After further investigation it turned out that the problem was not the SSD after all, but the "experimental" version of DirectX 10 in Parallels. I put the original hard drive back in and the machine hung in the same way (starting the game Lord Of The Rings Online in Windows Vista under Parallels). Putting the SSD back in and turning DirectX10 off solved the problem.
So I'm now quite happy with my M4 (firmware 000f) and have had no problems with it at all (and I'm glad I found out the real problem before sending it back).
i have a late 2007 mbp 2.4. I upgraded the 5400 rpm hdd 160GB to a 7200 500gb WD and saw a good perfomance boost. Although it ran so much hotter. After 15 mins i would have to set it on a table or it would burn my knees. I just upgraded to a sata 3 corsair force gt . New install of mountain lion and this laptop now screams. everything is faster. The best part is that the heat is like 20 degrees cooler and i can work with it on my lap. Granted i dont get the thruput due to the controller it was a killer investment. machine runs like a champ, and is so much cooler. If i run Vmware machines it des heat up alot(125), but still usable on my lap. Temp gaugue ranged at the 133-137 range. Now im at the 117 range constant and the speed advantage of a ssd.
So hands down get a ssd for perfomance and a cooler machine even if its throttle dby the controller. CS4 launchs is 3 seconds flat
I've been using an OWC Mercury Extreme 6g, in addition to OWC ram, for the last year and have zero complaints. I bought the SSD to speed up an old MacBookPro (which it did perfectly!) and then when I bought a recent MBP I installed the SSD with OWC ram and its as fast as anyone needs it. Trust me, I put it to the test with AfterEffects CS6, and there is no issue.
OWC is essential for a Mac user. Especially if you own an older MAC. My old MBP, lasted at least a year longer with the help of OWC upgrades, and probably would have lasted longer if I didn't spill water on it!!!!
I recently installed the Crucial m4:
So far, so good on Early 2011 15" Macbook Pro (2.2 Ghz) running Lion 10.7.2. I was scared at first when my external drive adapter would not power up the SSD drive for some reason. So I ended up putting the SSD in my Macbook and then hooking up the old drive to the USB adapter, then I booted the MBP from the USB hard drive. It then recognized the new internal drive, I formatted it as 1 big Mac OS Extended (Journaled) partition, and then used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my old drive the new SSD. That was basically it..... Took about 2 1/2 hours or so to copy everything and I was able to boot from the new SSD with no problems. I noticed the speed difference right away.
500 GB Western Digital Black (7200 RPM)
Write: 93.9 MB/s
Read: 95.2 MB/s
512 GB Crucial M4 (with TRIM enabled)
Write: 265.5 MB/s
Read: 510.4 MB/s
Used Blackmagic Disk Speed Test App to get these results... it's a free download from the Appstore. These speeds are right in line with what they predict for this drive I believe. You can obtain faster write performance using a sandforce based disk instead of a marvell based disk like this one, but for me I felt like the M4 would offer me better reliability based on articles and reviews I had seen and it was plenty fast enough for what I need it for. The prices on this drive were much better than the sandforce based disks as well when I was looking. It seems the M4's had some issues when they first came out, but since they released the 09 version of the firmware it seems to have solved most of these issues. Mine came with the latest firmware so I didn't need to upgrade it.
And yes, you can can enable TRIM on these drives, just search google and you can find either a utility that does it or you can find the actual terminal commands to do it. I used the terminal commands and had zero issues.
I also just upgraded to 16Gb of RAM as 8Gb sticks have come way down in price recently, so my Macbook Pro is now a beast..... and quite expensive if you add up all the $$ I've spent on it. I'm very happy with it though, hopefully the drive lasts me a while. I will update this if I have any issues with it.
I'm getting great performance from the m4 - here is my latest "BlackMagic" screenshot with the 010G firmware update:
And here are the Xbench scores before the firmware update:
Don't have any data on the SanDisk Extreme, but I'm assuming that it would be just a touch faster than the Crucial 512GB scores. Which model MBP do you have? Do you have full 6Gbps negotiated speed (SATA III)?
