After securing a 13-inch model and 15-inch model of the new MacBook Pro with Retina display that was unveiled Tuesday at Apple’s special event, we’ve done some benchmarking with each model to get an early look at how the new PCIe SSDs perform.
2013 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display
- 128GB SanDisk SSD
- 312.9MB/s write
- 728.6MB/s read
2013 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display
- 256GB Samsung SSD
- 676.7MB/s writes
- 728.6MB/s read
The 256GB Samsung SSD in the 15″ model offers about a 400MB/s increase in write speeds over the 128GB SanDisk SSD as our 13-inch model was configured.
Friday, July 5th, 2013 | Author: OWC Ron
Here in the OWC Test Labs we sample products from all over. Some items we test as components for our own products, others we put through the paces to carry them as individual products. Simply put, if we carry the product on our website, we’re endorsing the product as well. Some products test as reliable and some… well…not so much.
While working yesterday afternoon I noticed my iPhone screaming that the battery was low, so I plugged it in to one of the many sample Lightning cables we had received for a quick charge.
Upon unplugging my iPhone, the connector simply broke into pieces. There was no drop, no rough pull, no abuse whatsoever—yet the cable completely fell apart. As I am sure you can imagine, this would be a huge inconvenience for those of us that rely so heavily on our iDevices (that always seem to need a charge due to our busy lifestyles).
Rest assured, this one isn’t getting the OWC “stamp of approval” to add to our product lineup.
Luckily, I keep a supply of the Apple Genuine Lightning to USB Cables that OWC sells, handy, so I don’t really need to worry about finding a good cable when I need one. The USB 2.0 cables we stock will connect any of your iDevices (iPhone, iPad, or iPod) with Lightning connector to your computer’s USB port for syncing and charging or to the Apple USB Power Adapter for convenient charging from a wall outlet, and naturally these Apple genuine units have been OWC tested and approved…so this little inconvenience won’t happen to you.
We’ve received two models of the new MacBook Air yesterday and have started some of our initial testing on the machines.
The SSD form factor has indeed changed as Apple is the first to adopt and incorporate PCIe storage, but rest assured we are working hard and fast to get you the upgrades you’ve come to rely on from OWC. We’re on it!
In the meantime, we have noticed a vast difference in write speeds between the two SSD offerings that we’ve received so far. The 512GB Samsung SSD found in our 13-inch model offers roughly a 400MB/s increase in write speeds over the 128GB SanDisk/Marvell SSD as our 11-inch model was configured. It is our assumption that the write performance is mainly due to NAND densities and not brand performance in these cases, but we’ll know more once we can run the same tests on a few more models.
As evidenced by the following benchmarks, Article Continues…
We’ve been waiting and waiting for Apple to release the next version of OS X Mountain Lion in hopes that the next full version would have all the necessary components to setup a Fusion drive on any Mac capable of installing a hard drive and SSD together. A little over a week ago, Apple released OS X version 10.8.3 and, with one small caveat, our hopes were fulfilled.
The Profusion Of Fusion Confusion
But before we get to showing you exactly how to setup your own DIY Fusion drive, I’d like to dispel some mis-information that has been floating around the web. Up until now, most of the reports you’ve read about creating your own DIY Fusion drive on a machine have been incomplete. There have been many tutorials on how to create a Core Storage volume that have been labeled as “how to create a Fusion drive”. They are two similar, yet different drive configurations. I’ve addressed a lot of this information in comments on the OWC Blog, but figure it would be a good idea to review and further explain what a Fusion drive actually is as opposed to a Core Storage volume. Article Continues…
One of the newest technologies available with the latest Macs is the ability to have what Apple calls a Fusion Drive. This is essentially a Solid State drive and a platter-based drive combined into a single volume. Apple’s underlying Core Storage technology then uses the SSD for the OS and frequently-accessed files, which will benefit from the speed, while placing lesser-used files on the larger, but slower platter-based drive.
The practical upshot of all this is that Fusion gives you roughly the performance of an SSD, while also taking advantage of the plentiful storage of platter-based drives. However, you don’t need to have a Fusion Drive from Apple to do this; with the proper command-line version of Disk Utility, you can create your own array with any platter-based drive and any SSD.
Of course, there are a few caveats to this setup (or the stock Fusion Drive, for that matter) that you should consider before committing to a Fusion setup. We’ll discuss those in a bit. First, though, let’s look at the process of actually setting it up.