OWC Shares Mid-2014 Retina MacBook Pro Unboxing, SSD Tests

Following this morning's release of Retina MacBook Pros with improved Haswell processors, OWC has procured both the entry-level 13-inch and and the entry-level 15-inch 2014 Retina MacBook Pro and provided a gallery of unboxing photos featuring the new devices.

As expected, the packaging on the updated versions is the same as previous-generation Retina MacBook Pros. The site did a quick teardown as well, revealing the internals of the new machines, which also appear unchanged.

retinamacbookpro13
Internal view of the mid-2014 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro

OWC also conducted some speed tests on the solid state drives of the two machines, testing the 128 GB drive of the entry-level 13-inch version and the 256 GB drive of the entry-level 15-inch model using QuickBench 4.0.

With the standard QuickBench 4.0 test, the 15-inch machine (equipped with a Samsung SSD) saw top random read/write speeds of 524/567 MB/s, and top sequential read/write speeds of 584/555 MB/s. Large tests saw read/write speeds of 741/714 MB/s.

mbpr_15_2014_ssd
The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, meanwhile, saw top random read/write speeds of 438/310 MB/s and top sequential read/write speeds of 593/547 MB/s with its Marvell-controlled SanDisk SSD using the standard test. Large tests saw read/write speeds of 723/374 MB/s.

mbpr_13_2014_ssd
Launched earlier today, the new Retina MacBook Pros feature upgraded Haswell processors, more standard RAM for entry-level machines (8 GB for the 13-inch model, 16 GB for the 15-inch model) and a $100 price cut for the high-end 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. The refreshed Retina MacBook Pros are available at Apple retail stores and in its online store.

For the full array of unboxing and teardown images, make sure to check out OWC's blog post.

Update 7/30: This post has been updated to reflect additional disk speed tests conducted by OWC.

Top Rated Comments

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9 weeks ago
The analysis is extremely poor. You should not be looking at the average data rate when testing multiple transfer sizes because the difference between 4KB and 1024KB transfer speeds is close to tenfold. OWC's testing is also fairly bad because they only ran the standard suite, which tops out at the IO size of 1024KB and thus cannot take full advantage of the drive.

The SSDs are the same as in the original Haswell rMBP, so to be honest there is nothing to see here. Bad tests and even worse analysis are just confusing everyone now.
Rating: 13 Votes
9 weeks ago

I didn't realize how much MR dropped the ball on this one until I clicked over to the OWC article. Besides MR listing the average speed instead of the top speed (OWC just posted the screenshot and didn't single out the pointless "average" number), OWC has two more tests for each drive with larger file sizes and much higher numbers.

http://blog.macsales.com/25770-owc-unboxes-tests-ssd-speeds-of-new-13-and-15-retina-macbook-pros

Top numbers were actually 791 read 744 write for the 256G and 762 read 454 write for the 128G. Those are really good numbers, faster than any SATA drive can handle and I suspect comparable the previous generation of these machines if not a bit faster.

Really misleading spin by MR, you guys really should correct your article as you give the opposite impression of what the actual speeds of these drives are.


The analysis is extremely poor. You should not be looking at the average data rate when testing multiple transfer sizes because the difference between 4KB and 1024KB transfer speeds is close to tenfold. OWC's testing is also fairly bad because they only ran the standard suite, which tops out at the IO size of 1024KB and thus cannot take full advantage of the drive.

The SSDs are the same as in the original Haswell rMBP, so to be honest there is nothing to see here. Bad tests and even worse analysis are just confusing everyone now.


FYI, OWC updated its original post several hours after it posted the first two tests, which were the only available at the time. I've updated the post based on your feedback and the new tests.
Rating: 4 Votes
9 weeks ago
Is it just me are these supposedly "superior" flash drives actually fairly poor? My neutron gtx ssd in my 2010 macbook still posts scores after 2 years of use that absolutely smoke these...
Rating: 3 Votes
9 weeks ago
Granted I'm not that familiar with how SSDs perform their reads/writes vis-a-vis against magnetic media, but the numbers cited in the article seem a little suspect:

R-Read R-Write S-Read S-Write
256GB 194 322 262 245
128GB 165 131 263 244

How is a Random Write faster than anything else?
Rating: 3 Votes
9 weeks ago

Even the 120gb 840 evo has up to 540MB/s reads and 410MB/s writes.


