Macbook Pro M2 with 256GB SSD is Slower in Real-World Speed Tests than M1

Benchmark tests have shown that the 256GB variant of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 chip has slower SSD performance than the M1 equivalent, and now videos by YouTuber Max Yuryev of Max Tech suggest that the 13-inch MacBook Pro's 256GB SSD is also underperforming in day-to-day use.

Across multiple multitasking and file transfer tests involving Photoshop, Lightroom, and Final Cut Pro, the M1 MacBook Pro with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM was faster than the M2 MacBook Pro with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM.

When multiple apps were open in a multitasking RAM test, the M1 consistently loaded content faster, and in a 50 image export test in Lightroom with apps open, the M1 was also faster. Using the M2, 50 images could be exported in 3 minutes and 36 seconds, while it took the M1 4 minutes and 12 seconds.

The MacBook Pro's built-in 8GB unified memory is being used in these tests, with its SSD serving as virtual memory. The swapping of virtual memory results in a slower system performance overall.

Results from all of Max Tech's performance stress tests and benchmark tests conducted on Saturday demonstrated the same discrepancy. The ‌M2‌ MacBook Pro's read speeds appear to be around 50 percent slower, while its write speeds appear to be around 30 percent slower.

The performance difference can be attributed to Apple's choice of NAND flash storage. The M2 MacBook Pro has one 256GB NAND flash storage chip, while the M1 MacBook Pro has two NAND chips, each with 128GB.

The NAND chips allow for faster speeds in parallel, which could explain the M2's disappointing performance.

SSD performance appears to be limited to the 256GB version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, as higher capacity machines have not experienced slower performanceBuyers of the MacBook Pro should be aware of this performance problem, as it may influence their decision.

Apple's decision to use a different NAND chip setup in the M2 MacBook Pro remains unclear, and further testing is needed to discover exactly what's going on.

Our requests for comment from Apple have not been answered yet, but we will update this article if we hear back.

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