Full SSD speed is apparently only available in the new MacBook Pros and Mac minis with M2 (Pro) for a surcharge: the SSD in the cheapest basic configuration of the new model series is considerably slower than expected, as first users report. The SSD transfer rates measured with benchmark tools are not only far below the speeds of the expensive configurations, but are also slower than the M1 predecessors with the same storage space.
Half speed in the new MacBook Pro with 512 GB
In the measurements carried out with the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, the 512 GB SSD in the MacBook Pro 14″ and in the Mac mini M2 Pro achieves read and write speeds of around 3000 MB/s. For comparison: the 2023 MacBook Pro in the Mac test & i with a 2 TB SSD achieved read and write speeds of 5000 and 6000 MB/s, respectively, transfer rates that were practically twice as fast – just like the Mac mini (M2 Pro) with a 1 TB SSD. The 14″ MacBook Pro with 4 TB SSD achieved write speeds of over 7000 MB/s.
In general, it can be expected that larger SSDs also offer faster transfer rates, but the SSD in the new entry-level models is also significantly slower than the predecessor with the same storage space according to initial measurements. A 14″ MacBook Pro with M1 Pro (year of construction 2021) achieves read and write speeds of almost 4000 MB/s and 5000 MB/s respectively in the basic model.
The entry-level model of the Mac mini M2 with a 256 GB SSD achieves read and write speeds of only around 1500 MB/s and is therefore up to 50 percent slower than the M1 predecessor with a 256 GB SSD, reports Macrumors.
Apple is reducing NAND modules
A first glance at the inside of the new models indicates that Apple is proceeding in a similar way to the MacBook Air M2 and 13″ MacBook Air M2, which last year already attracted attention with significantly slower SSD speeds in the base model. Instead of 2x or 4x Instead of using 128 GB NAND chips, Apple is now soldering flash modules with 1 x 256 GB or 2 x 256 GB onto the motherboard. This also reduces the usable memory channels and probably ensures the significantly lower transfer rates. Use a single NAND chip Module with even higher density, the manufacturer emphasized last year, which could lead to “differences” in the benchmarks, in “real activities” the new models are “even faster”. Apple has not yet commented.
Whether and to what extent the lower speeds are noticeable in everyday use ultimately depends on the application and workflow. The SSD in MacBook Pro and Mac mini cannot be exchanged later by the user. Apple estimates high prices for more storage space when buying: The upgrade from 512 GB to 1 TB costs 230 euros.
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