Buy a SATA or a Solid State MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by uniforms, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. uniforms macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2008
    South Orange NJ
    I have 1st generation MBA 1.6 with 80 gig HD. (Which now I have to sell) I bought the new MB when it was released earlier this month. I found it to be a very responsive machine but took it back for either a pro with a great resolution or wait for the new MBA. I decided to get another air. I really love the weight of the machine.

    Now the help I need is to (1) get the 1.6 which speed right now I find good or get the 1.8 Ghz. then the big question . . . .

    (2) get the SATA hard drive or spend the bucks and get the Solid State. I hear the start up time is very quick on the Solid State, but it's slower on writing to disk. I use this machine on the road when working with customers and use File Maker Pro mostly when in that situation. I am a novice compared to what I see on here so I'm asking all y'all mac experts....what would you do?

    Thanks So Much!
    :apple: MBA 1.6 , 80 HD
    :apple: G5 Silver Tower
    :apple: MB White Core Duo
    :apple: G3 iPhone
    :apple: iTouch
    :apple: iPod Classic 160 gig
  2. ducatidoc macrumors regular


    Apr 20, 2008
    buy the HDD now and swap it out for a SSD in a year once the prices drop/capacity increases.
  3. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    He he, I'm guessing you haven't used one of these drives

    4200 rpm in late 2008? (and a very slow 4200 drive at that)

    at least the last one was. It is 'conceivable' I suppose, that this newer larger capacity drive is faster, but I suspect the improvement is not going to eye popping
  4. iPave macrumors member


    Mar 15, 2008
    Tampere, Finland
    I think solid state drives are not yet wort of their price. The price per gigabyte os astronomical and they are not yet so much faster than hard drives (except in random access). In some situations they might be even slower. I think it is vice to wait a couple years that prices come down, storage increases and they become faster.

    Startup time might be faster, but is it really worth of 450euros/500dollars when you can use sleep mode. I boot my mba very rarely, mostly when installing updates. When I'm not using my mba, I just close it and it goes to sleep. When I need it, I just have to open it and it is instantly ready for use. Sleep mode uses very little battery, keeping MacBook Air in sleep for a day drains only few percents of battery.
  5. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006

    Wait a couple years? :D
  6. iPave macrumors member


    Mar 15, 2008
    Tampere, Finland
    Oh, I meant a few years. English is not my native language.
  7. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2008
    I think (hope!) he was meaning that in a couple of years it'll probably be better to replace the whole laptop for something twice as fast and half as thick.

    I think its possible to custom order the air with 1.8Gz and a regular HD.
    I'm not really sure the solid state drive is worth the extra $500... I'd probably save my money.. (and buy an ipod touch with it! :))
  8. uniforms thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2008
    South Orange NJ
    1.83 and a 120 HD

    You can order it that way. Looks like you all are leaning toward the SATA rather than the Solid State....

    Surely saves money!
    Thanks so far!!!
  9. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    If your into DIY you might possibly save a lot of money

    The price (or the value really) of the 128GB MLC SSD's is about, on average, $350 US.

    There's some confusion with the new Samsung configuration of this as you can't find it in the usual places and on Ebay it's selling for outrageous sums (gouging)

    the dust needs to settle a bit, i'm afraid.

    It shouldn't be very long. Maybe a month or two to have the prices of these newer MLC SATAll SSD drives stabilize .
  10. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    Wait until it gets reviewed before you buy.

    The new SSD's have a potential to be much faster than the hard drive, depending on what finally gets shipped.

    I have an SSD MBA now, and I might just get a second one when they are released.
  11. ceres macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    Dark Forests of Germania
    Does anybody know the what specific ssd drives Apple currently installs in 2nd rev. MBAs and the latest MBPs?

  12. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I wonder if it it will be easy to open it up and replace the drive like the new Macbook. I am going with the standard drive for now but I need to get a desktop Mac first. I am interested in the next Mac Pro and using the MBA as my only portable. Probably after it Snows.
  13. Mactagonist macrumors 65816

    Feb 5, 2008
    NYC - Manhattan

    It is easy to open up and replace the HDD. Not as easy as the MB or MBP, but easy. Check out the teardown pics on ifixit.

    MB and MBP use a "Apple" branded SSD. Suspected of being a Samsung IIRC.

    APPLE SSD SM128:
    Capacity: 113 GB
    Model: APPLE SSD SM128
    Revision: VAM0BA1Q
    Serial Number: DFQ6A0A835ED531
    Native Command Queuing: No
    Removable Media: No
    Detachable Drive: No
    BSD Name: disk0
    Mac OS 9 Drivers: No
    Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
    S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified
    Macintosh HD:
    Capacity: 112.68 GB
    Available: 93.35 GB
    Writable: Yes
    File System: Journaled HFS+
    BSD Name: disk0s2
    Mount Point: /
    The SSD used in Rev B MBA is unknown. Now that they seem to be shipping we will know in a few days.
  14. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    what about replacing a PowerBook HD with and SSD?
  15. Essjay macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Totally different topic but check out this website for how to replace the HD in different Powerbooks:
  16. cuco85 macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2008
    what the 128 ssd has only 93gb usable space?
    what is this? i quater less space then sold. this is not ok. oh man.
    i am thinking about buying a pro
  17. Mactagonist macrumors 65816

    Feb 5, 2008
    NYC - Manhattan
    It has 113gb total usable space. 93gb is unused in the system profiler page I posted.

    A 128gb drive resulting in 113gb usable space is about right.
  18. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    You need to use the search function around here. You'll find a thread about real vs advertised hdd space. Your best bet is to run monolingual and get rid of those extra languages you don't need. Next would be the extra printer drivers.

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