Thursday, July 26, 2012

Samsung or Toshiba: differences in the SSD MacBook Air

Manufacturers provide two strips of SSD MacBook Air, Toshiba and Samsung. Each using its own chipset, performance is not quite the same as the brand, a fact that we had already noticed with the previous generation. Anand Shimpi of Anandtech has published a comprehensive analysis of differences between the two marks. Both SSD in the form of a bar with a new connector and are compatible with the standard SATA 3 that enables them to reach speeds of around 500 MB / s.
The Samsung SSD uses a controller associated with a PM830 256 MB DDR2 chip, a set found in the SSD MacBook Pro Retina Display example. The Toshiba SSD, it uses a controller Sandforce SF-220. In the past, the choice was simple: the Samsung SSD was faster in all uses and it was better not fall on a Toshiba. Today things are a little more subtle, especially now that Apple takes care of properly Sandforce controllers.

Sandforce controller, we have already explained, compresses the data before writing it: as he writes less data transfers are faster. This parade is intended to compensate for certain defects SSD does not work with the data nevertheless compressible and linear: if you transfer non-compressible data such as images or videos, there is no gain. We can even see the cons-performance interfaces with very fast: on a RAID 0 SSD connected in two Thunderbolt, the Toshiba SSD is twice as fast as the Samsung SSD video transfer.

This difference is much less sensitive on a single SSD, and nonexistent in daily operations involving small files, but can still be felt in some cases. Thus, FileVault will be much slower on a SSD on a Toshiba Samsung SSD, because it presents data incompressible. If you use FileVault or upload many images or videos, it is better to "fall" on a Samsung SSD. Otherwise, you will not necessarily be the difference.

For information, it is more common to find a Toshiba model in smaller capacities (or TS64E TS128E) Samsung provides almost all of its capacities (SM128E, SM256E, SM512E). The most advanced users will refer to the article by Anandtech for flow measurements by type of use.

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