Looking to speed up Rev. A with 80gb HD, ideas?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by HiFiGuy528, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    Looking to speed up my Rev. A, 1.6ghz, 80gb HD. I am thinking a SSD, but none seems very fast looking at the specs, 75MB/S write, 85MB/S read. My OCZ Vertex Turbo 2.5" SSD in my MBP does 240MB/S read & 145MB/S write for LESS money.

    Am I really going to fell the speed difference with a SSD? Is there anything else I can do?
  2. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    All I can say is an SSD makes the Macbook Air feel like a new machine.

    I bought a RunCore SSD which has given my Rev. B a new lease on life. It was so slow before the upgrade that I only used it when I just couldn't bear to carry my Macbook Pro around.

    If I were in the market right now I would buy a RunCore SSD.

    Just be sure to research the RunCore technical support situation before buying so you can ensure you're comfortable with it. There are several threads here and over at the official RunCore support forums at http://forums.tweaktown.com/f78/
  3. HiFiGuy528 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    I am comfortable with the install, but I am not impressed by there specs. Which one did you get, size? What problems if any have you experienced?
  4. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    My thread is here. You can find additional threads about them here, here, here or just search for RunCore inside the Macbook Air subforum. There are a lot more threads than these.
  5. Shrek-Moscow macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2008
    RevB and C use much faster sata discks, RevA like yours and mine have slower pata interfaces.

    However the difference from the original HDD is amazing! The feeling is much faster because applications are more responsive.
  6. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    You're using a PATA connection instead of SATA 3.0. No matter what, it'll be slower than your MBP.
  7. JCT macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2004
    Tucson, AZ
    I had been contemplating the same with my Rev A 1.6, 80GB HDD model. Finally decided that with the constraints of the PATA it just made more sense to stand pat and see whether we will get a 4 GB machine soon and at that point sell the Rev A (the resale is not that bad) and make the leap to a 4GB + SSD model.

    I can imagine that will be a huge step-up :D .

  8. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Honestly, your cheapest method may be dumping your rev A for around $800 and buying a v 2,1 MBA for around $1200 with an SSD. Runcore will speed it up some, but it will not improve the Merom CPU, Intel 3100 graphics, slower DDR2 RAM, and PATA drive controller.

    I am surprised that people will pay $800 plus still for that computer you have. To me, it makes selling a no brainer.

    You may want to sell now, and wait for the new update. If the MBA update doesn't bring much change, it could mean more price cuts.

    Good luck whatever you decide.
  9. tsubikiddo macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2008
    Melbourne, AUS
    I honestly believe you will be able to tell the difference between a HDD and a SSD, especially in normal daily computer usage where Random I/O or cached I/O are what SSDs are renowned for

    in terms of sequential I/O (e.g. writing big files in/out of the drive), then yes, SSDs are still slower than traditional platter-spinning HDDs, but with today's technology, the SSD is still going to give the HDDs a good run.

    So, yea, not all SSDs are born equal, however, the 'burst' that just about any SSD would be able to provide, is gonna be one heck of a refreshing & invigorating experience from the HDDs
    there's not much pt for chasing after 240MB/s I/O when your file is only going to be ~3-5MB (say, mp3s) and the SSD is going to finsih loading it in a burst.

    sound right?:p
  10. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    The bottleneck in computing is usually the read/write speed of the drive and drive controller. Therefore, an SSD would reduce the bottleneck. Yes it would be a difference, but I don't think an aftermarket SSD in an original MBA would perform anywhere near the performance of even the stock SSD in v 2,1 MBAs. Remember the original MBA has a PATA drive controller, while the v 2,1 MBAs have SATA-II drive controllers.

    I don't even know that the PATA drive controller in the original MBA could even fully experience the benefits of throughput for aftermarket SSDs. We are talking less than half the theoretical speed of SATA-II. In addition, there are problems beyond just theoretical differences limiting PATA to far less than half the performance of a SATA-II drive controller found in the v 2,1 MBAs.

