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

Some MacBook Airs Shipping with Faster SSDs

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,471
11,857
https://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.png




MacBook Air SSD via iFixit
Anandtech summarizes findings first reported in our forums about SSD brands found in the MacBook Air.
In iFixit’s teardown, it was confirmed that the MacBook Airs use Toshiba’s Blade X-gale SSDs. A bit over month ago, however, it was discovered that there appear to be two different revisions of SSDs circulating in MacBook Airs. The first one is obviously the Toshiba, but later user reports show that there is a second, totally different SSD. This SSD carries a model name of SM128C while the Toshiba is TS128C. The SM in the model name hints towards Samsung as the manufacturer, and Apple has used Samsung SSDs before.
The significance in the finding is that the performance of the new SSDs is notably faster than the original Toshiba one.




Based on a survey of the forum thread the results seem mixed even for recently purchased notebooks.

Article Link: Some MacBook Airs Shipping with Faster SSDs
 

Hodapp

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2003
582
56
New York, NY
If you find yourself getting that inevitable feeling of "ugh, I wish I waited until after the stealth-bump" that comes whenever Apple does minor mid-cycle upgrades like this... Don't get too worried. SSD benchmarking is kind of silly, and in real-world use you'd be really hard pressed to tell which MacBook Air had the faster SSD in it if you were using them side by side. I mean I guess if all you used your MacBook Air for was massive sustained file transfers then yeah, you might notice something in a blind side by side test... But if that's all you use your MacBook Air for, why are you using a MacBook air?! ;)

The major performance boost comes from going from a traditional spinning HD to a SSD, not hopping from a SSD to a slightly faster benchmarking SSD. :D

Regardless, it's cool that Apple is moving forward with faster memory.
 

Don Kosak

macrumors 6502a
Mar 12, 2010
860
4
Hilo, Hawaii
I wonder if this will drive Toshiba to bump the spec on the SSD they're supplying?

It could be though, that Apple is paying a Premium (i.e. losing some money) and buying more expensive Samsung SSDs just to keep the supply chain full. Perhaps this is a result of the Japanese infrastructure disruption from last month's horrible quake and tsunami...

I'm really looking forward to SSD's coming down in price across the whole line. I want SSD in my next iMac, but I don't want to pay $600 extra for it.

Oh, and Holbie's been a member since 2002... So maybe cut him/her a break for a little harmless internet humor.
 

snebes

macrumors 6502a
Apr 20, 2008
793
521
If you find yourself getting that inevitable feeling of "ugh, I wish I waited until after the stealth-bump" that comes whenever Apple does minor mid-cycle upgrades like this... Don't get too worried. SSD benchmarking is kind of silly, and in real-world use you'd be really hard pressed to tell which MacBook Air had the faster SSD in it if you were using them side by side. I mean I guess if all you used your MacBook Air for was massive sustained file transfers then yeah, you might notice something in a blind side by side test... But if that's all you use your MacBook Air for, why are you using a MacBook air?! ;)

The major performance boost comes from going from a traditional spinning HD to a SSD, not hopping from a SSD to a slightly faster benchmarking SSD. :D

Regardless, it's cool that Apple is moving forward with faster memory.

Admittedly, you are correct, going from spinning HD to an SSD is a big difference. However, when you have used as many SSDs as I have, a 50MB/s increase in read speed is noticeable. Not all the time, but when that extra speed is needed, it is there for you.
 

shartypants

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2010
921
60
I wonder if they changed to Samsung because of the Japan earthquake? Maybe the Samsung ones are more expensive, but more available, of course.
 

wizard

macrumors 68040
May 29, 2003
3,854
571
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

shartypants said:
I wonder if they changed to Samsung because of the Japan earthquake? Maybe the Samsung ones are more expensive, but more available, of course.

I'm not sure why everybody thinks this new drive costs Apple more money. I wouldn't be surprised if it is less expensive. Apple does a lot of business with Samsung and there is a good possibility that they have invested some of those billions to secure supplies from Samsung.

Apple is just to tight to take a hit cost wise to give the customer a modest speed boost.
 

Phil A.

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2006
5,608
2,563
Shropshire, UK
Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

Interesting - I'll have to check what my MBA has inside it
 

jamesryanbell

macrumors 68020
Mar 17, 2009
2,171
93
it'd be silly to buy a MBA without waiting to see what the sandy bridge refresh anyways

Nope.

1)C2D should always be enough for a second machine. Even if you got a better processor, you lose - HARD - on the graphics processor. More emphasis should be put on that.

2) 320m is vastly superior to Intel integrated graphics. SB update would be a STEP BACKWARDS in the graphics dept. No Ivy Bridge? NO CARE. Not even debatable.

3) Again, no ivy bridge, no care. Graphics > Processor. If this is a primary machine, shame on you for looking at it to begin with (mainly referring to the 11").
 

j_maddison

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2003
692
10
Nelson, Wales
They just annoy me. What is the point in saying, "first"? The post should be deleted, seeing as it causes the discussion to go off on a tangent.

Reason it is annoying is because it such an old thing to do (really, who does it anymore?) and just brings the level of the forum community down.

Imagine if every post here had "FIRST!" underneath it. Top tech blogs like Engadget don't tolerate that sort of trolling, and neither should MacRumors.

