The base MacBook Air M3 offers significantly faster SSD speeds than before

This week Apple released the new MacBook Air M3 with faster performance, Wi-Fi 6E and support for two external displays. . As it turns out, Apple has also addressed another issue that plagued the base model of the previous generation MacBook Air: SSD storage speed.

The backstory is that the base model M2 MacBook Air with 256GB of internal memory offered slower SSD speeds than higher-end configurations. This was due to the base model using a single 256GB memory chip rather than two 128GB memory chips. This was a regression from the base MacBook Air M1, which used two 128GB memory chips.

As first noted by our friend Gregory McFadden on Twitter, the new MacBook Air M3 offers significantly faster SSD speeds than the previous MacBook Air M2. A teardown by Max Tech on YouTube confirms that this is because Apple is now using two 128GB memory chips for the base model MacBook Air, rather than a single 256GB module.

This way, the two 128GB NAND chips in the M3 MacBook Air can process tasks in parallel, greatly increasing data transfer speeds.

Testing by Max Tech found that the MacBook Air M3 can achieve write speeds of 2,108 MB/s, compared to the base MacBook Air M2's 1,584 MB/s. As for read speed, the MacBook Air M2 achieved 1576 MB/s, while the MacBook Air M3 achieved 2880 MB/s.

This suggests that the MacBook Air M3 has about 33% faster SSD write speeds and about 82% faster SSD read speeds. These speeds match and sometimes exceed the speeds of the M1 MacBook Air.

Greg and Max Teck's full YouTube videos can be found below.

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