Is swap/paging less painful with an ssd?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by macagain, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. macagain macrumors regular


    Jan 1, 2002
    I'm so puzzled that Apple would ship a mba with only 2G of ram. I mean insufficient ram usually kills performance due to paging, or worse, swapping to disk... and it's a pretty cheap thing to include 2 more gigs... (The added cost would be more than covered by the obscene prices they charge for the iPad "smart" covers!)

    Then I got to thinking... wait a minute, maybe paging/swapping to an ssd might not be anywhere near as painful as to a 5400rpm drive.

    Anyone got any hard experience with this?
  2. PaulWog Suspended

    Jun 28, 2011
    While I don't have experience with running on 2GB of RAM (have had 4-8GB of RAM in all systems for a longggg time now), I should say this: Don't buy the $999 base-line Macbook Air. Get the 4GB as a minimum. It's not worth dropping one grand or more on a laptop, and not spending the extra little bit for sufficient amounts of RAM.
  3. Lord Appleseed macrumors 6502a

    Lord Appleseed

    Nov 7, 2010
    Apple Manor
    Ram in my opinion is the most important next to CPU.
    Get 4 GB of Ram, it's necessary in my opinion. And dont worry about things like paging.
  4. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    Paging is less painful with a ssd.

    More ram is still better than paging to a ssd - by a landslide.

    Even with 4, paging happens. Depends what you do. You may still have to worry about paging.
  5. adamtj11 macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    The SSD significantly helps with the 2gb of ram( I know because I have a MBA with 2gb of ram running flawlessly I might add) , yeah 4gb of ram is good but the 2gb of ram + SSD feels much faster than 4gb of ram and hard drive, its fine for average use . I use mine for Xcode, web , email, twitter, few games, iWork, iLife (Garageband the most) and when I do the same on my other Mac with 4gb of ram, the Air is still speeding along while its slowed coin, because of the HD vs SSD. I know I sound like the total opposite of everyone here but I've tried and own the 2gb base MBA and its great.
  6. accessoriesguy macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2011
    It appears the mba is SATA II due to its read & write speeds.

    When the mba gets a sanforce driven SSD (500MB read/write) which is about twice as fast as current Read/Write
    swapping would be even less painful buahahaha!

    But ram would still be better, by then they will most likely have 4 stock.
  7. bigcreek macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2004
    I would choose more ram over SSD, but SSD will help.
  8. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    Echo everyone else's comments: 4GB is still better, even with an SSD.

    But yeah, it will help. SSDs have much better random read/write of small 4KB files than HDDs, and fixed seek times, which is where paging causes an HDD to thrash.

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