SSD for a mid 2010 MacBook Pro
March 19, 2013 11:16 PM   Subscribe

Just did my taxes, and I'm getting a refund! Help me pick out the right SSD for my aging laptop...

I have a mid 2010 MacBook Pro, 17" (MacBookPro6,1). I'm not going to upgrade the laptop because I really love the 17" and Apple isn't offering any 17" laptops at the moment. It's working fine, 8GB RAM, and I figure I can easily squeeze another couple years out of it with an SSD upgrade.

I want at least 500GB, reliability is the top priority, then speed. Normally I'd just go out and by the best one rated, but I realized I have SATA II, not III. A lot of reviews seem to be assuming SATA III.

I'd rather not waste my money by putting in a much faster drive than my interface can support (3Gb/sec). So what do you guys recommend for someone with this limitation?

OS X 10.8.3 if it matters. I run Windows 8, but always in VMware and not through Bootcamp. So that shouldn't matter.
posted by sbutler to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't think there is a 512gb SATA II, at least for less than a III. I think you should just get a modern Crucial drive and take it with you to your next computer if you happen to upgrade before it is time for a new drive.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-148-450&IsVirtualParent=1

That's the one I purchased after some research. It's not the absolute best but the value is good and it's highly reliable and popular.
posted by michaelh at 11:36 PM on March 19, 2013


This year-old article tests how SATA III drives do at SATA II speeds. Basically, the latest SATA III drives are all about the same speed when on a SATA II port, so you should just go by price and reliability.

Anecdotal evidence for drive reliability puts Intel, Crucial, and Samsung at the top. Some people rag on OCZ drives but I've had a couple in a Mac for 2+ years with no problems.

Oh, and don't forget to run TRIM Enabler after every OS version upgrade for the best performance and longevity.

Good luck, this should be a great upgrade for that machine!
posted by zsazsa at 11:39 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Crucial drive is great. I've used them everywhere and they're fantastic and great for the price.
posted by disillusioned at 12:07 AM on March 20, 2013


I have an even older laptop - with Sata I and still bought a SATA III disk when I upgraded to an SSD. I did this for two reasons, first SATA II/I disks did not seem to be much cheaper (maybe !0% at best). Second, as I understand it a significant advantage of SSD disks is in the rapid access of small files that would not tax even an old SATA connection in bandwidth, the SATA II disks on the market seemed to use very cheap/low-end parts that had slower access times for small files as well as for big ones. It seemed like getting a modern SATA III drive like the samsung 840 (for example) would probably offer benefits in performance over SATA II drives and no disadvantages, for only a very minor (if any) cost difference. I've been extremely happy with the noticeable speed boost it has given me even on this 2007 macbook.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 1:07 AM on March 20, 2013


I have a MacBookPro 6,2, the 15" model. I have an OCZ Agility 3 drive I picked up for something cheapish -- I'm sorry but I've forgotten the price. It's been great for me so far.

For me, price was more of a concern than speed so this was a good pick. It made such a difference to this machine!
posted by raena at 4:21 AM on March 20, 2013


How about swapping out the DVD drive for a smallish SSD 128GB -- put the OS & apps on that drive, then get a big conventional drive for your data? Did this over a year ago via OWC in a bundle that included an external case for the DVD drive.
posted by omnidrew at 6:36 AM on March 20, 2013


I'd read good things about the Crucial M4; before posting this it was either that or the Samsung 840. Didn't even think about possibly moving this to another machine in the future!

Thanks guys.
posted by sbutler at 8:53 AM on March 20, 2013


don't forget to run TRIM Enabler after every OS version upgrade for the best performance and longevity.

That's slightly contentious, as most modern SSD controllers have built-in garbage collection and you'll get varying reports of performance/reliability with TRIM enabled. Probably best to do a search related to the specific drive you buy to see what other users have found.
posted by holgate at 10:57 AM on March 20, 2013


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