REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
The best news we can see in this report is that, for potential MBA owners or even new owners, we have demonstrated first hand that the two SSDs chosen by Apple are top tier SSDs and among the best available today. Deciding on which to get may even be an easier choice as it seems that current 64 and 128GB systems are Toshiba SSDs while 256 and 512GB systems seem to be that of Samsung. This actually has a very logical ring to it as most typical consumers don’t have a need for the increased capacity or performance with respect to the increased transfer of incompressible data that a photographer, videographer or musician might have.
In examining the overall benchmark results, any thoughts that the Toshiba ‘LSI SandForce Driven’ SSD might have substandard specifications and performance compared to the Samsung were quickly put to rest through initial performance results above 500MB/s. From that point, both the Toshiba and Samsung SSDs took turns at being the top dog in each benchmark; that was until PCMark Vantage results were compared.
PCMark Vantage favors compressible data testing and that might give Toshiba the advantage to some extent, however, that could easily be countered by the fact that we are testing with a higher capacity Samsung PM830 SSD which has higher performance ratings than it’s 128GB little brother. As well, we have tested the PM830 in its new state and in a mSATA form factor to which it had amazing PCMark Vantage results. The fact that the Samsung did so poorly in Vantage testing (36892 pts) and couldn’t break into SATA 3 transfer speeds even once, showed a very sharp contrast to the Toshiba SSD, which had several test results in the SATA 3 range and a Total Point Score almost 20000 points higher at 56812.
The icing on the cake has to be the partnership between LSI SandForce and both Toshiba and Apple, a partnership that many never would have predicted a few months ago. SandForce, a company that released it’s first SSD processor to the market just over three years ago, has pushed like no other to make it’s mark in the SSD world. For that effort, LSI SandForce has been rewarded partnership with just about every SSD manufacturer in the world except Crucial/Micron and Samsung. As much as we might have thought the LSI purchase of SandForce or even Intel’s partnership was a vote of confidence for this company of just over 190 employees (prior to LSI purchase), this partnership with Toshiba in building a new Apple SSD just seems like a final nod of approval.