1.6 v 1.8

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by cpjrmd, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. cpjrmd macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2008
    I consider myself slightly above-average when it comes to computer knowledge, but I don't know a lot when it comes to processor and hard drive speeds and the like. So, my question is: with the 80 HDD, is it worth the money to upgrade from the 1.6 processor to the 1.8 or does the hard drive speed negate any possible gains from this? Thanks.
  2. kyleen66 macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2008
    I'm not certain. Perhaps when the program is loading off the disk, but once loaded, I would think the 1.8 offers a better performance.

    I decided to opt for the 1.8 with the 80 HD with the intention of upgrading it to something larger probably a year from now. Then SSD's will be larger, and likely cheaper.
  3. etorres macrumors member

    May 26, 2007
    In normal everyday use you probably will not notice the extra 200 MHz on the 1.8 model. macrumors posted a comparison between the 1.6 GHZ and 1.8GHz models and according to the benchmarks the 1.8 GHZ model was slightly faster, but only by a small margin. In my opinion the small 200 MHz speed bump is not worth the $300 premium over the 1.6 GHz model. The SSD drive on the other hand did, as expected, make a huge difference in read/ write speed.
    In the end its a personal decision. If you have to absolutely have the fastest processor available for the model and have money to burn then by all means buy it. If, on the other hand, you are like most MBA users and plan to use it as a second computer for web surfing/ school/ documents then the 200 MHz proably wont make much of a difference.
  4. ryanmcd02 macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Don't forget the durability and extra battery-life from SSD too.
  5. ryanmcd02 macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Another question:
    The rule of thumb is to have 10GB free on a HDD to keep up performance. Is this the same in SSD or different?

    I would think possibly less important, since there is not a moving head, but does it still matter?
  6. etorres macrumors member

    May 26, 2007
    SSD's are pretty similar to RAM chips. whenever I get pretty close to filling up my available RAM (~ 10 % remaining) I do notice a pretty significant systemwide slowdown, so I might imagine it might also be true with SSD drives.
  7. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    1) The rule of thumb is 10% not 10GB

    2) The reason for this is that the computer uses the space for virtual memory and also needs headroom when it's writing data. This is true on a HDD or and SSD.
  8. cenetti macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2008
    so ok...let me see if I get it right

    we start with 54gb free usable space....
    after osx and other programs installed, we get about 35gb?
    and you also say leave 10% free.....

    and I say WTF?

    its about 20gb free space to play around?
    how nice...
    and all this for $999?

    where do I sign up? :rolleyes:
  9. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Not sure where you're getting your numbers. 64 GB really means 59.52 (64 x.93). A minimal install of leopard takes about 5 GB I believe. Let's round and say we've got 54 GB left. Leave 10% of that available, and you have 49 GB "to play with."
  10. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    I fresh default install of Leopard uses up 27GB. I suppose you can lower that by deleting unwanted apps, but assuming you want those default apps and add a few more, you'll probably use up about 30GB. That leaves you with 30GB on the SDD. Can any of you MacBook Air owners confirm how much space you have left over when you take the MBA with either an HDD or SDD out of the box?
  11. lisag macrumors newbie


    Feb 1, 2008
    I looked at a few MBA SSDs yesterday and the drive was reported as 55 gigs in capacity. With the factory install of Mac OS X and the usual Apple iLife apps there were 38 gigs free.
  12. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2007
    MD & ATL,GA
    Here we go, comparision of the processors:rolleyes:

    Well, the 1.8ghz will give better performance all around, and you would be thankful for it. The 1.6ghz isn't bad either, it does its job, the 1.8ghz, is just an extra boost in performance, just like the difference betweeen the 2ghz macbook, and the 2.2ghz.

    As for the hard drive, this is where the magic happens. The SSD is a speed demon. You can open an application, at the same speed it takes my 2.8ghz 7200rpm HD can. the SSD doesnt have moving parts, so it takes faster to open, so i can say that the mba can open applications faster than my speedy imac, but the processor is what matters when your IN the application.

