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new MacBook Pros with SSD

 
 
Martin Frost me at invalid stanford daht edu
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      06-13-2012, 07:17 AM
I haven't notice much (or any?) discussion of the fact that the new
"retina display" MBP models come with an SSD (or as Apple calls it
"Flash storage").

The cheaper model has 256GB and the other model has either 512GB or
768GB -- pretty decent amount of SSD storage, though of course it
isn't cheap. They also come with a pleasant default of 8GB of memory
and can go to 16GB.

Martin
 
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Michelle Steiner
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      06-13-2012, 02:36 PM
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Martin Frost me at invalid stanford daht edu
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I haven't notice much (or any?) discussion of the fact that the new
> "retina display" MBP models come with an SSD (or as Apple calls it
> "Flash storage").


They're available (in various sizes) on the regular MacBook Pros, where
they are called Solid State Drives.

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People's Democratic Republic is to Democracy.
 
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Bread
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      06-13-2012, 05:11 PM
On 2012-06-13 14:36:58 +0000, Michelle Steiner said:

> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> Martin Frost me at invalid stanford daht edu
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> I haven't notice much (or any?) discussion of the fact that the new
>> "retina display" MBP models come with an SSD (or as Apple calls it
>> "Flash storage").

>
> They're available (in various sizes) on the regular MacBook Pros, where
> they are called Solid State Drives.


On the regular MBPs, the drive bay and connector is a standard SATA
2.5" bay and there are a variety of standard third-party sources for
replacement hard drives as well as SSDs.

On the MacBookAir -- and on the new Retina MBP -- it's non-standard.
As far as I know, the only ones making replacement SSD drives for them
is Other World Computing.

Here's their blog post regarding the new RetinaMBP:

http://blog.macsales.com/14090-not-a...retina-display


More distressing than the non-standard SSD/HD bay is the fact that the
RAM is soldered onto the motherboard. Whatever amount of RAM comes in
your MBA or RMBP, that's all the RAM that machine will ever have. If
you're debating paying up for more RAM vs. more SSD space on one of
those machines, get the more RAM.

OTOH, with the speed of the SSDs, apparently the need for extra RAM is
diminished by the speed of swapping - all Macs use some of the space on
the boot hard drive as extra virtual memory - since the SSDs are so
fast, the speed of that virtual memory is very much higher than the
speed of using regular hard drive space would have been. The
responsiveness of a Mac running off an SSD - even with less real RAM -
is amazingly faster than similar on a Mac running off a regular HD.
I'd still get as much RAM as possible and worry about upgrading the SSD
later on.


 
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David Empson
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      06-14-2012, 12:21 AM
Bread <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> On 2012-06-13 14:36:58 +0000, Michelle Steiner said:
>
> > In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> > Martin Frost me at invalid stanford daht edu
> > <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >
> >> I haven't notice much (or any?) discussion of the fact that the new
> >> "retina display" MBP models come with an SSD (or as Apple calls it
> >> "Flash storage").

> >
> > They're available (in various sizes) on the regular MacBook Pros, where
> > they are called Solid State Drives.

>
> On the regular MBPs, the drive bay and connector is a standard SATA
> 2.5" bay and there are a variety of standard third-party sources for
> replacement hard drives as well as SSDs.
>
> On the MacBookAir -- and on the new Retina MBP -- it's non-standard.
> As far as I know, the only ones making replacement SSD drives for them
> is Other World Computing.


The 2012 models have a different connector, so OWC's existing MacBook
Air SSDs will only work on the 2010 and 2011 series.

> Here's their blog post regarding the new RetinaMBP:
>
> http://blog.macsales.com/14090-not-a...ook-pro-w-reti
> na-display
>
>
> More distressing than the non-standard SSD/HD bay is the fact that the
> RAM is soldered onto the motherboard. Whatever amount of RAM comes in
> your MBA or RMBP, that's all the RAM that machine will ever have. If
> you're debating paying up for more RAM vs. more SSD space on one of
> those machines, get the more RAM.


Agreed. A friend ordered one quickly, but I managed to warn him about
the soldered in RAM before he placed the order, so he went with 16 GB.
If I was getting one I'd probably go with 16 GB even though it would be
overkill now, as I expect I would be making good use of it later in the
lifetime of this computer. I upgraded my mid 2010 MacBook Pro from 4 to
8 once the memory prices got cheap enough and it makes a big difference
when using things like virtual machines.

I'm most interested in having at least 500 GB of internal storage. At
present that would mean getting the high end model as you can't do a
storage upgrade in the cheaper model, so I'd be looking at the expensive
model with the US$200 RAM upgrade.

