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View Full Version : Is the MBA going to be faster than my 2.4 MacBook with an SSD?




hurricanekate2
Jan 23, 2011, 12:43 PM
I'm trying to decide whether or not to sell my MacBook and get the 13" ultimate model of the MBA. My MacBook has a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM, and a 60 GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD. My gut tells me no, that the MBA would not really be an "upgrade" (except for case design and hard drive space obviously) but is there something I'm not considering?



Hellhammer
Jan 23, 2011, 12:45 PM
Faster in what? MBA's SSD has special firmware which makes MBA boot, wake, shut down etc so quickly. If your usage consists of basic tasks, then you probably would not notice any difference but in CPU intensive tasks, your current one is a bit faster.

hurricanekate2
Jan 23, 2011, 12:52 PM
Faster in what? MBA's SSD has special firmware which makes MBA boot, wake, shut down etc so quickly. If your usage consists of basic tasks, then you probably would not notice any difference but in CPU intensive tasks, your current one is a bit faster.

I guess overall "feel," if that makes sense (anyone who has put an SSD in a machine that formerly had a platter hard drive will probably know what I mean).

I do do some processor-intensive stuff (ripping DVDs and converting them with Handbrake, for example) but I have a Mac Mini that I can use for that instead.

Mostly I am trying to justify the purchase to myself!

Hellhammer
Jan 23, 2011, 12:55 PM
Well, I doubt you will notice difference then. You could go into a store and play around with one to see if you notice anything but I don't think you will.

thejadedmonkey
Jan 23, 2011, 01:03 PM
Faster in what? MBA's SSD has special firmware which makes MBA boot, wake, shut down etc so quickly. If your usage consists of basic tasks, then you probably would not notice any difference but in CPU intensive tasks, your current one is a bit faster.
Not true, it just uses an SSD that doesn't require spin up time, and has much faster read/write times. Apple branded SSD's "instant on", but in reality, I could put an SSD in my 2006 era Macbook Pro, and it would be just as fast and have "instant on" technology.

Hellhammer
Jan 23, 2011, 01:08 PM
Not true, it just uses an SSD that doesn't require spin up time, and has much faster read/write times. Apple branded SSD's "instant on", but in reality, I could put an SSD in my 2006 era Macbook Pro, and it would be just as fast and have "instant on" technology.

Not according to AnandTech (http://www.anandtech.com/show/3991/apples-2010-macbook-air-11-13inch-reviewed/4). I didn't say there is a huge difference but there certainly is and that's because of the firmware like noted by Anand

Caolan96
Jan 23, 2011, 01:21 PM
In terms of booting up, shutting down, waking up, opening applications, saving/opening files the MBA will be faster.

However when doing stuff like exporting iMovie files, playing games, encoding video via handbrake, your MB might be a little faster.

I went from a Unibody MBP 2.26Ghz C2D with 4GB RAM to my 13" MBA with 2.13Ghz C2D with 4GB of RAM and haven't looked back since.

altecXP
Jan 23, 2011, 01:33 PM
In terms of booting up, shutting down, waking up, opening applications, saving/opening files the MBA will be faster.

However when doing stuff like exporting iMovie files, playing games, encoding video via handbrake, your MB might be a little faster.

I went from a Unibody MBP 2.26Ghz C2D with 4GB RAM to my 13" MBA with 2.13Ghz C2D with 4GB of RAM and haven't looked back since.

Well in your case thats BARELY a CPU change.

Going from a MB to an Air is a slower CPU, and no optical drive, and no ability to change your storage or RAM in the future.

The good side is weight, and the 1440x900 LCD. The real question is what do you want more? Power or portability?

fibrizo
Jan 24, 2011, 01:48 PM
In terms of booting up, shutting down, waking up, opening applications, saving/opening files the MBA will be faster.

However when doing stuff like exporting iMovie files, playing games, encoding video via handbrake, your MB might be a little faster.

I went from a Unibody MBP 2.26Ghz C2D with 4GB RAM to my 13" MBA with 2.13Ghz C2D with 4GB of RAM and haven't looked back since.

Actually, I would hazard a guess, based on Anandtech's own benchmarks, My own Macbook air, macbook pro, and my experience putting together another 13 inch 2.4ghz macbook pro with a micron c300 ssd, and an intel G2 ssd....

Boot and sleep would be faster on the macbook air, due to the integration into firmware, ie less checks and recognition tests needed to boot.

But actual usage, the other SSDs are just as fast if not faster significantly. The anandtech benchmarks clearly show that.

Even among SSDs I get different performance. For example I had a sandforce based drive and by specs it's faster than my intel x-25M G2, but usage wise, the x-25m boots faster on the same machine and gets better scores (WEI scores and some crystal bench scores). I would hazard a guess that using an intel drive would actually lower the boot time that anandtech saw, but would still be slower, ie 15 seconds for the macbook air, but something like 18 seconds for the intel drive.

So it would probably save you alot of money to pick up a larger fast SSD, if the weight was not an issue for you.

DarwinOSX
Jan 24, 2011, 09:01 PM
As others have already said the MB 2.4 ghz will not be noticeably faster. In general the MBA will be faster and smoother than putting an SSD in the MB.

Well in your case thats BARELY a CPU change.

Going from a MB to an Air is a slower CPU, and no optical drive, and no ability to change your storage or RAM in the future.

The good side is weight, and the 1440x900 LCD. The real question is what do you want more? Power or portability?

hsl
Jan 25, 2011, 01:35 AM
my 1.6 4gb 11" is faster than my 15" 2,53 4GB (with fast ssd) at almost everything that not uses a GPU.

mark28
Jan 25, 2011, 02:04 AM
In terms of booting up, shutting down, waking up, opening applications, saving/opening files the MBA will be faster.

However when doing stuff like exporting iMovie files, playing games, encoding video via handbrake, your MB might be a little faster.

I went from a Unibody MBP 2.26Ghz C2D with 4GB RAM to my 13" MBA with 2.13Ghz C2D with 4GB of RAM and haven't looked back since.

I think his SSD is faster that he has in his MBP.

mark28
Jan 25, 2011, 02:05 AM
As others have already said the MB 2.4 ghz will not be noticeably faster. In general the MBA will be faster and smoother than putting an SSD in the MB.

How is that, when the Flash inside the MBA is slow in comparison to SSD's on the market?

KPOM
Jan 25, 2011, 07:52 AM
It would be largely a lateral move. On raw CPU tasks, the Pro would perform a bit faster (though the 2.13GHz C2D's larger 6MB cache offsets some of the speed difference). The OCZ Vertex SSD has very similar performance specs to the Toshiba drive used in the current MacBook Air.

Overall, the Pro has the advantages of expandability (with the FireWire 800 port), the internal optical drive, and backlit keyboard. The Air has the advantages of a higher resolution screen (though the color gamut isn't as good), lighter weight, and thinner size.

If you are happy with the Pro, I'd suggest keeping it for now, or maybe upgrading to a faster SSD, and holding out either for the next Air or the updated Pro. I'm guessing the next 13" Pro will weigh under 4lbs and might lose the optical drive. The next Air and Pro will likely get the Sandy Bridge treatment.