After Apple introduced the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip, it was discovered that the $1,299 base model with 256GB of storage had significantly slower SSD read/write speeds than the previous-generation equivalent.
YouTube channels like Max Tech and Created Tech tested the 256GB model using Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test app and found that the SSD was around 1,450 MB/s read and write, about 50% slower for reads, and slower for writes Around 30% off a 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 chip and 256GB of storage.
Disk speed test app number shared by Vadim Yuryev of Max Tech:
- 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1/256GB) Read Speed: 2,900
- 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2/256GB) Read Speed: 1,446
- 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1/256GB) Write Speed: 2,215
- 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2/256GB) Write Speed: 1,463
Yuryev disassembled the new 13-inch MacBook Pro and found that the 256GB model came with only one NAND flash memory chip, while the previous model had two NAND chips, possibly 128GB each. This difference may explain why newer models of SSDs are slower, as multiple NAND chips can be used in parallel to achieve faster speeds.
Only the base model 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip seems to have slower SSDs.as in Mike Rumors On the forums, Aaron Zollo ran the Disk Speed Test app on the 512GB model, and the SSD’s read/write speeds are similar to all M1 models, but it costs at least $1,499 to get those speeds. That could mean the 512GB model still comes with two 256GB flash memory chips.
It’s unclear why the new base model 13-inch MacBook Pro comes with only a single NAND chip, but cost and/or supply constraints are two possible factors. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update this story if we hear back.
Slower SSD speeds can affect common tasks, such as transferring files to external drives, and overall performance can be slightly affected, as the Mac temporarily uses SSD space as virtual memory when physical RAM is fully used. If you’re considering a new 13-inch MacBook Pro and faster SSD speeds are important to you, we recommend ordering a model with at least 512GB of storage (or better yet, wait for the new MacBook Air in July).
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro was announced on Friday. The base model’s slower SSD speed isn’t mentioned in many (any?) laptop embargo reviews, as Apple seems to offer many reviewers a 1TB configuration for testing.
It remains to be seen whether the new MacBook Air with the M2 chip will also have slower SSD speeds when configured with 256GB of storage.