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 (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

Stickrbox Avatar
86 months ago
And this is probably where they shaved $100 from
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WiiDSmoker Avatar
86 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
86 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
86 months ago
Well that's...em...awkward :P
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
james010101 Avatar
86 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
86 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)

Top Stories

2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
app store christmas icon

Apple Shutting Down App Store Connect From December 23 to December 27

Monday November 23, 2020 10:14 am PST by
Apple shuts down App Store Connect for a week around the holidays each year in an effort to give App Store staff time off from work. This year, App Store Connect will be unavailable from December 23 to December 27. With App Store Connect unavailable, Apple will not accept new apps or app updates, so all pricing changes and new app submissions need to be locked in before those dates for...
Target November Deals 1

Black Friday Spotlight: Target Begins Week-Long Sale With Deals on iPhone 12, Powerbeats Pro, and More

Monday November 23, 2020 8:07 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Target. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. 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 ...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
macos big sur m1 macs restore issue

Apple Provides Instructions to Fix macOS Reinstallation Errors on M1 Macs

Sunday November 22, 2020 3:30 pm PST by
Shortly after the launch of Apple's new M1 Macs, we saw reports that attempts to restore and reinstall macOS on those machines right away could result in an installation error that would leave your Mac non-functional. Specifically, the error message would read: "An error occurred preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update. Please try again." Over the weekend, Apple p...
max tech xcode benchmark m1 macbook

Video Demos Performance Differences Between 8GB and 16GB Apple M1 MacBook Pro

Monday November 23, 2020 2:54 pm PST by
All of the M1 Mac models use the same M1 chip, so the upgrade options are limited to SSD storage space and RAM. We haven't seen many comparisons that demonstrate the difference between a machine with 8GB RAM and the upgraded 16GB RAM option, but Max Tech today shared a video highlighting the performance between an 8GB MacBook Pro and a 16GB MacBook Pro. The video includes a series of...
iPhone 6s main

Rumor Claims iOS 15 to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and Original iPhone SE

Sunday November 22, 2020 9:25 am PST by
Apple will drop support for the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus in next year's release of iOS 15, according to a rumor shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. If the rumor is accurate, that would mean iOS 15 will be compatible with the following Apple devices: 2021 iPhone series iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro ...
new mac mini logicpro screen

M1 Macs Able to Run Up to Six External Displays Using DisplayLink

Tuesday November 24, 2020 6:53 am PST by
It is possible to run up to six external displays from the M1 Mac mini, and five external displays from the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, with the aid of DisplayPort adapters, according to YouTuber Ruslan Tulupov. This far exceeds Apple's specified limits on external displays with the M1 Macs. Apple's host of new M1 Macs are not capable of supporting as many external displays as their...