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Apple rumored to feature high-speed 400MBps flash memory in new MacBook Air - Page 2

post #41 of 101
This is being touted for the MBAs but can't all of Apple's devices be positively effected by faster NAND from Samsung?
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post #42 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post

Precisely, which is why I'm trying to disprove the rumour of them being stupid enough to solder flash memory to the mainboard. Soldering NAND flash to the logic board would be like having tyres on your car attached so you have to replace the whole chassis whenever they wear out. Hard disks have always been the part of the computer most likely to wear out, and so can be replaced relatively inexpensively. If they're soldered to the mainboard, you'd have to fork out $1000+ just to replace something that's known to have a finite life.

Can someone who's more tech-savvy than I explain how it is that memory chips (i.e. NAND flash) would "wear out"?? I thought the whole point of going solid state was that there are no moving parts>more durability, more speed & less wear. I get that HDDs wear out, because they have lots of little moving parts, but solid state "wearing out"? I don't get it.

Also, if the concern is NAND chips wearing out from usage, well, wouldn't the main processor be vulnerable to the same problems? It certainly gets A LOT more use, i.e. all the time!!
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post #43 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

Can someone who's more tech-savvy than I explain how it is that memory chips (i.e. NAND flash) would "wear out"?? I thought the whole point of going solid state was that there are no moving parts>more durability, more speed & less wear. I get that HDDs wear out, because they have lots of little moving parts, but solid state "wearing out"? I don't get it.

Also, if the concern is NAND chips wearing out from usage, well, wouldn't the main processor be vulnerable to the same problems? It certainly gets A LOT more use, i.e. all the time!!

The term "wear out" is being used in different ways between solid state and GMR (Giant MagnetoResistance) (aka HDD) drives.

To put it simply, solid state drives are limited to the number of times they can be written to and HDDs are limited to the rotations the motor can do.

Here is an AnandTech article that should answer all your questions and concerns in greater detail.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2614/4
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post #44 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

Can someone who's more tech-savvy than I explain how it is that memory chips (i.e. NAND flash) would "wear out"?? I thought the whole point of going solid state was that there are no moving parts>more durability, more speed & less wear. I get that HDDs wear out, because they have lots of little moving parts, but solid state "wearing out"? I don't get it.

Also, if the concern is NAND chips wearing out from usage, well, wouldn't the main processor be vulnerable to the same problems? It certainly gets A LOT more use, i.e. all the time!!

NAND cells wear out because they have to be zapped with about 10 volts to erase them. Each zap damages them slightly, until eventually, they can no longer be erased or written to reliably. If you only ever read from a SSD, it would last forever.

CPUs and RAM don't suffer this problem because they don't hold the value stored in them permanently. DRAM resets to zero unless it's refreshed around 20 times a second, and CPUs don't have permanent storage, just temporary cache and even more temporary registers. There's no zapping involved, just 1v or less changing the transistor state temporarily. Hope that helps
post #45 of 101
In addition to SB's Turbo Boost that it will get, the Air is looking more and more compelling as a main laptop for me. The current one is good, but I can feel it hit its processors limits quite often. With Turbo Boost for single threaded apps as well as SB's faster IPC, processor-wise it will outdo most midrange Core 2 Duo laptops in the majority of workloads, and with an SSD this fast it will feel much faster day to day (well, the current one already does that).

A NAND capacity doubling at the same prices would be icing on the cake, I can make due with 256 easily. And as always, time to make 4GB RAM baseline, I say.
post #46 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post

NAND cells wear out because they have to be zapped with about 10 volts to erase them. Each zap damages them slightly, until eventually, they can no longer be erased or written to reliably. If you only ever read from a SSD, it would last forever.

CPUs and RAM don't suffer this problem because they don't hold the value stored in them permanently. DRAM resets to zero unless it's refreshed around 20 times a second, and CPUs don't have permanent storage, just temporary cache and even more temporary registers. There's no zapping involved, just 1v or less changing the transistor state temporarily. Hope that helps

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The term "wear out" is being used in different ways between solid state and GMR (Giant MagnetoResistance) (aka HDD) drives.