Fair point, I found the Macbook G5 comments boring and repetitive, yet others seemed to find them funny.

"First" still made me chuckle though.... :D
 

ictiosapiens

macrumors regular
May 9, 2006
201
2
Nope.

1)C2D should always be enough for a second machine. Even if you got a better processor, you lose - HARD - on the graphics processor. More emphasis should be put on that.

2) 320m is vastly superior to Intel integrated graphics. SB update would be a STEP BACKWARDS in the graphics dept. No Ivy Bridge? NO CARE. Not even debatable.

3) Again, no ivy bridge, no care. Graphics > Processor. If this is a primary machine, shame on you for looking at it to begin with (mainly referring to the 11").

Agreed, people continue to ignore that little fact when asking for SB.

I've been using my C2D Macbook for nearly 3 years, and it's been the Nvidia chip what's allowed me the odd game of Portal. Thank god I waited the extra year it took apple to replace that Intel POS with a decent graphics processor.

I was on the verge of buying an Air, what had stopped me so far was the removal of the backlit keys, and the hope that Nvidia and INTEL would reach an agreement that would allow Nvidia to make chipsets with proper graphics on them, but it looks like this gen of MB and MBA will be the last to be able to run games for a long while...

Maybe I should just get myself a maxed our MBA 13 before they get spoiled...
 

infiniteentropy

macrumors regular
Sep 9, 2009
185
355
Just got a new MacBook Air Monday, and for my SSD, it says:

Model: APPLE SSD TS128C

Guess I have "old, slower" one, in my "new, fastest" Air. The irony bomb hit the target. Honestly I can't really tell. As far as laptops go, this is ironically the fastest "feeling" laptop I've ever had. I use it for coding at work, connected to an external display, and I beat the guy next to me on his iMac when it comes to getting stuff done like opening up a remote share, getting a file, navigating, changing code, save it, back to Safari to test it.

Crazy new world, these SSD's allow.
 

rlmccormick

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2008
120
5
Nope.

1)C2D should always be enough for a second machine. Even if you got a better processor, you lose - HARD - on the graphics processor. More emphasis should be put on that.

2) 320m is vastly superior to Intel integrated graphics. SB update would be a STEP BACKWARDS in the graphics dept. No Ivy Bridge? NO CARE. Not even debatable.

3) Again, no ivy bridge, no care. Graphics > Processor. If this is a primary machine, shame on you for looking at it to begin with (mainly referring to the 11").

Wow, 3 bullet points just to let us all know that your opinion is that graphics performance is the reason that we should not wait? +1 succinct.
 

Poggy777

macrumors newbie
Apr 16, 2011
6
0
Leicester England
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

I would love a SSD in my MacBook pro but likewise I'll wait until prices drop me thinks.
 

parapup

macrumors 65816
Oct 31, 2006
1,291
49
it'd be silly to buy a MBA without waiting to see what the sandy bridge refresh anyways

Yeah Core 2 is sounding insulting to even non-techies by now.

I don't want any Nvidia/ATI thing in there - just a 2nd gen i5/i7 and Sandy Bridge graphics.

Speaking of which can anyone with a Sandy Bridge 13" Macbook Pro comment on how does the sole Intel HD Graphics 3000 do?
 

66318

macrumors regular
Jan 31, 2006
130
56
SM128C in a CTO 11 inch Air from December. Looks like this isn't "new", just the discovery of it is.
 

dexx0008

macrumors member
Sep 28, 2007
71
0
the speeds quoted are for sustained sequential read/writes.

Unless you do a lot of large file transfers I'd be more concerned about random read/read of small files. This is what your ssd will be doing more of. I bet the difference is pretty much nil or hopefully is. Even if there is a small difference you won't notice. The new faster drive could in theory actually be slower w random read/write.

I happen to have a nook color that I run android with on a sd card. Everyone kept saying get class 6, get a class 10. When you get down to it you are better off with a class 2 or 4 sandisk sd due to faster performance on random read/writes and a better experience using the class 2 or 4 vs the others because of that fact.

ymmv, but i wouldn't sweat it if you just picked up a new air and it doesn't have this newly reported drive. I certainly wouldn't bother taking it back to apple store as others have reported doing-waste of time (Except in very rare circumstances)
 

rainmanbk

macrumors 6502
Jan 30, 2006
267
0
Southington, CT
If you find yourself getting that inevitable feeling of "ugh, I wish I waited until after the stealth-bump" that comes whenever Apple does minor mid-cycle upgrades like this... Don't get too worried. SSD benchmarking is kind of silly, and in real-world use you'd be really hard pressed to tell which MacBook Air had the faster SSD in it if you were using them side by side. I mean I guess if all you used your MacBook Air for was massive sustained file transfers then yeah, you might notice something in a blind side by side test... But if that's all you use your MacBook Air for, why are you using a MacBook air?! ;)

The major performance boost comes from going from a traditional spinning HD to a SSD, not hopping from a SSD to a slightly faster benchmarking SSD. :D

Regardless, it's cool that Apple is moving forward with faster memory.

I agree 100%. The only thing I'd consider is would the already blazing boot times be improved at all by these new faster disks by maybe even the smallest fraction? I'd be interested to see some speed tests if anyone has done them yet.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.