While the Tame Apple Press has been claiming that the M2 Pro- and M2 Max-based MacBook Pros have “up to” a 20 per cent uplift for the CPU, “up to” a 30 per cent increase for the GPU no one seems to have noticed that the all these performance gains will be stifled by a slower SSD.
The SSD on the 2023 14-inch MacBook Pro (M2 Pro, 512GB) is significantly slower than the one found in the 2021 14-inch MacBook Pro (M1 Pro, 512GB). The M2 Pro system scored 2929 MBps write and 2703 MBps read using the AJA System Test Lite benchmark. Its M1 Pro-based predecessor scored 3450 Mbps on the write test and 4081 MBps on the read test.
Apple is likely to be using single SSD modules again like the 256GB M2 Air and M2 MacBook Pro.
9to5Mac decided to open the case on the new MacBook Pro to see if the chip configuration had changed compared to the previous generation and found the 512GB M1 Pro MacBook Pro had two NAND chips visible on the front of the motherboard and another two on the back, the M2 Pro MacBook Pro had only one visible on the front of the board.
"There is likely a second NAND chip directly opposing this, as the M1 had," 9to5Mac wrote.
The performance downgrade extends to the 256GB variant of the 2023 Mac mini with the M2 SoC. When Apple announced the M2- and M2 Pro-based Mac minis last week, the company also reduced prices for the base model. The M1 Mac mini had a starting price of $699, while the new M2 Mac mini dropped that price to just $599.
It looks like Apple is trying to squeeze cost savings by skimping on storage performance. Apple has pulled this stunt before, presumably because few Apple fanboys look at SSD speed when they buy hardware, even if it does effect overall performance.
Given that they are paying nearly $2,000 for a MacBook Pro, this does seem a little mean.