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non-Apple SSD's that work 100% for Macs & Macbooks
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Feb 22, 2014, 07:52 AM
 
i.e. 3rd-party & not officially sanctioned by Apple, is there a list maintained somewhere?

Right now I'm interested in my late 09' Mac Mini & the range of current SSD's that work fine with it.
But later I may upgrade some other Macs/Macbooks...

Thank-you.
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 08:34 AM
 
The Crucial m500 and Samsung 840 EVO/Pro series seem to be the de facto options right now.

I'm very pleased with my m500.
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 08:46 AM
 
Supposedly UEFI's broken & not properly maintained/supported for anything beyond standard Sandforce fw, at least for that Mac.
Read this entire thread... Best performing SSD out there nowadays for Mac Mini?

Also, some Macs/MacBooks from around that time use the Nv MCP79 ATA controller (SATA I & II only), supposedly it has issues negotiating down to SATA II for SATA III drives & instead drops them to SATA I, that's the case for at least one SSD I've read about so far (Sandisk Extreme).
( Last edited by jalyst; Feb 22, 2014 at 08:56 AM. )
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 09:56 AM
 
Here's the thread that led to my purchase of the Crucial m500:

http://forums.macnn.com/57/consumer-...le-ssd-choice/
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 09:58 AM
 
If it only comes in 500gb not interested, 240gb max for me.
Anyway if possible can we please stick to the central Qn/s?
N.B. I do appreciate your input...

Thanks.
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 11:50 AM
 
There's not so much of a list of compatible drives that I can find. There's no compelling reason why ANY SATA SSD wouldn't work.

We did almost all of our testing on the 840evo on a MacBook Pro. It is backwards compatible with SATA 2 speeds, as are all SSDs. It comes in a range of sizes, including a 200ish.

Review - Samsung 840 Evo 750 GB SATA-3 SSD Review | MacNN

For more general information on SSDs in Macs, including TRIM support, XLR8YourMac is a good place to visit.

Mac SATA/IDE/ATA Storage/Controller Articles/Reviews
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 12:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by jalyst View Post
If it only comes in 500gb not interested, 240gb max for me.
Anyway if possible can we please stick to the central Qn/s?
N.B. I do appreciate your input...
Uh. Okay.

The m500 is the SERIES. It starts at 120 GB.

     
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Feb 22, 2014, 12:25 PM
 
PM I recently got...

Well that was fast, my mate got back to me already .
He said (and take this at face value as im only passing on info) that any SSD will work, but only Sandforce SSD's with stock firmware will enable TRIM on the drive without a hack. That's where this whole only Sandforce drives are compatible thing comes from. He said he has personally used a Samsung 840 pro in his MacBook air and a Crucial in his recently sold mac mini ('11 model).
Here's a link for enabling TRIM on any SSD/Mac combination : Enabling TRIM on OSX for any SSD
As regards which SSD to choose - the 100% safe bet is still to get a Kingston V300. Otherwise Intel 520, Samsung 840 series, anything by Crucial or Toshiba are all solid reliable performers on Mac's according to what google and my mate tells me..
So what that guy may have been talking about in that thread I referenced, is simply that only Sandforce drives with standard fw have TRIM support OOTB.*
(i.e. one doesn't have to constantly check that it hasn't been toggled-off/disabled whenever there's a major new OSX update etc)

*at least for that Mac model/gen, newer Mac/Macbooks that don't have Sandforce drives have TRIM etc. OOTB, so it must be specific to some older models with diff. UEFI

Originally Posted by EstaNightshift View Post
There's not so much of a list of compatible drives that I can find. There's no compelling reason why ANY SATA SSD wouldn't work.
We did almost all of our testing on the 840evo on a MacBook Pro. It is backwards compatible with SATA 2 speeds, as are all SSDs. It comes in a range of sizes, including a 200ish.
Even if there's 0 compatibility issues what ANY 3rd-party (i.e. not Apple) SSD on any Mac (which I'm still highly dubious about)...
There does seem to be an issue with my particular model/gen. Mac (& some other Macs/Macbooks that use the same SATA controller), in that the controller takes issue with at least 1x 6G SSD, & rather than handshake it to 3G, throttles it down to 1.5G.
It's supposedly a problem that can only be overcome in the SSD's fw by the OEM, they essentially must lock their SSD down to SATA II (or at least present it that way), & then the controller (nV MCP79, SATA I/II only) will leave it at SATA II.
( Last edited by jalyst; Feb 22, 2014 at 12:43 PM. )
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 12:46 PM
 
Sometime later this year, I plan on putting a SSD in my mid 2009 MBP.
Since I don't have time to fiddle around, I'm going to buy the kit from OWC:

Mercury Electra 6G SSD 2.5" Serial-ATA 9.5mm 6Gb/s Solid State Drive

It's Sandforce based, and comes with all the tools needed.

I'm going to put it in instead of the optical drive and create a Fusion Drive with the existing HD.

-t
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 12:51 PM
 
Yeah it's already on my short-list, but it'd be nice to know which non-Sandforce drives* definitely work 100%.
Mainly for this Mac Mini, but if there's a list that covered this Mac Mini & newer models that'd be even better.

*or Sandforce that use non-standard fw
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 01:47 PM
 
I'm pretty sure that ANY third-party SSD needs to have TRIM enabled by the command line setting (or via Chameleon or TRIM Enabler — the former also allows you to turn off the sudden motion sensor, which TRIM Enabler doesn't in the free version).

Also, feel free to read the thread I linked to: there's considerable info in there regarding TRIM and Sandforce controllers, and the history of problems with those controllers.

Also, subego did some heavy testing, and the Kingston SSDs he has are total failures.

But that's over in the other thread.
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 02:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Sometime later this year, I plan on putting a SSD in my mid 2009 MBP.
Since I don't have time to fiddle around, I'm going to buy the kit from OWC:

Mercury Electra 6G SSD 2.5" Serial-ATA 9.5mm 6Gb/s Solid State Drive

It's Sandforce based, and comes with all the tools needed.

I'm going to put it in instead of the optical drive and create a Fusion Drive with the existing HD.

-t
I wouldn't. Adding the SSD instead of the optical is risky enough, and some of the 'Books have issues with the second SATA port being used for high-speed drives (though this may only apply to the 2011 models, running SATA III.
Homebrew Fusion drives have been *really* iffy, and building one on a less-than-solid hardware hack — even if your machine may not be affected by the SATA issues — is something I'd just personally stay the hell away from.

I paid 400€ for a terabyte SSD. That's not *that* much, and going the Fusion drive hack route just isn't worth it IMO — and increasingly less so.
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 02:19 PM
 
Ok, food for thought. I really haven't read much about iffiness of self-made Fusion Drives.

Do you have any links ?

Googling "self made fusion drives +problems" or "homebrew fusion drives +problems" doesn't yield anything.

-t
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 02:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I'm pretty sure that ANY third-party SSD needs to have TRIM enabled by the command line setting (or via Chameleon or TRIM Enabler — the former also allows you to turn off the sudden motion sensor, which TRIM Enabler doesn't in the free version). Also, feel free to read the thread I linked to: there's considerable info in there regarding TRIM and Sandforce controllers, and the history of problems with those controllers.
Since you seem so confident that ANY SSD should be fine, not just Sandforce or Sandforce standard, & even Mac's with the MCP79, I may proceed with the Extreme II 240GB, will do a bit more research 1st though.

Night.
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 03:50 PM
 
You mistake me for EstaNightShift.

I just know that the Crucial m500 (which uses a Marvell controller with custom firmware) and the Samsung 840 (which uses an in-house controller IIRC) are fine and frequently recommended.

Apple themselves have used Toshiba, Samsung, and currently SanDisk SSDs in their retina MacBooks Pro, though the newest ones are hooked up through PCIe, so that may be a different matter.
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 03:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Ok, food for thought. I really haven't read much about iffiness of self-made Fusion Drives.

Do you have any links ?

Googling "self made fusion drives +problems" or "homebrew fusion drives +problems" doesn't yield anything.

-t
http://forums.macnn.com/69/mac-noteb...e/#post4214616
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 08:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
So, it failed for ONE person (Doc HM), and therefore, home-brew Fusion Drives are inherently unreliable ?

It's odd, because there are so many reports out there that have people talking about how to worked for them. For Doc HM, it failed INSTANTLY. Seems to have been a setup issue.

Also, note how this was more 1 year ago, and according to P, Core Storage was still being improved art that time.

-t
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 11:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I just know that the Crucial m500 (which uses a Marvell controller with custom firmware) and the Samsung 840 (which uses an in-house controller IIRC) are fine and frequently recommended.
For older Macs like the one in question?

Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Also, note how this was more 1 year ago, and according to P, Core Storage was still being improved art that time.
No more off-topic posts please...

Thank-you.
     
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Feb 23, 2014, 01:23 PM
 
Threads wander around a bit, with some relation to the central topic. All those replying are volunteering their expertise, so why not let them have some fun while helping. There are plenty of unused bytes to go around.
     
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Feb 23, 2014, 06:01 PM
 
If everything follows the relevant standards, then all SATA SSDs should work in all Macs with a SATA connection. There are a couple of exceptions - untested circumstances - where either the chipset, UEFI, the drive firmware or something else doesn't quite follow the standard (there can theoretically be a case where the standard is not hard enough, so everything is inside spec but still doesn't work together, but I've never heard of that happening for SSDs and SATA).

I am not aware of a list with known good drives an combinations. In general, the newer the drive the better. SSDs were at one point on a path of very rapid development very limited testing on the platforms current at the time. Lately things have slowed down, reliability is more important, and drives take more care to follow the standard to the t.

As for TRIM, that is a special case. Only SSDs supplied by Apple get TRIM by default - for everyone else, there's TRIM enabler. Now, TRIM is not the panacea it is sometime described as by the less informed, and Sandforce drives in particular work quite well without it. I would advice you to not enable TRIM if you use a Sandforce drive.

I have used a Samsung 830 and a first-gen Sandforce drive in my iMac (Late-2009) without problems. Spheric noted the issue with using an SSD in place of the optical drive in some MBPs. It is also known that all Haswell-based computers are incompatible with first-gen Sandforce-based drives.

My advice for years has been to either use one of the controllers that Apple is known to use (Samsung 470, 830 and 840 are the ones available on the open market) or a Sandforce gen 2-based drive from Intel. I have not had any complaints based on those recommendations.

HTH.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Feb 23, 2014, 06:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
So, it failed for ONE person (Doc HM), and therefore, home-brew Fusion Drives are inherently unreliable ?

It's odd, because there are so many reports out there that have people talking about how to worked for them. For Doc HM, it failed INSTANTLY. Seems to have been a setup issue.

Also, note how this was more 1 year ago, and according to P, Core Storage was still being improved art that time.

-t
Ymmv.

In combination with the SATA issues on the second port and having seen someone brick his MacBook Pro in the process of replacing the optical (don't remember details, but one of the drives wouldn't work in one of the slots, and when he swapped them, neither would work. Required a logic board replacement; it was not a defective SATA cable according to our tech.), I wouldn't mess with it.
     
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Feb 23, 2014, 10:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Threads wander around a bit, with some relation to the central topic. All those replying are volunteering their expertise, so why not let them have some fun while helping. There are plenty of unused bytes to go around.
You're right, I could've let it go on for a bit longer, & I could've been less brief/terse in my request that it end, & more explanatory/conciliatory.
Perhaps that would've avoided an angry reaction & misunderstanding. Looks like that "bit longer" is about that start, here's hoping it's only a bit.
     
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Feb 23, 2014, 10:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
If everything follows the relevant standards, then all SATA SSDs should work in all Macs with a SATA connection. There are a couple of exceptions - untested circumstances - where either the chipset, UEFI, the drive firmware or something else doesn't quite follow the standard (there can theoretically be a case where the standard is not hard enough, so everything is inside spec but still doesn't work together, but I've never heard of that happening for SSDs and SATA).<SNIP>
Thanks P, all most gratefully noted, if any qns/thoughts are provoked by your post I may add them soon-ish, but for now it's time to move forward.

Thanks again everyone for sharing your experiences/ideas/time.
     
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Feb 24, 2014, 03:14 AM
 
Placed an order on Amazon for the Extreme II, be mighty annoyed if it doesn't work but there's a dearth of info anywhere.
Called Sandisk & they can't help as their SSD experts are only available from 8am-2pm AEST, supposedly they'll call tomorrow or maybe later today.
At least Amazon usually has a pretty generous return policy, even for us Aussies...
When it comes to SATA III, the Extreme II's at (or very near) the top overall performance-wise, despite that price is still very decent.
It's overkill for ~90% of usage on that machine, but that machine will be sold this year & the drive salvaged.
The other thing that worries me is that it uses an odd form-factor, it's quite a bit smaller than standard 2.5" & even with the spacer it's lose in some Macs/MacBooks.
But my machine's not a MacBook so it's not like it's being moved around much, if at all...
     
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Feb 24, 2014, 03:05 PM
 
Let us know how it works. We might just build up the compatibility DB you were looking for.

Are you going to benchmark it?
     
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Feb 28, 2014, 11:11 AM
 
which better SSD for my 2013 mac book ??
     
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Feb 28, 2014, 11:24 AM
 
All 2013 Macbooks ship with flash storage already. Do you mean the older 2012 non-retina MBPs that Apple still sells?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Mar 3, 2014, 02:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Let us know how it works. We might just build up the compatibility DB you were looking for.

Are you going to benchmark it?
Weird, got no email about this post...
Despite all my fears (& contrary to Sandisk's claims), it hasn't handshaked @1.5G & fortunately is linked @3G.*
Recommendations for the best analysis/diagnostics/benchmarking sw on Windows & OS X?

*the max this model's SATA II controller will do
     
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Mar 3, 2014, 02:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
All 2013 Macbooks ship with flash storage already. Do you mean the older 2012 non-retina MBPs that Apple still sells?
I meant all Macs & Macbooks that don't ship with SSD's as standard, which is LOTS.

But it's still of interest to new Macs/Macbooks that do ship with SSD's, as the SSD's they have aren't always the absolute latest/greatest.
Ofc, in RWT the differences won't be noticeable in most (but not ALL) situations...
( Last edited by jalyst; Mar 4, 2014 at 12:56 AM. )
     
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Mar 3, 2014, 05:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by jalyst View Post
I meant all Macs & Macbooks that don't ship with SSD's as standard, which is LOTS...

But it's still of interest to new Macs/Macbooks that do ship with SSD's, as the SSD's they have aren't always the absolute latest/greatest.
Ofc, in RWT the differences won't be noticeable in most (but not ALL) situations...
Only one single model of MacBook still sells without an SSD, and that model is a year older than the others.

Regarding the other MacBooks:
a) All the other MacBooks ship with PCIe SSDs, for which there are NO drop-in replacements AFAIK. Only SanDisk and Samsung make them in MacBook-compatible format, and neither sell them except to Apple. OWC will be offering the first upgrades this autumn, hopefully).
b) S-ATA SSDs, which are what you would buy if you're shopping for an "SSD", simply won't fit, and are connected via a MUCH slower interface.

The PCIe SSDs shipping in the MacBooks ARE, for all practical purposes, the "latest/greatest".
     
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Mar 4, 2014, 12:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Only one single model of MacBook still sells without an SSD, and that model is a year older than the others.
Ofc, I'm not referring exclusively to models still selling, + the subject's as pertinent to Macs as it is to MacBooks.
Here's a clarification of my prior post:
But it's still of interest to new-ish Macs/Macbooks that did ship with SSD's (or had the option to), as replacements (not always SATA form-factor) that offer appreciable improvements are possible.
Your point is nonsense when talking about the other MacBooks, though, because:
a) All the newest MacBooks ship with PCIe SSDs, for which there are NO drop-in replacements AFAIK. Only SanDisk and Samsung make them in MacBook-compatible format, and neither sell them except to Apple. OWC will be offering the first upgrades this autumn, hopefully).
b) S-ATA SSDs, which are what you would buy if you're shopping for an "SSD", simply won't fit, and are connected via a MUCH slower interface.
The PCIe SSDs shipping in the MacBooks ARE, for all practical purposes, the "latest/greatest".
Thankfully I'm already aware of all this... You can relax now, there's no need to accuse folks of talking nonsense.
( Last edited by jalyst; Mar 4, 2014 at 01:06 AM. Reason: better clarity)
     
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Mar 4, 2014, 12:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by jalyst View Post
I meant all Macs & Macbooks that don't ship with SSD's as standard, which is LOTS.
But it's still of interest to new Macs/Macbooks that do ship with SSD's, as the SSD's they have aren't always the absolute latest/greatest.
Ofc, in RWT the differences won't be noticeable in most (but not ALL) situations...
I just noticed the post I addressed with my post above wasn't directed at me anyway, apologies for the confusion.

Originally Posted by jalyst View Post
Weird, got no email about this post...
Despite all my fears (& contrary to Sandisk's claims), it hasn't handshaked @1.5G & fortunately is linked @3G.*
Recommendations for the best analysis/diagnostics/benchmarking sw on Windows & OS X?

*the max this model's SATA II controller will do
Getting things back on-topic, any feedback/recommendations for the above post?

Thank-you.
( Last edited by jalyst; Mar 4, 2014 at 12:59 AM. )
     
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Mar 4, 2014, 07:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by jalyst View Post
Thankfully I'm already aware of all this... You can relax now, there's no need to accuse folks of talking nonsense.
I realized this, and edited my post before you had completed your reply. Apologies for the tone.
     
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Mar 4, 2014, 11:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by jalyst View Post
Getting things back on-topic, any feedback/recommendations for the above post?

