Print 56 comment(s) - last by Jedi2155.. on Jul 11 at 9:47 AM

Apple cuts the price on the 64GB SSD and 1.8GHz processor upgrades

Apple released its 13.3" MacBook Air sub-notebook in January to much fanfare. The notebook weighed in at relatively light three pounds and measured just 0.76" at its thickest point. Because of the slim profile and light weight, the MacBook Air launched with a rather hefty price tag.

The MacBook Air started at $1,799 in its base 1.6GHz configuration and ballooned to $3,098 when equipped with a 1.8GHz processor and a 64GB solid state disk (SSD). With SSD prices now taking a nose dive, Apple is now passing those savings along to the consumer.

While the base 1.6GHz system with an 80GB HDD still rings in at $1,799, the pre-configured 1.8GHz system with a 64GB SSD now only costs $2,598 -- this represents a $500 price cut for consumers. In addition, Apple also cut the price of upgrading from a 1.6GHz processor to a 1.8GHz processor on the base machine from $300 to $200.

Despite the $500 price drop, the 64GB SSD still represents a $599 option and one that many potential customers may have trouble swallowing. This becomes even more apparent given the recent announcement from OCZ concerning low-cost, high-performance SSDs.

OCZ's new 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB SATA-II SSDs ring in at $169, $259, and $479 respectively and will be available shortly. The 64GB and 128GB models will be out on July 11, while the 32GB models will saunter in during the third week of July.

But the availability of OCZ's new low-cost new SSDs may be of little comfort for current MacBook Air owners -- the MacBook Air features a PATA interface which is incompatible with most new SSDs being released these days. Hopefully Jobs and company will switch over to a SATA interface when the MacBook Air gets its inevitable refresh.

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Flash becoming cheap
By excelsium on 7/3/2008 5:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
32GB SSD @ $169... :].

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By Brandon Hill on 7/3/2008 5:36:32 PM , Rating: 2
Amen, brother. I'll be picking up one as soon as they are available :-)

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By tastyratz on 7/3/2008 8:53:57 PM , Rating: 2
I spoke with OCZ and was given this information directly. I posted this in the ocz article as well, but here is all you need for release dates

email 1

It should be available at after July 11th, the 64GB and 128GB will be rolled out first and 32GB right after.

email 2

32GB will be out 3rd week of July. Yes, we already sent out of bunch reviewers samples so you will be seeing those benchmarks very shortly.

Tom Wong

OCZ Technology

Senior Account Manager

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By daftrok on 7/4/2008 6:08:27 PM , Rating: 2
There is an error in this article. The upgrade to 1.8 GHz used to cost $300 dollars; now it is a $200 upgrade.

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By daftrok on 7/9/2008 5:06:08 AM , Rating: 2
Now it's WAS an error.

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By ajfink on 7/3/2008 5:36:45 PM , Rating: 2
And you don't have to buy a piece of fashion hardware to use it.

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By pxavierperez on 7/3/2008 6:11:37 PM , Rating: 2
does it give any considerable weight difference when using the SSD drive?

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By Clauzii on 7/4/2008 3:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
The OCZ drives are 77 Gram each., so compared to an average 2½" drive, it's around 25 grams lighter. But consider that it also produces half the heat (approx.)

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By michael2k on 7/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: Flash becoming cheap
By InternetGeek on 7/3/2008 6:53:17 PM , Rating: 4
They don't want to switch. Simple as that. What they use simply works. And they are good using it, so the combination is the best for them... same as for hundreds of millions.

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By JoshuaBuss on 7/3/2008 7:11:20 PM , Rating: 4
what is wrong with ALSO being fashionable?

no integrated ethernet, only one usb port, and a non-removable battery for starters?

i hate how apple equates 'elegant and simple' with 'lacking basic functionality'. if they didn't just remove blatantly useful features i'd probably love their stuff.. but when you're one of the more expensive games in town, you can't be missing things.

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By michael2k on 7/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: Flash becoming cheap
By borismkv on 7/3/2008 9:01:54 PM , Rating: 5
Except that both of those computers actually have these things called CD drives that you can use to *gasp* install software with. And an ethernet port that you can use if you actually have a need to use anything other than wireless for networking. And yes, I often do disagree with Apple's design choices because I believe that form should follow function and not the other way around. Yes, it's a pretty, snazzy little laptop. But it sacrifices just a bit too much for my tastes. It was designed to be marketed only to the Apple fanboys of the world. Most of the people that actually *need* a small laptop also need one that's highly functional.

