Early benchmarks of MacBook Pro confirm Apple's claims of fastest-ever SSD

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
Apple claims that the PCI-e SSD in the new MacBook Pro is more than twice as fast as the 2015 model, and early benchmarking of the 13-inch MacBook pro with Function Keys bear out the claim that the new portable family from Apple is the SSD speed champion.



Picture credit: OWC


Apple notes that the drive in either the 13- or 15-inch model of the MacBook Pro has sequential read speeds of 3.1 gigabytes per second. Write speeds are said to be 2.2 gigabytes per second on the 15-inch version, and 2.1 gigabytes per second on the 13-inch model. An OWC teardown and benchmarking session confirmed Apple's drive speed claims in the 13-inch model.




The early 2015 MacBook Pro that the new model replaced posted read speeds of 1.5 gigabytes per second, and 1.3 gigabytes per second writing to the drive.

From a practical standpoint, copying a batch of mixed files has been noted as being significantly faster than its predecessor and versus other laptops in its class, with the 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys pulling down 508.9 megabytes per second during the transfer, and the October-released Dell XPS 13 managing 339.3 megabytes per second.

The fast SSD speeds will somewhat mitigate speed issues brought about for some users because of the RAM being limited to 16GB due to architectural limitations. Virtual memory page-outs will be relatively faster on the new SSD as compared to previous ones, further cutting back the performance hit induced by the transfer contents from very fast physical RAM to virtual space allocated on storage media.

The 2016 MacBook Pro family, announced Thursday, is a major redesign to Apple's flagship notebook, and comes in screen sizes of 13 and 15 inches, with core models starting at $1,799 and shipping in two to three weeks. AppleInsider was at the event, and was able to spend some time with all the latest hardware.

To grab the lowest prices on Apple's new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, see AppleInsider's Mac Price Guide.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,469member
    That's nice. I wonder how it compares in the larger scene of competitive products?

    And now that SSDs have come down in price, it would be worthwhile for Apple to look at having macOS on its own super-fast drive, separately from the "user data" drive. That approach would give users an easy way to upgrade their data drive without having to fully reinstall the operating system, for example. And it would give them options to have slower (aka, cheaper) drives on entry-level and consumer-oriented devices, like the Mac mini, to keep the prices lower without impacting overall system performance and responsiveness.

    Let's see this Apple.... adopt a separate super-fast "system" drive for all of your Macs.

    Can anyone think of a reason why this would not work?
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 2 of 42
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,922member
    The fast SSD speeds will somewhat mitigate speed issues brought about for some users because of the RAM being limited to 16GB due to architectural limitations. Virtual memory page-outs will be relatively faster on the new SSD as compared to previous ones, further cutting back the performance hit induced by the transfer contents from very fast physical RAM to virtual space allocated on storage media.

    I'd love to see some hard numbers on benefits with respect to virtual memory page-outs. 

    I'm sure such benefits exist, but I have no intuition at all for the magnitude of the benefit and if it's nearly enough to offset in any meanings way the loss of RAM. 

    randominternetpersonafrodrirepressthis
  • Reply 3 of 42
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,627member
    Can't innovate my ass.

    People harping on the specs of the new MacBook Pro's have zero clue what goes on under the hood.  These new machines are awesome.  Going to be an early christmas for me. :)

    fracmagman1979mike1ericthehalfbeeSolimacpluspluspulseimagesrepressthismejsriclolliver
  • Reply 4 of 42
    There SSD's are fast, but there not the fastest, except maybe in Macbooks, :)
  • Reply 5 of 42
    schlackschlack Posts: 693member
    Samsung's EVO drive claims 3GB/sec transfer speeds also. Makes sense, as Samsung is probably the manufacturer of Apple's SSDs anyhow.
    perkedel
  • Reply 6 of 42
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,627member

    That's nice. I wonder how it compares in the larger scene of competitive products?

    And now that SSDs have come down in price, it would be worthwhile for Apple to look at having macOS on its own super-fast drive, separately from the "user data" drive. That approach would give users an easy way to upgrade their data drive without having to fully reinstall the operating system, for example. And it would give them options to have slower (aka, cheaper) drives on entry-level and consumer-oriented devices, like the Mac mini, to keep the prices lower without impacting overall system performance and responsiveness.

    Let's see this Apple.... adopt a separate super-fast "system" drive for all of your Macs.

