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Apple's MacBook Air refresh may boost RAM, SSD specs - Page 2

post #41 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

It doesn't take genius to figure out that Apple are moving to 4GB minimum for all new Macs and that 64GB is not very useable.

This definitely is a "no sh!t Sherlock" article.
post #42 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by aiolos View Post

Ah. Didn't realize that. How expensive is insanely expensive? (just out of curiousity)

Both the 11" and 13" versions of MacBook Air have 16 DDR3 chips, 8 on each side of the board. For 2GB, 1Gbit chips are used. For 4GB, 2Gbit chips are used. For 8GB, 4Gbit chips would be needed, but these are so rare I can't even find a quoted price. They seem to be sampling, not shipping yet.
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post #43 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I have a 15" MacBook Pro with the 128GB option. With no movies and no music, I have 14GB free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Then you must have a lot of apps. SL itself is only about 10 GB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcorban View Post

I don't have a "lot of apps". If you subtract my iTunes folder, I am using about 90GB. The largest set of files I have on disk is my iPhoto library at 16GB.

I have no idea how someone would get by with only 64GB. You'd have to only email and web browse.

My late 2010 MBA has the 256G SSD drive. In addition to SL, I also have Windows7 & Windows XP loaded in VMware and use this machine solely as my business laptop. I have 174GB remaining. Prior to that I had the 2008 MBA with the 80GB drive and I still had over 20GB remaining.

My MBA is an absolutely fantastic machine. However, when friends / colleagues ask me for my opinion, to this day I (still) tell them that the MBA as great at it is, is not meant as a primary machine. It's great for business-oriented work, and portable (temporary) graphics work that will be offloaded to a bigger machine later.

Your iPhoto library is a perfect example. Either dump that stuff onto an external drive or stick to a larger, standard hard drive. SSD storage is very much a premium option and overkill to hold static data like the family vacation photos. In any case, a Macbook Pro with an SSD primary drive with a built-in standard hard drive for static storage would be a much better option, which unfortunately it is not available as an option.
post #44 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

In any case, a Macbook Pro with an SSD primary drive with a built-in standard hard drive for static storage would be a much better option, which unfortunately it is not available as an option.

But it is available as an aftermarket option-as long as you do not mind sacrificing your cd-rom.
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post #45 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

a Macbook Pro with an SSD primary drive with a built-in standard hard drive for static storage would be a much better option, which unfortunately it is not available as an option.

We're getting off-topic, but I expect the next major case redesign of the MacBook Pro to drop the internal optical brick and include both SSD (on a stick) and an HD (in 2012 or 2013). I believe that will help to distinguish the MacBook Pro from the (HD only) MacBook and the (SSD only) MacBook Air.
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post #46 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

What display do you current use with a substantially higher dot pitch.

Both laptops I have used for the past 7 years have better dpi. 128ppi and 147ppi. Both dell 15.4 inchers and both had ips. Apple laptops are really nothing special as far as hardware goes. If it was not for the great design and mac osx, I would still be using dell.

update: those dell laptops were 6-8 lbs beasts with poor battery life. I like portable computers to be portable and thus will probably be buying this new air 11. really wish apple took good screens seriously like they do on ios devices. after using iphone 4 I hate reading on any other screen.
post #47 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcorban View Post

I don't have a "lot of apps". If you subtract my iTunes folder, I am using about 90GB. The largest set of files I have on disk is my iPhoto library at 16GB.

I have no idea how someone would get by with only 64GB. You'd have to only email and web browse.

So when you said you don't have media on there, you meant that you do have media on there.

I'm not saying that 64gb is enough or not. Rather, just that it isn't enough for you because of your _media_ files.
post #48 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by ija View Post

NO more ram does not decrease your battery life, unless you upgrade to a difference set that specifically draws more power. ram is similar to SSD. it either draws a certain amt of power or its at idle drawing another certain amt. unlike HDD slower it spins the less power it draws vice versa.

YES it would decrease battery life by some amount since, as pointed out above, unless you go to higher density (more expensive) RAM chips, you're going to double the number of chips to do 8GB, and RAM always draws power to refresh the values stored in it since they decay over time. So unless you can go from 4GB to 8GB without increasing that power draw, it's going to impact battery life. If the Air had a normal HD, it might increase battery life if it was caching things off the disk and avoiding the draw of spinning up a disk, in the case of the SSD that's not the case.

Of course, the other question is just how much power the RAM chips draw anyway vs. CPU, backlight, etc., so it might not really matter much, but it would have some impact.