To put it simply, solid state drives are limited to the number of times they can be written to and HDDs are limited to the rotations the motor can do.

Here is an AnandTech article that should answer all your questions and concerns in greater detail.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2614/4

Thanks! I feel all edumacated now!

Given this, and, if the soldering-NAND-to-the-motherboard rumor is true, then my guess is that it will only be done with the MBA and the MB (assuming that's not discontinued), but the MBPs will still have the SSDs on a card—at least I hope so. About a year ago, I swapped out the 160 GB HD on my MacBook for a 500GB drive, and I'm glad I had that capability—and certainly, anyone living in the "Pro" universe would want some flexibility with their investment as well. That said, I can understand if Apple would make compromises for the lower end—sacrifice upgradability for portability and to keep the prices (relatively) low.
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post #47 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by REC View Post

Isn't soldering RAM and storage directly to the motherboard what they currently do anyway?

Only for the MBA, and then only the RAM. The MBA's SSD storage is on a plug-in card connected to the motherboard, not soldered directly to it.
post #48 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Isn't ~/Applications (under the Home folder) new to Lion?

No. It's been around, IIRC, at least since Tiger, probably before. It just isn't used much.
post #49 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post

Intel's controller understands NTFS and FAT, so it knows what areas the filesystem has tagged as deleted. No controllers (that I know of) understand HFS, so they don't know what parts of the SSD aren't in use. That's the idea of TRIM, the OS that understands the filesystem can tell the SSD the areas that can be erased.

I think you can be pretty sure the SSD's Apple uses are aware of the filesystem so they can do garbage collection when idle in exactly the way you describe. It's not a controller feature, but a firmware feature, and most likely the main reason the SSD's Apple puts in their machines run custom firmware. OCZ drives have had garbage collecting firmwares that work on NTFS, FAT and ext2/3 (and probably also ext4) for quite a while by the way, and elaborate tests you can find on their support forums show that it's actually faster than TRIM, because you get higher IOPS with the GC firmwares. All in all it's nothing specific to Intel drives, and there is no reason to assume Apple left out TRIM for so long *and* run SSDs without GC firmware. HPFS is very similar to NTFS by the way, they have the same origin (OS/2) and are almost each others evil twins, so modifying a GC firmware with NTFS support so it works with HPFS filesystems should be relatively easy.

As an aside: TRIM support is really one of these examples of overhyped acronyms that almost no-one actually understands but still everyone thinks is essential for SSD performance. It's not, TRIM serves only 1 purpose: prevent performance degradation. Even though TRIM is a much more elegant solution for this, GC firmwares do just as well.
post #50 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoo View Post

In addition to SB's Turbo Boost that it will get, the Air is looking more and more compelling as a main laptop for me. The current one is good, but I can feel it hit its processors limits quite often. With Turbo Boost for single threaded apps as well as SB's faster IPC, processor-wise it will outdo most midrange Core 2 Duo laptops in the majority of workloads, and with an SSD this fast it will feel much faster day to day (well, the current one already does that).

I agree. My next Mac portable may be an MBA.
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post #51 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Bottom line, a $1,000 piece of electronic equipment better not have a projected lifespan of three years. Not acceptable.

So, "renting" a piece of equipment for $27+ per month is too cheap? Seems a bit of an odd idea, somehow.
post #52 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post

Where did you get that from? Flash is reliable yes, but the lifetime isn't so good. Thats completely false if the drive is written to a lot, SSDs have a limited number of erase/write cycles. Mine is just a year old, and already has 25% of its erase/write cycles consumed.

How do you know how many write cycles have been consumed? Is there a utility, or does it show in the System Profiler?
post #53 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post

Where did you get that from?.... Mine is just a year old, and already has 25% of its erase/write cycles consumed....

