Don’t Buy the Entry-Level M2 Pro MacBook Pro — Here’s Why

One thing Mac users have been able to count on in recent years is the blazing fast speeds of their computer’s storage. The brand new M2 Pro MacBook Pro and M2 Mac mini, however, seem bitterly disappointing in that regard.

That’s because multiple outlets have confirmed that Macs equipped with entry-level M2 chips (both the M2 itself and the M2 Pro) come with much slower read and write speeds than previous-generation models. For example, 9to5Mac benchmarked the new 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 Pro chip and found that its SSD’s read and write speeds dropped by 40% and 20%, respectively.

Similarly, MacRumors benchmarked the M2 Mac Mini using the Blackmagic Disk Speed ​​Test and found that the device’s read and write speeds were anywhere from 50% to 30% slower than its predecessor.

None of this is good news for potential Apple customers. Apple devices are expensive and, while it usually means you get a quality product in return, no one likes to see performance drop between device generations.

let the chips fall

A man sitting in a vehicle is using a MacBook Pro on his lap.

What is causing this slowdown in SSD performance? Well, it has to do with the way SSD storage is distributed among the chips on the Mac’s logic board. Previously, Apple split the storage across two or more chips—for example, the 256GB M1 Mac mini used two 128GB NAND modules. Now, however, the M2 Mac mini puts that 256GB on a single chip, as confirmed by YouTube channel Brandon Geekabit. Doing so affects performance, so results are slower than expected.

In the case of the base-model 14-inch MacBook Pro, Apple previously arranged its 512GB of storage on four chips. According to 9to5Mac’s teardown, it’s now split across two chips, which reduces its speed. This means that if you want the best SSD output you can get, it may be worth bumping up to the minimum amount of storage.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen M2 Macs offer much slower storage speeds than previous models. Both the m2 MacBook Pro and m2 MacBook Air suffered in this regard, if you bought the entry-level models with 256GB of storage.

A person holding the logic board of Apple's M2 Mac mini computer.
Brandon Gigabit/YouTube

Interestingly, the problem didn’t affect any M2 MacBooks with more than 256GB of storage, as those models use more than just a single NAND chip. We’ll have to see if the same holds true for the M2 Mac mini and M2 Pro MacBook Pro.

It’s a disappointing turn for Apple’s Mac range. The Mac Mini and MacBook Pro are still blazing fast when it comes to SSD speeds – the 925Mac recorded a write speed of 3154.5MBps in the M2 Pro MacBook Pro – it’s not nice to see performance that matches the previous generation model Can’t eat

We suspect that Apple may have taken this approach in order to save money. During its October 2022 earnings call, Apple explained that it expected Mac revenue to decline “significantly” year-over-year in the first quarter of 2023. Perhaps this inspired the obvious cost-cutting measures in the Mac mini and MacBook Pro. Let’s hope the next generation of Mac SSDs doesn’t suffer the same fate.

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