Published in PC Hardware

Apple downgrades hard drive speeds

by on16 July 2019

Technology is moving too fast for Apple

Apple today announced updates to the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro and while the Tame Apple Press enthuses about price drops the fact that Jobs' Mob is moving to older and slower technology is not getting much of a mention.

It turns out that one downside to this latest revision is that the laptop features slower solid-state storage than the 2018 model. As tested by Consomac using the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, the 2019 MacBook Air can attain read speeds of 1.3 GB/s read and 1 GB/s write performance.

The equivalent 256 GB SSD 2018 MacBook Air could top 2 GB/s read and around 0.9 GB/s write speeds. Therefore, the new SSD component in use has marginally superior write speeds, but 35 percent slower read speeds, falling from 2 GB/s to 1.3 GB/s. The 128 GB SSD option has slower 0.5 GB/s write speeds, but this drop-off was observed in the 128 GB 2018 Air.

Apple fanzines who do dare to mention that Apple has sold them a much slower SSD say that it was the best trade-off to get the price down to $1,099.

“The lower price will make the machine appeal to dramatically more people, and disproportionally few MacBook Air users will notice the slower SSD read speeds in normal usage”, enthused ï9to5 Mac

It has not seen what you can buy for $1,099.

 “A 35 percent slower SSD does not automatically translate into an overall performance loss of 35 percent, a 1.3 GB/s SSD is still sufficiently fast enough that most heavy computing tasks performed on the Air will be primarily pegged by the CPU or GPU or RAM constraints, making the additional SSD speed overhead a little superfluous. Of course, it will be slower.”

The phrase “bollocks” springs to mind, but the fan mag is correct that most Apple users will not notice a difference.  A MacBook Air does not need even an average SSD to play Coldplay and U2 MP3s.

However, given you can pick up one at Amazon for with double the spec for 40 euro one questions the logic of all this.

Last modified on 16 July 2019
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