Toshiba MacBook Air “blade” SSD – iFixit

Anandtech notices that Apple’s newer MacBook Air shipments appear to contain Samsung-built SSDs versus Toshiba ones that originally shipped in the MacBook Air. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when Apple made this change but it’s worth noting that our MacBook Air from late 2010 carries a Toshiba SSD and the one we purchased about a month ago carries a Samsung SSD. Additionally, iFixit’s teardown from 2010 features the Toshiba drive.

The Samsung SSD carries a model number of SM128C while the Toshiba drive is labeled as TS128C. To the consumer, a change in manufacturer and model number may not mean much, but that’s not the full story in this situation. According to tests (chart below) the Samsung SSD is significantly faster than the Toshiba version. Anandtech summarizes this chart:

The interesting aspect is that the SM128C models provide quite a nice performance bump in at least one performance metric. Benchmarks posted by users show that the SM128C manages up to 260MB/s read and 210MB/s write speeds. In our tests (and corroborating what users have reported), the TS128C only offers speeds of up to 210MB/s read and 185MB/s write. The SM128C also supports Native Command Queuing (NCQ) while the TS128C does not. The performance figures match the figures of Samsung 470 Series pretty well, which Samsung quotes as providing up to 250MB/s read and 220MB/s write. The Samsung 470 Series uses Samsung’s own controller with model number S3C29MAX01-Y340.

So, what drive do you have?

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