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Sebastianmonty
30th March 2010, 06:14 PM
Hi all,
I have searched Mactalk and found many answers on this topic but none for a while.
As SSDs have changed in 9 months I would like to ask in the present.

1. I know there is no OS X Trim support so I won't ask that.
Till there is: Macintosh Performance Guide: Reconditioning a Solid State Drive (SSD) (http://macperformanceguide.com/Storage-SSD-Reconditioning.html)

2. Is Garbage Collection important?
No. Till it's widely used: Macintosh Performance Guide: Reconditioning a Solid State Drive (SSD) (http://macperformanceguide.com/Storage-SSD-Reconditioning.html)

3. Are users who have been using an SSD for more than 4 months noticing a slow down?
Intel- no. Some others: Yes. But not normally 4 months. The internet posts generally give 6 months plus with crazy use involving 1000s of files created a day.
4. If it did slow down would a clone performed, then SSD zeroed out in DIsk Utility from OS X DVD, then cloned back onto SSD improve the situation?
So far: maybe(Please confirm) Xerodude suggests a TRIM, as do others. Another few on other forums/sites suggest an App called Disktester. At this stage I am waiting to see if a zero out can relay to the controller(somehow) that there is no information there anymore.

5. Right now what is a good value SSD at 128GBs in Aus. A lot of users were running into G.Skill trouble. Did that fix itself? Whatever I buy if it stuffs up I don't want to have to wait 7 weeks for a replacement like xerodude did.
Intel, G.Skill Falcon and Corsair. Band for buck in AU it seems to be the 128GB G.Skill Falcon(not Falcon II) priced at $436(ish)

6. Can I get an optibay and put it in that and have it as my startup disk or do I have to change my 500GB HDD to the optibay and then put the SSD in the main SATA slot?
Yes. Though some Mactalkers are recommending no. Yes because the HDD is best in the HD bay as it has shock protection. No because the SSD needs terminal commands to activate sleep for the HDDs.

7. Does the Optibay support 12.5mm? I know the new unibody MBPs can put a 12.5mm in the normal HD spot as people have done it safely.
To answer my own question. Yes. Per Optibay w/12.5mm Drives? - Mac Forums (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=878721) it is fine if it's a 17inch MBP.
If it's a 15/13 Unibody- I'm unsure. Some places are saying 9.5mm but I believe that's for non-17inch.

8. Is it ok to have the 2nd 500GB HDD as another disk and use it for data like downloads, iPhoto library and itunes and not have it RAID 0 or 1?
What I want is to run my Apps of the SSD and put my iPhoto library and my itunes and docs etc. on the HDD as they take up a lot of space.
Yes it is fine. I would be silly to RAID 0/1 the disks unless they were both SSDs.

9. Best place to buy an Optibay from for a cheap price?
Seems to be from MCE direct. Macfixit has it but doesn't include the DVD case in the price which adds cost.
Laptop SATA drives - Hitachi 2.5" SATA Laptop Hard Disk Drives - OptiBay Hard Drive for MacBook/MacBook Pro Unibody - MacFixit Australia - Shop For Apple Macintosh Accessories, Apple Mac Upgrades, MacBook and MacBook Pro Battery, Mac Screen LCD, Phon (http://www.macfixit.com.au/shop/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=942)

10. Any Optibay alternatives you recommend?
I'm looking at a few, but these so far seem to work but be Chinese made and not warrantied so.. No, nothing recommended at this stage.


Thanks guys. I wish to get all the answers and then put them or nicely in a final review so hours of googling is not needed. I googled and googled and I have read conflicting ideas so much that I need to start from scratch.

alexc
30th March 2010, 07:28 PM
I have many of the same questions, so will be watching this thread :)

lord
30th March 2010, 08:11 PM
2. Is Garbage Collection important?

Being a part of memory management - no.



6. Can I get an optibay and put it in that and have it as my startup disk or do I have to change my 500GB HDD to the optibay and then put the SSD in the main SATA slot?

You don't.


8. Is it ok to have the 2nd 500GB HDD as another disk and use it for data like downloads, iPhoto library and itunes and not have it RAID 0 or 1?

Raid 0 is a bit risky (if either drive dies you lose everything).

