scam instantly and start bringing prices down even more.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#8 Diablofett

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:48 PM

View PostFrost, on 07 March 2013 - 04:38 PM, said:

Yeah, the 512GB and below SSDs have had a lot of healthy competition going that's helped bring prices down. Still stratospheric compared to hard drives, but at least they're not longer thermospheric. Ha... ha.

>512GB is still ridiculous though, with OCZ being just about the worst offender ripping off professional customers for $2500 for a 1TB SSD. Profit margin on that Octane SSD is probably about 90%. It's asinine.

As I said though, Micron's entering the high cap SSD market in the next few months via Crucial, with the M500 (replacement for the m4) having capacities up to 1 TB. They haven't set prices, but they did say the price of the top end 1 TB will not exceed $600. That's a huge positive and should dry up the other manufacturers' price gouging scam instantly and start bringing prices down even more.

I thought the M500's were due for a 1st quarter of 2013 release? I have been unable to find any confirmed dates aside from that, which was listed in one of their press releases.

#9 Frost

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:04 PM

I'd heard early summer, but I don't remember where I read that.

Regardless, Q1 is over in a couple weeks and they haven't hit the market yet, so I don't think they're going to make that.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#10 Frost

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:29 AM

Welp, got another Mercury Legacy Pro in and installed it. This time it worked flawlessly, thank God.

Except for one thing.

If you're buying an SSD to cool off your Mac, don't buy OWC's SSDs if this product is any indication. The SSD idles at 119°F, under light usage hits 122°F, and under heavy usage has gone as high as 126°F. This has raised the PowerBook's average temperature enough that even just sitting in the Finder doing nothing at all, the secondary fan is going nonstop. Moderate CPU usage and the primary fan kicks in too, making my PowerBook sound like it's encoding a video.

Compare to my 5400rpm WD Scorpio Blue, which idles in the mid-90s Fahrenheit and I have never seen go above 97°F.

The lightning fast boots and instant application opening thing is great. When I wake the computer from sleep and it's literally dead silent, that is fantastic, and that's what I wanted the SSD for. Silence, and awesome battery life. Except... the heat. If I do much of anything, the fans quickly come on. I think the fans running nonstop is going to more than cover the battery life savings from the HDD.

I'm going to keep using it for a week and see if anything changes. Maybe it needs a "burn in" period or something... I'll make sure it gets it.

If this crazy heat generation and thus fan noise keeps up though, I'm gonna see about just returning it for a refund. The constant low swooshing noise from the Scorpio is a lot quieter than the cooling fans going perpetually.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#11 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:19 PM

View PostFrost, on 16 March 2013 - 01:29 AM, said:

Welp, got another Mercury Legacy Pro in and installed it. This time it worked flawlessly, thank God.

Except for one thing.

If you're buying an SSD to cool off your Mac, don't buy OWC's SSDs if this product is any indication. The SSD idles at 119°F, under light usage hits 122°F, and under heavy usage has gone as high as 126°F. This has raised the PowerBook's average temperature enough that even just sitting in the Finder doing nothing at all, the secondary fan is going nonstop. Moderate CPU usage and the primary fan kicks in too, making my PowerBook sound like it's encoding a video.

Compare to my 5400rpm WD Scorpio Blue, which idles in the mid-90s Fahrenheit and I have never seen go above 97°F.

The lightning fast boots and instant application opening thing is great. When I wake the computer from sleep and it's literally dead silent, that is fantastic, and that's what I wanted the SSD for. Silence, and awesome battery life. Except... the heat. If I do much of anything, the fans quickly come on. I think the fans running nonstop is going to more than cover the battery life savings from the HDD.

I'm going to keep using it for a week and see if anything changes. Maybe it needs a "burn in" period or something... I'll make sure it gets it.

If this crazy heat generation and thus fan noise keeps up though, I'm gonna see about just returning it for a refund. The constant low swooshing noise from the Scorpio is a lot quieter than the cooling fans going perpetually.

Aren't SSD's supposed to be cooler then HDD's?
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#12 Frost

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:46 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 16 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

Aren't SSD's supposed to be cooler then HDD's?
That was my understanding too, but if the experiment doesn't match the assumption...

That said, I've been running the machine for about an hour doing low key tasks and the fans haven't come on yet and it's running cool. More testing will tell the full tale, but right now I'm wondering if perhaps OWC's SSDs do run cool normally, but have problems with heat buildup once they've gotten hot from activity. Last night was after restoring my Dropbox's contents to the SSD, which was about a 5GB write and it was hot nonstop after that.

Not a perfect solution, but I guess if it gets overly warm from too many writes and can't cool itself off, I can always sleep the machine for an hour or two. The G5 and MBP do normally have huge chunks of data being written, but I don't normally do that sort of thing on the PB, it's my writing machine, so that wouldn't be a big problem with normal operation.

Through some Googling, I read the Crucial m4s run a good deal cooler than OWC's SSDs on average, and the upcoming M500s are supposed to run even cooler than the m4s, so those would probably be great in a high write environment laptop. Sadly those would require a PATA adapter for the PowerBook and there's no room for that in there, so I'll keep playing with the Mercury Legacy Pro for the time being.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#13 Frost

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 10:36 PM

Okay, well, been using it off and on all day and it's running only about 113°F right now and seems content to hover between there and 115°F. Fans are no longer blowing like crazy.

Makes zero sense to me, but maybe it does need some sort of burn-in. I know OWC uses Sandforce controllers with hardware level garbage collection and 7% over-provisioning to facilitate that. Maybe that's got something to do with it and it was doing mass reorganization after I had dumped a couple hundred GB of stuff on it over the past couple days, and perhaps that was causing it to heat up quite a bit.

