Friday, February 8th 2008

MacBook Air Does Not See Much Benefit From SSD Drive

The new MacBook boasts a lot of features. Among them is one of the first attempts to put a beefy SSD into a mass-produced computer. MacBook customers have a choice between an 80GB 4300RPM drive, and a 64GB SSD. The SSD costs a whopping $1300, but some would claim that the price is well worth it. Unfortunately for SSD promoters, a little bit of investigative journalism uncovered an inconvenient truth. ARS Technica took two MacBook Airs, one with an SSD and one without, and compared the two in modern benchmarks. What they found was quite surprising: it's not worth the $1300 most of the time. While the SSD definitely eliminated hard drive lag in extremely bandwidth-heavy applications and made the overall system much smoother, it all comes down to what you're using it for. Despite the possible performance gains, ARS Techica concluded that you really shouldn't be spending $1300 on this technology just yet.Source: Nordic Hardware
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6 Comments on MacBook Air Does Not See Much Benefit From SSD Drive

#1
King Wookie
Good to know.

Apple does have a history of being a little too quick to adopt new technologies.

I remember years ago with the first iMac battling to find anything that would work with usb.
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#2

Maybe in 2 years from now it's worth it!
Then they are cheaper, larger, faster, stronger, harder, better, faster, work it, make it, do it!
:D (Daft SSD)
#3
JoJoe
by: moto666
Maybe in 2 years from now it's worth it!
Then they are cheaper, larger, faster, stronger, harder, better, faster, work it, make it, do it!
:D (Daft SSD)
Lol.

Both HDD options in the Air suck. Either a slower-than-dirt HDD with only 80Gb of storage, or a cost-of-an-entire-rig SSD HDD with only minimal performance gains with even les storage capacity. Wooo...
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#4
Water Drop
The reason the standard HDD is only 4200RPMs is because it's the same 80GB HDD they use in the iPod Classic 80GB. Apple doesn't like to order lot's of different parts, they try to keep things as simple as possible.
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#5
Ripper3
by: King Wookie
Good to know.

Apple does have a history of being a little too quick to adopt new technologies.

I remember years ago with the first iMac battling to find anything that would work with usb.
Without the iMac, uptake of USB may not have been so fast.
Yes, it was a pain at first, but then a whole host of things started coming out, once companies realised that people really really wanted the iMac for its looks, but had nothing to use on it, in terms of external add-ons.

Also, the HDD is slow, yes, but since it's tiny, it can kinda be excused I think. For most of the people that will use the Air, 4300RPM is just fine. With a nice amount of RAM, they can just have more open at once. OS X is pretty good at managing memory, afaik, so it shouldn't affect performance so much after everything has loaded properly into memory.
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#6
Water Drop
I had a Gateway from 1997 that had USB, and it ran Windows 95 (a updated version that had USB support). The iMac wasn't launched until late 1998. So I wouldn't say the iMac was the sole reason for helping USB become popular, many computers before the iMac had USB.
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