2G MBA - buy the HDD now, and upgrade with an Intel 160GB X18-M SSD later?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ducatidoc, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. ducatidoc macrumors regular

    ducatidoc

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    Apr 20, 2008
    #1
    so like the heading says, i had an epiphany and am now thinking that if the connection for the drives has been updated to SATA, then it might be an easy upgrade in finding other SSD drives for this little lappie.

    then i remembered intel's x18-m, set to debut any day now... and at a yummy 160 GB...

    so whats the word here? i have read that the intel drive uses a SATA-300 connection. anyone know if this is the same in the apple, or is all SATA the same?

    also, can we still order the 1.8 GHz chip with a regular HDD? if this upgrade is plausible, it would be worth saving the money until the intel drive debuts.
     
  2. Mactagonist macrumors 65816

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    NYC - Manhattan
    #2
    This is why we need reviews and tear downs of the new models. If that drive is compatible and if the Apple drive doesnt offer similar performance I think a lot of people will be doing exactly what you suggested.
     
  3. KamiNoYadoru macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    #3
    How much of a price slam are we going to take on that X18-M? It looks cool, but isn't it going to cost an arm and a leg? 160GB of speedy SSD in a MBA with a 9400M is REALLY appealing though....
     
  4. dinaluvsApple macrumors regular

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    Oct 14, 2008
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    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #4
    u cant change the hard drive in the MBA without voiding the warranty......
     
  5. KamiNoYadoru macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    #5
    Let's be real about it, though, there's no seal to break, and just what, eight screws? If you pop out the stock drive and keep it somewhere, if you ever need service on it, you can pop the stock drive back in, and nobody would ever know, right?
     
  6. glitch44 macrumors 65816

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    Feb 28, 2006
    #6
    the initial price i found was: "80GB version is priced at $595".
     
  7. ducatidoc thread starter macrumors regular

    ducatidoc

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    Apr 20, 2008
    #7
    appealing... or downright sexy?

    only issue is, do you get the 1.6 and save money now, or order a 1.8 and try to pawn off your solid state drive on ebay later??
     
  8. KamiNoYadoru macrumors member

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    Jun 20, 2006
    #8
    Looks like the CTO option for the 1.8 is $200, where it used to be $300. That's pretty reasonable. What I really want to know is if the construction changed at all and whether the heat management in the 2G airs is going to be better.
     
  9. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    HiFiGuy528

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #9
    Spending any more than $100 on a HD for the Air does not make sense to me. The air was not designed to be anyone's main computer. It's for taking on the road to do light duty stuff.
    Dropping $400+ on a SSD now is not a wise investment. By the time SSD drives are mainstream, your current Air will be a dinosaur or only good for web browsing. Save your time and money and just enjoy the Air to the fullest now. If you need storage, get a 500GB USB HD.
     
  10. KamiNoYadoru macrumors member

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    Jun 20, 2006
    #10
    Actually, if I can get a decent amount of storage in my air, it will be my main and ONLY computer. Problem with your little USB HD theory is iTunes, remember? A 160GB HDD would be game over for me.
     
  11. Kenndac macrumors 6502

    Kenndac

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    Jun 28, 2003
    #11
    I don't understand the problem - why can't you just tell iTunes to put its library on the external HD?
     
  12. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

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    Canada
    #12
    i think switching the HD later on will be difficult.
     
  13. KamiNoYadoru macrumors member

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    Jun 20, 2006
    #13
    What happens when I have to sync it with my iPhone? :)
     
  14. glitch44 macrumors 65816

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    Feb 28, 2006
    #14
    use a Time Capsule as your media drive and connect to it wirelessly. ;)

    (Using Time Capsule as a Media Drive)
     
  15. KamiNoYadoru macrumors member

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    Jun 20, 2006
    #15
    That's what I'm doing right now, and it's moderately passable, but it gets extremely sluggish. It does WORK, just not all that well, even on a 5GHZ wireless N network. I'd prefer to get it all local, the performance will be WAY better (if the disk has good I/O speeds).
     
  16. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #16
    The Intel X18-M is a SATA drive. The MacBook Air uses PATA connectors (a ZIF one to be exact). That drive won't connect. There are only a small number of SSDs that would work. Mtron makes one, and I bet the new ones will be Samsung.
     
  17. dehory macrumors regular

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    Sep 17, 2008
    #17
    As the OP states, the new MBA has switched to SATA drives...
     
  18. ducatidoc thread starter macrumors regular

    ducatidoc

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    Apr 20, 2008
    #18
    +1
     
  19. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #19
    Oh. I didn't notice that because I saw the word "if." Anyhow, looks to be true. The only catch now is if the X-18M is the right thickness. It's a 5 mm drive, so I bet it'll work just fine.
     
  20. dehory macrumors regular

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    Sep 17, 2008
    #20
    As I wrote in this thread, it doesn't seem like the SSDs in the new MBAs are going to be as fast and energy efficient as Intel's.

    Depending on exactly how much better the Intel drives are and how much they end up retailing for once they're widely available, I'd probably switch out the HDD for an SSD too. Maybe it'll turn out that it's cheaper to upgrade to the X18-M than pick the 128GB SSD option when ordering.

    For that reason, I'm waiting until reviews start coming out in November before I make my decision...
     
  21. Essjay macrumors regular

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    Jul 12, 2008
    #21
    I am thinking about doing the same but I was wondering is it very difficult to remove and replace the HDD in the MBA or is it a major hassle?
     
  22. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #22
    Word on the street is that the Apple SSDs are likely Samsung MLCs. All MLCs except Intel have that bad controller that causes problems when multi-tasking. I think it's safe to assume that the Intel X18-M will be the better SSD. The catch is that I'm not even sure where to buy one. I got an X25-M for my Mac Pro from CDWG, but it doesn't seem as if they sell the X18-M...
     
  23. fteoath64 macrumors regular

    fteoath64

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #23
    Ain't going to fit!.

    The Rev B MBA uses a sata ZIF connector while the Intel X-18M uses the mini SATA edge connector. Sorry, unless Intel does a limited run of these with sata ZIF, I don't see any way, unless some 3rd party company comes up with a ribbon connector that does the gender-bender on it.

    Besides, is there a second SATA port on the Rev B ?.:confused:
     
  24. habi00 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #24
    Air with an INTEL X18-M SSDSA1M080G2GN disk score:204,93

    I installed an intel X18-M into my air but its no job for the amateurs....

    Xbench results...
    http://db.xbench.com/merge.xhtml?doc1=435718&doc2=356983

    Overall disk test score:
    INTEL SSDSA1M080G2GN 204,93
    APPLE SSD SM128 84,86

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=657341&page=3
     

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