Apple MacBook Air 15, first teardown: 256GB version has a single NAND

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After the first reviews comes the first “teardown” for the MacBook Air 15 inchthe new laptop announced by Apple during the opening keynote of WWDC at the beginning of last week, and since yesterday also available in Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Resellers

MACBOOK AIR 15 ALREADY AVAILABLE

The MacBook Air 15″ is based on the M2 processor with 8-core CPU (four performance cores and four efficiency cores), a 10-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine. The M2 chip has a memory bandwidth of 100GBps and supports up to 24GB of unified memory.

In addition to the larger display, a 15.3″ diagonal Liquid Retina with True Tone and a resolution of 2880×1864 at 224 pixels per inch, compared to the 13-inch model this MacBook Air also integrates a six-speaker sound system cot two tweeters and two sets of force-cancelling woofers with spatial audio and Dolby Atmos support.


DATA SHEET

  • 8-core CPU
  • 10-core GPUs
  • 8GB of unified storage (Configurable to 16GB or 24GB)
  • Storage 256GB SSD (Configurable with 512GB, 1TB or 2TB drives)
  • 16-core Neural Engine
  • 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone, 2880×1864 at 224 pixels per inch
  • 1080p FaceTime HD camera
  • MagSafe 3 port for charging
  • Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
  • Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • 35W USB-C Power Adapter
  • Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.3
  • Six-speaker audio system with force-cancelling woofer
  • Dimensions and weight: 34.04 x 23.76 x 1.15 cm for 1.51 kg

The 15-inch MacBook Air has a selling price starting at 1,649 euros for the version with 8GB of unified memory
and 256GB SSD. Optionally, you can get up to 24GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD.

SOME ”INTERNAL” CURIOSITIES

The teardown particularly highlighted the different placement of some elements, obviously thanks to the greater space available compared to the 13″ model. First of all, the arrangement of the six speakers, two more, and the largest batteries. Some design changes have also been made to the structure in general, with the addition of other metal sections, and to the hinge.

MacBook Air 15 vs. MacBook Air 13

The motherboard is also different. Apple didn’t just use the same one but made one specifically for the 15″ model which, strangely, is also shorter than that of the 13″ model. Apple has also made further changes to make it easier to replace some parts.

Part of the MacBook Air 15 battery
ONE SINGLE NAND CHIP PER 256GB VERSION

As shown in the teardowns of other Macs with Apple Silicon and 256GB SSD (MacBook Air 13″, MacBook Pro 13″ and Mac mini), the teardown of this MacBook Air 15″ also revealed the presence of only one NAND memory chip in the 256GB version, which will result in a lower read and write speed of the SSD than higher denominations that have two or more NAND chips.

In fact, benchmark results showed a 30% to 50% reduction in SSD speeds compared to previous generation models. In the past, Apple used two 128GB chips for 256GB Macs, but has switched to a single 256GB chip in more recent models.

The “empty” space (top left) on the 256GB model

Obviously, a read and write speed slower than SSD it could affect both file transfer activity on external drives, both on overall system performance during heavier workloads as Macs temporarily use SSD space as virtual memory when physical RAM is fully utilized.

Even so, in day-to-day use, it’s unlikely those purchasing MacBooks with 256GB SSDs will notice these slower speeds. However, for those who still need more speed in their activities it would be recommended choose at least 512B of SSD, option it has an additional cost of 230 euros.

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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise