iFixit teardown, tests reveal 2015 13-inch MacBook Air SSD architecture significantly faster than previous generations

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Date: Tuesday, March 17th, 2015, 12:07
Category: Hardware, MacBook Air, News

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If you were hoping for a tangible reason to invest in a new 2015 MacBook Air, it might have arrived in the form of a faster solid state drive.

Last week, Apple refreshed its MacBook Air lineup, adding Broadwell chips and Intel 6000 graphics. Both models received the same processor updates, but the 13-inch MacBook Air got an extra boost in the form of new PCIe-based flash storage that Apple says is “up to two times faster” than the flash storage used in the previous generation MacBook Air. The 11-inch MacBook Air did not receive the same flash storage update.

The cool cats at iFixit decided to test Apple’s “two times faster” claim by comparing SSD speeds between a new 11-inch MacBook Air and a new 13-inch MacBook Air, with results that suggest the SSD in the 13-inch MacBook Air is indeed nearly twice as fast as the SSD in the MacBook Air.


Average write speeds for the 11-inch MacBook Air using Black Magic’s Disk Speed Test were 315MB/s, while average read speeds were 668MB/s. The 13-inch MacBook Air saw average write speeds of 629.9MB/s and average read speeds of 1285.4MB/s.

An iFixit teardown of the 13-inch MacBook Air conducted this morning suggests the notebook is using Samsung flash memory with a Samsung controller. A teardown of the 11-inch MacBook Air, which does not feature the faster flash storage, was equipped with SanDisk flash memory and a Marvell controller. In comparison to the Samsung flash storage used in the previous-generation 13-inch MacBook Air, iFixit said “it’s definitely an update.”

If you’ve gotten your paws on the new 2015 13-inch MacBook Air and have any feedback to offer about it, please let us know in the comments.

Via MacRumors and iFixit

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