1 2 Previous Next 23 Replies Latest reply: Dec 30, 2012 6:41 AM by Alley_Cat
Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (17,020 points)

I've just received a plastic icy dock 2.5>3.5" adapter and am planning to get an SSD later today from PC World in UKs who have models from Samsung, Sandisk, OCZ, and Crucial.

 

Not sure if this link will work:

 

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/solid-state-drives/715_7553_70705_xx_xx/xx-criteri a.html

 

Was planning to simply colne the 10.8.2 installation I currently have with Carbon Copy Cloner and give it a whirl.

 

Probably looking for a 250/256 GB model as the sweet spot price wise.

 

Any advice on setup?

 

What's the current state of play/advice relating to TRIM - ignore it on a larger drive?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

AC

  • 1. Re: SSD setup for Mac Pro 2008
    Atavacron Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I also have an early 2008 and am in the market for an SSD. I aim to get the metal icydock, as it has better reviews for the MacPro caddies.

     

    For the SSD, I am torn between the Kingston hyperx, Samsung 830/840 and the Sandisk Extreme, all 240GB models.

     

    I heard that the Crucial M4 was problematic in the past, so I am interested to hear what others have to say.

  • 2. Re: SSD setup for Mac Pro 2008
    Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (17,020 points)

    This was the Icy Dock adapter I got - cheap and nasty perhaps but Amazon delivered rapidly after a Boxing Day order:

     

    Screen Shot 2012-12-29 at 12.04.33.png

     

    Some of the newer drives are 6.8-7mm, whereas older ones are around 9mm, I think I saw some issues with 7mm drives in this box, but am tempted to dabble.

     

    Many of the crucial M4 reviews I looked at seem to be banging on about updating firmware which is hassle I could do without.

     

    May not be much advantage getting a SATA III SSD for the 2008 Mac Pro, I don't know, but may be better to get a newer model for future benefits with updated hardware.  Converter box also advertised as SATA I/II, but assuming it is passive and just acts as a 'connector' I doubt it will matter - even then the SATA II drives would be backwards compatible I assume.

     

    AC

  • 3. Re: SSD setup for Mac Pro 2008
    Atavacron Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am going for SATAIII, as my SSD may outlive my 2008 and move to a new machine. SATAII seems a waste.

  • 4. Re: SSD setup for Mac Pro 2008
    Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (49,245 points)

    RE: TRIM

     

    In my opinion, you need to do something to get rid of deleted data, or the drive will get near-full and choke.

     

    I have been using a very small SSD as a boot drive for a while, and periodically consolidate free space followed immediately by erasing free space with a third-party utility. I believe this has kept me out of trouble. My son has been using SSD in his laptop and doing nothing for maintenece, and he has killed two drives in a year.

     

    Trim Enabler utility from groths seems to be working, and makes things simple. Your mileage may vary.

  • 5. Re: SSD setup for Mac Pro 2008
    Atavacron Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So are you are suggesting that, without some additional tool, the SSD will fill up over time, deletions not meaning anything?

  • 6. Re: SSD setup for Mac Pro 2008
    Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (49,245 points)

    The traditional way an Operating System deals with "deleted" files is to remove ONLY the Directory information and simply add the data blocks to the free pool. Those "deleted" data blocks are not cleared.

     

    This works in roataing drives because:

     

    1. The logical block size is the same or larger than the physical drive block size.

     

    2. Rotating magnetic media are block-for-block re-writable.

     

    In SSDs physical blocks are much larger "superblocks", and re-writing a portion of a superblock is a difficult read-modify-write operation. In addition, since the OS did not notify the drive what data are no longer needed, deleted data continue to be carefully maintained and re-written by the drive. Soon every write operation becomes a read-modify-write, and performance deteriorates.

     

    In my opinion, this nearly-full condition is likley to cause drive failure. Something more than wishful thinking is required.

  • 7. Re: SSD setup for Mac Pro 2008
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)

    There is firmware based garbage colection. It works best when there is TRIM as well. TRIM is or will be part of the SATA 3.1 and later specifications.

     

    There is a lot to look at with SSDs. Some good FAQs on the subject adn their DNA.

     

    Having as much free space as you will write to the boot drive during a month is one good rule of thumb. Having 20GB at least or 20% free is another. Mac OS and Apple does have TRIM but only for Apple firmware SSDs but Apple does use Samsung so just a guess but those might make a compleling choice, and a good name brand,

     

    OWC SSD failures and early deaths are too command and frequent for my taste, and not just a batch - trouble with their PCIe SSD also. - note: some vendors will not support the 3,1 Early 2008 because of issues with its PCIe 2.x implementation - and are or will not be bootable (vendor supports and recommends for 2010 and okay in 2009).

