Saturday , 25 October 2014
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2013 MacBook Air Disassembled and Benched – Samsung 256GB PCIe SSD Performs at 794MB/s

2013 MBA DisassembledIn just over a week since its release, the MacBook Air has redefined storage speed and become the first to introduce the world to the reality of the new PCIe form factor. 

It appears that when it comes to money, both Apple and Samsung can shed their differences with the new MacBook Air pulling off SSD performance of 700MB/s in an ultra, even before Samsung themselves, and while utilizing Samsung’s own SSD.

We spoke with our contact on the day the news broke who assured us that a brand new MBA was on the way for our review and future benchmark use.  Just over a week later, here we are ripping the back off of a brand new 2013 MBA just to get at the SSD within. We had the back off even before powering the system on. Technology X has already ripped it apart and completed a full review as well and shown that this MBA can last over 12 hours on a single charge.

2013 MacBook Air Disassembled

Click on any picture or chart for a high res copy.

Initial testing had shown that MBA’s of the 128GB capacity contained a SanDisk Marvell based PCIe solution while the 512GB capacity was built by Samsung, and much more powerful.  Nobody had a 256GB in hand to verify the SSD so we were pretty excited.  It’s a Samsung.

Samsung PCIe 2013 MacBook Air

For those not familiar with SSD advance in the last few months, the new NGFF M.2 form factor (PCIe) does away with SATA and with that, SATA bottle necks.  If you remember, SATA 2 might hit a top speed of 275MB/s with SATA 3 peaking at somewhere around 540MB/s.  Even the introduction of 12Gbps will see speeds increase to just over 1GB/s but with NGFF, the possibilities increase significantly.  We saw this with our Computex discovery of the LSI SandForce based AData SSD capable of 1.8Gb/s transfer speeds.

2013 MacBook Air Quickbench2013 MacBook Air NovaBenchShown here, we conducted two quick Mac based benchmarks, the left clearly showing 727MB/s read and 661MB/s write transfer speeds which are the fastest we have seen to date for a single sided SSD solution of any kind that can be obtained by the consumer.

2013 MacBook Air QuickBench BenchMark2013 MacBook Air ZoneBench BenchMark

Stay tuned as we do a complete review of both the new Haswell based MBA and full Windows based benchmarks within the next week or so.  Initial tests have shown battery life of an incredible 15 hours which we can’t wait to put to the test. As well, check out the 2013 MacBook Air Complete Review at our sister site, Technology X!

Check Out new 2013 MacBook Air Prices at Amazon!

2013 MacBook Air Thin2013 MacBook Air Turned OnNo matter how you look at things though, the MBA is one, if not the best build, that anyone has had in an ultrabook to date.  It’s light.  It’s thin.  It’s Haswell with a Core i7, 8GB RAM, Intel HD5000 Gfx and it’s battery life cannot be rivaled by any other system…to this point anyway! Stay tuned as we dig into the new 2013 MBA, bootcamp a dual boot to include Windows 7 (and maybe even a triple boot to Win8), and perform an analysis of the SSD as only we can.

2013 MacBook Air Opened

About Les Tokar

is a technology nut and Founder of The SSD Review. His early work includes the first consumer SSD review along with MS Vista, Win 7 and SSD Optimization Guides. Les is fortunate to, not only evaluate and provide opinion on consumer and enterprise solid state storage but also, travel the world in search of new technologies and great friendships. Google+
  • iCrunch

    I’m seeing, but I’m not believing…I’m seeing, but I’m not believing…

    /faint

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