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Apple’s 2023 M2 Pro MacBook Pro SSD Performance Declines



IT House News on January 25, according to 9to5 Mac, a quick look at the inside of the base M2 Pro MacBook Pro revealed some new material. Like the base M2 MacBook Air, the base model of the latest 14-inch MacBook Pro for 2023 appears to feature fewer NAND chips than the previous generation — but higher capacity. This results in significantly lower read and write performance of SSDs than the previous generation.

The base M1 and M2 MacBook Airs only offer 256GB of storage. For the M1 MacBook Air, that storage space is allocated to two 128GB Kioxia NAND chips. As Apple moved to the M2 chips, it also switched to newer NAND chips, each offering 256GB of storage. This means that the base model M2 MacBook Air with only 256GB of storage has only one NAND chip, and SSD performance suffers as a result.

Like the M1 MacBook Air, the storage space of the base 512GB M1 Pro MacBook Pro is divided into four 128GB NAND chips. In the iFixit teardown, they show two 128GB NAND chips on one side of the motherboard and two other 128GB NAND chips on the other side. Like the M2 MacBook Air before it, the M2 MacBook Pro appears to have switched to a larger NAND chip, so the 512GB storage base model has slower SSD performance.

“Since the M2 Pro MacBook Pro has significantly lower SSD performance, I wanted to take a look inside to confirm why. Sure enough, the 512GB M1 Pro MacBook Pro has two NAND chips on the front of the motherboard and two on the back, while the M2 Pro MacBook Pro has two NAND chips on the front of the motherboard. Only one is visible on the front of the motherboard, and there may be a second NAND chip directly alongside it, like the M1.”

While the higher storage density of NAND chips is a good thing, it’s always disappointing when a product’s performance deteriorates between generations. But most people don’t expect to see its effects in everyday use. Disk reads and writes are still very fast, so the difference may only be noticeable in extreme cases.

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