In any case, a 8GB 11" Air with Thunderbolt, 256GB SSD, and backlit keyboard would be pretty amazing even if battery life had to stay the same.
post #49 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

So when you said you don't have media on there, you meant that you do have media on there.

I'm not saying that 64gb is enough or not. Rather, just that it isn't enough for you because of your _media_ files.

Good retort. Something tells me this dcorban guy is not all there.
post #50 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

So when you said you don't have media on there, you meant that you do have media on there.

I'm not saying that 64 GB is enough or not. Rather, just that it isn't enough for you because of your _media_ files.

It's possible to fit Xcode 4, PS CS5, terrain generation, 3d rendering app + material library, and everything else for development on 64 GB if needed, though I currently have ~10 GB of DropBox shared with a team and GarageBand with extra sounds, so I'm about 20GB over. And that's almost entirely due to just those last 2. It would be tight though... but I made sure not to include iTunes or photo libs since those would have filled the entire drive.

Of course, I guess if you weren't using it for development specifically and wanted to include photos / video / music, you'd probably need MORE space.
post #51 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

In any case, a Macbook Pro with an SSD primary drive with a built-in standard hard drive for static storage would be a much better option, which unfortunately it is not available as an option.

It has been an option since the unibody MBPs (October 2008 for 15", June 2009 for 13") put the optical drive on a SATA port. Just ask you local Apple service center, they'll do it for you without you loosing the warranty.
post #52 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

So when you said you don't have media on there, you meant that you do have media on there.

I'm not saying that 64gb is enough or not. Rather, just that it isn't enough for you because of your _media_ files.

And who does not have media (music, movies, images)? Everybody with an iPod (and we know they sold in huge numbers) has multiple GBs of music (otherwise they would not have gotten an iPod). And almost anybody has a digital camera.
post #53 of 88
come to poppa.
What I got... 15" i7 w/8 gigs ram,iPad2 64gig wifi, 2.0 mac mini, 2.0 17" imac, appleTv, Still running my old G4 466 upgraded to 1.2GHz maxed ram as a pro tools machine, and 2 iphones.
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What I got... 15" i7 w/8 gigs ram,iPad2 64gig wifi, 2.0 mac mini, 2.0 17" imac, appleTv, Still running my old G4 466 upgraded to 1.2GHz maxed ram as a pro tools machine, and 2 iphones.
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post #54 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

We're getting off-topic, but I expect the next major case redesign of the MacBook Pro to drop the internal optical brick and include both SSD (on a stick) and an HD (in 2012 or 2013). I believe that will help to distinguish the MacBook Pro from the (HD only) MacBook and the (SSD only) MacBook Air.

+1

Wouldn't be a bit surprised to see Ethernet and FW800 vanish in lieu of Thunderbolt ports.
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post #55 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Wouldn't be a bit surprised to see Ethernet and FW800 vanish in lieu of Thunderbolt ports.

I think we'll see the Firewire ports go long before the Ethernet ports. The MacBook might lose its Ethernet port a few years before the MacBook Pro does.
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post #56 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregord View Post

Good retort. Something tells me this dcorban guy is not all there.

A little harsh, no? I am sure dcorban is all there but that he is differentiating between different types of media files. Often people think of media files as video. If you have brushed by Avid directly or indirectly you would be forgiven for this 'mistake'.

Having said that - once you have your music and photos out of the way, 64gb is a fair amount of storage. You have to be ferociously spewing out spreadsheets and other types of files to use it all up.
post #57 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregord View Post

Both laptops I have used for the past 7 years have better dpi. 128ppi and 147ppi. Both dell 15.4 inchers and both had ips. Apple laptops are really nothing special as far as hardware goes. If it was not for the great design and mac osx, I would still be using dell.

update: those dell laptops were 6-8 lbs beasts with poor battery life. I like portable computers to be portable and thus will probably be buying this new air 11. really wish apple took good screens seriously like they do on ios devices. after using iphone 4 I hate reading on any other screen.

1) IPS displays 7 years ago aren't something to brag about in a portable as your edit shows.

2) Apple uses TN panels just like all portables in their category but they've shown time-and-time again to be quality panels.

3) Which Dells were these and what was the extra charge for these panels? I think HP EliteBooks still charge over a $500 premium for IPS. I think 16:9 1920x1280 is 150ppi for a 15.4" display. I can't think of any other configuration it could be to get closer with a 15.4" display.

