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View Full Version : MBA 1.6GHz with SSD - who's gone this route??




Gemba
Feb 13, 2008, 11:58 AM
Hi,

I'm looking at getting a 1.6GHz MBA with the SSD drive.

Despite all the price vs performance issues I am sold on the SSD (I want a drive that will not fail when travelling), so that is not up for debate on this post at least.

Really interested in any reasons for why I should / should not pony up the extra bucks for the 1.8GHz or whether 1.6 will be fine. Laptop will be used primarily for Office apps (I have to use Microsoft, and so far Office 2008 is slow on everything I've run it on), Mail, general Safari and Firefox browsing and an occasional bit of image processing.

Seems to me that the 1.6 will perform admirably. Anyone gone the 1.6 SSD route that have any words of wisdom?

Many thanks.



shahidhaque
Feb 13, 2008, 12:27 PM
I suppose this might give you added battery life because of the reduced power of the 1.6 processor + the SSD HD. Any thoughts?

Anyone tested this yet?

dal20402
Feb 13, 2008, 12:38 PM
I haven't seen or used a 1.6/SSD MBA, but I'd expect one to work great. In fact, I think that's probably the best-value MBA configuration.

Most computer users today (including you, judging by the apps you say you want to use) have more processor performance than they can ever use. When they experience slowdowns, the bottleneck is almost always the disk or the network. Getting the fastest disk available has always made a bigger difference to my subjective experience than getting a faster processor.

(That's why I have an original Core Duo MBP with a hot-rod 160GB 7200rpm disk... :D )

This is especially true with a machine with limited RAM, where there is always the possibility of swapping to disk. The MBA's 2GB is already limited for some users and will become inadequate for many more users in the next couple of years as running multiple OSes at once through virtualization becomes ever more common.

jjchando
Feb 13, 2008, 01:27 PM
It's probably the best possible way to go on this machine. The difference between the 1.6 and the 1.8 with a SSD is going to be so minimal that you wouldn't be able to tell def not worth the $300.
I returned mine because I just didn't need a new laptop right now, so I can't give you a very detailed analysis. Still kind of wished I kept it because it's so darn cool haha.

sirozha
Feb 13, 2008, 02:41 PM
I guess those who elected to pay $999 extra for an SSD don't mind a few hundred bucks for a faster CPU. If you are trying to save some money, go with the 1.8 MHz CPU and HDD. You will be able to upgrade to a bigger SSD within a year for much les than $999. I believe you will be able to get a 120 GB SSD for around $200 by the end of this year. If you choose a slower CPU, you won't be able to upgrade to a faster one so easily.

kkrull
Feb 14, 2008, 12:37 AM
I have no regrets about getting the 1.6 with the SSD

I never notice any CPU delays. I never hear a hard drive spin. And I get really fast random access times. My machine is cool and the battery lasts a really long time.

Plus I have destroyed a hard drive every other year for ten years. I bet this drive lasts until Apple Care is up and by then I will buy a SATA SSD. No way am I upgrading anything in this machine except the battery.

CaptainCaveMann
Feb 14, 2008, 03:25 AM
I guess those who elected to pay $999 extra for an SSD don't mind a few hundred bucks for a faster CPU. If you are trying to save some money, go with the 1.8 MHz CPU and HDD. You will be able to upgrade to a bigger SSD within a year for much les than $999. I believe you will be able to get a 120 GB SSD for around $200 by the end of this year. If you choose a slower CPU, you won't be able to upgrade to a faster one so easily.

Man that would be awesome. But antech posted an article about swapping the hd's from hdd to ssd and they said the connectors are different, suggesting Apple is using custom connectors for the hdds. So beware. Upgrading my not prove to be so easy.

http://anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=3226&p=13

phungy
Feb 14, 2008, 03:28 AM
I suppose this might give you added battery life because of the reduced power of the 1.6 processor + the SSD HD. Any thoughts?

Anyone tested this yet?

http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/macbook-air-ssd-review.ars/1

Makes no difference. Battery life is horrible @ 2.5 hours.

netdog
Feb 14, 2008, 03:37 AM
http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/macbook-air-ssd-review.ars/1

Makes no difference. Battery life is horrible @ 2.5 hours.

These test are ridiculous. I am getting about 5 hours. 1.6/80.

netdog
Feb 14, 2008, 03:39 AM
Most computer users today (including you, judging by the apps you say you want to use) have more processor performance than they can ever use. When they experience slowdowns, the bottleneck is almost always the disk or the network. Getting the fastest disk available has always made a bigger difference to my subjective experience than getting a faster processor.


This isn't the case with the Air. The SSD very seldomly enhances any subjective experience of speed. I spent 30 minutes at least on each, playing with them and doing things that should have benefitted the SSD if anything. Sadly, there was little between them subjectively.

kkrull
Feb 14, 2008, 08:36 AM
The SSD very seldomly enhances any subjective experience of speed...I spent 30 minutes at least on each, playing with them and doing things that should have benefitted the SSD if anything. Sadly, there was little between them subjectively.

I have spent several days now on the SSD and my experience is the opposite. Because I do a lot of multitasking and keep my drives mostly full the MBA is a lot faster than even my MBP - so much so that I am wiping my MBP and starting over after having it a year.

Cybergypsy
Feb 14, 2008, 09:05 AM
These test are ridiculous. I am getting about 5 hours. 1.6/80.3.5 to 4.5 here HHd