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Toshiba Begins Selling MacBook Air SSD

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the double-it-please dept.

Data Storage 162

Lucas123 writes "Toshiba has made the solid state drive used in the new MacBook Air generally available for use by equipment manufacturers. At just 2.2mm thick, the company said the drive represents a new form factor that is about one-third the thickness of a thin hard disk drive and that is 42% smaller than even a mini-SATA SSD module. The new Blade X-gale SSD series has a maximum throughput of 220MB/sec. and can store up to 256GB of data."

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162 comments

First sale! (1, Funny)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175026)

Now where do I install it?

Re:First sale! (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175076)

Into your iPhone, of course!

Re:First sale! (2, Funny)

rvw (755107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175526)

Now where do I install it?

Up your airs of course!

SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (2, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175070)

I've been pricing out a new laptop, and I've love to get one with SSDs, but DAMN they're expensive. I'd rather engineers focus on reducing manufacturing costs than making them smaller. A better headline would be "Toshiba SSD 1/3 the PRICE".

And, Microsoft needs to figure out that people want to stick an SSD and traditional hard drive in their laptops, so Windows needs better support for moving the Users directory (you can do it but it's "unsupported").

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175114)

How can it be unsupported?

I assume you can't copy your own userdir while logged in, but what prevents you from doing it from an admin account?

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (2, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175288)

It's not a matter of physically moving the directory. It's a matter of most programs looking in a default location for said user folder. They need a simple control panel tool to change the location of default folders. They offer some for subfolders like My Documents, but they lack the means to simply move the entire root of the users folder.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (0, Troll)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175376)

How about something like a symlink?

Ah... yes... windows.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

PincushionMan (1312913) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175414)

NTFS support symlinks. In Linux, anyway.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175554)

Good, so what's the problem with moving the user root dir?

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175586)

How about something like a symlink? Ah... yes... windows.

dir c:\users\username
Looky there, a junction and a symlink in the default home directory setup. NTFS is a lot better than you've been told. Of course, learning about junctions, et al, is not as easy as "man ln"

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175678)

Since posting, I have not only learned that NTFS has Junctions, but that they have already been superceded by NTFS Symbolic Links [wikipedia.org] . Good stuff.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (2, Funny)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175700)

Grammar fail. That's what comes from changing your sentence structure half way through without re-reading the whole thing again.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34175680)

Easy as

mklink /?

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176650)

Well, in Cocoa finding say the "Music" folder in your home directory is [@"~/Music" stringByExpandingTildeInPath].

(Opening square bracket) (object) (messagename) (closing square bracket) sends a message to an object.

A string preceeded by the "at" character is an NSString object.
stringByExpandingTildeInPath converts the tilde character in a string to the user's home directory.

Tilde Slash Music would be the "Music" folder in the home directory before this expansion.

And the whole expression sends the message "stringByExpandingTildeInPath" to the string "~/Music", returning a new object with the correct path.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

immaterial (1520413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34178288)

No, the proper way to do this is use NSFileManager's –URLsForDirectory:inDomains: method, and request the NSMusicDirectory in the NSUserDomain (or the related Foundation function on pre-10.6 systems). You cannot be certain that the user's Music directory won't have a localized name, or won't get moved to some other location in the future.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175462)

which is why you just use Junction points to other disks.

Sorry i've been doing this on desktops since NT5 Beta..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS_junction_point [wikipedia.org]

sure it takes a little work - and you can't do it right at install - but it isn't that much work, and you have the added benefit that you don't have to care if devs are stupid and hard code paths in their software.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175684)

Which is why I said they need to offer this simple functionality via a tool in the control panel. They made this somewhat easier in Windows 7 for folders like My Music by right clicking the folder and drilling down to the option to move it, but there is no simple tool to do this presented to the end users.

It's one of the things I love about Linux is the fact that you an set the root for common locations right in the setup process. Windows offers this via mount points, but that's hardly something your grandma could stumble through on a whim.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (2, Informative)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176260)

Windows XP supported moving your My Documents folder (via a tab on it's properties if you right click on it from the start menu).. and it would move the folder and it's contents and update the system link.

and having theses options available at setup - while nice does not at all deal with the issue of applications that don't pay attention and just feel everything should be where the default would be.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176342)

Parent already mentioned the My Docs folder. I believe the issue is that a similar utility doesn't exist for the entire users root folder. A similar right-click option doesn't exist on the users folder for the laymen user to use to move the C:\Users\username\ folder without resorting to junction points.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176880)

There's a registry key for the location of each user's profile. Login as admin, move the profile and update the key. So far as ease of use is concerned yes there could be a more user friendly method.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175170)

I'd rather engineers focus on reducing manufacturing costs than making them smaller.