Where could one find that write/erase cycles info if you don't mind telling. Mind though, my SSD is only on Windows but Macs only info is just fine too.
post #54 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounou View Post

Not sure for this specific technology but SSD's in general are very reliable and have a lifespan of 10+ years

Lifespan depends upon a number of things including feature size and the specific technology used. So while 10 years may be true for most of the SSDs currently on the market it is a given for the devices built on much smaller feature sizes. In general the smaller the flash memory cell the less reliable.
Quote:
Bottom line, a normal hard drive will fail sooner then an SSD

For the most part that is true today but may not hold at all for denser chips.
Quote:

Wonder if this means there will be higher capacity options available? Like a 512GB air...

Honestly I hope so. That is higher capacity at a lower cost. Behind screen size it is my next issue with the AIRs. I simply need more than 256GB of boot drive storage.
post #55 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by EUiPhoneUser View Post

There is a lot of progress on this lately, see the "Memory wear" section here:
Wikipedia - Flash memory.

Doesn't matter. The major fact that has to be dealt with here is that flash becomes less reliable as feature size shrinks.
Quote:
Besides, there are lot's of strategies for writing, especially regarding virtual memory, and it is very likely that Apple took advantage of these. If the rumor that Apple is holding off the shipment of the new hardware for Lion release is true, there might be a technical reason for that.

Doubtful!

However I have heard through the grapevine that it is taking Apple a lot longer to validate the newer flash chips for production. This is a very bad sign if true.

Personally I have to agree with the many others here expressing concern about SSD drive wear. The life span of an SSD depends to much upon how it is used. In some applications they will wear out faster than a magnetic drive. So we could have one AIR user get his ten years out of the drive and the guy next to him wearing it out in ten months.
post #56 of 101
I predict that the storage sizes won't shift much at all. In fact the upgrade here will probably be speed not quantity. Being somewhat realistic about this, we should expect a MBA that is basically 2x as fast as the one it replaces (in terms of both cpu performance and storage performance, perhaps faster) at the same prices.

External I/O performance will be magnitudes faster, obviously, with thunderbolt.

The Macworld benchmarks prove that the current top end 13" MBA (2.13ghz C2D, 4GB ram) is sometimes slower, sometimes faster, but on balance is as fast or faster than a 2.4ghz Corei5 MBP. This is no small feat. Apple may be able to argue that the new MBA with faster cpu, disk and I/O is the fastest laptop they've ever shipped. And if the current numbers hold true will also be the thinnest and lightest, and one of the least expensive. So really who cares if the storage sizes are the same, this is a very compelling argument to buy the new MBA and begin to move away from traditional laptops with their outmoded disk drives and heavy, bulky form factors.

I think that this will be more than good enough for a cycle upgrade less than 1 year from the last release.
post #57 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by EUiPhoneUser View Post

I see, you are much smarter than all Apple engineers combined. They decided to put the FLASH on the main board to make Steve Jobs happy, and none of them was aware that the FLASH memory can wear off so they did nothing about it. Oh, no! Apple is known to sell products that fell apart after 1 year of usage so you are forced to buy a new one!

Let me remind you, we are commenting on rumor here. It may turn out that Apple was just experimenting with such approach, or the rumor is made up just to get more clicks. Apple does make mistakes, but the engineers there are not stupid. If they decided they can put the FLASH on the motherboard, they know what they are doing. Or know better that most (all?) of the folks who commented above.

There are real issues with flash based SSDs. Apple engineers putting such tech on the motherboard does not invalidate those issues.

The fundamental problem with flash is that wear is dependent on usage and feature size. No engineer at Apple can make those issues go completely away. So yeah you have the potential of a machine failing within a year depending upon who uses it.

It really has nothing to do with the engineers being stupid but rather it has everything to do with a technology that works in a dramatically different way than a magnetic drive. This difference means that users impact lifetimes in a way that is not seen on magnetic drives. People just need to realize that SSDs work out really well for many users.
post #58 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

I think you can be pretty sure the SSD's Apple uses are aware of the filesystem so they can do garbage collection when idle in exactly the way you describe. It's not a controller feature, but a firmware feature, and most likely the main reason the SSD's Apple puts in their machines run custom firmware.

I didn't think the Air had a custom firmware on their SSDs? Not sure though. I read reports of the early (SATA) Air ones slowing down after a few months of use, so any custom firmware on those wasn't doing its job or didn't have garbage collection. The only custom firmware I know of that Apple's used on their HDDs is in the Thunderbolt iMac.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

How do you know how many write cycles have been consumed? Is there a utility, or does it show in the System Profiler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

Where could one find that write/erase cycles info if you don't mind telling. Mind though, my SSD is only on Windows but Macs only info is just fine too.

It's not in System Profiler, you need to use smartctl to get the info. It's not that easy to build yourself, so just get something like SmartReporter which has a precompiled version in it. Just mount the disk image, and the commands below should work.

Run this command and it'll show the SMART attributes, you're looking for ID 209, Remaining_Lifetime_Percent, and maybe the couple above that in the list too.

Code:

/Volumes/SMARTReporter/SMARTReporter/SMARTReporter.app/Contents/Resources/smartctl -a disk0



If you get an error about SMART being disabled, just run:

Code:


/Volumes/SMARTReporter/SMARTReporter/SMARTReporter.app/Contents/Resources/smartctl -s on disk0



Both assume you are using the SSD as your startup drive, if not, replace "disk0" with the BSD name of your drive, such as disk1, disk2, etc.


Here's my output:



And yeah, that is 10 billion reads. Phew. You can see the disparity between Error_Bits_Flash_Tot_Ct and Corr_Read_Errors_Tot_Ct, the uncorrectable errors are sent to the host which then logs it as an I/O error, so it shows SSDs aren't quite perfect.

I'd be interested in your smartctl output too if you'd care to post?
post #59 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I understand that. When I had my company, I used to replace my own, at home, PowerMac, every two years, and upgrade between. But when we sold the company in 2004, and I retired, I'm replacing my Mac Pro less often, maybe four years. I'm fortunate to be able to afford it, but I understand the more tightly controlled buyers of others.

SSD's are still a new technology. Right now, their reliability is, on average, no better than a HDD. intel's are much better, and OCZs' are much worse. It's hard to understand why, but as flash memory on iPods seem to be lasting for along time, with admittedly many more reads than writes, it's thought that the reliability of these drives are due to some other factor, since many are using the same chips and controllers.

The average PC OS puts a lot of stress on a solid state drive that one does not see in a iPod. It will be very interesting to see how iPad and iPod Touch hold up in the long run as usage changes. Some of the new software initiatives in iOS5 should cause more wear than has been seen in the past.
post #60 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Upgrading a drive is the #1 thing that I do to breathe new life into a computer.

Mac laptops have almost always shipped with low performance drives as the standard option. My Pismo was 4200 RPM, my Blackbook was 5400 RPM. The first thing I'd do whenever I got a new Mac is to swap out the drive and put in a larger and faster drive. Even the brand new 2011 Macbook Pro's only come with a 5400 drive as standard.

However, flash drives are a totally different ballgame, and if the machine already comes with a super fast drive built into it, then I can't really complain about that.
post #61 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoo View Post

In addition to SB's Turbo Boost that it will get, the Air is looking more and more compelling as a main laptop for me.

Turbo boost is a sword that cuts both ways. The boost results in significant thermal loading thus impacting battery life.
Quote:
The current one is good, but I can feel it hit its processors limits quite often. With Turbo Boost for single threaded apps as well as SB's faster IPC, processor-wise it will outdo most midrange Core 2 Duo laptops in the majority of workloads, and with an SSD this fast it will feel much faster day to day (well, the current one already does that).

Again don't get to excited about turbo boost until hardware is out in the wild. Thermal throttling could be an issue. You need to know that the boost can be maintained for your problem set.
Quote:
A NAND capacity doubling at the same prices would be icing on the cake, I can make due with 256 easily. And as always, time to make 4GB RAM baseline, I say.

