Discussion Apple Silicon SoC thread

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Doug S

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Thanks. You really drove the point home. It really is time to sunset 256GB SSDs for anything but the lowest-end products.
Why? If there are people for whom 256 GB is more than they will ever need (and several examples were provided here) why do you need to increase the baseline storage just to provide extra speed that people buying the entry level will also not need?

I mean, they will eventually I'm sure but doing it only because larger configurations are faster is a very stupid reason.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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Why? If there are people for whom 256 GB is more than they will ever need (and several examples were provided here) why do you need to increase the baseline storage just to provide extra speed that people buying the entry level will also not need?

I mean, they will eventually I'm sure but doing it only because larger configurations are faster is a very stupid reason.
Because those people probably do need the extra speed.
 

Doug S

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Because those people probably do need the extra speed.
You mean the people in the examples posted here who didn't come close to using 256 GB? You do realize that even the slowest possible SSD with a single die is so much faster than the fastest 15K hard drive ever built it is ridiculous, right?

How often do you think people who own a laptop for years and never come close to filling up a 256 GB hard drive are reading or writing multiple gigabytes while they are sitting there and waiting for it? You think they really care if their laptop takes an extra couple seconds to boot?
 

igor_kavinski

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Since the SSD is soldered, it would produce less e-waste with a 512GB SSD. Laptops may get used up to 10 years. Sometimes more. If the write cycles on the SSD are exhausted before anything else gives up the ghost in that laptop, it would be a real waste.
 
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gdansk

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I usually buy the smallest storage size. Like my 512GB MBP16, for example. I have a lot of network storage and even on WiFi it is fast enough.

As long as the local storage has OK random reads and writes then that's enough for me. But the next generation chips may make 512GB the reasonable minimum for the Air.
 

Doug S

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Since the SSD is soldered, it would produce less e-waste with a 512GB SSD. Laptops may get used up to 10 years. Sometimes more. If the write cycles on the SSD are exhausted before anything else gives up the ghost in that laptop, it would be a real waste.
I doubt these types of users are in any danger of running out of writes. I'm still using a pair of X25-M drives in my PC for my Linux OS install (including /tmp) as well as /home but at the rate SMART thinks I'm wearing it out I could keep using them for the rest of my life! The only reason I'll be replacing them in my next build is that prices are low enough I can just go with a pair of m.2 SSDs to replace those and the HDDs I use for archive storage.

Now with Windows these casual users might run out of space simply because Windows Update does a terrible job of cleaning up after itself so it grows and grows, and these people won't know how to clean up after themselves so 256 GB may not be enough to last a decade.

But the decision about when to upgrade the minimum storage level should be based on cost (i.e. when it makes so little difference cost-wise the OEM might as well take the next step up) or planned longevity. That decision should NOT be about performance.

The people pushing that performance argument are disingenuous, because the place where you quit adding performance in an SSD is not 512 GB, it is at least 2 TB. That cutoff will be even higher with bigger NAND chips and PCIe5 based controllers. Who wants to argue that every PC should ship with a minimum config of a 4 TB SSD for Christmas 2023, because that's what they are arguing for here even if they want to try to limit it to a narrow criticism of Apple on this one product. Because the performance gains don't stop in the base configs.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
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You mean the people in the examples posted here who didn't come close to using 256 GB?
Yes. Absolutely them. If there's any one thing that affects user experience on even computers used as an appliance, storage speed/response is it. Obviously we aren't going to see 2TB drives on baseline consumer hardware, but over time there needs to be a push to get away from lower-end SSDs, especially as flash chips increase in size (see: comment by @gdansk )
 
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Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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Does the regular T7 have the same electronics as T7 shield, just a less rugged case. I don't care about physical durability, and water/dust proof, so don't want to pay extra for that.

An issue I see mentioned with all these small external high speeds USB drives is heat generation. Often even when barely doing anything.
No, the T7 Shield is a significant performance upgrade over the T7.

