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  • Fast 128GB and 256GB Upgrades for MacBook Air


    One of the significant limitations of the smaller MacBook Air is the storage space: only 64GB and 128GB options are available. Fortunately, this is one of the few truly user-upgradable options on the new models, and a third-party vendor has already stepped up with a solution. PhotoFast is announcing 128GB and 256GB SSD upgrades with improved controllers that let them claim a 30% performance increase compared to the stock Apple solid state drive. Additionally, the Taiwanese company includes a USB 3.0 thumb-drive enclosure so you can reuse your MacBook Air's existing SSD.

    Although no shipping dates or pricing information has yet been released for the GM2 SFV1 Air aftermarket kit, it's already generated a lot of buzz based on the one-two punch of a speed bump plus external drive option. The performance increase is due to the SandForce SF1200 controller, which is also used in solid state drives like the Corsair Force SSD. PhotoFast says this will provide up to 250MB/s sequential read and write speeds as compared to 140 to 160 MB/s on the stock MacBook Air. Random reads are clocked at 50MB/s and random writes at 30MB/s, which are very significant improvements over Apple's hardware.

    In a clever move, Photofast also bundles a USB 3.0 adapter in with the kit, allowing you to easily transfer the contents of your existing drive to the larger SSD. After you do the upgrade, you can put the original SSD in the enclosure and use it as a fast external drive.

    A lot is going to depend on price, but this should be attractive both to people who want to increase the storage of the small MBA as well as power users looking to give the 13-inch model a boost. If the performance claims hold up, this upgrade would make the 2.4GHz MacBook Air a practical desktop replacement for many.

    Source: MacRumors
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Fast 128GB and 256GB Upgrades for MacBook Air started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 26 Comments
    1. cookbenj's Avatar
      cookbenj -
      saw the 11inch air today at the apple store it looked amazing!!
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      A lot depends on price indeed. I may just opt for the 64gb model from Apple and upgrade to 256 from these guys. I bet the price will be well over $200 though
    1. chrodriguezmarydown's Avatar
      chrodriguezmarydown -
      Wow, I wonder what Apple thinks about this. Amazing
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul Acciavatti View Post
      If the performance claims hold up, this upgrade would make the 2.4GHz MacBook Air a practical desktop replacement for many.
      2.1GHz I believe... and the only model that they even lut you upgrade the processor to 2.1GHz is one with 256GB SSD stock anyway I highly doubt that the added bit of speed is going to be necessary even as a desktop replacement. The standard one Apple is shipping is already going to far exceed any HDD on the market. On that model, people upgrading to this chip are going to be the guys with money to blow that want to buy bragging rights.
    1. samurai_vara's Avatar
      samurai_vara -
      impressive...
      but a lot depends on price though.
    1. 5h4d0w's Avatar
      5h4d0w -
      Photofast makes some pretty good stuff, I bought one of their adapters a few years back so I could shove two 16GB Micros into my PSP.

      If this works on non-apple hardware I'll probably pick one up.
    1. Rokesomesmeefer's Avatar
      Rokesomesmeefer -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      2.1GHz I believe... and the only model that they even lut you upgrade the processor to 2.1GHz is one with 256GB SSD stock anyway I highly doubt that the added bit of speed is going to be necessary even as a desktop replacement. The standard one Apple is shipping is already going to far exceed any HDD on the market. On that model, people upgrading to this chip are going to be the guys with money to blow that want to buy bragging rights.
      Hmm, seems to me that anybody buying a MacBook Air would be simply blowing money for bragging rights.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rokesomesmeefer View Post
      Hmm, seems to me that anybody buying a MacBook Air would be simply blowing money for bragging rights.
      I suppose we all have our opinions, but I find the base models to be quite reasonably priced. Hell, even the upper models are comparable to a mid-range MBP where you are paying for weight reduction. To each his own, but the weight I get to drop off my back/shoulder carrying these things around is a plus.
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      So would you have to take this into an Apple repair shop and have them swap it out for you?
    1. dq13's Avatar
      dq13 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      So would you have to take this into an Apple repair shop and have them swap it out for you?
      only if you are not used to take laprops apart. otherwise, go to ifixit.com and do it yourseld. I would definetly do it at home, apple will charge you like up the a** IF they do it
    1. wrcsti's Avatar
      wrcsti -
      Im wondering if its the same processor then can we just overclock it?
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      So would you have to take this into an Apple repair shop and have them swap it out for you?
      I am wondering if they would even be willing to do this at Apple...
    1. wrcsti's Avatar
      wrcsti -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      I am wondering if they would even be willing to do this at Apple...
      Its apple so no.
    1. citopr's Avatar
      citopr -
      Wow.. I'm ok with my iPad.. For the most part My iMac, iPhone and iPad is just plenty..
    1. mvhurlburt's Avatar
      mvhurlburt -
      Quote Originally Posted by wrcsti View Post
      Im wondering if its the same processor then can we just overclock it?
      Probably yes and it's probably stupid hard to OC, and seeing that it is so thin, without heatsinks heat dissipation would be a problem(the unibody aluminum does help though) also battery life might suffer a bit. I think I'm gonna wait for the next release, horsepower wise it doesn't seem to justify the cost considering that I would want the 2.13GHz model but would rather have it in 11 inch, topping out at 1.6GHz seems kinda silly. I wish intel would stop being such a pain in the *** and allow the ULV i5 to be used with GPUs other than their own. I get this isn't a desktop replacement, especially for those with higher end needs. Personally my primary machine right now is a MSi Wind hackintosh and it suits my needs quite well but I do like being able to update to the lastest OS X w/ out problems. While it's true that my next desktop will more than likely be another hackintosh. If I had the money I would probably get myself a nice i7 iMac and maybe even a mini. I certainly would get an air too and hell while I was at it a high end MBP. I will definitely be getting an iPad 2 when available. IDK, the hardware design and concepts are awesome but IMHO too expensive. For some reason it made more sense price wise when they were on PPC for some reason.
    1. wrcsti's Avatar
      wrcsti -
      Quote Originally Posted by mvhurlburt View Post
      Probably yes and it's probably stupid hard to OC, and seeing that it is so thin, without heatsinks heat dissipation would be a problem(the unibody aluminum does help though) also battery life might suffer a bit. I think I'm gonna wait for the next release, horsepower wise it doesn't seem to justify the cost considering that I would want the 2.13GHz model but would rather have it in 11 inch, topping out at 1.6GHz seems kinda silly. I wish intel would stop being such a pain in the *** and allow the ULV i5 to be used with GPUs other than their own. I get this isn't a desktop replacement, especially for those with higher end needs. Personally my primary machine right now is a MSi Wind hackintosh and it suits my needs quite well but I do like being able to update to the lastest OS X w/ out problems. While it's true that my next desktop will more than likely be another hackintosh. If I had the money I would probably get myself a nice i7 iMac and maybe even a mini. I certainly would get an air too and hell while I was at it a high end MBP. I will definitely be getting an iPad 2 when available. IDK, the hardware design and concepts are awesome but IMHO too expensive. For some reason it made more sense price wise when they were on PPC for some reason.
      I want to get one of these and run windows on it as my personal PC for browsing and doing schoolwork and leave my current laptop for gaming. So im not looking for a huge overclock, just a tiny bit if any at all.
    1. xxhorseriderxxx's Avatar
      xxhorseriderxxx -
      you guys are crazy, I could never live without a combined processor clock of 6Ghz ... I have no idea how people can stand to use their stuff with a mere 3.6 (1.8X2)...
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      Is this for the new macbook air? Because I got the first gen macbook air with the 80GB hard drive. I'm been looking for upgrade.
    1. Rob2G's Avatar
      Rob2G -
      Sorry If this is dumb but would this work with a hackintosh with USB 3 as a really really big flash drive?
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rob2G View Post
      Sorry If this is dumb but would this work with a hackintosh with USB 3 as a really really big flash drive?
      Yep.