Ultra-portable Apple notebook to splash down at Macworld Expo

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  • Reply 181 of 295
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    We're comparing SSD's to HDD's. You brought RAM into the discussion by incorrectly using those prices, which have nothing to do with SSD's, into it. I didn't. I merely pointed out your error.



    To be fair, while he was wrong to bring RAM prices into the picture, flash RAM has fallen much faster than hard drives in recent years. It wasn't that long ago that 16MB thumb drives would set you back a couple of hundred bucks. Today, 2GB drives cost $15. Not that HDs haven't been falling like a rock. Not much more than a decade ago, they were $1 per megabyte and are about 20 cents per GB today.
  • Reply 182 of 295
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    You're making up your own prices. Don't do that.



    You can only go by products that are released. You don't know anything else.



    The Samsung is an SSD. Modules are not SSD's. And each module would need to have its own controller on-board. That would raise the overall price, not lower it.



    Apple doesn't use SSD's in the iTouch, iPhone, or any of their other iPods. The use the much slower Flash modules, which are much cheaper.



    The Samsung flash memory is IDENTICAL in the old nano and the same generation SSD. They have the exact same part numbers when you look at the photos of both when opened up. The new flash, which is faster than the old flash, is also cheaper due to the process shrink.
  • Reply 183 of 295
    I think the general points - hopefully we can all agree on - are as follows:



    1. Electric-mechanical based devices (a HDD) is much, much cheaper today per MB. Those prices will also go down over time.



    2. In general, we expect non-mechanical stuff - RAM or Flash - to become cheaper over time at a faster rate than electric-mechanical.



    3. That means that SSD will one day over take HDD (both are coming down in price, SSD faster, but HDD from a lower starting point).



    4. This crossing over point where SSD is cheaper than HDD is MANY years off.



    5. For users that care about weight and energy, an SSD 256 Gig drive that is $500 in 2009 is going to be preferable to a $80 1000 Gig HDD. So laptops will quickly move to SSD given the energy, space, weight savings even though there will be a significant price difference. Speed advantages also matter, but these added factors are more critical for laptop users.



    6. Desktops will be slower to move over as users will not care as much about weight and space and only value speed.



    7. To the extent that SSD has a faster access time people want, you may see desktops with two drives (HDD and smaller SSD) and you will set up stuff on an SSD that you need quicker access time. I do not know the physics of how many writes you get on an SSD, but you could easily see a small HDD in desktops where constant overwriting were an issue.



    8. By say 2020, SSD will cheaper than HDD and there will be few or no HDD anywhere.



    9. For a great explanation of how these technological changes mess up business models (where a superior technology starts out much more expensive but slowly overtakes another and the existing technology makers are slow to adapt), read the Innovator's Dilemma. Talks a lot about the early hard drive market. Great book.



    http://www.businessweek.com/chapter/christensen.htm
  • Reply 184 of 295
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post


    To be fair, while he was wrong to bring RAM prices into the picture, flash RAM has fallen much faster than hard drives in recent years. It wasn't that long ago that 16MB thumb drives would set you back a couple of hundred bucks. Today, 2GB drives cost $15. Not that HDs haven't been falling like a rock. Not much more than a decade ago, they were $1 per megabyte and are about 20 cents per GB today.



    I think the point he was making was that flash, RAM, and any chip based technology will see reductions in price (or improvements in performance) faster. To a certain extent, their profess is likely to follow something like Moore's law. Because HDD has mechanical aspects, it will continue to improve, but can't match the rate of cost recutions. So eventually SSD will overtake HDD, but it will take time.



    In that sense, RAM, flash, processor speeds, video card performance - all could potentially hvae similar rates of performance increases/price reductions.
  • Reply 185 of 295
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    caps lock is a no-go.
  • Reply 186 of 295
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    The price decline of RAM is a good model for the rate of price decline for flash because the technology and manufacturing techniques are similar. HDDs are a completely different kettle of fish and your assertion that flash prices fall at the same rate as HDD prices is unsupportable.



    Since the GMR head the HDD price decline has been just as steep for HDDs as semis. How long that lasts I dunno.



    A few points:



    1) Comparison of $/GB using iTB desktop 3.5" drive vs SDD will throw your delta off by a factor of two or more.



    2) There appears to be a floor for HDD pricing. As SSD densities improve then all sub-HDD floor SSD become cheaper than their HDD equivalents. For low weight devices flash can be much cheaper than HDDs because the size requirements are smaller.



