Apple Compatible SSD Reviews and News SuperTalent SSD vs Velociraptor

The Mobo-Bear: Elric Phares over at did a nice real-word and straight-forward video of a Super Talent FTM28GX25H 2.5-Inch 128GB UltraDrive ME SATA2 Solid State Drive vs one of the absolute fastest traditional spinning platter drives: the WD Velociraptor 150 - on Apple Mac's running OSX. This clip should tell you all you need to know: This Super Talent solid-state drive beats the pants off the best 'old fashioned' disk drive made. So what are you waiting for?

MacBook Pro SATA Bottleneck Firmware Fix

Oh it was all a brief TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT as hardcore SSD 'enthusiasts' found some speed limits in the only-just-shipping 2009 MacBookPro's SATA controller. Well, to stop all the WHINING - Apple released a Firmware update to shut them up. So there. We now have a fix, those of you who just had to have the barely a week old MacBook Pro, and just had to gut it and slap in a high-end SATA II class bleeding edge SSD - and just had to whine about reduced performance: Here ya go. Download it, run it, and resume measuring your weenies:

"MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.7 addresses an issue reported by a small number of customers using drives based on the SATA 3Gbps specification with the June 2009 MacBook Pro. While this update allows drives to use transfer rates greater than 1.5Gbps, Apple has not qualified or offered these drives for Mac notebooks and their use is unsupported."

Slim Pickings: Where's Hardcore SSD Benchmarks For Mac OSX?

It seems only the Windows - and occasionally Linux folk have the equipment, time, patience and funding to really deep-bench the assault of SSD's hitting the marketplace. (Having good PR and industry connections sending you freebie SSD's to test doesn't hurt either...) Over on the Mac side, MacWorld is likely the only Mac-specific resource to have the lab to benchmark things on that level - but I've yet to see them tackle SSD benchmarking on Mac OSX like they should. In the meantime, Rob over at Bare Feats puts tons of Mac hard drive options thru their paces in more detail than any one else on the Apple side of things.

Over on ZDnet, Jason D. O'Grady gives his take on benchmarks of OSX 10.5.6 on a Runcore brand SSD in a high-end 2.4Ghz MacBook Pro over the MacBook's stock 5400 RPM Western Digital Blue series drive:

"As you can see from the results table the Runcore Pro IV almost doubled the HDD’s performance in sequential reads and writes... But that’s only the beginning. The Pro IV slaughtered the standard SATA HDD in random reads where it’s six times faster and in random writes where its over three times faster. When tested moving larger files (2-10MB and 20-100MB) the SSD more than doubles the performance of the HDD.
So there you have it, the Runcore Pro IV delivers up to 6x more performance over a standard HDD. If you’re a professional that uses your notebook for 8+ hours a day to earn a living you really can’t afford not to have a Runcore SSD."
Numbers freaks should check out Jason's post above, but the words in bold here tell most what you need to know: The current crop of SSD drives are running circles around the average hard drive - and can and will dramatically increase your productivity.

SSD's Tested @ Benchmark Reviews continues to provide some of the most exhaustive and extensive testing, benchmarking, and analysis of Solid-State drive performance. Deep Geek numbers type folk may wish to explore some of the following linked articles to SSD's tested and reviewed so far:

Benchmarks of OCZ Vertex on Mac OSX

For SSD benchmark freaks: Here's an absolutely great post at the OCZ Technology Forums: Macintosh based SSD tests run on a Vertex Series SSD in a Unibody MacBook.

Benchmarked are Apple's Mac OS X Version 10.5.6 Leopard as well as Windows 7 running via Apple's BootCamp - and also compares the OCX Vertex Series SSD laptop drives to an excellent alternative to an SSD, one of the fastest conventional platter SATA drives: the WD Scorpio Series Hard Drive 2.5" spinning disk drives.

Impressive SSD read-write numbers, app launch timings, and SSD speed improvements are detailed. If you weren't sure if you were ready for a solid-state drive on your Macintosh - this should convince you. Here's a tidbit on launch times of Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 - which has become quite big and bloated:

1st run (WD Scorpio HDD)1st run (OCZ Vertex SSD)
18.6 sec
5 sec
Mac Excel
5.1 sec
2.2 sec
MS Word
8.5 sec
2.1 sec
4.9 sec
3.5 sec