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The new Macbook Air uses flash memory and I'm just wondering if that means it has a solid state drive or is there a difference between the two?

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And where in the list of Google results can one find out whether the flash memory a Macbook Air uses is just an SSD? –  slhck Feb 27 '11 at 19:49
    
It can be inferred through its Wikipedia article, under the subsection Flash memory as a replacement for hard drives. (I don't agree with @Hello's method of conveying that information though) –  Daniel Beck Feb 27 '11 at 20:02
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3 Answers

Technically, it uses a solid state drive, yes. The main component of a solid state drive is essentially a NAND-based flash memory. So it's basically the same.

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what is NAND-based flash memory exactly –  master565 Feb 27 '11 at 19:57
    
Well for that I'd probably just refer you to Wikipedia, as that's not really in the scope of this question: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory –  slhck Feb 27 '11 at 19:58
    
Thanks but just one more thing, is it the same thing or is there more to a SDD than just flash memory –  master565 Feb 27 '11 at 20:01
    
Well flash memory is used inside the solid state disk. The disk adds, for example, a controller and the necessary ports. Another use would be USB sticks, for example. –  slhck Feb 27 '11 at 20:20
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What "solid state" means is that there are no moving parts - that's all. Any storage technology that does not use moving parts could be considered solid state. Right now this is a new-enough concept that just saying a drive is "solid state" is enough, but as this very question indicates pretty soon we'll need to talk in terms of what kind of solid state drive you have.

So in this sense, yes, the mac book air flash storage is a solid state device.

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Please note that the flash storage in the newest MacBook Air is in the form of flash chips on a custom card. So, unlike typical aftermarket SSDs for laptops, the MacBook Air's storage does NOT use the standard form factor of a typical 2.5" laptop SATA drive, nor does it follow the standard form factor of a 1.8" PCMCIA/PCCard/CardBus/ExpressCard hard drive, or any other standard hard drive form factor. You can't buy a standard form factor SSD drive and expect to be able to replace your MacBook Air's flash storage with it.

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