4) 128ppi isn't a substantial gain over the 118ppi in the 13" MBA. 147ppi is surely better but I wouldn't qualify that as substantial, either. I'd call the HiDPI hinted at in Lion with RI (220-280ppi) to be substantially better. I'm also not concerned about IPS over TN. If Apple can feasibly offer IPS in their notebooks as standard without sacrificing battery life or incurring an excessive cost they will, otherwise they will use industry leading TN panels.
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post #58 of 88
Just hurry up! I'm torn between a 11 and a 13 inch though.
post #59 of 88
8 gigs of ram, 500 gig ssd and I'm sold....as long it's 1300 bucks. Yes I know we're a couple of years away from cheap 500 gig ssd drives.
post #60 of 88
For those guys who are saying that 64Gb is kinda 'bare minimum' for a non-media config... I dunno. I would've agreed with that a while ago, but just last weekend I took my MBA 2.13Ghz 128GB-SSD box back to a clean SL install, and added:

Photoshop Elements
A big iPhoto library (well, like 500 photos)
2 years of email (including attachments)
Dreamweaver
Pages, Numbers, Keynote
iLife
Firefox, Chrome, Safari
200 iPhone/iPad apps
450 iBooks
Cord, Fetch
...and kept my audio/video stuff on an external drive.

And my SSD has 89Gb free.

Now, I use MacKeeper like a bitch, because it's incredible how cache/log files can pile up, but... unless you've got a bunch of audio/video on your internal drive, or are doing alot of Xcode stuff, I think 64Gb could be just fine for you, with room to spare.

Having said that, I'm lusting for an i7 MBA with 128Gb SSD, 8Gb RAM (BTO) to run Garageband and/or Mainstage live, and in the 11' form factor. Yes effin' indeedy. I'd be willing to pay a decent premium over $1200 for it too. Here's hoping!
post #61 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifan View Post

Just hurry up! I'm torn between a 11 and a 13 inch though.

+1

i wonder how games would run on these machines.
post #62 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Snow Leopard wouldn't even use up half that space. If you don't have media files, why isn't the remaining 30GBs or so big enough for you?

Well DUH! He has a 1000MP camera! A couple of those pictures use up a gig in no time!
post #63 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcorban View Post

I don't have a "lot of apps". If you subtract my iTunes folder, I am using about 90GB. The largest set of files I have on disk is my iPhoto library at 16GB.

I have no idea how someone would get by with only 64GB. You'd have to only email and web browse.

A typical consumer grade digital picture is about 1 MB. That means you have somewhere in the range of 15,000 pictures. You realize that you're usage is far from average, right?
post #64 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

And who does not have media (music, movies, images)? Everybody with an iPod (and we know they sold in huge numbers) has multiple GBs of music (otherwise they would not have gotten an iPod). And almost anybody has a digital camera.

Yeah, and 64GB, or 50 if you back out the OS and a few apps (Office, Safari) means you can fit about 10,000 songs AND 20,000 8MP pictures.

Is that enough for all the nerds on this board? Of course not. But for the other 90% of the world? Yeah, 10,000 songs and 20,000 pics is enough.
post #65 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Yeah, and 64GB, or 50 if you back out the OS and a few apps (Office, Safari) means you can fit about 10,000 songs AND 20,000 8MP pictures.

Is that enough for all the nerds on this board? Of course not. But for the other 90% of the world? Yeah, 10,000 songs and 20,000 pics is enough.

10 ripped movies -> about 70 GB (if you want to keep the DVD extras you cannot just keep the recompressed movie file)
10 000 12 MP raw files -> about 200 GB
post #66 of 88
I wonder if Apple realizes that by pulling users downward to a MBA, it opens up a sales opportunity. People who might make do with just a MacBook Pro who buy a MBA are likely to feel a need for something more powerful and well-equipped at home or work. Having a laptop, they may turn to a desktop.

Does Apple offer much there, particularly in comparison to Windows desktops? Not really. The Mac Pro is too powerful, too expensive, and too large. The newest iMac is virtually impossible to upgrade or service. The Mac mini is too small and wimpy, in addition to being overpriced for the specs.

Selling more MBAs will leave an opening for Apple to sell more desktops, but only if Apple offers the form factors popular among Windows users. For instance, most users who need a lot of storage don't want to chain additional Thunderbolt drives across their desk. They want a mini-tower with space for at least three internal drives.
post #67 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDFierro View Post

It would be really awesome if a 256GB option was available on the 11-inch. I can fit everything onto 128, but realistically my storage space would be somewhere between 128 and 256. That's the one thing I've been thinking about in preparation for my first Air.