Sebastianmonty
30th March 2010, 10:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastianmonty
2. Is Garbage Collection important?
Being a part of memory management - no.
Ok thanks. Why not? Some manufacturers are pushing this technology as being an important background process for keeping the speed good.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastianmonty
6. Can I get an optibay and put it in that and have it as my startup disk or do I have to change my 500GB HDD to the optibay and then put the SSD in the main SATA slot?
You don't.
You don't? Can I have my 2nd bay as a startup disc? Will it not boot? You don't is half a reply.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastianmonty
8. Is it ok to have the 2nd 500GB HDD as another disk and use it for data like downloads, iPhoto library and itunes and not have it RAID 0 or 1?
Raid 0 is a bit risky (if either drive dies you lose everything).

I know Raid 0 is risky. I don't wish to use that. It would combine a slow drive with a fast drive and they are different size drives too so it can't happen.
My question(never having a dual hard drive set up before) is can I actually set up the 500GB 5400rpm drive as a data drive which is always mounted and is it's own drive. No RAID at all. It's different entirely but I can still link to that drive for say my itunes folder to be stored on that drive.

cappuccino
31st March 2010, 08:10 AM
Hi all,
I have searched Mactalk and found many answers on this topic but none for a while.
As SSDs have changed in 9 months I would like to ask in the present.

1. I know there is no OS X Trim support so I won't ask that.

2. Is Garbage Collection important?

3. Are users who have been using an SSD for more than 4 months noticing a slow down?

4. If it did slow down would a clone performed, then SSD zeroed out in DIsk Utility from OS X DVD, then cloned back onto SSD improve the situation?

5. Right now what is a good value SSD at 128GBs in Aus. A lot of users were running into G.Skill trouble. Did that fix itself? Whatever I buy if it stuffs up I don't want to have to wait 7 weeks for a replacement like xerodude did.

6. Can I get an optibay and put it in that and have it as my startup disk or do I have to change my 500GB HDD to the optibay and then put the SSD in the main SATA slot?

7. Does the Optibay support 12.5mm? I know the new unibody MBPS can put a 12.5mm in the normal HD spot as people have done it safely.

8. Is it ok to have the 2nd 500GB HDD as another disk and use it for data like downloads, iPhoto library and itunes and not have it RAID 0 or 1?
What I want is to run my Apps of the SSD and put my iPhoto library and my itunes and docs etc. on the HDD as they take up a lot of space.

9. Best place to buy an Optibay from for a cheap price?

10. Any Optibay alternatives you recommend?

Thanks guys. I wish to get all the answers and then put them or nicely in a final review so hours of googling is not needed. I googled and googled and I have read conflicting ideas so much that I need to start from scratch.

3. This was reported for many SSDs of all brands a while ago, but it was mostly due to firmware issues. I would recommend sticking with brands with no reports of such slow downs. The intel X25-M G2 would be one, the versioning is very important since the G1 had all the slow down issues, and the G2 didn't. You can also try the new WD SSD, though its a bit more pricy. The new generation SSD drives have a significantly more performance and life advantage over the pervious one, so you should not experience this issue.

4. Probably not.

5. Once again, stick with good brands, and just google up the brand/model to see what users have been saying in relation to mac systems.

...

If your going to have two drives in your laptop, why a SSD and HD? The reason for getting SSD is to get RAID performance without a RAID, but if your going to put in two drives, you might as well get two 500gig or two of the new 1tb WD drives and RAID them up.... you'd save money, get heaps more storage, and get performance similar to a good SSD in terms of read and write.

And if you need storage, then SSD was the wrong technology in the first place, SSD is only for the very very demanding multi application user. Once all your apps are loaded into RAM memory performance gain is negligible... actually even so, even if your a multi application user, just having enough RAM is better. SSD is only for users that require very high read and write speeds for data that usually cannot be loaded into RAM, such as large non-memory databases, programmers and developers etc.

Even people who work with movies etc don't go SSD since not only do you get little storage, you can get similar read and write speeds with a RAID HD configuration....

cappuccino
31st March 2010, 08:24 AM
O yeah check out:
Western Digital WD3200BEKT and Hitachi 5K500 Review - HDTach Results - CPUs, Boards & Components by ExtremeTech (http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2321519,00.asp)

So for a good SSD these days you can get 220mb Read and 70MB Write (intel x25-m)... or 200mb read and 200md write from the WD SSD if you wanna spend some serious dosh (btw, 200mb write is crazy!!!!!).

But like I said, this is good for single drive users who demand high read and write performance where such data cannot be loaded into RAM, mostly database work. To a certain extent, video and music editing you do get a boost, but you shoot yourself with low storage capacity.

