New MacBook Air uses screaming fast PCIe SSD

The new Mac Pro isn't the only new Mac model with PCIe-based Solid State Drive storage. The new MacBook Air, which began shipping this week as soon as it was introduced on stage at WWDC, also uses the technology, according to Ben Lovejoy at 9to5Mac.

Previous MacBook Air models - and all other Macs - have used Serial ATA (SATA) for their main storage. The new MacBook Air is the first shipping Mac model to use PCIe as its primary storage interface instead.

SATA 3.0 transfer speeds top out at 600 megabytes per second, but MacBidoulle benchmarked write speeds of more than 668 MB/s, with read speeds of more than 729 MB/s. And even with that, the PCIe 2.0 2x interface that the MacBook Air uses isn't the bottleneck - it can work at up to 1 gigabyte per second downstream and upstream. As faster SSDs become available, you can expect to see even greater performance.

If you have a Mac Pro (not the shiny and new one, the old and busted big box), you can drop in a PCIe SSD card from OWC and others.

Impressive performance for Apple's lightest weight laptop, and an early indication of what we can expect down the road as more Mac models adopt this new technology.

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