While i understand your meaning of that argument - a lot of people don't realize that the smaller the size the higher the density.

when building chips - the area of the chip is a good reflector of it's cost to manufacture.. by making chips higher density and smaller they are allowing for more storage space for a given physical space and lowering the $per GB.

but i agree they still have a long way to go to compare cost wise to spinning disks.. but then again spinning disks also have a good 30+ years on them (not the chip based storage but rather using it as a block/mass storage device).

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (2, Interesting)

PincushionMan (1312913) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175450)

Great! Where can I get my BigFoot (5.25 form factor, 1/3 height) SSD for 1/2 to 1/3 of the regular SSD cost?

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175726)

thats completely different.. for IC's the higher the density the cheaper (to a point) to make

for spinning platters during the BigFoot times.. the lower the density the easier and cheaper to manufacture.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176636)

I'm sure they could make a 2-20GB SSD for much less than the Bigfoot drives costed, and they won't need to be 5.25" form factor either.

Besides, you have it backwards, smaller physical SSD chips are cheaper. With silicon chips, you generally pay more for surface area than you pay for transistor density. Surface area increases the cost of the chip at an exponential rate per chip. Transistor density primarily increases the cost of the fab.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175180)

"Windows: moving the Users directory"
Wouldn't copying the C:\users folder to your SSD and mounting it at C:\users on the real HD as the junction point be the way to do it?

The OS shouldn't care, NTFS would be doing the "smoke and mirrors" stuff

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1, Troll)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175574)

The OS shouldn't care, but Windows is extremely finicky and does all sorts of stupid shit that make installs very, very system specific.

Linux installs can be moved between machines without issue, Windows absolutely cannot without a LOT of preparation work that basically puts it into a pre-install state.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34177104)

Yes, that would work just fine. The only problem is that you might have a hard time doing it while logged-in because your c:\users directory would be in use.

dom

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (5, Informative)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175304)

They will get cheaper. I picked up a 60G SSD from Newegg for under $100 after rebate. In a few months I expect that to be the normal price.

Is it worth it? Hell, yes. For systems where you need a lot of space or battery life isn't an issue, then they're probably not ideal. However, in a netbook they are amazing. I have a Samsung N120 with a 1.6GhZ Atom. With a standard HD, it was boggy. Resuming from suspend would take a minute. Launching apps would take 15 to 30 seconds. After installing the SSD it's like a new machine. Resume takes a few seconds. App launch times is a second or three. Browsing the web is snappier. I.e., anything that does multiple reads from the drive is much faster. If you replaced your standard laptop drive you may not notice it, but replacing a relatively slow HD in a netbook makes a huge difference. On top of it, my battery times climbed to at least 4 hours of constant use.

BTW, the SSDs run great with bcache/Linux. I'm putting together some benchmarks, but even before I run the numbers I can tell you that CentOS and Ubuntu on an Atom-based machine (a mini-pc form factor) runs incredibly.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175992)

Yeah, I hear great things about the tangible performance boost you get which is why I'm so excited about trying one out. But if I get an SSD I'll be running some serious disk hog apps on it and I've calculated I'll need about 150 GB for my apps, that's with Vista backups turned off. I've dealt with running a laptop with a HD close to capacity, and I don't want to play that game again.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34177212)

Not donwplaying your need for adequate storage, but SSDs cope with running near-full MUCH better than HDDs, since fragmentation is a non-issue.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (3, Interesting)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175482)

I've been pricing out a new laptop, and I've love to get one with SSDs, but DAMN they're expensive.

You should price out what an original IBM PC cost. You were looking at $1500 starting price, and that didn't include any kind of floppy or hard disk, and 64K (not M) of RAM. What you paid back then for two floppy drives would probably buy you a decent laptop nowadays. Hard drives started at $10 per M, and 30M was a large drive (in both physical size and storage capacity).

And you had to walk 30 miles uphill (both ways), in the snow, to get to/from school.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 3 years ago | (#34177890)

Hard drives started at $10 per M

$10 per megabyte? Luxury! [wikipedia.org] $10/MB was probably close to what they would've cost in the late '80s, but not the early '80s. (My first hard drive cost $180 for 40 MB in 1990, and that was for a refurbished drive.)