If you are working with a dual drive solution, then you have more options. For example, a RAID config of the new WD Scorpio Black 320gig drives would get you 125mb read and 121 write, so in this case you can actually get a higher write speed than most single SSD solutions.

You could have a SSD and HD with no RAID, but once again, its as pointless as a SSD and HD with RAID. And you should never RAID different drives since the RAID will only performance as good as the slowest drive, remember that a RAID is keeping the disks in sync, so it will wait for the slowest drive to write before moving on.

Of course, a SSD RAID would be completely nuts in terms of performance, but it all depends on how much you want to spend.

Sebastianmonty
31st March 2010, 01:10 PM
If your going to have two drives in your laptop, why a SSD and HD? The reason for getting SSD is to get RAID performance without a RAID, but if your going to put in two drives, you might as well get two 500gig or two of the new 1tb WD drives and RAID them up.... you'd save money, get heaps more storage, and get performance similar to a good SSD in terms of read and write.

And if you need storage, then SSD was the wrong technology in the first place, SSD is only for the very very demanding multi application user. Once all your apps are loaded into RAM memory performance gain is negligible... actually even so, even if your a multi application user, just having enough RAM is better. SSD is only for users that require very high read and write speeds for data that usually cannot be loaded into RAM, such as large non-memory databases, programmers and developers etc.

Even people who work with movies etc don't go SSD since not only do you get little storage, you can get similar read and write speeds with a RAID HD configuration....

An SSD gives great Application startup times and huge speed for general computing.
Open Safari in a second, not 8 etc. This matters to me as I have the stock 5400rpm drive in my MBP and I have a 17inch Unibody, 2.8Ghz, 4GB RAM computer that is held back by it's old technology hard drive.

I have read all the posts about SSDs on this forum and they make a big difference. One Mac Pro user said it was the thing that was holding it back.

RAID 0 with 2x500GB 7200rpm drives wouldn't be as fast for application start up but is a possibility. You would be looking at maybe up to 200mb/s for the above setup.
An SSD can do up to 230mb/s but then it comes back down to real world usage.
Well thanks for your post, you may be right. This is just a data gathering exercise with a review once I set it up.

MissionMan
31st March 2010, 01:46 PM
1. I know there is no OS X Trim support so I won't ask that.

You can create a Windows startup CD with trim but some trims require a complete wipe of the disk.

2. Is Garbage Collection important?

No idea

3. Are users who have been using an SSD for more than 4 months noticing a slow down?

Not noticeable. I'll probably do a wipe, trim and reclone every 6 months to be on the safe side.

4. If it did slow down would a clone performed, then SSD zeroed out in DIsk Utility from OS X DVD, then cloned back onto SSD improve the situation?

If you wiped it, you could probably do a trim on it anyway at the same time so it wouldn't add much to the process.

5. Right now what is a good value SSD at 128GBs in Aus. A lot of users were running into G.Skill trouble. Did that fix itself? Whatever I buy if it stuffs up I don't want to have to wait 7 weeks for a replacement like xerodude did.

Been running the new (replaced) Gskill for a while now without issues. Original issues related to a batch so it should be good now.

6. Can I get an optibay and put it in that and have it as my startup disk or do I have to change my 500GB HDD to the optibay and then put the SSD in the main SATA slot?

Probably better to put the SSD in your original slot and a 500GB HDD in the optibay.

7. Does the Optibay support 12.5mm? I know the new unibody MBPS can put a 12.5mm in the normal HD spot as people have done it safely.

No idea, but you can get 750GB in 9.5mm so if its a 500GB 7200, they're available in 9.5mm anyway.

8. Is it ok to have the 2nd 500GB HDD as another disk and use it for data like downloads, iPhoto library and itunes and not have it RAID 0 or 1?
What I want is to run my Apps of the SSD and put my iPhoto library and my itunes and docs etc. on the HDD as they take up a lot of space.

I run most of my iphoto library on an external with about 100GB of photos. iPhoto library is about 16GB but not sure how many originals are in there.

9. Best place to buy an Optibay from for a cheap price?

Not sure, there was a post about it previously. Do a search.

10. Any Optibay alternatives you recommend?

Can't help you there.

rustyshelf
31st March 2010, 01:49 PM
3. Are users who have been using an SSD for more than 4 months noticing a slow down?

