Mac Compatible SSD Solid-State Hard DrivesFlash memory SSD drives for Macintosh aren't the future of disk storage. They're here today! All currently manufactured SSD's in 2013 are now 2x-5x FASTER than the fastest spinning platter drives available. The performance benefits of running your Mac on a Solid-State disk are dramatic and real. Starting up your computer, launching apps, installing programs and updates on an SSD happens in typically a fourth the time. Until you experience the delicious speed of solid-state storage, you just don't know how swift and smooth your Mac computing experience could be!
Best SSD's For Mac : Top Performing DrivesThese 2.5" SATA III interface drives feature the latest controller chips and flash memory from Intel, Indilinx, Marvell and others. In benchmark after benchmark, OCZ's latest drives usually perform at the top of the pack for BOTH overall Read speeds AND smooth Write Performance. The higer-end Sandforce and Indilinx controller chipsets in the Vertex 4 makes them one of the fastest SSD drives in 2013. Apple is now incorporating SATA III controllers in it's most recent Macs, but even if your Mac has SATA II, you'll be glad you opted for a fully backward compatible SATA III model now for when you migrate your SSD into your _next_ Mac.
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Apple SSD Build-To-Order vs DIY UpgradesYou can upgrade an existing Mac to a solid-state drive, or configure new MacBooks with a Build-To-Order SSD option at the Apple Online Store. Off-the-shelf solid-state internal drive upgrades are available from electronics retailers, featuring brands such as OCZ, Patriot, Kingston and Corsair SSD's at NewEgg.com, or explore reasonable to outright cheap SSD prices at Amazon with it's price competitive 3rd-party sellers.
As solid-state hard disk drive performance rapidly evolves, flash disks now outpace even the highest performing mechanical spinning platter drives. In 2012 in particular, SSD cost per gigabyte has fallen significantly. Many SSD drives are how costing as little as $1 per GB.
Older MacBook, iMac, Mac mini Solid State DrivesIn some 2-4 year old Macs such as the early generations of Intel based White MacBook and Mac mini computers, Apple used a slower SATA I speed 1.5 Gigabit controller chipset. For these, you may not need a bleeding edge SSD. Most SSD's made currently are SATA III - but backwards compatibility insures they'll work fine on older SATA I and SATA II chipset Macs. Your computer will simply transfer data as fast as it's hard drive controller allows.
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Macintosh OSX Compatible SSD Hard DrivesOSX runs quite well on all modern SSDs. Its file system's block size matches well with solid-state technology and doesn't present many of the problems aging Windows XP users experienced having to tweak drive and system configurations to optimize performance. As OSX advances and flash memory SSD drives become standard equipment and not just a luxury SSD build-to-order option from Apple, further refinements to optimize OSX for SSD storage will be present in OSX Lion and beyond.
Format The Solid State Disk For Apple First!Prepare a solid-state drive for Apple computers by partitioning and reformatting the drive first. Out of the box, SSD's are formatted for Windows. On an Intel Mac, use Disk Utility to insure you're PARTITIONING the SSD with a GUID Partition Map so that the Solid-State drive is bootable!
When upgrading an SSD in G5 and lesser Macs, you want the default HFS Partition type and Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Either way you've GOT TO REFORMAT THE SSD for OS X from it's original out-of-the-box PC disk format to the one that's appropriate to booting up on your Mac's processor.
Easy DIY Flash Drive Upgradable MacsMany Mac models present fairly simple SSD installation. Step-by-Step take-apart instructions and the right tools can help: www.ifixit.com as well as these Other World Computing Videos have a wealth of tips for proper disassembly of your Mac, installing a solid-state drive replacement and re-assembly.
Full-Size Drive Adapter
For SSD upgrades to models with 3.5" drive bays like a Mac Pro tower or G5 and Intel iMac upgrades, the Icy Dock 2.5" To 3.5" SSD SATA Converter is a simple and fast solution for 3.5 standard drive bays that takes only seconds to convert a laptop size SSD to a full-size drive with no tools required. Just open the lid, plop in a 2.5 inch SSD and latch the lid shut.
