Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022, 16:13 Mac: Hardware

The Slow SSD In The MacBook Pro M2 – Benchmark Reveals Serious Consequences

The MacBook Pro M2 is a somewhat controversial model in Apple's current lineup. Compared to other devices such as the M1 Macs or the MacBook Air M2, the device is quite lacking. Summarized in whole, the laptop possesses a modern chip but almost every other aspect of its concept is outdated – and despite this, the notebook still comes at a premium price. Just recently, another discovery has also arranged for even more discontent with the device. The 256 GB variant of the MacBook Pro M2 comes with inferior SSD performance. As per the actual specifications, the new M2 laptop's SSD's performance undercuts even that of the previous generation upon which it is based, the MacBook Pro M1. The reason for this is a swap in the drive's storage module, whereas the SSD in the MacBook Pro M1 consisted of 2x 128 GB (parallel) – the SSD in the MacBook Pro M2 consists of 1x 256 GB with slightly more than half of the data rate (1.4 vs. 2.9 GB/s).

256 GB – 2020 MacBook Pro Mostly Faster Under Load
In pure read/write benchmarks, the difference is obviously drastic. However, the real question is whether or not there is truly any noticeable difference during daily performance. There are already numerous experience reports that have observed a significantly noticeable difference in performance during data intensive tasks. The difference is especially noticeable on the variant with only 8 GB of unified memory. MaxTech tasked Lightroom with exporting 50 images. On the MacBook Pro M1 this took only 3:36 minutes, whereas the task took 4:12 minutes on the MacBook Pro M2.

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In the video above, it's almost immediately apparent how much faster large data in Photoshop is loadable the 2020 MacBook Pro. Although the processor is slower, the SSD's weaker performance slows the entire system down significantly. However, the new MacBook Pro does shine in certain, isolated, tasks. When it comes to exporting videos, the M2 has a clear advantage and can make better, unimpeded use of its power and is finished with the task much more quickly (2:23 vs. 2:25). As per the benchmarks, the SSD related disadvantages are present to a degree that performance becomes even worse when the system requires more RAM for other tasks.

MacBook Pro M2 256 GB With 8 GB RAM – Not A Good Choice
A complete assessment of the device, particularly in light of this new information, reveals that the MacBook Pro M2 is certainly not a recommendable purchase. Most users would be much better served by a MacBook Air M2 or with a MacBook Pro M1 Pro/M1 Max. For users who decide against this advice, there is an additional warning: the variant with the 256 GB SSD is particularly advised against – and the same test values as in this report likely also apply to the MacBook Air M2.

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