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KyleKlink
Aug 24, 2009, 10:13 PM
I'm leaning towards picking up a Macbook Air, but cannot justify the additional cost for the SSD model. This is going to be a second computer for me, as I use my desktop primarily. The MBA would be used for web browsing and email when my son is sleeping in my room (where my desktop is).

For such light use, is the 4200rpm really that big of a deal? Sure, it's slower than the SSD. But it is slow to the point where I am going to regret purchasing it?

Anyone who has this model, I'd appreciate your thoughts.



ayeying
Aug 24, 2009, 10:41 PM
For what you listed, no, you will NOT regret the HDD model over the SSD.

adamjackson
Aug 24, 2009, 11:22 PM
Yep I think the HDD will be great. SSD is "nice to have" but if you're not doing anything too demanding, it's just right.

Scottsdale
Aug 25, 2009, 12:07 AM
The HDD is absolutely MISERABLE in the MBA. Do NOT buy an HDD MBA... you're better off with ANYTHING ELSE. I would rather carry around twice the weight than to have an MBA with HDD.

If you want to save money, buy an MBA with SSD refurbished for $1349 from Apple... that's with a 1.86 CPU and 128 GB SSD. You also can spend $50 more than the new HDD version for a 2.13 GHz 128 GB SSD for $1549 refurbished.

Honestly, the SSD is what makes the MBA usable. It makes the MBA fast. It makes the MBA feel/run like a Mac. With HDD, the MBA is just a boring and slow ultraportable that is no fun!

I have owned and tried them all. I highly recommend you rethink your position. Without the SSD, the MBA is NOT worth owning. With the SSD, it's fast and capable which makes it really fun to use.

GoCubsGo
Aug 25, 2009, 12:10 AM
Are you ****ing kidding me? You clearly have no idea when you call it miserable.
I have a Rev B HDD model and it's plenty fine. Yes, a SSD would be way better but the 4200 RPM is not as bad as these people are saying.

Seriously get a grip.

iPhoto bounces about 5 times before it opens. Safari bounces about 3. Photoshop Elements bounces 7 times before opening. Mail bounces twice.

I'm not saying a HDD is 50% as fast as a SSD but it's fine, especially if it's a casual use machine. While I'd love to have an SSD, the HDD is plenty fine.

It pisses me off Scottsdale when people like you get all high and mighty with your SSD or nothing BS. You and I both know your over dramatic determination of the HDD model being miserable is BS. And fwiw, it's not about money. I could have bought into the SSD model but for me the value was not there. The MB Air is a fine machine even without the SSD.

Angsty
Aug 25, 2009, 12:41 AM
My MBA is my primary work computer so it gets used 8-10 hours per day without any problems or slow-downs. I use Bootcamp and Office 2007 (corporate workplace) and can have Word, Excel, Outlook, Visio, Project, Communicator, Firefox and other apps ALL open all day and do not experience any problems.

For the uses you have described, I believe you will not notice any issues with the 4200rpm hdd.

Ang

ayeying
Aug 25, 2009, 01:26 AM
Are you ****ing kidding me? You clearly have no idea when you call it miserable.
I have a Rev B HDD model and it's plenty fine. Yes, a SSD would be way better but the 4200 RPM is not as bad as these people are saying.

Seriously get a grip.

iPhoto bounces about 5 times before it opens. Safari bounces about 3. Photoshop Elements bounces 7 times before opening. Mail bounces twice.

I'm not saying a HDD is 50% as fast as a SSD but it's fine, especially if it's a casual use machine. While I'd love to have an SSD, the HDD is plenty fine.

It pisses me off Scottsdale when people like you get all high and mighty with your SSD or nothing BS. You and I both know your over dramatic determination of the HDD model being miserable is BS. And fwiw, it's not about money. I could have bought into the SSD model but for me the value was not there. The MB Air is a fine machine even without the SSD.

I completely agree with your statement jessica.

I've used the Rev. A 1.6GHz/80GB HDD model and the current Rev. C 2.13GHz/128GB SSD. On a normal use (open up Mail.app, Safari, iChat) I see virtually no real difference. The only part that I do notice is that the SSD opens the program about a second or two faster than the HDD model. Once it's opened, it runs the same, no different.

The OP wants the Air to perform simple tasks like basic Web Surfing and E-Mail. The SSD is literally overkill for those simple tasks. Even the Rev. A HDD model will perform those tasks wonderfully without any problems.

caonimadebi
Aug 25, 2009, 01:42 AM
Are you ****ing kidding me? You clearly have no idea when you call it miserable.
I have a Rev B HDD model and it's plenty fine. Yes, a SSD would be way better but the 4200 RPM is not as bad as these people are saying.

Seriously get a grip.

iPhoto bounces about 5 times before it opens. Safari bounces about 3. Photoshop Elements bounces 7 times before opening. Mail bounces twice.

I'm not saying a HDD is 50% as fast as a SSD but it's fine, especially if it's a casual use machine. While I'd love to have an SSD, the HDD is plenty fine.

It pisses me off Scottsdale when people like you get all high and mighty with your SSD or nothing BS. You and I both know your over dramatic determination of the HDD model being miserable is BS. And fwiw, it's not about money. I could have bought into the SSD model but for me the value was not there. The MB Air is a fine machine even without the SSD.

+1

The great majority of Macs out there have an HDD (in different rpm's of course) and I'll bet their user experiences are far from miserable.

Scottsdale
Aug 25, 2009, 01:42 AM
Are you ****ing kidding me? You clearly have no idea when you call it miserable.
I have a Rev B HDD model and it's plenty fine. Yes, a SSD would be way better but the 4200 RPM is not as bad as these people are saying.

Seriously get a grip.

iPhoto bounces about 5 times before it opens. Safari bounces about 3. Photoshop Elements bounces 7 times before opening. Mail bounces twice.

I'm not saying a HDD is 50% as fast as a SSD but it's fine, especially if it's a casual use machine. While I'd love to have an SSD, the HDD is plenty fine.

It pisses me off Scottsdale when people like you get all high and mighty with your SSD or nothing BS. You and I both know your over dramatic determination of the HDD model being miserable is BS. And fwiw, it's not about money. I could have bought into the SSD model but for me the value was not there. The MB Air is a fine machine even without the SSD.

You obviously have never used an SSD MBA to make such an uninformed statement. The differences are more than night and day.

The MBA only feels like a Mac with Nvidia GPU and SSD. When my rev B with 1.86 and SSD was stolen, I tried an HDD MBA, and it was terribly slow. I couldn't use it as it drove me crazy. I ended up using a uMB as I figured the MBA would be updated within a few months.

As a primary computer, or frequently used computer, SSD is an absolute must. Without SSD the MBA is boring and awfully slow.

The SSD makes it feel like a MBP only faster (than 7200rpm). You talk about seven bounces before common apps open; well that's terribly slow. My MBA has to feel like a fast computer. My six year old Dell runs circles around an HDD MBA. What makes the MBA so fun and amazing is the fact that while being so thin, lightweight, and beautiful it's still incredibly fast with SSD.

My rev B 1.86/SSD MBA felt like a Mac Pro when connected to a 24" LED ACD. The rev C is even better but only with SSD. Take away the SSD and it becomes a slow ultraportable that feels worse than a netbook.

Furthermore, I even explained to the OP how to pay less and get far better. The rev C MBA with HDD is $1499, while the rev B with SSD will fly compared to the C/HDD and only costs $1349.

There is no reason to buy the rev C MBA with HDD. What makes the MBA incredible is that it's so much thinner and lightweight yet seems like a speedy Pro model!

Everyone reading this, if you cannot afford a rev B/C with SSD DO NOT BUY an MBA!!! Seriously it's not worth it.

Not high and mighty just being honest. Ask anyone who has owned both exactly the differences and the reply will be night and day!

If you plan to use the MBA like a netbook with extremely light web browsing and to check email, sure the HDD might get you by. But if you plan to really use it like a Mac, you simply must get an SSD model. The slight extra is worth it or buy it refurbished if you need to pay less. $1349 is an absolute screaming deal refurbished rev B 1.86/SSD and is TEN TIMES the Mac as when using HDD.

Seriously OP get the facts and consider ALL options before buying an MBA with HDD. I know from experience. If you get HDD you will be waiting on it and it will feel like a slow boring ultraportable! It will not feel like a speedy Mac unless you get the SSD.

I feel nearly as strong about SSD as I do about Nvidia GPU. Those two components make the MBA incredible. Even though it weighs three pounds and a half inch thick, it has a Penryn CPU, Nvidia GPU, DDR3 RAM, SATA-II drive controller with fast Samsung SSD.

If you're serious about computers/Macs, you must get the SSD.

I am only saying this because I believe everyone should get their money's worth. The only way to truly enjoy the MBA is for it to feel like a fast Mac, and that only happens with SSD.

