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A hot potato: The updated 13-inch MacBook Pro powered by Apple's all-new M2 SoC has arrived in stores, bringing with it the upgraded performance Cupertino talked about during the unveiling earlier this month. But while Apple's latest silicon might leave its predecessor in the dust, the M2 Pro's storage speeds are slower—at least in the base model.
YouTube channels such as Max Tech and Created Tech made the discovery when testing the $1,299 base-model M2 MacBook Pro 13, which comes with a 256GB SSD. They found the read and write speeds both came to around 1,450 MB/s. That equates to about 50% slower reads (2,900 MB/s) and roughly 30% slower writes (2,215 MB/s) than the previous M1-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro with 256GB storage.
Created Tech confirmed the reason behind the slower SSD in the newer MacBook Pro: the M2 machine uses a single 256GB NAND flash chip, while its predecessor features two 128GB NAND chips that work in parallel for faster speeds.
Having slower SSD speeds in the M2 MacBook Pro will disappoint those expecting all-around better performance compared to the previous-gen machine—as should be the case. Instead, buyers get storage that's half as fast as the predecessor. Those desperate for one of the new Pros without worse SSD performance will have to spend an extra $200 for a 512GB model. It offers the same, but not faster, speeds as the M1, meaning it probably has two flash chips.
Why Apple chose to use just one flash chip instead of two is unclear, though it's more than likely a way to reduce overall costs. In what is unlikely to be a coincidence, Apple provided many of those carrying out embargoed reviews of the M2 MacBook Pro 13 with 1TB models. It will be interesting to see if the base-level M2 MacBook Air also has slower SSDs speeds than the current version when it lands next month.