You're comparing the highest numbers ("up to") with average numbers, did you even look at the full chart of numbers in this article? Top read/write numbers for 1028k were 584/566 on the 256 and 593/438 on the 128. All of which are higher than the EVO numbers you listed. Not to mention that 1024 is a low number to top out at, with a benchmark that goes up to bigger chunks you're likely to see even higher results.

Honestly I've never seen an "average" number for SSD benchmark before, it's flat out meaningless unless you directly compare it to other drives running the same benchmark and also generating that same average.
Rating: 2 Votes
9 weeks ago
As another data point, here is my BlackMagic test of the new version 128GB 13" Retina I picked up yesterday. This is with Filevault on.

Thumb resize.
Rating: 2 Votes
9 weeks ago

The analysis is extremely poor. You should not be looking at the average data rate when testing multiple transfer sizes because the difference between 4KB and 1024KB transfer speeds is close to tenfold. OWC's testing is also fairly bad because they only ran the standard suite, which tops out at the IO size of 1024KB and thus cannot take full advantage of the drive.

The SSDs are the same as in the original Haswell rMBP, so to be honest there is nothing to see here. Bad tests and even worse analysis are just confusing everyone now.


Thank you. That makes much more sense now. Shame on MR for the very misleading spin.
Rating: 2 Votes
6 weeks ago

:( I pretty much knew this already, but this looks like it seals the deal. Apple will produce a computer with a joke of a cpu, totally inadequate memory, an absurdly small amount of file storage, not upgradeable and not repairable, BUT they draw the line at a display that isn't magnificent. Or at least I've been told it's magnificent, because I wear glasses and can't see any difference.

I can't afford $3,000+ to put a usable (to me) computer under that pretty screen...

The ability to trade off the performance of various subsystems to lower the price to something that a particular user can afford ended with the Ivy Bridge. At least if the particular user is a software developer who needs to run and test big cpu-intensive programs.

I guess I'm the only programmer left who wants to buy an Apple laptop, or at least the only programmer without a trust fund to waste on completely unneeded pretty things.

*sigh*

What laptop, exactly, are you talking about? Because it seems like you are either A) confused or B) know very little about the laptop market.

Just because you have poor vision doesn't make the Retina display useless for everyone else. It's a gorgeous display. And it's a very thin system with tight power and thermal constraints, so it's not like Apple could throw in dual SLI titans or a 12 core Xeon...try finding a cheaper laptop, with equal build quality (ie. not plastic), with a retina display, and equal specs at the same price range. I wish you the best of luck with that.

It seems like you're one of those people who think Apple shouldn't care about making it thin and throw in max specs instead. But I'm certain that if they had done that, you would post on here shrieking "but it's so thick!" You can criticize the machine, but there comes a point where it becomes more of a matter of opinion than anything else.

I am a programmer myself and I have found the retina MacBook Pro to be an invaluable computer, it is still screaming fast after 2 years.
Rating: 1 Votes
1 week ago

I have Macbook Pro 2012, I am looking to buy a SSD. I just want to know is there any SSD that I can buy which can work in both macbook pro and air. As I my next laptop will be the air. if this is possible then I can simply switch the hard drive and save money in the future :)

Thanks


Nope sorry, not possible.

The SSD in the Pro will look like this.

Thumb resize.

The one in the Air is a small "blade" style module like this.

Thumb resize.

They are not interchangeable at all.
Rating: 1 Votes
5 weeks ago

Because it's an extremely small refresh, nothing special at all.


I hope it doesn't take another year for a refresh. I am on a mid 2010 MBP and I'd like to upgrade soon.
Rating: 1 Votes

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