Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
57,392
20,225



Several months ago, we noted that Apple appeared to be using two different suppliers, Samsung and Toshiba, for the solid-state drives (SSDs) on its MacBook Air models. Notably, the Samsung SSDs registered significantly faster read and write speeds than the Toshiba SSDs. User reports indicated that Apple was indeed using both suppliers simultaneously, rather making it a luck of the draw as to which SSD a user received in a given machine.

Engadget now points to a new video produced by TLD Today indicating that Apple is continuing to employ this dual-supplier strategy for SSDs in the new MacBook Air, with the Samsung SSDs continuing to provide substantially better performance than the Toshiba drives.
Jonathan over at TLD discovered a fairly significant discrepancy when benchmarking both MacBook Air models over the weekend. The 128GB Samsung SSD in his 11-inch Air was able to achieve 246 MB/s write and 264 MB/s read speeds. When he switched to the 13-inch model, however, speeds dropped to 156 MB/s and 208 MB/s, respectively, using that notebook's 128GB Toshiba SSD.
The report indicates that users are unlikely to notice any difference in day-to-day usage between machines running the drives, although the substantial performance difference does suggest that it may be noticeable for certain high-intensity tasks.

Article Link: Apple Still Using SSDs With Varying Speeds on New MacBook Air
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
17,143
6,394
This has been discussed ad nauseum on the MacBook Air message boards already. The bottom line is that for most people, this isn't an issue. Apple didn't advertise the higher speeds of the Samsung drive in any of its promotional materials. The Toshiba drives still deliver good performance, and for day-to-day tasks most people aren't going to notice one bit of difference at all. This is no different from a car manufacturer who uses two brands of tires on the production line. It happens all the time. Are we going to look into whether there are different manufacturers of the Bluetooth chipset or backlighting hardware next?

Besides, some benchmarks are showing the Toshiba faster at some tasks:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1198829/
 
Last edited:

NebulaClash

macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2010
1,810
0
Go to the Apple store, tell them you want to buy a Macbook Air, but you only want one with the Samsung SSD. Have them try it out in the store before you buy to make sure.

If enough people do that, Apple will start to get the idea that it matters.
 

BrownManUPS

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2007
823
24
California
I noticed that my MBA 13'' does lag a bit during animations. I don't know if this has to do with the video card, SSD, or both.
 

WannaGoMac

macrumors 68030
Feb 11, 2007
2,631
3,893
Go to the Apple store, tell them you want to buy a Macbook Air, but you only want one with the Samsung SSD. Have them try it out in the store before you buy to make sure.

If enough people do that, Apple will start to get the idea that it matters.

Will the store people open a sealed product to this test??
 

bwillwall

macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2009
917
592
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_4 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8K2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Well that's not good! NebulaClash is right though.
 

MacsRgr8

macrumors G3
Sep 8, 2002
8,056
1,355
The Netherlands
Finding out you got the Toshiba will get you pretty frustrated.
I wonder how the store will react if people ask for the Samsung equipped one...?
 

dissemin8or

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2010
31
0
Does this apply to other :apple: computers with SSDs as well (e.g. iMac, MBP)? Or is it only with the blade-style in the Airs?
 
Last edited:

rowanmwilliams

macrumors member
Jan 25, 2007
78
0
Sydney, Australia
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148a Safari/6533.18.5)

Why hasn't anyone sued yet? :p
 

Duncanreally

macrumors member
Feb 24, 2010
56
35
Mine's a 256GB Toshiba

In a 13inch MB Air. Seems OK to me. It's so much faster than a HDD. I think by the time I care about the difference it'll be full and I'll be wanting a 512Gb. And a graphics card that can drive two external thunderbolt displays. Actually I want that now.

D
 

adrian.oconnor

macrumors 6502
Jan 16, 2008
326
3
Nottingham, England
I noticed that my MBA 13'' does lag a bit during animations. I don't know if this has to do with the video card, SSD, or both.

If anything, it'll be the video card. It's not the SSD, unless you're out of memory and paging (shouldn't happen for regular users). Lion is also still very new, and Apple will optimise the code that is responsible for all that stuff (the Window Manager/Compositor) to the point that by 10.7.3 or so it'll be noticeably better (at least, it should be). Also, the just-released Airs have HD3000 graphics, which aren't all that hot, but should still be able to animate a single screen happily.
 

adrian.oconnor

macrumors 6502
Jan 16, 2008
326
3
Nottingham, England
Finding out you got the Toshiba will get you pretty frustrated.
I wonder how the store will react if people ask for the Samsung equipped one...?

Only geeks will be frustrated. Most Air buyers will never find out about the two types of drive, and those that do won't care much or will soon forget. I'm a power user/programmer. My 2010 Air has the Toshiba drive and it's plenty fast enough for just about any task I throw at it.
 

Latino4Me

macrumors newbie
Nov 16, 2003
29
0
mine 13" MBA has a Sammy

Just bought "low end" MBA 13" from Bestbuy and it has Samsung dive in it. Phew!
 

lars666

macrumors 65816
Jul 13, 2008
1,162
1,185
Some MacBook Airs Are Slower Than Others ... Hope, Morrissey includes this in the set on his current tour!
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.