2014 MacBook Airs Demonstrating Slower Flash Storage Speeds Than 2013 Models

The newly released 2014 MacBook Airs are seeing improved processor performance thanks to updated Haswell chips, but storage performance appears to have declined.

In a series of performance benchmark tests performed by Macworld, tests of the flash storage suggested the new MacBook Airs are performing slower than the 2013 MacBook Airs. The comparison, which included a 2013 11-inch MacBook Air with a 256GB SSD and a 2013 13-inch MacBook Air with a 128GB SSD vs. a 2014 11-inch model with a 128GB SSD and a 13-inch model with a 256GB SSD, found that the 2014 models were twice as slow as the 2013 models at some tasks.

Copying 6GB of files and folders took 28 seconds on last year's 11-inch MacBook Air, but took nearly twice as long (54 seconds) on this year's 11-inch model. With solid-state storage, lower capacity drives are often slower performers, and last year's 11-inch had the higher capacity 256GB of flash. However, the new 11-inch model was also slower than last year's 13-inch model with 128GB of flash storage.

Compressing 6GB of files also took longer on the 2014 MacBook Air, and Macworld described unzipping as "just plain slow" with the new 11-inch version taking three times as long to unzip files as the 2013 model.

findertests
Using fewer but larger files, the performance difference narrowed between the two models, but the 2014 11-inch MacBook Air still performed 35 percent slower copying files than the mid–2013 13-inch MacBook Air with the same storage capacity and 53 percent slower when uncompressing files.

The Blackmagic Disk Speed Test also showed the new models running slower than the older models, with write/read speeds as follows (in MBps):

- 2013 13-inch with 128GB SSD: 445/725
- 2013 11-inch with 256GB SSD: 687/725
- 2014 13-inch with 256GB SSD: 520/676
- 2014 11-inch with 128GB SSD: 306/620

All four of the drives in the MacBook Airs tested came from different manufacturers, with two from Samsung, one from Toshiba, and one from SanDisk, which accounts for the performance discrepancies. Speed differences between SSDs used within Apple's MacBook Air computers have been highlighted before in previous models and as suggested in the past, while the speed variations may be noticeable in some high-intensity tasks, they are unlikely to be noticed during day-to-day usage.

Released earlier this week, the new MacBook Airs are available from Apple's website beginning at $899.

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

Top Rated Comments

Stickrbox Avatar
114 months ago
And this is probably where they shaved $100 from
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WiiDSmoker Avatar
114 months ago
This test is so unscientific it's basically worthless. No reason to even bother paying attention to these results.

IF the 2014 models are slower, they're still fast enough that 99.9% of customers will never notice a difference and the other .01% will never be happy.
Half of write speed is going backwards. Newer models are supposed to be better. Stop trying to make excuses. Apple cheaped out here.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LordVic Avatar
114 months ago
um...

am I the only one who is seeing some serious faulty testing going on here?

there doesn't seem to be a like to like test.

going to have to see better and more detailed working of their testing environment and setup.

the two 11"'s tested did not have the same storage SSD's. We all know that there's a density difference and performance with different sized SSD's

then they compared 13" to 11" models, that have other factors as well.

Plus, they're not really giving scientific backing. Just copying files isn't really a good indicator of the real speed. I want to see some actual benchmarks.

Listen, I'm just a skeptic. if you're going to make claims. Back them up
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MartinAppleGuy Avatar
114 months ago
Well that's...em...awkward :P
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
james010101 Avatar
114 months ago
This test is so unscientific it's basically worthless. No reason to even bother paying attention to these results.

IF the 2014 models are slower, they're still fast enough that 99.9% of customers will never notice a difference and the other .01% will never be happy.

Then what do the rest of the 0.09% think?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
krravi Avatar
114 months ago
um...

am I the only one who is seeing some serious faulty testing going on here?

there doesn't seem to be a like to like test.

going to have to see better and more detailed working of their testing environment and setup.

the two 11"'s tested did not have the same storage SSD's. We all know that there's a density difference and performance with different sized SSD's

then they compared 13" to 11" models, that have other factors as well.

Plus, they're not really giving scientific backing. Just copying files isn't really a good indicator of the real speed. I want to see some actual benchmarks.

Listen, I'm just a skeptic. if you're going to make claims. Back them up

Just copying files is what everday users do. If that is slow, then it is slow, no matter what the scientific benchmarks tell us.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
iphone 15 pro wifi 6e

Internal Apple Document From Leaker 'Unknownz21' Confirms Wi-Fi 6E Will Be Limited to iPhone 15 Pro Models

Friday January 27, 2023 10:01 am PST by
Multiple rumors have suggested that the next-generation iPhone 15 models will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard that Apple has already introduced in the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, and now a leaked document appears to confirm Apple's plans. Sourced from researcher and Apple leaker Unknownz21 (@URedditor), the document features diagrams of the iPhone 15's antenna architecture. D8x refers to the...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Have These 8 Features

Friday January 27, 2023 2:11 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least eight exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the eight features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...
top stories 28jan2023

Top Stories: iOS 16.3 Released, iPhone 15 Pro Rumors, macOS Tips and Tricks, and More

Saturday January 28, 2023 6:00 am PST by
Following last week's hardware announcements, this week saw the actual release of several of the new products as well as operating system updates bringing new features and bug fixes across Apple's platforms. This week also saw some fresh rumors about the iPhone 15 lineup and Apple's upcoming AR/VR headset, while we shared some tips to help you get the most of your macOS experience, so read...
Foldable iPhone 2023 Feature Blue

Kuo: Apple to Release Foldable iPad With Carbon Fiber Kickstand in 2024

Monday January 30, 2023 12:55 am PST by
Apple will launch a foldable iPad with a carbon fiber kickstand sometime next year, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a series of tweets, Kuo said he expects an "all-new design foldable iPad" to be the next big product launch in the iPad lineup, with no other major iPad releases in the next nine to 12 months. The analyst said he was "positive" that the foldable device would arrive in...
Hero0013

Best Apple Deals of the Week: 2021 MacBook Pro Gets Massive $500 Markdowns as Samsung Discounts TVs and Memory Accessories

Friday January 27, 2023 11:07 am PST by
As we near the end of January, this week we saw a collection of deals on Apple's iPad Pro, iMac, and the 2021 MacBook Pro. Additionally, we're tracking new sales on TVs and memory accessories from Samsung. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Samsung...