Robson Flash and Santa Rosa

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nick004, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. nick004 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #1
    I was just wondering if Robson flash will really make a difference. As far as I can tell the flash memory can store data so that when booting a machine it is faster as the hard drive doesn't need to accessed. Now is there any other advantage other than boot speeds?

    From what I understand once the computer has booted, the flash memory acts in the same way as RAM would. So why have the flash memory? Is it just for fast booting? Flash memory can sore data when power off while RAM can not. This seems to be the only advantage to RAM and only helps when booting. I can see this helping with completely solid state hard drives but not as cache as it is explained.

    Am I correct in my logic or is there something I am missing out?
     
  2. PygmySurfer macrumors 6502

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    Aug 7, 2006
    Location:
    Wellesley, ON
    #2
    I doubt the flash memory would act as RAM - flash memory can only handle a limited number of writes, using it as memory would quickly kill it.

    I don't see Robson being useful for anything other than fast boots, really. And I really don't understand the big deal about fast boots - I haven't rebooted my MBP since I got it Monday :)
     
  3. macman2790 macrumors 6502a

    macman2790

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    here comes the waiting for santa rosa threads.

    hint: buy the current macbook pros don't wait, the marginal benefit you will get from santa rosa won't be worth waiting.
     
  4. Zadillo macrumors 65816

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    Arlington, VA
    #4
    If fast boots really are the only advantage I could probably care less..... I am blown away by the speed going from my C2D MBP being off to being at the desktop.
     
  5. nick004 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 21, 2005
    #5
    Sorry didn't mean to start a waiting for Santa Rosa thread. I'm ordering a MBP next week anyway.

    Was just curious what the hype was about. Thought I was missing the point but obviously not.
     
  6. Butthead macrumors 6502

    Butthead

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #6
    There will many more enhancements/parts upgrades to the Santa Rosa platform MBP...whenever it ships, that's pretty much a gaurantee. Many will sell off there new C2D MBP (just as many have sold their CD MBP to get the latest). Don't believe a few totally ignorant posters above. While the current C2D MBP now has a higher clock speed GPU, it's still the same old x1600, which is not the best currently on the market- which would generate the same amount of heat(of disipates the same about of heat). There are soon to be annouced, higher performing GPU's that will all but certainly be used to replace the x1600 currently in the MBP line. Faster GPU, faster FSB 800Mhz RAM, togehter with a slightly faster C2D; will mean a significantly faster system. Moreover, at least in the MBP 17in, Apple will with the release of Leopard, use a true 2k resolution screen I hope..bout time! Figure in an Blu-Ray slot loading drive, could also appear; as well as the capability to access 4GB RAM instead of the 3GB limit currently. The differences will be substantial, not minimal.

    See my unofficial sticky post, with links to reading material on the subject:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=2943835&postcount=2902
     
  7. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #7
    The technology is very reasonable, the explanation that I have read about its use are just plain stupid. Only a complete idiot would use Flash memory to make booting faster (Microsoft proposed that, didn't they?).

    Flash memory can help a lot in a laptop: If it is well done, two gigabyte of flash memory could store all writes to the harddisk that are happening, plus many reads, so if all goes well your harddisk won't be running most of the time, saving energy. It can help in all machines, because its speed characteristic is different from a harddisk: A harddisk has a relatively long access time (several milliseconds until it starts reading the data you want), but very high data transfer rates (50 MB+ per second). Flash memory starts reading/writing without any delay at all, but its transfer speed is only a few MB per second. You can read about 10KB from flash in the time it takes your harddisk to start reading (but at about 12KB the harddisk will draw even, and then it will be much faster). Excellent for directories and small files, useless for huge media files.
     
  8. macman2790 macrumors 6502a

    macman2790

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    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    yo butthead. excuse my ignorance, but i was just stating my opinion. What i said was vague but not ignorant, what i meant was get one now if you need it, it's just going to be an "incremental performance increase". that sounds familiar doesn't it? may not be exactly what you said on your little sticky note that you've posted numerous times in the past but very similar. why don't you revise that sticky note or make a web site about it because you've referred quite a few people there in the past during all the merom hype. well butthead, next time you try calling people ignorant try thinking open-minded.
     
  9. nick004 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #9
    Dude I was just asking about the Flash memory. Wasn't a "why will Santa Rosa MBP's be better?" thread.

    But what I don't understand is why can't RAM just do this function after the computer has booted? Why is there a need for flash memory? As far as I know RAM will transfer much quicker than flash memory
     
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #10
    Two reasons: Flash survives when the power is cut suddenly. Lets say you have 1.5 GB worth of writes to the harddisk stored in RAM and suddenly you start losing power - it would be very difficult to write this data to the harddisk before the power is gone. No problem with Flash, because the data stays. And Flash is much much cheaper. If you compare the price of a 4 GB Nano and an 8 GB Nano, you can see that you pay about $20 for a GB of Flash memory. And that is what _you_ pay, not what Apple pays! One GB of RAM is much much more expensive.
     
  11. nick004 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #11
    Fair enough about the power issue. For desktop users but laptop users have batteries but I see how it would help.
    The price is a different story. I can imagine Intel charging a lot for this flash memory. More than RAM at least in the beginning.

    But other than minor features this stuff seems to be more hype then use. Can't wait for full solid state hard drives though. That will awesome.

    Edit: Another question. Doesn't flash memory wear out? Anyone ever actually experienced this with a flash drive or anything? Wonder if it would be an issue for something that is constentl reading and writing.
     
  12. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #12
    I understand the worry about writes. You can use the flash memory to READ as much as you want. You just want to keep virtual memory and other system caches still on the hard drive.

    It's going to take an operating system to intelligently manage the flash memory. Still, it's still a battle between hard drive and motherboard makers.

    Hard drive based flash memory (NOT THE BUFFER) doesn't need OS support. Motherboard based flash memory needs an OS that supports it. Both sides want to make money.
     
  13. live4ever macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, ON
    #13
    It be cool if you could be working in OS X - save all windows and open apps to NAND flash drive - boot Windows (from the last used state) play a game for a few hours - and then return to OS X with all the same apps and windows in the same places.

    That's what I'd call a real Boot Camp.
     
  14. mleary macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    #14
    This could easily be done, you don't even need flash, it's just hibernate - it would be cool if Apple did it, trivial for them to implement.
     
  15. Zadillo macrumors 65816

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    Jan 29, 2005
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    #15
    On Mac OS Rumors I recall them saying that Leopard would have some secret functionality like this (they described it being used more for recovering from a system crash though; that after a crash, it would have everything you were doing, every app and document open, etc. in memory, so when the computer restarted it would be just like before the crash). If Leopard did have something like that, it's hard not to see why they couldn't do the same thing to preserve the state of everything during a reboot.

    But of course, this was on MOSR, so take that with a giant grain of salt.
     
  16. mleary macrumors regular

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    Sep 13, 2006
    #16
    Is this necessary? I've been using OS X daily for 8 months and while plenty of applications of crashed I've never experienced a system crash. Modern OS's don't really crash unless there is faulty hardware.

    Furthermore people forget that while NAND flash is really fast to read, writing large amounts of data is much slower than hard drives. Constantly having a state snapshot in flash does not really seem feasible.
     
  17. Zadillo macrumors 65816

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    Arlington, VA
    #17
    Not sure how necessary it is, but for those times when something does happen, it still seems like it might be nice.

    I think it would have more practical use for the idea described above though, being able to completely save your state (go into hibernation) while letting you boot into another OS).

    Again though, no idea if this is really something they're doing or just more BS from MOSR.
     

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