Intel 160GB here, and way over 4 months, no slowness to report, no errors, all sweet. We run two of these here in our office in iMacs.

cappuccino
31st March 2010, 02:49 PM
An SSD gives great Application startup times and huge speed for general computing.
Open Safari in a second, not 8 etc. This matters to me as I have the stock 5400rpm drive in my MBP and I have a 17inch Unibody, 2.8Ghz, 4GB RAM computer that is held back by it's old technology hard drive.

I have read all the posts about SSDs on this forum and they make a big difference. One Mac Pro user said it was the thing that was holding it back.

RAID 0 with 2x500GB 7200rpm drives wouldn't be as fast for application start up but is a possibility. You would be looking at maybe up to 200mb/s for the above setup.
An SSD can do up to 230mb/s but then it comes back down to real world usage.
Well thanks for your post, you may be right. This is just a data gathering exercise with a review once I set it up.

o yeah it does make a big difference, i run the intel x-25m G2 in my macbook pro unibody. if you weren't needing the large storage, i would say go ssd all the way.

just thinking... isn't removing the cd drive a bit drastic? i've seen some users do this, but it always seemed odd. Why not a SSD in the macbook and a 2.5 usd powered external drive?

a internal SSD and internal HD would be the same, but you wouldn't have a cd drive. personally i dun like the idea of having a slot in my unibody with no drive lol. but its a personal choice.

so long as you dun RAID it up you'll get the performance and storage you want. dun know if you've purchased the stuff yet, but get the WD SSD if you can afford it, if not, the intel.

Sebastianmonty
31st March 2010, 04:43 PM
just thinking... isn't removing the cd drive a bit drastic? i've seen some users do this, but it always seemed odd. Why not a SSD in the macbook and a 2.5 usd powered external drive?

I use a DVD drive far less often than I do disk space. The DVD drive will then be usable through USB at that would be once a month or so.
I don't mind the slit in the side of the MBP.

Sebastianmonty
31st March 2010, 04:44 PM
Intel 160GB here, and way over 4 months, no slowness to report, no errors, all sweet. We run two of these here in our office in iMacs.

If you do run into slowness do you know what you will do to fix it? I saw your thread on the install process and I am sure you would hate to take that out and connect it to a pc to TRIM it.

Anthonyw
31st March 2010, 06:05 PM
No expert here, and similar position to the op about finding info on ssd's and mac.

Garbage collection as far as I'm aware is highly desirable from what I understand on non windows machines. I thought it was similar to trim but controlled by the drive for non trim machines.

As for brand if money isn't too much of an issue go with intel. They seem by far the most reliable, fairly quick and don't seem to slow down over time.

Sebastianmonty
31st March 2010, 07:54 PM
No expert here, and similar position to the op about finding info on ssd's and mac.

Garbage collection as far as I'm aware is highly desirable from what I understand on non windows machines. I thought it was similar to trim but controlled by the drive for non trim machines.

As for brand if money isn't too much of an issue go with intel. They seem by far the most reliable, fairly quick and don't seem to slow down over time.

Intels are great. But they are expensive. I will need to get a comparison graph with regards to speed.
This GC thing is still confusing though.

Sebastianmonty
31st March 2010, 09:03 PM
3. . The intel X25-M G2 would be one, the versioning is very important since the G1 had all the slow down issues, and the G2 didn't. You can also try the new WD SSD, though its a bit more pricy. The new generation SSD drives have a significantly more performance and life advantage over the pervious one, so you should not experience this issue.


Thanks for the info. I checked out WD's SSD and it's there first one. I would stay clear. I haven't seen it for sale yet and it reviews slower than older competition.

There is a review on which WD's own website linked to. It isn't bad and scores 8.9/10 but I don't know how. The cons in the review are many. Maybe the reviewer was being truthful, but then got an incentive$$ and changed the score.
WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD SSC-D0256SC-2100 | Benchmark,Review,SiliconEdge-Blue,SSD Test,WD,Solid State Drive,SSC-D0256SC-2100,WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD JMicron JMF612 Solid State Drive SSC-D0256SC-2100 Benchmark Performance Speed Test (http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=478)

bennyling
31st March 2010, 09:26 PM
If you do run into slowness do you know what you will do to fix it? I saw your thread on the install process and I am sure you would hate to take that out and connect it to a pc to TRIM it.