    Can anyone think of a reason why this would not work?
    Most users will never upgrade their storage drives.  That horse has been beaten into submission ages ago.  Besides, Thunderbolt storage is an option and more portable. 

    Convential hard drives interfaced with USB-C will be still be slower than what the interface can handle.  TB3/PCI-e SSD-based "sticks" will be what really showcases the capabilities.

    I prefer they keep it simple by not getting to fancy with having a separate partition for the OS.
    tmaymacplusplusrepressthislollivernolamacguy
  • Reply 7 of 42
    blastdoor said:
    The fast SSD speeds will somewhat mitigate speed issues brought about for some users because of the RAM being limited to 16GB due to architectural limitations. Virtual memory page-outs will be relatively faster on the new SSD as compared to previous ones, further cutting back the performance hit induced by the transfer contents from very fast physical RAM to virtual space allocated on storage media.

    I'd love to see some hard numbers on benefits with respect to virtual memory page-outs. 

    I'm sure such benefits exist, but I have no intuition at all for the magnitude of the benefit and if it's nearly enough to offset in any meanings way the loss of RAM. 

    LOL. Loss of RAM? When did MacBook Pros have more than 16GB?
    tmaymagman1979ericthehalfbeerepressthismejsriclolliverksecpscooter63
  • Reply 8 of 42
    bigbig Posts: 36member
    I'm not a tech-head so I don't know and am asking honestly: how fast is the RAM the MBP ships with and how does the SSD speeds quoted in this article compare? I can't imagine SSDs are as fast as physical RAM - but I don't know! Does it seem likely that paging to SSD will be as quick as having more physical RAM if the architecture permitted it?
    repressthis
  • Reply 9 of 42
    blastdoor said:
    The fast SSD speeds will somewhat mitigate speed issues brought about for some users because of the RAM being limited to 16GB due to architectural limitations. Virtual memory page-outs will be relatively faster on the new SSD as compared to previous ones, further cutting back the performance hit induced by the transfer contents from very fast physical RAM to virtual space allocated on storage media.

    I'd love to see some hard numbers on benefits with respect to virtual memory page-outs. 

    I'm sure such benefits exist, but I have no intuition at all for the magnitude of the benefit and if it's nearly enough to offset in any meanings way the loss of RAM. 


    That's exactly the benchmarking I'm interested in.  A performance test of a heavily loaded system (with VM well in excess of 16 gig) comparing a MacBook Pro with 8 gig of RAM against the 16 gig model.  The former has to be slower, but is it 20% slower?  2% slower?  200%?
  • Reply 10 of 42
    big said:
    I'm not a tech-head so I don't know and am asking honestly: how fast is the RAM the MBP ships with and how does the SSD speeds quoted in this article compare? I can't imagine SSDs are as fast as physical RAM - but I don't know! Does it seem likely that paging to SSD will be as quick as having more physical RAM if the architecture permitted it?
    While these new SSDs are extremely fast they are nowhere near the speed of modern DDR3 ram. New Macbook Pros probably have ram bandwidth around 15-20GB/s. Having said that these SSDs certainly improve paging dramatically but don't quite eliminate the need of more ram in heavy use scenarios.
    edited November 2016 bigjibberjrepressthisduervololliver
  • Reply 11 of 42
    irelandireland Posts: 17,590member
    Should have to BlackMagicSpeedTest as it displays the data in a clean manner.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    schlack said:
    Samsung's EVO drive claims 3GB/sec transfer speeds also. Makes sense, as Samsung is probably the manufacturer of Apple's SSDs anyhow.

    I heard that, Samsung's just released a 960 Pro SSD 1TB recently, man those are fricken fast, 3,500 MB/sec Sequential Read Speed right now... That’s moving.

    repressthis
  • Reply 13 of 42
    blastdoor said:
    The fast SSD speeds will somewhat mitigate speed issues brought about for some users because of the RAM being limited to 16GB due to architectural limitations. Virtual memory page-outs will be relatively faster on the new SSD as compared to previous ones, further cutting back the performance hit induced by the transfer contents from very fast physical RAM to virtual space allocated on storage media.

    I'd love to see some hard numbers on benefits with respect to virtual memory page-outs. 

    I'm sure such benefits exist, but I have no intuition at all for the magnitude of the benefit and if it's nearly enough to offset in any meanings way the loss of RAM. 