    So when your upgrading the space to the SSD, you are looking at 10x faster boot ups, application opening, and loading documents and stuff. but thats it, other than the fact you can move a big file from one part to the other part of the SSD quickly, the HD can do faster sequintial writes though (dont ask me what that is). So, ill repeat

    With the SSD, you will see an EXTREMELY powerful boost in speed when opening apps and stuff, i would pay $999 for that, that is a real treat, and that is MUCH faster than the macbook

    with 1.6 vs 1.8, with the 1.8, you will see a boost of performance IN the application, not how fast the system is at opening stuff and documents, performance in the application. and apple makes the 1.8ghz for people who plan to do little imovie, and some multitasking, apple intends for people to buy the 1.6ghz, and expects a lot of people to buy the SSD

    my dream mba, btw im not getting one, would be a 1.6ghz, and SSD, the 1.8ghz isnt worth it, but on a macbook, i would recommend the extra .2ghz, on this, nah. the SSD will be a treat, but the less space will be a boo, but, still nice.
  13. MacsAttack macrumors 6502a

    Jul 2, 2006
    I'm sure people who didn't understand what they were talking about said the same kind of things about hard drives came in to replace tape - or when tape replaced punch cards...

    For SSD...
    1. No moving parts - so no noise.
    2. No moving parts - so less heat.
    3. No moving parts - so more resilient as a mobile solution...
    4. Did I mention it has no moving parts?
    5. No moving parts - so none of this spin-up/spin-down stuff you have to put up with now.
    6. Consumes less power - so less heat and longer battery life (still waiting to see how that works out on the MBA)
    7. Read performance goes from as fast as a standard hard disk to much faster than a hard disk (depends on what you are doing)

    Against SSD...
    1. Write performance is not so good as your average HD. It has reached the point where it is acceptable though - which is why SSDs are now appearing on the market - and the technology will continue to improve it with time (unlike HDs which are a mature technology that will see only small incremental improvements)
    2. Cost. They are expensive. Larger ones are even more expensive - which is one reason you don't see Apple offering anything over 64MB on the MBA. However... the price is plunging. The SSD in the MBA is being offered for the same price as a 32GB drive would cost six months ago. The the price now is low enough to start to tempt a lot of people who want all the good features (1 thru 7 in the For list) that SSDs possess.

    The idea of SSDs have been around a long time. Apple are just going to be the company that brings them into the public consciousness (wonder if Samsung gave Apple special rates - the PR advantage Apple brings is major - which is probably why Intel pushed out their small package CPU format 6 months early just for Apple). Other manufacturers are jumping on the band wagon to offer SSDs too. All that competition and increased demand is going to help bring the price down.

    32GB SSDs have been around on the market for a while. These have not been practical in a modern notebook - hence they have not been offered. 64GB is the smallest size that be used practically - hence a number of notebooks using SSDs have started to appear on the market - which in turn is beginning to fuel the introduction of larger and less expensive SSDs. kind of like back in the good old days when hard disks were becoming a practical option in these new-fangeld PCs and Apple Macs. You could have a whopping 10 Megabytes of storage for only a few thousand dollars!!!!!
  14. navanod macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2007
    So I'm deciding which model to get too!
    I know the SSD is faster in loading and such... but I will occasionally will be using it for designing with Illustrator and Indesign usage. I'm afraid that write (saving files) will be bogged down with the SSD. Currently I'm split on what to get because of what I mentioned. Can anyone offer some insight beyond what has been posted already?
  15. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2007
    MD & ATL,GA
    I hope you meant GB and Gigabytes;).
    I do not recommend the mba for any CS3 products, I'd recommend at least a macbook.
  16. navanod macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2007
    I already have a MacBook... I hate the size and weight when traveling. I also have a MacPro Tower for serious work. I just want to know which hard drive would be better if I had to use CS3. The files I use for designing (Illustrator & InDesign only) are usually less than 32MB... so nothing huge!
  17. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    The first one was a typo, the second /wasn't/.

    Back in the 80s when HDDs were first starting to appear, 10MB for a grand was pretty sweet.
  18. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2007
    MD & ATL,GA
    I wasn't even alive then:eek:.

