Two major upgrades offered to all of Apple's new MacBook lineup are updated SSDs and native USB 3.0 support. The same updated SSD is present across all of Apple's lineup: from the MacBook Air to the next-gen MacBook Pro. Based on the model number in Apple's System Report I'd guess my review sample features a Samsung based drive. Toshiba was a secondary source in the past, and with its announcement of a 6Gbps controller I wouldn't be surprised to find that in systems as well. 

Apple claims the new SSD is capable of up to 500MB/s read performance. I ran a few tests using Quick Bench to validate Apple's claims. In general it looks like read speed approaches 500MB/s, while sequential writes are closer to 400MB/s. I don't want to draw any conclusions based on the random data just yet because it's like Quick Bench is using a 100% LBA span for these tests, while I typically run at a more limited LBA span for my random tests.

Note, the SSD in the next-gen MacBook Pro is physically removable similar to the drive in the MacBook Air. The drives aren't interchangeable however and I'm not sure if the two even use the same physical interface.

USB Performance - 8.3GB File Copy

USB 3.0 performance is much improved over the previous generation MacBook Pro. I used an Apricorn SATA to USB 3.0 adapter to measure copy time to/from a 512GB OCZ Vertex 4 SSD. The performance gap between USB 2.0 and 3.0 is nothing short of significant.

More details on the next-generation MacBook Pro as we make it through our review.

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  • Alex Smith - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    I'm wondering whether it's worth putting a 3rd party SSD into the new Retina MBP or not? e.g. instead of 512MB SSD they include.
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    The problem is that the SSD is not a standard 2.5" drive. Right now we don't know the exact specs of the SSD, but it's most likely a custom form factor, which means no other commercial SSD will fit in. Of course, companies like OWC will most likely make an SSD that's compatible, but it will take a while.
  • Alex Smith - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Thanks Kristian.

    Overall the Intel 520 (that I was considering) seems better in most things ( however, it might not even come out it the form factor required...
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    If you look at our Heavy and Light Workload Suites, the Samsung 830 Series is actually a bit faster (and actually one of the fastest drives we have ever tested). I'm not saying that they always provide the most realistic look at performance, but they consist of real world IOs, including reads and writes at different sizes and queue depths.
  • zilab - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    are you saying the one included in retina display is samsung 830 series?
  • marioyohanes - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    Both of my Intel 520 and Intel 330 always goes black screen and freeze after waking up from sleep, latest firmware also did not solve any problem. Based on my experiences using SSDs with Mac, better to pay those extras by buying Apple SSD or the slow Intel 320.
  • texasti89 - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    SSD and RAM chips are soldered in. You can't s upgrade or change. Apple is getting more greedy.
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Judging by the pictures Apple showed today, the SSD seems to be a separate PCB, just like in MBA, and hence upgradeable.
  • texasti89 - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Judging from this image

    Yes, It's a separate PCB, but I have the feeling that the connector is proprietary.
  • maratus - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    It should be as easy to replace as in the current Air. The question is whether we will see anything non-Sandforce based (preferably the same Samsung 830 for cheaper). And given that it only depends on Samsung and will be strictly for this MBP, most likely not. I'm not even thinking about anything based on SandForce right now, so my only option is Marvell / Indilinx. I'd rather stay with reliable stock 830.

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