Cost is a big issue with SSD storage. 256GB is a lower limit for me and frankly I'd like a bit more. Also I have to agree about RAM. The good point here is that Apple should be able to address these two issues easily in the next rev.
post #62 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Mac laptops have almost always shipped with low performance drives as the standard option. My Pismo was 4200 RPM, my Blackbook was 5400 RPM. The first thing I'd do whenever I got a new Mac is to swap out the drive and put in a larger and faster drive. Even the brand new 2011 Macbook Pro's only come with a 5400 drive as standard.

However, flash drives are a totally different ballgame, and if the machine already comes with a super fast drive built into it, then I can't really complain about that.

Even so, today's fast flash drives aren't going to be as a flash drive two or three years from now. And not all SSDs are created equal, I recall Apple's offering sometimes is at the low end of the scale of that class of drives as well.

I haven't replaced a drive right off the bat.
post #63 of 101
Wasn't SSD drives being touted as Instant on.



Any lightweight speed lap top should last 3 yrs or more .

MBA is looking good !!!


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post #64 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

And not all SSDs are created equal, I recall Apple's offering sometimes is at the low end of the scale of that class of drives as well.

That's true. When I went shopping for an SSD drive a while ago, I ended up going with a smaller capacity Intel drive instead of some others that were cheaper and larger, due to what I read about their performance.
post #65 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by rei_t_ex View Post

Don't know how the speeds translate exactly, but I do know that the fast Sandforce SSD controlled drives currently get about 250 MB/s speeds and tap-out the SATA 3 Gbps interface (and need SATA 6 Gbps to function at full capacity). 250 MB/s is obviously much smaller than 3 Gbps but the speeds must be measuring different things. 400 MB/s would be a very big deal and blow away most mainstream (yes, there are already 500 MB/s super-high performance SSD drives) SSD competition if implemented.

I think what ya'll are misunderstanding is that 3.0 Gbps is really 380 MB/s. The Gbps uses a small b, which means it is "bits" not "bytes". You need to divide by 8. Sata II taps out at 380 MB/s and in the real world devices running SATA II tap out about 250 MB/s. The new SATA III standard is out, which is twice that, but there aren't any drives that operate at 6.0 Gbps. The reason for the SATA III is to build new monther boards that can handle higher read speads. However, to get to those speads you have to use multiple drives (i.e., RAID "0"). If someone knows of a single drive that will do 760 MB/s, please provide a link. I' would be surprised if you could find anything more than 400 MB/s and I doubt you'll see it in a mass produced consumer device.

A Macbook Air with 400 MB/s flash soldered to the board will be SCREAMING fast by today's standards.
post #66 of 101
Anandtech tested the 240GB Vertex 3 with a Sandforce controller

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4316/o...240gb-review/2

sequential reads are under 400MBps so if Apple could deliver a MBA with
this type of storage speed rejoice.
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post #67 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Even so, today's fast flash drives aren't going to be as a flash drive two or three years from now. And not all SSDs are created equal, I recall Apple's offering sometimes is at the low end of the scale of that class of drives as well.

I haven't replaced a drive right off the bat.

I'm not as concerned over replacing the drive for speed gains as I would be about solving any potential reliability issues. If the Flash storage soldered to the motherboard dies, then the entire motherboard would have to be replaced.

I'm thinking AppleCare would be a necessity if those rumors were true.

It would also almost guarantee that I'd want flip the MBA on fleabay around the two or two-and-a-half year mark. Having an unreliable component on a laptop is nothing new for me, but being unable to replace it would be.

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post #68 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post

Run this command and it'll show the SMART attributes, you're looking for ID 209, Remaining_Lifetime_Percent, and maybe the couple above that in the list too.
...

Thanks. Let's see if I could get the numbers.
post #69 of 101
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Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

It's easy to monday morning quarterback when you have no direct skin in the game

This statement has been flagged as inappropriate to this thread because it really belongs in the FCP X discussions involving professional users.
post #70 of 101
LOL at many things....

