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Photography Blog and Publications

2012 MBP Retina — Apple 500GB SSD Performance

Last updated July 03, 2012 - Send Feedback

The internal SSD that Apple supplies is a fast 6G SSD (“Apple SSD SM512E”, apparently Samsung). Apple calls this “flash storage”, which is another name for SSD (solid state drive).

Capacity

Note that Apple claims it is a 512GB SSD, which is the usual Apple advertising fraud, since the user sees just under 500GB of actual storage.

Apple’s 512GB SSD is in reality a 499.42GB SSD
Apple’s 512GB SSD is in reality a 499.42GB SSD

DiskTester fill-volume performance

DiskTester is part of diglloydTools. The DiskTester fill-volume test writes 1000 equal-size files to the drive, then read/verifies the data.

This is a sequential speed test, the most important performance metric for Photoshop and similar programs for real-world usage.

The drive was tested with about 44GB of system install in place; this has no material effect on the results.

All speed are real-world, including operating system file system overhead, not unrealistic driver-level calls.

Speeds shown are for highly compressible data (zeroes), as well as a purely random stream of data (worst possible case for some SSDs).

The Apple-supplied SSD is a very good performer. Will its speed hold up over the long term? This test does not address that potential issue.

DiskTester fill-volume for Apple 512GB (500GB) SSD in MacBook Pro Retina
DiskTester fill-volume for Apple 512GB (500GB) SSD in MacBook Pro Retina
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