An iPod Hard Drive in a Mac?

One of many sacrifices made in the quest for the thinnest notebook in the world in the hard drive department. The MacBook Air ships with an 80GB 1.8”, 5mm thick, 4200RPM PATA hard drive while most regular notebooks feature much faster 2.5” drives with larger platters that spin at 5400 or even 7200RPM. Apple does offer a supposedly faster 1.8” solid state drive (SSD) as a $999 option, but given the price most will opt for the standard HDD.

From left to right: 1.8" Air HDD, 2.5" standard notebook HDD, 3.5" standard desktop HDD

The 1.8" HDD’s performance limitations are visible from the start. Spotlight searches aren't always instantaneous but on a brand new machine they tend to be faster than they were on the Air. OS X does a great job of hiding slow disk performance (subjectively much better than Vista, but I don't have scientific test results to back that up), but even then the drive is a clear limitation of the system.

For basic typing, email and web surfing it's fine. If you throw in some multitasking, spotlight searches and start launching some more complex applications, then you really see the drive choke. We wanted to see if the SSD would fix these issues, so we set out on upgrading the drive in our MacBook Air.

Little or No Upgrade Path Hard Drive Swap: DIY SSD Install


View All Comments

  • brianb - Friday, February 15, 2008 - link

    I can't wait for Anandtech to review the Lenovo X300 and do a side-by-side comparison:">

    I still think the main disadvantage of the MB is the 4200 RPM PATA. If I were a business user, the HD speed would drive me insane with all the documents and spreadsheets I may have to edit on the plane, train, etc.
  • Bunkerdorp - Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - link

    See above the disk and the connector on the mainbord.
    My harddisk crashed and question is are there cables to connect this disk to a sata disk?
    Perhaps I can recover the data but I can not find a cable or connector for this dis.
    Perhaps you knpw a solution.
    Thans very much.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now