To restore full speed on most SSDs in a case where TRIM isn't possible to be used, then you can always back everything up (Time Machine or similar), format, do a clean install, then restore from your backup.

adrezs69
31st March 2010, 09:38 PM
1. I know there is no OS X Trim support so I won't ask that.
Never bothered with Trim so I am not really sure ... ?
2. Is Garbage Collection important?
NFI
3. Are users who have been using an SSD for more than 4 months noticing a slow down?
I had the OCZ Vertex 128GB on the previous generation MBP 15" for about 12 months before selling it and there didn't appear to be anything noticeable.
4. If it did slow down would a clone performed, then SSD zeroed out in DIsk Utility from OS X DVD, then cloned back onto SSD improve the situation?
Possibly never tried it
5. Right now what is a good value SSD at 128GBs in Aus. A lot of users were running into G.Skill trouble. Did that fix itself? Whatever I buy if it stuffs up I don't want to have to wait 7 weeks for a replacement like xerodude did.
I found the OCZ Vertex to be the best value/performance unit at the time so I purchased it, haven't looked as I bought the MPB Unibody with the Apple SSD already.
6. Can I get an optibay and put it in that and have it as my startup disk or do I have to change my 500GB HDD to the optibay and then put the SSD in the main SATA slot?
Better putting the SSD into the main bay and the 500GB into the Optibay.
7. Does the Optibay support 12.5mm? No Idea
8. Is it ok to have the 2nd 500GB HDD as another disk and use it for data like downloads, iPhoto library and itunes and not have it RAID 0 or 1?
What I want is to run my Apps of the SSD and put my iPhoto library and my itunes and docs etc. on the HDD as they take up a lot of space.
Whatever tickles your fancy
9. Best place to buy an Optibay from for a cheap price?
No Idea
10. Any Optibay alternatives you recommend?
Depends if you are away from home a lot then an external Firewire 800 enclosure with a drive. If you are home you may want to consider a QNAP NAS for shit load of storage

Sebastianmonty
31st March 2010, 11:39 PM
To restore full speed on most SSDs in a case where TRIM isn't possible to be used, then you can always back everything up (Time Machine or similar), format, do a clean install, then restore from your backup.

Yeah Bennyling, I thought that to be the case but "apparently" it's not. I use these "" as I would need to try it or have someone who has tried it to personally to confirm.

Per this:Macintosh Performance Guide: Reconditioning a Solid State Drive (SSD) (http://macperformanceguide.com/Storage-SSD-Reconditioning.html)
(at the bottom) you need to erase, and then erase free space and then clone back or use his software.
Zeroing out once over would do the same thing though as the erase and erase free space now wouldn't it.
How it gets confusing in my mind is because the SSD, the flash chips, are zeroed out yet does the controller know that it can "forget" the address to all the data in the cells. TRIM is what tells the controller to forget the address to cells which no longer have data in them.

Anyway your input is appreciated. Have you needed to erase your SSD, and if so was the speed back to 100%?

gr8bob
1st April 2010, 02:01 AM
Been running a G.Skill Falcon 128GB in an Optibay in addition to the stock HDD. The SSD host the OS and a majority of 'speed sensitive files' (e.g. Lightroom Library Database). After almost 6 months of using this setup on my Macbook Pro, I must say that the speed novelty had rubbed off me a few months back.

Prior to this, the Falcon only had TRIM support via their supplied 'wiper' application. This being Mac OS, obviously support was left out.

With the recent firmware release, the 'Garbage Collection' algorithm was supposedly being implemented within the low-level firmware itself. I know XBench results can be a bit erratic at times, but I've had a clean re-install about two weeks back and did some tests along the way.

Firmware upgraded, fresh re-install
http://img.skitch.com/20100331-1b5nmrj2aeyqnkiyqkusarn6am.jpg

After (approximately) two weeks of moderate use
http://img.skitch.com/20100331-epif89fjpstx6bk6j95b5btpnb.jpg

xerodude
1st April 2010, 08:13 AM
Very interesting thread.......

Over the past five months I have had the chance to play with three brands of SSD:

- G.Skill,
- OWC Mercury Extreme,
- Corsair P256

And in that time I have had three drives completely fail, and a forth fail to function as advertised. That is a pretty shitty score...!!!

In terms of performance, I have benchmarked all my drives (just search my username) and found without doubt that the Sandforce controller is stinking fast with 269MB/s reads and 225MB/s writes on my MBPro 5.2 2009 model. I have even had the chance to RAID a pair of SSD's to see how that would run, and to be honest, they benchmark faster, but the laptop barely ran faster. I suspect that I hit a limit somewhere......

A few things we, as Mac users, need to very aware of when it comes to this form of technology.

1: Almost no Maker really supports Apple.