Generally I run under 175GB so a minimal machine would be 256GB. However there may be real advantages to going even larger. For one wear leveling should be less of a performance drain compared to a almost fully committed disk. Currently I have a large external for ITunes, other media and less frequently used "stuff", a bigger drive would allow for buffering that big disk.

Note that bigger than 256GB does not imply 512GB, I'd settle for 384GB or some other number. I realize fat SSD's are expensive so settling for a little less makes lots of sense.

Actually there is good reason to want a bigger disk, I have a need to run virtual machines with other OS'es and it would be nice to be able to keep several of those VMs available for use in the the local store. So considering that it might make sense to minimize around 384 GB.
post #68 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by igazza View Post

Lion needs 4GB.

Cite?

Apple's update page only lists required CPUs, the implication being that all Macs that shipped with those processors can run Lion as is. Which is not to say that maxing out memory wouldn't be beneficial at all.
post #69 of 88
I can't read the minds of Apples engineers as I'm on the east coast. So take the comments below as reasonable stabs at the possibilities

Quote:
Originally Posted by aiolos View Post

I hope the 8GB RAM option is true, but as far as the ULV processors, go, I still don't understand why everyone thinks Apple will use the ULV processors. Since the GPU in now bundled with the CPU, and the power usage of those combined chips is 17W, I don't understand why they need to use them as the current MBA's use a 17W CPU + separate 10W GPU. That's 27W.

I don't think anybody has ruled out that. The problem is Apple wants to improve the AIR in many ways. For example battery load is a significant issue on this platform. To put it plainly AIR needs to run for longer periods of time on a recharge. There are other things to consider also, such as that power becomes a point load that is very compressed relative to a Core @ Duo and a graphics chip someplace else.

Lastly people know little about the power footprint of the TB port. Don't laugh the chip could use 0.1 watts or 10 watts nobody knows.
Quote:
Therefore Apple should be able to use LV processors, which are 25W. Am I missing something here because I don't see why Apple needs to drop performance to the ULV processors when the LV processors are in the same thermal design arena as what the current models employ.

All Apple really needs to do is offer up a solid performance boost over previous models. How they get there is not really a concern.
Quote:
Maybe the ULV's processors can be used on the 11 inch, which has had complaints about the battery life, but the 13" is more than capable of handling the LV processors.

They could also handle AMD Fusion processors. The funny thing here is that in many work loads the Fusion line is actually a lower power chip. Beyond that Intel hardware can be thermal hogs, the numbers that Intel publishes are not the chips maximum power.
Quote:
Space? I was under the impression RAM modules were a given size, and the density of the RAM on it was the difference. Also, how does more RAM = more power usage? You either access the RAM or you don't.

In the case of dynamic memory you have more cells to refresh, thus more transistors to power. While power per bit has gone down over the years, you are still implying a doubling of RAM.
Quote:


Apply generally always provides a BTO RAM upgrade, so if they change the base amount to 4GB as this article implies, I would expect an 8GB option.

Now you are talking!
post #70 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Snow Leopard wouldn't even use up half that space. If you don't have media files, why isn't the remaining 30GBs or so big enough for you?

30 GB isn't much if you install XCode and Eclipse. Plus a few general purpose productivity apps.

The thing that was shocking to me is that I zoomed past 70GB in the first couple of day of owner ship of m MaC book Pro. That was without much junk installed too.
post #71 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Especially considering Thunderbolt will allow you to use an external drive when at work or at home that runs just as fast as if it were inside the case.

I do such right now with my MBP and honestly it isn't ideal
post #72 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

And how did you come to the conclusion that the Air needs help in the battery department? From personal use? My late 2010 MBA goes and entire day (8+ hours) at the office on a single charge. Do you own one? I'd like to see a Window's-only laptop go that long.?

Lenovo T series, newest ones (though 30 hours is probably with screen brightness lowest and nothing running lol)

but nothing can be as thin and light-- while keeping it with the really long battery life

PC means personal computer.  

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post #73 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

10 ripped movies -> about 70 GB (if you want to keep the DVD extras you cannot just keep the recompressed movie file)
10 000 12 MP raw files -> about 200 GB

Yeah guess what? If you want a MACBOOK AIR, then stop trying to treat it like a server.
post #74 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcorban View Post

I have no idea how someone would get by with only 64GB. You'd have to only email and web browse.

