Has the MBA SSD been updated already?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by AtmChm, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. AtmChm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    WI
    #1
    I just received my new MBA and ran xbench. The 128GB SSD is fast! However, when looking through the uploaded results on the Xbench website, I noticed a difference in the SSD description for posts starting in early May 2010. Before that time, the stock SSD drive is listed as:

    APPLE SSD SM128

    And after that it is listed as:

    APPLE SSD TS128B

    Take a look. The disk test scores are dramatically higher for the "TS128B" than for the "SM128" (disk test score of 211 vs. 83!)

    I just picked a random system for the SM128:

    http://db.xbench.com/merge.xhtml?doc2=443973

    Here is my system with TS128B:

    http://db.xbench.com/merge.xhtml?doc2=457854

    These results put the current stock SSD on par with the Runcore SSD, and in the "Random" score the stock SSD outperforms the Runcore.

    I don't believe these faster scores are due to improvements in 10.6.4 since there the change in the SSD occurred some time in May (apparently) and you can see posts on the Xbench site with the fast scores on systems using 10.6.3.

    So, it appears Apple quietly updated the SSD on the MBA and didn't say anything. Anyone concur?
     
  2. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #2
    The newer versions of Snow Leopard have improved drivers for the standard SSD. It has improved by over 150% since I checked it with Leopard.

    I don't know about the "ts" though. Maybe Apple is using a new manufacturer?

    Anything else different about your MBA? What is the model number? How about RAM speed? How about battery capacity? And check the display manufacturer.
     
  3. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    WI
    #3
    I thought maybe the difference was the 10.6.4 update to snow leopard also, but there are posts with the faster disk numbers using 10.6.3 dated May and June. However, when you get to early May the disk scores drop to somewhere in the 80s for systems with 10.6.3. The only change I could tell was the posts with "TS128B" were much faster (nearly 3 times) than the posts with "SM128" for the SSD. I'm guessing Apple switched from Samsung (SM128) to Toshiba (TS128B) for the supplier?? That's just a guess of what the letters mean.

    I don't notice anything else different from a normal revision C. Model is listed as MacBook Air 2,1. RAM speed is still listed as DDR3 1067 MHz, and battery is rated as "Full charge capacity (mAh): 5433". I don't see where the display manufacturer is listed in the system profile, but the graphics hardware is still the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M.

    However, I'll take the much faster SSD. I'm sure Apple has to be aware of these improvements, just not sure why nothing was said unless they deemed it too small a change for a press release or update to their website.
     
  4. norsemen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    #4
    Apple Ssd Sm128 = Samsung?

    Apple Ssd Ts128b = Toshiba?
     
  5. thinkdesign macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #5
    How to identify which Air in store has the Ts128b SSD?

    I am in the SoHo apple store now. Looking at the system info by clicking on the apple symbol .... the SSd is not identified by anything like #SM128 or Ts128b,

    I asked a saleswoman, and she doesn"t know either. But she suspects ordering online may get fresher stock than in a real store. Help!
     
  6. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    WI
    #6
    After clicking the apple symbol and "About this Mac", click the "More Info..." button. Then click "Serial-ATA" on the Hardware list. The SSD model will be listed there.
     
  7. thinkdesign macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #7
    The store has the faster SSD model.

    Thanks. The salesperson very confidently was feeding me misinformation.... like... you can't find that info on the screen.... you'd have to open it up.

    But interesting to me -- she said Apple doesn't guarantee component sourcing on things like this, so that SSD could switch back to the older one or a 3rd new SSD at any time.

    And (when saying the floor model probably was the older SSD), she did seem sure that even a slight / unacknowledged change in production results in the floor model being changed to correspond with the brick & mortar store's stock. Which would be a way to be sure of getting a certain exact version.... that she said couldn't be guaranteed in website purchases.

    The Air with the faster TS128B SSD was serial # W8027DV987 which I was told means it was made in the 27th week of 2010.
     
  8. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #8
    That is interesting.
     
  9. cleric macrumors 6502a

    cleric

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #9
    Yea im pretty sure you are right with these.

    By the way the girl on the sales floor probably barely knows what an ssd is.

    AtmChm does it show TRIM support? Unlikely but curious.
     
  10. stoconnell macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Location:
    Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
    #10
  11. soph macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #11
    My new Air shows TS128B and was made in week 26.
    Haven't run any test yet, I'm still in the blissfully playing around stage :)
     
  12. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    WI
    #12
    No TRIM support.
     
  13. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    WI
    #13
    While I would agree it's almost certain Apple does not guarantee component sourcing, it's also clear Apple was using the "SM128" SSD in the MBA for at least a year and a switch to the "TS128B" occurred sometime in May. I'd also be shocked if Apple had not done its own tests on the TS128B SSD and was unaware of the speed improvement over the SM128. That being said there'd have to be a good reason to go back to the SM128.

    Either Apple was looking for an updated SSD and that's why they switched (which I think would be good news for a future MBA update), or Apple switched because of a supply issue with the SM128, in either case there would not be a reason to switch back to the SM128.
     
  14. thinkdesign macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #14
    AtmChm: Why would May's silent switch to the "TS..." ssd, bode well ...

    ... for prospects of the next Air model revision?

    Couldn't it also be used by Apple to rationalise that they bumped it in May, so that's enough for a while... so they can go back to neglecting it until the chip predicament forces their hand to revise it in a big or small way in 1/2011 ?

    Also, how would the faster Toshiba SSD apparently / silently introduced recently in May --- actually benefit the user, compared with the older Samsung SSD ?

    Would the benefit show in some activities more than in others ?

    For example, would this make the post-May 2.13 Air with the Toshiba..... more able to handle the new edition of Aperture, than the older pre-May 2.13 Air with the Samsung ? (I will be loading up whatever photo program I use --- with a massive amount of photos, and I need to be able to search through them as fast as possible, every time I need to create a new slide-lecture.)
     
  15. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    WI
    #15
    I think if the switch to a faster SSD in the MBA in May was intentional on Apple's part (i.e. they were looking for a faster drive to put in there), then that says to me they are paying attention to the MBA and actively looking for ways to update it. If the switch was just a supply issue with Samsung, then they had no choice but to switch suppliers, and it wasn't really their intention to change or improve the drive. That's my logic, anyway. Another point is if this were truly an intentional upgrade, why say nothing about it if it benefits the user and potentially sells more MBAs?? If it was an unintended upgrade and you plan to discontinue the MBA, then it makes total sense to say nothing.

    I have not done any tests on a MBA with the SM128 drive vs. the TS128B drive, since I don't have an MBA wit the SM128 drive. I have only looked through a number of xbench posts on their site, and it's clear the overall drive score is in the 80s for the SM128 and in the 210s for the TS128B on otherwise comparably configured MBAs. I can't say what that will mean for your particular situation, but all the disk access tests are faster for the TS128B, so I can only assume disk intensive operations will run faster. Ideally, we would need someone to run tests on two identical MBAs with the only difference being the SSD.

    The thing I really like about the TS128B SSD is that it appears to be every bit as fast as the Runcore SSD many have put in their MBAs, but the TS128B is covered by Applecare!
     
  16. Pixellated macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #16
    Mine has the SM drive. I will check it now.

    EDIT: Just checked and xBench shows my SSD (the SM) as 82. :(
     

Share This Page