Hard Drive Replacement Services For Apple ComputersSome Apple computer models - particularly recent Aluminum iMacs, older G4 iBooks, and 1st generaltion MacBook Pro laptops prior to the Unibody models are VERY-VERY difficult to dissassemble. You need specific tools and nerves of steel to take them apart - and are best left to professional bench techs. Some older Apple laptop models have to literally be GUTTED to get to the hard drive and swap a flash drive into, and may involve up to a 100 tiny screws or more. It's too easy to KILL your computer with a slip of the screwdriver: Leave it to qualified Mac service folk who know what they're doing.
SSD For Mac Performance Leaps In 20122012 is the year solid-state drives are poised to overtake computer storage standard. Now easily surpassing ANY of even the top performing spinning platter hard drives available - they really deserve a place on your tech radar. Apple continues to expand it's SSD offerings as a Build-To-Order option in most of it's laptop and desktop computers - and should be something you seriously consider on your NEXT MAC PURCHASE if you're not up for DIY Do-It-Yourself drive upgrades.
Ordering a Build-To-Order SSD upgrade through Apple may seem a stiff price, but if you factor in the price premium for labor you might pay to have a retail SSD you bought installed and your data transferred onto it - Apple's Build-To-Order SSD costs are actually quite competitive. For small or big business users where time is money, ordering a Mac with an SSD is such a significant productivity enhancer, it's really a no-brainer to getting your Mac work done faster, smoother and more efficiently.
What is a SSD or Solid State Drive?An SSD or Solid State Drive is a direct replacement for the mechanical hard disk in your computer, whether it is a standard stand alone computer, notebook, netbook or latptop. An SSD can also be used as an external hard disk that you connect externally to any type of computer that you might have.
Solid State High Speed Disk DrivesAll conventional hard disks have moving parts that make them susceptible to damage when they are knocked - especially if they are in use. SSDs don't have the problem as they have no moving parts. They operate silently - with no drive bearings or motor to wear out or get noisier over time. Built entirely from sold-state flash memory, they contain modules similar to the computer memory in your Mac desktop or MacBook. The difference is the kind of memory in SSDs: Any information is retained even after the power is turned off, unlike normal computer DRAM memory. Because of this, they are less fragile and much better suited to mobile computer applications. SSDs are just inherently more robust in any computing environment whether internal or external.
This new breed of hard disk, the Solid-State Drive or SSD is just another form of data storage device, but it is different in that it uses ultra high performance solid-state NAND Flash memory chips to store your Apple computer's data. Think of it as a very large USB stick that is so large it can actually replace the hard disk in your Macintosh computer without slower mechanical and moving parts prone to failure. SSD's are shock-resistant, silent, and FAST!!!
Apple SSD CompatibilityThe majority of SSD's now support the widely used 6Gbps SATA III specification hard disk interface used in all recent laptop or desktop Apple computers. SSDs are platform-neutral: When properly formatted on any modern operating system - Windows, Linux, or OSX - simply sees it as a 'hard drive'. They can be used to replace your Mac's original hard disk for OSX computing applications. Backward compatibility of the spec insures that older Macs that had SATA I 1.5Gbps or SATA II controllers will still recognize it, and operate without a hitch - at slighly lower peak Read/Write rates.
Mac SSD Drive PricesCurrently SSDs are still somewhat more expensive, hovering around $1 per Gigabyte. They may seem pricey when compared with standard computer hard disks now hitting up to 4 Terabyte capacities. But the reality is many Mac users simply never come close to filling up the large drives now standard in most Apple computers. Current SSD capacities are typically in the 128GB to 256GB range - cost between $130 to $350. Only those users with huge video and media files truly NEED a fraction of the space Terabyte spinning platter drives now offer. Out of the box, a new Mac typically only uses about 60Gb for OSX and the bundled Mac and iLife applications. For the majority of Mac users, an affordable 128gb SSD may be all they may need for years to come. You can always plug in an external USB or FireWire Mac compatible backup drive for more storage.
The Future Is Flash Disks!Solid State drives are taking over as the new standard hard disks for personal computers. Fortunately, cheap SSD drives are already becoming available. SSD prices are now drifting near $1 per Gigabyte. For more on Mac compatible Solid-State drive technology, their history and other details check out Wikipedia for a full technical description of how SSD drives operate.
Especially if you are experiencing drive errors or problems with your MacBook, Mac mini or iMac's original hard drive - or running out of storage capacity - consider breathing new life and performance by replacing it with an ultra-fast Mac compatible SSD. You'll be glad you did!