Here’s why flash storage in the baseline M2 MacBook Pro is underperforming

Flash storage on the 256GB version of the M2 MacBook Pro is dissapointingly slow versus the equivalent previous-generation model with the M1 chip.

  • The read/write performance of flash storage in the 256-gigabyte version of the M2-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro is slower vs. the previous model with the M1.
  • Other M2 MacBook Pro configurations that are equipped with additional storage do not underperform in terms of real-life flash storage speeds.
  • As a result of this, the virtual memory swapping on the baseline M2 MacBook Pro is slow, which in turn leads to slower system performance overall.

Two NAND flash storage chips are better than one

The YouTube channel Max Tech has tested the read and write speeds of the flash storage in the baseline model of the new M2-powered MacBook Pro. The results clearly indicate that flash storage is underperforming on the 256 GB model, with up to 50 percent slower read performance . Curiously, higher-capacity models and comparable M1 configurations from last year have much faster flash storage. As for the write speeds, they’re approximately 30 percent slower—stuck a notable drop in flash stooge performance. Read: Mac feeling slow? Try this simple fix!

  • 13-inch MacBook Pro (‌M1‌/256GB) read speed: 2,900
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro (‌M2‌/256GB) read speed: 1,446
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro (‌M1‌/256GB) write speed: 2,215
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro (‌M2‌/256GB) write speed: 1,463

Juli Clover, MacRumors:

The ‌M2‌ MacBook Pro with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM was slower than the ‌M1‌ MacBook Pro with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM across multiple usage tests involving Photoshop, Lightroom, Final Cut Pro, multitasking, and file transfers. In a multitasking RAM test, the ‌M1‌ consistently loads content faster with multiple apps open, and in a 50 image export test in Lightroom with apps open, the ‌M1‌ was again quicker. It was able to export 50 images in 3 minutes and 36 seconds, while the ‌M2‌ took 4 minutes and 12 seconds.

The reason for the notable speed difference: The 512GB version uses two 256GB chips whereas the baseline 256GB configuration has a single 256GB chip.

These NAND flash storage chips work in parallel, so the two chips in the 512GB configuration can read/write data concurrently. So why doesn’t Apple use two 128GB chips and effectively double the speed of the 256GB version of the 13-incher? We don’t know the answer to that question. If we were to speculate, we’d say that the current issues with the supply chains all over the world probably mean Apple cannot currently get 128GB SSDs in sufficient quantity. Using a single 256GB chip instead of two 128GB ones could also be a cost-cutting move on Apple’s part.

What’s there to like about the M2 13″ MacBook Pro?

Unveiled at the June 6 WWDC22 keynote, the computer is powered by an M2 chip, which is the second-generation Apple silicon. The chip is manufactured on TSMC’s five-nanometer process and offers faster performance and graphics. The M2 has eight CPU cores like its predecessor and two additional GPU cores for a total of ten. Compared to the M1, the M2 provides fifty percent more unified memory (up to 24 gigabytes). On the downside, this notebook still ships with a Touch Bar (meaning no function key row for you, boys and girls) and uses the old, outdated design. You also won’t find any of the new features (actually, old features that Apple first took away from us only to revive them) such as safe charging via MagSafe, an HDMI port or memory card slots. Read: Tips for freeing up storage space on macOS

Pricing and availability

The 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro is available to purchase via and in the Apple Store app. The baseline model with 256GB of storage is priced at $1,299. For an extra $200, you’ll get 512GB of storage. And if that’s not enough for what you do, Apple lets you configure your order with 1TB or 2TB flash storage. All 13-inch M2 MacBook Pros are offered in the same silver and space gray finishes as before.