After Apple launched the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip, the $1,299 base model with 256GB of storage was discovered to have significantly slower SSD read/write speeds than the equivalent previous generation model.
YouTube channels such as Max Tech and Created Tech tested the 256GB model using Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test app and found SSD read and write speeds of around 1,450MB/s, which is 50% slower reading and about 30% slower writing compared to a MacBook Pro 13 inch with M1 chip and 256 GB storage.
Disk Speed Test numbers shared by Vadim Yuryev from Max Tech:
- 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1 / 256GB) Read Speed: 2900
- 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2/256GB) Read Speed: 1,446
- 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1/256GB) Write Speed: 2215
- MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2/256GB) write speed: 1,463
Yuryev disassembled the new 13-inch MacBook Pro and discovered that the 256GB model was equipped with only one NAND flash storage chip, while the previous model had two NAND chips likely to be 128GB each. This difference likely explains why the new model has a slower SSD, as multiple NAND chips allow for higher speeds in parallel.
Only the base model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 chip appears to have a slower SSD. As noted in Mac rumors On the forums, Aaron Zollo ran a Disk Speed Test on the 512GB model and SSD read/write speeds were similar for all M1 models, but getting those speeds would require spending at least $1,499. This likely means that the 512GB model is still equipped with two 256GB flash storage slots.
It’s not clear why the new base model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro will only be equipped with a single NAND chip, but costs and/or display limitations are two potential 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 like moving files to an external drive, and overall performance can also be slightly affected since Macs temporarily use SSD space as virtual memory when physical RAM is fully used. If you’re thinking 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 launched on Friday. The base model’s slower SSD speeds were not mentioned in many of the (any?) banned reviews of the notebook, as it appears that Apple offered several reviewers a 1TB configuration for testing.
It remains to be seen if the new MacBook Air with the M2 chip will have slower SSD speeds when configured with 256GB of storage.