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175506)

Installing a new OS drive is like getting a new computer. At least to the operating system. You create the users again and import/copy over the user data. You need to install all of the programs again. That is how windows is. It is a pain.

If your talking about adding a second drive, you create a 'library' on the second drive. To do that you need to have the drive indexed. This is how we 'moved' the document, music, picture, etc. folders off of users local machines to the file server at work. That is what we needed to do with windows 7. With XP, just click on the My documents logical folder on the desktop. Enter in the new location. Select yes when asked to move all files to the new location. It was a lot easier in XP than windows 7.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (2, Informative)

travisco_nabisco (817002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176438)

Last time I upgraded the HDD on my laptop, about a year ago, I used a drive imaging utility. I think it was EASUS Partition Manager.

The process consisted of putting the new HDD in a USB enclosure, attaching it to the PC, telling EASUS to do a clone of my drive onto the new one, including resizing partitions.

Once it was copied I shut off the laptop, but the new HDD in the laptop and booted it up. No reinstalling programs, not recreating user accounts.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175508)

That's one good reason why I never use the users/documents directory.

I always make my own giant folder, and categorize myself. Everything is inside it, everything. It makes backup far less of a headache too.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34175524)

I've been pricing out a new laptop, and I've love to get one with SSDs, but DAMN they're expensive. I'd rather engineers focus on reducing manufacturing costs than making them smaller.

How does a guy wishing SSDs cost less money get modded "interesting"? Everyone wants everything to cost less. The entire PC ecosystem is obsessed with cost reduction, to the exclusion of all else.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34178090)

Uh, my point is I'd rather have lower cost rather than smaller size. I'm making point about the engineering decision they made, not just randomly griping about expense. I never said I want a $30K Lamborghini.

Some people have indicated that the internals of SSDs makes reducing the size trivial, so that might make my point moot.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (2, Insightful)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175632)

They didn't try very hard to make these SSDs smaller. This is actually what a bare SSD looks like inside the 2.5" or 3.5" case that you usually buy right now. Most of the space is filler/kinda wasted for the sake of easier adoption (a good decision). These cards are basically what you get when you rip one of those apart and will attach right to a m-SATA (yeah, it's a real standard) interface, instead of going all the way around pretending to be a HD.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175860)

I don't know if it is a factor, but I imagine that all of that wasted space could have a function in cooling the drive, so when you take that space out, you have to be more careful about how heat gets dissipated.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176534)

Or big capacitors, so that the SSD can do better write buffering and other fancy performance tricks without losing data just because the power fails.

Rethinking design (1)

hotsauce (514237) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176472)

Maybe so. But it takes someone who is willing to rethink design to break away from the "standard" case size.

It takes someone like Apple.

*ducks*

Sorry, sorry, I know we hate them now. Forget I ever posted this...

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34175878)

Unsupported? Not the last time I checked.
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/features/windows-easy-transfer.aspx

It lets you bottle up all the user settings, while logged in as a user, into a single file which you can then expand on any system. I have used it here at work and it works great. I have moved my profile four times while I have been here and each time there hasn't been anything left behind that I have had to go get. Not only does it move the user settings but also takes note of all the applications installed and gives you a list of what you might want to install on your new system.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176030)

"Moving" as in relocating to the spinning disk HD with a different absolute path, not to a new system.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (2, Insightful)

adisakp (705706) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176002)

Making it smaller should reduce costs in the long run. Less PCB, no packaging, fewer components/packaging, cheaper shipping, etc. I'm sure Apple is seeing a cost savings on them vs standard SSD's and it looks like Toshiba is trying to reduce costs even more with volume increases by offering it directly to non-Apple customers as well.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176100)

Right now, the biggest complaint that everyone seems to have with SSDs is that they aren't big enough. The SSD manufacturers are in turn reacting to this, producing ever-larger and more expensive drives.

What's I'd like to see is a push toward faster and cheaper, at the expense of capacity. The average out-of-the-box OS should only take on the order of 10GB of space with a few more GB for common applications. Those with a definite need for greater local capacity (gamers, video editors) can either pay through the nose for high-capacity SSDs or continue to use cheap high-capacity mechanical drives.

