2014 MacBook Airs Show Drop In Flash Storage Performance Over 2013 Models


According to a report from MacWorld, the newly released 2014 MacBook Airs are seeing an improvement in CPU performance because of the new Haswell chip set, but storage performance seems to have declined.

In a series of benchmarks performed by MacWorld, the flash storage found in the new 2014 MacBook Airs appears to be slower compared to the 2013 MacBook Airs. The test included four laptops: a 2013 11-inch MacBook Air with a 256GB SSD and a 2013 13-inch MacBook Air with a 128GB SSD vs. a 2014 11-inch model with a 128GB SSD and a 13-inch model with a 256GB SSD.

Copying 6GB of files and folders took 28 seconds on last year’s 11-inch MacBook Air, but took nearly twice as long (54 seconds) on this year’s 11-inch model. With solid-state storage, lower capacity drives are often slower performers, and last year’s 11-inch had the higher capacity 256GB of flash. However, the new 11-inch model was also slower than last year’s 13-inch model with 128GB of flash storage.


The Blackmagic Disk Speed Test also shows a performance decrease between the new and older models, with read/write speeds in Mbps as follows:

– 2013 13-inch with 128GB SSD: 725 / 445

– 2013 11-inch with 256GB SSD: 725 / 687

– 2014 13-inch with 256GB SSD: 676 / 520

– 2014 11-inch with 128GB SSD: 620 / 306

All four of the drives in the tested MacBook Airs came from different manufacturers, which accounts for some minor performance discrepancies. Two of the drives were from Samsung, one was from Toshiba, and the last one was from SanDisk.

An average user that is using the notebook for day-to-day tasks is unlikely to notice any difference between the 2013 or 2014 models.

The new MacBook Airs were released earlier this week and are available in Apple’s retail stores and Apple’s online store starting at CA$999.