looking to buy my dad a SSD for his rev A MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by bobgorila, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. bobgorila macrumors member

    bobgorila

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    #1
    The title says it all.

    My father rather foolishly thought he'd get a Macbook Air when they first appeared... to use as his main machine. It's a rev A 1.6, 80GB HDD.

    It's not awful, apart from when he torrents* on it, and I got him a USB stick to store incoming files on so his HDD might still be usable. He still complains about its overall slowness though, esp compared to my mum's 15" MBP. (well duh)

    It's his birthday soon and mum wants to get him a rev B, but I was thinking of just getting him a SSD upgrade and spending the change on a mac mini for his torrenting needs*.

    So what're my options?

    As best I can tell it can only accept 5mm tall PATA SSDs and uses a ZIF connector. The bay may have a little more clearance, but not the 8mm required for the only 128GB PATA/ZIF SSD I've been able to find. (64GB is out of the question, he can only barely fit his life into 80GB)

    Does anyone know of a 128GB option I've missed?

    Also: a thread in this forum mentions that the rev A's logic board features a SATA bridge that appears to be active and recognised by the system, even if there's no apparent interface to it. Did anybody ever attach a drive to it? My Dad's warranty is good and up by now and I'm a capable solderer, so that's something I'd be willing to explore.

    Even if I did manage that, how hard is it to get ahold of a 128GB SATA/LIF SSD? I gather the connector in the MBA is non-standard, even for 1.8" drives?


    Sorry if I'm re-treading old ground; I've been flicking through this forum all afternoon from work and while it's been a lot of help these questions remain unanswered.





    * Yes, despite being able to afford a MBA my father still insists on torrenting movies. He's just impatient, really. Fully willing to watch appalling handycam uploads if it means he gets to see a film before anyone else. It's stupid, but it's his use-case so there's no use fighting it.
     
  2. mrrippey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    #2
    Not Happening

    I do not think you can do that actually. Maybe others can chime in. Want to get a SSD for your dad? Sell the Rev A on eBay, get $1000 more and get a Rev B on ebay or something.
     
  3. mrrippey macrumors regular

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    Apr 7, 2009
    #4
  4. bobgorila thread starter macrumors member

    bobgorila

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    Apr 21, 2009
    #5
  5. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

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    i(am in the)cloud
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #7
    Someone else already said this correctly. Sell the rev A and buy a rev B MBA refurbished with 1.6 and HDD. You can probably get close to $900 from the original MBA. The rev B MBA costs $1549 refurbished from Apple. Would be worth every penny.

    The rev B will speed everything up. Better Penryn 17W CPU with 6 MB L2 Cache. Speedy and less heat. Much better graphics performance. Better SATA drive controller and better drive performance.

    Otherwise, buy Cool Book for the original and find a 64 GB SSD from an original MBA and install it. I haven't seen much available for either model other than the original SSDs. Just not too many 1.8" with special connectors.

    Also make sure all software updates are performed, and consider reapplying the thermal paste. A lot of people have said it helps with heat and keeps fans quiet.

    SSD is probably the best way to speed up any computer, but the rev A MBA is very problematic for most. Slow is an understatement. Everything with the rev B MBA has been changed. EVERY MAJOR COMPONENT was changed. The result is a much better system.

    Good luck whichever route you go.
     
  7. mrrippey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    #8
    Just wondering, upgrading Rev B drives.....

    Since the Rev B uses a SATA interface, I am assuming once 256GB 1.8" SATA drives come out, they would be interchangeable correct?

    Ditto if a 1.6 Rev B HDD wanted to convert to a SSD afterwards, correct?
     
  8. stoconnell macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Location:
    Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
    #9
    Well, as long as the drive fits (5mm or less), and it has a SATA LIF connecter on it. The MBAir Rev B use SATA LIF which is not common outside of the Air; however, over time we may see this change. There is a thread in the forum where a user does some clever soldering to work around the issue with a standard SATA or micro SATA interface.
     
  9. mircle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    #10
    I thought I read somewhere that the RevA was limited to 80GB storage. I vaguely recall someone bumping their storage to 120 or something but only 80GB was recognized. I could be wrong but I would double check.

    Found it.

    http://forums.macosxhints.com/showthread.php?p=500665
     
  10. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #11
    Yes, if let's say the rev C MBA comes out, and uses same 1.8" drive form, with LIF/SATA connector, one should be able to buy that and install it in their rev B MBA. Remember, A and B are not interchangeable because are PATA and SATA. One would nearly guarantee Apple sticks with SATA, but I sure hope that they get rid of the LIF proprietary connector so we could install a standard SATA SSD.
     
  11. stoconnell macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Location:
    Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
    #12
    I have a feeling that to keep their sparing sane, Apple would stick with the SATA LIF connector on future MBAs. It doesn't seem that Apple views the HDD in these machines as a FRU, so they don't sell the various HDD options directly to customers, nor have I read about people being able to an upgrade. However, it fits in that they leave HDD upgrades in their other laptop lines to the consumer to buy from other vendors -- the only time to upgrade a drive seems to be at time of purchase through Apple. The problem here is there is a dearth of 3rd party options.
     

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