    I still say go with a newer MBA, that uses a SATA-II drive controller, and definitely go with an SSD. It's all about reducing/minimizing the bottleneck as much as possible. An SSD provides the best relief, but to fully experience the advantages of an SSD, you'll need a newer MBA with its better SATA-II drive controller. In the future, we will need the advanced next version of SATA drive controllers which will double the read/write throughput of SATA-II. Let's hope those find their ways into Macs as soon as available...
  11. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    While I agree with Scottsdale's conclusion - sell the RevA and pickup a rev B/C if thats prectical for you - I don't completely agree with the SATA/PATA assertion.

    I see this largely spurious PATA vs SATA assertion a lot. The old PATA interface in the original MBA was capable of 100mbps transfer rates. The new SataII controller in the RevB/C are capable of 3gbps. Thats a huge difference but those are theoretical numbers.

    The Samsung Sata II SSD in my MBA RevC maxes out in the 70mbps range in reality. And guess what? - even a PATA-100 interface could keep up with that. The fact is only a tiny percentage of any spinning media you could fit in a laptop is capable of exceeding the "old" PATA interface throughput and the majority of the consumer MLC SSD drives currently available are not capable of exceeding it either.

    There's mostly SATA drives being produced now and thats reason enough to pick SATA over PATA. The SATA controllers tend to be less of a cpu hog as well. And of course the RevB/C MBA's have a lot of other advantages over the RevA, but should you decide to put an SSD in your RevA you will notice a dramatic speed difference. Remember how slow the 1.8" 4200rpm drive really is and how big a difference the Runcore SSD is even if it was not quite up to the SATAII version for the RevB/C.
  12. GeekGirl* macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    rev A was the best of the 3 I had, get the HD SSD was not worth it. No matter what Scottsdale thinks.
  13. coast1ja macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2009
    The Runcore's can reach around 150mb/s... and I think the sata controller can only handle 300mb/s (.3gb/s), not 3gb/s... although it would be nice if it could... or anything could for that matter... maybe lightpeak will, but that's a whole other story. The fastest we have now is SATA II 600mb/s.
  14. ohdannybay macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2009
    My results with the same computer

    DjAmTraX, I've had the Rev A since near day one, and while for the most part I fully enjoy, even look for, Scottsdale's posts, and he could certainly run circles around me technically, I can unequivocally say that putting the 64GB Runcore into my Rev. A 80GB HDD Air has turned it into a NEW MACHINE.

    There is simply no comparison to the machine I used to own––whether it's startup, login, opening apps, opening/suspending VMWare…in every respect I have been jaw-droppingly pleased. While I am not contradicting the logic of swapping for B or C being better, I can also say that Runcore in my Rev. A has exceeded expectations.

    Just did it a couple weeks ago, and took others' advice and replaced the thermal paste as well. My core shutdown/overheating problems have also been eliminated, previous regular temperatures in the 70's are now more often in the 40's and 50's. (although we'll see when summer comes back, I've never Coolbooked yet so still have that option).

    If you swap for B or C I'm sure you'll be happy, but Runcore can also breathe new life into the A.
  15. Shrek-Moscow macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2008
    I agree with ohdannybay.. I've swapped the HDD of my rev A with a RunCore SSD a month ago and I'm really happy! It has really become a new machine.

    Of course a newer rev B or C with RunCore will be much faster but since now I'm fine with the performance I've got after changing to SSD.

    After all I'm not a person who like to sell his things, I'm waiting for rev D to be released to upgrade, but even then I will not sell my rev. A. It could become my download machine or it can seat back in his original box for the next ten or fifteen years.. it will become a well maintained exemplar of "the first ever MacBook Air" (we are talking about a really innovative product in term of engineering and design).

    This HDD to SSD upgrade is really helping me to wait for the moment the new rev D will be released and we'll have seen first feedback and benchmarks from real world users.
  16. dgdosen macrumors 65816


    Dec 13, 2003
    So, what do you all think a used Rev A is worth? I'd assume I'd have to add another $400 for a Runcore - the problem there is, there's no other machine that could ever use it...

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