updated 04:03 pm EDT, Fri May 2, 2014
Mix of different brands may be to blame
The SSDs in 2014 MacBook Airs are actually showing slower performance than their 2013 counterparts, according to new benchmarks. A 2013 11-inch Air with a 256GB drive, for example, was pitted against a 2014 11-inch model with a 128GB SSD. When dealing with 6GB of data, the 2013 system scored copy, zip, and unzip speeds of 28, 370.8, and 43.5 seconds, respectively. The 2014 machine was drastically slower, with scores of 53.9, 517, and 127.1.
That gap could be attributed partly to higher-capacity drives having better performance, but the same issue manifested when a 2013 13-inch Air with a 128GB SSD was compared with a 2014 equivalent with a 256GB drive. The 2013 hardware achieved times of 34.8, 367.8, and 46.6 seconds, whereas the newer configuration managed 38.6, 406, and 86.2.
Blackmagic Disk Speed Tests confirm slower read and write speeds. The disparities may be linked to Apple's choice of SSD suppliers; while two drives came from Samsung, one was from Toshiba, and another was from SanDisk. Different manufacturers can sometimes produce units with radically different performance.