how much slower is a Rev. A SSD (PATA) VS. Rev. B (SATA) SSD & Why?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by NYU02, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. NYU02 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    #1
    The headline explains it all. Is the Rev. A SSD much slower then the Rev. B SSD or Rev. B HD? Should I buy a Referb SSD or regular HD? Is there much of a difference?


    thanks,
    NYU02
     
  2. King t. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    #2
    i would suggest that you get the SSD version if you'Re thinking of getting the rev:A, on the otherhand the benchmarks showed that the rev:B with the 120gb HD was faster than the high end rev:A with ssd. comparing it to the rev:B ssd version, i would say that the rev:b ssd is 2x faster than the rev:a ssd.

    depends if you plan on doing graphic intense stuff like occasional gaming etc. then get the rev:B, but if you're just planning on using the mba for office, chatting, surfing and sometimes iphoto, then you should be fine with the rev:A ssd + booting up and starting apps will be faster with the rev:A ssd compared to the rev:B HD version.
     
  3. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #3
    A lot of people incorrectly think that if they buy SSD they are not getting SATA or PATA. So many think that they are getting rid of the video playback issues by buying the original with SSD instead of HDD. The truth is the original MBA's SSD was limited by the PATA drive controller.

    SATA provides faster data transfer. SATA uses a better cable and controller technology. From what I remember, allows faster throughput from multiple connections while PATA can do only one thing at a time (not an expert - read about it when researching the rev B MBA). And the PATA only can send communication one way at a time while the SATA can send information both ways (this matters because the SATA can keep receiving requests while transferring data). So, doing multiple things at a time could theoretically be a lot slower on the PATA drive. At the same time, its limits may not be affected by large file transfer via SSD. So, an SSD original MBA may boot faster than a rev B with HDD, but that doesn't mean it's a better or faster Mac. But with SSD vs SSD, the SATA will perform faster, NOT necessarily double the speed as that is a maximum throughput limitation that is not reached with either. SATA controller SSD is faster than PATA controller SSD. It is not the limitation with the drive itself but rather the controller sending data from drive to system (again not an expert but I tried to understand why the rev B MBA was so much better and worth my money after an infortunate purchase of the original MBA).

    The other poster is right. The rev B 1.6 with HDD performs better overall than the original MBA with 1.8 GHz CPU and SSD. Check xBench.com or the thread here providing all xBench results for all MBAs.

    I strongly recommend any rev B MBA over any original MBA. Not for the SATA drive controller primarily, but for all the other advantages of the rev B MBA like Penryn 17W CPU, Nvidia GPU, and etc (the SATA drive controller is one of many advantages of the rev B MBA as every major component was upgraded in the rev B MBA).

    I have owned both. My rev B with SSD was faster for common tasks than a 2.33 GHz MBP with HDD. It was extremely fast, capable, cool running, quiet and fun. I have never enjoyed any computer more than the rev B MBA. My experience with the original was not fast, not cool, not quiet and not fun.

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  4. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #4
    Its not SATA vs PATA

    While the ultimate bandwidth of standard PATA (and there are several flavors but the MBA features about 100mbps) is less than SATA (again several flavors but the MBA version tops out at about 3gbps), no current 1.8" 5mm form factor HD or MLC SSD is able to exceed either transfer speed so the interface is not the limiting factor.

    There are a lot of folks that just assume a newer technology is better or because its theoretical limits are higher its better. Design and integration often have a lot more to do with it than the theoretical spec of the parts used. Those same people are the ones that think because the "specs" of a $600 PC are better than those of a $1200 PC that the $600 PC will be faster and better and the $1200 PC is just a waste of money.

    There are many factors other than SATA/PATA that ultimately determine a particular drives maximum throughput in a particular machine. They include drive design, particular chipsets and thier interactions, machine design, memory speed, and cpu horsepower among many.

    In the case of the MBA revA vs revB you have chipset differences, hd design and density differences, SSD design and density differences, memory speed differences, and CPU differences. The rebB is simply a much quicker machine even if you were to put the same spec HD or SSD in either.

    Talking HDD, the revb drive is slightly faster and the revB is a LOT faster so they combine to make a significant difference in real world performance. PATA or SATA you are never going to get great performance out of a 4200rpm single platter drive though.

    The SSD differences are much more significant to the revB drive being a generation ahead in both read and write speeds as well as density (nothing to do with SATA or PATA as the drive read/write speeds are still less than the PATA limits). That combined with the revB power and speed make a huge difference.

    So all you hardware freaks :eek: out there that want the latest and greatest technology instantly released in a new machine, keep in mind that design and integration of components often has a lot more to do with a machines utimate performance than the theoretical spec of its parts. Careful design and integration takes time which is why you see the release cycles on apple products that you do, its also why apple products tend to stand up ofer time better.
     
  5. enfanteribl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #5
    Isn't it true that one is faster at reading, the other faster at writing? I seem to remember reading that somewhere.
     
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #6
    Well SSD read is a lot faster than SSD write. But SSD write is still faster than HDD write.

    That was an early issue, but SSD is very rapidly advancing and will get a lot faster over time.
     
  7. enfanteribl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #7
    Thanks Scottsdale - maybe Rev C (or B.2) will up the spec a bit further!
     
  8. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #8
    This SATA being faster than PATA is more than theoretical. SATA is faster, but it is not double the speed because SSD is not faster than the limitation of the drive controller. But SATA is sending info through without pausing and is sending data both ways to eliminate the waiting of PATA.

    I will take SATA any day of week over PATA, this isn't just theory it is performance. But is not SATA at double the speed.
     

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