I personally also have M4, but honestly have to say that now there are better possibilities.
Things look like this:
Crucial, Intel - same controller, new revision of C300 one, bit overclocked, but no radical difference - so bit weak on writes, and definitely weak on writes when not all memory lines are used - on less than 256 Gb drives. Need TRIM support. Not sensitive to compressibility of data to be written.
Sandforce-based drives - OWC6G, Vertexes3 and all the crowd - wery good on both R&W of _compressible_ data, don't need TRIM. Loss in write speed almost 2x on uncompressible data (read FileVault)
Vertex4 - new controller, good at R&W, (almost) not sensitive to compressibility, need TRIM
Sams 830-840 - new controller(s), good at R&W, (almost) not sensitive to compressibility, need TRIM
On any exept first you should expect >450 write speed and ~500-550 read speed. TRIM is a minus - as it is unofficial trick.
Also I'm waiting some solutions from Apple itself as it bought Anobit (that had near 1 GB/s very reliable solutions). I think Fusion drives are first bird from that nest.
I have a 2009 unibody 15" macbook pro which was beginning to slow down. My usage is fairly heavy on Photoshop CS6 including fairly large RAW files from a 7D.
I decided to install the 256GB Samsung 830 SSD as the bootup disk replacing the optical drive and also upgrade the RAM from 4 GB to 8GB.
The drive itself looks fairly small and smartly designed. I picked up the optical drive caddy from amazon for around 12$. The installation is not very difficult but one has to be cautious. The philips screws should be turned only after locking the screw driver in and applying pressure. Forget either of those - and you could end up with a damaged head like I did for one of the screws that held the optical drive. (If it happens, keep applying pressure and work with a star screwdriver till the screw yields and gets out = took 20 mins for me).
I did a fresh install of Mountain Lion and migrated my apps. Left all the documents etc on the hard disk. Time to launch apps is fantastic. Thanks to the RAM and the SSD, the processing time for pics has gone down considerably. Case in point is a pan merge of 5 pics that I recently took on a trip - and the mac managed it without any issues. The previous attempts at at any stitching ended up wasting a lot of time.
The other advantage is that the machine runs really cool - I am typing this after placing the laptop on my lap for more than hour hour.
All in all, its like extending the life of this machine by 2-3 years. A very worthwhile investment! I chose this SSD based on the hugely positive reviews I have seen. It has proved to be a very good SSD indeed.
Just want to put some basic education on this site since its the second search result for best ssd for Mac.
1. If your computer is from 2007, it's running SATA 1 at best, SATA 2. If its running 1, don't bother with an SSD upgrade. You are talking about a bus speed that handles 150 mb of throughput, and your 7200 rpm drive is doing 50-80% of that already. The performance boost is negligible. Buy a newer machine and then contemplate whether OCZ (IMO best choice for Mac because of constant firmware updates, and pretty decent tech support) or Mushkin (best bang for the buck, small local Colorado company building fastest memory interface and best ram module drives) makes the most sense to you. Mushkin offers a cross ship warranty on all their deluxe drives, haven't had one fail yet, bought and installed 20+ Mushkin drives in various client machines, mostly pc, some Mac. My favorite drive for Mac is OCZ though, the Vertex 3 has been the fastest performing 5 year warrantied drive hands down in the Mac. I'm going with the Vertex 4 512 tomorrow for a client's brand new Macbool Pro 15 (non retina obviously) for this trusted performance and business class warranty. Plextor's newest M5P is another fantastic reliable drive, but they are most expensive and my experience with the M3 series was meh in Macs performance wise.
2. The main benefits that people are seeking with SSD's is their boot time, and ability to open programs quickly. The claim is that they offer 20% better battery life as well, and of course have no moving parts. I do not believe that a 2.5" SSD installed in a 2-5 year old machine produces better battery life. My experience is that because the computer is able to work faster, that it expends more energy than it would at a fourth to a sixth of its capabilities (with a hard drive) and therefore isn't actually saving power. Therefore, don't be surprised when your battery life in your core 2 duo or core i5 first gen (520) GOES DOWN.
