MACBOOK AIR DISPLAY
For those believing that the MacBook Air has the new Retina display, that was simply a rumor and the Retina display is restricted to the new MacBook Pro, at least for the time being. Having had a chance to surf the net briefly with a Mac Pro, some might be surprised to learn that the increased resolution is not always beneficial as it displays websites poorly in some cases. We predict that time and updates will smooth these issues out.
As well, the present leader in displays has to be the new Zenbook Prime with its 1920×1080 IPS display but the MBA does prevail over a number of Ultras with it’s 1440×900 display. Apple deserves a great deal of credit, however, as viewing Windows 7 through the same system as OS X definitely shows how polished OS X is in comparison. Click on any pictures for a higher resolution.
Unlike the PC environment, we found storage benchmarks far and few between in the Apple world, however, did find a benchmark program called Disk Speed Test by Black Magic Design which was free at the Apple Store:
As well, the advantage of having Windows 7 installed also allows us to start looking at bit more closely at the system and it’s performance. Where it wouldn’t normally on a PC, it seems the Windows Experience Index tells us quite a bit with a Mac build such as the Mac Air:
Considering this system relies on Intels own HD 4000 graphics, this is the best we have seen for every component from an Ultra thus far. Of particular interest is the primary hard disk score as the score of 7.9 makes it obvious that the SSD installed is definitely a SSD of top performance. Recently, many internet reports have recognized that lesser performing mSATA SSDs have resulted in, and are easily recognized through WEI performance results as low as 5.9 and 6.2. This report that we conducted may interest you.
In examining our system initially, we believed the SSD inside would be a Toshiba branded SandForce SSD as this had been reported by our friends at Other World Computing and, subsequently, Anandtech. As well, Ifixit.com did a complete teardown of the new MacBook Air and displayed the ‘LSI SandForce Driven’SSD as shown here:
Having followed SandForce from their entry into the SSD market only a few years back to their present status today as a new member of the LSI family, identifying their progress as swift would be a massive understatement. Not only are they partnered with just about every SSD manufacturer in the industry, given exception to Crucial/Micron and Samsung, but their recent accolades with both Intel and SanDisk is clearly an indication of their continuing success and growth in the SSD arena.
To now add a partnership with Toshiba in the manufacture of the new Apple mSATA SSD, an SSD that is proprietary to both Apple and the new 2012 design (17+7 mSATA interface layout with double wide outside pins), is a huge vote of confidence for the LSI SandForce team. This is especially true in light of the fact that many had previously questioned the success of SandForce SSDs in the OS X environment with respect to TRIM functionality. Although many were aware that LSI SandForce Garbage Collection was very successful as a backdrop to TRIM, the question still loomed as to whether TRIM was functioning as it should. This definitely became a non-issue the moment we saw that Toshiba branded ‘Apple supported’ SandForce SSD in a MBA.