I’m not sure why both are called T7. Maybe it’s because they have similar max speed specs. However, according to reviews the sustained performance of the T7 Shield is much better than the T7. I haven’t had a chance to do a lot of testing with the T7 Shield but I can confirm my T7 slows right down with big transfers. If you’re purchasing in 2022 though, the T7 Shield is similarly priced to the T7 when both are on sale.

From Tom’s Hardware:

WDnkNhcmCFpYsLoixuete-970-80.jpeg

dEFaG2uDLtJjX9mjq5kVF-970-80.jpeg

My T7 will get fairly warm, but not blistering hot like some of the Thunderbolt ones reportedly sometimes get.
 
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KompuKare

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Since the SSD is soldered, it would produce less e-waste with a 512GB SSD. Laptops may get used up to 10 years. Sometimes more. If the write cycles on the SSD are exhausted before anything else gives up the ghost in that laptop, it would be a real waste.
Since entry level is only 8GB RAM too, another consideration is how swapfile usage eats into the endurance.
AFAIK, aren't Apple being characteristically silent and don't actually state the endurance of their soldered SSDs?
 

igor_kavinski

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Jul 27, 2020
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Since entry level is only 8GB RAM too, another consideration is how swapfile usage eats into the endurance.
Good point. Heavy usage would have a double whammy effect on the life of the SSD.

AFAIK, aren't Apple being characteristically silent and don't actually state the endurance of their soldered SSDs?
That's coz most of their sheep, errr...users :D, would just send in the laptop for repairs rather than put two and two together and figure out that Apple made a nice buck by making them pay a lot for a puny SSD with a shorter lifespan. In the x86 world, users are very cost conscious and vocal about transparency so every decent company in the x86 ecosystem tries to be as forthright as possible to stay in the good books of techies since they are the ones recommending products to their clients/friends/families.
 
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Doug S

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Yes. Absolutely them. If there's any one thing that affects user experience on even computers used as an appliance, storage speed/response is it. Obviously we aren't going to see 2TB drives on baseline consumer hardware, but over time there needs to be a push to get away from lower-end SSDs, especially as flash chips increase in size (see: comment by @gdansk )
You are greatly overestimating the difference in end user visible performance between the M2 Air's 256 GB and 512 GB config. Just because something shows up in benchmarks does not mean you notice in typical day to day usage.

I'll bet if I gave you a double blind test where you are just running a browser, checking email, etc. like these sort of light users do that you would be unable to tell the difference even if you were looking for it. You definitely would not be able to feel the difference if you were not looking for it.

I suppose next you'll claim you can tell the difference between an 8 core and 16 core CPU in normal use without someone telling you how many cores there are?
 

pj-

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May 5, 2015
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That's coz most of their sheep, errr...users :D, would just send in the laptop for repairs rather than put two and two together and figure out that Apple made a nice buck by making them pay a lot for a puny SSD with a shorter lifespan. In the x86 world, users are very cost conscious and vocal about transparency so every decent company in the x86 ecosystem tries to be as forthright as possible to stay in the good books of techies since they are the ones recommending products to their clients/friends/families.
This does not at all align with reality as I have experienced it as a "techie" for the last several decades
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
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Just because something shows up in benchmarks does not mean you notice in typical day to day usage.
Just because something shows up in benchmarks does mean you may notice it in typical day to day usage, and it definitely increases your chance of noticing it in atypical usage, such as large sequential file copies that may only happen every so often.

Also, it's hard to believe that anyone would advocate for Apple continuing to offer the same storage options year after year in their cheapest products when the underlying tech is getting cheaper. "They won't notice the difference" screw that nonsense.
 
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Doug S

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Just because something shows up in benchmarks does mean you may notice it in typical day to day usage, and it definitely increases your chance of noticing it in atypical usage, such as large sequential file copies that may only happen every so often.

Which is fine, but why in the hell would you care about how long "large sequential file copies" take when you do them only once in a while? That's not a task you have to sit around and wait for, you can run it in the background while you do something else. Or start it up before you fire up your computer. The size of files you can copy is limited on a 256 GB SSD anyway.