    3) Flash pricing has been dropping much steeper than historical the last two years. Rather than the typical 30-40% drops it has been 60-70%.



    Flash hasn't reached the tipping point but at least Toshiba has stated that rather than try to prop up flash pricing they prefer to seek the tipping point for at least notebook use.
  • Reply 187 of 295
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    I agree with NYCMacFan and vinea. Thank you for the good summaries.
  • Reply 188 of 295
    One question I have no idea on - its really a basic electrical engineering question - is whether we can shrink these power adapters at all.



    I am much more upset with other makers than Apple. I once had a dell ultraportable with a huge adapter (as if you completely undo the weight savings). I have seen some smaller adapters on other ultraportables, but not as many recently.



    Anyone know what are the physical limitations in adapter size?



    If this machine is SSD, low voltage processor and LED backscreen that is pretty low power consumption. But you still need to convert the voltage. Any idea what can be done there?
  • Reply 189 of 295
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,232member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post


    To be fair, while he was wrong to bring RAM prices into the picture, flash RAM has fallen much faster than hard drives in recent years. It wasn't that long ago that 16MB thumb drives would set you back a couple of hundred bucks. Today, 2GB drives cost $15. Not that HDs haven't been falling like a rock. Not much more than a decade ago, they were $1 per megabyte and are about 20 cents per GB today.



    That's true. But, SSD's aren't the same as a flash USB drive. These contain controller chips and other circutry to make them compatable with either PATA, or SATA HDD's. That, and the physical package, bring the price much higher. It's also much higher speed

    Flash.



    Just compare the prices of the SSD's to the prices of the Flash drives and you will see what I mean. But, compare them also to the hi-speed CD and SD cards. They cost much more than the cheap 4x (unlabeled as to speed) speed flash on the market. My SanDisk 4 GB Extreme IV CF card cost $95. It's a 250+ speed card. So, even from the better manufacturers, it isn't THAT cheap.
  • Reply 190 of 295
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,232member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    The Samsung flash memory is IDENTICAL in the old nano and the same generation SSD. They have the exact same part numbers when you look at the photos of both when opened up. The new flash, which is faster than the old flash, is also cheaper due to the process shrink.



    And which generation is this? Samsung says that it is the latest generation of their Flash memory.



    By the way. This is the very same drive that you were talking about earlier this year when we had our "discussion" about SSD pricing, where you said that the new generation of Flash used in this would bring the price way down.



    A quote from the review I posted before:



    Quote:

    That makes it pricier than the Samsung, but that may be partly because Samsung's drive uses a newer generation of higher density flash memory chips



    I'll post the review again.



    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...2216516,00.asp
  • Reply 191 of 295
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NYCMacFan View Post


    One question I have no idea on - its really a basic electrical engineering question - is whether we can shrink these power adapters at all.



    I am much more upset with other makers than Apple. I once had a dell ultraportable with a huge adapter (as if you completely undo the weight savings). I have seen some smaller adapters on other ultraportables, but not as many recently.



    Anyone know what are the physical limitations in adapter size?



    If this machine is SSD, low voltage processor and LED backscreen that is pretty low power consumption. But you still need to convert the voltage. Any idea what can be done there?



    The key components are a transformer and a rectifier. There are physical limits depending on voltage and power.



    If you want to able to use it from 100 to 240 volts, then it will be larger than if you want only 100-120 or 200-240 volts.



    If you've got a MBP and want a smaller adaptor than the 85W unit that ships with it, buy the 65W adaptor for the MB. Don't expect it to recharge your battery while gaming.
  • Reply 192 of 295
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,232member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NYCMacFan View Post


    I think the point he was making was that flash, RAM, and any chip based technology will see reductions in price (or improvements in performance) faster. To a certain extent, their profess is likely to follow something like Moore's law. Because HDD has mechanical aspects, it will continue to improve, but can't match the rate of cost recutions. So eventually SSD will overtake HDD, but it will take time.



    In that sense, RAM, flash, processor speeds, video card performance - all could potentially hvae similar rates of performance increases/price reductions.



    I'm not saying that it won't happen. But, to say it will happen within the next two or three years, as some are more than hinting to here, is just plain wrong.



    These people are just not keeping up with the new technologies that are coming out for HDD's.



    Hitachi, and others, expect to have 4 terabyte drives out, possibly as early as 2009.



