AMA: Are the 32GB iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus really slower than the 128GB and 256GB models?

By Kenny Yeo - on 14 May 2017, 10:14am

Yup, the 32GB iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is indeed slower.

I hate to be that someone who just bought a 32GB iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus because the answer is yes, the 32GB models of Apple’s latest iPhones are indeed slower.

But why? Why would a phone that has largely the same components be slower? The answer is obvious and it has to do with storage capacity.

The iPhones use NAND memory, the same as SSDs. And if you have looked through the specifications for SSDs, you might notice that performance increases as capacity goes up. That has to do something known as NAND parallelism.

To fully explain this would require us to dive into a NAND die and talk about planes, blocks, and pages, which is as confusing as it is boring. But to put it simply, every device that uses NAND memory is managed by a NAND controller. And very often, the NAND controller is capable of reading and writing to multiple NAND chips at once.

When capacity goes up, so does the number of NAND chips. This means there are more NAND chips for the SSD controller to read and write to any at one time.

Think of your data as food and the NAND controller as a monster with multiple mouths. Since the monster has more than one mouth, it can eat faster if you divide the food and feed each mouth simultaneously as opposed to trying to stuff all the food down a single mouth.

This explains why larger capacity SSDs and iPhones with more memory chips have better performance.

If you have any more questions, leave a comment below and I will try my best to answer them.

Kenny Yeo

Kenny Yeo / Associate Editor

Specifications are not everything. It's what you do with what you have that matters.

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