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

CRYSTAL DISK BENCHMARK VER. 3.0 X64

Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of raw (0/1 Fill/compressible) or random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. For these tests, we will display CDM results using highly compressible data to provide validation for our ATTO results.  The Toshiba is on the left and Samsung on the right:

It is typical to see CDM results lower than that of ATTO, however, this round goes to the ‘LSI SandForce Driven’ Toshiba as its all around performance is definitely better. Something that we hoped not to see again, but fully expected, was the very low 4k random write results which are similar in both SSDs.  In our first report, we had eluded to Apple’s software configuration being responsible for this and this confirms our theory further.

AS SSD BENCHMARK VER 1.6

Up until recently, AS SSD was the only benchmark created specifically for SSD testing and it uses incompressible data.  AS SSD, for the most part, gives us the worst case scenario in SSD transfer speeds because of its use of incompressible data and many enthusiasts look to AS SSD for their needs. Once again, the Toshiba is left with the Samsung right:

The highlight of AS SSD has to go to the Samsung SSD where high sequential transfer performance of 399GB/s write is definitely hard to beat.  We had mentioned at the beginning of this report that we thought the Toshiba SSD would reign in typical computer scenarios while the Samsung would be hard to beat while testing in incompressible data.  This is definitely taking shape.

As well, Samsung’s 4K-64Thrd read result of 66,680 IOPS seems to prevail here but watch closely as that of the write result will most likely change drastically in Anvil testing.

AS SSD Copy Benchmark is an excellent benchmark that mimics ‘true to life’ copying of an .iso, Program and Game.  The provided result is simply the maximum transfer speed reached and time it took to move the file.  This one definitely goes to the Samsung PM830 SSD, although we weren’t happy as neither SSD reached SATA 3 speeds in this test.

5 comments

  1. 🙂 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 over the other, something that I was thinking of considering in 2011, while being at the same crossroads as I find myself today.

    Last year I had decided NOT to opt for the MBA, considering the vast difference in the performance between the Toshiba & Samsung SSD’s & having no way to determine how to go about choosing the best SSD without leaving things to fate! As usual, the “Genie-Ass’s” @ Apple were of No help at all-Many did not even know what I was talking about! This year, thanks to your review, I find myself better equipped and more empowered to make the right decision!

    In light of Apple’s known business practice of “discrimination” in sourcing SSD’s from two different vendors and not giving a choice to the end user as to which SSD we want to purchase at the point of sale, your review breathes new hope & light in the current scenario by empowering the end user with the required information so that we get to know what we’re paying for and helping us set our “expectations” accordingly.

    I’m also grateful to you for investing your time & effort in publishing your findings in record time & thanks for not taking your reader’s patience for granted, unlike some of your colleagues in the same industry! Like last year, I was waiting for Anandtech for publishing their in-depth review for the 2012 MBA’s & it’s SSD to finally decide if one was worth switching to this year, and after waiting for what seemed to be an eternity, it looked like Anand had found his dream machine in the new Retina MBP and having reviewed it thoroughly, he & his team seemed uninterested in helping prospective MBA buyers this year.. they may be hard at work on it right now-I don’t know & I no longer care but I’m surely glad I stumbled upon you site and got the information I was looking for! Thanks a ton!!! 🙂

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

  3. @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 with getting an LG Panel, as it’s all a lottery anyways! Thanks a ton, in anticipation!

  4. Hi,
    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 ?

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