I'm perfectly happy with my current MacBook Pro, so I'll pass on this
model and see how things pan out with next year's refreshes. I expect
SSD prices will come down by then.

The other factor holding me back is 802.11ac and 802.11ad, which are
likely to be coming in the next year or two. The iFixit teardown of the
Retina MacBook Pro confirms it has an 802.11n chip, so Apple hasn't
included "yet to be revealed" draft 802.11ac in this model.

I'd be irritated not have 802.11ac in my main computer for a few years,
and would prefer to wait long enough to get 802.11ad as well.

(802.11ac is the next WiFi generation after 802.11n, operating on 5 GHz
with potential speeds exceeding 1 Gbps. 802.11ad operates on 60 GHz and
is for short range very high speed transfers up to about 7 Gbps.)

> OTOH, with the speed of the SSDs, apparently the need for extra RAM is
> diminished by the speed of swapping - all Macs use some of the space on
> the boot hard drive as extra virtual memory - since the SSDs are so
> fast, the speed of that virtual memory is very much higher than the
> speed of using regular hard drive space would have been. The
> responsiveness of a Mac running off an SSD - even with less real RAM -
> is amazingly faster than similar on a Mac running off a regular HD.
> I'd still get as much RAM as possible and worry about upgrading the SSD
> later on.


The major improvement in VM performance with an SSD is due to the
elimination of delays for head movement.

Even with the faster SSDs, they still only read at 500 MB per second,
probably slower for write, which is in the order of four times faster
than a spinning hard drive. The RAM can transfer up to 12.8 GB per
second (25 times faster again).

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David Empson
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nospam
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      06-14-2012, 03:56 AM
In article <1klodpi.1vhwe0lp98447N%(E-Mail Removed)>, David Empson
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> The other factor holding me back is 802.11ac and 802.11ad, which are
> likely to be coming in the next year or two. The iFixit teardown of the
> Retina MacBook Pro confirms it has an 802.11n chip, so Apple hasn't
> included "yet to be revealed" draft 802.11ac in this model.
>
> I'd be irritated not have 802.11ac in my main computer for a few years,
> and would prefer to wait long enough to get 802.11ad as well.


same here. i was very surprised that they didn't include 802.11ac in
either the new macbook or the apple express, which isn't really express
anymore with its new design. it's basically a mini apple extreme and
seems totally pointless.

> (802.11ac is the next WiFi generation after 802.11n, operating on 5 GHz
> with potential speeds exceeding 1 Gbps. 802.11ad operates on 60 GHz and
> is for short range very high speed transfers up to about 7 Gbps.)


that would also be good.
 
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Michelle Steiner
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      06-14-2012, 04:46 AM
In article <130620122356467994%(E-Mail Removed)>,
nospam <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> same here. i was very surprised that they didn't include 802.11ac in
> either the new macbook or the apple express, which isn't really express
> anymore with its new design. it's basically a mini apple extreme and
> seems totally pointless.


It costs quite a bit less that the Extreme, which is the point.

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People's Democratic Republic is to Democracy.
 
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nospam
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      06-14-2012, 05:02 AM
In article <(E-Mail Removed)-september.org>,
Michelle Steiner <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> > same here. i was very surprised that they didn't include 802.11ac in
> > either the new macbook or the apple express, which isn't really express
> > anymore with its new design. it's basically a mini apple extreme and
> > seems totally pointless.

>
> It costs quite a bit less that the Extreme, which is the point.


the extreme is overpriced. cut its price to match the competition. the
main problem with the new airport express is that it lacks the built-in
plug of the previous airport express, so now you need to bring a power
cord rather than flip out the prongs.
 
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David Empson
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      06-14-2012, 06:19 AM
nospam <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> In article <1klodpi.1vhwe0lp98447N%(E-Mail Removed)>, David Empson
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> > The other factor holding me back is 802.11ac and 802.11ad, which are
> > likely to be coming in the next year or two. The iFixit teardown of the
> > Retina MacBook Pro confirms it has an 802.11n chip, so Apple hasn't
> > included "yet to be revealed" draft 802.11ac in this model.
> >
> > I'd be irritated not have 802.11ac in my main computer for a few years,
> > and would prefer to wait long enough to get 802.11ad as well.

>
> same here. i was very surprised that they didn't include 802.11ac in
> either the new macbook or the apple express, which isn't really express
> anymore with its new design. it's basically a mini apple extreme and
> seems totally pointless.


I'm expecting it will be quite a good option for many people in my area
who have a cable modem and want a wireless router, with one computer
connected via Ethernet. The price is closer to cheap third party
wireless routers, whereas the Airport Extreme is at the expensive end of
the scale.