1. mSATA is not a form Factor. That is wrong from the article.

2 Toggle Mode DDR 2.0 and ONFI 3.0 are two different thing with two different Spec. You could create a compatible NAND, but they are not the same thing.

3. They talk about the changes from Toshiba to Samsung NAND as if Toggle Mode NAND is only from Samsung. Given it is 19nm it will be extremely likely to be made from Toshiba.

4. Oh and about SATA 3Gbps speed issues, It is not 380MB/s ( or 375 if you divide by 8. ). You do actually get 300MB/s, since it is using a 8/10b encoding you have to times it by 0.8 which cancels out. So you get 300MB/s, although added some software and protocol overhead you will never reach it.

5. There are SSD that already tops the new SATA 6Gbps. You dont even need RAID to do that. Sandforce 22xx series already near the max speed of it.
post #71 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

LOL at many things....

1. mSATA is not a form Factor. That is wrong from the article.

2 Toggle Mode DDR 2.0 and ONFI 3.0 are two different thing with two different Spec. You could create a compatible NAND, but they are not the same thing.

3. They talk about the changes from Toshiba to Samsung NAND as if Toggle Mode NAND is only from Samsung. Given it is 19nm it will be extremely likely to be made from Toshiba.

4. Oh and about SATA 3Gbps speed issues, It is not 380MB/s ( or 375 if you divide by 8. ). You do actually get 300MB/s, since it is using a 8/10b encoding you have to times it by 0.8 which cancels out. So you get 300MB/s, although added some software and protocol overhead you will never reach it.

5. There are SSD that already tops the new SATA 6Gbps. You dont even need RAID to do that. Sandforce 22xx series already near the max speed of it.

Thanks for the heads up on max read rates for drives that are SATA II. I don't know what 8/10b encoding is, but I'll take your word for it. I'm a biochemist with some III-V semiconductor manufacturing experience, so data encoding is completely out of my expertise.

The point here is that 400 MB/s read is really fast. The reference to 3.0 Gbps or 6.0 Gbps is obviously someone misunderstanding the difference between read speeds and what it means to be SATA II or SATA III compliant.
post #72 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

If this memory is soldered directly, does this mean that when it fails one either spends a lot of money to repair the unit or throw it out to buy another one?

Not sure what the expected lifespan of this tech would be but if we're talking two or three years, it's unacceptable to have a $1,000 device that would basically have a three-year lifespan. Not sure about others but I can't afford to drop $1,000+ into a new machine every couple of years.

I can see this sort of scenario playing out with a $300 iPod but not a $1,000 MacBook.

Welcome to Apple. The only guarantee you can ever have is to pony up for the 3-year AppleCare and know your system is covered for 3 years. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess.

In all honesty no one should be buying Mac stuff and not have their 2nd and 3rd year covered. Even if one thing goes wrong like the screen, motherboard or storage, you've got back the cost of your AppleCare. This isn't sales spin, I'm sure many will tell you it's experience.
post #73 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ash471 View Post

Thanks for the heads up on max read rates for drives that are SATA II. I don't know what 8/10b encoding is, but I'll take your word for it. I'm a biochemist with some III-V semiconductor manufacturing experience, so data encoding is completely out of my expertise.

The point here is that 400 MB/s read is really fast. The reference to 3.0 Gbps or 6.0 Gbps is obviously someone misunderstanding the difference between read speeds and what it means to be SATA II or SATA III compliant.

8 / 10b Encoding - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8b/10b_encoding

Think of it as Binary ( 0101010 ) signals Rules for Signal Transmission.

And i was busy pointing other things out i forgot the most important point 6, or point 0.

0. Toggle Mode DDR 2.0 is 400Mbps Not MBps. 400Mbps is per NAND. I just happen to click and read the original Japaneses blog, which actually has a decent English translation below it. And even the source was correct with 400Mbps. This is not the first time AI got Mb and MB totally wrong. And most other new source like TUAW decided to be brain dead and just copy everything AI posted without thinking.

