Teardown Confirms Apple Still Using Modular Solid-State Drive on New MacBook Air
Teardown and repair firm iFixit is well underway on a teardown of the new 13-inch MacBook Air, and while most of the computer's internals are nearly identical to that of its predecessor, a few items of note have been discovered.
- Apple is continuing to use a modular design for the MacBook Air's solid-state storage, meaning that it can be replaced or upgraded if necessary, although it is not officially supported as a user-replaceable component by Apple. A report in the weeks leading up to the machine's debut had claimed that Apple might be shifting to new Toggle DDR 2.0 flash memory, which would be soldered directly onto the motherboard. This is not the case, however, with Apple continuing to use a separate, pluggable board for the solid-state drive.
- A review of the new MacBook Air's wireless card shows two chips from Broadcom: a BCM4322 Wi-Fi chip and a BCM20702 Bluetooth 4.0 chip. As we briefly touched on in our "notes of interest" article yesterday, Bluetooth 4.0 is supported on both the new MacBook Air and Mac mini and offers lower power, decreased latency, and greater security.
- The teardown of course also reveals the new keyboard backlight cable for evenly illuminating the computer's keyboard in dark conditions. The system includes several fiber optic channels to ensure that the illumination is distributed evenly.
iFixit will be looking further into other changes such as the Thunderbolt connectivity to learn what else is behind the updated machine's capabilities.
We'll update this post with any additional information of note as the teardown continues.
Top Rated Comments
I have been using computers for decades now, including a 6 month stint at a shop repairing PCs (albeit 13 years ago), and I can tell you that memory does NOT fail often. In fact, I'm not sure I can recall a single instance of memory failing in any of my computers, or those of my colleagues. Memory is pretty reliable.
SSDs shouldn't fail often either, though they're still a bit new to have any meaningful longevity data. Certainly the certified r/w cycles should be plenty to ensure the typical SSD sees many years of service. Nobody I know with an SSD has suffered a single failure yet (admittedly it's a tiny sample size of about 5 drives over 3 years, starting with the original Air).
That said, I do agree a soldered on SSD would be silly. Upgradable/replaceable RAM would also be nice, but I see why Apple can't do that in this case design.
reasonable for what it is..
NO, you could still have a Toshiba. A few users on this forum reported they got TS256C.
If you are referring to the actual SSD (there are no other Samsung parts), they are NANDs. They are the chips that hold your data. Looks like four NANDs so 32GB each in 128GB model. Either 8x4GB dies (if 3Xnm) or 4x8GB dies (if 2Xnm). I would guess the latter.
2Xnm flash memory has 3000 P/E cycles so for 128GB SSD that makes up up to 384 000GB, or 384TB of writes (theoretically). Nothing to worry about that but it's always nice to have a user replaceable part.
TS128C = 128GB Toshiba
SM128C = 128GB Samsung