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By hiscross on 7/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: Flash becoming cheap
By murphyslabrat on 7/4/2008 1:24:01 AM , Rating: 5
Your Mom's computer also has a dual-layer DVD-drive, a decent CPU, and enough HDD space to actually work with; all for under $600. So what if it can't fit in a manila envelope...why the hell would you want to put a laptop in one anyway?

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By saiga6360 on 7/4/2008 3:17:43 AM , Rating: 4
Too cheap to buy a carrying case.

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By murphyslabrat on 7/4/2008 2:02:16 PM , Rating: 3
If you are willing to pay 3k on a computer, I doubt a carrying case is going to be an issue.

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By ZaethDekar on 7/4/2008 7:02:36 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't you know that Apple ships the air in the envelope? Cuts down on shipping for the company.

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By just4U on 7/6/2008 7:50:07 PM , Rating: 2
they could use that as their green initiative and the sad thing is it just might work...

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By michael2k on 7/4/2008 6:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, wrong? The Envy has an external drive, just like the MacBook Air, and the X300 is STILL more expensive even when you add the MacBook's external drive into the price.

I know people for which the Air is perfect; I know people for which the X300 is perfect, and I know people for which the Envy is perfect.

Everyone has different needs, and for some fashion is a need too.

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By JoshuaBuss on 7/4/08, Rating: 0
RE: Flash becoming cheap
By Clauzii on 7/4/2008 3:59:22 PM , Rating: 2
It has less parts too, so it might probably be less prone to malfunctions too, even though I personally consider modern electronics to be quite durable, unless we talk real cheap crap. I think the MacAir is to be considered an office snap'n'go type of PC. If One needs more connectivity, look elsewhere.

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By michael2k on 7/4/2008 6:40:02 PM , Rating: 2
So you're saying that even though the MacBook Air is cheaper than a comparable Envy and a slower but more featureful X300, it's still too expensive?

That the price should be even lower because it has less ports, or something?

Even though it has more RAM and bigger battery?

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By robinthakur on 7/4/2008 5:02:02 AM , Rating: 2
I think you're wrong to tar all of Apple's products with the same brush. What basic functionality is the iPhone 3g lacking, pray tell?

Whilst I personally agree with you on the MBA's lack of Ethernet, it hasn't stopped virtually every executive and Managing Director in our company demanding one, so Apple must be doing something right...they use wireless and seem quite happy, so it does have an application, its just not for people here by the sounds of things. I'm sure that the MBA 2.0 will listen to the criticism and improve ala the 3G iPhone.


RE: Flash becoming cheap
By SiN on 7/4/2008 9:42:35 AM , Rating: 2
I will take a stab at this one...

apparently you cannot use mp3s as ring tones, you have to buy ringtones from the applestore, the network tarrifs are the most expensive tarrifs for the networks that offer the iphone and i would just say the equipment is simply overpriced.

However... I - for some strange reason - want one. Damn >:(

And i dislike apple products, they are designed with smugness in mind

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By JoshuaBuss on 7/4/2008 11:16:21 AM , Rating: 1
i also think it's pretty insane that you can't use removable media or replace the battery easily. almost every cell phone in the world has at least those basic functions..

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By michael2k on 7/5/2008 7:52:26 PM , Rating: 2
Almost every cell phone in the world also has no, or a crappy, web browser.

It's not insane, it just means Apple can use a bigger battery without having to sacrifice space for a cover, latch, and battery holder. The same with media; instead of giving you 256MB of storage+slot, they just give you, outright, 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB.

It's worked for seven years for the iPod, why is it so hard to imagine it not working for the iPhone?

RE: Flash becoming cheap
By michael2k on 7/4/2008 8:10:42 PM , Rating: 2
Except you are wrong:

I'm using m4r samples culled directly from m4a songs ripped from my CDs. No need to buy them from the Apple store at all.

