macbook air (value, options?)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by fkazem, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. fkazem macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #1
    hi
    Thinking of buying macbook air, but should i go for the ssd drive?? is it worth the extra 900?? what is the main advantage to normal HDD? does anybody know?

    thanks,

    f.Kazem
    The Netherlands:apple:
     
  2. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

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    #2
    The SSD drive is faster. personally, I'd go for the HD. In a couple of years, SSD drives will drop sufficiently to be competitive, but the better part of a grand is a helluva lot for faster disk access....
     
  3. ~David macrumors regular

    ~David

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    #3
    Uhg, don't waste your money bud. You can get so much more for so much less if you go with the MacBook Pro.

    I would say go for the SSD drive if you get the Air because the standard drive is only PATA and not SATA which is much slower. But if you do, it will cost well over $3000, which is why the MacBook Pro is a much better option.
     
  4. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    #4
    Don't waste your money, less storage for a serious amount of extra cash .. :(
     
  5. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #5
    I would have to say skip the SSD HDD- it is faster than the PATA HDD, but not worth the huge price difference in my opinion. :)
     
  6. paul17win macrumors member

    paul17win

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    #6
    just dont buy the MBA, get the MBP instead its a way better deal.
     
  7. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

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    #7
    Ugh, stop pushing your model preference on people. Some people really do prefer lightweight portable over a desktop replacement portable.

    That being said don't get the SSD unless you're filthy rich and have money to burn. SSDs will nose dive in price in the coming years so no point paying a premium now.
     
  8. Catonow macrumors regular

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    #8
    "... much slower...." Just exactly (or even approximately) how much slower is a PATA vs. a SATA drive? I'd love to know. Is it proportional to the difference in RPM, or is it even greater than that? Please tell, this could help a lot of potential buyers.
     
  9. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

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    #9
    Supposedly they're something like 100x faster than a hard drive. Honestly from all the hands on reports I've read people think the MBAs with the hard drive are plenty fast (probably due to the 2 gb of ram).
     
  10. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    #10
    Here's a scenario...
    Get the 80GB - 4200RPM for $1799
    Sell MBA in 7 months for $1499
    Buy MBA Gen.2 with SSD for $2399 (and faster processor)
    TOTAL EXPENSE = $2699

    Or buy 64GB SSD today...
    TOTAL EXPENSE = $3098
     
  11. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

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    #11
    I could make up a bunch of numbers too. You're assuming a lot (price, time, the hard drives in MBAs not being able to be swapped with SSDs by an Apple Tech, the speed difference actually mattering to the person, etc...)

    The fact is that a better computer is always around a year in the future. Always. Look at what you have now, look at what is available now and decide based on that.
     
  12. Catonow macrumors regular

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    #12
    Thanks but (assuming you were responding to my question) I meant the difference between a PATA (the cheaper HD option inside the new MBA) and a SATA hard drive (the kind in MBs and MBPs), not between a PATA drive and a solid state drive. David above said that a SATA drive was "much faster." I just wondered how much.
     
  13. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

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    #13
    Ah well the MBP has a 7200 rpm drive, I think (opposed to 4200). So basically it is decent for things like video editing and such. I wouldn't attempt to do such a thing on an MBA (for a variety of reasons).
     
  14. TatsuTerror macrumors regular

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    #14
    ^ What other programs do you think may be severely effected by the HD speed?
     
  15. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    #15
    FWIW Stock configuration is 5400, 7200 is a BTO option.

    Anything that requires a sustained data rate will benefit from the faster spin speed, but the faster drivers will generate more heat and can reduce battery life. A trade, like most things in life.

    B
     
  16. DarkFlame macrumors regular

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    #16
    4200 fast enough to stream 1080p to an external display through micro dvi?
     
  17. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

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  18. Catonow macrumors regular

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    #18
    So it really is just proportional to the difference in RPM speed? There isn't any additional (significant) difference arising out of PATA vs. SATA?

    Interesting about the heat issue. So maybe Apple couldn't put a 5400 rpm HD in there due to temperature, with the MBA being so thin and all.

    One other question: I've read elsewhere that the cache is the same as on other Mac laptops. Does this at least help ameliorate some of the slowness we might experience with the (non-SSD) hard drive?

    And while we're on the subject: what exactly does the cache do? (Sorry if I seem to be getting OT, but to me it's not OT, as it might make a difference in my purchasing decisions.)
     
  19. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #19
    Not just the rotational speed - the smaller the platter is, the less data passes under the heads in one rotation (the track length, therefore the amount of data bits, is the perimeter of the platter. Smaller platter = shorter track length)

    So at a given rotational speed, a 3.5" drive will outperform a 2.5" drive which will in turn outperform a 1.8" drive.

    PATA vs SATA will make a minimal difference for a single drive -- 100 MB/s (ATA/100) vs 150 MB/s (SATA-150) - A good 3.5" drive mechanism itself is capable of around 80 MB/s depending on the drive.
     
  20. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #20
    Doesn't that imply that the data stored near the spindle is "slower" than the data near the edge of the platter?

    Seems odd. I though that was all fixed in the early EIDE days by making the sectors fixed length and variable in number according to the perimeter of the track, so that the linear data density remained roughly constant. Or am I thinking of something else.

    Don't forget too that the random seek time for a smaller drive can be shorter since the heads don't eed to travel as far, which could also negate the effects we are talking about.

    B
     
  21. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #21
    Is there any reason to think that an Apple Tech couldn't swap out the 4200 for an SSD down the road?

    Anybody have any benchmarks on a 1.8" 4200? Given that size, it seems like it could be really quite slow.
     
  22. myeggsareboiled macrumors newbie

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    #22
    Just a thought, cos I am no geek or engineer, but wouldn't the thinness be a plus point for heat dissipation? All the parts are within a fraction of an inch of the (cool) external air?
     
  23. DarkFlame macrumors regular

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    Dec 21, 2007
    #23
    Bump? This is a huge concern for me because an SSD is the single most performance improving option for booting and running files. Ram is unlikely to be upgraded, but 2gb is plenty for having like 5 browsers, itunes, and torrent software.
     

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