FLASH STORAGE SHOOTOUT:
2011 MacBook Air with
Toshiba, Samsung, and Aura
Originally posted Tuesday, July 26th, 2011, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
Your 2011 MacBook Air will ship with either a Samsung or Toshiba flash storage module. We wanted to see if there was any difference in performance. And we wondered how both compare to the OWC Aura Pro Express SandForce based storage module upgrade.
QUICKBENCH RANDOM TEST
Using various small test sizes (4K to 1024K), we ran through 5 test cycles. Below is the average. This can be predictive of typical of OS X and application disk activity. RED bar indicates the fastest.
QUICKBENCH EXTENDED TEST
This is a sequential test using 20M to 100M test sizes. We averaged 5 cycles. RED bar indicates the fastest.
FINDER DUPLICATE TEST
Though artificial benchmarks are helpful, we wanted to see how quickly Finder could duplicate the Applications folder on the Desktop. It had over 50 apps/documents totaling over 3GB. We calculated the transfer rate (size/time*2=MB/s). RED bar indicates the fastest.
OWC Aura 240G = OWC Aura Pro Express SandForce based flash storage module upgrade from OWC
Samsung 256G = Apple factory flash based storage shipped in the 2011 MacBook Air
Toshiba 128G = Apple factory flash based storage removed from a 2010 MacBook Air and installed in a 2011 MacBook Air
Toshiba 256G = Apple factory flash based storage shipped in the 2010 MacBook Air
1. The Samsung flash storage is faster than the Toshiba flash storage for large sequential transfers. However, the Toshiba was faster doing small random transfers. The "tie" is broken by our Finder Duplicate test. Winner: Samsung... unless... you upgrade to the Aura.
2. The OWC Aura Pro Express SandForce based flash storage is significantly faster than both the Samsung and Toshiba in the small random test. And though the Samsung keeps up with it in the large sequential test, the Aura has key features missing from the Samsung such as over-provisioning. Big Winner: Aura
3. System Profiler reports the Serial-ATA Link Speed as 6 Gigabit. So if a third party were to offer a 6Gb/s flash storage module, you should be able to double your transfer speed. Winner: 2011 MacBook Air owners
Special thanks to the OWC lab for helping us gather test data. To be notified of additional test results, subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter@barefeats. If you have a question, comment, or want to volunteer to do testing on your Mac,