Please others, chime in on how big the differences are. Night and day times TEN.

caonimadebi
Aug 25, 2009, 01:59 AM
Some people must really relish on their SSD's performance that they'd obsessively quit an app, only to open it again and make sure that it only bounces once to launch. This feature, apparently, makes his 3-lb laptop a performance heavy weight that may just be better than Pro.

Scottsdale
Aug 25, 2009, 04:04 AM
Some people must really relish on their SSD's performance that they'd obsessively quit an app, only to open it again and make sure that it only bounces once to launch. This feature, apparently, makes his 3-lb laptop a performance heavy weight that may just be better than Pro.

The thing is the drive and drive controller are the number one constraint/bottleneck on a computer. So, by reducing the effects of the SLOW HDD, the SSD effectively makes the MBA feel like a much more powerful computer. On average, it's going to feel five times faster for "normal" tasks that people normally wait for when on their computer. People wait when they bootup, shutdown, open apps, open large files, and do CPU intensive tasks... The SSD makes four of the five go MUCH FASTER than the HDD.

People used to pay a few hundred bucks just to upgrade their 5400 rpm HDD to a 7200 rpm HDD. That upgrade added a 30% speed gain. That was a minimal upgrade. People who buy an MBA get a 4200 rpm HDD which is 60% of the speed of the 7200 rpm HDD already. Now, take into account that the SSD is upwards of 10x faster than the 7200 rpm HDD.

The SSD is critical for the MBA. It minimizes the bottleneck. Less than a year ago, I would have considered a MBP with 2.4 GHz CPU, 4 GB RAM, and 7200 rpm HDD really fast. But a MacBook Air rev B/C with 1.86 or 2.13, 2 GB 1033 MHz RAM, and an SSD is faster for normal use than that MBP. And that is why the SSD is critical for the MBA. It makes up for the other limitations of the MBA. The MBA requires smaller parts and has less cooling capabilities, so the SSD makes the MBA feel really fast with its slower other components.

Want an MBA, you must get an SSD to get the "fun" out of the MBA. Otherwise, it will just be slow and what you would expect from a 4200 rpm HDD in an ultraportable Mac. You would expect that to be slow, and it would be. And that is what makes the SSD so amazing, one would expect the MBA that is smaller, with less powerful components to be slow, BUT IT IS FAST!

Good luck.

GeekGuys
Aug 25, 2009, 05:08 AM
Scottsdale,

Whilst I applaud your enthusiasm for your SSD based MBA, I don't think it is helpful to be so extreme in your views and opinions. By all means voice opinions to but state so FORCEFULLY that anything other than your configuration is NOT WORTH BUYING, USELESS or POINTLESS is just narrow minded and bigoted.

I have owned pretty much every Mac product out there (I run a tech company that specialise in Apple Mac support) and I can say that they mostly all have a place in the market. There are the odd products that you think "why did they make that?" but on the most part the configurations are there to fit a purpose for everyone.
I personally use a MBA for my day to day work when on the road. I have a MBP at home but it might as well be an Acer notebook as it gets used once a week at most! I also have an office full of iMac, Mac Pro's and MBA/P's for the staff.
As we don't do video editing we have never seen the need to go for top end performance products or components. I can't say that I have ever thought, "I wish this worked 10x faster as this is totally unworkable".

As mentioned above, for normal useage (by which I mean, MS Office/Open Office, EMail, iPhoto, Boot Camp/Parallels etc) the HDD models work very well indeed. Yes, there is a difference in performance using the SSD version (we have one in the laptop pool) but to be honest, it doesn't get any more use by the staff than any other model. In fact, the new 15" MBP is the most popular model and always in demand. I think this is the best of all worlds. 13" if you want something a bit more portable and I am thinking of trading in for the 15" myself!

So, I would say the OP should go to the Apple store and try out both versions. If you feel the performance of the HDD is too slow for normal use and you can't live with it, then go for the SSD version.

What is right for one, is wrong for another.

But this is just my opinion, of course!

macboy4
Aug 25, 2009, 05:12 AM
If you want to save money, buy an MBA with SSD refurbished for $1349 from Apple... that's with a 1.86 CPU and 128 GB SSD. You also can spend $50 more than the new HDD version for a 2.13 GHz 128 GB SSD for $1549 refurbished.



While I think Scottsdale is a little overzealous about the SSD, I agree with his advice. I had the Rev B HDD and now have a MBP. Having played with the SSD on numerous occasions I can vouch for the fact that the SSD, on basic tasks, seems faster than my MBP which means it is dramatically faster than the MBA with HDD.

As well as Apple does refurbs this is a no-brainer for me. You always have to worry about the dreaded lines issue, but that will be the case regardless of refurb or new.

Think about it: you can spend LESS money ($1349 vs. $1499) and get the same clock speed, but an SSD. There is absolutely NO OTHER DIFFERENCE!!!

nigameash
Aug 25, 2009, 05:15 AM
for all your basic tasks, it works fine. but otherwise a 4200 drive is horrible!:p

KyleKlink
Aug 25, 2009, 05:19 AM
But if you plan to really use it like a Mac, you simply must get an SSD model.

Explain what you mean by "use it like a Mac."

McDughf
Aug 25, 2009, 08:30 AM
I've never had an SSD Macbook Air To Compare With, but I do have to say that owning a HHD 1.86 rev B Macbook Air can be VERY trying sometimes.

Explain what you mean by "use it like a Mac."

If you have never used a pc running windows 2000, this statement may sound incredibly stupid, but part of the mac experience, at least for me, was a computer that started up relatively rapidly, and an overall usability that just flows - none of this "waiting for menu's to popup" crap or pausing whilst the computer reads from the hard drive - sadly BOTH present in My MacBook Air, so in some way this does detract it from "Using it like a Mac"

To Be Honest , I Bought My MacBook Air as a secondary computer - one to just watch youtube videos, read facebook and eMail. For the last two it is great, but for video sites, especially ones employing Flash advertising on the same page, the video tends to alternate between choppy, then smooth, and then sometimes annoyingly choppy.


I couldn't afford the SSD version then or now ( Unfortunately I got mine about a month before they refreshed to lineup...and dropped the prices :mad:) But I will say this in closing, I do not regret the fact I bought a MacBook Air. I love It, slowness and all :)

GoCubsGo
Aug 25, 2009, 08:32 AM
You obviously have never used an SSD MBA to make such an uninformed statement. The differences are more than night and day.
I stopped reading at this point because it is hilarious that you would make such a statement.

I have used an MB Air with an SSD and while you failed miserably to state anything good about the HDD model, I did not fail to state the merits of SSD. You say it's miserable and your statement simply shows that your extreme view is narrow minded and lacks compromise.

As for your statement "use it like a Mac" wow! Just wow!

I would buy an SSD Air in a heartbeat at this point having used the HDD model, which is not a miserable experience by any means. However, the Air certainly works, like a mac :rolleyes:, with a standard HDD in it. Regardless, I guess we all need to defend our purchases at some point. ;)

mykoljay
Aug 25, 2009, 09:38 AM
My HDD based Rev A is the fastest and snappiest computer that I've ever owed. I'm not a gamer though.

pgharavi
Aug 25, 2009, 09:40 AM
utterly despise my launch day MBA b/c of the 4200 rpm HDD. I'm getting a MBP this Friday.

ayeying
Aug 25, 2009, 10:41 AM
You obviously have never used an SSD MBA to make such an uninformed statement. The differences are more than night and day.

Look at the post above you.

I've used the Rev. A 1.6GHz/80GB HDD model and the current Rev. C 2.13GHz/128GB SSD. On a normal use (open up Mail.app, Safari, iChat) I see virtually no real difference. The only part that I do notice is that the SSD opens the program about a second or two faster than the HDD model. Once it's opened, it runs the same, no different.

The MBA only feels like a Mac with Nvidia GPU and SSD. When my rev B with 1.86 and SSD was stolen, I tried an HDD MBA, and it was terribly slow. I couldn't use it as it drove me crazy. I ended up using a uMB as I figured the MBA would be updated within a few months.

That's you. Not the majority of the computer users in the world.

As a primary computer, or frequently used computer, SSD is an absolute must. Without SSD the MBA is boring and awfully slow.

OP said she/he's going to use it as a secondary computer, not primary.

The SSD makes it feel like a MBP only faster (than 7200rpm). You talk about seven bounces before common apps open; well that's terribly slow. My MBA has to feel like a fast computer. My six year old Dell runs circles around an HDD MBA. What makes the MBA so fun and amazing is the fact that while being so thin, lightweight, and beautiful it's still incredibly fast with SSD.

Again, not everyone cares about how fast an application opens. Actually, furthermore, if you notice, SSDs slow down overtime as they degrade while Hard Drives stay relatively the same speed, only slow down as they "fill up"

My rev B 1.86/SSD MBA felt like a Mac Pro when connected to a 24" LED ACD. The rev C is even better but only with SSD. Take away the SSD and it becomes a slow ultraportable that feels worse than a netbook.

Again, OP doesn't care about connecting a LED ACD or wanting it to feel like a Mac Pro.

