Some M2 MacBook Pro Models Have Slower SSDs Versus M1: Report

Apple unveiled a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with second-generation ‘M2’ Apple Silicon at WWDC 2022 earlier this month. The new notebook is a direct successor to the 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro from 2020.

However, benchmarks from YouTubers like Max Tech and Created Tech have revealed that M2 MacBook Pro configurations with only 256GB of storage deliver up to 50% slower read and 30% slower write speeds than predecessors with the same amount of SSD storage (via MacRumors).

Max Tech‘s Vadim Yuryev recorded the following numbers on Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test app:

  • 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

Upon disassembling the new 256GB M2 MacBook Pro, Yuryev found that the installed SSD only sports a single NAND flash storage chip. The one on the equivalent M1 MacBook Pro, on the other hand, has two NAND packages.

This difference explains the slower SSD read/write speeds, given that multiple NAND chips offer faster speeds in parallel.

It’s unclear why Apple opted for an SSD with a single NAND chip for the base model M2 MacBook Pro, especially considering it slashes performance by up to half. Higher costs and/or supply constraints may have had something to do with it, though.

The issue appears exclusive to the 256GB configuration of the M2 MacBook Pro. Anyone buying the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with 512GB of internal storage (or more) should be in the clear. We’ll have to wait and see if the new M2 MacBook Air, due out in July, exhibits the same issue.

Apple’s new M2 13-inch MacBook Pro, meanwhile, is available to purchase now on Apple.ca and at retail stores.