According to tests, the entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro M2 is said to have a slower SSD than its predecessor. cheers by 9to5Mac. In BlackMagic’s drive speed test, the 512GB SSD in Apple’s latest flagship scored around 2,970MB/s read and about 3,150MB/s write, compared with 4,900MB/s read and 3,950 MB/s write of the M1. Pro with a capable 512 GB SSD.
That means the base 2023 model has about 39% slower reads and 20% slower writes than the model one released in 2021.
The reason for the difference could be the chip. Based on 9to5Mac, the 512GB SSD on the previous generation 14-inch has four NAND storage chips, while the SSD on the M2 Pro appears to have two. Those are obviously higher capacity chips, so computers have the same amount of storage but worse performance because they can’t read and write as much in parallel.
Building newer generations of computers with fewer NAND chips is nothing new for Apple. both MacBook Air 256GB M2 and the 13-inch MacBook Pro have slower storage capacity than the M1 versions of those machines. (The situation is even worse for machines with only one NAND chip.) But those are relatively affordable laptops; The 14-inch MacBook Pro is a $2,000 computer aimed at professionals and creative developers — that’s not where you’d expect Apple to cut back or sacrifice performance.
It would be even more annoying if the $2,500 16-inch model with a 512GB SSD also had this setup, however, as far as I know, no one has confirmed this one way or another. We asked Apple about it and the M2 Mac Mini with its 256GB SSD, but didn’t get an immediate response.
However, Mac rumor report that the 256GB M2 Mini actually has only one NAND chip, similar to the Air and the 13-inch Pro. Again, I think that’s more acceptable on a machine that costs $599. But while it’s unfortunate that the base M2 Mini has a slower SSD than the M1, there’s a trade-off – the M2 model starts at $100 less than compared to its predecessor. With everything the computer has to offer about real-world performancemaybe it’s hard to complain.
Thankfully, it seems that the MacBook Pro models with the upgraded storage don’t achieve the same performance. Tom’s Guide and laptop tested a 14-inch laptop equipped with an M2 Pro with a 2TB SSD, as well as a laptop with an M2 Max processor (only available with a 1TB SSD or higher), and the storage turned out to be as fast as or faster than previous generation models. Mac World found a similar situation with 16 inch models.
For reference only, Tom’s Guide note that the 2TB SSD paired with the M2 Pro is capable of 5,293 MB/s reads and 6,168 MB/s writes, one significantly upgrade from the 512GB model (as you’d expect, given the 2TB SSD option adds $600 to the price of the computer).
This is not to say that newer Macs with entry-level SSDs will be unnaturally slow. Benchmark screenshot posted by 9to5Mac shows that the 14-inch monitor still has enough bandwidth to play back 12K ProRes 422 HQ footage at 60FPS. It also still easily beats the 1TB SSD in my 13-inch MacBook Pro M1, which is quite enough even when I ask it to do heavy video editing tasks and is faster than the 256GB SSD in the M2. MacBook Air and 13 inch professional.
However, it’s a bit confusing to see that, in at least one respect, the entry-level M2 Pro machines are significantly inferior to their predecessors.