Again, we are talking about the entry level configuration of Apple's entry level Macbook, which able to perform large sequential file copies over 10x faster than any laptop at any price was able to when they used HDDs.

People sure are spoiled today if they think a large sequential file copy "that may only happen every so often" has to finish as quickly as possible, and doubling the time required is a sin that requires doubling the size of the SSD in an entry level laptop to avoid. The horror!

How come you keep focusing on this and ignore that this effect does not exist only on this one Mac, and not only when you go from 256 GB to 512 GB. This is a thing for most SSDs. Should Samsung, Crucial, PNY etc. refuse to sell smaller SSDs that have less performance so no one has to ever sacrifice performance? Aren't they doing something as terrible as Apple is by selling slow SSDs that are going to doom people to the hell of having to wait a few seconds longer if they copy a 2 GB video?
 
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DrMrLordX

Lifer
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Which is fine, but why in the hell would you care about how long "large sequential file copies" take when you do them only once in a while?
Anytime I install a game or an application, this happens. Especially a larger title off Steam, though some of the games I've gotten off GoG have gotten fairly large and/or have had extensive install times. Anyone doing application installs whether they be games or otherwise may experience this issue.

If I intend to use the application in question, the amount of time I have to spend faffing around doing something else isn't really mitigated by my ability to be faffing around doing something else. Excuses, excuses.
 

moinmoin

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Jun 1, 2017
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People sure are spoiled today if they think a large sequential file copy "that may only happen every so often" has to finish as quickly as possible, and doubling the time required is a sin that requires doubling the size of the SSD in an entry level laptop to avoid. The horror!
It's an unexpected dent in everybody's implicit expectation that everything steadily improves, without setbacks.

Though I personally think most people just notice it once and proceed as usual, at most reminding themselves to pay attention to it in the next buy.

Where I feel such an event actually made an impact was the HDD manufacturers sleazy move to introduce SMR without actually informing customers about its use, leading to unexpected data losses in many for SMR unsustainable use cases. Since then at least for me SSD clearly passed HDD in perceived reliability.

How come you keep focusing on this and ignore that this effect does not exist only on this one Mac, and not only when you go from 256 GB to 512 GB. This is a thing for most SSDs. Should Samsung, Crucial, PNY etc. refuse to sell smaller SSDs that have less performance so no one has to ever sacrifice performance? Aren't they doing something as terrible as Apple is by selling slow SSDs that are going to doom people to the hell of having to wait a few seconds longer if they copy a 2 GB video?
I think this is primarily a reflection of the higher standard people hold Apple to.
 
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poke01

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Since entry level is only 8GB RAM too, another consideration is how swapfile usage eats into the endurance.
AFAIK, aren't Apple being characteristically silent and don't actually state the endurance of their soldered SSDs?
Apple uses SK hynix for the Macbook Air and Kioxia for the MacBook Pro(Apple Sillcon models)
Source: iFixit Chip ID webpage

As for drive indurance that's up to user to know using smartmontools using the macOS CLI.
For reference heres my 16" Intel MacBook Pro 2019 SSD info that I been using since 2020 January, almost everyday till now.
I have a 512 SSD and its made by Toshiba.

It's been 2 years and 7 months and I used 1% of my SSD. I have written 32.1TB so far.
I would say the endurance is very good.

1659873192211.png
1659873071913.png
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
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I think this is primarily a reflection of the higher standard people hold Apple to.
Apple charges a premium for even their cheaper computers. In reality other OEMs should be getting away from 256GB SSDs, though it's inevitable that some of them will choose to market crap.
 

igor_kavinski

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It's been 2 years and 7 months and I used 1% of my SSD. I have written 32.1TB so far.
I would say the endurance is very good.
That amounts to an endurance rating of almost 3 petabytes! If the 256GB SSD has even just 1PB write endurance, I guess it would be very much acceptable. But since your Macbook Pro must have been quite expensive, I'm guessing that they used enterprise level TLC flash for your SSD. Not sure if the entry level models use the same quality of flash.
 

