MacBook upgrade to MacBook Air for $107 (sorta)

Well not quite, but the key feature that makes the latest MacBook Air so fast at starting up and loading apps is the magic of a SSD (flash memory) drive.

I thought about getting a MBA, but have had trouble justifying the cost. My 4-year-old MacBook actually has a much faster CPU and with an SSD drive, its 4.5 hour battery life would probably not be that much less than the 6 hours for the current 11" MBA. Yeah, it’s a bit heavier, but I need the exercise and I carry so much other stuff that the 2 pounds difference matters little.

That’s why I’ve been watching the prices of the highly rated SSD drives that OWC sells. I’m only using about 40 Gig of the 80 Gig on my MacBook, so their $125.99 60 Gig drive should be enough, I thought, if it were only a bit closer to $100.

Well, about an hour ago I got their latest sale flyer and they’ve cut the price to $107. Close enough. Why are they doing it? The discounts or their larger SSD drives are much less, so I suspect they’ve decided they need to move the lower capacity drives out quickly. Today writers are probably the only people who can get by with 40-60 GB drives.

You can find that deal and others here:

eshop.macsales.com/shop/specials

I also picked up a “Grade C” (which probably means looks lousy) 60-watt MacBook power supply for $29.75 for backup or in-office use, and a USB 3.0 enclosure for my existing MacBook drive. I figure when I get a new laptop someday, I can use that enclosure as a SSD drive for my aging iMac.

If you’ve got a MacBook or MacBook Pro with a SATA drive that you’d like to see run a bit faster, you might want to look into switching the hard drive out for an SSD, particularly if you don’t need a lot of storage space.

Just keep in mind that this offer lasts only through July 4th.

–Mike Perry, Seattle

Two weeks ago, I replaced the old memory and hard drive of my old black MacBook with new RAM & an OWC SSD. Now my little black book is now faster than greased lightning!

If only her contents were as racy as her performance! :open_mouth:

Thanks ‘MacRabbbit’ for the encouragement that this upgrade is going to give my aging MacBook new pep. Here’s the article that stimulated my interest in the idea:

gigaom.com/apple/tested-ssd-brin … d-macbook/

Here’s the summary:

Just keep in mind that the main impact is in boot/load time and battery life. It can’t make any app that sits in RAM run any faster. The only negative is that I’d planned to wait until after Lion comes up to load it with a clean install. Since the SSD is likely to come next week, I’m not sure I have the patience to wait.

Also, since I’ve been a bit bothered that I don’t backup my MacBook like I do my iMac, I’m planning to make use of the existing hard drive. Transfer it to an external exclosure, and I can use it with SuperDuper for backup.

There is one other factor some might want to consider. OWC also sells kits for some Mac models that let you keep your hard drive and replace the CD/DVD drive with an SSD drive. That might make more sense if you have and need lots of storage. You could use the SSD for booting and apps, getting the added speed, while keeping most of your documents on the hard drive. That’d also let you get by with a smaller and cheaper SSD.

One final note. One reason I’m doing this is to avoid the temptation to buy either the current MBA or the MBA model that should be coming out in July. Not buying the current model is easy. It uses the same Core 2 Duo chips as my MacBook only slower. It doesn’t give me anything I don’t have. Why spend $1000 to save nothing but a couple of pounds?

Not buying the almost-out MBA is a different issue. It’s coming with the new, low power Sandy Bridge chips. That’s technically an improvement. But there are hints that the Sandy Bridge chips are just a bridge to next year’s Ivy Bridge chips, made with a radically new process. My hunch is that Sandy Bridge Macs will be like Core Duo Macs. Apple won’t use or support them very long. Lion is dropping support for Core Duo Macs. On the other hand, Apple is still selling Core 2 Duo Macs, so they’re likely to support them for at least 3-4 more years. My hunch is that Apple is likely to use Ivy Bridge chips for several years and support them even longer. By waiting a single year (or less) I’m likely to get a MBA with several more years of life in it.

I went through a similar thought process when I bought my current MacBook and I am glad I did.

–Michael W. Perry, Untangling Tolkien

I bought an extra SSD drive to swap out the CD/DVD drive in my black MacBook, but I missed the not-so-fine print which specified that one cannot do this with my model. :unamused:

I need either new glasses or a new brain, or probably both.

Another excuse to buy a new aluminum MBA or MBP would be that one would no longer have to worry about leaving greasy finger prints. :blush: