Macbook Air SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Atari78, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. Atari78 macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2011
    Hey Guys,

    Just ordered my 1st apple computer and decided to spring for the Macbook air 13" base model with 4GB RAM. My question is whether or not I should save data on a SD card rather than on the Macbook airs SSD drive as I heard that they degrade over time with usage. What are your thoughts? Sorry if this is a dumb question.
  2. simsaladimbamba, Mar 3, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011


    Nov 28, 2010
    No, as the degradation will take years, unless you write hundreds of GBs to the SSD on a daily basis. Btw, the SD card will offer only a fraction of the speed the SSD has. The SSD card most likely can read and write with 10MB/s, while the SSD inside the MBA can sustain 180MB/s for that.
    Even an external 2.5" USB HDD will be faster with its 35MB/s.
  3. Atari78 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2011
  4. seveej macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2009
    Helsinki, Finland
    I agree with previous posters regarding to the OP's question.

    As I have a question which relates to SSD's and I did not want to start a new thread I'll highjack this thread:

    I'm currently using a MBAlu, which has an SSD I installed myself about 13 months ago. Out of the box the SSD was blazingly fast. Since then (at about the 9 months mark) the computer started slowing down. As I assumed this related to the performance degradation problem many SSD's had, I cloned the drive onto an external drive, wiped the SSD and cloned the data back. Subsequently performance was back to nominal.

    I've thereafter considered going for the 11" MBA, but there are some items, which worry me:
    - is the controller of the "SSD" in the MBA more advanced, that is, will MBA users suffer the same degradation by time? For me, this is critical, because the MBA won't allow you to do the back-and-forth -cloning described above (Drive not removable and no firewire).
    - Seemingly Lion will be the first to introduce Trim-functionality. How will you go about to upgrade the OS on an MBA? Will you need to buy the external DVD drive or will apple supply the "upgrade" on a stick (as they do for reinstalling)?


  5. Voondebah macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2010
    The controller on the SSD in the macbook airs should avoid these degradation issues. Although OS X lacks TRIM, the ssd uses a controller with a very aggressive garbage collection strategy to compensate. You can read all about the controller in Anandtech's review (this kingston drive uses the same controller as the SSD in the air):

    As far as Lion updates go, I believe developers were upgrading through a download from the App store (someone correct me if I'm wrong!). I assume this will be the same case when it is finally released, so you shouldn't need any peripherals.
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    They degrade over time but not in the time of normal use for a Mac notebook. In addition, OS X Lion will have TRIM to maintain the SSD better. When people say they degrade over time it's vs an hdd. The HDD can have continuous rewrites while the SSD will not. Apple isn't going to sell you an SSD if it wouldn't last you ten years. SSDs are more dependable than HDDs.

    I would never worry about it if I were you, as Apple isn't selling you junk. It wouldn't have 128GB of storage if you couldn't use it. Never use an external USB drive over the MBA's own SSD if you don't have to. It would be terribly slow and defeat the purpose of having an SSD, ultimate speed and dependability.

    Quit worrying and enjoy as you're really misreading the meaning of degradation over time if you would consider using an external drive instead.
  7. sufferrar macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2010
    Dont' worry about it. The battery will likely go or get degraded long before your SSD goes. The battery may be the only part with the shortest lifetime.
    In 3 years time I'm sure you will get another laptop and your air will still be working.

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