Rev B it is, but SSD or HDD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by nph, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. nph macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2005
    I know it has been asked before but now I have finally decided rev Bit will be only is it worth $600 for the 1.8 SSD?

    Is it better to save the money for the next revision or make this one last longer (at least a year maybe)?
    My take is that the SDD makes people feel they have a much faster machine,

    Is this correct and does SSD also provide less heat than the HDD?

    Battery I understand is about the same, right?

    Sorry for asking what has been discussed before but my thinking is that there are finally more HDD MBAs out there for comparison so it should be a good time to ask the question again.

  2. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    I bought the 1.6GHz with 120GB HDD. It isn't that I couldn't justify the price, it is just the fact I didn't see the performance improvements I expected from the SSD in the Rev. B.
  3. cerealj macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008
    I also think it's not worth the $600. I don't own a MBA, but I'm given to understand that you probably wouldn't see the 200mhz improvement anyway because it gets too hot and throttles down.
  4. djrobx macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2007
    I used a friend's rev. A (HDD) air, and knew I had to buy the SSD. It's a HUGE leap in snappiness in terms of loading stuff, which mitigates the slower processor speed. For me its the difference between having a nimble laptop I can live with for the next 3 years, vs. something that constantly reminds me that I'm making compromises for its form factor that I'd be aching to upgrade.

    The processor difference probably isn't big enough to be noteworthy.

    I do a lot of computer repair work, and I've seen so many well spec'd laptops that just run like a dog, solely due to a 4200rpm drive. Didn't want to live with one in a new $1800 laptop. Now that it's done I'm happy with my choice. You may, however, want to take the the lower model, bank the savings, and buy a 256GB SSD later on. Don't know how easy that will be to actually do, but it's definitely a strategy with merit. I'm glad I was able to hold out for Rev B + 128GB, it's "just right" for me.
  5. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Think about boot times, app start times, and file opening times. I have used both extensively but never together. With the MBA 2.0, the differences are acceptable because the HDD is much better in the MBA 2.0 than the SSD in the original MBA. That being said, I have noticed considerable difference between the SSD and HDD in the 2.0.

    So I was at the Apple store the other day, and started the 1.6 HDD and 1.86 SSD at the same time; it took about 29 seconds for the SSD and 87 seconds for the HDD to boot. Multiply that minute times every time you start it over years of use. The SSD opens apps and large files faster, near instantly.

    I bought the MBA 2.0, 1.86, SSD as I calculated the differences to me. 2 minutes for everytime I use the MBA. One minute for boot and one minute for all of the file and app openings. I used three times per day of boot/use/shutdown. Those two MBAs may not have exact same other specs or apps affecting them so could be different.

    6 minutes day
    42 minutes week
    189 minutes per month (4.5 wks per/month)
    2268 minutes per year (189 * 12 months)
    4576 minutes over two years
    That's over 76 hours over two years.

    I think the price difference is $500 in US for SSD and same CPU. That is equal to approximately $6.50 per hour you save. If you make more than $6.50 per hour, then I think is a wise upgrade.

    This was not an exact science but a mere guess based on two computers on display at Apple Store.

    The point is, if you have the money, I think the added price is well worth the speed differences you may experience.
  6. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
    It comes down to your usage pattern, nph.

    If you're the type that shuts down his computer and boots it every day, or multiple times a day, the SSD will be much faster. If you quit the applications you use and restart them every time you need to use them, again the SSD will be a considerable productivity boost to your workflow.

    If instead you sleep your machine instead of shutting it down every day and rarely ever reboot your workflow would not be significantly impacted by the HD. If you keep your apps always running without shutting them down you will notice nearly no difference in day to day use. In this case the HD would be better for your needs.
  7. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    I don't know what it is, but I've found the SSD just doesn't deliver the same type of "snappiness" it will on a more powerful machine. I have a Unibody Macbook Pro with an SSD, but I just didn't see the same level of performance return from the Macbook Air (Rev. B) in HDD vs. SSD.
  8. PowerFullMac macrumors 601


    Oct 16, 2006
    SSDs give better performance and will last a lot longer than HDs. Get the SSD if you can afford it.
  9. justit macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2007
    Aside from speed, the decision for SSD should be based on better resale.

    Also, if you decide not to get SSD, there's no looking back as today there is no solution other than Apple for an SSD for the Rev B MBA.
  10. EnderTW macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2007
    He is right, currently there is no other solution for an SSD.

    key word though is currently.
  11. mhnajjar macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2008
    Get the HDD and upgrade it to an SSD later whenever it is available :)
  12. jevel macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2003

    I bought a rev. B a couple weeks back, and I went to the local Apple store to check them out.

    I found that the best solution for me was an 1.83GHz with a normal HDD. I almost never reboot my machine and keep my main apps open at all time. With my usage pattern the SSD was simply not worth it. I maxed the CPU simply to make sure I had the most power when (if) I want to upgrade my OS later on.

    Regarding heat emission the 1.83 has the same numbers as the 1.6 according to Intel spec.

  13. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I definitely think the $500 for SSD is for those that can afford it or feel it will benefit them greatly to justify buying it.