Either way, for now it's behaving temperature-wise, so that's good news. Still hotter than the HDD's averages, but if it's not hot enough to make the fans go, I figure it's good enough.

On a side note, the drive reports as an OWC Aura Pro in System Profiler. I have a hunch the blue OWC casings of various sizes are actually just caddies for various connector types and mounting points, and there's a 1.8" Aura Pro sitting inside. If I didn't mind voiding the warranty I'd pop it open and find out.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#14 Frost

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 01:17 AM

Did a little basic web browsing and the drive temperature quickly shot back to 122°F and on came the fans.

Decided to swap the Scorpio back in and do a bunch of the exact same things I did on the SSD today that caused fans to see if I'm not just being overly sensitive and it's got nothing to do with what's going on in the drive bay. The fans DO come on with the HDD but it really didn't seem to be this often.

Will swap the SSD back in tomorrow night.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#15 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 04:13 PM

Just installed a mSATA SSD as the boot drive in my gaming computer. Really bumps the speed. I already had a 750 GB Hybrid Drive in there, but the SSD is much (noticeably) faster.

I relegated the 750 GB Hybrid drive to be the place where all of the large applications are installed (games, etc.) and my movies are stored. It makes the hybrid drive feel much faster then previously as well, since it doesn't have to worry about any of the OS stuff, just loading game files and stuff.

For those on the fence, getting an SSD as your boot, and having a high capacity physical drive for data storage is probably the absolute best thing you can do to speed up your computer. If you don't need more then 240 GB, then just get a high capacity SSD and do everything on there. The prices are down to like $200-$300 now for a  good 250 GB SSD.
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#16 Frost

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 10:36 PM

I think it was just me and I was pushing the PB harder than usual due to the SSD's super speed, or perhaps due to a little higher temperatures around here lately. Swapped the Scorpio back in and I really didn't notice a difference. Didn't notice a difference in the apparent heat on the trackpad or under it for that matter either despite the high heat readings. SSD is definitely not cooler than the Scorpio, but neither did it feel noticeably hotter.

Since the temp reading is coming from the SMART temp sensor and not a temp sensor on the machine itself, perhaps OWC has it mounted in a spot that's prone to getting really warm. I'll ask their tech support about it tomorrow during business hours, they should know.
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Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#17 jaesonk

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:41 AM

I've tried two OWC Mercury Legacy Pro SSDs (240GB & 480GB) with my Powerbook G4 (model 5,6) now and nothing but problems.  Although it fits internally, the squared off case design takes up more space than the old IDE drive.  The overhang above the IDE connector causes space problems with the drive cable, really pinching it to fit.

These get extremely hot to touch and fail after about 10-15 minutes usage, my powerbook just seizes up and needs to be off for a while.  I haven't measured the temps but the SSD runs hot.  I was under the mistaken idea that it would be cooler than my 5400RPM drive.

Returning the original 5400rpm drive to the Powerbook and everything works just fine.  So it seems the OWC SSDs are troublesome.

Tech support isn't helpful, their only solution it to return the drive and refund or exchange.

Inside the OWC Mercury Legacy Pro SSD is a bare Mercury Aura 1.8" mSATA SSD attached to an mSATA-to-IDE adapter.  The SSD is supposed to operate 0C to 70C but maybe the IDE adapter is failing under high temps.

While I would be extremely reluctant to recommend the Legacy Pro SSD to Powerbook G4 owners, at least model 5,6 owners like myself.

On the other hand, my Quad G5 is happy with the Mercury Electra 3G SSD.  Don't get the 6G SDD, it doesn't work on the G5 sata bus.

#18 Janichsan

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 02:42 AM

View Postjaesonk, on 12 March 2014 - 11:41 AM, said:

So it seems the OWC SSDs are troublesome.

Tech support isn't helpful, their only solution it to return the drive and refund or exchange.
Although the thread is a tad old: yep, OWC SSDs do not seem to be most reliable ones.

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#19 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 09:01 AM

View Postjaesonk, on 12 March 2014 - 11:41 AM, said:

I've tried two OWC Mercury Legacy Pro SSDs (240GB & 480GB) with my Powerbook G4 (model 5,6) now and nothing but problems.  Although it fits internally, the squared off case design takes up more space than the old IDE drive.  The overhang above the IDE connector causes space problems with the drive cable, really pinching it to fit.

These get extremely hot to touch and fail after about 10-15 minutes usage, my powerbook just seizes up and needs to be off for a while.  I haven't measured the temps but the SSD runs hot.  I was under the mistaken idea that it would be cooler than my 5400RPM drive.

Returning the original 5400rpm drive to the Powerbook and everything works just fine.  So it seems the OWC SSDs are troublesome.

Tech support isn't helpful, their only solution it to return the drive and refund or exchange.

Inside the OWC Mercury Legacy Pro SSD is a bare Mercury Aura 1.8" mSATA SSD attached to an mSATA-to-IDE adapter.  The SSD is supposed to operate 0C to 70C but maybe the IDE adapter is failing under high temps.

While I would be extremely reluctant to recommend the Legacy Pro SSD to Powerbook G4 owners, at least model 5,6 owners like myself.

On the other hand, my Quad G5 is happy with the Mercury Electra 3G SSD.  Don't get the 6G SDD, it doesn't work on the G5 sata bus.

Definitely a faulty SSD. Get it replaced for a new one through warranty.
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#20 Frost

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 03:09 PM

Yeah, after a year my working (finally) Mercury Legacy Pro is now non-working and freezes up whenever I'm writing more than 4GB of data. FFS. It's going back again.

Regarding the stuff above from last year, I ended up installing a 960GB M500 in my MBP and it's been nothing but sheer awesome ever since. Totally reliable, cool, uses less power so I get more battery, and fast as HELL.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.