P.S - To all AI, all Apple news site, or even Tech news site, i am happy to provide you technical proof read services for free. Or you could actually make an effort yourself.
post #74 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Personally I have to agree with the many others here expressing concern about SSD drive wear. The life span of an SSD depends to much upon how it is used. In some applications they will wear out faster than a magnetic drive. So we could have one AIR user get his ten years out of the drive and the guy next to him wearing it out in ten months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EUiPhoneUser View Post

I see, you are much smarter than all Apple engineers combined. They decided to put the FLASH on the main board to make Steve Jobs happy, and none of them was aware that the FLASH memory can wear off so they did nothing about it. Oh, no! Apple is known to sell products that fell apart after 1 year of usage so you are forced to buy a new one!

Let me remind you, we are commenting on rumor here. It may turn out that Apple was just experimenting with such approach, or the rumor is made up just to get more clicks. Apple does make mistakes, but the engineers there are not stupid. If they decided they can put the FLASH on the motherboard, they know what they are doing. Or know better that most (all?) of the folks who commented above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There are real issues with flash based SSDs. Apple engineers putting such tech on the motherboard does not invalidate those issues.

The fundamental problem with flash is that wear is dependent on usage and feature size. No engineer at Apple can make those issues go completely away. So yeah you have the potential of a machine failing within a year depending upon who uses it.

It really has nothing to do with the engineers being stupid but rather it has everything to do with a technology that works in a dramatically different way than a magnetic drive. This difference means that users impact lifetimes in a way that is not seen on magnetic drives. People just need to realize that SSDs work out really well for many users.

Reading through these comments, I have a better understanding of the limitations of SSD technology. But I really don't get all the hand-wringing about lifespan/durability, or of the NAND chips being soldered to the motherboard.
1) This is a rumor, so we don't yet know what is actually happening.
2) This is a rumor about the MacBook Air, not to be confused with the MacBook Pro line. The MacBook Air is targeted towards consumers, not pros, and also, is at the low end of the "spec" spectrum. I don't think that the engineers were expecting MBA users to run FCPX (oh dear.), or Logic or Adobe CSx, and anyone who expects to run their MBA that hard is asking for trouble, IMHO. I believe the MBA was designed for people who don't have heavy computing requirements, who just need something streamlined and lightweight to write papers on, surf the web, keep in touch w/ friends & family, etc.
3) If we remove price from the analogy, I see the MBA as a Ferrari, and the MBP as a Landrover. The Ferrari is sleek, smooth, and super cool, but has severe limitations on where it can go, how many passengers it can carry, how much trunk space it has. If you take the Ferrari off-road, it probably won't last very long. The Landrover, on the other hand is very durable, can travel over most kinds of terrain, has a lot more storage and passenger capacity. All these complaints about the SSD on the MBA seem to me to be complaining that the Ferrari won't last as long in off-road terrain as the Landrover. To which I say, "DUH!!!"

Point being, if your needs require the kind of read/write usage that will wear out a SSD in a year or less, then the MBA is probably not for you. Get a MBP. There. Problem solved.

Now, if Apple announced plans to solder flash memory to the motherboards on the MacBook Pro line as well, then I would join in the uproar, because that would be a dumb move on Apple's part. But, as long as flash memory remains on a removable card on the MBP line, then users will have options.
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post #75 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoo View Post

And as always, time to make 4GB RAM baseline, I say.

I'm guessing that all new Macs introduced in 2011 will have at least 4GB RAM. We may know within a few weeks.

The reason I sold my 1st generation MacBook Air in 2008 was that 2GB was intolerable for me. 4GB is still fine for what I do, but I would pay more for 8GB if available for my next Mac (hopefully a 15" MacBook Air).
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post #76 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I'm guessing that all new Macs introduced in 2011 will have at least 4GB RAM. We may know within a few weeks.

The reason I sold my 1st generation MacBook Air in 2008 was that 2GB was intolerable for me. 4GB is still fine for what I do, but I would pay more for 8GB if available for my next Mac (hopefully a 15" MacBook Air).