    Seems how no RAM has been lost, and Max RAM is the same, I'm sure we will see a net improvement in memory intensive tasks. My RAM-killing application is large Photoshop compositions. I routinely hit my physical RAM limit. Honestly, hitting virtual SSD memory is NOWHERE near as productivity-destroying as it was in the bad old days of spinning drives. My top-spec last-gen MBP is reasonably capable of powering through a virtual memory situation, allowing me to stay somewhat productive, though I can certainly tell when I run out of RAM and there is room for improved performance. If Apple can more effectively mitigate the Max RAM issue by improving the SSD performance, I will trust that they have run the numbers and determined this strategy is best for the greatest number of users and applications.
    big
  • Reply 14 of 42
    schlack said:
    Samsung's EVO drive claims 3GB/sec transfer speeds also. Makes sense, as Samsung is probably the manufacturer of Apple's SSDs anyhow.

    I heard that, Samsung's just released a 960 Pro SSD 1TB recently, man those are fricken fast, 3,500 MB/sec Sequential Read Speed right now... That’s moving.


    That's their claim, but I haven't seen any tests done in an actual system that come anywhere near that figure. More like 1/2 of that.
    repressthislolliver
  • Reply 15 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,707member
    blastdoor said:
    The fast SSD speeds will somewhat mitigate speed issues brought about for some users because of the RAM being limited to 16GB due to architectural limitations. Virtual memory page-outs will be relatively faster on the new SSD as compared to previous ones, further cutting back the performance hit induced by the transfer contents from very fast physical RAM to virtual space allocated on storage media.

    I'd love to see some hard numbers on benefits with respect to virtual memory page-outs. 

    I'm sure such benefits exist, but I have no intuition at all for the magnitude of the benefit and if it's nearly enough to offset in any meanings way the loss of RAM. 

    When I went from a Black 7,200 rpm WD start-up drive years ago to an OWC 260MB/s SSD, I saw a major improvement to my Mac Pro. Page ins were much faster. When I replaced that with a 550MB/s drive, I again could see the difference. In Photoshop, if you don't have enough RAM, the difference will matter. Going to 2-3GB/s will make a large improvement in speed.

    so, for example, it's not just memory page ins. It's also open and save times of large files. It's multitasking. It's when you have a lot of tabs open, and the pages accumulate a lot of memory per page, because of the Ads that keep replacing themselves without releasing RAM. Go to Activity Monitor, and look at memory usage. You'll see a number of pages with hundreds of megabytes of RAM. You might see compressed RAM. You might see page out numbers as well.

    the faster the drive is, the less of a system slowdown you'll have.
    edited November 2016 bruckheimerrepressthislolliver
  • Reply 16 of 42


    That's their claim, but I haven't seen any tests done in an actual system that come anywhere near that figure. More like 1/2 of that.


    I own 2 of them myself and I get those read speeds on every test. A lot of the tests out there are off because of one thing, driver support, when it first was released, the read speeds are way off from that, but with driver from them, that made it run a full speed, they only have a beta driver available at the moment, the official driver releases mid Nov.

    edited November 2016
  • Reply 17 of 42
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Is that Samsung M.2 PCIe Gen3 SSD SM961 (3,200 MB/sec Read & 1,800 MB/sec Write)?
    bruckheimer
  • Reply 18 of 42
    appex said:
    Is that Samsung M.2 PCIe Gen3 SSD SM961 (3,200 MB/sec Read & 1,800 MB/sec Write)?

    This is the model I have. Best SSD I have ever used, usually I use Intel only, but man this sucker screams.

    http://www.samsung.com/us/computing/memory-storage/solid-state-drives/ssd-960-pro-m-2-1tb-mz-v6p1t0bw/

  • Reply 19 of 42
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,863member
    schlack said:
    Samsung's EVO drive claims 3GB/sec transfer speeds also. Makes sense, as Samsung is probably the manufacturer of Apple's SSDs anyhow.

    I heard that, Samsung's just released a 960 Pro SSD 1TB recently, man those are fricken fast, 3,500 MB/sec Sequential Read Speed right now... That’s moving.

    That's their claim, but I haven't seen any tests done in an actual system that come anywhere near that figure. More like 1/2 of that.
    More NAND chips (i.e.: higher capacity storage) could mean that the other SSDs that get tested will outperform this model with only 256GB.
  • Reply 20 of 42
    Fast page outs won't help you when you are trying to run multiple  VM's. The memory used by VM's is wired and cannot be swapped.
    afrodri
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