Some M2 13-inch MacBook Pros have far slower SSDs than others

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.

Those wanting the ultimate in performance need to spring for more storage.

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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