8 Replies Latest reply: Oct 29, 2010 7:03 PM by aprouser
vjr021 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I am thinking about ditching my two current computers for a newer model.

My questions is what are the major differences between SSD and Flash drives?

If I spec out a 13" MBA (2.13GHz, 4GB, 256GB Flash) it comes to $1799.00

and a 13" MBP (2.66GHz, 4GB, 256GB SSD) it goes to $2,249.00

Anyone think the MBP with worth the extra $ ?

MacBook Pro - 17", Mac OS X (10.6.4), 2.16GHZ, 2GB. 120GBHD
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    The MBA's flash storage is soldered to its logic board and not upgradeable. The MBP's SSD is an upgradeable, easily user-replaceable module. The MBP also has a FireWire port, audio input capability without needing an external audio card, a built-in optical drive, a 25% faster processor, and a sturdier case. The MBA is lighter and smaller and is suitable mainly for people who spend lots of time traveling and also have desktop Macs or fully-equipped notebook Macs at their home bases.
  • vjr021 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I suppose the SSD is worth the cash if you look at the sped difference in the regular HD?
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    No, I don't think so. If I did, I'd buy an SSD now. Instead I'm going to wait a year or two for the price per GB to come down by half or more and the capacities to increase, and for the Mac OS to incorporate TRIM support.
  • aprouser Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)
    You can upgrade to an SSD on your MBP. However, it is my understanding that technically, the MBA does not use an SSD. The MBA flash is a group of Flash integrated with the motherboard. The SSDs that are available for purchase to upgrade the MBP "use groups of Flash memory chips mounted in a standardized hard drive shell, with a SATA or PATA interface on the outside." (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2371288,00.asp).

    So, while the functionality is essentially the same, they are not technically the same; I don think you could upgrade a MBA to a 500B SSD if you wanted to. (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=12467070&#12467070)

    Anyone think the MBP with worth the extra $ ?


    In my opinion, yes. But it does have much to do with how you intend to use it, budget, etc.

    It may also be helpful to look at "Topic : What does everyone think of the Oct 2010 Macbook Airs?" (http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=12455098). 57 replies to this post and it seems to be still growing.

    Message was edited by: aprouser
  • Michael Black Level 6 Level 6 (18,440 points)
    I agree - the additional cost of the SSD is pointless since most average users will never see any major speed gain with the SSD. The enhanced I/O throughput of an SSD only makes the cost sensible if you are doing something with truly massive amounts of disk I/O. Otherwise, it seems to offer a very poor bang-for-the-buck ratio, relative to the cost per GB of a conventional HD.

    BTW, the actual memory used in the MBA and a MBP's SSD are essentially the exact same things. The SSD is just packaged into an enclosure so it can be swapped in and out like any SATA drive. On the MBA, Apple just dispensed with the enclosure (to save weight, space and power) in order to repackage the storage into as small a space as possible.
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    It may also be helpful to look at "Topic : What does everyone think of the Oct 2010 Macbook Airs?" (http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=12455098). 57 replies to this post and it seems to be still growing.


    I just read that thread, and was surprised to see how many of the posters in it were seriously put off by the lack of a backlit keyboard in the new MBAs. I've used Apple notebooks as my main computers for 17 years now, and my nearly 2-year-old MBP is the first one that's had a backlit KB. I like the feature, but the absence of it certainly wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me on my next notebook purchase. I've thought of it more as a convenience that's occasionally useful than a must-have item. The outcry over its absence in the new MBAs goes to show that Apple's innovations really do have the ability to reshape market demand — even if Apple occasionally fails to recognize the change itself.
  • vjr021 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Sometime Apple is its own worst enemy... I have BL keyboards on both my laptops, and really find them useful.

    It comes down to wanting the option, and the choice. With no option, Apple has made the choice for you.

    I am still torn on the usefulness of the SSD.

    I am leaning more towards the MBP 13" - with the extra ports, and avail. 8GB RAM, I feel like it can be a replacement for both my laptops I have now.

    It is still close to being as portable as my MBA, but I suppose I can live with that.
  • aprouser Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)
    I am still torn on the usefulness of the SSD.


    I think this comment (by "eww", below) is the most common sense approach to the SSDs if you are considering the purchase as stated - just based on a cash vs speed comparison.

    No, I don't think so. If I did, I'd buy an SSD now. Instead I'm going to wait a year or two for the price per GB to come down by half or more and the capacities to increase, and for the Mac OS to incorporate TRIM support.




    However, as I am in the same boat as many, considering an SSD, and don't want to admit to total lack of common sense, I would just throw in that my current idea entails:
    1) Configuring a MBP with a 500GB 7200 rpm HDD.
    2) Purchasing an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro RE SSD 200GB SATA 3.0Gb/s Solid State Drive.
    3) Swapping out the HDD for the SSD and using the HDD in enclosure for backup.

    The reason that the current idea presented makes sense to me is that 1) at this particular time I can rationalize the purchase as part of a realistic budget plan 2) given that it is "budgetable", I can then freely admit it is really just a fascination with newer technology and how it works 3) sure, in a year MBPs could come with TRIM support, the SSD mentioned above could be offered in 500GB for $300, but if I do follow this common sense approach to its core, then I would probably never buy a computer with the understanding that extrapolating that logic gets me to "If I just waited 10 years they will probably have just what I need at a price that is right."

    I think the whole issue needs to be taken somewhat in the context of need vs want vs budget. So, then would just say in some nerdy fashion - going to throw common sense to the wind and pay a little more to ride on the wild side of technology - YEEHAW!

    Message was edited by: aprouser