    For me, I am a consultant. I work from a home office in the morning. I visit one or two client offices in the afternoon, and then I use it at home in the evening. In addition, I use it as my only Mac and primary work computer. The "business" side of it along with the distinct set pattern of multiple shutdown and startups made it a worthy choice. Had I only used it at home, I definitely would have went 1.86 GHz with HDD.

    It is really fast. For what I use it for, it seems like my fastest computer ever. It's my fifth Mac, and I believe it's the best Mac purchase I have ever made. Portability is just amazing with it. I had the original MBA, but it was not a quarter of the computer that the 2.0 is.
  14. jevel macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2003
    I understand your point, but I don't understand why I would want to keep shutting down my computer?

    One of the big strengths with MacBooks and OS X is the superb sleep function. When I open the lid again it's ready to use in under two seconds.

    Shutting it down all the time makes no sense to me.

    Same with opening and closing applications. As long as I'm not running into swapping to harddrive, I tend to keep whatever apps I use open. (Firefox, terminal, Entourage and iPhoto being the normal ones...)

    I'm not saying this is the "correct" use of the computer, but it seems very strange to me to not utilise the strengths of your system. Both the sleep and the superb memory managment of OS X really shines on a platform like MBA. :)

  15. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    The Macbook Air isn't really a home PC. The small size and form factor make it perfect for traveling in most cases.

    I did testing related to the snappiness of the computer. This is really just subjective based on how fast the computer feels rather than the benchmarks. Most of the benefit of the SSH just wasn't there in the Macbook Air, but was in the Macbook Pro/Macbook. I don't know where the difference is, but that is just how I saw it.

    I can see changing out to a SSD in the future when they are much cheaper, but I didn't and still don't see the advantages for the extra $500 when buying a Macbook Air. I did buy one from Apple in my Macbook Pro and I don't regret the decision in the least. Go figure why there is a difference. :D
  16. spacecadet610 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2006
    I wouldn't buy an SSD now as prices will continue to drop. Just get buy with a HD until SSD prices become comparable
  17. rogerggie macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2009
    Can you upgrade to SSD if you get the HDD Air Rev B?

    If I did buy a HDD Macbook Air, could I later upgrade to SSD as bigger and hopefully cheaper ones come to market?

    Is a 5400 or 7200 rpm hard drive not compatible with the Air or just not fit it?
  18. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I checked into this before buying mine. I was hopeful to upgrade to one of the Intel SSD drives. The problem is the connector Apple uses is not compatible with 100% of the SSDs available on the market. This means whatever drive you buy your MBA with is only drive you will use unless upgrading through Apple. The drive in the new MBA uses a SATA-II/LIF connector.

    From my understanding from posts here, there are NO SSDs on the market that use this connector. Apple really wants to make the money on the SSD.

    Check here in the MBA section and search it. This has been discussed and researched and no possibility until a company makes an SSD with an LIF connector. Supposedly the original MBAs do have SSD upgrade potential on market as there are PATA-LIF SSDs available.
  19. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    How about:

    3.2ghz quad core 2 duo
    8gb of RAM
    same keyboard
    same dimensions
    1600x768 OLED display
    3.5g/4g capability
  20. manhattanboy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2007
    In ur GF's bed, Oh no he didn't!
    Shutdown saves battery which is essential for the AIR!
  21. jevel macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2003
    That really depends.

    With the added draw from high harddrive activity and CPU, my guess is that you will save marginal amounts unless you would keep it turned off for quite some time.

    But if you keep it turned off for any longer period of time it´d mean that you really won´t need the battery because you don´t use the machine. Catch my drift?

    I generally charge my MBA either in the evening after work, or over night. Even though i let it sleep all night I generally have enough power to get me through the workday afterwards. (0700 - 1700)

    So; sorry. I don´t buy that explanation. ;)

  22. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I would get the SSD model, running everything (especially multitasking) on OSX adds up in terms of speed.

    To me if you go for the mba, the SSD model is the only one really worth it.

    Just think, something that small can run in the same speed as a desktop.
  23. jevel macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2003
    The SSD will give you next to nothing when it comes to multitasking. Where it will shine is in starting applications and booting the OS.

    In all the indepth tests I´ve seen, the HDD version outperforms the SSD on datatransfer where you transfer big files / a lot of data.

    The main advantages of the SSD is the shorter boot, faster opening of most applications and the absolute silence.

    Power consumption is marginally lower, overall system speed is marginally better and heat is also marginally lower. But none of these factors really justifies the added price if you don´t have an unlimited budget. (In which case you should choose the SSD just for the added durability a nonmoving storage solution will give you.)

  24. NewGenAdam macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008

    It's possible to replace the hard drive. And I certainly don't think it's worth paying for 0.2 GHz more processing speed.
  25. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Unless someone manufactures an SSD with SATA-II/LIF connector, there is no way to upgrade a MBA revB. Currently there are no manufacturers of it other than Apple's custom model (by Samsung I think). But none available aftermarket for the MBA revB. I hope that changes, as even my 128 GB SSD is not large enough for me. And SSDs are getting faster than the current models. Maybe Apple will make it a standard connection in the revC. But for now, Apple wants to make the extra $$$ on the SSD, and until an SSD manufacturer makes an LIF connector, Apple is the only way for the MBA revB.

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