MacBook Airs equipped with different speed SSDs

Not all the new MacBook Airs are created equal. TLDToday discovered that Apple is yet again using two different manufacturers for the Air’s SSD drives. Some MacBook Airs are shipping with Samsung SSDs, while others are shipping with SSDs made by Toshiba. The issue that arises with this is that the Samsung SSDs are faster than the Toshiba ones.

TLDToday found that the MacBook Air with a 128 GB Samsung SSD produced speeds of up to 246 MB/s write and 264 MB/s read. On paper that’s a lot faster than the 156 MB/s write and 208 MB/s read speeds that the 128 GB Toshiba SSD-equipped MacBook Air achieved.

To find out which SSD your newest MacBook Air has go to the Apple menu and select About This Mac. Click the More Info button, then click System Report. Select Serial-ATA from the Hardware header in the source list. Look for where it says “Apple SSD.” If the letters after that are “SM” you have the Samsung SSD. If the letters are “TS” you have the Toshiba SSD.

Unfortunately there’s no way to check which SSD drive you have before buying the Air, unless the Apple store lets you open the box and power it on before you buy it.

New MacBook Airs may include high-speed 400MBps flash memory

The next generation MacBook Air may get a flash memory boost according to a report from Macotakara. The new NAND flash memory could replace the Blade X-Gale SSDs in the current generation MacBook Air models. This Toggle DDR 2.0 technology boasts of 400 MBps transfer rates and 19-nm processing. As a result, read times could reach 261 MBps and write times could be bumped up to 209 MBps. These small memory chips may be soldered on the MacBook Air’s base circuitry.

The new and improved MacBook Air models are expected to arrive soon after the debut of Mac OS X Lion. The Gold Master version of Lion was seeded to developers last week and should be publicly available in the upcoming weeks.

SSD Upgrade Kits Push 2010 MacBook Air Capacity to 360 GB

Last week Other World Computing (OWC) announced that they would start selling solid state drives for Apple’s latest 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models. The new drives, which offer greater speed and capacity than Apple’s factory options, are available in 180 GB, 240 GB, and 360 GB capacities. Based on a SandForce controller, the drives also feature a number of other technologies to enhance speed, performance, and data integrity.

The Mercury Aura SSD line features industry leading SandForce DuraClass Technologies:

– DuraWrite extends the endurance of your Solid State Drive (SSD).
– Intelligent Block Management & Wear Leveling automatically distributes data evenly across the entire SSD.
– Intelligent Read Disturb Management spreads the active read/write across the flash components eliminating data corruption caused by constant use.
– Intelligent “Recycling” for advanced free space management gradually re-writes data across the SSD over time to ensure data never gets corrupted.
– RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) protects the data on your drive similar to having a RAID setup.
– Best-in-Class ECC Protection for longest data retention and drive life.

Prices begin at $499.99 for the 180 GB drive and move up to $579.9 for the 240 GB model and $1,179.99 for the 360 GB model. Shipping estimates are currently listed at 19 days for the 180 GB version, 2 days for the 240 GB version, and “pending” for the 360 GB version.