Thank-you.
Just to let you know: your tone and sense of you "owning" this thread, judging posts by how they benefit you, and if they don't, you dismiss them as "off topic" really pisses me off.

I will not participate in this, and offer any help.
You seem to confuse this forum with a help desk ticket for your individual problem / questions.

-t
     
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Mar 4, 2014, 02:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Just to let you know: your tone and sense of you "owning" this thread, judging posts by how they benefit you, and if they don't, you dismiss them as "off topic" really pisses me off.

I will not participate in this, and offer any help.
You seem to confuse this forum with a help desk ticket for your individual problem / questions.

-t
I was referring to the aggressive tone in the prior post, that's what I meant by getting things back on topic, it's seem you've read way too much into what I said.
     
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Mar 4, 2014, 02:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I realized this, and edited my post before you had completed your reply. Apologies for the tone.
No worries, we all lose our cool from time to time, apology accepted.

Getting things back on topic (which isn't unreasonable given that the latest posts are focused around personal attacks*), any thoughts/advice here:
Originally Posted by jalyst View Post
Weird, got no email about this post...
Despite all my fears (& contrary to Sandisk's claims), it hasn't handshaked @1.5G & fortunately is linked @3G.*
Recommendations for the best analysis/diagnostics/benchmarking sw on Windows & OS X?

*the max this model's SATA II controller will do
Thank-you.
*Spehreic did stay somewhat on topic with his post, albeit in a misguided way, as it misunderstood what I was saying (thanks to my own poor communication)
     
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Mar 4, 2014, 04:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by jalyst View Post
*Spehreic did stay somewhat on topic with his post, albeit in a misguided way
This comes across WAY weird.

If anything, YOUR request for benchmarking software for OS X and Windows is completely off-topic to this thread. It's not even in the proper forum (this being hardware).

If you have issues with how a thread is going, write to a moderator.

However, since a moderator himself has already weighed in on the matter in this thread, I suggest you realign your assessment of what is "misguided", and whom the term might apply to.
     
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Mar 5, 2014, 12:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
This comes across WAY weird.
I don't see how when it's qualified by this:
...as it misunderstood what I was saying (thanks to my own poor communication)
It was saying that...
Although your response was on-topic & useful, it wasn't needed as it was based on a misunderstanding of what I said. This misunderstanding was due to a miscommunication of what I meant to say -which later I clarified & conceded. That's not to say I don't appreciate your attempt to be informative (albeit rudely initially -which you apologised for later). It was/is appreciated, even if it's stuff I knew, plus it may be helpful for others.

If anything, YOUR request for benchmarking software for OS X and Windows is completely off-topic to this thread. It's not even in the proper forum (this being hardware).
If you have issues with how a thread is going, write to a moderator.
However, since a moderator himself has already weighed in on the matter in this thread, I suggest you realign your assessment of what is "misguided", and whom the term might apply to.
Yes he has, & he didn't disagree with an earlier assertion, which is, I'm free to set the parameters of my thread(1), he simply added there's scope for "drift", which I agreed with. SSD analysis/diagnostic sw is more related to discussing 3rd-party SSD's than recent posts, most of which remain fixated on analysing perceived behaviour/character. And it's less of a digression than others(2), it's the logical extension of buying a 3rd-party SSD, owners want to analyse & test it. Most folks buying 3rd-party SSD's aren't typical Mac users, they're more analytical & curious in nature.

It seems I'm wasting time trying to regain peace & stay on-topic(3), luckily I have other discussions which aren't as "bogged-down". I got some answers to my latest Qn long ago, but was curious to hear experiences from folks here. I would've gladly shared my findings eventually, but given the continued derailment I don't see the point. I'm sure this forum is often very friendly/productive, & that this thread is just an anomaly. I'm not saying some protagonists carry more blame, no sir, it's more to do w/a series of miscomms & misunderstandings than one or more people being mostly blameable. I've no interest in wasting more time on that (I'm sure you agree), so I'm no longer subscribed, apologies in advance if there's no response to new posts.

All the best.
(1) IIRC that post was removed because it quoted a deleted post
(2) Which I agreed long ago are fine, & apologised (that post -along with one deemed an insult- was removed by mods) for offence due to requesting more focus
(3) By "on-topic" I mean posts vaguely related to 3rd-party SSD's (e.g. Fusion drives or SSD analysis sw), not continued posts about perceived behaviour/character
( Last edited by jalyst; Mar 5, 2014 at 12:16 PM. Reason: clarify)
     
   
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