New MacBook Air and Mac mini Teardown: SSDs Not Soldered to Motherboard

iFixit have opened up their refreshed Sandy Bridge powered MacBook Airs and have begun to dissect. Everything so far seems fairly normal and Apple-like, except that the SSD's are not soldered to the motherboard.Responding to comments that the new MacBook Air line lacks the FaceTime HD camera, iFixit attributes this to the MacBook Air's super […]

iFixit have opened up their refreshed Sandy Bridge powered MacBook Airs and have begun to dissect. Everything so far seems fairly normal and Apple-like, except that the SSD's are not soldered to the motherboard.

Responding to comments that the new MacBook Air line lacks the FaceTime HD camera, iFixit attributes this to the MacBook Air's super thin display: "The thickness restrictions of such a thin display probably were probably the deciding factor in not equipping the Air with a FaceTimeHD camera."

iFixit notes that the RAM in these new ultra-portable notebooks is still note user-replaceable. If you think you are going to want or need more RAM, it is best to go with the 4GB model from the beginning. In fact, all new MacBook Air models but the $999 11-inch version carry 4GB of RAM as a standard option. The new machines also carry speedy Samsung-built components for both the Flash drives and RAM. Apple recently started putting in Samsung SSDs in some 2010 MacBook Air models and these drives feature great speed improvements. Storage Review explains the speed improvements for the SSD in the new MacBook Air, in comparison to the late 2010 models:

While not exactly apples to apples, this does at least paint a picture of what users can expect from the new SSD. For sequential transfers, we saw 4K writes of 210.97 MB/s and reads of 29.21 MB/s. When switching to 256K, the 4K writes go to 194.80 MB/s and reads 212.40 MB/s. Compared to our prior generation Air, there are massive gains in the 4K tests, the 4K read speeds for instance nearly doubled and the 4K writes were up 100 MB/s. On the 256K tests the writes saw a modest improvement and the reads about 50 MB/s.

The new MacBook Air's battery components carry a new model number, according to iFixit, so this may or may not mean some minor improvements. On that note, many readers have noted improved battery life with OS X Lion on their Mac portables:


Model number is A1405 versus A1377 from late 2010 model

iFixit is currently tearing down on a new Mac mini. Watch the pictures below:

For full iFixit reviews and details, check the complete teardown embedded below:

MacBook Air 13-inch Mid 2011 Teardown:

Mac Mini Mid 2011 Teardown:

[Source: iFixit MacBook Air, Mac mini]