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.