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News Archive for Thursday Oct. 15, 2009     Goto Current News Page

Mac Mods and Upgrades | Video Topics | Storage | Audio/HT | Apps/OS/Networking

Feedback on Apple's Performance Update 1.0 (from Snow Leopard users)
Reports (later first) on yesterday's Performance Update 1.0 from Apple:

"(OS X 10.6.1, Mid-2009 MacBook Pro 13.3in w/1.7 EFI update, 4GB Ram, OCZ SSD firmware v1.41)
I have had some Beachballing every so often (once or twice a day for 30 secs or so) for a month or more (I have had the SSD drive for about 3 months). The Performance Update appears not to effect its frequency.
-Vince D."

"Mike, I have an early-2009 mini 2.0GHz, 4GB RAM, and WDC WD5000BEVT-22ZAT0 hard drive running 10.6.1. I had odd pauses with most applications for about 2 minutes after startup with both 10.5 and 10.6. After installing the Performance Update via the Software Update control panel, the pauses became long enough to cause the spinning beach ball. Downloaded and ran the standalone install and all the pauses went away.

I always use the download updaters vs software update. (D/L page links always included in news posts on updates here but for anyone else that used SU and had a problem, here's the download pages for Performance Update 1.0 for 10.5.8 and Performance Update 1.0 for 10.6.1.)

"Mike, I have a mid-2009 MacBook Pro 3.06 GHz with the 500 GB (7200rpm SATA) hard drive with the so-called "intermittent hard drive related pauses" - aka freezes with spinning beach ball every few minutes. Frustrating.
Since I installed the Performance Update 1.0 using Software Update when it first came out last night, I haven't a one!
I'm running Snow Leopard Mac OS X 10.6.1.

I had a friend in CA call to say the update fixed the frequent 'beachballing' with his mid-2009 MacBook Pro 15in in 10.6.1 during video playback, iMovie video editing, etc. (Although I saw a couple reports at MacUpdate from SSD macbook pro users with negative initial comments on the SL performance update.)

"Early 2009 iMac 20 inch, 2.66 Core 2 Duo, WDC WD3200AAJS-40H3AO hard drive, 6GB RAM running OS X 10.6.1. Installed the update shortly after it was posted via software update. No performance issues before or after installing the update.
-Thomas C."

If you install this update (for 10.5.8 or 10.6.1) and find it helps (or has any negative effects), let me know the details (mac model, OS, drive model, etc.). Thanks
(I installed it on an early 2009 17in MBP (10.6.1), but hadn't noticed any problems beforehand.)

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More Mac User reports on OCZ Vertex SSD firmware update 1.41 (some not able to apply it)
Latest mails from readers replying to yesterday's post on OCZ Vertex firmware updates (1.41 w/GC, although they also posted v1.4 w/Trim for those running Windows 7).

"Just a note that I tried to run the firmware update on my (2009) 8-core Nehalem Mac Pro with Vertex 120GB and it was a no-go. The utility wouldn't recognize the drive even though it's listed in the devices at the top and shows the 1.3 firmware and I tried a bunch of different things. It seems that there's another guy with a 2009 Mac Pro with the same problem so I had to restore my drive contents so I can get back to work - OCZ seems stumped...

(I wasn't sure from the comment if the SSD was listed when booted from the ISO so I asked to confirm that. Also asked if he tried with the SSD in bay #1 and if keyboard input was working when booted from the ISO. (I had -one- iMac owner in the past report even with a usb wired keyboard it wasn't usable when booted from Seagate HD firmware update ISO - although some other readers didn't see that problem.)-Mike)
Keyboard input was fine. I hadn't tried it in bay one. I just got my system back and running again so I'm hesitant to try again right now. If you hear from another reader that they got it working on their Mac Pro, let me know.

The only other thing I can think of is often SSD vendors recommend flashing in IDE mode (but that's not an option with Macs - no bios available to change settings like that). One other difference in Mac Pros vs MBPs (typically) is Intel chipset (in Mac Pro) vs Nvidia (on later MBPs at least). There's also been questions on SATA CDROM support with boot CD images. 2009 Mac Pros have SATA DVD/CD drives (vs PATA in 2008 and earlier Mac Pros). But modern MacBook Pros have SATA Optical drives also.
Anyway, if anyone with a Mac Pro is able to flash their Vertex (v1.3) with v1.41 firmware, send a note.

Although mid-2009 MacBook Pro and 2007 MacBook owners wrote they were able to boot from the v1.41 ISO updater, as has been reported in the past some couldn't:

"I still can't boot my MacbookPro(3,1) from the 141GC ISO disc.
I'll probably have to send it back to OCZ for a firmware upgrade.

I may not help but asked if he'd tried booting with Option Key (if Startup disk selection didn't work, etc.) and if he had another intel-based Mac to verify the burned CD was bootable on it. (Just to rule out a media/burn issue.)
Yesterday's news had a successful flash report from a mid-2009 MacBook Pro owner - here's one from a 2007 MBP owner:

"Updated my Vertex 60GB using the 1.41 ISO in my 2007 MacBook 2,1 (2GHz C2D, 2GB RAM, OS X 10.6.1). It still seems noticeably slower than when it was new (after leaving it on all night to allow it to do it's GCing), and indeed I haven't noticed any change what so ever. (Note: He later said this SSD as originally in a Mac Pro (with SATA II interface) - performance was higher in that system than the SATA I MacBook.-Mike)

(ASP info, confirming 1.41 firmware)
Capacity: 64.02 GB (64,023,257,088 bytes)
Revision: 1.41
Serial Number: GSA6OD6F715S6RZ4xxxx
Native Command Queuing: Yes
Queue Depth: 32
Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified

Xbench 1.3:
System Version 10.6.1 (10B504)
Disk Test (overall score) 176.44
Sequential 143.11
Uncached Write 169.68 - 104.18 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 183.09 - 103.59 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 82.05 - 24.01 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 226.82 - 114.00 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Random 230.01
Uncached Write 81.71 - 8.65 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 324.88 - 104.01 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 2331.05 - 16.52 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 607.89 - 112.80 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Regards, Hugo V."

And while on the subject of SSD firmware updates - still no release of an update from Crucial for their (also Barefoot based) M225 SSDs. And no status update in about a week, despite lots of anxious owners. (And some of us with 1711 firmware are still waiting (since the last week of Aug.) for even a backflash to the original 1571 firmware... As mentioned earlier here 1711 doesn't just have problems with Win7/TRIM, but also problems in OS X sleep/wake - even with hibernate disabled, and in a Mac Pro. If they don't at least post a backflash to 1571 within another week, I'm going to try and get an RMA to return it.)
SuperTalent (whose Barefoot based SSD appears to be from the same OEM mfr as Crucial's per reviews/take-aparts) has also released a v1571 backflash and a new v1819 firmware update for their customers today.
Crucial M225 Update: Appx 5:45PM Friday, Crucial finally posted their 1819 firmware and backflash to 1571 (required for those that updated to 1711 previously). I'd been refreshing their SSD firmware updates page every 1/2 hour for days and it finally appeared Friday evening. (I have to backflash my M225 256GB which currently has 1711.)

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Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Doc Updates
(updated during the day - later added first)

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Other News/Articles, Misc. Software Updates

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Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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