Transfering to new MBA

ToomeyND

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 14, 2011
425
184
All,

I have a new 11" MBA replacing an old 2010 MBP that has an SSD in it. I bought an external drive with USB 3.0 as well as a new AC router.

My question is which transfer method would be faster?

Backup the 2010 to the external (at USB 2 speeds) and then use that as the USB 3 drive for the MBA setup assistant.

Or plug the MBP to the router with a gigabit cable and setup the MBA with the AC router wifi speed.

Again, the MBP has an SSD, so I'm wondering if the speed of that "disk" as well as the AC router would be faster than the transfer and re-transfer of the files to an external drive.

Thanks!
 

Pharmscott

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2011
624
2
Sacramento, CA
USB 2: 480mbit/sec
USB 3: 5gbit/sec
AC: 1.7gbit/sec (real world)
Gigabit: 1000mbit/sec

Let's say you had 100gb to transfer and there are zero complicating factors.

Option 1: USB 2 (1700sec) to USB 3 (160sec). Total = 31min.
Option 2: Gigabit (0.8sec) to AC (470sec). Total = 8min.

Option 2 wins (in theory). Good luck!
 

ToomeyND

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 14, 2011
425
184
This is awesome, and exactly what I was hoping for in terms of numbers. Thank you.
 

ToomeyND

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 14, 2011
425
184
USB 2: 480mbit/sec
USB 3: 5gbit/sec
AC: 1.7gbit/sec (real world)
Gigabit: 1000mbit/sec

Let's say you had 100gb to transfer and there are zero complicating factors.

Option 1: USB 2 (1700sec) to USB 3 (160sec). Total = 31min.
Option 2: Gigabit (0.8sec) to AC (470sec). Total = 8min.

Option 2 wins (in theory). Good luck!
It just dawned on me that I can remove the SSD from my laptop and plug it into the external usb 3.0 enclosure. That way I can transfer from SSD to USB 3. to SSD. Now the question is can I get the SSD out and back in in under 23 minutes. :eek:
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,774
485
It just dawned on me that I can remove the SSD from my laptop and plug it into the external usb 3.0 enclosure. That way I can transfer from SSD to USB 3. to SSD. Now the question is can I get the SSD out and back in in under 23 minutes. :eek:
Pretty sure that MBA doesn't use a standard SATA connection (which is what the enclosure would have) so that's not really an option. You also need the Pentalobe screwdriver for the bottom case and a T-6 (I think) for the SSD.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,404
8,990
California
Pretty sure that MBA doesn't use a standard SATA connection (which is what the enclosure would have) so that's not really an option. You also need the Pentalobe screwdriver for the bottom case and a T-6 (I think) for the SSD.
I think you misread what OP is doing. He has a 2010 MBP he will be pulling the SSD from, so that will work fine in a a USB SATA enclosure.

OP>> How much data/apps total are you moving over?

The SSD option you mentioned will be fastest, but if it is not a huge amount of data it might be easier just to do a Time Machine backup from the 2010 to that new USB3 external drive. Then use that to import everything during setup of the new MBA.
 

ToomeyND

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 14, 2011
425
184
I think you misread what OP is doing. He has a 2010 MBP he will be pulling the SSD from, so that will work fine in a a USB SATA enclosure.

OP>> How much data/apps total are you moving over?

The SSD option you mentioned will be fastest, but if it is not a huge amount of data it might be easier just to do a Time Machine backup from the 2010 to that new USB3 external drive. Then use that to import everything during setup of the new MBA.
It's my wife's computer. I think it nets out at around 100 gig. I probably will just do it from the Time Machine backup. I have little doubt that this option is faster when all the labor is put into it. However, I am a bit intrigued by how fast I could watch the transfer happen with the SSD. :)

I already SLOWLY performed the Time Machine backup last night over usb 2.0 to the HDD. So it is pretty much plug and play when the laptops arrive today (between 9:15 and 13:15, c'mon UPS!!!!).

----------

Pretty sure that MBA doesn't use a standard SATA connection (which is what the enclosure would have) so that's not really an option. You also need the Pentalobe screwdriver for the bottom case and a T-6 (I think) for the SSD.
Weaselboy was correct. I meant removing the SSD from the old MBP to put into an external USB 3.0 in order to transfer the data from that SSD into the MBA. I did not mean to say that I would attempt to remove the MBA flash memory.
 

ToomeyND

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 14, 2011
425
184
USB 2: 480mbit/sec
USB 3: 5gbit/sec
AC: 1.7gbit/sec (real world)
Gigabit: 1000mbit/sec

Let's say you had 100gb to transfer and there are zero complicating factors.

Option 1: USB 2 (1700sec) to USB 3 (160sec). Total = 31min.
Option 2: Gigabit (0.8sec) to AC (470sec). Total = 8min.

Option 2 wins (in theory). Good luck!
Pharmscott,

I have my new MBA, and the Asus RT-AC68U. I'm getting a link speed in the Network Utility of 144 Mbit/sec. This seems to be much slower than what you suggested would be the AC speeds. Are these speeds what I should expect? It took about 8 minutes to transfer over about 1.4 GB of data.

Edit: My wife's old MBP with Wireless N is getting 300 Mbit/s. Something is not right with the AC transmission.

Edit 2: I changed the name of the 2.4GHz wifi network to something different. After a quick search, it seems that the laptop automatically connects to this network after waking from sleep instead of the faster network. I'm now at 1 Gbit/s on the MBA. However, it is still estimating 7 minutes to transfer 1.4 Gigs of data. Much slower than I expected.
 
Last edited:

Pharmscott

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2011
624
2
Sacramento, CA
Edit 2: I changed the name of the 2.4GHz wifi network to something different. After a quick search, it seems that the laptop automatically connects to this network after waking from sleep instead of the faster network. I'm now at 1 Gbit/s on the MBA. However, it is still estimating 7 minutes to transfer 1.4 Gigs of data. Much slower than I expected.
I'd say you're getting really good speed. The 1.7gbit/sec is still a theoretical speed. Check out this article:

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/160837-what-is-802-11ac-and-how-much-faster-than-802-11n-is-it