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New MacBook Airs Shipping with Faster Samsung SSDs?

As reported by Anandtech, Apple has apparently switched to Samsung as the supplier for the solid state drives that ship with the new MacBook Airs (late 2010 models). When the revamped MacBook Air line was unveiled and released last October, Apple relied on Toshiba to power the new machines built around flash storage – more specifically, they ditched classic hard drive enclosures using “blade SSDs”, which basically include only the chips needed by flash storage as detailed by iFixit. Those SSDs (available in 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB configurations) were manufactured by Toshiba and carried model number TS128C. It’s not clear when Apple exactly made the switch to Samsung – Anandtech goes on to say they’re not even 100% sure these drives are from Samsung, yet all signs point to that – but several users are reporting recently purchased MacBook Air units come with drives carrying model name SM128C.

The best part? According to initial benchmarks, the Samsung drives are noticeably faster, as you can see in the chart below.

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.

Again, there’s no confirmation Apple has switched to Samsung as the only supplier for MacBook Air SSDs, and this change might as well be a temporary solution adopted by Apple to face shortages from Toshiba. But, then again, there’s the high chance a MacBook Air purchased today features a faster SSD from Samsung. [via 9to5mac]

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