    I would manage without 10MB of storage if it were a grand.
  19. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    This was also the era where a 800KB floppy had enough space for an OS, an app or two, and your documents.
  20. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2007
    MD & ATL,GA
    Right now I tested out the mba, the 1.6ghz with an HDD, and the 1.8ghz with the SSD.

    The SSD model boots up SICKLY fast, and its also louder, as for noise, i can tell, cause there is a concert at the back of the apple store.

    Otherwise, both models, are very fast, I couldnt tell the difference between the 1.6 mba and the 2.2mb!!!! both were speedy, the sound comes out of the right side of the keyboard, its also not that bad, im impressed. All together, this machine rocks!!!
  21. rerailer macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2007
    Solid State Devices Bleeding Edge

    This is not your mama's fastest slicer-dicer by far!!!!!!! See next post.


    BitMicro announces a 1.6TB solid state drive
    by Cyril Kowaliski — 3:41 PM on November 16, 2007
    Solid-state drives have traditionally lagged behind mechanical hard drives in terms of storage capacity, but that hasn't stopped BitMicro from developing a 3.5" SSD with a staggering 1.6TB capacity—600GB more than the latest desktop hard drives.

    As ComputerWorld reports, the SSD is known as the E-Disk Altima 4Gb FC. The "4Gb FC" in the model name refers to the drive's 4Gb/s (500MB/s) fiber-channel connection, which allows it to deliver sustained data speeds of up to 230MB/s. If that's not enough to impress you, the Altima can also handle as many as 55,000 simultaneous I/O operations per second, and it has an access time of 30-100 microseconds—that's 0.03-0.1 milliseconds.

    Of course, BitMicro's new baby isn't exactly a slim, laptop-sized affair. According to ComputerWorld, the company can squeeze 640GB of capacity into a 3.5" E-Disk Altima 4Gb FC with a thickness of 1", so it would presumably take a 2.5-inch-thick drive to store 1.6TB. However, the E-Disk Altima 4Gb FC is launching in a number of smaller capacities all the way down to 16GB, which should be slimmer than the 1.6TB behemoth. The drives are expected to start sampling in the first quarter of next year, and volume shipments will roll out in the second quarter. BitMicro has yet to announce pricing information.
  22. dlap macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2008
    Quite some people buying 1.8 HD

    I think there is quite some people buying the 1.8 PATA, if someone gets it or ordered it maybe can post their impressions please.

    I'm on the your same situation cpjrmd.
  23. rerailer macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2007
    Swifter Apple Slicer Dicer

    Don't expect Apple trees to bloom oranges. The fastest hard drive is vastly slower than a genuine "RAM" drive. The spinning disks of todays huge disk drives is ancient technology compared to solid state devices. Current production of solid state devices is in its toddler hood. The cycle from birth to maturity to extinction will continue to accelerate. The 45 nanometer wide structure in the latest processors in the fastest is the equal of you requiring an aircraft carrier sized cover wagon to cross the Prairie in 1859 to using an F-16. Those planes are in the black windowed hangers. Yes, they are, and you will be using them before you can say Jack Robinson - Will. In the mean time you must use the right tool for the right job. To maximize the utility of the MAB perhaps superslim the system, all files, libraries, yyy ("yada, yada, yada")

    OBTW: "dubdot" is how you say www. before you say the balance of a URL.


    and from 2006 http://www.techreport.com/articles.x/9312
  24. infobhan macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2005
    Cambridge, MA
    Don't forget that it's a dual core machine, so that's 200 Mhz on each core.
  25. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    I'm tempted by the 1.8. most likely its just psychological - 1.8 is pretty close to the 2.0 of the base macbook, but 1.6 feels quite a lot further away.

    but I don't want to shell out for the SSD immediately - I'll make do with the HDD until perhaps prices come down and see if I can upgrade then.

    Am I right in thinking that only the 1.6/HDD and 1.8/SSD are instock items at apple retailers? So if I wanted 1.8/HDD thats a custom order which means online?

    I need to wait to go to a store and see one in the flesh to decide if I want one instead of a macbook, but if I do, I don't know that I can then go online and wait a few more weeks rather than just walk out with a 1.6/HDD. As I'm in the UK it'll probably be a couple of weeks before I can even try one out in a store.

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