According to 9to5Mac tests, the entry-level 14-inch M2 MacBook Pro has a slower SSD than its predecessor. The 512GB SSD in Apple’s latest flagship achieved read speed scores of around 2,970 MB/s and write speed scores of around 3,150 MB/s in BlackMagic’s Disk Speed Test, compared to 4,900 MB/s reads and 3,950 MB/s writes in the M1 Pro with a 512GB SSD. That means the 2023 base model has around 39% slower reads and 20% slower writes than the 2021 model.
The reason for the disparity is most likely due to chips. According to 9to5Mac, the previous-generation 14-inch’s 512GB SSD had four NAND storage chips, whereas the one on the M2 Pro appears to have two. Because those are obviously higher-capacity chips, the computers have the same amount of storage but perform worse because they can’t parallelize reads and writes as much.
Apple has a history of producing newer generations of computers with fewer NAND chips and both the 256GB M2 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro had slower storage than the M1 models.
However, those are entry-level laptops; the 14-inch MacBook Pro is a $2,000 computer aimed at creative professionals and developers — not a place where Apple would cut corners or sacrifice performance.
According to MacRumors, the 256GB M2 Mini has a single NAND chip, just like the Air and 13-inch Pro. While the base M2 Mini has a slower SSD than the M1, there is a tradeoff: the M2 model starts at $100 less than its predecessor. Given everything the computer has to offer in terms of real-world performance, it’s difficult to complain.
Fortunately, it appears that MacBook Pro models with upgraded storage do not suffer the same performance hit. Tom’s Guide and Laptop Mag tested a 14-inch M2 Pro laptop with a 2TB SSD, as well as one with an M2 Max processor, and the storage proved to be roughly as fast as or faster than previous-generation models.
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