Re:SSD's are awesome, but the cost... (1)

travisco_nabisco (817002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176500)

If you were to have a SSD that small as the main drive in a computer everyone would complain. People expect a laptop to come with enough space to store all their pictures and videos on the computer.
br. I would like to see them take the optical drive out of laptops and put in a HDD for data along side the smaller SSD for applications.

I see (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175074)

So that whole "proprietary" thing was just a lie?

Re:I see (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175154)

Nope - it's a custom proprietary connector and form factor. Toshiba is making it more widely available in the hope that other laptop manufacturers will buy them.

mSata is not proprietary (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175370)

mSata [softpedia.com] was developed by the SATA-IO Group.

News from way back in 2009 [slashgear.com] ...

Re:mSata is not proprietary (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176424)

Mod parent off-topic / irrelevant. TFA is about Toshiba's Blade X-gale connector / form factor, not about Mini SATA or Micro SATA. If you RTFA, you can see that they are distinct products in Toshiba's SSD lineup [toshiba.co.jp] . Note the 'Custom' in the 'Connector' column for the ones that we are talking about, while the mSATA ones list 'mini SATA' as their interface.

Faster! (1)

leptechie (1937384) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175094)

At this form factor, can I squeeze a bunch into my standard HDD form-factor and get some kind of striping going?

Re:Faster! (2, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175112)

No, but your desktop system will fit into a manilla envelope.

Re:Faster! (1)

jcrb (187104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175624)

Actually if you notice they only give "sequential" performance numbers for these products. Depending on what you are using it for you could see your performance go *down* if you striped it because the random write performance could easily be worse than the sequential write performance by a factor that is greater than the number of them you have striped together.

For SSDs the performance numbers quoted have to be viewed in the same light as supercomputer benchmark numbers, these are "guaranteed not to exceed" numbers, what you get for your own use pattern can be very hard to predict in advance.

Re:Faster! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176646)

Actually, my understanding is that with SSDs, there is minimal difference between sequential access and random access, this is because there is no disk to spin, and any LBA is as accessible at any point as any other.

Re:Faster! (1)

jcrb (187104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34177120)

Actually your understanding is quite incorrect. The problem most SSDs have with random access is not that there is any time spent moving the head around over the disk, but the fact that random, or rather non-sequential writes lead to fragmentation of the flash array requiring expensive garbage collection to compact all the live data to free space for more writes. When the writes are largely sequential when data is re-written it means the areas of the flash holding live data are contiguous and easier to compact.

 

Re:Faster! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34177742)

Actually if you notice they only give "sequential" performance numbers for these products. Depending on what you are using it for you could see your performance go *down* if you striped it because the random write performance could easily be worse than the sequential write performance by a factor that is greater than the number of them you have striped together.

Striping doesn't make sequential writes become random. It just interleaves them across multiple devices.

Also, for any SSD controller you'd care to use in your computer (those which properly implement wear leveling), defining "sequential" is difficult because there is no fixed relationship between the LBA (the logical block address visible to the host computer) and physical addresses in the flash media. The drive has to be able to write incoming data to whatever internal address has the smallest (or close to the smallest) erase cycle count, regardless of what its LBA is. Thus, to a SSD, LBAs are just unique IDs rather than addresses. SSDs have mapping tables which they use to look up where each LBA is actually stored.

So, you can write a sequential group of LBAs (logical block addresses) in ascending order, and the drive might actually scatter them in some crazy ordering all over the place which would only make sense if you could examine the entire history of write commands sent to the drive. Only when the drive is brand spanking new would you expect it to allocate physical blocks in a nice linear order. (And if you write a random set of LBAs when it's that new, it will probably write them in linear physical order.)

For SSDs the performance numbers quoted have to be viewed in the same light as supercomputer benchmark numbers, these are "guaranteed not to exceed" numbers, what you get for your own use pattern can be very hard to predict in advance.

Actually, that is much more true of HDDs than SSDs. Provided that you have a SSD with a decent controller + firmware combo, you should not see gross performance degradation due to random write patterns.

Re:Faster! (1)

jcrb (187104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34178210)

Striping doesn't make sequential writes become random. It just interleaves them across multiple devices.

Sorry I wasn't clear enough, assume you are not making gigantic sequential accesses, but just say 64K writes that are otherwise "randomly" distributed. But 64K might be large enough to get you the sequential write performance speed. If you stripe that 64K access over 4 SDDs it might turn out that the performance you see for 16K "random" writes to each SDD is less than 1/4th the performance you were getting doing 64K "random" writes to one SSD. Which results in lower over all performance, which was my original point.

