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View Full Version : Will new Macbook Pros have SSD standard & will that make MBA not so amazing??




zub3qin
Nov 6, 2010, 05:31 PM
I want a MBA- not so much for the form factor/size.... but for the super fast responsiveness which seems to be coming from the SSD rather than the limited processor.

I am torn with the idea of getting that or waiting for the Macbook Pro refresh.

I am soliciting opinions on what the MBP will be like and when the refresh is likely to come.

I am thinking it will be filled with battery, perhaps lose the optical drive, and have SSD. It will be like a MBA on steroids- powerful processor, and fast SSD.

Is this wishful thinking? When is it likely to be refreshed?



Hellhammer
Nov 6, 2010, 05:34 PM
It's possible but nobody knows. Q1 2011 is the most likely time for an update. Remember that you can add SSD to MBP as well, even much faster one from 3rd party.

zub3qin
Nov 6, 2010, 05:44 PM
It's possible but nobody knows. Q1 2011 is the most likely time for an update. Remember that you can add SSD to MBP as well, even much faster one from 3rd party.

But isn't the real reason the MBA is so fast with SSD not that it has SSD, but that there is no SATA intermediary- in other words, the bottleneck of connecting the SSD drive to the computer isn't there as it is with aftermarket SSD drives which are housed in the regular HD casings?
Or am I mistaken?

What is the speed difference between a MBP with aftermarket SSD and a MBA with SSD?

Scottsdale
Nov 6, 2010, 05:44 PM
I think they will have NAND Flash storage of about 64 GB standard and include an HDD separate standard too. The OS and Apps will run off the Flash and the rest will run via the HDD. This makes sense when people need 512GB of drive storage. Realistically, Macs don't need anymore than 64GB of Flash for both the OS and most apps anyways, and it would cost way too much to put 512 or 1TB of NAND Flash in them.

I think the 13" MBP should get the high resolution display, and all Mac notebooks except the 17" MBP should lose the optical disk drive.

pfjellman
Nov 6, 2010, 05:50 PM
the reason the MBA is "so amazing" is only partially the SSD drive. it's the form factor, the weight, and the build quality. the build quality will be there with all Apple products, so it's the size and weight that are your deciding factors.

the MBA will always exist and sell very well because the performance gains from the SSD drive will benefit most "average joe" and "medium" users. it's a much better speed upgrade over just a processor upgrade.

however, the MBA will still be limited by the following:

- anyone doing video editing, audio editing, or intense graphic work will likely need both firewire and a fast processor.

- anyone needing to do rendering, hardcore gaming, lots of video conversion/compression (such as with Handbrake), or anything else that mainly takes its hit on the processor or requires a top-tier GPU.

- anyone who regularly works with CDs and/or DVDs or needs to be able to burn them.

the MBA will not shine in these areas, and if you foresee yourself doing ANY of this at least once a week, get the MBP.

that being said, the MBA will be *perfect* for: web surfing, email, research, homework, light gaming, software development, light photoshop work, and almost any other "every day normal" task you throw at it, and it will still get by at the tougher stuff, albeit more slowly.


now, with all that out of the way:

new MBPs are hard to predict. i do think they will gain some sort of onboard SSD/flash option, and will have the option to have either a superdrive or a second hard drive for storage. they may also get marginal cpu and gpu upgrades, and a slight styling buff.

however, if you need to do CPU-intensive things but are lusting after the SSD speeds of MBA, know that you can install your own SSD into a MBP fairly easily, and you can even install a second hard drive in place of the optical drive if you don't deal with CDs and DVDs.

so to answer your questions: no, the MBA will not become any less amazing. yes, the MBPs are moving towards SSD boot drive options, no, I don't know when it will actually be put in place, but no, nothing is stopping you from ordering a MBP now and adding the SSD yourself.

pfjellman
Nov 6, 2010, 05:53 PM
But isn't the real reason the MBA is so fast with SSD not that it has SSD, but that there is no SATA intermediary- in other words, the bottleneck of connecting the SSD drive to the computer isn't there as it is with aftermarket SSD drives which are housed in the regular HD casings?
Or am I mistaken?

