SSDs - does this mean Apps run faster?

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

  1. Karvel macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2007
    I'm trying desperately to get to grips with the differences between the MBP and MBA that are beyond the physical (dimensions etc.) and one major difference is obviously between the ‘normal’ hard-drive of the MBP and the SSD of the MBA.

    On first glance I made the assumption of ‘oh the MBA has a smaller hard-drive’ – which, is true, but does having SSD mean that apps run faster? i.e. you’re actually making a trade-off in terms of increased performance (for lower capacity?) Usually I just run iPhoto, Safari, iTunes, although these are sluggish on my old white 2007 MacBook. But then I hear people saying that having Core i5 etc. is pointless if you’re not doing intensive video work (etc.) on your machine – so maybe these apps would just run at a fairly similar speed on a new machine?
  2. seong macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    SSDs basically improves the overall performance when compared to traditional HDDs. But, keep in mind that the MBP has user replaceable components, such as HDD and RAM, while MBAs do not (those unique SSDs are expensive too.)

    Here is my advice: Yes, what you do is not really CPU intensive, but do you see any Core 2 Duo models on Apple's website? NO. That doesn't mean you should not buy the machine with Core i5. For you, buying a MBP will be waste of money if that's what you are looking for. MBAs are generally for people who want portability as well as the speed. It's slower than the MBP, CPU and GPU wise, but it will be definitely faster than your current 2007 Macbook.
    I'm assuming that you haven't used SSDs before. Those apps will not run at the same speed as your Macbook. It will run faster, no doubt. Go to your nearest Apple store, or any store that has MBA, and play with it for a while. If you are looking for MBA 11", then see if the screen size is good enough for you. I think it's a good machine for an upgrade.
  3. clyde2801, Jul 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011

    clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Yes, besides speeding up boot up times, SSD do make apps launch faster and disk intensive apps run faster. Standard hard drives were traditionally a performance bottleneck in modern systems, which is why people were willing to pay a premium for enhanced drives, whether they were 7200 rpm drives as opposed to 5400 rpms, 10k velociraptor drives for desktops, and most recently, SSD's.

    SSD owners would always rant and rave about the performance difference with the new drives, even though they came at a premium price and with a minimum of space.

    The 2010 airs demonstrated the importance of SSD's to many people when they delivered noticeably quick performance in many tasks while using relatively old-and low powered, at that-core 2 duo processors.

    The 2010 airs can still represent an excellent bargain if you're not going to be doing processor intensive tasks on a regular basis, provided you can obtain a premium discount. If you go that route, try to get a model with 4 gigs of ram since it can't be upgraded.

    Another possibility is to try a larger, faster hard drive on your old macbook. Simply going to a 7200 rpm drive can make a world of difference, and a seagate hybrid drive (7200 rpm drive with a small SSD included to handle most frequently used tasks) perhaps more so. And of course, max the ram out if you haven't done so already. These options won't make your MB perform like a modern MBA, but could make it less painful to endure on a regular basis.
  4. Karvel thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2007
    Yeah the Apps did seem fast in the Apple Store but I thought that's cos they'd been closed and reopened so many times :p
  5. thewalkman macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2011
    Look at some comparison videos on YouTube. It's usually a big performance improvement.

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