Also, for any SSD controller you'd care to use.....

I was just trying to simplify the explanation, I actually design those controllers for my day job so I don't really want to get into the details because a) it would take all day b) then I would have to kill you :)

But the essence of what I said is still true regardless of how the data is written down by the controller because while it can control where it writes data you give it, it can't control which old data it was that becomes "stale" and that is what will effect the cost of performing the garbage collection.

no back compatibility (1)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175124)

Looks like different connectors than the standard SATA / micro SATA set, so it won't fit into the huge base of existing laptops. Too bad.

Re:no back compatibility (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175212)

Looks like PCI Express x1

Re:no back compatibility (1)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175322)

Looks like PCI Express x1

This link on Toshiba's web site [toshiba.co.jp] suggests that it is a new connector design. They call it "Custom", although the same page also suggests the interface is still SATA 3G.

Re:no back compatibility (2, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175648)

It's a standard called mSATA [serialata.org] , and the driver for the interface is Toshiba. The linked PDF is from 2009, so this is not new.

The only thing new here is that Toshiba and Apple decided to do away with the 2.5" form factor.

Re:no back compatibility (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176608)

and clone what asus did in the first couple of eeepc models...

Re:no back compatibility (1)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175706)

It's an mSATA. The entire point of these drives is that you don't need to take up a full harddrive slot to use them. If you want a SSD in your current laptop, you can buy one that comes in a 2.5" enclosure (the internals of those are the same as these). Where these shine is future laptops, where hopefully manufacturers will leave space for the extra SSD or something, as well as full out desktops.

Let's repeat. These are functionally identical to a 2.5" SSD. If you rip a 2.5" SSD apart, you'll find what is basically one of these 'new' SSDs. It's just a different form factor, meant for different circumstances.

Yuo fail It!? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34175176)

bunch of retarded Well-known it aatempts to Do and doing what it's going, would be a bad ago, many of you

Re:Yuo fail It!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176234)

Is Digg down or something?

Look! It's so thin and cool looking! (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175226)

But wait...this just in...the new MacBook Air was just replaced 5 seconds ago by a thinner, faster, and better one!

Re:Look! It's so thin and cool looking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176888)

Ahh Im lucky then, I was still standing in line to buy the old one. Sweet. I hope I dont have to go back to the end of the line for the 5 second old version.

256GB? (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175246)

That should be enough for anyone.

Re:256GB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34175536)

Tell that to a gamer, but of course a hard-core gamer would be using windows anyway...

Re:256GB? (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34177724)

hahaha, no. I can fill up 256GB as fast as the next guy, but nothing to do with games. Unless you need more than a dozen games installed simultaneosly. I'm a gamer, but I only play 2-3 games at a time, and then move on to the next one, so I only need to keep save files installed.

256 GB, on a laptop with no internal dvd player, gets filled up by video.

And now you can have a superior PC for $500 less (1, Troll)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175284)

Yawn. Why would I want this? Good for small form factor, but awful if you ever want a choice in which SSD you can buy or want to upgrade capacity.

And I know it's coming, so I'll just throw it out beforehand:
- I don't want a MBA with a slower SSD when I can buy a brand new generation Intel SSD on a PC which blows it away
- I want to be able to upgrade my SSD's capacity at some point
- I want to not have to buy a new computer in 3 years because Apple just bricked my data because it ran out of read/writes because OSX has no support for TRIM (seriously?)

Just because Apple uses it doesn't make it useful. I would argue most of what Apple does it pretty boneheaded. See above.

And btw, my 3 year old Core 2 Duo with a 7200 RPM boots just as fast as a MBA. It may be faster for a MBP owner because Apple decided to (really?) put a slow 5200 RPM HD in it. Maybe launching apps on my system takes a *fraction* longer, but once it's in RAM, it's instantaneous. Standard practice now is always keep everything running in memory now anyway and only close when you need to. So no issues ever there. /end rant

Re:And now you can have a superior PC for $500 les (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34175408)

Hi there!

You appear to have seen the words "MacBook Air" in the title and instantly jumped into defensive/anti-fanboy mode.

Unfortunately, those threads were last week. This is about a new SSD form factor being released by Toshiba, for use in *other computers*. Please respond appropriately, and attempt to twist your arguments and rants to match this new information, preferably ranting against both Toshiba and Apple? kthx.

