2012 MBA using Toshiba SSDs (maybe Samsung too)

theSeb

macrumors 604
Original poster
Aug 10, 2010
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http://www.anandtech.com/show/6003/the-new-macbook-air-uses-toshibas-sata-6gbs-ssds

It's a LOT faster than last year's models.

64 128 256 512
Sequential Read 440MB/s 490MB/s 500MB/s 520MB/s
Sequential Write 180MB/s 340MB/s 390MB/s 350MB/s

Performance wise the THNS series is not the fastest SATA 6Gb/s SSD but it's still adequate. It should be kept in mind that Apple's number one goal is not the highest performing configuration, but an all-around performer that is also reliable. The upgrade from the SATA 3Gb/s based Toshiba HG3 and Samsung 470 Series SSDs is definitely massive anyway.
The controller used in THSNS series is TC58NC5HJ8GSB-01, or in other words Toshiba's new SATA 6Gb/s controller. It's the same controller that surfaced in IO-Data's SSDs a couple of months ago and most likely it will be used in Toshiba's THSNF series as well, which is due later this year. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Toshiba is using their own Toggle-Mode NAND, and the same NAND can be found inside Plextor's M3 and Corsair's Peformance Series Pro.

Here is the interesting part: the controller also has the label SandForce on it. Toshiba has a history of rebranding controllers (back in 2009, Toshiba rebranded JMIcron's JMF602 controller), so it's completely possible that this is simply a rebranded SandForce SF-2281. Toshiba's datasheet does not mention SandForce at all, so there is no official statement as of now.
Different connector
When looking closely, you can see that the connector is not the same as in the 2010 and 2011 MacBook Airs. The old SSDs had a pin layout of 12+6 but the SSD in 2012 MBA has 17+7 layout, and the outermost pins are double wide. This means we are looking at yet another proprietary connector that is not (currently) compatible with any other device. The biggest downside is that existing SSD upgrades, such as OWC's Aura, are not compatible with 2012 Airs, although the need for such upgrades is smaller now that Apple offers up to 512GB SSDs. OWC did tell us that they are working on SSDs for the 2012 Airs, so not all hope is gone if you need a bigger SSD down the road.
Could be Toshiba and Samsung

Maybe it's not all Toshiba after all?

For the last two generations of MacBook Air, Apple has used SSDs from both Toshiba and Samsung. Given the popularity of the Air, one supplier may not be able to provide you with enough SSDs, so sourcing SSDs from two different companies has guaranteed that consumers won't see empty MacBook Air shelves. At this point, the sample size of 2012 MBAs is extremely small and the two torn down MBAs (OWC and iFixit) we have seen have both use Toshiba SSDs. However, OWC is claiming that they have recieved an image from an industry associate that shows a 2012 MBA with a Samsung SSD. We are working on getting proof of this.

The MacBook Pro with Retina display uses a Samsung SSD as Anand discovered shortly after the release. That's most likely a PM830 (i.e. 830 Series) based SSD because Samsung has no other SATA 6Gb/s controller, although there is always a chance that Apple has requested custom silicon for some reason.
 

7010

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Jun 11, 2012
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I'm pretty sure it's confirmed that it is samsung. The team that disassembled the new MBA confirmed it I think.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Original poster
Aug 10, 2010
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Poole, England
I'm pretty sure it's confirmed that it is samsung. The team that disassembled the new MBA confirmed it I think.
Which team? At least read the article, please.

iFixit found this



It suspiciously does not look like a Samsung.

It's not unusual for Apple to use different suppliers. Toshiba and Samsung were used last year. There is no reason why they wouldn't be used again.
 
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