New M2 MacBook Pro and Mac mini suffer from same SSD speed issues as M2 Air

14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro (2023)
(Image credit: Apple)

The brand new M2 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini, revealed last week, introduced the M2 generation of silicon to more of the Mac product line. Now, initial teardowns show that the base models of the newest Macs have slower SSD read and write speeds compared to the previous generation M1 models.

According to the Brandon Geekabit teardown of the latest Mac mini on YouTube, the 256GB model has a singular 256GB storage chip compared to the two 128GB chips of the previous generation’s same configuration. According to testing from MacRumors (opens in new tab), the BlackMagic Disk Speed Test shows “SSD read and write speeds for the new 256GB Mac mini are each around 1,500 MB/s, which is anywhere from 30% to 50% slower than read and write speeds for the equivalent previous-generation model.”

9to5mac’s (opens in new tab) teardown of the base model 14-inch 512GB M2 Pro MacBook Pro shows similar findings to the M2 Mac mini benchmarks. The latest 14-inch MacBook Pro has two 256GB SSD storage chips compared to four in the M1 Pro model with performance impacted as a result.

Following in the M2 Air's footsteps

However, this wouldn’t be the first time that Apple has settled for slower SSD speeds for base models of new products, with the M2 13-inch Macbook Pro and M2 Macbook Air from last year following in the same direction. These SSD slowdowns are due to singular NAND chips versus multiple in previous generations. 

In a statement issued to The Verge (opens in new tab) when the controversy broke surrounding the M2 MacBook Air base models last year, Apple claimed that despite benchmark results the newer systems are faster for real-world activities:

“Thanks to the performance increases of M2, the new MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro are incredibly fast, even compared to Mac laptops with the powerful M1 chip. These new systems use a new higher-density NAND that delivers 256GB of storage using a single chip. While benchmarks of the 256GB SSD may show a difference compared to the previous generation, the performance of these M2-based systems for real-world activities are even faster.”

It’s likely that most people will not see these SSD speed differences in everyday use, yet it’s always nice to see newer generations showcase performance increases across the board. Despite these initial benchmarks, the new M2 MacBook Pro and Mac mini remain some of the best Macs on the market today.

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.