If your Mac doesn’t already have one of these, now’s a good time to make the upgrade.
Forget RAM, forget a faster CPU, forget a beefier graphics card. If you are still running a Mac with a spinning, physical hard drive, the best upgrade you can possibly make is to drop a solid-state flash drive into the machine. The immediate effect on perceived performance is stunning: it’s the difference between seeing a spinning beach ball every hour and not seeing one for months at a time.
Unfortunately, for a long time, what has kept most people from making this update to their older Macs has been price. SSDs are more expensive than physical HDDs. That’s still true, by the way, but it’s less so now than it ever has been, making this a perfect time to finally take the plunge.
The new MacBook Air not only has up to 512GB of flash storage, it’s also a whole lot faster than before.
The MacBook Air has never been a slouch in terms of performance, but with the 2012 model, SSD performance is scoring a whopping 217% higher than ever before.
In tests run by OSXDaily, read speeds reached a maximum of 461MB/s, and write speeds hit 364MB/s, a dramatic increase over the 2011 model, which scored just a modest 145MB/s read speed and a 152MB/s write speed.
Apple really wants you to buy into their beautiful Retina display future. So much so, that if customers want to buy an old style MacBook Pro with the same specs as the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, they’re going to have to pay an extra $300 to get it. That extra $300 comes with an optical drive, one extra pound of aluminum, and a lower resolution screen, just so the fatty MacBook Pro can keep up with its slimmer sister everyone’s drooling over, but hey, at least you’ll still have an Ethernet port.
You'll be able to replace your new MacBook Pro's SSD, but it won't be cheap.
iFixit has described Apple’s new MacBook Pro as the “least repairable laptop” it has ever opened up, and subsequently gave the device a repair score of 1/10. However, just like the MacBook Air, you’ll be pleased to know that it is possible to upgrade the new MacBook Pro’s solid-state storage yourself.
This is the what the new MacBook Pro looks like once you get inside.
Before the vast majority of us have even had the pleasure of signing for our new MacBook Pro delivery, iFixit has torn the notebook apart to reveal its internals. Although this is undoubtedly Apple’s best portable yet — what with its stunning Retina display, super speedy solid-state storage, and Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge processors — iFixit describes it as “the least repairable laptop” they’ve ever taken apart.
“Apple has packed all the things we have into one beautiful little package.” For consumers, this means incredible expensive repair bills, and little to no upgradeability at all.
The new Retina display MacBook Pro looks incredible. But can you afford it?
Following those specifications for the new Mac Pro and the new MacBook Pro that we reported on earlier, the specifics for the Retina display MacBook Pro and the new MacBook Airs have now also been leaked. In addition to Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors for all models, highlights include up to 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of SSD storage for the MacBook Air, and up to 768GB of storage for the MacBook Pro.
When Apple introduced the MacBook Air without an optical drive, everyone freaked out. “How on earth will we be able to watch all of our DVDs and listen to our CDs?” cried the internet. And sure, totally disowning physical media with a disk drive-less laptop may have been a little preemptive of Apple back in 2008, but the times have changed since then. We live in a world of digital media and digital software distribution. The success of services like Netflix and the Mac App Store proves that.
With rumors saying that Apple will introduce new and improved Macs in the coming weeks, what can we expect? Faster processors? Solid-state hard drives? Retina displays? While these features certainly seem to be on the table, there’s also the chance that Apple’s next-gen MacBook Pro will sport significant physical changes. Namely, we could finally see the optical drive retire from the MacBook line once and for all.
New MacBook Pros will look more like the current Airs
Apple apparently already has slimmed-down 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pros in production. The redesigned cases drop the optical drive, but storage will still be plentiful and CPUs will be more powerful than those in the current MacBook Air lineup, say the rumors.
The MacBook Airs are wonderful machines, let down only by the still-small storage offered by today’s SSDs. Worse, whilst external Thunderbolt drives are finally trickling into stores, they’re neither cheap nor plentiful.
Alas, Elgato’s rather awesome-looking Thunderbolt SSD drive combines the worst of both worlds — a high price and low capacity. Then again, I imagine this things is fast enough to burn a hole in your desk.
Take apart one of Apple’s latest iMacs and inside you’ll find plenty of space for mounting an additional hard drive. Of course, it’s useless if you don’t have the tools for the job, but that’s where iFixit comes in. The teardown specialists have released a new kit that provides you with everything you need for installing an additional hard drive in your new iMac.