Apple's base model M3 MacBook Air is now way faster thanks to an SSD upgrade

Apple's new M3 MacBook Airs are here and the base 256GB model has a big speed upgrade thanks to the way that Apple has decided to build them.

1 minute & 44 seconds read time

Apple's new M3 MacBook Air went on sale last week and it's quickly proven to be a fast, quiet, and capable machine. And as people are starting to spend more time with the new laptop in its 13- and 15-inch guises we're starting to learn more and more about it. And one of those things will be music to the ears of those who plan on buying the entry-level 256GB configuration.

That's because while previous versions of the 256GB model of MacBook Air have offered slower SSD performance than those with more space, things seem to have been changed up this time out.

The issue that was experienced with previous MacBook Airs surrounded a slower SSD performance due to Apple's decision to ship those machines with a single 256GB NAND chip. That meant that the storage was limited to how quickly that chip could process data in an attempt to read and write files. Those who chose the 512GB storage option or higher received a different configuration. Those buying 512GB for two 256GB NAND chips while those buying 1TB got two 512GB chips, and so on. Now, Apple's M3 MacBook Air has changed things for those buying the 256GB SSD - it comes with two 128GB NAND chips.

That of course increases performance as noted by the YouTuber Max Tech as you'll see in the video above. The move means that the M3 MacBook Air can now write at up to 33% faster than the M2 model with the same amount of storage - and that figure increases to a whopping 82% when the Mac is reading data, too.

It's important to note that this testing was done on the 13-inch M3 MacBook Air and the laptop was stripped down to confirm the use of two 128GB chips. While the testing hasn't confirmed the change on the 15-inch version of the M3 MacBook Air, we assume that's the case and that anyone buying a 256GB MacBook Air can look forward to a storage speed boost when compared to the previous M2 model.

The new M3 MacBook Air is available to buy now with the 13-inch model starting at $1,099 and the 15-inch model starting at $1,299. Both come with 256GB of storage and M2 chip as well as 8GB of RAM. More storage and additional RAM can also be chosen when configuring the computer if needed, too.

Apple's older M2 13-inch MacBook Air remains on sale at the slightly lower price of $999 while the M1 MacBook Air has been removed from the lineup entirely.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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