SSD vs. Flash Storage

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by radioman10, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. radioman10 macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2010
    This may be a dumb question, but is there a difference in SSD vs. flash storage?

    On Apple's website, they say on the MacBook AIR page that the system uses flash storage. That's not the same as a solid state drive, correct?

    Will MacBook Pros ever use Flash storage?

    Thank you in advance! :)
  2. Skybar macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2010
    Same thing, different words. Sort of. The MBA uses sticks with flash memory which look pretty much like RAM-sticks. An SSD is essentially the same thing, but the flash memory-sticks is inside an enclosure so to speak, and thus can be connected with SATA.

    But in terms of flash storage, an SSD is flash storage and so is an USB memory stick, or your memory card for your camera, as well as the storage in iPhones. An HDD is not flash storage, for reference.
  3. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
  4. radioman10 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2010
    Thank you both for your quick replies!

    Is there a considerable (any?) speed difference in the flash memory in the new MacBook Pros vs. the flash memory in the MacBook Airs?

    The reason I ask is because I've seen YouTube videos with the MBA booting faster than the quad-core iMacs released last year. If I were to get a 2.2Ghz Sandy Bridge MBP w/ 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of Flash storage, would a MBA still boot faster?

    Thanks in advance.
  5. impulse462 macrumors 68000


    Jun 3, 2009
    With the flash storage in the MBP, the MBP should boot a tiny bit faster due to the faster frequency of the CPU. Both are extremely fast though, we're talking about 10-15 second boot times.
  6. radioman10 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2010
    Okay. Thanks for that information. I really appreciate it!
  7. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Faster CPU does not speed up booting. The SSD in MBAs carries a custom firmware that is strictly integrated with OS X, which is the reason why MBAs boot so fast (link). Even though we still lack the information about the SSDs in 2011 MBPs, it is possible that they don't have as good integration with OS X as MBAs do. At least 3rd party SSDs don't have similar level of integration.

    Other than the drive, the amount of things connected affect the boot speed. Having more RAM modules, HDs/ODDs/SSDs, PCIe cards, USB devices etc. connected to the computer increases the boot time as the OS must check every component while booting.
  8. Sprme macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2012

    SSD and Flash Storage are essentially the same thing except now that the MacBook Airs only have the flash storage inside and not the controller, it cuts the communication short between flash storage and the computer. Think of it this way, speaking to someone that doesn't speak english and you need an interpreter (the controller) present in order to communicate vs. you being able to communicate with that person without the interpreter. It requires less time and energy in order for it to communicate.
  9. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    The SSD's in the 2012 Airs's are much, much faster than the 2010 and 2011 Airs.

Share This Page