SSD vs HDD streaming to ATV2

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by shawkins002, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. shawkins002 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    #1
    Just about to buy my first Mac and am torn between MBA 13" and MBP 13".

    Here's what I'll be using it for:

    - Primary computer - looking to ditch my big Windows 7 500gb PC for good. I have about 150gb of content before applications.

    - Streaming - I have a couple of ATV2s around the house plus an AirPort Express going in to my stereo. I do a lot of iTunes streaming. Currently a HD movie takes about 5 minutes to start up on the ATV2 when streamed from the PC (C2D 2.4GHZ 2GB ram 802.11n).

    - Music recording - I've just got in to GarageBand on the iPad and may end up getting Logic Express on the Mac. This is hobby stuff, not looking to get a super duper sound card and master my first album, but would like to use more features than GarageBand allows currently.

    - Surfing - of course. More than half the time I use the machine will be on the internet. I like the idea of SSD instant on, but then again I have an iPad so it's not essential.

    - Portability - again, nice but not a huge deal. The iPad 2 is the real portable device. The Mac will probably spend most of the time in the lounge, would take it on holidays etc.


    I think the killer for me would be to know what the best set up for streaming is. I have an AirPort Extreme Router.

    I could either:

    1) Get an MBP with a 500gb hard drive and stream directly from that

    2) Get an MBA with a 256 SSD, stream directly from that with the excess material stored on an external hard drive. If the SSD is much quicker to stream I might have to move content around from the external hard drive when I needed it - a bit of a pain.

    3) Get an MBA with a 128gb or 256 gb SSD - stream from a USB hard drive connected to the AirPort Extreme. No idea what that would be like.

    I'm posting this in the MBA forum because I like the idea of an MBA, but storage is an issue for me.

    What do you think? Is streaming from the MBA's SSD any quicker than from an MBP with HDD? Is streaming from a USB HDD connected to the Airport Extreme an option?

    Thanks
     
  2. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #2
    A wireless N router will allow you to stream at around 10 MB/s at the best of times in ideal conditions. A single 7200 RPM drive can do a sequential read at around 100 MB/s. The SSD in the MBA obviously faster, but it does not matter for streaming. Can you tell where the bottleneck is? It's not the drive, but the wireless connection. 10 MB/s is enough to stream HD content.
     
  3. shawkins002 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    #3
    Thank you. So are you saying that I could (in theory) stream a HD video to the ATV2 from a good USB hard drive connected to the AirPort Extreme almost as quick as I could directly from an MBA?
     
  4. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #4
    No, I am not saying that. It becomes more complicated when you throw in the USB drive connected directly to your AE. USB is CPU dependant. I can copy a file from a 7200 rpm USB drive at around 25 MB/s on a 2009 core 2 duo MBP. I can copy that same file at 35 MB/s on a 2011 MBA, which is pretty close te theoretical USB limit. I do know what chip is running in the AE and how quickly it could read the data from the external disk and send it wirelessly.
     
  5. shawkins002 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    #5
    Thanks again. If we discount the direct streaming from USB / AE, then I'm probably leaning towards the MBP. Just because of the lack of space on the MBA and I don't really fancy plugging in an external USB HD everytime I want to watch a movie which isn't on the SSD already.

    Hope I'm making the right move!

    Cheers again.

    Simon
     

Share This Page