2014 MacBook Airs Demonstrating Slower Flash Storage Speeds Than 2013 Models

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 2, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.
    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.

    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.

    Article Link: 2014 MacBook Airs Demonstrating Slower Flash Storage Speeds Than 2013 Models
  2. macrumors 68040


    Jul 31, 2005
    Hope it doesn't mean that iPhone 6 will be slower than iPhone 5.
  3. macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    There was a high failure rate with some past SSD's. I'm glad they're trying others. Better slower speeds and better reliability.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2014
    And this is probably where they shaved $100 from
  5. macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2013
  6. macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2011

    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
  7. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    Longtime readers of AnandTech know that Apple SSDs are a crapshoot. It used to be that Toshiba and Samsung provided all the SSDs, with Samsung's significantly faster, particularly with encrypted or compressed data. After the Toshiba failed SSD debacle, it seems Apple is sourcing from others. So what Macworld is doing isn't really an "apples to apples" comparison.
  8. macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2012
    Silicon Valley
    NOT apple to apple

    So if somebody was dedicated enough to get 4 machines to do comparisons...

    Why did they not choose the same disk options...

    They just had to do 13" 128GB vs 256GB and then again 11" with 128GB vs 256GB
  9. macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
  10. macrumors 65816


    Nov 29, 2009
    Hopefully apple comments on this, otherwise.. it appears Apple just kept their margin from that 100 dollar cut.
  11. macrumors 6502


    Mar 30, 2009
  12. macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    most of the first models out have that sandisk garbage
  13. macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Yipes! This is pretty bad, for sure. Maybe dodgy firmware?
  14. macrumors 6502


    Jun 12, 2011
    New England
    *Ding Ding*

    I just found out how Apple saved $100.

    Silly people thinking Apple would cut their margins :D
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2011
    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.
  16. macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2009
    Hermitage, TN
    Half of write speed is going backwards. Newer models are supposed to be better. Stop trying to make excuses. Apple cheaped out here.
  17. macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2014
    well exactly... Does variance between manufacturers even account for that big a discrepancy? (And yes, I'm genuinely asking.)
  18. macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    I wouldn't be surprised if this was true. But then other 2014 MBA's might be faster.

    Apple's Q/A is at its worst on the MBA, especially compared to the MBP. Fit and finish is crap compared to the MBP. The displays are less than third rate too.
  19. macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2009
  20. macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2013
  21. macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2009
    Yeah a three-fold increase in time spent on a process isn't noticeable >_>

    these aren't unreliable tests at all.

    It's probly a driver/firmware issue.
  22. macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2013

    Honestly couldn't even finish the article there are so many typos. (i.e. the 2013 models are almost twice as slow as the 2013 models?)

    And the test is BS.

    Getting a 2014 model 13" 256 today.
  23. macrumors 65816


    May 3, 2013
    Someone forgot to enable Trim Enabler?

    Nah, it doesn't matter. Since both miss a Retina screen.
  24. macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2008
    Don't they realize this is like comparing apples (no pun intended) to oranges?!

    If you go buy a flash drive from the same manufacturer even, from the same model series, different capacities have different speed ratings ...

    Whether these are are SATA drives or even PCIe drives is irrelevant. This is a review from yesterday. In this case the read speeds are the same across the three capacities but the writes are all different depending on if its 128, 256, or 512

  25. macrumors 601

    Jul 11, 2008
    Glad I'm going with the refurb 2013 model.

    PCI-e isn't all that.

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