MacBook Air on HDD: This is it's performance (Surprisingly better than expected)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Blackberryroid, Sep 1, 2012.

?

Would you consider a MacBook Air without an SSD?

  1. Yes, I'd definitely want that extra storage. I'm a patient person.

    4.2%
  2. No, I want it quick. SSD is the best.

    95.8%
  1. Blackberryroid, Sep 1, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

    Blackberryroid

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    #1
    I booted off on my 2012 i7 MacBook Air with an HDD (5400 RPM) and it's not that bad, honestly.

    The Bad
    Booting time (Mountain Lion): 1 Minute, 35 Seconds (EEK!) :eek:
    Opening Final Cut Pro X: 40 Seconds
    Opening Safari: 12 Seconds

    The Good
    Geekbench 64 bit performance: 7657 (Surprisingly as fast as the one with SSD. Nice.) I was expecting 2000-5000.

    The Bottom Line
    So basically, everything else is nearly the same in performance except for the parts where it needs to access the disk (booting, copying, loading, importing, etc.)

    So, would you consider a MacBook Air with HDD, cheaper price and more storage?
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    ImperialX

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    #2
    Nope.
     
  3. Blackberryroid, Sep 1, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Blackberryroid

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    #3
    Note: The MacBook Air once had an HDD as standard. From what I heard, it's slow.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    ImperialX

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    #4
    That's precisely what I meant. I've tried the first generation MacBook Air. It's not something one would want.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Nope. If I wanted an ultrabook in that configuration I'd buy a £500 Samsung.
     
  6. macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

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    #6
    Wait. I thought the memory is soldered in the 2012.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Blackberryroid

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    #7
    The RAM is soldered, but not the SSD (A.K.A. flash storage).
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    elppa

    Joined:
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    #8
    The original MacBook Air had an iPod hard disk (4200rpm).

    Not really a fair comparison with a decent HDD.

    The reason why Apple only offer SSDs isn't just boot speeds/app launch.

    There are advantages in terms of battery life and not having mechanical, moving parts.
     
  9. macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #9
    Did you do it via Thunderbolt? Because I'm confused as to how you managed to replace this:

    [​IMG]

    With this:

    [​IMG]

    Inside this:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. macrumors regular

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  11. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Blackberryroid

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    #11
    Honestly, who would say that the good old HDD is noisy? Back in the old days, when Steve Jobs was introducing the Power Mac G4 Cube, he called it "Virtual Silence".

    ----------

    I didn't replace it. I booted it off externally. It was quite hard making it work, though. The standard installer won't boot. Apple must have made sure that their OS won't boot externally.

    And by "replaced", I mean "replaced" the booting device, so it's not literally "replaced".
     
  12. macrumors regular

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  13. macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

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  14. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Blackberryroid

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    #14
    You can't boot off the RAM. But, if you could, it would take literally 0.005 seconds. From what I heard, the RAM could access data in 1 second that a Hard Drive could in 1 and a half months.
     
  15. macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

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    #15
    Wait what? I'm referring to the hard drive not the RAM. I'm not that dumb haha.

    I meant you didn't tell us you booted externally.
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #16
    Hard drives are far superior for storing data because of the better value per GB but SSDs are better for booting from.

    I'd rather have a normal sized laptop with the OS and apps on an SSD and all my data on a 1TB HD. That'd be ideal for me, but sadly Apple don't sell anything like that. I could use external storage, but on a laptop that just kind of defeats the object if I need it plugged in all the time.
     
  17. macrumors member

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    #17
    If it means the MBA will be cheaper and the prices of the proprietary SSDs in the Air are similar to current 2.5'' SSDs (less than $1 / GB), then yes, I would.

    Unfortunately, that's not the case, so no.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    jmoore5196

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    London
    #18
    I'm not sure you could shoehorn a 2.5" HDD into an MBA case no matter how the other components were engineered. Any compromise with respect to size would seriously denigrate the market for the MBA, in my view.

    I had an original MBA with HDD, and it's still going strong ... I cascaded it down to a friend. It was slow, but it got the job done. The portability was unmatched for the time, but the HDD let the machine down.

    As another poster said, we've moved on. Perhaps a MBP with a 2.5" SSD and no optical drive would be worthwhile ... appropriately slimmed down, it would still be a capable machine. But it would be heavier than the MBA, and - in any case - that's a path down which Apple has decided not to walk.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Blackberryroid

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    #19
    I didn't put an HDD inside the Air, it's booted off externally.
     
  20. macrumors regular

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    #20
    Your original post is misleading. You said you replaced it. I can boot my iMac from a USB thumbdrive instead of the HDD; that's not "replacing" it.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Geekbench measures processor, RAM, bus and cache speed. None of their tests include any sort of measure of I/O; as a matter of fact, the benchmarks are designed to be I/O independent and just measure processor, memory and OS performance. I wouldn't expect to see any difference in Geekbench scores between an SSD and an externally-booted HDD.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    How was it difficult to make it work? I just installed a Thunderbolt SSD for my iMac to boot from...the process was plug in, format, clone, and select as boot disk. Everything worked perfectly the first time.
     
  23. macrumors regular

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    #23
    So basically every part of the whole performance that can affect user experience...nah thanks...:rolleyes:
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Very misleading OP , alot of people already does or can do that
     
  25. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Blackberryroid

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    #25
    By "replacing", I meant "replacing" to default boot drive. I consider that replacing.

    But since you really want everything literally, I changed the title and my post. So we can all be happy. :D

    I didn't really think anyone would actually worry about the replacing part, this thread was meant to focus on the performance.
     

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