MacBook Air's PCIe-Based Flash Storage Approaches 800 MB/s Read and Write

flash_storage_iconAside from the "all-day" battery life that comes alongside the upgrade to Intel's Haswell processors in the new MacBook Air, one of the other major improvements is the adoption of PCIe-based flash storage for much faster performance. The new PCIe flash will also be coming to Apple's radically redesigned Mac Pro later this year, and undoubtedly other Macs as well.

Available in capacities up to 512GB, this next-generation flash storage is up to 9x faster than a traditional 5400-rpm notebook hard drive. And it’s up to 45 percent faster than the flash storage in the previous-generation MacBook Air. So when you flip open MacBook Air, it’s ready to go right away. Even after a month in standby mode, the screen springs to life.

AnandTech has taken a closer look at flash storage performance and other benchmarks in the new MacBook Air, finding that read/write speeds are approaching 800 MB/s.

The drive in my system uses a Samsung controller, although I've heard that SanDisk will have a PCIe solution for Apple as well. A quick run through Quick Bench reveals peak sequential read/write performance of nearly 800MB/s.

This is a pretty big deal, as it is probably the first step towards PCIe storage in a mainstream consumer device that we've seen.

macbook_air_2013_ssd_speed
Beyond battery life and flash storage enhancements and the shift to Haswell, Apple's new MacBook Air brings several other enhancements as well, including faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi and dual microphones for reducing background noise.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Buy Now)
Related Forum: MacBook Air

Top Rated Comments

spyguy10709 Avatar
120 months ago

Your source is?

Woosh.

That's the sound of a joke going right over your head.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
silverf1re Avatar
120 months ago
Not as fast as I expected but still alright.

lol "Alright". some people can not be pleased.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BornAgainMac Avatar
120 months ago
The Air line is really gone a long ways since the original revision-A Air.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OrangeSVTguy Avatar
120 months ago
That's pretty fast. The 2014-15 Airs will be faster than the unupgradable 2013 Mac pros lol.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ECUPeeDee14 Avatar
120 months ago
Surely these speeds are coming to the Haswell RMBP as well. And I thought 450 was impressive :eek:.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jugney Avatar
120 months ago
I disagree with complaints out there that the MBA upgrades were optimized primarily for battery life, and not performance. As an example, the clock speeds were lowered to further extend battery life - keeping Geekbench performance roughly on par with last year's machines rather than providing the standard 20% improvement.

For one thing, this new Flash architecture isn't something to sneeze at.

But more importantly, I bet you anything the rMBP's are where they will look more to performance. Which only makes sense, as it would continue differentiating the two lines.

And if that's the case, going all-in for battery life is the right decision for their consumer-grade notebooks.

As an aside - 9to5mac anecdotally reports double the battery life on a 2008 MBP running Mavericks. Imagine combining those OS gains with the new Haswell machines!!!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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