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1.83GHz Mini to SSD or 2011 Macbook Air

 
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palebluedot
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:42 am    Post subject: 1.83GHz Mini to SSD or 2011 Macbook Air Reply with quote

I am considering one of two options. Either upgrading my Mac Mini with an Intel 320m 120GB SSD drive or buying the new MacBook Air with a 128GB SSD (13 inch) base.

Let me state, I do not need another laptop. I use a laptop quite rarely and my older laptop is perfectly fine for my portability needs. The only reason I am considering a 2011 Air is if it offers a significant performance boost.

I do not game on my machine. It is simply a development workstation. Adobe CS5 apps like photoshop, indesign and illustrator are likely my most taxing applications. I'm fairly convinced my old 5400 rpm drive speed is what keeps my mini feeling sluggish.

I know upgrading the 5400 rpm drive to an SSD will yield a fairly significant performance gain. Obviously my old Mac Mini to a 2011 Air would be a significant gain as well. My question would be, someone coming from a 1.8GHz Core2 Mini with 3GB RAM and an SSD feel the same significant performance boost switching to a 2011 1.7GHz i5 with 4GB RAM Air? I know the processor is better and 1GB more memory, but in real world performance (non-gaming), would that be significant?

Or possibly better put...would it feel $1,000 faster?

Edit: One other consideration. OSX Lion only appears to support TRIM on Apple SSDs.

Thanks.
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i would sell the older mini, but I would buy the 13 inch mac book pro over the mac book air. or get a new mini. the 2.3 mini for 569 on amazon with diy ram would bury your old mini.
_________________
2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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palebluedot
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philiparcario wrote:
i would sell the older mini, but I would buy the 13 inch mac book pro over the mac book air. or get a new mini. the 2.3 mini for 569 on amazon with diy ram would bury your old mini.


Interesting suggestion, although I won't be selling my Mini. It would probably be repurposed as an HTPC if I got a new computer and left in its current state. The MacBook is a tempting unit, but $150 more (with SSD) and 1.5lbs heavier. If I'm getting a new computer, it is going to have SSD in it. So the mini would be a $1399 option as you can only get a 256G SSD on the $799 mini model. That would be $100 more than the Air, which I would actually prefer if buying a new computer. I also don't need a 256GB drive, I haven't even filled up my 80GB in my current mini. So I feel I'd be overpaying for premium price SSD drive space.
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palebluedot
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought I would update this.

I decided to get myself an SSD for Christmas this year so I went with the Sandisk 120GB SSD. I never really got close to the 80GB limit, but having the extra space is nice to ensure there is enough free space for swapping.

The install was easy using iFixit's guide and I used TimeMachine's recovery system to restore my PC. It automatically resized the partition to make all of the space available. At first it was pretty slow as spotlight pegged my cpu for indexing purposes. But after that its been great and speedy.

Really brings new life to my old Mini. I think I'll be using it for quite a while to come.

It may not be as speedy as a brand new MacBook Air, but it is significantly faster than what it was before. Plus, 99% of what I use my computer for doesn't require more ram or a faster processor. The hard drive was the biggest bottleneck and that isn't a problem anymore.
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