moinmoin

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Apple charges a premium for even their cheaper computers. In reality other OEMs should be getting away from 256GB SSDs, though it's inevitable that some of them will choose to market crap.
Apple is perceived as a premium brand. I don't think the pricing is that much on the premium side compared to external competition for the entry level models (customization options are a different story). But the whole "outrage" about the "slow" SSD in the MBA M2 is less about it being premium priced but rather the internal competition, that the still existing cheaper MBA M1 uses a faster SSD configuration.
 

richardskrad

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Jun 28, 2022
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My M2 MacBook Air is a remarkable machine. All this power in a fan-less enclosure. Apple didn’t have the iPhone when they first tried to make their own chips. All it took was countless billions of dollars from selling the iPhone, which might be the most successful product in business history, for them to leapfrog AMD and Intel. Amazing.
 

guidryp

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Anytime I install a game or an application, this happens. Especially a larger title off Steam, though some of the games I've gotten off GoG have gotten fairly large and/or have had extensive install times. Anyone doing application installs whether they be games or otherwise may experience this issue.

If I intend to use the application in question, the amount of time I have to spend faffing around doing something else isn't really mitigated by my ability to be faffing around doing something else. Excuses, excuses.
The actual download still takes a order of magnitude longer than the installation.

Seriously, this really doesn't matter to the VAST majority of people likely to buy the bottom storage config.

This mainly matters to specification nerds that haunt internet forums.

As storage has gotten faster, the diminishing returns set in.

I remember a storage speeds test specifically targeting where the differences show up in the real world usage. I think there were testing the difference between:

HDD, SATA SSD, NVME, Super fast NVME.

Basically the only real jump was HDD -> SATA SSD, after that it really doesn't matter and it's all about benchmarks.

Bottom Line:
Sure it sucks that some specification of the entry level config has gone backwards on the bottom storage config, but it's still over 1GB/s, and it's basically irrelevant in real world usage. This level of incessant "concern" is completely unwarranted.
 

Doug S

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The actual download still takes a order of magnitude longer than the installation.
Yes the idea that the M2 Air's entry level storage performance is unacceptable because "game installs take longer", when the primary wait will be on your internet connection is just crazy. What a terrible thing to do, when all the hardcore gamers are buying Macbook Airs lol

I guess anything less than gigabit broadband is also unacceptable to him? He probably thinks DSL should be made illegal and designated as a crime against humanity. Think of the game install times, at a mere 50 Mbps you might as well be knocking rocks together because you're back in the stone age! :tongueclosed:
 
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KompuKare

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That amounts to an endurance rating of almost 3 petabytes! If the 256GB SSD has even just 1PB write endurance, I guess it would be very much acceptable. But since your Macbook Pro must have been quite expensive, I'm guessing that they used enterprise level TLC flash for your SSD. Not sure if the entry level models use the same quality of flash.
Well, 3,000TBW would require a huge amount of over-provisioning and using so few chips might only be possible with TLC, MLC, or even SLC.

Still since endurance is not listed, I remain doubtful about that.

However, at least the old Samsung NAND has a product page:
It's just that Samsung don't state endurance / erase cycles (erase cycles being the more correct term for individual chips - endurance is more a term after the drive manufacturer, controller and firmware, and over-provisioning have been decided). Or I was not able to find it in the lengthy datasheet.

For the others:
Macbook Air 2022: SK Hynix HN3T1BA4GAX170 256 GB NAND flash memory
MacBook Pro 14" 2021: Kioxia KICM225UZ0460 128 GB NAND Flash Memory
I wasn't able to find any product page.

Generally I would imagine that a single NAND chip SSD won't have great endurance but without more details it is hard to tell.
The worst 250GB SSD for endurance would be something like a WD SN350 240GB which only has an TBW of 40TB (that uses 96 layer Kioxia NAND). But even sticking to WD, a WD Red SN700 250GB has 500TB.
 
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