Apple is doomed.
The SSD speeds on the new M2 MacBook Pro are an absolute disaster.
What are they doing? Why is the new laptop worse than the old one?
Tim is pulling the wool over our eyes, isn’t he? Does he think we’re totally stupid?
Bloody Apple. They always do this. Ramp up expectations, make a big song and dance about a new product, and then totally screw up everything with something they think we won’t notice.
They are doomed, I tell you.
Calm down, please, The Internet.
What’s going on with the M2 MacBook Pro SSD?
Earlier this week, 9to5Mac gathered reports from various YouTubers who have been testing the new M2 MacBook Pro. More specifically, they honed in on one element of the testing – the SSD speeds.
The Blackmagic Disk Speed Test benchmarking app has revealed a 1,454 MB/s deficiency in SSD read speeds on the M2 versus the M1, and a 752 MB/s drop in write speeds.
These are big numbers. They’re worrisome, right?
As always, I have a rather different take.
This only applies to the base model M2 MacBook Pro
Buried within the hysteria of the last few days, you’ll find reports that the SSD performance of the 512GB M2 MacBook Pro remains on a par with the M1 model.
The reason for the drop in speeds on the 256GB model of the M2 MacBook Pro is that Apple has seemingly opted for one storage chip in the new laptop. On the M1 version, 256GB of storage is split across two chips, which enables faster read and write speeds.
So, what does this mean for people who have already bought the base-model M2 MacBook Pro, or those who are considering pre-ordering the same version of the M2 MacBook Air next month?
I have some rather more positive news.
Everyday use is ALWAYS overlooked
One of the most frustrating things I find about this kind of tech coverage is the lack of appreciation for the ‘normal’ user. It is completely non-existent, and that is a big problem.
‘Normal user’ isn’t a derogatory term or one that should be disregarded during benchmark tests, either. It’s the vast majority of base-model MacBook Air buyers.
If you placed base-model versions of the M1 and M2 MacBook Air in front of those folk, they wouldn’t notice any difference between the two machines – mark my words. And you can place me in that camp, too, based on the way in which I use my M1 MacBook Air.
Apple knows this. It’s why they’ve made this change – presumably – for manufacturing or supply chain reasons.
As I noted a couple of weeks ago, the biggest challenge for the M2 MacBook Air is the continued presence of the M1 version in the lineup. These SSD speed test results are a total non-event for the intended audience of that laptop (yes – even the Pro version) – until they get picked up en-masse by the media and all hell breaks loose.
It is super frustrating and will lead many people to avoid making what would have been a great purchasing decision.
If you know you need more, you KNOW you need more
I have no qualms with people running benchmarks. It isn’t my thing at all, but I appreciate why some people enjoy the benchmarking process and find it a useful way to review and compare laptops.
I respect these people. Admire them, even. I’d just rather hang myself from the ceiling via my eyeballs, personally.
The problem with reports like this is that they encourage insane amounts of ‘spec peeping’ from people who have nothing better to do than tear apart newly released products. I totally agree that Apple’s decision to opt for one 256GB chip in the M2 is an odd one, and the resulting drop in speeds is a bit of a bummer.
But if you’re in the base model camp, you won’t give two hoots about this. You won’t know what a NAND chip is. You probably didn’t even know there was such a thing as SSD read and write speeds, let alone have any idea what the numbers mean. To you, that shiny new MacBook was the only machine you could afford, and you’ve accepted the fact that you might have to invest in some additional external storage to get you by.
If these tests bother you, then you weren’t in the base model camp in the first place. You’ll almost definitely be the sort of person who will increase the storage in their MacBook during the checkout process. And, as the benchmarks have proven, you have nothing to worry about once you go to 512GB and beyond.
As I’ve always said, if you know you need more horsepower or storage, you know you need it. This makes test results like this nothing more than an interesting talking point – there really is no need to set your trousers on fire in protest.
Is the 256GB M2 MacBook a bad buy?
Let me repeat: if you’ve had your eye on the base-model M2 MacBook Pro or Air, you’ll still end up with an absolutely wonderful laptop.
It won’t feel slow. If you’re moving from the M1 version, it won’t feel worse. The SSD won’t die by Christmas this year. Or next year. Or the year after.
It’ll be one of the best laptops you’ve ever purchased. Don’t let the spec peeping ruin your new purchase.