Similar SSD to air's but so much more expensive, why?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jackfrost123, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. jackfrost123 macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2008
    I shudder to think that we might be getting a bargain from apple, is that possible, or is this ssd :

    SuperTalent 60GB SSD (Microsata II, 1.8'')


    which costs around 900 euros mind you not dollars, with less than half the capacity, is so much better in terms of performance than the one in the air?!?!?!?

    I am really confused. Also what's with the specification of a 1.8 ssd drive, are they produced in the same volumes as 2.5" ones? Are they aimed at air type products, ie thin and light but come at a premium price?
  2. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
  3. McGilli macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    The OP is basically saying - why is the MBA SSD so much cheaper than competing products? is it inferior quality?

    Well - I am sure apple has a little pull in the way of volume discounts - and I do not think their SSD purchases would be any 'cheaper quality' than what is out there.

    What kind of SSD so we have in REV B? is it SAMSUNG?
  4. jackfrost123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2008
    yeah it's samsung. Btw, yes that's essentially what I am saying...I mean this product that I quoted is half the size for double the money, is it that really better than air's samsung, is it only marginally better but the inflation due to the new technology of the ssds creates the double price/half size, is it about par even and for a change apple is getting us a bargain because of their leverage in flash what with the iphone/ipod connection etc.? It's hard for me to compare ssds, I start to get a feel for them and the prices, and then boom, I get to see something that seems about par with something else and is either way over or underpriced...strange...
  5. McGilli macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    In 1 year from now SSD will be mainstream - at least to like 512gb and all will be cheap. I remember paying $1000 for a Pentium 1ghz chip...

    We all remember this stuff....

  6. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    Apple's price for the SSD is indeed very competitive. Note it has dropped a *lot* since the original MBA was introduced ($900 for 64GB?).
  7. jackfrost123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2008
    I am sure, but I can't see it going in so fast, one can only hope of course, but esp. in that niche 1.8 ssd space that apple seems to like I can't see it in anything higher than 256 or so in the coming year. Lol, those where the days, my first 386sx for $700...

    They look like it for sure, they look like you are getting a good deal for a cutting edge product that you couldn't were you to go the way of upgrading it yourself. Unless of course someone who is well versed in ssd numbers and performances comes here and debunks this and shows us how much, much better that supertalent I quoted is.
  8. arkhe macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2008
    SSD information

    I can't speak to the Super Talent directly, but the primary difference that drives cost on SSDs is whether they are SLC (single level cell) or MLC (multi-level cell).

    Essentially SLC SSDs can hold only a single bit of information per cell. This makes them both fast and durable (in terms of how many erase/write cycles they can withstand before reaching end of life). MLC SSDs are slower and can withstand fewer erase/write cycles than SLC SSDs.

    This is the biggest cost differentiator between SSDs at the moment.

    Other cost factors are the quality of the flash memory (regardless of whether it is SLC or MLC) and the controller.

    Intel's controllers seem to be the best of breed at the moment and the price of their SSDs reflects that.

    Most mass market SSDs come with Samsung flash memory - including the SSDs in the Air.

    I believe the Rev 1 Air used a Samsung SLC SSD and the Rev 2 uses a commissioned Samsung MLC. I say commissioned because I cannot find the model anywhere on Samsung's or any other suppliers site - but it has been verified through teardowns that it is a Samsung MLC SSD.

    Bottom line: not all SSDs are created equal and at this stage in the early adopter game, you really are getting what you pay for.



    Super Talent whitepaper.pdf

  9. idea_hamster macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2003
    NYC, or thereabouts
    Hmmm. So the Rev. 2 MBA has a slower, shorter-lived SSD HD? Somehow, I'm not sure that's the direction that Moore had in mind....:confused:
  10. arkhe macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2008
    Slower and shorter lived is relative

    I think Moore was speaking more to circuit level densities. ;-)

    But, regardless, MLC SSDs are slower and shorter lived in comparison to their SLC brethren; however, when comparing them to their hard disk cousins, they can offer much (much!) better read performance and comparable write performance and life span.

    And, getting back to Moore, SSD capacities, both SLC and MLC, are increasing - so, I think "Hari Seldon" is still on track! ;-)
  11. jackfrost123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2008
    very, very interesting comments arkhme, thanks.
  12. fteoath64 macrumors regular


    Nov 16, 2008
    I am just as disappointed that there are few SSD modules available for Gen1 AIR from 3rd party manufacturers. Only Mtron has a 32GB 1.8inch ZIF pata drive. Others are either 40 pin pata connectors or LIF connectors.

    And so called, newer one will be microSATA interfaces which are no good for the Gen1, unless someone made a ribbon connector with PATA/SATA bridge chip on it (hear that Apple ?:apple::apple::apple:). The first gen Raptor drives had a pata to sata bridge chip.

    We see that Apple stores sell plenty of 3rd party products, and at least they can recommend to their manufacturing partners (SamSung and Toshiba) to make native PATA ZIF SSDs that will fit Gen1 AIR. AT least 80GB for sizes as 64GB is way too small, these days.
  13. Aea macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    SLCs are vastly more expensive, there's your reason. It's a technology that's emerging to the user market. Once SSDs become mainstream you can bet SLC cards will come shortly, and then we will see massive performance breakthroughs. In the mean time you can stick a few IODrives into your MP ;)

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