Furthermore, I even explained to the OP how to pay less and get far better. The rev C MBA with HDD is $1499, while the rev B with SSD will fly compared to the C/HDD and only costs $1349.

There is no reason to buy the rev C MBA with HDD. What makes the MBA incredible is that it's so much thinner and lightweight yet seems like a speedy Pro model!

Everyone reading this, if you cannot afford a rev B/C with SSD DO NOT BUY an MBA!!! Seriously it's not worth it.

Not everyone trusts a refurbished models or have the same beliefs as you on buying refurbished. This is the OP's choice, not yours. You may have made the point that at a price point, its cheaper, but the ultimate choice is the OP's. The OP asked a question, you gave an opinion, but you just made it as a ultimatum that "If you buy HDD, you'll regret it. You MUST get a SSD if you want to join the MBA cult"

Not high and mighty just being honest. Ask anyone who has owned both exactly the differences and the reply will be night and day!

I've owned both HDD and SSD models. If you're not doing anything extensive, I see NO huge difference. Both systems are great and fun to work with.

If you plan to use the MBA like a netbook with extremely light web browsing and to check email, sure the HDD might get you by. But if you plan to really use it like a Mac, you simply must get an SSD model. The slight extra is worth it or buy it refurbished if you need to pay less. $1349 is an absolute screaming deal refurbished rev B 1.86/SSD and is TEN TIMES the Mac as when using HDD.

"Use it like a Mac"? Seriously? Can I use a netbook as a "PC?"

Seriously OP get the facts and consider ALL options before buying an MBA with HDD. I know from experience. If you get HDD you will be waiting on it and it will feel like a slow boring ultraportable! It will not feel like a speedy Mac unless you get the SSD.

No Scottsdale, I know from experience. I've owned 3x Rev. A MacBook Air's with a 1.6GHz/80GB. I only regretted the first two because of an overheating problem, the third one was a pleasure to use when that problem was fixed.

I feel nearly as strong about SSD as I do about Nvidia GPU. Those two components make the MBA incredible. Even though it weighs three pounds and a half inch thick, it has a Penryn CPU, Nvidia GPU, DDR3 RAM, SATA-II drive controller with fast Samsung SSD.

I agree with the nVidia GPU and the Penryn CPU, but the SSD is not a high selling point for someone using it like a Netbook.

If you're serious about computers/Macs, you must get the SSD.

So my Uncle who has my 2nd Rev. A MacBook Air is unhappy? Don't think so, he's pretty happy with it and haven't heard a complaint yet... and he's serious when it comes to computers. He likes to get the best money can buy but he settled with a Rev. A 1.6GHz/80GB

I am only saying this because I believe everyone should get their money's worth. The only way to truly enjoy the MBA is for it to feel like a fast Mac, and that only happens with SSD.

Please others, chime in on how big the differences are. Night and day times TEN.

While I value your opinions, you're just ranting. I do not believe the OP would be "happier" with a SSD vs the HDD, especially with the list of items that he/she listed.

Web Surfing -> You can do that on a Pentium 3, Old crap Dell Notebook and still be able to "Surf" the net.
E-Mail -> Loading a E-Mail 2 seconds faster don't make any difference for a light user.

Scottsdale
Aug 25, 2009, 10:56 AM
I deny any need/desire to change any word I wrote above.

The differences between a 4200 rpm HDD and a SATA-II SSD are night and day and more. The drive in a computer is THE bottleneck. It's the one component that the system is waiting on most. It's the tightest constraint. Going from a much slower than normal HDD to a lightning fast SSD is a dramatic difference. I seriously recommend that if one cannot get BOTH an Nvidia GPU (rev B/C) AND an SSD that they NOT purchase an MBA to be their primary Mac. Anyone who knows about computers will agree the drive is the bottleneck, and the differences in normal use is night and day between 4200 rpm HDD and SSD.

When I say use it like a Mac, I mean just what the other person replied. A "Mac" is fast and robust. It's easy to use and you never have to wait on it. You never expect freezes, slow starts, slow app openings, and etc. The components are used in syncronicity to reward the user with a wonderful experience. Anyone who has used a Mac knows what their first experience was like compared it to viruses, freezes, shut-downs, and blue screens they had experienced on Windows. Now, the ONLY Mac I have ever not thought WOW was the MBA with the original and newer HDD models. With those two models, one can expect waiting on beach balls, choppy video, super slow, which is unlike any other Mac I have experienced since the Intel transition. I say to everyone that I love Macs, and especially the MBA w/SSD, but if I had to use an MBA with HDD I would prefer ANY other Mac and probably a PC also! The MBA with HDD is not fun to use. Everything "Mac" is missing from the MBA with HDD. The bottleneck is too constraining and it affects the entire user experience so negatively, it doesn't feel like a "Mac" at all!

I stand by that statement 100%, and I think anyone that disagrees is either not being honest with themselves or unexperienced with that model MBA.

I truly think that ANYONE who wants to buy an MBA should find a way to get the rev B/C MBA with SSD. I already stated how it's only $50 more to get the rev C 2.13 GHz SSD refurbished over the new rev C 1.86 w/HDD. If someone is looking a rev B 1.86 w/SSD is only $1349. There is no reason not to spend $50 more for the rev C. But if someone had to get the rev B at the same 1.86 GHz with SSD for $150 less than C/HDD.

If you are reading this and you bought the HDD version, I don't mean this to offend you. At the same time, if you experienced both, I highly doubt you would disagree with my statement. The HDD version is not fun and doesn't have the benefits I regard as "Mac-like." When the rev B was out it costs $700 more for SSD, and I could see how some couldn't find the extra money to get SSD. But right now if you want an MBA there is no good reason to sell yourself short and get the HDD version. Find a way to get the SSD or DO NOT buy the MBA.

Find a way to get the SSD if you want a true Mac experience.

Good luck.

EDIT>>> Please do go to page two for my reply to Jessica's attack!

Spyderturbo007
Aug 25, 2009, 11:43 AM
I'm new with the world of Macs, with the MBA being my first Mac purchase shortly after it was released. I thought I would post my experiences since I have used them both.

I have the original MBA with the HDD and my friend has the B revision with the SSD. I have used them both side by side and his is faster than mine when opening programs. It's not earth shattering, but is a little quicker. For what I do, email, internet, office, etc, I don't see any need to run out and upgrade.

For someone just casually using their MBA, I think the HDD would be fine. I'm perfectly content with mine. If I need serious speed, I'll walk upstairs and jump on the quad core machine with two 10k Raptor drives in RAID 0.

whooleytoo
Aug 25, 2009, 01:29 PM
It's worth remember drive performance doesn't just relate to booting up, launching applications and loading files. With VM permanently on, it's going to have an effect on all performance.

Whether or not it's worth the extra money for SSD - the best thing would be if you could try for yourself in a local store. Sorry I can't help (wouldn't buy any kind of Air but that's just me.. :p )

GoCubsGo
Aug 25, 2009, 04:33 PM
You have to really enjoy how someone can suddenly say that you'll never really have the true Mac experience without owning a machine with an SSD. I guess my MacPro is useless piece of ***** because it doesn't have an SSD in it. Oh crap! My Mini is a useless POS media center without an SSD as well!

Damnit, all these years I've never experienced a true Mac. A mac is not a mac without SSD. Interesting.

I'm off to the Marketplace to sell my PCs. :rolleyes: I sure hope to have a Mac one day. :(

mrgossett
Aug 25, 2009, 05:29 PM
I can't comment on how an Air with the standard HDD performs since I've never used one. But my new Air 1.86 with SSD is wicked fast. I really couldn't believe the difference. Startup time is around 10 seconds or less. Shutdown is almost immediate. Apps launch very quickly. My Mac Pro with a 7200 rpm HDD feels like a slug compared to the Air with SSD. So if performance is important, the SSD makes a REAL difference.

Scottsdale
Aug 25, 2009, 06:29 PM
You have to really enjoy how someone can suddenly say that you'll never really have the true Mac experience without owning a machine with an SSD. I guess my MacPro is useless piece of ***** because it doesn't have an SSD in it. Oh crap! My Mini is a useless POS media center without an SSD as well!

Damnit, all these years I've never experienced a true Mac. A mac is not a mac without SSD. Interesting.

I'm off to the Marketplace to sell my PCs. :rolleyes: I sure hope to have a Mac one day. :(

For such an arrogant attitude you really miss the just of anything/everything I stated completely. Quite honestly, I shouldn't have to explain just how far off your argument is, but I will to show you that your emotion is getting the best of you.

I have worked on plenty of Mac Pros, and they're truly a wonderful Mac "experience." If you read my statement, instead of just replying in furor, you would understand and think before replying so hastily. Quite honestly, your disdain remarks do not warrant a reply, but I will for all of the others who may miss my mark and understand your haste as fact!

The MacBook Air is challenged from a component standpoint. It has minimal space for cooling. This requires it to have a low voltage CPU which is slower than most other Macs from the last three years since the Intel transition. In addition, the CPU and GPU have been throttled down to limit heat output, but this also limits the MacBook Air's capabilities. The drive is also limited in size to meet the super thin space requirements afforded by the MacBook Air. Apple has done an amazing job of making this super thin Mac that weighs three pounds make up for its restricted components by utilizing an SSD to optimize performance of the entire system.

What Apple has done is shear genius IF one is able to capitalize on the SSD option. The 1.8" 4200 rpm HDD is severely limited even compared to a standard 2.5" 7200 rpm HDD. To further maximize the reward of the compact "Air" system, Apple has used the technological advancements of the primary constraint (bottleneck) to make the MacBook Air feel like a MacBook Pro or when connected to a 24" LED ACD a Mac Pro!

With only the 1.8" 4200 rpm HDD, the MacBook Air is even slower than one would imagine as its component base is slower than ALL other Macs from the last three years. So Apple uses the biggest advancement in technology (SSD) to overcome the primary constraint (4200 rpm HDD) and to give the end user the result of a complete Mac experience that one would expect given use of a MacBook Pro with 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Penryn CPU, 4 GB RAM, and a 2.5" 7200 rpm HDD.

That most certainly doesn't imply or exclaim that one needs an SSD in a MacBook Pro or Mac Pro to have a rewarding Mac experience. What that simply states is that a MacBook Air while limited in ALL other components, feels like a MacBook Pro or Mac Pro when an SSD is installed in the MacBook Air.

You simply aren't reading the words I have typed out for you. What I am stating is that the MacBook Air with a completely slower component set than a superior Mac can makeup for the Mac experience with a simple SSD upgrade. The SSD, paired with the Nvidia 9400m, is the genius in the MacBook Air that rewards its user with an incredible Mac experience. With a 1.8" 5 mm tall 4200 rpm HDD, the MacBook Air has a complete set of inferior components not awarding the user what he or she would expect given their Mac experience had previously consisted of a MacBook Pro with 2.4 GHz CPU, 4 GB RAM, and 2.5" 7200 rpm HDD!

Read again if you still want to misrepresent my statement. It is well refined and perfectly clear. It does not state anything of the sort that all/any other Mac would require an SSD to reward the user with a typical Mac experience. It simply means that the SSD in the MacBook Air makes up for its other component shortcomings so greatly that it's a completely different negative experience when the 1.8" 4200 rpm HDD is substituted in the place of the SSD.

The SSD in the MacBook Air makes the Mac experience!

To put it one last way to get the point across to you, I am NOT using the SSD as a requirement for a Mac-like experience. It is actually quite contrary. The baseline Mac I am using in my argument as a positive or normal Mac experience is a MacBook Pro with 2.4 GHz CPU, 4 GB RAM, and 2.5" 7200 rpm HDD!

KyleKlink
Aug 25, 2009, 07:59 PM
This is not my first Mac, I have had two iMacs within the last two years (sold them both to buy my wife camera equipment for her business). So, I'm not really looking for the full-blown "Mac experience" that you keep mentioning. I've experienced a Mac, and I like it. Do I care if it's blistering fast? Will the 4200rpm HDD ruin my entire view on Macintosh because it doesn't open apps in less than one bounce?

No. It wont.

What I am looking to purchase is a 2nd computer to use essentially as a netbook. Im not a fan of Vista, and Windows 7 doesn't look much better (my opinion). So, I am looking to get a Macbook so I can avoid Windows. I am not looking for this orgasmic "Mac Experience" you keep referencing, as I don't much care whether or not this Macbook WOWS me. I just want it to work.

Refurbished is not for me, I only buy brand new.

I'm leaning towards the HDD model.

Scottsdale
Aug 25, 2009, 08:25 PM
You have to really enjoy how someone can suddenly say that you'll never really have the true Mac experience without owning a machine with an SSD. I guess my MacPro is useless piece of ***** because it doesn't have an SSD in it. Oh crap! My Mini is a useless POS media center without an SSD as well!

Damnit, all these years I've never experienced a true Mac. A mac is not a mac without SSD. Interesting.

I'm off to the Marketplace to sell my PCs. :rolleyes: I sure hope to have a Mac one day. :(

This is not my first Mac, I have had two iMacs within the last two years (sold them both to buy my wife camera equipment for her business). So, I'm not really looking for the full-blown "Mac experience" that you keep mentioning. I've experienced a Mac, and I like it. Do I care if it's blistering fast? Will the 4200rpm HDD ruin my entire view on Macintosh because it doesn't open apps in less than one bounce?

No. It wont.

What I am looking to purchase is a 2nd computer to use essentially as a netbook. Im not a fan of Vista, and Windows 7 doesn't look much better (my opinion). So, I am looking to get a Macbook so I can avoid Windows. I am not looking for this orgasmic "Mac Experience" you keep referencing, as I don't much care whether or not this Macbook WOWS me. I just want it to work.

Refurbished is not for me, I only buy brand new.

I'm leaning towards the HDD model.

Refurbished is brand new open box. Read any thread about it. Save $150 and get SSD.

I don't get why anyone would be comfortable paying more money for a Mac that is more like a netbook.

Seriously, if my argument doesn't make sense to you, there is no point in me caring if you want to blow your money.

Why even create a thread if you don't plan to learn from those who have owned all three versions of the Mac you want to buy???????????

Eternally confused by the pointless thread by the OP!

Whatever!

zedsdead
Aug 25, 2009, 08:25 PM
This is not my first Mac, I have had two iMacs within the last two years (sold them both to buy my wife camera equipment for her business). So, I'm not really looking for the full-blown "Mac experience" that you keep mentioning. I've experienced a Mac, and I like it. Do I care if it's blistering fast? Will the 4200rpm HDD ruin my entire view on Macintosh because it doesn't open apps in less than one bounce?

No. It wont.

What I am looking to purchase is a 2nd computer to use essentially as a netbook. Im not a fan of Vista, and Windows 7 doesn't look much better (my opinion). So, I am looking to get a Macbook so I can avoid Windows. I am not looking for this orgasmic "Mac Experience" you keep referencing, as I don't much care whether or not this Macbook WOWS me. I just want it to work.

Refurbished is not for me, I only buy brand new.

I'm leaning towards the HDD model.

I strongly suggest the SSD model. It will make you have a completely different mac experience, one in where you will never want to go back to an HDD again.

Scottsdale
Aug 25, 2009, 08:30 PM
I strongly suggest the SSD model. It will make you have a completely different mac experience, one in where you will never want to go back to an HDD again.

Dude, this is a lost cause. Thread is pointless when someone asks for advice but doesn't genuinely care for the truth. He wants his Mac to be like a netbook.

Amazed at how pointless some threads are. Sad to waste our time for someone who throws it in your face.

KyleKlink
Aug 25, 2009, 08:31 PM
Why even create a thread if you don't plan to learn from those who have owned all three versions of the Mac you want to buy???????????

Eternally confused by the pointless thread by the OP!

Whatever!

Dude, you're not the only person to reply to this thread. And you are severely outnumbered when it comes to opinions of the 4200 HDD. The majority of the people responding said it would likely be just fine.

It seems you would rather have me abandon everyone's opinion but yours, as if yours is somehow superior. I'm guessing you're a bit of a narcissist, am I right?

KyleKlink
Aug 25, 2009, 08:34 PM
I strongly suggest the SSD model. It will make you have a completely different mac experience, one in where you will never want to go back to an HDD again.

Why is it always about the "experience" with Mac users? Does a computer always have to be top-of-the-line in order for it to be effective? If the 4200 is such crap, why does Apple even bother to sell it?

Oh, that's right, because some people don't need a blistering fast laptop to WOW them! I just want something that works, and that won't be extremely painful to use. I'm going to be surfing the interwebs on it, not looking for an orgasmic "experience." If I want something fast I will sit down at my desktop PC.

aussie.damo
Aug 26, 2009, 02:36 AM
Why is it always about the "experience" with Mac users? Does a computer always have to be top-of-the-line in order for it to be effective? If the 4200 is such crap, why does Apple even bother to sell it?

Oh, that's right, because some people don't need a blistering fast laptop to WOW them! I just want something that works, and that won't be extremely painful to use. I'm going to be surfing the interwebs on it, not looking for an orgasmic "experience." If I want something fast I will sit down at my desktop PC.

Go with the HDD model. I have the Rev A with HDD and ya know what? It's great! It does exactly what I need, it doesn't overheat and it suits my requirements perfectly. Yes, I have a few other Mac's, but the Air is by far the one I use most. It's a perfectly capable machine.

I am always surprised at the vigour with which people defend their decisions. People who insist you MUST get the SSD to have the Mac experience are just plain wrong. I am also shocked at how repetitive these posters are. We get it! You love your SSD & NVIDIA combination. Understood.

I'm glad that different people have responded to you in this thread as I feel the Air forums have been filled with garbage of late. Every question is answered with "SSD NVIDIA ONLY WAY TO GO FORGET THE REST THAT'S THE BEST" and some people might see that as the truth. It's not.

Good luck with your purchase, I look forward to reading about how much you love your new HDD Air :)

Damo

aussie.damo
Aug 26, 2009, 02:39 AM
Are you ****ing kidding me? You clearly have no idea when you call it miserable.
I have a Rev B HDD model and it's plenty fine. Yes, a SSD would be way better but the 4200 RPM is not as bad as these people are saying.

Seriously get a grip.

iPhoto bounces about 5 times before it opens. Safari bounces about 3. Photoshop Elements bounces 7 times before opening. Mail bounces twice.

I'm not saying a HDD is 50% as fast as a SSD but it's fine, especially if it's a casual use machine. While I'd love to have an SSD, the HDD is plenty fine.

It pisses me off Scottsdale when people like you get all high and mighty with your SSD or nothing BS. You and I both know your over dramatic determination of the HDD model being miserable is BS. And fwiw, it's not about money. I could have bought into the SSD model but for me the value was not there. The MB Air is a fine machine even without the SSD.

*claps*

You are spot on with your assessment. HDD Air rocks (my world, at least).

Nice to see some balance on the Air forums.

Damo

ascender
Aug 26, 2009, 02:47 AM
I bought a revision A MBA which had the HDD in it. I returned it fairly soon after because of a noticeable sluggishness about the machine. I couldn't quite put my finger on what was causing this, but having since used a friend's machine with an SSD in it, I can only put it down to the HDD. There are countless posts on here about people with SSDs who have used both types and say that the SSD is a completely different machine compared to the HDD and that the drive makes the whole MBA concept make sense.

Having said all that, I think user expectations always play a part in this sort of thing, so depending on what your other Mac is, you may be expecting the MBA to be faster/slower in the first place before you've actually used it.

ayeying
Aug 26, 2009, 02:59 AM
Dude, this is a lost cause. Thread is pointless when someone asks for advice but doesn't genuinely care for the truth. He wants his Mac to be like a netbook.

Amazed at how pointless some threads are. Sad to waste our time for someone who throws it in your face.

No. This thread is not pointless, as a matter of fact, it is extremely helpful.

You are choosing to completely ignore what the OP is asking and put your point of view and pressuring the OP to go with it. That's not an opinion, that's an ultimatum for the OP. Furthermore, you're ignoring all the other comments from users here and only picking targets that says "HDD is fine enough for the OP".

The only time wasted is the other users who are trying to tell you that, for what the OP needs (see where I'm going here? This is about the OP's needs, not your needs) the HDD model is more than enough.

The OP asked for advice. He/She gets to look at ALL POINTS OF VIEW, not just yours. All you're going on is pointing that "He/She better go with the SSD or He/She won't be happy". Lemme ask you, how the **** do you know if the OP is gonna be happy or not? He/She might be happy with the HDD. Are you a fortune teller now?

The truth is, the ultimate choice is his/hers. Not yours. You can state the facts and your opinions on the HDD vs SSD models, but don't make it a do or die choice for the OP, it's not helpful. Actually, you can say, you're insulting all the HDD model users.

"doesn't genuinely care for the truth" ... you think the OP completely ignores your opinions just because he/she is leaning to the HDD model? This is like a 5 year old getting pissed off because someone wouldn't do something his/her way.

The OP already stated what he/she wants. He/She have read our comments and opinions between the two models. Now its his/her choice.

Go with the HDD model. I have the Rev A with HDD and ya know what? It's great! It does exactly what I need, it doesn't overheat and it suits my requirements perfectly. Yes, I have a few other Mac's, but the Air is by far the one I use most. It's a perfectly capable machine.

I agree. Even though my current machine is an SSD model, I've used the HDD models before for longer than a month. I have no regrets except the overheating. If the overheating wasn't there and the system had an good GPU on the Rev. A, I wouldn't even need to change.

Only reason I got the Rev. C SSD is because of the CPU/GPU combo over the SSD.

Scylax
Aug 26, 2009, 04:12 AM
I have a white macbook, 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, 250GB HDD 4200RPM. I just got a new MBA top spec with SSD. I have to agree with Scottsdale on this-the SSD is worth every penny, and I would certainly choose a refurb with SSD rather than a new one with HDD. When this MB gets replaced in a few weeks it will be for one with a SSD, as the MBA with a lower clock speed and RAM feels much faster. Unless you do a lot of tasks such as importing photos or music, for which an SSD is actually slower, I would go for the SSD every single time, especially if you can do the above tasks on your desktop. If you can get an opportunity to try both out then do, but fwiw I think Scottsdale is right, if somewhat forceful. I love my MB, but now I wish several times a day that it was as quick as the MBA. That probably says quite a lot.:):)

McDughf
Aug 26, 2009, 05:47 AM
Why is it always about the "experience" with Mac users? Does a computer always have to be top-of-the-line in order for it to be effective? If the 4200 is such crap, why does Apple even bother to sell it?

Oh, that's right, because some people don't need a blistering fast laptop to WOW them! I just want something that works, and that won't be extremely painful to use. I'm going to be surfing the interwebs on it, not looking for an orgasmic "experience." If I want something fast I will sit down at my desktop PC.

Mate, Part Of The "Mac Experience" is not about how fast a machine runs, its about how smoothly it works. Unless I am doing some processor intensive stuff, I really do not notice much speed difference when using any of my macs, And I have a range from a couple of G4's to a nippy Mac Pro.

The "Smoothness" I am referring to is in the little things, such as having menus appear instantly, and not having to wait around for them, or pressing the volume key and having the HUD and sound effect play straight away, and all the rest of Apples Touches.
These little attentions to minute detail is why Apple Fans Are Apple Fans, and as I said in a previous post, these things are sluggish on my MBA with HDD, dampening the experience slightly. But As I Also Said before, I do not regret buying the machine as I love it to bits.

But If you don't "Get" why we all harp on about the "Mac Experience" is the Mac Really for you?:p
Just A Thought, as there are netbooks out there that run other things apart from Windows too

Jobsian
Aug 26, 2009, 06:18 AM
Hmm, my initial impulse is to say definitely go for the SSD. But then I thought if it is just a secondary computer but you want it reasonably fast, a HDD MBA would be good. But then I thought, if it's just for web and email - why not save $$$ and get a netbook?

I would recommend you try both the MBA HDD and a good Netbook - if as you say in your OP it's just for web browsing and email - a netbook would be much cheaper and sufficient. Try both. Also give the devil on your shoulder a say and try the SSD MBA :D

Jobsian
Aug 26, 2009, 06:21 AM
As to the volatility of the thread, while it's immensely more entertaining than a more cordial debate I must admit, immensely more, please CHILL!! For your blood pressures' sakes! No need to involve so much blaring emotion!

I have to say I look upon some of the passion here with a similar wonderment to that I have for the circus, ie with a hint of terror.

KyleKlink
Aug 26, 2009, 07:19 AM
There are countless posts on here about people with SSDs who have used both types and say that the SSD is a completely different machine compared to the HDD and that the drive makes the whole MBA concept make sense.

Having said all that, I think user expectations always play a part in this sort of thing, so depending on what your other Mac is, you may be expecting the MBA to be faster/slower in the first place before you've actually used it.

I think this makes my point well. Sure, the SSD model is going to perform better than the HDD model. But, is that extra performance necessary and worth the additional cost? (I'm not going refurb, so let's not even mention that).

My main concern that led to this thread was whether or not the HDD model is disgustingly slow to the point where it is unusable. From the responses I've seen, this is not the case.

KyleKlink
Aug 26, 2009, 07:26 AM
But If you don't "Get" why we all harp on about the "Mac Experience" is the Mac Really for you?:p


So now I am not worthy enough for a Mac because I don't give a crap about the "Experience?" Seriously dude, that's BS.

Why am I going to get a Mac? Because I hate Windows. I wouldn't mind a laptop running Ubuntu if it didn't require so much attention (and if everything would just work, which it wouldn't). I'm choosing Mac because the OS is not going to require me to babysit it.

Who the hell are you to tell me what I should be looking for from Mac OS X? I don't mean to be rude, but seriously dude, you really think I should go for something other than Mac just because I don't care how fast menus are going to open?

My God, some Mac users really scare the crap out of me....

tsubikiddo
Aug 26, 2009, 07:29 AM
I just cannot be bothered to go through the whole flaming/bkward & fwd display between jessica & Scottsdale
please don't get me wrong, it's a time constraint issue, not that I don't want to look into each's arguments.

To the OP,
I have a rev.B 1.6 HDD
it will work just fine, it will do what you stated in #1

SSD is surely nice, but let's get to the bottom line,
you don't benefit from the performance gain
as in -
you click mail, MBA opens mail,
you click safari, MBA opens safari


You are not in the situation like:
'oh shyt! my MBA can't render this picture in exactly 1min.13secs.422... or sth'
having the SSD is surely a thumb up,
but it doesn't give the HDD a thumb down

Go with the HDD,
it's more than competent


PS. if I were to use SSD, i wouldn't bother with the Samsung SSD currently found in the MBA SSD,
I'd just stuff a x18-E into it,
that's performance, that's the night & day difference:cool:

KyleKlink
Aug 26, 2009, 07:30 AM
But then I thought, if it's just for web and email - why not save $$$ and get a netbook?

