There are many Mac computers with Nvidia MCP79 chipset (Nvidia MCP79 is present in many models of iMac, Macbook, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air).
Nvidia MCP79 have SATA II controller.
There is well known bug with SSD based on SandForce SF-2281 and any Mac with Nvidia MCP79. SSD negotiated Link Speed is 1.5 Gigabit (SATA I). But it must be 3 Gigabit (SATA II).
OCZ already have fix for this issue (for their SSD):
Corsair works on this issue (they have SSD based on SF-2281).
Patriot Memory works on this issue (they have SSD based on SF-2281).
Intel 520 SSD have same issue.
Intel will you fix this? Talk to Apple or release fix by yourself, but you must do something, because Intel 520 SSD with 150 MB/s read/write speed on Mac (with Nvidia MCP79) is indecent.
I too am experience this issue with an Early 2009 MBP 17" and the MCP79 chipset using the Intel SSD 520 480GB. It should be able to negotiate to 3.0Gbps with that SATA II interface, but as the OP has noted, this has plagued other drives with the Sandforce chipset along with this MCP79 interface.
It would be nice if Intel could release a "fix" like one of the other OEMs has done. Their solution was a simple Linux utility that forced the drive to a particular speed.
Come on Intel, please issue us a fix/workaround for this issue!
Im having the exact same problem! Currently running an Intel 330 inside of an Macbook Pro 5.1 (Late 2008) with Nvidia MCP79, and the negotiated link speed is 1,5 GBit while it should be at 3 GBit. My system is also plagued with beach balls every 3 minutes, and then the system is frozen for exactly 30 seconds.
Please Intel, fix this! At least tell us if there is a fix in the works, and an ETA when it will be available. Thanks!
(P.S. Has anyone tried running the OCZ tools to force the 3 GBit link speed in an Intel drive with sf-2281? Just curious.)
Update: it seems that my problem with the intel 330 and a 2008 mac pro follows a certain pattern:
- when cold booting the machine, i get the 3gbit connection
- when rebooting, i only get 1,5gbit
i then ordered a sata 3 controller for my machine, based on a asmedia 1061 chipset, and thought that the issue would be resolved when using native 6gbit. when connected to this controller, the intel 330 ssd always connects at 1,5 gbit, no matter if i cold boot, or if i reboot.
would it be possible to get some intel tool that would be able to lock the sata speed of the ssd to a certain setting?
I've got the same problem and it's driving me nuts. My MacBook 5.1 late 2008 is beachballing every few minutes or so for around half a minute. I trusted intel because of their name and I probably wouldn't have gone with their SSD if they had not been giving so much praise for their reliability. I'm very disappointed and will probably never buy one of them again. I was sure that they would fix this in no time, but it's been 3 months now! What the heck.
I bought this product immediately after release, tested specifically for nVidia SATA2 compatibility (and confirmed it was broken, locking down to SATA1) and reported the bug to Intel. They were nice enough about responding to it, but they have done nothing to resolve it. This is nothing new for Intel, the 510 had the same problem and they never resolved it either. The 510 also won't perform to spec on AMD AHCI drivers, only msahci drivers which I have confirmed on multiple SATA3 platforms. My general rule with newer gen SATA3 Intel SSDs is that I will only use them on Intel SATA chipsets, because they have proven to be marginal in both performance and compatibility on non-Intel platforms. This type of firmware support is certainly not worth their price premium.
I run a 320 in the same system and it works perfectly with both SSC enabled and disabled. Some SSDs will work properly on nVidia SATA2 at full speed with SSC disabled, but not with it enabled--but a large portion lock down to SATA1. Most systems have no access to enabling or disabling this feature (Spread Spectrum Clocking), so this is basically a responsibility of manufacturers at a firmware level.
This is not a rare problem; a Samsung 830 I tested last night was unstable in either mode, and is basically unusable. A Kingston V200 wouldn't even detect until I used a different cable, but it also locked down to SATA1. The 320 worked perfectly with all cables, in all modes.
As much as these newer Intel SSD models are faster, in my mind nothing Intel has produced has been as refined of a product as the 320. Since I haven't seen them do anything to improve or fix these problems, I don't really buy any more 520s since finding this bug & lack of legitimate action to fix, and I probably won't buy 330s either as it's just another twist on the same architecture. I prefer using SSDs that get firmware updates like the rest of the industry (or that have utilities to work around these type of problems), as LSI/Sandforce themselves will probably fix this eventually. I'm an IT consultant who implements a lot of these.
Recent Plextor products with current firmware sync properly on these platforms with SSC disabled; I reported the bug to them and they fixed it which I was impressed by. The M4 with their latest 000F firmware locks down as well in either mode on my test platform (non-Mac, ASUS AM2 motherboard).