PS I'm also waiting for the Intel G3, but last I heard it's still months away :( In the meantime, current-gen SSDs from other manufacturers - like this Toshiba one - are actually significantly faster, as they're all using the Sandforce controllers...

Re:And now you can have a superior PC for $500 les (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176920)

Are you clippy?

Re:And now you can have a superior PC for $500 les (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175512)

Because it's small form factor, and Toshiba and another manufacturer already being on board producing these seems to suggest that it's going to become a new standard form factor for SSDs.

Re:And now you can have a superior PC for $500 les (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34175704)

Yawn. Why would I want this?

When the internal combustion engine was invented, people probably said the same thing. What am I going to do with this? Can I store it in the cupboard?

Guess what? I think the world found a use for it. My point? Just like people couldn't find a use for a bare metal engine, doesn't meant that it wasn't useful somewhere to someone. Unfortunately, your myopic (and somewhat luddite like) opinion seems to be typical of the average /. poster for some reason or another.

Re:And now you can have a superior PC for $500 les (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176020)

There are a lot of tech luddites on /. for some odd reason.

Re:And now you can have a superior PC for $500 les (1, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175750)

Wow, I'm not a huge Apple fan but the misinformation here is thick.

I don't want a MBA with a slower SSD when I can buy a brand new generation Intel SSD on a PC which blows it away

I'd wait for benchmarks on this before auto-bashing it in favor of the Intel SSDs, which are are meeting up with decent competition these days.

I want to be able to upgrade my SSD's capacity at some point

Well, the interface isn't proprietary so there's no reason 3rd parties can't release higher capacity SSDs in the future.

I want to not have to buy a new computer in 3 years because Apple just bricked my data because it ran out of read/writes because OSX has no support for TRIM (seriously?)

TRIM has nothing to do with the lifespan of an SSD and everything to do with speed over time. And I'd like to see where people get the idea that Apple hasn't added TRIM support to OS X?

I would argue most of what Apple does it pretty boneheaded.

Your arguments are pale, at best.

Re:And now you can have a superior PC for $500 les (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176222)

...And I'd like to see where people get the idea that Apple hasn't added TRIM support to OS X?

The only TRIM support in OS X is currently a line in System Profiler, saying "TRIM Support: " for SSDs. This always seems to display "no" at the moment.

IIRC (can't remember where), people have noted that 10.6 includes various TRIM-type hooks for file operations, but they're not plumbed in at all - eg the filesystem does appear to have partial support, but it's not actually performing any TRIMs on drives yet.

On recent controllers (Intel G2, Sandforce) this isn't really an issue, as the garbage collection on the drives is really good now anyway.

Re:And now you can have a superior PC for $500 les (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176250)

I want to not have to buy a new computer in 3 years because Apple just bricked my data because it ran out of read/writes because OSX has no support for TRIM (seriously?)

TRIM has nothing to do with the lifespan of an SSD and everything to do with speed over time. And I'd like to see where people get the idea that Apple hasn't added TRIM support to OS X?

From here [wikipedia.org] the OS table that support trim. If you have newer information please update wikipedia.

Re:And now you can have a superior PC for $500 les (4, Informative)

washu_k (1628007) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176554)

I'd wait for benchmarks on this before auto-bashing it in favor of the Intel SSDs, which are are meeting up with decent competition these days.

There are SSDs that are performance competitive with Intel. They are not made by Toshiba. Unless Toshiba has made massive gains over previous models then this drive will not be competitive with Intel or other good SSDs. Most if not all "Toshiba" SSD controller chips are re-baged JMicron ones.

Well, the interface isn't proprietary so there's no reason 3rd parties can't release higher capacity SSDs in the future.

Not proprietary != widely used.

And I'd like to see where people get the idea that Apple hasn't added TRIM support to OS X?

The only OSes that currently support TRIM are Windows 7, Server 2008 R2, Linux with kernel 2.6.33 or greater and recent OpenSolaris. OSX does not support it and Apple's only comments have been a long the lines of "we'll get to that, eventually, maybe".

Re:And now you can have a superior PC for $500 les (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 3 years ago | (#34178442)

True, I was just very irked when reading the the post and I couldn't let it slide. But I disagree that it's misinformation.

