13-inch MacBook Pro M2 with 256GB SSD appears slower than its M1 counterpart in real speed tests

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Benchmark tests have indicated that the 256GB version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip offers slower SSD performance than its M1 counterpart, and now real-world stress tests by YouTuber Max Yuryev of Max Tech suggest they The 256GB SSD in the 13-inch MacBook Pro also underperforms in everyday use.

The MacBook Pro m2 with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM was slower in multiple usage tests involving Photoshop, Lightroom, Final Cut Pro, multitasking, and transferring files, compared to the MacBook Pro M1 with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM. In a multitasking RAM test, the m1 consistently loaded content with multiple apps, and in a 50-image export test in Lightroom with the app open, the m1 was fast again. It was able to export 50 images in 3 minutes and 36 seconds, while the M2 took 4 minutes and 12 seconds.

In these tests, the MacBook Pro’s 8GB of onboard integrated memory is being used by multiple processes, with the machine using an SSD as virtual memory. The overall system performance slows down as a result of virtual memory swapping.

These results were in line with all performance tests conducted by Max Tech, and the same discrepancy was visible in benchmark tests conducted by Max Tech on Saturday. The read speed appears to be about 50 percent slower on the MacBook Pro M2, while the write speed appears to be about 30 percent slower.

  • 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1/256GB) Read Speed: 2900
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2/256GB) Read Speed: 1446
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1/256GB) Write Speed: 2215
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2/256GB) Write Speed: 1463

Max Tech attributes this performance difference to Apple’s choice of NAND flash storage. The MacBook Pro M2 has a single 256GB NAND flash storage chip, while the MacBook Pro M1 has two NAND chips that are likely to be 128GB each. Multiple NAND chips in parallel allow faster speeds, which may explain the disappointing performance of the ‌M2‌.

The SSD’s slow performance appears to be limited to the 256GB version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, as higher-capacity machines haven’t displayed the same problem. Potential MacBook Pro buyers should be aware of this performance issue as it may affect their purchase choice.

It’s unclear why Apple opted for a different NAND chip configuration in the MacBook Pro 2M2, and further testing is needed to determine what’s going on. Apple has yet to respond to our requests for comment, but we’ll update this article if we hear back.

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