What is the speed difference between a MBP with aftermarket SSD and a MBA with SSD?

the performance of MBA SSD drives is not much better than 3rd party consumer-level SSD drives and higher-level SSD drives can most likely match it. if anything, the enhanced boot times and slight increases in speed are due to custom Apple firmware for the drives, not an interface bottleneck.

Hellhammer
Nov 6, 2010, 05:56 PM
But isn't the real reason the MBA is so fast with SSD not that it has SSD, but that there is no SATA intermediary- in other words, the bottleneck of connecting the SSD drive to the computer isn't there as it is with aftermarket SSD drives which are housed in the regular HD casings?
Or am I mistaken?

What is the speed difference between a MBP with aftermarket SSD and a MBA with SSD?

SATA isn't the bottleneck, it's the controller which is the same as in other Apple SSDs. IIRC the SSD in MBAs wasn't exactly fast, around 200MB/s read and write. SF based drives do up to 285MB/s which is the maximum of SATA 3Gb/s. The custom firmware enables things like instant on and 30-day standby and may make it feel snappier but when looking at raw numbers, it's a middle-class SSD

zub3qin
Nov 6, 2010, 05:56 PM
the performance of MBA SSD drives is not much better than 3rd party consumer-level SSD drives and higher-level SSD drives can most likely match it.

I am not sure about this. If this was true, the original MBA with SSD would be just as fast as today's MBA. I think there is a speed boost by building the SSD right onto the main board- not via the SATA enclosure.

While the drive itself may be as fast, the performance (which includes all the data going back and forth from the computer to the SSD) is degraded a lot on the aftermarket SSD options.....
No?

jnpy!$4g3cwk
Nov 6, 2010, 06:02 PM
I want a MBA- not so much for the form factor/size.... but for the super fast responsiveness which seems to be coming from the SSD rather than the limited processor.

I am torn with the idea of getting that or waiting for the Macbook Pro refresh.

I am soliciting opinions on what the MBP will be like and when the refresh is likely to come.

I am thinking it will be filled with battery, perhaps lose the optical drive, and have SSD. It will be like a MBA on steroids- powerful processor, and fast SSD.

Is this wishful thinking? When is it likely to be refreshed?

I dunno, but, you should buy the MBA if you like the weight and form factor. You should buy an MBP with an SSD if you want a bigger and more capable, but, heavier machine. (Note that a lot of refurb machines have SSD's, also--
I wonder if Apple is equipping machines that started out with disk drives as SSD systems due to popular demand?!)

You can also get a third-party retrofit to an MBP with SSD to boot from and HDD for large data storage.

SSD's are definitely the future for Apple and other laptop mfrs. But, they are too expensive for most people in the 320GB-1TB sizes, so, I expect to see 60-160 MB boot SSD's, and, 500GB-1TB HDD's.

fd9
Nov 6, 2010, 07:06 PM
SSD's are definitely the future for Apple and other laptop mfrs. But, they are too expensive for most people in the 320GB-1TB sizes, so, I expect to see 60-160 MB boot SSD's, and, 500GB-1TB HDD's.

I agree, and I'd be willing to bet that we'll see a SSD + HDD combo as a standard configuration in the next refresh.

My advice to the OP: You should only get the MBP if you feel that you'll be doing a lot of CPU-intensive tasks, or need the extra flexibility (ports, HD space, upgradeable, etc). Otherwise, if the MBA will suit your needs than it's likely the better choice.

robby818
Nov 6, 2010, 07:13 PM
I am not sure about this. If this was true, the original MBA with SSD would be just as fast as today's MBA. I think there is a speed boost by building the SSD right onto the main board- not via the SATA enclosure.

While the drive itself may be as fast, the performance (which includes all the data going back and forth from the computer to the SSD) is degraded a lot on the aftermarket SSD options.....
No?

I think you're right. On MacBreak Weekly, one of the guests kept saying that it was just the SSD that makes the new Air so fast, in other words add an SSD to any MacBook and it would be the same. I think that is incorrect. I have been using SSD's in my MacBook Pros and there is more going on in the Air than just the SSD.

fd9
Nov 6, 2010, 07:19 PM
I think you're right. On MacBreak Weekly, one of the guests kept saying that it was just the SSD that makes the new Air so fast, in other words add an SSD to any MacBook and it would be the same. I think that is incorrect. I have been using SSD's in my MacBook Pros and there is more going on in the Air than just the SSD.