The data plan on the current iPhone is $20 a month, which is cheaper than just about any data plan I've ever seen (most are $30); the next iPhone will run $30, but you also get something like 2x the speed for it.

Finally in terms of price, the first iPhone was more expensive but you had a cheaper data rate. The second iPhone will be half the price, but you get a more (yet still comparable) data rate.

By oab on 7/3/2008 5:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
What I would really like is a high-capacity 3.5" SSD drive. Sure it's great in notebooks, but how much harder is it to make a bigger one?

RE: Hrmph
By Brandon Hill on 7/3/2008 6:02:21 PM , Rating: 4
Why can't you just get a 2.5" to 3.5" mounting kit to put in your desktop?

RE: Hrmph
By jmke on 7/3/2008 6:13:05 PM , Rating: 1
buy a WD Velicoraptor and rip out the 2.5" drive ;)

RE: Hrmph
By Jedi2155 on 7/3/2008 6:29:48 PM , Rating: 2
I think he's referring to more capacity on the SSD's such as those 864 GB disks a company showed off earlier.

I don't think it was reference to just the form factor but rather size of the disks as well.

RE: Hrmph
By Some1ne on 7/3/2008 8:51:17 PM , Rating: 2
Because he wants high capacity. And in this case capacity is proportional to volume. You can cram more flash memory chips into a 3.5" form factor than you can into a 2.5" form factor, thus a 3.5" drive would/should offer a larger capacity (and probably cost quite a bit more, as well).

RE: Hrmph
By Visual on 7/4/2008 6:45:46 AM , Rating: 2
Well, as things stand now it is really FOOLISH to want higher capacity SSDs.
- it would be ridiculously expensive
- you don't need ssd-like access times for your terabyte porn collection
- even if we ignored the price and assumed you do indeed need a lot of capacity with these superb latencies for some usage scenario, it is still better to get multiple smaller drives and raid them, to get optimal performance.

Granted, a bigger SSD could theoretically use some sort of internal RAID to boost the transfer rates up some, but it still can not exceed the 300MB/s of SATA. That's only 3 raided drives. You can get MUCH better performance raiding a dozen of them, with two dedicated pci-express x8 or x16 RAID controllers.

RE: Hrmph
By taleril on 7/4/2008 10:33:18 AM , Rating: 3
You are right on all accounts except one:
- you don't need ssd-like access times for your terabyte porn collection

How dare you, sir! In the wise and oft-quoted words of Seagate CEO Bill Watkins:
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn."

RE: Hrmph
By Jedi2155 on 7/11/2008 9:47:03 AM , Rating: 2
Just imagine....dozens streams of HD pr0n coming from a single drive.....

Is there a way to use SSD as RAM?
By thartist on 7/3/2008 7:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, my question may be terribly absurd but...

Is there a way to use a 32GB SSD as RAM or something?

How awfuly slower than ddr2 800 may it be??

RE: Is there a way to use SSD as RAM?
By TSS on 7/3/2008 7:37:54 PM , Rating: 2
well, lets say these new SSD's are as fast as the (really) expensive old ones, throw it a bone and call it at 100 mb/s write speed (read is faster but, your PC's only as fast as the slowest component).

just googled "ddr2-800 write speed" and selected that link from the first page. the transcend 800 mhz modules get a write speed of 4169 MB/s.

dont forget while these SSDs do give a performance increase over HDD's, it's not like where switching to a RAM like HDD. at best the next year we'll see double the speed of traditional HDD's (using expensive chips), while something like 40 times would be needed to serve as RAM.

once you solve that problem, try getting it to work as L2 cache :P

By livelouddiefast on 7/4/2008 1:18:19 AM , Rating: 2
someday in the distant future i see first ram going the way of the buffalo to super fast/high bandwidth sdd's and it's nutty to think of what after that.

I'd *guess* it's doable within the next couple of decades.

computers are neat.

RE: Is there a way to use SSD as RAM?
By Diesel Donkey on 7/3/2008 10:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
In a word, yes:

The main problem, however, is that RAM is volatile, so unless you keep it powered you will lose your data.

RE: Is there a way to use SSD as RAM?
By Clauzii on 7/5/2008 1:19:35 AM , Rating: 2
The whole idea of SSD would be to PREVENT anything from disappearing :O !

