What you need to know
- Apple's 256GB M2 13-inch MacBook Pro is hamstrung by relatively poor SSD performance.
- Tests show the base model M2 MacBook Pro is slower than the M1 version.
- It appears Apple's use of a single SSD module is to blame.
If you're looking at your brand new M2 13-inch MacBook Pro and wondering why it doesn't feel as fast as you'd hoped, there could be a very good reason — especially if you picked up the base 256GB model.
While the new Apple M2-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro is super-speedy thanks to the fact it packs the latest Apple silicon, there's a catch for those who bought the base model. As YouTuber Max Tech notes in a new video, the performance of the machine's SSD isn't quite up to scratch when compared to the M1 MacBook Pro.
In Max Tech's testing, backed up by our own here at iMore, the new 256GB M2 13-inch MacBook Pro's SSD performs less impressively than expected with read and write speeds significantly slower than the M1 machine it replaces. As an example, our M2 13-inch MacBook Pro manages read and write speeds of around 1500 MB/s. Max Tech's M1 13-inch MacBook Pro posted read and write scores of 2900 and 2215 respectively.
While Black Magic tests can be hit and miss at times, the differences between the M1 and M2-powered results are stark. But why? That's something YouTuber Created Tech set about figuring out — by taking one of the new machines apart.
According to a new video published by the channel, Apple's 256GB M2 13-inch MacBook Pro comes with a single 256GB storage chip, whereas the previous M1 versions used a pair of 128GB chips to create a 256GB pool of storage. That allows for faster speeds and is something Apple has done on various other Macs over the years.
The upshot of all of this is pretty simple — if you want to get the very fastest M2-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro, you're going to want to get one with more than the base 256GB of storage. We've already seen reports of much improved SSD performance on MacBook Pros with 512GB of storage, for example.
It isn't clear why Apple decided to go this route, but it does raise concerns that the upcoming M2 MacBook Air will also suffer from a similarly lackluster SSD performance when it arrives next month — at least in the base configuration.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.