My experience on sifting through support forums leads me to believe that as we are the minority, no one really cares. Corsair constantly fob Mac users off by saying that the firmware is Samsung's issue, and we have no say. Go talk to Apple. Simply put, if you have a Mac, expect little support.

2: Garbage Collection is important.

By the nature of the SSD and the way it writes, GC (TRIM) is important to maintain the write performance. Anandtech have a great series of article explaining SSD technology, I suggest you read it. The BIG issue is again, no Mac support.

TRIM is purely a Windows thing in conjunction with the SSD's firmware. GC is a firmware subroutine that in some cases is reliant on the format of the filesystem. Again, if you run Windows, GC may work due to the NTFS filesystem.

The Sandforce controller (OCZ & OWC) is supposedly able to manage GC without concern.

3: Tweaks, hacks and bullshit.

This is where it starts to get crazy. In order to run an SSD effectively, you need to consider some tweaks. The two main ones are:

- Set hibernatemode to zero. This tweak has been around for ages, and is even used by some with platter hdds. I certainly have used it for years, well before SSDs. The mode zero prevents the contents of ram being written to the drive upon sleep. In the case of a platter drive, it is great as you do not wait ages as the Mac writes 8 gig of ram to the drive...!!!! YAWN....!!!!! But for the ssd, you want to avoid writes. This "wears" out the ssd. This is a good tweak for any Mac user INHO..... Use SmartSleep for this tweak.

- Uncheck "Put the HDD's to sleep when possible" in Energy settings. I have NEVER worried about this, and have NOT found it to make a scrap of difference. I also have no idea why you would bother.

If you are a Windows user with an SSD, add a boatload more tweaks here.

4: Sleep Mode.

This seems to be the killer. I have trashed two drive (G.Skill and OWC) and sent back another for refund (2nd OWC) because of Sleep issues. The issue is that the drives do not seem to wake up from sleep. This means a reboot. And to be told by a supplier not to use sleep or use the above tweaks as a solution is plain stupid.

5: Write slowdowns.

This is a fact of life it seems in most drives, so get over it. I think it sucks, but as Mac users we are screwed until someone solves this for us. The only way to effectively restore performance is to wipe (erase the memory cells to an empty state) the SSD. And then restore a clone. Note, I mean empty the memory cell, not put a zero in it.

My SSD Story...

First G.Skill lasted six weeks. The MBPro failed to wake from sleep, and on reboot I got the flashing folder. The drive had completely failed.

I then bought a Corsair P256 while I waited for the G.Skill replacement. The Corsair has been really solid so far. In both a windows and Mac environment.

After seven weeks, the new G.Skill turned up. It lasted three days. I tried to erase the drive, and it just failed. Money back on that disaster.

Next was an OWC Sandforce SSD. This this is simply the best performing drive I have ever seen. It is stinking fast. Trouble was, OWC started getting reports of failures, so they contacted me to inform me that a solution was being investigated, and not to use sleep. No matter, it died a couple of days later anyway. A replacement with new firmware was sent, and it failed to wake from sleep about 20% of the time. Again, this is useless. OWC's answer was to use the above tweaks. Again, useless, so I sent it back for a refund.

And now I am using the Corsair SSD. It has been solid so far. Mind you after saying that, it will probably explode..!!!

Hope this helps....

xerodude
1st April 2010, 08:58 AM
Further info......

Anandtech article on SSDs. (http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738)

SSD Controllers. (http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?t=781651)

Sebastianmonty
1st April 2010, 04:23 PM
5: Write slowdowns.

This is a fact of life it seems in most drives, so get over it. I think it sucks, but as Mac users we are screwed until someone solves this for us. The only way to effectively restore performance is to wipe (erase the memory cells to an empty state) the SSD. And then restore a clone. Note, I mean empty the memory cell, not put a zero in it.


Your info is great. I have been reading lots on Home - AnandTech :: Your Source for Hardware Analysis and News (http://www.anandtech.com) and have been getting heaps of info on the best SSD. Still seems to be Intel G2 as the others aren't too stable.

Anyway I was interested in how you happen to, "empty the memory cell, not put a zero in it".
This guys way seems to restore speed. Macintosh Performance Guide: Reconditioning a Solid State Drive (SSD) (http://macperformanceguide.com/Storage-SSD-Reconditioning.html)

How would you do it without a Windows TRIM computer?

xerodude
1st April 2010, 05:32 PM
Some manufacturers like Corsair have DOS utilities that wipe the drives. The one I use with the Corsair drive is HDDerase. Again, these utilities are for windows orientated systems only. I had to remove the ssd from the MBPro, and shove it into a windows laptop.