    When that happens, we will have one terabyte 2.5 drives for portable use, and 500 MB drives in the 1.8" factor size.



    And, they will cost the same, or less, as the much smaller drives out today.



    Drive size, and price, undergoes spurts in its advance. SST memory tends to have a more even advance. Sometimes, this makes HDD;s look as though they are falling behind, when they are not.



    When we will have $300 4 terabyte 3.5" drives, and one terabyte $300 2.5" drives, who is going to be buying these vastly smaller, much more expensive SSD's?



    The same customers as today. The military, and those industrial customers who need particularly ruggedized shop floor, or construction site, machines.



    Very little of the rest of the market will be buying them.



    look at how many people complain about how small the entry size drives are on Apple's machines now. And, also about how many complain that Apple's drive upgrades cost too much. Do you think these are candidates for the small, expensive SSD's? I don't think so.



    Possibly when these drives have dropped in price by a factor of twenty, or more, and their size has increased by a factor of ten, will we begin to see widespread adoption.



    At that point, the drives may be big, and cheap, enough for most people to not consider larger, and cheaper HDD's.



    But, that could be closer to 2015 than to 2009.
  • Reply 193 of 295
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IanW View Post


    It's a great feature, but you and apple cannot assume that everyone will have a spare mac around to boot into target mode for a disk repair, or an os re-load.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PB View Post


    Not only that, but even if everyone had a spare Mac, they still need to do some preparation before being able to use it for that purpose (shut it down if it running, connect the cable and then boot it in target mode). Not the most convenient that could happen in your computing life. And certainly not more convenient than having a dedicated optical drive.



    The people most likely to buy a Mac ultraportable are already Mac users and many like myself don't use the optical drive all that often.

    For these people, the occasional use of a Mac they already own is fine.



    For those who need a dedicated optical drive, Apple should offer one as a optional accessory.

    And since this is Apple we are talking about, I'll be saving at least $199 on an over-priced ComboDrive.
  • Reply 194 of 295
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,232member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    Since the GMR head the HDD price decline has been just as steep for HDDs as semis. How long that lasts I dunno.



    A few points:



    1) Comparison of $/GB using iTB desktop 3.5" drive vs SDD will throw your delta off by a factor of two or more.



    2) There appears to be a floor for HDD pricing. As SSD densities improve then all sub-HDD floor SSD become cheaper than their HDD equivalents. For low weight devices flash can be much cheaper than HDDs because the size requirements are smaller.



    3) Flash pricing has been dropping much steeper than historical the last two years. Rather than the typical 30-40% drops it has been 60-70%.



    Flash hasn't reached the tipping point but at least Toshiba has stated that rather than try to prop up flash pricing they prefer to seek the tipping point for at least notebook use.



    I can agree with that.



    The only thing we have to keep in mind about pricing is that sometimes, it has little to do with the technology, and all to do with computer sales as a whole, and the number of factories producing. when computer sales bottom out, as has been happening recently, in the US and European markets, memory prices drop a good deal. But, once matters are back in balance, prices stabilize, or sometimes even move up by a fair amount.



    You might remember a few years ago when 512 MB DIMMS reached a bottom of under $50, but then jumped to over $100, where they stayed for quite a time.



    Of course, to be fair, this happens to HDD prices as well, which is why it's tough to make a chart showing future pricing for either technology, other than the fact that for the long term, both will drop a good deal.



    The cheapest prices I'm seeing for HDD's now is about $45 at major retailers. That's for a 60 GB drive. 80's seem to be going for $55 to 60. But, 300's are going for under $100, if you look around, and 500s for under $125.
  • Reply 195 of 295
    shanmugamshanmugam Posts: 1,200member
    personally i do not like to see SSDs in MacBook Mini, it is going to up the Price



    when SSDs are available for mass market, Apple can adoapt SSDs



    MacBook Mini may not have the same Sales numbers as MacBooks, since it is difficult to bring down the cost of SSDs with less sales volume.
  • Reply 196 of 295
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,232member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NYCMacFan View Post


    One question I have no idea on - its really a basic electrical engineering question - is whether we can shrink these power adapters at all.



    I am much more upset with other makers than Apple. I once had a dell ultraportable with a huge adapter (as if you completely undo the weight savings). I have seen some smaller adapters on other ultraportables, but not as many recently.



    Anyone know what are the physical limitations in adapter size?



