Teardown Reveals New 13-Inch MacBook Air SSD is Nearly Twice as Fast as SSD in New 11-Inch MacBook Air
Apple on Monday refreshed its MacBook Air lineup, adding Broadwell chips and Intel 6000 graphics. Both models received the same processor updates, but the 13-inch MacBook Air got an extra boost -- new PCIe-based flash storage that Apple says is "up to two times faster" than the flash storage used in the previous generation MacBook Air. The 11-inch MacBook Air did not receive the same flash storage update.
iFixit decided to test Apple's "two times faster" claim by comparing SSD speeds between a new 11-inch MacBook Air and a new 13-inch MacBook Air, with results that suggest the SSD in the 13-inch MacBook Air is indeed nearly twice as fast as the SSD in the MacBook Air.
Average write speeds for the 11-inch MacBook Air using Black Magic's Disk Speed Test were 315MB/s, while average read speeds were 668MB/s. The 13-inch MacBook Air saw average write speeds of 629.9MB/s and average read speeds of 1285.4MB/s.
An iFixit teardown of the 13-inch MacBook Air conducted this morning suggests the notebook is using Samsung flash memory with a Samsung controller. A teardown of the 11-inch MacBook Air, which does not feature the faster flash storage, was equipped with SanDisk flash memory and a Marvell controller. In comparison to the Samsung flash storage used in the previous-generation 13-inch MacBook Air, iFixit said "it's definitely an update."
The new 13-inch MacBook Air is available from Apple's online and retail stores with prices that start at $999. The higher-end $1,199 model can be configured with up to 512GB of flash storage.
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Top Rated Comments
We took the SSD out of our 13" unit, put it in the 11" Air, and benchmarked it.
It worked great! The 11" was just as fast as the stock 13". Perhaps Apple will add this as a build-to-order option. Or you could just swap it out yourself later if you really want the 11" now.