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Apple Still Using SSDs With Varying Speeds on New MacBook Air

Several months ago, we noted that Apple appeared to be using two different suppliers, Samsung and Toshiba, for the solid-state drives (SSDs) on its MacBook Air models. Notably, the Samsung SSDs registered significantly faster read and write speeds than the Toshiba SSDs. User reports indicated that Apple was indeed using both suppliers simultaneously, rather making it a luck of the draw as to which SSD a user received in a given machine.


Engadget now points to a new video produced by TLD Today indicating that Apple is continuing to employ this dual-supplier strategy for SSDs in the new MacBook Air, with the Samsung SSDs continuing to provide substantially better performance than the Toshiba drives.
Jonathan over at TLD discovered a fairly significant discrepancy when benchmarking both MacBook Air models over the weekend. The 128GB Samsung SSD in his 11-inch Air was able to achieve 246 MB/s write and 264 MB/s read speeds. When he switched to the 13-inch model, however, speeds dropped to 156 MB/s and 208 MB/s, respectively, using that notebook's 128GB Toshiba SSD.
The report indicates that users are unlikely to notice any difference in day-to-day usage between machines running the drives, although the substantial performance difference does suggest that it may be noticeable for certain high-intensity tasks.

Related roundup: MacBook Air

Top Rated Comments

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44 months ago
Go to the Apple store, tell them you want to buy a Macbook Air, but you only want one with the Samsung SSD. Have them try it out in the store before you buy to make sure.

If enough people do that, Apple will start to get the idea that it matters.
Rating: 34 Votes
44 months ago
Or just swap it out for a better OWC one :cool:
Rating: 9 Votes
44 months ago
Some MacBook Airs Are Slower Than Others ... Hope, Morrissey includes this in the set on his current tour!
Rating: 9 Votes
44 months ago
While this situation is not ideal, I very much doubt anyone would be able to notice the real world difference between the Toshiba and Samsung SSDs. That Blackmagic tool only tests large sequential transfers and not the smaller random ones that affect system responsiveness.

If people bothered to check, you'll find similar variances in the HDDs Apple have traditionally used.
Rating: 8 Votes
44 months ago
Paranoia is about to set in with any Air Toshiba users.
Rating: 7 Votes
44 months ago
So for the same price
And a roll of the dice
You buy a Mac
Which ain't as nice

You walk out
And you read the news
You take it back
But they refuse

I think I'll keep my day job.....;)
Rating: 7 Votes
44 months ago

And for all we know, the Samsung ones might die in 2 years while the Toshiba ones last 10.


Or it could be the opposite. Both are reliable brands so your post doesn't really have any merit unless you have proofs to back up your statement than Toshiba is more reliable.
Rating: 6 Votes
44 months ago
And for all we know, the Samsung ones might die in 2 years while the Toshiba ones last 10.
Rating: 5 Votes
44 months ago
Well... although this is not really a big deal for most people... this is still annoying. If two people pay the same price for the same macbook... they should be getting the same spec on their hardware.
Rating: 5 Votes
44 months ago

Since there is no advertised SSD speed on Apple's web site (or on the box it comes in) what is the lame part?

The question is, would you notice or care if you didn't read an article about it? If the answer is no, then there's nothing lame about it.

So a few people get faster drives. So what? It doesn't affect you.


Hehe, but the thing is, he *does* know. And knowing that other people bought the same machine for the same price, but with better equipment, can be a frustrating thought.
Rating: 5 Votes

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