Netbook = Windows or some retarded version of Linux. No thanks.

I think I need to clear up a bit more why I am buying a Mac. I really don't care about performance. I care about appearance (call me shallow) and the OS. The Macbook Air is a great looking machine, and it runs Mac OS X, which I think is excellent.

I know your post is just making a kind suggestion, and I appreciate that. But I am quite annoyed by other posters who would suggest that Mac isn't for me because I am not looking for a machine that screams. I want a good OS, and I am willing to pay through the nose for it. What is so wrong about that?!

phatcat
Aug 26, 2009, 08:28 AM
Once you go SSD, you never go back! (or is this statement about something else?)

I have to agree with Scottsdale, that it's a huge difference in performance, even while web surfing. I suggest to the OP that they go visit a mac store and compare an HD & SSD model side by side. Queue up a web page on both machines, then hit Enter. You'll see the web page load twice as fast on the SSD since any web page is cached on a hard drive. Just about everything you'll do with your mac will easily at least double in speed with an SSD. Also don't forget the SSD is far more reliable than a standard HD.

I imagine some folks are miffed because they don't consider their HD Air as a miserable experience and don't appreciate being informally told they purchased a horrible machine (for lots and lots of $$).

Also, to the OP, check Craigslist for some killer deals. I picked up my new air for $1300.

Spyderturbo007
Aug 26, 2009, 08:54 AM
My main concern that led to this thread was whether or not the HDD model is disgustingly slow to the point where it is unusable. From the responses I've seen, this is not the case.

Nope, it's just fine. My MBA was my first Mac and I'm thrilled with the way it runs. Even after using my friends with the SSD, I still love mine.

Yes, his is faster, but so is the Revision C with the upgraded chip and GPU. Am I going to run out and buy it right away because it's faster than mine? Absolutely not.

I imagine some folks are miffed because they don't consider their HD Air as a miserable experience and don't appreciate being informally told they purchased a horrible machine (for lots and lots of $$).

Yep, just because your machine is a little faster than mine means that the one I bought is horrible. :rolleyes:

GoCubsGo
Aug 26, 2009, 09:03 AM
It's very easily summed up. A MacBook Air with an HDD is a netbook and not really even worthy of being called a Mac because the Mac experience is totally lost. A MacBook Air with an SSD is the ultimate Mac and will give users the true Mac experience.

I'm not sure why that is so hard to understand. I mean, with such intelligence flowing through those statements I'm actually going to go to Apple today to get a Mac and get rid of my netbook. :) I really hate my Netbook Air, it sucks donkey toes. But really, I totally understand now and there is no more need to argue. Eventually Apple should discontinue any model not carrying an SSD because the HDD MacBook Air is 100% useless. It's crippled technology and not really even worth being called technology.

At least that is what I understand once I weave through ego land. I am sorry I couldn't see this before. :(

McDughf
Aug 26, 2009, 09:38 AM
So now I am not worthy enough for a Mac because I don't give a crap about the "Experience?" Seriously dude, that's BS.

...

Who the hell are you to tell me what I should be looking for from Mac OS X?


Now You Listen To Me Sir, And Listen Closely, As I Can Already See You Have A Problem Comprehending English.

I Just Related To You My Own Problems With The HDD MacBook Air And Finished By Asking A Question. Not Once Did I Ever Command, Order Or Even Suggest A Course Of Action To You. Hell I Never Even Impressed An Opinion On You, So To Come Back With Such A Rude Response Is Just Disgusting.

You Asked The Question : " Is A 4200rpm HDD Really That Bad?" Honest People Here Are Giving You Their Honest REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES, Although Some Deliver Them In A Less Then Exemplary Fashion, They Are Their Opinions None The Less. Then You Contradict Your Original Question By Stating That :

I really don't care about performance. I care about appearance (call me shallow) and the OS. The Macbook Air is a great looking machine, and it runs Mac OS X, which I think is excellent.


I Now Believe That You Already Had The Answer To Your Question, So, I'm Afraid I'm Going To Have To Agree With Scottsdale And Back Out Of This Thread, To Everyone Else Thanks For Your Opinions.


Why even create a thread if you don't plan to learn from those who have owned all three versions of the Mac you want to buy???????????

Eternally confused by the pointless thread by the OP!

Whatever!

GeekGuys
Aug 26, 2009, 09:40 AM
Sorry to go off topic for a second, but are Scottsdale and Jessica and item? This is better than a soap opera !!! You two should meet up....maybe not!:o

So, to sum up, I think that you should go to the Apple store and try them out.
From personal experience (of pretty much every Mac since 1992) I would say that technology always moves on. SSD may be the way forward if the price comes down enough..... but that is the key here. Is the difference in performance worth the extra money? You only buy new.... so, you have to see what the best value for money is, within your budget. Assuming you can afford any product out there (can't we all.... what recession!?!?!) then it comes down to what you find an acceptable machine at an acceptable price. Simple.

Ease up on McDughf as I think his comment was sarcastic rather than a dig at you. Maybe I am wrong.... but I doubt it. I don't have opinions... they are fact! (that was me being sarcastic incase anyone wants to attack me)

For the record I currently use daily a MBA rev a HDD and a uMBP 15" (yep, just bought it) SSD for impressing clients. I currently prefer the MBA for daily use though. That may change with time!!!!:)

Barny

GeekGuys
Aug 26, 2009, 09:45 AM
one more thing...

That "Mac Experience" that is being used so much. I am a OSX user because of all those reasons against MS/Linux and all those reasons for Apple.
However, I still get the watch, spinning wheel and slow menu items occassionally on my Mac Pro Quad with 16GB RAM. It is not a HDD issue... it is usually an application problem, and almost always because I run MS Office 2008 for Mac on my office machines !!!!!:D

Seriously, Spotlight indexing, iPhoto cache updates etc etc etc can all take up too many CPU cycles and cause these blips, without any HDD (or SSD) access at all. It doesn't detract from the usefullness or experience of OSX though.

Scottsdale
Aug 26, 2009, 01:56 PM
It's very easily summed up. A MacBook Air with an HDD is a netbook and not really even worthy of being called a Mac because the Mac experience is totally lost. A MacBook Air with an SSD is the ultimate Mac and will give users the true Mac experience.

I'm not sure why that is so hard to understand. I mean, with such intelligence flowing through those statements I'm actually going to go to Apple today to get a Mac and get rid of my netbook. :) I really hate my Netbook Air, it sucks donkey toes. But really, I totally understand now and there is no more need to argue. Eventually Apple should discontinue any model not carrying an SSD because the HDD MacBook Air is 100% useless. It's crippled technology and not really even worth being called technology.

At least that is what I understand once I weave through ego land. I am sorry I couldn't see this before. :(

You still haven't replied to my post #26. Your statement was a completely incorrect assesment of what I stated about the SSD. I never stated every Mac needs an SSD. You are way off on your posts. Honestly, they are garbage as you twist around what others say to promote your argument. You should be ashamed of yourself.

I understand you take it as a personal attack that an SSD is superior to your HDD MBA. You bought it at a time when it cost $700 more for SSD. But times have changed and an MBA with SSD now costs the same as the HDD model before. It isn't a personal attack. At the same time if you're going to provide information for people who are buying NOW, you should do them justice by being objective about the current offerings.

I am providing honest assesment of what is currently available for the money. Nobody benefits from MR when peopletwist around what others say to promote their own opinions.

SeanU
Aug 26, 2009, 04:10 PM
I'm leaning towards picking up a Macbook Air, but cannot justify the additional cost for the SSD model. This is going to be a second computer for me, as I use my desktop primarily. The MBA would be used for web browsing and email when my son is sleeping in my room (where my desktop is).

For such light use, is the 4200rpm really that big of a deal? Sure, it's slower than the SSD. But it is slow to the point where I am going to regret purchasing it?

Anyone who has this model, I'd appreciate your thoughts.

Another positive vote for the HDD model here. It's more than fast enough for your tasks. Seriously... web browsing and email need an SSD? These threads get better all of the time...

financeguy
Aug 26, 2009, 04:56 PM
Here's my 2 cents. I got a good deal on a new rev B HDD model and I'm really happy with it. I use if for email, web, music, video, etc.

I think that the SSD people might be right about it being much faster or better, but since they've used SSD, they can tell how much slower HDD is.

However, if you are like me and have never used SSD, you won't be disappointed and it will feel like most other laptops.

Hemingray
Aug 26, 2009, 05:28 PM
Good Lord people! Who would have thought SSD vs HDD would stir up this much fervor.

Speaking as someone who has only used a RevA HDD MBA, I will say that it was slow enough that my boss sold it only months after buying it specifically because of the lack of speed. The hard drive was the biggest bottleneck, but other factors such as RAM (2GB) and slow processor affected things as well. FWIW, the Xbench score was abysmal.

