Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Notebooks > MacBook Air

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Oct 24, 2010, 02:05 PM   #1
iHalo
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
SSD vs Flash Memory? What is the difference in speed of opening apps?

Just curious
__________________
32 GB iPhone 4s, 13 inch MacBook Pro 2.4 ghz 8 GB of RAM, Bower and Wilkins MM-1, Bower and Wilkins P5, Dell U2311H
iHalo is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 24, 2010, 02:23 PM   #2
akm3
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
My understanding is this 'flash memory' the air is for all practical purposes an SSD without a case.

I say that for this reason:
1) It uses the Toshiba SSD controller same as used on other Apple SSD's.

If the controllers the same, sure the chips might be slightly slower but still an order of magnitude faster than a platter hard drive (Especially the 1.8" 80gb "iPod" hard drive in the original macbook air!)

It IS an SSD. Think of it that way.

/disclaimer: I don't fact check and I make up statistics.
__________________
akm3 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 24, 2010, 02:25 PM   #3
telco*engineer
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by iHalo View Post
Just curious
I have an Intel X25 SSD in a 2009 Macbook Pro and i'd say the new Macbook Air opens app quicker. That is just based on playing on one at Covent Garden London for an hour today. Quick little machine IMO
__________________
__________________
First Gen IPOD Touch, 16GB 3GS, 32GB Wifi IPAD, Macbook Pro 15 Late 2009 3.06 mhz with Intel SSD, Iphone 4 16GB
telco*engineer is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 24, 2010, 02:31 PM   #4
hachre
macrumors 6502a
 
hachre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Munich, Germany
There is no difference between a SSD and "Flash memory". As akm3 said a SSD is just a bunch of flash memory + controller in a box that has common hard drive dimensions.

Apple seems to have done a good job on their "SSD". The benchmarks I've seen so far top the Intel X-25 SSDs and that is pretty awesome!

Compared to a traditional hard drive, flash drives open apps nearly instantly. For example opening Photoshop on my old drive took close to 20 seconds. On the SSD it takes 3 seconds.

It is basically the time that you see on a traditional hard drive when you open an application, quit it, and then immediatly open it again. The time it takes then is about the time the SSD takes every time.
hachre is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 24, 2010, 03:07 PM   #5
Black.Infinity
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Apple tree-Toronto
The 128GB flash storage measured 209MB/s READ and 193MB/s WRITE for large sequential transfers. That's slower than the best SSDs we've tested like the OCZ Vertex 2 and OWC Mercury Extreme (272MB/s), but twice as fast as any notebook 7200rpm HDD (100MB/s). Ditto for small random transfers -- at 90MB/s, it was faster than HDDs but slower than SSDs. Overall, respectable performance and a good move by Apple to provide flash memory as standard equipment.



http://www.barefeats.com/mbpp27.html
__________________
iPhone 5 32GB Black 2011 MBP 15, 2.0 GHz, 8GB, 500GB 5400RPM, AMD 6490M, Hi-Res Antiglare
Black.Infinity is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 24, 2010, 03:08 PM   #6
mrsir2009
macrumors 604
 
mrsir2009's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
A SSD and flash memory are pretty much the same thing. Except a SSD is housed in a big case while the MBA's Flash memory is not.
mrsir2009 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 24, 2010, 03:11 PM   #7
CaoCao
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by iHalo View Post
Just curious
FYI Flash Memory+Case=SSD
CaoCao is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 24, 2010, 03:13 PM   #8
Corndog5595
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by iHalo View Post
What is the difference in speed of opening apps?)
A whole other world of difference.
Corndog5595 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 05:43 AM   #9
lukiki
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Question SSD <> Flash

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaoCao View Post
FYI Flash Memory+Case=SSD
Hi,

I read that SSD is slower than Flash because it shares for compatibility the old and slow interface originally designed for old and slow HDDs (either IDE, SATA, etc...). I've not checked though, but looks like it makes sense.

That would be an other example where Apple dared to be innovative by cutting off the old IDE/SATA constraint and wired directly a Flash chip to its processor without the slowdown from the standard IDE/SATA outdated interfaces.

My wife's macbook air is just so fast I just don't see any other PC around that I would consider buying instead, even with an SSD...

I might be wrong though, any facts welcome before I buy ...
lukiki is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:06 AM   #10
Stetrain
macrumors 68040
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukiki View Post
Hi,

I read that SSD is slower than Flash because it shares for compatibility the old and slow interface originally designed for old and slow HDDs (either IDE, SATA, etc...). I've not checked though, but looks like it makes sense.
Most modern computers use SATA 3, which is plenty fast enough for modern flash memory. The flash memory modules in the Macbook Air use a proprietary connector but it's most likely still just the SATA 3 interface below the surface.
Stetrain is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:31 AM   #11
schimmel
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sweden
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stetrain View Post
Most modern computers use SATA 3, which is plenty fast enough for modern flash memory. The flash memory modules in the Macbook Air use a proprietary connector but it's most likely still just the SATA 3 interface below the surface.
Stetrain is correct here. SATA 3.0 is rated at 6Gbps which means they can handle around 480 Megabytes per second. Granted, some SSD's are close to that, but the interface is not a bottleneck yet. Most drives perform at around half that speed. SATA has been evolving just quick enough to handle the speeds of SSDs.