    If this machine is SSD, low voltage processor and LED backscreen that is pretty low power consumption. But you still need to convert the voltage. Any idea what can be done there?



    Digital adapters can be made quite small, as they need very small transformers, and some low power models can even do without those. But for heavier power needs, such as when powering the computer from the adapter, rather than just recharging the batteries, larger adapters are needed. There isn't such a thing as watts per ounce, as designs vary (and that's dependent on cost of the adapter as well), but a 6 ounce adapter wouldn't be considered to be heavy for a large portable with a high end GPU.
  • Reply 197 of 295
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    When we will have $300 4 terabyte 3.5" drives, and one terabyte $300 2.5" drives, who is going to be buying these vastly smaller, much more expensive SSD's?



    Consumers who value performance over capacity -- the same consumers who are now buying solid-state iPods rather than HDD-based iPods.
  • Reply 198 of 295
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,232member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    Consumers who value performance over capacity -- the same consumers who are now buying solid-state iPods rather than HDD-based iPods.



    That's not even close to a comparable market.



    Both iPods are cheap. The Nano's are even cheaper than the HDD models.



    Can you point us to a portable computer using SSD's that are cheaper than the HDD models?



    Oh, and Nano's are much smaller as well. So, a 10" screen portable, with a 16 GB SSD might sell to a decent crowd (I might buy one) if it were also cheaper. But otherwise I'm not so sure.



    As for reasonable sized SSD's, such as the new 64 GB Samsung, much too expensive no matter how you look at it.
  • Reply 199 of 295
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    And which generation is this? Samsung says that it is the latest generation of their Flash memory.



    By the way. This is the very same drive that you were talking about earlier this year when we had our "discussion" about SSD pricing, where you said that the new generation of Flash used in this would bring the price way down.



    A quote from the review I posted before:



    Okay...not quite sure which part of what I said you disagree with.



    I can go find the pictures of iPod Nanos and Samsung SSDs that show the internal chips with the same part numbers so I don't think you're disputing that. If you are, then I can go find them if you like.



    As far as the new flash being faster and cheaper than the older flash...I think that sentence supports that...the Samsung 64GB SATA is faster and the Super Talent 32GB SATA is more expensive in terms of $/GB. The Samsung is only $1080 (retail from Dell - $1080 + $70 for a 120GB 5400 2.5" HDD from PriceGrabber) for double the storage.



    I read that a few times so I'm 99% certain that agrees with my statement...the new flash is both cheaper and faster.



    One thing is for sure...that Super Talent drive is not really indiciative of current pricing at $900...wide temp or not. The older Samsung 1.8" 32GB (PATA) are only $599 and the SandDisk 1.8" SSD (UATA) is only $599.



    Even in comparison to the previous generation Samsung at $600 the new 64GB Samsung is cheaper.



    I guess the point is that even with Vista and Leopard a 64GB SSD is good enough for use as the primary drive. If you're willing to live with iTunes quality a 2hr movie averages only 1.5GB. You can take a few movies with you on you flight and still have plenty of room for the usual array of powerpoint files and email...



    Large local storage is nice to have but becoming somewhat less important IF you assume that in addition to SSDs getting larger that WiFi is also more accessible. If I can stash my files on Amazon S3, .mac or my office servers I have as much storage as I want if I have a functioning network connection.



    Rental model for iTunes video would also be helpful in this regard. If I could have access to the entire iTunes video library for a $1.99 a viewing I don't need to buy any of it.



    For those that need more local storage I find that while annoying on a plane, my tiny LaCie HDD is fine once I get to the hotel. You can have an additional HDD in a form factor not much larger than a bare drive.



    I can also use a bunch of ExpressCard SSDs to hold various things like they were 16GB floppies (that cost $190 but I digress). These typically don't stick as much outside the laptop as a USB drive does. USB drives do the same thing although I find them somewhat more annoying because they stick out of the laptop.
  • Reply 200 of 295
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Can you point us to a portable computer using SSD's that are cheaper than the HDD models?



    Well that's easy...the Asus Eee PC at $399 for 4GB flash + a SD slot.



    It would be perfect if it only had an expresscard slot vs the SD slot.



    I'm waiting to see how much the 8GB model costs and decide if I want one of those vs the 4GB. For $499 it'll be worth it and 4GB flash + 512MB ram isn't an upgrade worth much more than $100.
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