I'd wait for benchmarks on this before auto-bashing it in favor of the Intel SSDs, which are are meeting up with decent competition these days.

Already done. Proven by Anandtech

Well, the interface isn't proprietary so there's no reason 3rd parties can't release higher capacity SSDs in the future.

Has nothing to do with being proprietary. How do you upgrade a SSD when it's soldered onto your motherboard?

TRIM has nothing to do with the lifespan of an SSD and everything to do with speed over time. And I'd like to see where people get the idea that Apple hasn't added TRIM support to OS X?

Whoops. My bad. I mean it has no support for TRIM and it will slow over time AND due to the nature of SSDs it's possible with heavy use at year 5-7 (I keep my boxes a long time) there goes my HD. And the bad part is once it happens you can't just copy it off if it hits its limit.

Also, its definitive. By Anandtech: OSX has no TRIM support.

Re:And now you can have a superior PC for $500 les (2, Insightful)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176396)

I'm no fanboy, I own nothing Apple but my iPod Touch, but while the PC may be cheaper, you also have viruses/malware, antivirus software, nothing close to iLife, and it sure as hell is not as nicely made or durable. When you factor in those things the premium is worth it IMO. I've been a system builder for over 15 years so believe me it's hard for me to say it, but it's true. The tipping point is if/when your income and time become more valuable than a bunch of variety that never quite work seamlessly.

Re:And now you can have a superior PC for $500 les (1)

dwinks616 (1536791) | more than 3 years ago | (#34177840)

Viruses/spyware are easily avoided by not being an idiot. There's plenty of applications "close to iLife", some good ones are made by Microsoft and are free no less. Apple hardware is pretty much "middle of the pack" in terms of build quality and durability, being beaten pretty badly by Asus and Sony. Windows 7 + Microsoft Security Essentials (free) + Microsoft Live apps suite + Google Apps suite = everything 99% of home users will ever need. Not to mention if iLife isn't enough, Adobe products on Windows have features left out in Mac versions. I don't remember which, but I watched dozens and dozens of Adobe TV programs teaching myself some Photoshop skills, and I distinctly remember hearing, more than once, "if you are on the Windows platform, you can click here and do so-and-so shortcut feature, sadly Mac users, this feature doesn't exist on the Mac version", never once did I hear the opposite (not claiming there may not be cases of such, just that in dozens and dozens of videos I didn't see it).

I'm no fanboy either, but having to do IT support all day at work and "free" IT support for friends and family, I make sure they don't drink any of the Apple koolaid just so I don't have to deal with endless "how do I get program X from work to install" and "why doesn't my popcap game work" calls.

Re:And now you can have a superior PC for $500 les (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 3 years ago | (#34178286)

Please keep in mind a few things:

I'm no fanboy, I own nothing Apple but my iPod Touch, but while the PC may be cheaper, you also have viruses/malware, antivirus software,

Apple has more vulnerabilities in its software than Windows now. The current trend is exploiting applications, browsers, etc. No longer the OS itself. Having said that, Apple is now more vulnerable to malware than windows now. The only reason you didn't see it in the past, and don't see AV prevalent now on Macs is because "his holiness" would lay the biggest smackdown ever on AV vendors if they pushed a big marketing campaign in promoting AV on the Mac.

In addition, malware and viruses are prevented with the use of permissions, available on Windows since NT and Wink 2k (18-11 years ago). The only reason they are rampant today is because of dumb people *still* not using UAC/permissions.

nothing close to iLife

Subjective. To me iLife is worthless. Maybe the only thing useful is iPhoto and it's generally regarded as garbage and things like Picasa have surpassed it years ago.

and it sure as hell is not as nicely made or durable.

Not true. PCs are available in all sorts of form factors and degrees of durability. Sometimes even more durable. And you have a choice of even more superior internals than Apple.

When you factor in those things the premium is worth it IMO. I've been a system builder for over 15 years so believe me it's hard for me to say it

Yikes. Really? You build systems with awesome things like hot-swappable HD's, multi-GPU systems, awesome and very original different types of PC cases, liquid cooling, SSD's, RAID 0 systems for awesome performance, SAS 15k HD's, and you still think Apple's 4 year old components (MBA and MBP 13 inch) are worth the premium?

but it's true. The tipping point is if/when your income and time become more valuable than a bunch of variety that never quite work seamlessly.

My PC has "just worked", out of the box, nary a problem, since Windows 95 (save for Windows ME).

