MacBook Air (mid-2012) MBA Review Part 2 – Samsung and Toshiba (SandForce) SSDs Go Head To Head


Crystal Disk Info provides some excellent information about the SSD itself to include its health, operating temperature, product information, power on’ information as well as the characteristics of the SSD. In the case of the Apple SSD TS128e,we can confirm such things as the drives Power On Count and Power On Hours along with supported features, one of which identifies TRIM as being functional, at least when being tested in Windows 7.

To clarify for those not having read our first report, we found very few software programs to properly assess storage performance in the Mac environment and, in fact, we were tied to testing the Samsung SSD in a dual boot mode (Mac/PC) as the OS, and hardware such as the SSD, is proprietary to the system and a SSD cannot be simply removed, formatted, reset and benchmarked.  This was the same with our new MBA.


ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.

The ‘LSI SandForce Driven’ Toshiba is showing it’s colors right off and bringing in excellent performance of 551MB/s read and 523MB/s write while the Samsung sits just behind with 507MB/s read and a high of 460MB/s write. These results were expected as SandForce controlled SSDs excel in highly compressible data testing which is the bread and butter of typical consumer use.

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VineetDexterJohn CurtisLes@TheSSDReviewNox Recent comment authors
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🙂 Thank you so much for this excellent review, exquisite not only in its findings but also in terms of the amazingly simplistic manner in which you presented the essential facts and clearly bring about the important distinctions between the Toshiba SandForce Driven SSD and the Samsung SSD to light. As a novice to SSD’s and the MBA alike, your findings have not only made it easier for me to choose the MBA with the specs that fits my budget, I also no longer feel like I’m getting a “lesser deal for my buck” from Apple by choosing one blindly… Read more »


Thank you for that detailed return and glad we could help!

John Curtis

Perfect drive to offload outlook ost file and windows search index 🙂


@Les: Thanks for the review.. Quick question:Since you have both the MBA’s 128GB/256GB with you, can you please check & let us know which panels(Samsung/LG) do they have & your comments about the visible contrast & color vibrancy difference on both-I know I’m requesting this info on theSSDreivew site & reviewing panels is by no means your primary focus but i’ll be extremely grateful if you can help me (& others like me) with this since I can’t seem to be able to get a clear answer from other websites & forums to help me decide if I’ll be okay… Read more »


I have a question.. I have X1 Carbon (2012). I am looking to upgrade my ssd to higher capacity. Can you please suggest which would be the best and the cheapest ?