Which option for best read/write speed?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by samcraig, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. samcraig macrumors P6

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    Jun 22, 2009
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    USA
    #1
    Aside from the "hassle" of having an external drive vs something that is a more elegant solution - which option - SD card (UHS3/Class 10) or something like the SanDisk Extreme 500 120GB External USB 3 drive will net me the fastest read AND write speeds on the latest MacBook Air?

    Just got the Samsung Pro+ microSD card - but would consider exchanging it for the other option if it's a better solution. Especially since I will be putting both photos and a VM on the external drive.

    Thanks
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #2
    The SSD is going to be close to ten times faster than the SD card. If you want speed, the SanDisk Extreme 500 is hands down the way to go.
     
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #3
    SSD will definitely be much faster. Not familiar with that unit, but I have two Samsung T3 external USB 3.0 SSD's (500gb and 1tb). Speed is the same on both, very happy with them. I use the 500 as a boot drive for a Mini and the 1tb as a media drive for video editing. They also make a 256gb version. There have been a few recent threads on external ssd's in other forums here, and it appears that these speeds are about as good as you can do with any of the current external USB SSD's.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    #4
    Thanks. I bought the Samsung T3 250GB - was on sale via Amazon Prime Now for $99. Not bad. Just a little more than I paid for the 128gb microSD which will now be going back. Speed difference is incredible and even though it's an external drive vs using the slot - it's super light/small/portable.
     
  5. Left4DeadBoy macrumors regular

    Left4DeadBoy

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    Sep 20, 2015
    #5
    hi I believe and I dont know; that sd cards are meant for such things including writing music to the sd card and then plugging it into a compatible source (which requires in addition to the sd card an ereader) and primarily; most of all; for sharing it with people because its convenient . Of course people arent interested in sharing mixtapes most of the time which makes the value of doing that unfortunately dubiou-s .
     
  6. Canubis, Dec 27, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016

    Canubis macrumors regular

    Canubis

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    #6
    The most elegant and also fastest solution will probably just be to upgrade your internal SSD. It's actually still possible in the latest MacBook Airs! One of the benefits that still make it an awesome machine. Though the upgrade has its price, unfortunately.
    https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc/macbook-air/2013-2014-2015
     
  7. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    #7
    I've read mixed reviews - many saying they had issues with that SSD... I can always do that later on... happy with my externals SSD purchase for now (and 1/3rd the cost of that one)
     
  8. Canubis macrumors regular

    Canubis

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    #8
    I've been owing the 240GB upgrade from OWC for some time and never encountered any issues myself. However, this was a different series, for my 2011 model. So results may vary.
    And yes, you're absolutely correct. Each other option than upgrading the internal ssd is definitely cheaper. :)
     
  9. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #9
    What are you doing that would make r/w speeds important to you?

    1. For most common tasks r/w speeds are pretty much irrelevant.

    2. Ssds have NAND controllers for optimal iops performance.

    Comparing ssds to SD cards is like comparing apples to oranges.
     
  10. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

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    USA
    #10
    Some video/motion editing and also running a VM or two.

    Given the R/W speeds and cost - I went with the SSD. Love the performance.
     
  11. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #11
    SSD was the obvious and the right choice.
    I wouldn't use HDDs for anything but special purposes and sd cards for cameras.

    Unless for some reason you move around tons of data (e.g. video) R/W speeds are irrelevant.

    The main reason SSDs enhance system performance is their low latency which is caused by the NAND and NAND controller.

    SD cards and thumbdrives are technically solid state but have no sophisticated NAND controller. (there are rare and expensive exceptions)
    That's why they do not enhance system responsiveness like an SSD if you try to run an OS from them.

    Another good example of this is the iPhone 6s and 7 vs other smartphones.
    These newer iPhones are more responsive and perform overall better even though on paper the specs are inferior.
    What almost nobody knows: Apples hardware department develops customized controllers for the NAND in their devices.
    This doesn't show up on any specsheet.
    And this is why iPhones perform so well.
     
  12. Fuchal macrumors 68020

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    Sep 30, 2003
    #12
    You can buy an Apple stick on eBay for less, and then sell your old stick to make up a good portion of the cost.
     
  13. Canubis macrumors regular

    Canubis

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    #13
    Sure, that's also a viable option. Though both times when I upgraded my 2011 model I couldn't find any original Apple ones on eBay. Also these would of course be used ones, especially for SSDs the price difference would have to be significant for me to consider buying used. These things have limited read/write cycles and it's hard to say what is the actual condition before buying.
    Also if you'd like to max out the MBA to 1TB, I think there still is no such configuration directly from Apple, so also no Apple 2nd hand SSD bars would be on eBay.
     

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