The State Of Solid-State Mac SSD Drives
Filed in: Apple SSD Upgrade
A handful of years ago, back when solid-state disk drives were still very much an emerging technology, I just knew in my gut that someday they’d be a very important part of the Macintosh future. When I registered mac-ssd-drives.com there really wasn’t a consumer market for SSD storage. Solid-State flash memory drives were being made by a handful of companies for mostly industrial and military use in environments where shock, heat, vibration were deadly to conventional mechanical spinning-platter hard drives. The cost per Gigabyte was staggering.
Back then, the available sizes of SSD’s were commonly a mere 4GB, 8GB, or astronomically priced 16GB drives. And even those drives used the now nearly obsolete IDE-ATA interface that were once standard on Mac’s and PC’s prior to 2008. Even though they generally were noticeably faster than mechanical HDD’s at reading data, their write speeds were often HALF that. Starting up your Mac or launching apps on an SSD were definitely snappier, but saving files or writing data could slow to an absolute crawl.
As the SATA - Serial-ATA drive interface standard emerged, NAND flash memory technology started making very rapid improvements: From expensive but durable Single-Layer SLC to cheaper Multi-Layer MLC. The controller chips on the drives got faster and smarter, and organizing ‘banks’ of flash memory over multiple channels allowed BOTH reads and writes to make significant leaps. Soon SSD drives started to become not just feasible but highly desirable to the computer hobbyist and geek community.
Soon, the consumer SSD drive market started to explode, and I was hard-pressed to keep up with all the technology changes and product introductions as both PC and Mac compatible SSD drives started to become a commodity, off-the-shelf item at BestBuy or Frye’s.
Long story short? Few others have even attempted to create a MAC-SPECIFIC website focused and devoted to solid-state storage on the Mac. Though I’ll never be able to match sites such as AnandTech or DriveStorageReviews for the minutia and deep-geek SSD benchmark data their labs provide - I can at least continue to add my Apple-centric take on the state of solid-state storage for the Mac community. Over the next couple of days I’m going to give this Mac SSD drive site a thorough once-over to get it’s pages up to date. I’ll focus on some of the best SSD price deals for MacBook, Mac mini, Macintosh Pro and iMac SSD drive upgrade options currently out there that are delivering incredible read/write speeds at very affordable prices.
As many have discovered, a Mac SSD upgrade of your internal mechanical hard drive is the single best performance and productivity upgrade you’ll ever experience. It can help breathe new life into an aging Mac and extend it’s useful life for as little as $100.