Apple welcomed 2023 with the addition of updated MacBook Pros and Mac minis, complete with more powerful M2-series chips and lower price tags. However, it’s not all good news as the new computers from the tech giant allegedly suffer from slower SSD speeds than the models they replace, an issue that we have actually seen last year that could possibly be explained by the global chip shortage.
YouTube channel Brandon Geekabit did a teardown on the 256GB model of the new Mac mini and found that for storage, it only used a single 256GB NAND chip. This is different from the base model M1 Mac mini, which used two 128GB instead — multiple NAND chips usually means faster SSD speeds.
Sure enough, MacRumors tested the new device using Blackmagic Disk Speed and found that the read and write speeds of the 256GB model are around 1,500MB/s each, which they said was 30% to 50% slower than the M1 equivalent. Adding to that, a report by MacStadium’s Brian Stucki found that the 512GB M2 Pro variant of the new Mac mini also comes with two NAND storage chips, half the amount of the previous Intel-based version.
This isn’t exactly surprising given that last year, the M2-powered MacBook Pro and MacBook Air were the first Apple products reported to be affected by this same move from the tech giant. In its defence, Apple did put out a statement to The Verge claiming that the higher-density NAND chips deliver faster “real-world activities” despite the difference in benchmark scores.
Similarly, 9to5mac opened up the new M2 Pro MacBook Pro only to find that it too contained two 256GB chips instead of the M1 Pro’s four 128GB chips for the base 512GB model. Of course, they also ran benchmark tests and predictably, the SSD performed considerably worse than its predecessor.
It’s rather unfortunate that Apple has made such a compromise to devices running on its exciting new chips although most users may not notice the difference during daily usage. If you do need the fastest possible speeds though, you might want to consider configuring your new Mac with a higher storage capacity.