I currently have the earlier model 802.11n Airport Express in my home
office, which I will be replacing with the newer model so I can get dual
band coverage at both ends of the house. My older one can then be freed
up for portable or temporary use, or sold if I don't need it any more.

I also have a simultaneous dual band Airport Extreme, which I intend to
replace with an 802.11ac model when they are released. The lack of
802.11ac coverage from the other base station won't be an issue.

> > (802.11ac is the next WiFi generation after 802.11n, operating on 5 GHz
> > with potential speeds exceeding 1 Gbps. 802.11ad operates on 60 GHz and
> > is for short range very high speed transfers up to about 7 Gbps.)

>
> that would also be good.


802.11ad isn't likely to be a factor for routers, so we should see new
Airport Extreme and Time Capsule models (and yet another Airport
Express?) with 802.11ac within about a year, along with 802.11ac support
in new Macs and iPads (and iPhones if they have 5 GHz support by then).

802.11ad may take a little longer, but is only needed in the computers
(not particularly useful for something like an iPad).

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David Empson
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      06-14-2012, 09:23 AM
nospam <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> In article <(E-Mail Removed)-september.org>,
> Michelle Steiner <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> > > same here. i was very surprised that they didn't include 802.11ac in
> > > either the new macbook or the apple express, which isn't really express
> > > anymore with its new design. it's basically a mini apple extreme and
> > > seems totally pointless.

> >
> > It costs quite a bit less that the Extreme, which is the point.

>
> the extreme is overpriced. cut its price to match the competition.


I don't think the Extreme is overpriced, as long as you compare it to
routers with a similar feature set, particularly Gigabit Ethernet,
simultaneous dual-band, hard drive and printer support.

> the main problem with the new airport express is that it lacks the
> built-in plug of the previous airport express, so now you need to bring a
> power cord rather than flip out the prongs.


I assume "flip out the prongs" is a feature of the US plug used on the
Express. International plugs don't have that luxury - the plug pokes out
the side of the Express unless you remove the clip-on plug apapter and
carry it separately.

The new Express is more useful for fixed installation than the previous
model (either two LAN ports, or WAN plus LAN for use with a separate
modem). If you want a second WiFi device to extend a network, and don't
need all the features of the Extreme, then paying half the price for a
fully compatible secondary router is good.

As for the portability question, I suspect a major reason for allowing
the Express to be less portable is that fewer people will need to use it
in this scenario compared to when the Express was introduced, due to the
significant number of iPhones and now iPads out there which act as a
WiFi hotspot, plus competing smartphones and MiFi devices.

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David Empson
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nospam
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      06-14-2012, 03:56 PM
In article <1kloyx8.153yhwe6kw4t3N%(E-Mail Removed)>, David Empson
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> > > > same here. i was very surprised that they didn't include 802.11ac in
> > > > either the new macbook or the apple express, which isn't really express
> > > > anymore with its new design. it's basically a mini apple extreme and
> > > > seems totally pointless.
> > >
> > > It costs quite a bit less that the Extreme, which is the point.

> >
> > the extreme is overpriced. cut its price to match the competition.

>
> I don't think the Extreme is overpriced, as long as you compare it to
> routers with a similar feature set, particularly Gigabit Ethernet,
> simultaneous dual-band, hard drive and printer support.


i do, considering that a basic 802.11n router can be had for under $50,
versus $180 for the airport extreme. are those features worth more than
triple?

> > the main problem with the new airport express is that it lacks the
> > built-in plug of the previous airport express, so now you need to bring a
> > power cord rather than flip out the prongs.

>
> I assume "flip out the prongs" is a feature of the US plug used on the
> Express. International plugs don't have that luxury - the plug pokes out
> the side of the Express unless you remove the clip-on plug apapter and
> carry it separately.
>
> The new Express is more useful for fixed installation than the previous
> model (either two LAN ports, or WAN plus LAN for use with a separate
> modem). If you want a second WiFi device to extend a network, and don't
> need all the features of the Extreme, then paying half the price for a
> fully compatible secondary router is good.


that's the problem. it's not an express anymore. the whole advantage of
the express was that it was small and portable. it was a great travel
router. now it's just a miniature version of the airport extreme.

> As for the portability question, I suspect a major reason for allowing
> the Express to be less portable is that fewer people will need to use it
> in this scenario compared to when the Express was introduced, due to the
> significant number of iPhones and now iPads out there which act as a
> WiFi hotspot, plus competing smartphones and MiFi devices.


maybe, but other companies are coming out with travel routers,
including ones that run on batteries, so there's obviously a demand for
it.
 
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