updated 03:15 pm EDT, Mon July 25, 2011
Apple using old Toshiba SSDs on some MacBook Airs
An in-depth hunt through both 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air units has shown that Apple is still using some of its older solid-state drives. While one 11-inch model owned by tldtoday has the newer Samsung models that provide peak read speeds of 264MB per second, one example of the 13-inch ultraportable was using the earlier Toshiba X-Gale drive, where speeds dipped to 208MB per second.
One of our own Air units shows that the storage isn't dependent on capacity. A 13-inch unit of ours has a 256GB Samsung drive, listed as an SM256C.
The practical impact of the different drives may be negligible. Performance differences are most likely to appear in certain file transfers and operations where the extra speed would be noticeable. Apple might not introduce more noticeable improvements until it starts using next-wave SSDs, many of which can currently hit 500MB per second and up.
Apple regularly uses storage from multiple suppliers to diversify its supply and make sure it gets enough stock. The discoveries show that the practice is carrying on with flash drives but that it might also have some influence on speed.