     

    2008 was the first to get EFI64, and PCIe 2.0 for one thing.

     

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=15135890&postcount=10

  • 8. Re: SSD setup for Mac Pro 2008
    Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (17,020 points)

    Grant Bennet-Alder wrote:

     

    RE: TRIM

     

    In my opinion, you need to do something to get rid of deleted data, or the drive will get near-full and choke.

     

    I have been using a very small SSD as a boot drive for a while, and periodically consolidate free space followed immediately by erasing free space with a third-party utility. I believe this has kept me out of trouble. My son has been using SSD in his laptop and doing nothing for maintenece, and he has killed two drives in a year.

     

    Trim Enabler utility from groths seems to be working, and makes things simple. Your mileage may vary.

    I've come across Trim Enabler and was hoping it would get a mention here, just to reassure me if I tried it that it doesn't harbour any malware as I believe it adds or modifies kernel extensions.

     

    I guess I'm curious about SSDs more than anything at present and on top of that my WD Caviar Black is quite noisy compared to previous WDs I'd been using.

     

    I actually ended up getting a Sandisk 840 250GB drive - largely as it was in stock, and I'd read several firmware moans about the Crucial M4s and OCZs though as with anything there are always bad experiences.

     

    It seemed to be a good compromise of recent drive/size based on price.

     

    I'd have been tempted by the 120GB or 128GB Pro version, but am finding my 200GB boot partition on the 750GB caviar Black only just adequate when a few iOS device backups are taken into account.  I've not tried a Symbolic Link to another location for the MobileSync folder as I am no longer sure this works in Mountain Lion.

     

    AC

  • 9. Re: SSD setup for Mac Pro 2008
    Atavacron Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, Grant. That, in my book, says "incomplete implementation" ;-)

     

    Apple has, it seems, tried to sort it transparently, which is how it should be

  • 10. Re: SSD setup for Mac Pro 2008
    Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (17,020 points)

    The hatter wrote:

     

    There is firmware based garbage colection. It works best when there is TRIM as well. TRIM is or will be part of the SATA 3.1 and later specifications.

     

    There is a lot to look at with SSDs. Some good FAQs on the subject adn their DNA.

     

    Having as much free space as you will write to the boot drive during a month is one good rule of thumb. Having 20GB at least or 20% free is another. Mac OS and Apple does have TRIM but only for Apple firmware SSDs but Apple does use Samsung so just a guess but those might make a compleling choice, and a good name brand,

     

    Good to know that Apple are using Samsung.  I guess the drive will either work or won't, just need to decide whether or not to use trim enabler, I think I came across a script to do so at one point but lost the page!

     

    Crucial's website had an articel saying that TRIM wasn't necessary with their garbage collection routine but in general seems that TRIM is recommended even with more modern SSDs.

     

    Although OWC often get recommended, for similar reasons to Atavacron, the shipping/excise duty charges put me off for more expensive purchases.

     

    AC

  • 11. Re: SSD setup for Mac Pro 2008
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)

    And with Crucial with their M4s they shipped for months with firmware that would cause it to fail in a Mac Pro.

     

    OWC is suppose to test and provide OS X firmware updates and drives that are.

     

    I have a list of UK and German or Alternet? online SSD for European market.

  • 12. Re: SSD setup for Mac Pro 2008
    Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (17,020 points)

    The hatter wrote:

     

    And with Crucial with their M4s they shipped for months with firmware that would cause it to fail in a Mac Pro.

    Glad they were out of stock!  If I was buying from crucial direct, then I'd hope that current firmware would be installed or at least more likely current than from PC World store where the drive may have been there for months.

    The hatter wrote:

     

    I have a list of UK and German or Alternet? online SSD for European market.

    Sounds useful.  I picked up the Samsung 840 240GB model (though typed Sandisk above !!!!).

     

    Am just cloning my ML installation to it now.  Will see how it goes.

     

    AC

  • 13. Re: SSD setup for Mac Pro 2008
    Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (17,020 points)

    Alley_Cat wrote:

     

    I actually ended up getting a Sandisk 840 250GB drive

    Samsung not Sandisk!

  • 14. Re: SSD setup for Mac Pro 2008
    Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (17,020 points)

    Any thoughts on Chameleon SSD Optimizer vs Trim Enabler?

     

    http://chameleon.alessandroboschini.it/index.php

     

    (there are terminal instructions for manually enabling/disabling too I see)

     

    http://www.groths.org/?page_id=322

     

    AC

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