One thing that SandForce based SSDs have lacked since their introduction has been a Mac supported firmware updater. Updating the firmware has required Windows installation, which is something that not all Mac users prefer. Some other brands, such as Intel, offer OS-independent updaters, but this has not been the case with SandForce SSDs. There have been workarounds like OCZ Linux method, though it's not very user friendly.

Finally, OWC has brought a Mac friendly firmware updater to their SSDs. OWC has been talking about the updater for quite awhile now. This is the first and only Mac-based updater for SandForce SSDs as of today. Other brands have not revealed any plans of releasing Mac based updaters. 

The update procedure seems simple. You download the updater from OWC's site and burn that to DVD. You then boot from the DVD and follow the on-screen instructions. Unfortunately it seems that Mac users are still out of luck when it comes to firmware updates from within OS X.

Right now, the updater is limited to OWC SSDs with SF-1200 controllers (Mercury Extreme Pro 3G and its variants). It's also limited to only certain Macs (e.g the 2011 MacBook Pros are not yet supported). OWC is aware of this and support for more Mac models, as well as support for 6Gb/s SSDs with SF-2200 controllers, are on their way. OWC is claiming September 7th for SF-2200 updater, so stay tuned.

Source: OWC

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  • Taft12 - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    The need for this software on any platform is exactly what's wrong with the SSD industry. Amateur hour.
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    SSDs are cutting edge technology, they haven't existed for that long (at least not in the current state). New technologies always have their share of issues.

    Moreover, it's sad but true that many OEMs seem to be concentrating more on speed and price than reliability. Sadly that seems to sell too.
  • cfaalm - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    Then again, it's Apple tossingi in the SSD knowing there's no native OSX update available.
  • jecs - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    "Moreover, it's sad but true that many OEMs seem to be concentrating more on speed and price than reliability. Sadly that seems to sell too."


    Its another megapixel/MHz race.
    This makes harder to spend more for speed alone. But I guess it will be always back up, bu, bu. Also INTEL's SSD appear to be the most reliable but that is even more money.
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, September 3, 2011 - link

    Intels had the 8MB bug, so I wouldn't say that they are always rock solid. Samsung 470 Series seems to be very reliable, haven't heard of any issues
  • bernardl - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    On the other hand I have never had to update the firmware of any of my OWC SSDs (3 all together) since they have always been working flawlessly from day 1 and are still going strong without any measurable performance drop after more than one year of pretty intense usage.

  • Pessimism - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    The software isn't truly mac.... The fact you have to burn a disc and boot from it tells me they took the lazy way out and used some sort of tweaked WinPE environment that would run their existing tools unmodified, or else there is something horrifically difficult about blasting out firmware under OSX
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, September 3, 2011 - link

    It appears to be Linux based. The point is that is can be used with Macs.

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