Teardown of New Mid-2013 MacBook Air Reveals Smaller SSD, Increased Battery Capacity

The teardown experts at iFixit have just taken apart the new 13-inch Mid-2013 MacBook Air that was announced at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote yesterday, and while there aren't too many drastic changes in the internals there are a few differences that are worth noting.

The team found that the PCIe-based SSD module from Samsung is smaller than the previous model's Toshiba SATA module, which also means that the drive is not compatible with previous MacBook Air models. As noted earlier by AnandTech, the read/write speeds of the flash storage approach 800 MB/s.

samsungssdmacbookairSamsung SSD in Mid-2013 MacBook Air 

When Apple announced the Haswell-based MacBook Airs yesterday, perhaps the main highlight of the introduction was the "all-day" battery life topping out at 12 hours for the 13-inch model. And while the processors are a large part of the claimed all-day battery life, iFixit found that the new Airs also sport batteries with increased capacity driven by higher voltages: increasing from a 7.3 V, 6700 mAh power battery to a 7.6 V 7150 mAh power battery.

Other changes that the iFixit team found include a redesigned AirPort card that provides 802.11ac Wi-Fi and an expanded heat sink covering both the CPU and platform controller hub (PCH), although the PCH does not have any thermal compound applied to assist with transferring heat to the heat sink.

The 11-inch MacBook Air starts at $999 with a 128 GB hard drive, while the 13-inch MacBook Air starts at $1099 with a 128 GB hard drive. Both lines are available at Apple's Online Store and at the company's retail outlets.

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

Top Rated Comments

subsonix Avatar
106 months ago
No thanks. I need something with hard drive capacity. Casual System would be fine, but I have a HUGE iTunes Library of just under 400 GB, mostly movies.
There is a 512GB version.

All though I agree with others that it seems a bit odd to carry 400GB of movies around in an Air.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kenboy127 Avatar
106 months ago
No thanks. I need something with hard drive capacity. Casual System would be fine, but I have a HUGE iTunes Library of just under 400 GB, mostly movies.

Let me have an Air with a large capacity HDD or SSD then we will talk :D
Do you really need ALL of your movies with you at all times? The Macbook Air is built for portability. Why don't you put your media on an external HD and transfer a few movies over to the Macbook beforehand when you know you'll be watching?

Crazy to lug extra pounds for movies that you probably won't watch again.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blahblah100 Avatar
106 months ago
...
The team found that the PCIe-based SSD module from Samsung is smaller than the previous model's Toshiba SATA module, which also means that the drive is not compatible with previous MacBook Air models.
:eek: What are the people on this forum who have said they will not buy Samsung products going to do??? Hopefully they are not in the market for the new Macbook Air.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
subsonix Avatar
106 months ago
All day to me is 24 hours but hey, 12 is still pretty darn good even though real world will most likely be 9+ hours.

24 hours is all day and night. :D
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
akadmon Avatar
106 months ago
No thanks. I need something with hard drive capacity. Casual System would be fine, but I have a HUGE iTunes Library of just under 400 GB, mostly movies.

Let me have an Air with a large capacity HDD or SSD then we will talk :D
First off, there is no HDD that will fit into an MBA. Second, you have the option to upgrade to a 500 GB SSD. Not enough? What -- you need constant access to your collection of Seinfeld reruns and Star Trek wherever you are? As one of my virtual gfs used to say, back in the usenet days: puhleeze!!!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
commander.data Avatar
106 months ago
Other changes that the iFixit team found include a redesigned AirPort card that provides 802.11ac Wi-Fi and an expanded heat sink covering both the CPU and GPU, although the GPU does not have any thermal compound applied to assist with transferring heat to the heat sink.
If I'm not mistaken the GPU is integrated on the same die as the CPU which is why it's so rectangular. The second smaller die is the platform controller hub which has been brought on package and doesn't have a high thermal output which is why it doesn't need thermal paste.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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