Just filling an SSD with zeros does not (as I understand it) solve anything regarding the write slowdown. You need to consider the concept of how the SSD writes relating to blocks. It is a rather complex system.

Utilities like HDDerase are tricky as they use hard disk firmware commands to solve the speed issue. Well, that's how I interpret the info...!!!

:)

Sebastianmonty
2nd April 2010, 01:22 PM
Hm, thanks for the answer. I understand the technology as you said. However this guy(post 1)
Apple - Support - Discussions - How are you recovering your SSD write ... (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=10961631&#10961631)
recommends this software
Macintosh Performance Guide: DiskTester ? Testing Performance and Reliability (http://macperformanceguide.com/Software-DiskTester.html) and it apparently gets the desired result.
TRIMing it is such a hassle. I don't own a windows computer. Many don't. Also I assume you had to erase the SSD as they normally only sort out NTFS file systems.
Is that the case with your Corsair?

xerodude
2nd April 2010, 01:59 PM
TRIM is 100% useless for us as we don't use a Windows filesystem. Maybe one day someone like Apple will get together with SSD manufacturers to sort this out. We can only hope and pray.

I had a look at the Disktester app, and it is interesting to read the instructions and manual. The "recondition" command is not well documented, so what it is really doing is unknown to me. What I read is that it is fiddling with blocks to achieve a result. And this goes back to how the SSD writes data.

Please note too, it recommends that you erase the SSD and then perform a recondition. So you are back to the concept of completely wiping the drive and restoring a clone. A scenario that really is a PITA. This should never be required. But until the technology gets better and the firmware smarter, the reality is (sadly) that SSDs are a compromise.

But they are really fast, and addictive...!!!

Sebastianmonty
3rd April 2010, 09:02 AM
Here's a question I googled to no avail.
If I buy an SSD that supports TRIM, or manual TRIM or has the Wiper App and XP supports those, or one of those things, can I use Parrallels to TRIM the drive.

Situation.
Boot from cloned drive.
Run Parallels.
Plug in SSD via a drive dock or in my case the Newer Tech drive apapter Newer Tech USB2.0 Universal Drive Adaptor - Epowermac (http://www.epowermac.com.au/shop/pc/Newer-Tech-USB2-0-Universal-Drive-Adaptor-608p882.htm)
Format to NTFS
Run TRIM
Eject Disk
Open disk in OS X disk utility
Change to HFS+
Clone back drive.

Would that all work?

EDIT: Haven't found any info other than this GSKILL TECH FORUM - View Single Post - [only for Falcon Series]wiper.exe - TRIM COMMAND for Falcon Series SSD (http://gskill.us/forum/showpost.php?p=3021&postcount=1)

So at this stage I would have to say no, unless(read the link) I can make it disk0.

xerodude
3rd April 2010, 09:39 AM
At this point in SSD evolution, I believe there are only three options to consider regarding the write slowdown:

1: Buy a drive that internally deals with the issue,

Drives like the Sandforce controller are designed to internally deal with write slowdowns via firmware. Trouble with these controllers, both OCZ & OWC, is buggy firmware that creates wake from sleep dramas. I am not sure if any drive to date can deal with Garbage Collection and the Apple format.

2: Buy a drive that has a "toolkit" to externally deal with the issue,

Some drives have apps either DOS or OS level that can clean cells. You mentioned some of them. As a Mac user, we are kind of screwed as very few of these will allow a Mac to boot in a DOS or Linux mode to clean the drive. Therefore we need to remove the drive and whack it into another Windows based laptop.

3: Sell you Mac and buy a Win7 laptop that supports TRIM. (Joking...!!!)

It seems that nearly all SSD development is biased towards Win7 for now. We are a poor second in that respect.

Sebastianmonty
8th April 2010, 06:31 PM
Well I have just purchased a G.skill Falcon 128GB. I have been all over the web and will provide all the links and info once finished but ultimately I have decided on a SSD and a HDD.

RAID 0 with 2 x 2.5 Hitachi 7200rpm 500GB drives(these are the fastest drives for laptops) does not seem to give awesome results in RAID0 and doesn't seem to be worth it.
There is a 25% gain in things like sequential but random 4k access seems to drop.

RAID 0 with 2 x SSDs is already known to give great results but with poor stability and a little performance over one SSD in real world tests.

