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Updated MacBook Air sports tweaked SSD tech

Retina display Pro too

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Apple has changed the MacBook Air's SSD connector - again.

A dissection of the skinny new machine by iFixit reveals the SSD, which is implemented as a slot-in slimline daughtercard containing Flash chips and controller, uses an almost but not quite mSata interconnect: 26 lines in the slot, 24 lines on the SSD.

iFixit SSD snap: MacBook Air 2012

Now...
Source: iFixit.com

The drive is manufactured by Toshiba and equipped with a SandForce Sata III controller. When iFixit took the previous 13in MacBook Air apart, it found a Samsung SSD. It used an 18-pin interconnect. In turn, it was slightly different from the one used in the 2010 MacBook Airs.

The new 15in MacBook Pro with Retina Display also use the new SSD interconnect, SSD upgrade seller Other World Computing said.

iFixit SSD snap: MacBook Air 2011

...and then
Source: iFixit.com

The upshot: the new drives deliver increased data transfer speeds - up to 500MB/s, Apple claims, though that's presumably the read speed rather than the write - at the cost of short-term upgradeability. OWC pledged to support the new interconnect in its line of Air SSD upgrades, though it couldn't say when this will be.

As per previous Airs, the new models' memory chips are soldered onto the motherboard, further reducing their upgradeability, though that's the proice you pay for such a slim system. ®

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