I would say at best the 13" MacBook Airs get 4GB and the 11" MacBook Airs remain with 2GB. I think Mac mini would get 4GB but MacBook remains at 2GB RAM to differentiate it.
post #77 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I would say at best the 13" MacBook Airs get 4GB and the 11" MacBook Airs remain with 2GB. I think Mac mini would get 4GB but MacBook remains at 2GB RAM to differentiate it.

That's a possibility, but the cost difference (for Apple) between 2GB and 4GB is now $10 to $11 (and falling fast). I don't think Apple will want to lose sales to the PeeCee market with respect to buyers who shop on specs.
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post #78 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Turbo boost is a sword that cuts both ways. The boost results in significant thermal loading thus impacting battery life.

Again don't get to excited about turbo boost until hardware is out in the wild. Thermal throttling could be an issue. You need to know that the boost can be maintained for your problem set.

The second point is true, the first isn't necessarily. If the processor finishes a task faster and gets to idle longer, battery life could be positively impacted vs it processing at a lower TDP for a longer time.

For longer term tasks like encoding I can see the second point becoming an issue, but TB should help out with brief bursts of processing, for example web browsing.
post #79 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

Reading through these comments, I have a better understanding of the limitations of SSD technology. But I really don't get all the hand-wringing about lifespan/durability, or of the NAND chips being soldered to the motherboard.
1) This is a rumor, so we don't yet know what is actually happening.
2) This is a rumor about the MacBook Air, not to be confused with the MacBook Pro line. The MacBook Air is targeted towards consumers, not pros, and also, is at the low end of the "spec" spectrum. I don't think that the engineers were expecting MBA users to run FCPX (oh dear.), or Logic or Adobe CSx, and anyone who expects to run their MBA that hard is asking for trouble, IMHO. I believe the MBA was designed for people who don't have heavy computing requirements, who just need something streamlined and lightweight to write papers on, surf the web, keep in touch w/ friends & family, etc.
3) If we remove price from the analogy, I see the MBA as a Ferrari, and the MBP as a Landrover. The Ferrari is sleek, smooth, and super cool, but has severe limitations on where it can go, how many passengers it can carry, how much trunk space it has. If you take the Ferrari off-road, it probably won't last very long. The Landrover, on the other hand is very durable, can travel over most kinds of terrain, has a lot more storage and passenger capacity. All these complaints about the SSD on the MBA seem to me to be complaining that the Ferrari won't last as long in off-road terrain as the Landrover. To which I say, "DUH!!!"

Point being, if your needs require the kind of read/write usage that will wear out a SSD in a year or less, then the MBA is probably not for you. Get a MBP. There. Problem solved.

Now, if Apple announced plans to solder flash memory to the motherboards on the MacBook Pro line as well, then I would join in the uproar, because that would be a dumb move on Apple's part. But, as long as flash memory remains on a removable card on the MBP line, then users will have options.

Couldn't agree more.
post #80 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

Now, if Apple announced plans to solder flash memory to the motherboards on the MacBook Pro line as well, then I would join in the uproar, because that would be a dumb move on Apple's part. But, as long as flash memory remains on a removable card on the MBP line, then users will have options.

I'm all for them soldering the NAND to the logic board of the MBP if they can't use a SATA III mini-PCIe board for NAND. I want a thinner, lighter and faster MBP, but I also want capacity which is why I want the HDD to remain.

To me that means ripping out the ODD (Optical Disc Drive), making the chassis thinner to support at max a 9.5mm HDD (it current supports 12.5mm HDDs) or at least a 7mm HDD (these have one less platter and hold less data but still have a good amount of storage).

I want the OS to boot in under 10 seconds and have the same instant-on from sleep with a 30 day (or more) hibernation mode. This is all best served by getting the NAND close to the main board. If they can do it with a mini-PCIe card wonderful, but I'll take 64GB of on-board NAND for the OS and apps with a separate 2.5" SSD/HDD space over the current MBP setup.
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