New Air: Flash memory 217% faster than in 2011 model

Posted on by Mike Evans

My 2010 MacBook Air is no slouch. The 128GB SSD alone makes it feel subjectively more sprightly than my HDD-equipped 27in iMac with its 3.4GHz i7 processor. That’s before I hooked up the iMac to an external LaCie Thunderbolt SSD boot drive[1].

Now, we learn from OSX Daily that the flash memory in the latest Air is 217 percent faster than that in last year’s model. Here are the stats:

MacBook Air 2012 SSD: writes at 364MB/sec, reads at 416MB/s

MacBook Air 2011 SSD: writes at 152MB/sec, reads at 145MB/s

MacBook Air 2010 SSD: writes at 157MB/sec, reads at 188MB/s

On these figures the new Air (yes, the one I returned to Apple on Tuesday) is set to be a real flier. With the greatly boosted processor performance and these soaring SSDs, the 2GHz Air will beat the socks off my current 2010 model.

I can take comfort in the fact that the SSD in my new retina MacBook Pro will be at least as fast as that in the Air. All this confirms my view that the introduction of SSDs is the single most important advance in boosting the performance of Macs.

  1. When I added a 256GB LaCie Thunderbolt drive to my 2011 iMac I achieved read speeds of 490MB/sec and write speeds of 253MB/sec. My readings on the 2010 Air, done at the same time, show 142/121, considerably lower than OSX Daily’s results above.  ↩

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