Granted, he was expecting way too much from the get-go. I warned him that people were complaining of its slowness, but he was drawn in by the form factor. He wanted something worthy of running stuff like Creative Suite, and iMovie and such, which in my opinion is way too much to ask for the bottom model RevA.

I have yet to have the opportunity to use an SSD (still waiting for prices to come down), but based on benchmarks I would expect it to make a significant difference from using an HDD, especially a 4200RPM one.

Basically, for what the original poster said, I agree that an HDD should fit his needs fine.

rtdunham
Aug 26, 2009, 05:34 PM
Refurbished is brand new open box. Read any thread about it. Save $150 and get SSD.

Historically that's not been true. Refurbs included machines that had been used and returned. One personal example: An iPod i bought refurb'd that had more than 1,000 songs on it, most of them registered to a user who had no doubt bought the device and shortly thereafter returned it, apple having failed to wipe it before selling it again. Maybe Apple's changed their refurb policy since, dunno.

Having said that: I buy most of my computers refurb and have never had a problem, other than a MacPro years ago that arrived lacking some of the system disks. Apple promptly sent me replacements.

Seriously, if my argument doesn't make sense to you, there is no point in me caring if you want to blow your money.

Why even create a thread if you don't plan to learn from those who have owned all three versions of the Mac you want to buy???????????

Whatever!

Scottsdale, if I may? You come across as way too invested in your opinions, and that detracts from the valuable contribution you might otherwise make.
Example: If one of your arguments "doesn't make sense" to someone, they are--your conclusion--blowing their money.
Example: If someone doesn't accept your argument, but is moved by the opinions of others, they--your conclusion--shouldn't even have created the thread.

Life's not like that. My wish for you is that youi begin to recognize that your opinions have the same value as others', when everyone's describing their personal experiences as the bases for those opinions. Going through life believing your opinions are always the right ones--worse yet, the only acceptable ones--can't lead to happiness. Don't even get me started on the futility of parenting with that sort of fervor!

On a more factual note:
1) I think i've seen reviews comparing performance of HD & SSD MBAs showing very modest differences. I'll try to dig up one.
2) I think you're wrong when you say (in an earlier post) that a 7200 rpm drive is 30% faster than a 5400 rpm drive. It may spin 30% faster. But that's vastly different than arguing about performance. Again, i've seen recent reviews that found the 7200 rpm HDs available for MBPs perform at about the same level as slower drives in the same machine. There's a multitude of factors that determine performance, not just spin speed.

Peace to all.

GoCubsGo
Aug 26, 2009, 05:35 PM
You still haven't replied to my post #26. Your statement was a completely incorrect assesment of what I stated about the SSD. I never stated every Mac needs an SSD. You are way off on your posts. Honestly, they are garbage as you twist around what others say to promote your argument. You should be ashamed of yourself.

I understand you take it as a personal attack that an SSD is superior to your HDD MBA. You bought it at a time when it cost $700 more for SSD. But times have changed and an MBA with SSD now costs the same as the HDD model before. It isn't a personal attack. At the same time if you're going to provide information for people who are buying NOW, you should do them justice by being objective about the current offerings.

I am providing honest assesment of what is currently available for the money. Nobody benefits from MR when peopletwist around what others say to promote their own opinions.

I did not intentionally gloss over post #26 but it is funny, you probably disagree, but everything you've said to me I've said to you. Right down to how you should be ashamed of yourself, really.

I am not offended and you don't understand it was not a personal attack because it is not personal to me (it is clearly to you) and it is not an attack (because you can get to me like that) so clearly you don't understand. I wish you could offend me over something like this, that would tell me there is nothing bigger than this out there. You didn't offend me at all but it is clear I offended you and possibly hurt your feelings.

The unfortunate aspect is it that you asked me to be objective when I was. You were not. You push your garbage just as you say I am. In this case you're going to have to admit that we'll agree to disagree and your paper hammer can be put down because there's no argument here.

If you read what I wrote I've defended both sides as I saw fit. I'm sorry I can't defend your purchase, it wasn't mine to defend.

So relax friend, it's ok. :)

stockscalper
Aug 26, 2009, 06:56 PM
Historically that's not been true. Refurbs included machines that had been used and returned. One personal example: An iPod i bought refurb'd that had more than 1,000 songs on it, most of them registered to a user who had no doubt bought the device and shortly thereafter returned it, apple having failed to wipe it before selling it again. Maybe Apple's changed their refurb policy since, dunno.



Most refurbs are simply open box returns. But whether they are just open box or have been used they undergo a series of tests that includes, in the case of computers, a reformatting of the hard drive. Then they are repackaged with necessary accessories added. Apple refurbs come with a full warranty. Your experience doesn't sound like you bought the device from Apple. I've had a less than satisfactory experience buying through a third party one time. Since then, I've bought a number of refurbs from Apple and every one has been just like new. Most have been laptops and you couldn't tell the difference between them and a new one. My next computer will likely be a MBA and it will be a refurb from Apple.

nws0291
Aug 26, 2009, 07:31 PM
Get the HDD. If you want to go SSD later you can. The SSD that Apple offers sucks. It's slow for a SSD and they charge way to much for it. If you want an SSD buy an OCZ Vertex/Summit or the new Intel drive that they just came out with. I have two Summits. One in my Core i7 hackintosh and one in my Macbook.

Scottsdale
Aug 26, 2009, 07:51 PM
Get the HDD. If you want to go SSD later you can. The SSD that Apple offers sucks. It's slow for a SSD and they charge way to much for it. If you want an SSD buy an OCZ Vertex/Summit or the new Intel drive that they just came out with. I have two Summits. One in my Core i7 hackintosh and one in my Macbook.

The SSDs you're pushing are 2.5" drives. The MBA uses a 1.8" drive with a 5mm height restriction. There is no aftermarket solution except the same Samsung drive Apple uses, and with that one needs to solder the MBA's LIF connector to a SATA cable to fit the drive.

Bottom line, there is no simple solution. What the MBA is purchased with is the drive it will most likely have its entire useful life. Unfortunately, 99% of those wanting to upgrade theirs will never be able to anywhere near the price Apple charges for it new.

I personally find it confusing why anyone wouldn't want to spend $150 less to get something that is called "refurbished." Almost everyone I have spoken with or read about their rev B SSD receive them in new condition with typical new battery cycle count of one or zero. But that advice is for ANY OTHER person who may be interested in MBA as OP is appauled by thought of "refurbished." Apparently thinking been used for six months, has cookie crumbs stuck in the keyboard, a battery cycle count of 300, and scratches all over the unit. Of course anyone who has read about Apple refurbish can vouch for the opposite. And all of us with knowledge of Apple's practices realize these are all brand new units remaining in inventory reboxed and renamed to be sold for those who are smart enough to buy a past revision Mac at a huge discount with superior parts in the case of SSD over HDD. Incredible that someone would state only care about appearance and chooses to spend life waiting on his computer for a surcharge of $150. LMAO!!!

KyleKlink
Aug 26, 2009, 09:53 PM
But that advice is for ANY OTHER person who may be interested in MBA as OP is appauled by thought of "refurbished." Apparently thinking been used for six months, has cookie crumbs stuck in the keyboard, a battery cycle count of 300, and scratches all over the unit.

Straw man argument there. Try harder next time.

I never said I was appalled by refurbished machines, nor did I state why my personal opinion of them was. My take on refurbished units--and this applies to all products, not just Macs--is that I would rather pay the additional amount to get a factory sealed, never touched by consumer product. I will agree that most refurbished units are in no way different from brand new units. But still, I would rather buy new than buy something that might have been originally returned for some sort of technical issue. Ever heard of the term "lemon"?

You're probably going to tell me that Mac doesn't have lemons though, because they are superior and use only the latest and greatest components.

rtdunham
Aug 26, 2009, 09:58 PM
Most refurbs are simply open box returns. But whether they are just open box or have been used they undergo a series of tests that includes, in the case of computers, a reformatting of the hard drive. Then they are repackaged with necessary accessories added. Apple refurbs come with a full warranty. Your experience doesn't sound like you bought the device from Apple. I've had a less than satisfactory experience buying through a third party one time. Since then, I've bought a number of refurbs from Apple and every one has been just like new. Most have been laptops and you couldn't tell the difference between them and a new one. My next computer will likely be a MBA and it will be a refurb from Apple.

the iPod in my example was purchased at an apple store. it just slipped thru the QC. As I said, I've been very happy with refurbs and I advocate them for friends and family.

Doju
Aug 30, 2009, 02:26 PM
Straw man argument there. Try harder next time.

I never said I was appalled by refurbished machines, nor did I state why my personal opinion of them was. My take on refurbished units--and this applies to all products, not just Macs--is that I would rather pay the additional amount to get a factory sealed, never touched by consumer product. I will agree that most refurbished units are in no way different from brand new units. But still, I would rather buy new than buy something that might have been originally returned for some sort of technical issue. Ever heard of the term "lemon"?