I don't know how people get by with anything less than 160GB. After you download a few 1080p movies, FLAC music and an iPhoto library you're SOL. Of course people are using external drives for media but it's nice to have that initial space on your main HD when you're not at home etc. These days you need at least a 256GB HD stock.
post #75 of 88
Regarding digital pictures being 1MB: I don't think so. My 10 megapixel SLR pictures at the lowest setting ring in above 2 megabytes, and that is technology from 2005. Most cameras today have at least 12 megapixels and most people shoot on normal or fine and their shots take 3-5 megapixels per JPEG image, or 15-20 per RAW.
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post #76 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveH View Post

Cite?

Apple's update page only lists required CPUs, the implication being that all Macs that shipped with those processors can run Lion as is. Which is not to say that maxing out memory wouldn't be beneficial at all.

There is a 2GB minimum, but my experience with Lion makes me totally agree. 4GB minimum for standard performance. Even with Snow Leopard, if you can go to a maximum of 8GB then do it. RAM has rarely been as cheap as it is now. My MacBook Pro (Early 2011) palpably sped up when I went to the full 8GB. Mac Pro users should try going above 8GB as the kernel starts to scale the maximum limits of things like processes.
post #77 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Yeah guess what? If you want a MACBOOK AIR, then stop trying to treat it like a server.

I don't want a MBA, I feel perfectly happy with my 13" MBP, I am just saying that a MBA cannot serve as your main and only computer unless your storage demands are unusually low or you feel the weight advantage of a 13" Air vs. a 13" Pro (2.9 vs. 4.5 lb) is worth the the hassle of juggling your media files between an external and your internal disk. And dealing with multiple computers is even more hassle than outsourcing your media files.
post #78 of 88
Yeah, Apple just can't shift those iMacs; and the horrible reviews they get.

Time for a Dell box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

I wonder if Apple realizes that by pulling users downward to a MBA, it opens up a sales opportunity. People who might make do with just a MacBook Pro who buy a MBA are likely to feel a need for something more powerful and well-equipped at home or work. Having a laptop, they may turn to a desktop.

Does Apple offer much there, particularly in comparison to Windows desktops? Not really. The Mac Pro is too powerful, too expensive, and too large. The newest iMac is virtually impossible to upgrade or service. The Mac mini is too small and wimpy, in addition to being overpriced for the specs.

Selling more MBAs will leave an opening for Apple to sell more desktops, but only if Apple offers the form factors popular among Windows users. For instance, most users who need a lot of storage don't want to chain additional Thunderbolt drives across their desk. They want a mini-tower with space for at least three internal drives.
post #79 of 88
Quote:
1) IPS displays 7 years ago aren't something to brag about in a portable as your edit shows.

The displays are nice. My edit shows that the others aspects of the computer (weight, battery) make them less useful as portables.

Quote:
2) Apple uses TN panels just like all portables in their category but they've shown time-and-time again to be quality panels.

This is true. But they use TN panels to save on cost. They use IPS in ipad and iphone because they are superior panels.

Quote:
3) Which Dells were these and what was the extra charge for these panels? I think HP EliteBooks still charge over a $500 premium for IPS. I think 16:9 1920x1280 is 150ppi for a 15.4" display. I can't think of any other configuration it could be to get closer with a 15.4" display.

Inspiron 8600 (128ppi) and Latitude D820 (147ppi) Price premium was 100 and 200 if I recall. The D820 has 1920x1200 16:10 (as most notebooks of this vintage) The screen is gorgeous, better than any apple notebook I have seen.

Quote:
4) 128ppi isn't a substantial gain over the 118ppi in the 13" MBA. 147ppi is surely better but I wouldn't qualify that as substantial, either. I'd call the HiDPI hinted at in Lion with RI (220-280ppi) to be substantially better. I'm also not concerned about IPS over TN. If Apple can feasibly offer IPS in their notebooks as standard without sacrificing battery life or incurring an excessive cost they will, otherwise they will use industry leading TN panels.

Agreed. But they could offer superior screen as an option. I repeat my point from before, once you use the IPS high ppi screen on iphone 4, every other screen looks pathetic in comparison. Not saying notebook needs that high ppi, but 150 or higher would be nice.
post #80 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

I don't want a MBA, I feel perfectly happy with my 13" MBP, I am just saying that a MBA cannot serve as your main and only computer unless your storage demands are unusually low or you feel the weight advantage of a 13" Air vs. a 13" Pro (2.9 vs. 4.5 lb) is worth the the hassle of juggling your media files between an external and your internal disk. And dealing with multiple computers is even more hassle than outsourcing your media files.

Nobody would deny that. The MBA is not supposed to be one's main and only computer. If a person really wants to go against design, there exists something called an external hard drive which can provide cheap, unlimited storage that ISNT confined to a tiny, heat sensitive case.
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