MacBook Air 11 inch 256 vs 512GB?

nariza7

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 16, 2013
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I originally was going for i7/8gb ram/256gb ssd, but I was wondering if there are any differences in writing speeds between the 256gb and 512gb. I am looking to do programming work along with editing photos, so if there is a significant difference in writing speed between the 256gb and 512gb, I will have to further consider which configuration to go with.
 

iPlodder

macrumors member
Apr 18, 2008
59
5
I originally was going for i7/8gb ram/256gb ssd, but I was wondering if there are any differences in writing speeds between the 256gb and 512gb. I am looking to do programming work along with editing photos, so if there is a significant difference in writing speed between the 256gb and 512gb, I will have to further consider which configuration to go with.
There shouldn't be any difference in read or write speeds between the 256GB or 512GB (or the 128GB for that matter) drives as they all use the same PCIe interface.
 

nariza7

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Original poster
Jun 16, 2013
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I thought I read somewhere that write times for the 128gb was like 4xx while the write times for the 256 GB were 7xx. Also that the ssd used were diff for 128 and 256 . I was just wondering if there were such differences between the 256 and 512
 

iPlodder

macrumors member
Apr 18, 2008
59
5
Depends how the NAND is configured, more chips may mean more bandwidth. Bigger SSDs are often faster for this reason.
Are we talking noticeable differences (10%-20%) or slight differences (<1%)?

Whilst I can see how accessing how accessing a file split across 3 NAND chips (in 16x8GB NAND chip array) would be slower than if it was stored in a single chip would (in 16x16GB NAND chip array), would it something you'd notice?
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,089
4
Sol III - Terra
I originally was going for i7/8gb ram/256gb ssd, but I was wondering if there are any differences in writing speeds between the 256gb and 512gb. I am looking to do programming work along with editing photos, so if there is a significant difference in writing speed between the 256gb and 512gb, I will have to further consider which configuration to go with.
The 128GB has the slower write speed. The 256GB and 512GB should be close enough in write speed (if not identical) that you won't notice it while you're using it.

The question you really need to consider is how much space you need for the photos on it, and if you need space for an iTunes library as well.
 

nariza7

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Original poster
Jun 16, 2013
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I think I can manage with 256gb on the 11 inch, but I wanted to see if others have noticed or read about the differences between the 256gb and 512gb versions besides the storage space.
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
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Even before we split hairs, have you checked how much$$$ they want for the 512GB? U wallet OK with that?
 

nariza7

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 16, 2013
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yeah the cost is very high which is why i wanted to go with 256gb. I just wanted to know if there were differences between 256gb and 512gb. This would be my first mac, and I want to use it for many years to come. Kind of like future-proofing. but yeah, I am leaning towards 256gb.
 

akdj

macrumors 65816
Mar 10, 2008
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Alaska
I thought I read somewhere that write times for the 128gb was like 4xx while the write times for the 256 GB were 7xx. Also that the ssd used were diff for 128 and 256 . I was just wondering if there were such differences between the 256 and 512
Nope...all of the tested units so far are the 'stock' models, the immediate available units...which are the 256GB PCIe SSD. So far, the general consensus is they'll each be R/W @ 780+Mb/s. The MBA is pioneering (as far as in a notebook) this newly designed storage model, instead of the Blade SSD through SATA, it's direct to the PCI-e pipe. SHould be irrelevant which 'size' of storage module you choose. Now whether or not they use different vendors than Samsung for these units is a different story. IE, if Toshiba or SanDisk or... is involved in also providing storage, there could be different speeds. That said, they'll all be PCIe SSD modules, so the speed are going to be closer to the same current tested speeds @ about 800 Mb/s...regardless of manufacturer. Possibly faster...the Mac Pro modules will be able to transfer upwards of 1.2Gb/s...same 'idea' with the SSD plumbed directly into the PCI-e pipe.

Depends how the NAND is configured, more chips may mean more bandwidth. Bigger SSDs are often faster for this reason.
Not in the case of the MBA. They should all be configured identically as far as the controller...so this doesn't follow the same rules as a 'traditional' SSD.

The 128GB has the slower write speed. The 256GB and 512GB should be close enough in write speed (if not identical) that you won't notice it while you're using it.

The question you really need to consider is how much space you need for the photos on it, and if you need space for an iTunes library as well.
Where have you seen 128GB speeds? I haven't seen them posted yet, curious if you have a link. Thanks!!

J
 

sk3tch

macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2003
102
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Not in the case of the MBA. They should all be configured identically as far as the controller...so this doesn't follow the same rules as a 'traditional' SSD.
The Sandisk controller (128GB models) is quite a bit slower than the 256GB/512GB models with the Samsung controller.
 

akdj

macrumors 65816
Mar 10, 2008
1,161
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Alaska
Interesting...I wasn't aware they're using the different controller with the 128. Of course, the OP in your quoted posted is still exceeding read speeds @+700Mb/s---his write speeds are slower @ 315. Arguably, those read speeds are a heck of a lot more important (and noticeable) for most folks' tasks...minus installing updates and software. That's pretty wild a fluctuation between read/write. I'm wondering if this ubiquitous across the 128GB option (SanDisk) controller....or also a possibility in the higher capacity drives as well (256/512) using other than Samsung storage.

Thanks. I appreciate it.

J
 

HiDEF

macrumors 68000
Jun 23, 2010
1,706
391
Miami, FL
The Sandisk controller (128GB models) is quite a bit slower than the 256GB/512GB models with the Samsung controller.
Again, I believe the 11" models have been equipped with the SanDisk SSD's and the 13" with the Samsung SSD's.

I posted a vid on this a few threads ago.
 

nariza7

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 16, 2013
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Someone on another thread mentioned that their 11.6" / 1.7 GHz dual core i7 / 8GB RAM / 512GB SSD had writing speeds of around 700+mb. Does anyone have a similar model(11.6) with 256gb that can also reach writing speeds of around 700+?
 

MWP

macrumors newbie
Apr 17, 2010
14
0
Arlington, VA
Incorrect. My 11":

Image
The difference between Sandisk and Samsung components applies to the stock 128GB drives on the 11 and 13 models, not your upgraded 512. iFixit provides this info in their tear down, of course we do not know if this is the case for every 11 and 13 though.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
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Perth, Western Australia
Are we talking noticeable differences (10%-20%) or slight differences (<1%)?

Whilst I can see how accessing how accessing a file split across 3 NAND chips (in 16x8GB NAND chip array) would be slower than if it was stored in a single chip would (in 16x16GB NAND chip array), would it something you'd notice?

Again, depends, don't know about the MBA, but if you have twice as many chips of the same size, and they are wired up to be accessed at the same time, bandwidth scales with number of chips.

i.e., double chips = double throughput.


again, no idea on the MBA itself, but "it depends" with SSD. sometimes bigger is double the speed.
 

nariza7

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 16, 2013
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I guess the only way to find out is to compare the writing speeds of an 11.6 inch i7/8gb/256 and i7/8gb/512. The i7/8gb/512 seems to have write speeds of around 700. Can anyone confirm if the 256gb has the same speeds ?
 
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