The best SSD I have researched to be is the Intel yet with Intel set to release new SSDs in Q4 2010 I wouldn't really recommend a purchase as the prices are still high. It's about $880AU for 160GBs but the write speed isn't as high as new SSDs on the market. It's very reliable and very fast but just so expensive.

I went for the G.Skill 128GB Falcon Series. It was $436 with 230MB red and 190MB write speeds. The G.Skill Falcon II is cheaper by about $30 but doesn't offer the same speeds.

As for cheaper alternatives to the optibay they do exist and I will publish my findings once it arrives and I am sure it fits.

Sebastianmonty
8th April 2010, 11:41 PM
Finally got my G.Skill working.

Results 196.00
System Info
Xbench Version 1.3
System Version 10.6.2 (10C540)
Physical RAM 4096 MB
Model MacBookPro5,2
Drive Type G.SKILL FALCON 128GB SSD
CPU Test 197.46
GCD Loop 327.04 17.24 Mops/sec
Floating Point Basic 159.51 3.79 Gflop/sec
vecLib FFT 129.14 4.26 Gflop/sec
Floating Point Library 313.81 54.64 Mops/sec
Thread Test 262.60
Computation 484.25 9.81 Mops/sec, 4 threads
Lock Contention 180.14 7.75 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads
Memory Test 195.19
System 251.66
Allocate 454.69 1.67 Malloc/sec
Fill 193.03 9385.57 MB/sec
Copy 220.21 4548.45 MB/sec
Stream 159.42
Copy 151.99 3139.38 MB/sec
Scale 159.58 3296.92 MB/sec
Add 173.54 3696.85 MB/sec
Triad 154.26 3300.06 MB/sec
Quartz Graphics Test 222.97
Line 188.77 12.57 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
Rectangle 257.64 76.92 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
Circle 219.78 17.91 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
Bezier 227.52 5.74 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
Text 232.53 14.55 Kchars/sec
OpenGL Graphics Test 100.08
Spinning Squares 100.08 126.96 frames/sec
User Interface Test 320.83
Elements 320.83 1.47 Krefresh/sec
Disk Test 242.42
Sequential 197.52
Uncached Write 200.95 123.38 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 222.08 125.65 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 120.86 35.37 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 400.28 201.18 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Random 313.73
Uncached Write 113.91 12.06 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 426.30 136.47 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 2281.63 16.17 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 842.28 156.29 MB/sec [256K blocks]


I was expecting this but it is still sooo good. I will run it once a month to see degradation.

Sebastianmonty
12th April 2010, 01:33 PM
Have finally got my Optibay. It's actually not an Optibay. It's a Fenvi Caddy. Shenzhen Fenvi Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. (http://www.fenvi.com/en/products/?type_one_id=12&type_two_id=33)

Basically the same only know instructions which meant it wasn't easy to install on my 17 UMBP.
I was just scared of this and that and static and eventually I found enough videos and documents to give me the idea.
I had been given a few hints which was appreciated yet were not applicable to my model.
Anyway finally I have it in my MBP which is great.

Does any user know if the 2nd hard drive will sleep properly? As it uses the DVD sata I am not sure on the limitations or if some terminal work is needed.

Anyway Xbench scores with them both in my MBP
SSD in HDD slot: 246.41
2.5 500GB 5400rpm in DVD slot: 49.42

xerodude
12th April 2010, 07:17 PM
It should be just fine. The drive I had in an optibay worked without issue.

Steve_D
25th February 2011, 10:17 PM
Just finally saw this thread.

7. Does the Optibay support 12.5mm? I know the new unibody MBPS can put a 12.5mm in the normal HD spot as people have done it safely.

Yes the 12mm drives fit into all Macbook/pro unibody models.
Giving you options of using the 750GB and 1TB WD drives, But if you want reliability i would recommend going the Seagate models.

As for the cheaper Optibays, just get an Ebay adapter. They are the same as the Optibays at a 1/4 of the price. Main difference being they dont always screw the drive into the adapter but use clips or some times double sided tape.
Either way i have had no problems with mine and it only cost me $25 delivered.

The main issue that you may find with 2nd HD bays is setting up the OS so that you place your home folder onto the other drive to save space on your SSD.

More details on the front page in the excellent article Raj has written up...
MacTalk - Tutorial: How to install an SSD in your MacBook Pro (http://www.mactalk.com.au/content/tutorial-how-install-ssd-your-macbook-pro-1411/)