Our review of Apple’s new 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro showed it to be a decent laptop, but we have several reasons why you should think twice before buying it. And now some YouTubers have discovered another reason to specifically avoid the base model: the SSD is very slow.
Created Tech and Max Tech tested the $1,299 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 256GB SSD, the smallest capacity available, and their results show the SSD read speeds are significantly slower than its predecessor, the M1. based 13-inch MacBook Pro. And it’s no small difference: The new M2-based laptop has SSD read speeds that are 50 percent slower, while write speeds are 30 percent slower.
Max Tech took the 13-inch MacBook Pro apart and may have figured out why the SSD gets a performance hit: Apple uses a single 256GB NAND flash storage chip. That’s different from the M1 model which uses a pair of 128GB chips: two chips performing read/write functions are faster than a single chip doing the same.
However, the problem with this slower performance goes beyond just opening and saving files. As you probably know, the Mac has unified memory, which is different from the SSD, and it is basically used when the CPU is working. If the CPU runs out of unified memory, items it doesn’t use are moved to a paging file on the SSD. The CPU switches items back and forth between the unified memory and the SSD until it is no longer needed. If the SSD is slow, it will take longer to swap out the CPU, which will affect the overall performance of the Mac.
Macworld and other publications that have reviewed the 13-inch MacBook Pro have models with larger SSDs and better performance. We didn’t take the laptop apart, but our results from the MacBook Pro with a 1TB SSD showed better read performance, while we found the write performance to be the same. Apple probably uses two 512GB chips for 1TB SSDs.
Apple has not made a public statement as to why it has decided to use only a single chip in the $1,299 model. If it’s a cost-saving measure, it certainly can’t be significant. Perhaps the global chip shortage we keep hearing about has something to do with it, and if it does, we don’t know if Apple will switch to dual 128GB chips once supply chains open up.
In any case, this development puts a new damper on the 13-inch MacBook Pro. If you’re considering the $1,299 model, it’s worth waiting at this point to see if the forthcoming M2 MacBook Air has the same 256GB SSD implementation. And even if it does, the MacBook Air has other features that make it a better choice, such as a bigger and better screen, a better FaceTime camera, and a new design, although you’ll want to upgrade the unified memory to avoid performance. hits.