MARCH 1, 2010

Hands-On Review: 128GB RunCore Pro IV SSD--60-Day Update

I posted my review of the 128 GB Runcore Pro IV SSD in my original 1.6GHz MacBook Air on December 28, 2009. Just short of 30 days use, it stopped functioning. Suddenly it would no longer boot my MacBook Air. After making sure the problem was not with the MacBook Air by booting off an external USB drive, I contacted (MDD), the company that had shipped me the Runcore SSD. MDD immediately sent me an RMA number, I shipped it off to be replaced and reinstalled the original 80GB mini hard drive.

It took MDD three weeks to ship me a replacement SSD after receiving mine back because the firmware was being updated and MDD wanted to make sure I got a replacement with the latest version, v1916. The original SSD came with firmware v1571 as I recall.

Some pros:

  1. The replacement SSD was formatted for a Mac with the GUID Partition Table format scheme while the original, though bearing a label identifying it for a Mac, was formatted for a PC with the Master Boot Record format scheme. So, no reformatting was needed this time.
  2. On the replacement SSD was a copy of Mike Bombich's Carbon Copy Cloner v.3.2.1 plus a copy of SuperDuper! v2.5, both are Mac drive cloning and backup software. While neither is the most recent version, the original came with Windows software TrueCopy.exe.
  3. The replacement SSD came with the latest firmware v1916.

Some cons:

  1. The manual has still not been updated for the Mac version of the Runcore SSD.
  2. The replacement SSD came with the same rather chintzy external case.

So Runcore has made some progress on the issues that I pointed out in my review but is not yet at 100% some two months later. However, I am happy to have the Runcore SSD back in my MacBook Air. The difference in performance is like night and day as I noted in my original review article.

For those who have an original MacBook Air (Rev. A), if the replacement holds up without breaking down again, I recommend you get this drive. I will post updates on the replacement SSD at roughly 30 day intervals. [Bill Fox]

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