Customer Review

570 of 601 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works great in 2011 Macbook Pro (and mid-2012 MBP), August 30, 2011
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This review is from: Crucial m4 256GB 2.5-Inch (9.5mm) SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive CT256M4SSD2 (Personal Computers)
I originally wrote a glowing review about this SSD which I purchased about 6 months ago and after updating this review so many times it became cluttered. I still stick to my 5-star review but I'm going to reorganize this review for the sake of everyone else out there.

Before I get started, this review is for the 256GB model. The Sequential Write speeds (as advertised by Crucial) vary between the models:
64GB model: 95 MB/sec; 128GB model: 175 MB/sec; 256GB model: 260 MB/sec; 512GB model: 260 MB/sec.

This drive was installed in my current 13" Macbook Pro and I have had excellent results. After 6 months: No hang ups; no problems going in and out of sleep; everything is SO much faster. Bootup is less than 30 seconds; Firefox opens nearly instantly; About this Mac loads instantly; Disk Utility permission repair runs in under a minute; multitasking is smoother; just overall snappiness. The first thing I showed to a friend when he scoffed at the price was to open every single app in my dock at once (multiple browsers, the CS-3 suite, final cut, all of the iLife programs, LibreOffice). While on my old HDD I probably would have sat there loading forever, this time I didn't even get a pinwheel. Even my websites would load quicker. I've noticed my system backups are quicker when writing to an external harddrive using a Firewire 800 port, and my DVD ripping is about 15% quicker.

I always see people saying that a huge benefit of an SSD is better battery life. I've noticed almost no change in real world usage although I'm sure there is a minimal difference. Don't expect your battery life to change dramatically though. My computer is significantly quieter (and has less vibrations) which is very nice when I'm watching a movie late at night.

A huge selling point for the M4 is a three year warranty and the fact that it is SATA III (which my macbook pro supports; not sure about previous models). The additional throughput allows for a huge speed increase. It's predecessor - the C300 - was highly regarded and I've had great luck with Crucial so I'm confident that this was a good purchase.

Info about M4's firmware:
I bought this while running OS 10.6.8 and ran Rev 0001 firmware. I had no problems at all but eventually upgraded to Rev 0002. Soon after Rev 0009 came out which I then upgraded to as well and have been using for about 5 months so that's what the majority of my review is based on. There was a large speed difference when running benchmark software between Rev 0009 and previous firmware but real world difference could be another thing. To upgrade firmware just download from the Crucial website, burn to CD, and boot from the CD. It's all very very simple.

Regarding TRIM:
While I was running Snow Leopard 10.6.8, TRIM was listed as disabled. I've heard it was because only Apple-branded SSDs will turn on TRIM, but there is software floating around to enable TRIM support. I chose not to run the software because I didn't know the developer but it could be perfectly fine. I ended up upgrading to Lion 10.7 (now 10.7.3) and TRIM is still listed as disabled. Someone in the comments below mentions to search "enable trim mactrast" and follow the directions to enable TRIM. I followed the directions on the site and now TRIM is supported. TRIM is important for wear leveling and to prevent a decrease in speed overtime and the directions take all of 2 minutes to follow so it's highly recommended.

Optimizing your SSD: I haven't seen much that will make a difference but the first thing I did was disable the Sudden Motion Sensor. I also went into Energy Saver and turned off "put hard disks to sleep when possible." Then I repaired disk permissions and verified the disk in Disk Utility for a final time. I've heard of disabling Spotlight, but I use it so I decided against it.

Regarding Windows 7 and Bootcamp: Some people have luck with Winclone to copy their Windows 7 partition from Bootcamp. I didn't have luck but I'm not overly concerned since I don't want to give up 20GB of space (minimal size Boot Camp Assistant allows) for an OS I don't really need and rarely use. This isn't a problem related to the SSD, but I just thought I'd mention that.

Still speedy, average about 12 hours of use per day. For those looking for some Macbook Pro specs:
Results 443.78
System Info
Xbench Version 1.3
System Version 10.7.3 (11D50b)
Physical RAM 8192 MB
Model MacBookPro8,1
Drive Type M4-CT256M4SSD2
Disk Test 443.78
Sequential 272.50
Uncached Write 465.35 285.72 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 444.25 251.35 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 112.01 32.78 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 740.20 372.02 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Random 1194.66
Uncached Write 1095.88 116.01 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 816.10 261.26 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 2098.55 14.87 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 1362.67 252.85 MB/sec [256K blocks]

Follow Up, Aug 30th:
Over the past weekend I've had consistent spinning beach balls and system freezes. I also upgraded to 10.8.1 last week which I assume has something to do with it. After a few days of panic at the thought of replacing my hard drive I decided to try updating the firmware from Rev 0009 to 0309. Currently running 0309 for the past 12 hours without any hang ups like before. I'm not sure what the problem was but 0309 appears to be the firmware to run for macbooks running OS X.
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Comments

Tracked by 11 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 35 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 14, 2011 2:47:51 AM PDT
Does the box includes a Data Transfer Kit? Is this different - Crucial m4 256GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s with Data Transfer Kit CT256M4SSD2CCA

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2011 12:36:53 PM PDT
J. Z. says:
There wasn't any other hardware in the box; you'd need to buy the transfer kit (like the bundle you linked to) or use an external harddrive case if you need to transfer data. I used this one with excellent results:
Eagle Tech ET-CS2MSU2-BK 2.5-Inch SATA to USB Portable HDD Enclosure (Mesh)

Posted on Feb 24, 2012 9:08:29 PM PST
Robert says:
Any new updates? Also, should try XBench. It's a fee performance testing tool for Macs.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2012 11:36:56 AM PST
J. Z. says:
I was hesitant to post any of those spec programs since the rating system can be arbitrary, but here are my Xbench results when running just for the harddrive. I have Spotify and a few other apps running.

Results 443.78
System Info
Xbench Version 1.3
System Version 10.7.3 (11D50b)
Physical RAM 8192 MB
Model MacBookPro8,1
Drive Type M4-CT256M4SSD2
Disk Test 443.78
Sequential 272.50
Uncached Write 465.35 285.72 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 444.25 251.35 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 112.01 32.78 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 740.20 372.02 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Random 1194.66
Uncached Write 1095.88 116.01 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 816.10 261.26 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 2098.55 14.87 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 1362.67 252.85 MB/sec [256K blocks]

Posted on Mar 15, 2012 8:58:29 PM PDT
Joey says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Mar 23, 2012 6:19:33 AM PDT
Scott K says:
I know you posted this a while ago, but I wanted to let you know (if you havent already found out) you can easily enable TRIM by simply opening the Console and pasting a few commands in it and rebooting. the commands can be found in a document if you just google search "enable trim mactrast" its the first result. i've found every time Lion updates the bios that it resets it, and i just re-run the commands again.

also if you want the best performance from an SSD its best to do a clean install and not a copy-clone, especially for windows. I would also disable Spotlight, which i think is also another console command that can be found on google.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 1:19:00 PM PDT
Blue Pen says:
If disabling Spotlight is recommended, that's a good reason for not getting an SSD, but what reason have you for writing this? There are many system functions that now depend on Spotlight, such as text search in Mail.

Posted on Apr 9, 2012 4:47:18 PM PDT
K. LAU says:
Is your MacBook Pro showing a negotiated link speed of 6 Gigabit under System Profiler?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2012 5:01:35 PM PDT
J. Z. says:
Yes.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 11:37:06 AM PDT
Michael says:
Additionally, the Mac App Store won't give you notifications about updates to your applications if Spotlight is disabled.
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