It's the magical Apple sauce they use.

Eidorian
Nov 6, 2010, 07:20 PM
SSD for boot with a traditional disk sounds great. I just wish someone offered two 2.5" drives in a single 3.5" package or something even more exotic internally.

jfyrfytr25
Nov 6, 2010, 07:46 PM
I am not sure about this. If this was true, the original MBA with SSD would be just as fast as today's MBA. I think there is a speed boost by building the SSD right onto the main board- not via the SATA enclosure.

While the drive itself may be as fast, the performance (which includes all the data going back and forth from the computer to the SSD) is degraded a lot on the aftermarket SSD options.....
No?

I think you are mistaken on how this is built. The flash storage is not soldered onto the logic board like the RAM is. it is a custom SSD module that connects to the Logic board via a proprietary connector that apple designed. take a look at the ifixit teardown down to see it. so there is still a "SATA LIKE connector" I think the snappy feel over the original air with SSD is that the original air's SSD kinda stunk and there is apple specific firmware for this drive that i dont think it had. I had a MBP with a 64GB Patriot SSD Torx before I bought my 11" air and it was just as fast at boot up and program launch as the air. SO, I think a high end standard SSD in a current MBP would give you the speed you are looking for,

Fraaaa
Nov 6, 2010, 08:03 PM
I think they will have NAND Flash storage of about 64 GB standard and include an HDD separate standard too. The OS and Apps will run off the Flash and the rest will run via the HDD. This makes sense when people need 512GB of drive storage. Realistically, Macs don't need anymore than 64GB of Flash for both the OS and most apps anyways, and it would cost way too much to put 512 or 1TB of NAND Flash in them.

I think the 13" MBP should get the high resolution display, and all Mac notebooks except the 17" MBP should lose the optical disk drive.

I was thinking about this, and I agree that would be probably adopt a combination of SSD + HDD.

I expect LightPeak also to resolve some port issues; however, that might not be sure for this generation of Macs, but I hope so.

I was thinking about the optical drive too for them to be avoid but the 17", especially that now they are going to implement the Mac App Store. But I still not sure about this for only one reason and that is that they could have replaced the separate DVD drive for the Air to be for any Mac, but they didn't, it seems that is going to be for the Air only again, at least for now.

Scottsdale
Nov 7, 2010, 12:24 AM
I was thinking about this, and I agree that would be probably adopt a combination of SSD + HDD.

I expect LightPeak also to resolve some port issues; however, that might not be sure for this generation of Macs, but I hope so.

I was thinking about the optical drive too for them to be avoid but the 17", especially that now they are going to implement the Mac App Store. But I still not sure about this for only one reason and that is that they could have replaced the separate DVD drive for the Air to be for any Mac, but they didn't, it seems that is going to be for the Air only again, at least for now.

I also think LightPeak makes it sooner rather than later. The mini Display Port is already basically doomed. Apple likes to sell the $29 adaptors and the mDP has been on Macs as long as Apple would like I think.

I bet it's LP in mid 2010, then mDP and USB both bow out. Intel is flexing its anti-competitive force against USB 3.0 because it wants to sell LP first... and people will see it's incredibly superior to USB 3.0 anyways.

It's just too bad Intel chipsets haven't included USB 3.0 all year as customers would have benefited greatly. Customers lose when companies like Intel act anti-competitively... it stinks, really. Just like they pushed Nvidia out, they're pulling the same thing here!

vm7118
Nov 7, 2010, 01:05 AM
I think you are mistaken on how this is built. The flash storage is not soldered onto the logic board like the RAM is. it is a custom SSD module that connects to the Logic board via a proprietary connector that apple designed. take a look at the ifixit teardown down to see it. so there is still a "SATA LIKE connector" I think the snappy feel over the original air with SSD is that the original air's SSD kinda stunk and there is apple specific firmware for this drive that i dont think it had. I had a MBP with a 64GB Patriot SSD Torx before I bought my 11" air and it was just as fast at boot up and program launch as the air. SO, I think a high end standard SSD in a current MBP would give you the speed you are looking for,

apple did not design the connector - it is and industry standard (PCI mini E).

i have an intel 160gb x-25m g2 in the MBP and it is just as fast as my ultimate 13".