Apple Compatible SSD Reviews and News

Fastest SATA SSD For Mac In 2018 - Your Best Choice Is...

The number of solid-state SATA interface SSD drives on the market is staggering. You have nearly a dozen brand names dominating the market, then two dozen more 2nd-Tier, 'No-Name' brands packaging 'Me Too' OEM reference designs basically using the same chipsets and NAND flash memory - all with largely identical 2nd-Tier 'Me Too' performance with different labels on the outside.

2.5" SATA III Laptop 860 SSD

Sequential Read/Write Speeds : 560 / 530 MBps


But here you have the Market Leader, the pretty much uncontested top of the Benchmark-Winner's heap: Samsung's Recent EVO Series - the SATA III 860 EVO as your optimal choice for a MacBook laptop or Mac desktop SSD upgrade - or for use in a Mac compatible external Thunderbolt or USB 3.0/3.1 DIY backup drive you can assemble in minutes.

M.2 SATA Form Factor 860 SSD

Sequential Read/Write Speeds : 560 / 530 MBps


There are also mSATA (below) and M.2 (above) form-factor 860 EVO SSD blades for those who want to build a compact 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen2 USB-C or 5Gbps USB 3.0 external backup drive for MacOS, TimeMachine or other Mac file storage needs. All pretty much MAX-OUT the full bandwidth of 6Gbps SATA III interface. For better Read/Write performance you have to make the leap to PCIe interface NVMe drives featured elsewhere on this site.


mSATA Form Factor 860 SSD

Sequential Read/Write Speeds : 560 / 530 MBps


For the extra 10 or 20 bucks of the Samsung drives over other brands, you'll get peak Read / Write speeds, mature firmware, highly efficient mapping and management of memory cells and a long 5 year warranty to reassure buyers they made the best choice. Simply stated, forget the rest, buy the best. You won't regret it.

OCZ Vertex - Apex - Solid SSD Performance Chart

Here's a CLEAR-CUT chart direct from OCZ's website breaking down performance, controller chipset, and sizes of their 3 main SSD products. The only thing missing on this graph might be to note the value end Solid Series SSD includes a Mini USB 2.0 port which can come in very handy for cloning your Mac System or externally installing OS X and restoring data before installing in your MacBook, iMac, Pro Tower or Mac mini.

Also note the Vertex is the only one with (sadly, Windows PC required) firmware upgrade jumper - and that there's no 30GB Apex model because of it'sdual JMicron controller design for an INTERNAL RAID 0 config - meaning it's basically 2 30GB banks of MLC NAND flash teamed up to provide the 60GB of capacity.

ocz-performance-scale

SSD's For Macs : ATA vs SATA I vs SATA II Support

Still digging for a clear-cut answer to this: Exactly which Apple computers-10480544" width="1" height="1" border="0"/> support built-in SATA II speeds vs SATA I ? This issue is starting to matter as solid-state flash SSD's maximum peak read speeds and to a lesser degree - the slightly slower write speeds are beginning to encroach on the maximum bandwidth of the current SATA II spec. Fortunately, the backward compatibility of the Serial ATA specs insures your SSD will simply run at the fastest clip your motherboard chipset allows regardless.

Find which Macs support SATA II SSD's
Download MACTRACKER - A great reference of Apple system specs to get specific SATA bus speed info for specific models. Apple started using SATA II in Late 2007 only on very select Macs. As of this writing, only the recently revised 2009 'Classic' white MacBook still uses SATA I - and only the newest 5-USB-Port Mac Mini of 2009 finally added SATA II support. MacTracker will also point out the fine distinctions of when and exactly which models made the switch from ATA drive interfaces to SATA I.

It's important to note that the quoted transfer rates of SSD's in Press Releases, Product Listings, or even on this site are PEAK numbers only on SEQUENTIAL types of read/writes - often more theoretical than real world throughput the average user will experience. The RANDOM read/write numbers are markedly lower - especially random writes. Oh but what do you care? Unless you absolutely went out of your way to research and upgrade your existing mechanical hard drive to top of the line models - ANY current-generation SSD is going to feel faster than what your Mac came with.

Be aware, often benchmarking articles and SSD reviews are deceiving: the Tweak Geeks often pit the latest top of the line SSD they're testing against the absolutely fastest platter drives known to man such as Samsung's F1, WD's Velociraptor, or Seagate's Barracuda ultra-high RPM drives that the majority of us do NOT have installed in our computers. That doesn't really show the difference an SSD can make over the stock, often Middle-Of-The-Road performing drive Apple included in your Macintosh.



SATA 1.5 Gbit/s
SATA 3 Gbit/s
Frequency
1.5 GHz
3 GHz
Bits/clock
1
1
8b/10b encoding80%
80%
bits/Byte
8
8
Real speed
150 MB/s
300 MB/s