March 18th, 2015 by Adam Armstrong
Apple MacBook Pro Samsung SSD Review (March-2015)
A few weeks ago Apple held an event in San Francisco to showcase the new additions to its product line. Most notably was its new smart watch, the Apple Watch (or colloquially referred to as the iWatch by its fans and detractors alike). There were a few other announcements as well including the re-launch of the MacBook (which was discontinued in July of 2011 in favor of the MacBook Air) that is thinner than the MacBook Air. The MacBook comes with Apple’s new butterfly-mechanism keyboard and new force track pad. More of an interest to us was the new MacBook Pro 13” and its new features including a new Samsung SSD inside.
The new features include 5th generation Intel core i5 and i7 processors, the new force track pad, an additional hour of battery life, and of course what is most interesting to us here at StorageReview, Apple claims that the new flash is twice as fast. The storage comes in capacities of 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB depending on the MacBook chosen but it can be configured up to 1TB of PCIe-based flash. Our review model includes the 128GB SSD option aptly named the Apple SSD SM0128G. It offers a 121.33GB usable capacity as indicated by System Information, as well as TRIM support.
Photo courtsey of our friends at iFixit.*
At the component level, we see Apple has opted for Samsung components once again, as they did in many other notebooks including the drive inside our dissection of the MacBook Air (July-2011). The controller is a Samsung PCIe 3.0 x4 AHCI Flash controller with the markings S4LN058A01. The drive RAM and NAND are also Samsung, marked as K4E4E324ED and K9LDGY8S1D-XCK0 respectively. The NAND are 16GB each totaling 128GB over 8 chips.
Photos courtsey of our friends at iFixit.*
Apple MacBook Pro Performance
The question on the minds of potential MacBook Air buyers though is around performance, with substantial claims made by Apple. With the new Intel Broadwell-U processors and potentially improved SSD, how does this model compare? We measured transfer speeds with BlackMagic Disk Speed Test coming in at 1,328MB/s read and 627MB/s write on the newest SSD. That compares quite favorably to a 2014 generation MacBook Air which topped out at roughly 700MB/s read.
For the power user, the new MacBook Pro clearly brings a lot to the table that the MacBook Air and certainly the MacBook won't be able to achieve. With the retina display creative professionals will revel in their in-system performance capabilities with the only question remaining being how much to spend on the larger storage options. The updated MacBook Pros are shipping now and start at $1,299 and with all the trimmings for the computer itself (no additional accessories or software) will run $2,699.
*The above photos were courtesy of our friends at iFixit.org where they have a wonderful and detailed teardown of the new MacBook Pro.