3. If you have a Mac Pro, that's awesome. Clearly you are an enthusiast, and hopefully are at the very least pushing the machine with video or photo work, designing something amazing. Also, hopefully, you know at least a little about how the computer is designed inside, how drives interface to motherboards, etc. Because if you do not, and if you have a 2007 Mac Pro, no Raid card, and no real knowledge of how fast SATA 1 vs 2 vs 3 is, you have absolutely no business trying this upgrade on your own. Here's why:
A. Computer won't see much improvement
B. The installation of the SSD inside the custom designed Mac case, although not thoroughly difficult, is no first adventure class install. The drive doesn't actually have a place to sit correctly inside, and without a thur party adapter, you will leave a drive hanging inside your machine.
C. The fact is that Apple had specifically limited the performance of the SATA bus on several iterations of machines through the years, and the way that older motherboards treat SSD's is not as good as the way 3 year old and younger machines do. While the Mac Pro Xeon combo can see great gains with SATA 2 and newer, anything older is a waste of time.
1. If your computer is from 2007, it's running SATA 1 at best, SATA 2. If its running 1, don't bother with an SSD upgrade.
incorrect. compare random access speed on short files - that is dramatically different and bound to random seek time, not to bus width. Than recall how fragmented drive behave.
2. The main benefits that people are seeking with SSD's is their boot time, and ability to open programs quickly.
really? what about me, seeking for fast swap?
A. Computer won't see much improvement
hmmm... and what I'm doing wrong if my MacPro easily see that improvement in real work, not just in useless boot time comparision?
C. The fact is that Apple had specifically limited the performance of the SATA bus on several iterations of machines through the years
fantastic! some data to prove it? Cos my periodical measurements since somewhere ~1995 did not show that greedy Apple trick. Probably I did something wrong?
Just my opinions on the first one, I don't think it makes enough of a difference in real world performance. Take a macbook (black) with SATA 1 and the performance difference from 7200 HDD to SSD was maybe 60% better.
I don't know what fast swap is, sounds dirty.
3rd thing is smart A**
Macbooks (black and white) were limited to SATA 1 speeds despite the fact that the hardware supported SATA 2. It's not the only machine they've done that on.
I don't think it makes enough of a difference in real world performance.
Macbooks (black and white) were limited to SATA 1 speeds despite the fact that the hardware supported SATA 2.
you're right on this, I'm wrong. But there was non-market cause (stability if we'll simplify question) for this decision.
I just wanted to chime in on running an SSD on SATA1. I recently modded an older iMac to upgrade it from an Intel Core Duo to a Core 2 Duo so it would run Lion (but still not Mountain Lion, due to video limitations), and at the same time installed a small (128g) Mushkin SSD that I got for $80 (as I recall). It's for my wife, who isn't exactly a 'power user' - mostly just web browsing and occasional quickbooks. I know the hardware isn't getting what it *could* from the drive, but it runs SO FAST - I was floored how quickly it switches users, loads apps - just general usability. I haven't run any benchmarks, but it certains gives a WAY faster user experience than my late 2011 i7 8G MBP with stock hardware (although to be fair it's a clean Lion install on the iMac, and a year worth of cruft and an in-place upgrade to mountain lion on the MBP).
The iMac resumes from a full sleep faster than most machines come off a screen saver. So fast, in fact, that I had to hook the mouse directly to the iMac rather than through the keyboard - presumable because the iMac wakes up faster than the (crappy clone) keyboard.
My biggest problem with the Mushkin was the included 2.5" to 3.5" drive adapter didn't have mounting holes in the right places, so I could only mount it with two screws, but it's just sitting on a desk - I don't expect that will be an issue.
I moved all her iTunes library to a large, traditional disk in an external enclosure to leverage the cheaper capacity. There is an occasional lag when it hits that, but I'd say it's a good compromise.
In my mind, if you don't need a lot of storage, a small SSD is a great upgrade for the money - although the market is changing so fast I'm still confused over WHICH.