By Diesel Donkey on 7/5/2008 10:15:22 PM , Rating: 2
You're certainly correct. I somehow misread the OP's question as whether or not RAM could be used in place of an SSD/HDD, not the other way around.

By DeepBlue1975 on 7/4/2008 7:51:42 AM , Rating: 2
Bandwidth on ddr2 800 is at least 30x that of the newest ssd drives.
And access times... well... The SSDs are in the range of a couple of tenths of milliseconds, while DDR2 800 access times are of 5 nanoseconds (1ns = 1.000.000 milliseconds).

PS: please note that ddr2 800 operates over a 200mhz memory clock, hence the 5ns access time and not 1.25.

By japlha on 7/4/2008 6:04:50 PM , Rating: 2
You could use it for paging or swap space now.
The technology needs to be more developed to replace traditional RAM.
Maybe once this happens we could have computers with minimal amounts of RAM. The SSD will be used as "RAM".
SSD, being persistent, the state of our machine would automatically be saved if we turn it off or a power outage occurs.
Just like now we have minimal amounts of CPU registers, L1 and L2 cache, etc. so the price/performance ratio is optimal, we would have just the required amount of RAM. It's useful to have memory that isn't persistent for some situations.

By MuskBassist on 7/4/2008 7:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
You know how they call it PC2-6400? It stands for 6400 MB/s peak transfer rate.

What a waste...
By jonmcc33 on 7/4/2008 12:49:43 AM , Rating: 5
$2500 for a low end laptop? Macs are so outlandish in price.

I'm surprised that a Mac blog didn't come from Jason Mick though. Is he asleep or something?

RE: What a waste...
By oab on 7/4/2008 1:15:22 AM , Rating: 2
That's a laptop which you are paying for size, not performance.

RE: What a waste...
By Stinky007 on 7/4/2008 7:08:13 AM , Rating: 2
Well, you see, the problem is that there are laptops out there, that are smaller (not thinner, smaller) and have more functionality. Most of them even cost less! That is the reason people bash the MacBook

RE: What a waste...
By Lightnix on 7/4/2008 8:44:13 AM , Rating: 2
In most cases, making it thinner does not make it more portable. No I can't say I've had experience with ultra-thin notebooks, I have however had experience with books - same principle really. My art books were wide and long, but thin, they were hard to fit in my bag without bending, my maths books were thick, but smaller in the other dimensions, easy to get in my bag.

RE: What a waste...
By StevoLincolnite on 7/4/2008 9:15:21 AM , Rating: 2
I have a Toshiba Tecra A9, It's not "Small and Light" - But it is strong as crap, Before this system I had an Acer Aspire, Which was not "As sturdy" I usually keep a machine for 4-5 years, and after that time the Acer was starting to look a little bruised, which gave me the opportunity to grab the Toshiba. (Even has a Finger Print scanner to lock the computer!)

What scares me the most about the Air is how flimsy and breakable it is, Kids + Breakable stuff = Broken.

Besides to me all Laptops are "Portable" Chuck it under your arm and go like the wind, and chuck the AC Cable into a pocket and your set. (I do this often), If my machine weighed 5-8 kilos it probably wouldn't bother me, the extra weight would probably do more good than harm anyway to your health.

RE: What a waste...
By jonmcc33 on 7/4/2008 1:51:03 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, ever seen the Dell Latitude D430? Nearly identical specs but costs half the price of the MacBook Air.

Not bad but still too expensive
By tubalcain on 7/4/2008 7:42:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it can cut cake and fit in an envelope but I still feel that Apple can redesign this to include an extra USB port,Ethernet, etc. as the components are constantly shrinking.

By michael2k on 7/4/2008 8:05:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure they will; make it rely on a normal laptop HDD, give it extra ports, and call it the MacBook!

By Clauzii on 7/5/2008 1:22:34 AM , Rating: 2
I really don't see what's wrong with wireless. Who needs an ethernet port then?

Need more space.
By JackBurton on 7/3/2008 7:03:06 PM , Rating: 2
A 128GB SSD @ <$500 would be perfect for me. 64GB is just too small for me.

RE: Need more space.
By Clauzii on 7/4/2008 3:54:16 PM , Rating: 2
I would get twox64 then, and set up a raid :))

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