Also, by far the most important thing that SSDs does so much better is reading many small files faster, so even if we only had the original SATA 1.5 GBps spec, SSDs would still be lots faster than a mechanical HD.

See Anandtech's link with much nerdy info on the SSD and SATA controller in the MBAs: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6003/t...sata-6gbs-ssds

Last edited by schimmel; Dec 3, 2012 at 10:34 AM. Reason: Added link
schimmel is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:35 AM   #12
simsaladimbamba
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: located
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukiki View Post
Hi,

I read that SSD is slower than Flash because it shares for compatibility the old and slow interface originally designed for old and slow HDDs (either IDE, SATA, etc...). I've not checked though, but looks like it makes sense.

That would be an other example where Apple dared to be innovative by cutting off the old IDE/SATA constraint and wired directly a Flash chip to its processor without the slowdown from the standard IDE/SATA outdated interfaces.

My wife's macbook air is just so fast I just don't see any other PC around that I would consider buying instead, even with an SSD...

I might be wrong though, any facts welcome before I buy ...
P-ATA (IDE) and S-ATA are not the same. S-ATA is the successor of P-ATA and currently comes in three variants:
  • S-ATA 1.5 Gbps (S-ATA I)
  • S-ATA 3.0 Gbps (S-ATA II)
  • S-ATA 6.0 Gbps (S-ATA III)
S-ATA is backwards/forwards compatible, thus an S-ATA 1.5 Gbps (S-ATA I) device will work on an S-ATA 6.0 Gbps (S-ATA III) interface, though at S-ATA 1.5 Gbps (S-ATA I) speeds (around 150 MB/s).
The same goes for S-ATA 6.0 Gbps (S-ATA III) devices, they can be connected to an S-ATA 1.5 Gbps (S-ATA I) interface, again only working at speeds of the slowest component.
Anyway, current S-ATA 6.0 Gbps (S-ATA III) SSDs can perform as fast and even faster as the flash storage devices Apple uses.

Was that understandable?

PS: S-ATA 3.0 Gbps (S-ATA II) is twice as fast as S-ATA 1.5 Gbps (S-ATA I), and S-ATA 6.0 Gbps (S-ATA III) is twice as fast as S-ATA 3.0 Gbps (S-ATA II) or four times as fast as S-ATA 1.5 Gbps (S-ATA I).
simsaladimbamba is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:16 AM   #13
kohlson
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
A couple points worth clarifying. Flash is a type of memory used in all sorts of storage devices. For example, Solid State Drives, USB/flash/thumb drives, and so on. Flash is available in different technologies which affects services life, speed, reliability, and so on. USB flash drives are generally much slower. Typically people buy them based on how much storage you can get for the price. In any event the performance is limited by the I/O technology (USB 2 and 3). Science experiment: create a USB 2 flash memory boot drive and see how much slower it is than an HDD.
SSDs, on the other hand, have many factors that determine their speed and reliability, including type of flash used, controller firmware, I/O channels on the drive, processing cores, and so on. As noted earlier, anandtech has reported on these for years, and can provide much detail, as can tomshardware. Other than price, it's hard to find anything wrong with SSDs -- they really improve the overall experience.
kohlson is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 2012, 05:29 PM   #14
Alameda
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by kohlson View Post
A couple points worth clarifying. Flash is a type of memory used in all sorts of storage devices. For example, Solid State Drives, USB/flash/thumb drives, and so on.
Exactly!
An SSD uses flash memory
A USB thumb drive uses flash memory
An SD card uses flash memory
Your iPhone boots from flash memory.

An SSD, or Solid State Disk, is a device that uses flash memory to create a hard disk drive replacement. It's mostly made of flash memory chips, but there is also a chip or two which manages all of the chips and converts SATA hard disk signals into memory read/write signals to the flash chips. In this way, replacing your hard disk with an SSD is the same as installing an ordinary hard disk.
Alameda is offline   1 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Notebooks > MacBook Air

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
SSD makes NO SPEED DIFFERENCE dauber MacBook 11 Feb 5, 2014 11:14 AM
Is there a speed difference between 256 vs 512GB SSD? vmflapem MacBook Pro 7 Jan 24, 2014 12:10 AM
General: How to Speed Up Navigating iOS and Opening Apps Circuit star-29 Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks 0 Dec 24, 2013 03:53 PM
what's the difference between flash drive and ssd ? bluebird3 Mac Basics and Help 1 Aug 21, 2013 08:19 PM
2010 MBA SSD vs 2011 MBA SSD - Any Speed Difference? SSD-GUY MacBook Air 3 Oct 23, 2012 07:38 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:04 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC