The release of Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip has led to the usual benchmarking, and it has been discovered that the $1,299 base model with 256GB of storage has significantly slower SSD read/write speeds compared to the equivalent previous-generation model.
YouTube channels, including Max Tech and Created Tech tested the 256GB model using Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test app and found that the SSD’s read and write speeds are both around 1,450 MB/s, which is around 50% slower reading and around 30% slower writing compared to the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 chip and 256GB of storage.
Disk Speed Test app numbers from Vadim Yuryev of Max Tech:
- 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
Yuryev disassembled the new 13-inch MacBook Pro and found that the 256GB model is equipped with only a single NAND flash storage chip. (The previous model had two NAND chips.) This difference likely explains why the new model has a slower SSD, as multiple NAND chips allow for faster speeds in parallel.
It appears that only the base model 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 chip has a slower SSD. As Disk Speed Tests run on the 512GB model showed the SSD’s read/write speeds were similar to all M1 models, but getting these speeds will require spending at least $1,499. This likely means that the 512GB model remains equipped with two 256GB flash storage chips.
Slower SSD speeds are more noticeable when transferring files to external storage, and can affect performance when the Mac uses the SSD space as virtual memory when physical RAM is full.