Re:And now you can have a superior PC for $500 les (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176742)

- I don't want a MBA with a slower SSD when I can buy a brand new generation Intel SSD on a PC which blows it away

The MBA wasn't built to compete with bulkier PC's. It has a different target demography. It's aimed for users who value size and form factor above customizability.

use in other mac's? (3, Interesting)

fyonn (115426) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175286)

so with this tiny form factor, is there any way to install this inside a unibody macbook pro? I'd love to go SSD but want to keep a spinning drive for decent storage capacity, and don't want to lose my dvd drive.

come on OWC, make it happen! :)

dave

Re:use in other mac's? (1)

PincushionMan (1312913) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175504)

I've installed a 16G Compact Flash drive into a Powerbook G3 Bronze Keyboard (Pismo) with a CF to IDE adapter. Works great, and I did it for $30 a year ago. I'm sure they make CF to SATA bridges by now.

Re:use in other mac's? (1)

nrozema (317031) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176064)

There are a couple manufacturers of Expresscard/34 SSDs that would fit the bill nicely.

Re:use in other mac's? (3, Interesting)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176112)

so with this tiny form factor, is there any way to install this inside a unibody macbook pro? I'd love to go SSD but want to keep a spinning drive for decent storage capacity, and don't want to lose my dvd drive.

come on OWC, make it happen! :)

dave

Go for a hybrid like the Seagate Momentus XT [cnet.com] (review on CNet).

Re:use in other mac's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176142)

http://www.mcetech.com/optibay/

Re:use in other mac's? (3, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176652)

I haven't missed my DVD once since I installed mine. I take that back, someone wanted me to burn them a DVD. I looked at them and asked what a DVD was.

None of my media is on optical disks. OpenSolaris and XBMC comprise my home media center/server. I have USB boot drives.

I have a 100GB SSD that OS X boots off of and a 640GB that sits where my DVD used to. I couldn't imagine going back or having it any other way.

OS X just... boots. From Apple Logo to login screen is amazingly fast (compared to how it used to be).

Re:use in other mac's? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34177346)

Also DVD/CD are slow enough that they work pretty well over USB [newegg.com] . They're powered by USB (no wall wart), and reasonably recent laptops can boot from them too. If you want to watch a DVD on the plane, it also saves battery life to copy it to the HDD before you leave instead of bringing the media along.

Good luck on finding the space (1)

alispguru (72689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34177464)

Last time I opened a Mac laptop (2002 iBook, granted) there was NO significant open space inside.

This is probably true of laptops in general.

Mac mini (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34175464)

To anyone considering using a SSD in their Mac mini to increase the speed of their machine, make sure you upgrade to 4 or even 8 GiB of RAM first, if your model supports it. The meager default of 2 GiB RAM simply isn't enough.

Thinner than something else that's thin (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34175946)

> is about one-third the thickness of a thin hard disk drive

Thanks, that's not vague at all!

get me a 1.8 inch HD + SSD in a 2.5" HD package... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176290)

Don't know why we can't take a 320GB 1.8" HD and 64GB SSD and put them togehter into a 2.5" HD...and sell it for $200.

This would be a great sweet spot.

All my apps and OS on the SSD...all my music, photos, and videos on the 1.8" HD...form factor would allow this thing to drop into any consumer laptop.

Re:get me a 1.8 inch HD + SSD in a 2.5" HD package (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34177776)

My nipples just got hard reading that. I'd definitely drop $200 to put one of those into my netbook. Then again, is there space to fit this in a regular 2 platter drive? While I'm on the topic, WTF is my TB laptop drive that will actually fit in my laptop!?

LxWxH dimensions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34178036)

It might be interesting to retrofit these on laptops when regular hard drives die, but I wasn't sure how easily the SSD modules would fit. The picture makes them look rather long in one dimension and much narrower in the other two, but there's no scale to judge how big they are.

I found the dimensions at this site [geek.com] -- apparently 108.9x24x2.2mm for 64GB/128GB, and 108.9x24x3.7mm for 256GB (with chips on both sides). That compares to 100x7 to 15x69mm for 2.5" drives [wikipedia.org] , so you can probably stuff one into the space for a regular 2.5" drive bay even though the SSD is almost 1cm longer. It's close enough that I'm sure it's possible to "make them fit" with a bit of ingenuity, or maybe stuff them in a crevice somewhere else inside a laptop case.

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