You're probably going to tell me that Mac doesn't have lemons though, because they are superior and use only the latest and greatest components.Err, return it if it's a lemon? They have the same warranty, and whatever issue made them a "lemon" was corrected. I've only ordered refurbished machines and I've yet to have a problem with them.

You're incredibly shallow. Buying a machine for hundreds of dollars more than what you could get it for so you can have a pretty box.

joelypolly
Aug 31, 2009, 04:08 AM
Both upsides and down sides. SSD is much faster but more expensive. HDD is slower but cheaper. At the end of the day you decide what is more important to you.

Consider this I scanned through 15,000 photos and moved them using a script with filtering on the SSD in the blink of an eye. To which I thought did my script run properly? And it did, just very very fast. The same thing would take quite a bit longer on a HDD based system in fact probably enough time for me to get a cup of coffee.

While this isn't a typical example it just goes to show that there is value in having a SSD but do you consider a coffee break a bad thing?

It won't be the end of the world if you go with a HDD but as the Air takes up more of your computing duties (it has for me and I only planned to use it as a email/web laptop) you will start wishing you spent a bit more upfront.

buildingsteam
Aug 31, 2009, 09:09 AM
I have owned a Rev. A HDD Air, a Rev. B SSD Air, and a Mac Pro. Firstly, to say that any MacBook Air feels like a Mac Pro is pretty meaningless since it depends on what you are doing with it. If one just wants to stare at the desktop then a Cube will feel like a Mac Pro too. To be honest, multitasking on the Air can be sluggish, video performance isn't great, and anything that requires serious CPU will suffer. These issues have nothing to the with the type of disk drive. I think the SSD is of course nice but it is by no means essential if one is realistic about what the Air is actually good for. I totally loved my Rev. A HDD Air and can't see any reason why it wouldn't make a great computer for light use, web browsing, email, music, iPhoto, coding, etc. It was my only personal computer for around a year and the Rev. B SSD has only just replaced it, and there isn't much difference between the two.

alphaod
Aug 31, 2009, 10:10 AM
I'm beginning to enjoy some these arguments because to me it's nostalgic—feels like first grade again with all the "your mom"-like comebacks.

I have a Rev. C MBA with a SSD. It is very fast for me. It does everything I need it to do. My father has a Rev. A MBA with the HDD. Yes it does take a few more seconds to boot, things aren't as fast, but in the end, things still get done. His needs are different from mine.


You're incredibly shallow. Buying a machine for hundreds of dollars more than what you could get it for so you can have a pretty box.

My father checks emails and browses the web. So yes he spent almost 2 grand on a machine for such a mundane purpose, but the design appealed to him and the computer suited his needs. This has nothing to do with being shallow—besides what's the point of making money if you're just going to hide it under the mattress? What wrong with buying for a fancy box? Do you not buy flowers? Or birthday cards? According to your definition all these people are shallow. Flowers are really expensive considering they don't last very long and birthday cards—I hope you don't give half-folded pieces of paper with nothing on them to people.

I don't know the definite of life or the answer to everyone's needs. Obviously the OP can afford a new unit, so why not let it be? All KyleKlink wants to know is if the HDD model is sufficient for the needs specified and it is. We don't really need comments from the Peanuts gallery.

I can tell you that of many people who switch to Macs for the first time do it for their visual appeal. People are seduced by looks and brand. If I was using a generic computer, and I saw someone with a Mac, I'd probably comment to myself the visual appeal the Mac has.

Doju
Aug 31, 2009, 12:12 PM
I'm beginning to enjoy some these arguments because to me it's nostalgic—feels like first grade again with all the "your mom"-like comebacks.

I have a Rev. C MBA with a SSD. It is very fast for me. It does everything I need it to do. My father has a Rev. A MBA with the HDD. Yes it does take a few more seconds to boot, things aren't as fast, but in the end, things still get done. His needs are different from mine.



My father checks emails and browses the web. So yes he spent almost 2 grand on a machine for such a mundane purpose, but the design appealed to him and the computer suited his needs. This has nothing to do with being shallow—besides what's the point of making money if you're just going to hide it under the mattress? What wrong with buying for a fancy box? Do you not buy flowers? Or birthday cards? According to your definition all these people are shallow. Flowers are really expensive considering they don't last very long and birthday cards—I hope you don't give half-folded pieces of paper with nothing on them to people.

I don't know the definite of life or the answer to everyone's needs. Obviously the OP can afford a new unit, so why not let it be? All KyleKlink wants to know is if the HDD model is sufficient for the needs specified and it is. We don't really need comments from the Peanuts gallery.

I can tell you that of many people who switch to Macs for the first time do it for their visual appeal. People are seduced by looks and brand. If I was using a generic computer, and I saw someone with a Mac, I'd probably comment to myself the visual appeal the Mac has.Wow, try reading my post?

I'm saying, the only advantage with new over refurbished is you get a pretty box. Refurbished has nothing wrong with it. If she's infantile enough to pay hundreds of dollars more than the same refurbished machine, only to get a box you'll unwrap for five seconds and throw away, she is shallow. For slightly cheaper than the Rev C HDD new you can get the Rev B SSD refurbished. Faster, cheaper, better machine. Don't be shallow.

MACS look great, and I too buy them for their looks. But to pay hundreds for a BOX (I said box... I didn't even say Mac) is frankly juvenile. The HDD will do, but why pay more for it when you could get an SSD one cheaper?

Some refurbs don't even make it out of the factory. If I order a machine, and then an hour later figure I don't want it, and cancel it, Apple can't sell it new. Voila, refurbished machine brand new. Most other refurbished machines are touched for like a moment, and if there was something wrong with them, Apple fixes it, cleans the machine, offers the same warranty and then ships it like new.

There is no advantage, other than the petty box, with new versus refurbished. Be intelligent and get the refurbished, you'll thank yourself when the SSD outperforms the HDD ten times over for LESS.

KyleKlink
Aug 31, 2009, 12:17 PM
You're incredibly shallow. Buying a machine for hundreds of dollars more than what you could get it for so you can have a pretty box.

Yeah, it's the box I'm after. Look above and read again what I said, dude. I never mentioned wanting a pretty box.

And I'm shallow? Me and thousands of others who would only buy new. What's so wrong with not wanting to dick around returning merchandise because I tried to be a penny pincher and bought used?

KyleKlink
Aug 31, 2009, 12:20 PM
Wow, try reading my post?

I'm saying, the only advantage with new over refurbished is you get a pretty box. Refurbished has nothing wrong with it. If she's infantile enough to pay hundreds of dollars more than the same refurbished machine, only to get a box you'll unwrap for five seconds and throw away, she is shallow. For slightly cheaper than the Rev C HDD new you can get the Rev B SSD refurbished. Faster, cheaper, better machine. Don't be shallow.

MACS look great, and I too buy them for their looks. But to pay hundreds for a BOX (I said box... I didn't even say Mac) is frankly juvenile. The HDD will do, but why pay more for it when you could get an SSD one cheaper?

Some refurbs don't even make it out of the factory. If I order a machine, and then an hour later figure I don't want it, and cancel it, Apple can't sell it new. Voila, refurbished machine brand new. Most other refurbished machines are touched for like a moment, and if there was something wrong with them, Apple fixes it, cleans the machine, offers the same warranty and then ships it like new.

There is no advantage, other than the petty box, with new versus refurbished. Be intelligent and get the refurbished, you'll thank yourself when the SSD outperforms the HDD ten times over for LESS.

He, not she. Since you cannot determine my gender from my name, the use of "He" would be appropriate, as it is gender neutral.

And I am a male. So "he" works.

Also, you keep harping on the whole "box" thing. The box is not the only difference between new and refurb. Refurbs are used, dude, not new. They have been touched by consumers and returned. Some people choose to save money by going that route, but others choose to buy unused items. I am the kind who wants to buy unused. For you to call me juvenile for doing so is absurd.

your attitude about this issue is nonsensical. Because you like refurbs and save money, I should like it too? Get real, man.


EDIT: Combined comments

caonimadebi
Sep 1, 2009, 01:54 PM
The Air's SSD really underperforms in terms of the read/write speed. The sequential read speed, according to xbench i've done, never exceeds 100MB/s. The only noticeable advantage is the low latency, which is common to all SSD's. The performance boost in the SSD is so negligible that Apple doesn't even bother to advertise (instead it advertises the stability and low power). The 1.8" form factor should be no excuse for the low performance. The only redeeming feature of the SSD is its relative low cost considering its capacity.
At the end of the day, the HDD and SSD models are not very different in terms of user-perceived performance; but if you have the the extra $300, SSD is a great feature just for the show off factor (and you do get an extra 8GB...)

grinny11
Sep 1, 2009, 06:20 PM
I have the AIR 1.8 Rev.C HDD. I had to buy the HDD because I could only buy it at bestbuy, where I had credit available. They don't sell the ssd. I am very happy with it and it seems very fast to me. Though I came from an EEE netbook with a really slow SSD, so I guess any new mac would seem fast.