Lab – Is the 256 GB SSD of the new MacBooks really slower?

Lab – Is the 256 GB SSD of the new MacBooks really slower?

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We recently tested the MacBook Pro M2 and MacBook Air M2, but it seems that Apple has changed its formula on the SSD side: those of the most affordable MacBooks would be much slower.

Apple MacBook Air (GPU M2 10 / 8GB / 512GB)

Introductory price €1849



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5 stars by LesNumériques.com

To note Digital

Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5

  • All
  • Midnight
  • Stellar Light
  • Space grey
  • Silver
  • All
  • Midnight
  • Stellar Light
  • Space grey
  • Silver
  • Used Marketplace Fnac.comUsed Marketplace Fnac.com

    1,663.99

  • UbaldiUbaldi

    1,779.00

  • AmazonAmazon

    1,849.00

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,849.00

  • baker.combaker.com

    1,849.00

  • Darty.comDarty.com

    1,849.00

  • macwaymacway

    1,849.00

  • La Redoute MarketplaceLa Redoute Marketplace

    1,849.00

  • CdiscountCdiscount

    1,853.99

  • Top BuyTop Buy

    1,855.94

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,855.96

  • Material.netMaterial.net

    1,857.96

  • UbaldiUbaldi

    1,779.00

  • AmazonAmazon

    1,849.00

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,849.00

  • macwaymacway

    1,849.00

  • CdiscountCdiscount

    1,853.99

  • Top BuyTop Buy

    1,855.94

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,855.96

  • Material.netMaterial.net

    1,857.96

  • La Redoute MarketplaceLa Redoute Marketplace

    2,126.98

  • UbaldiUbaldi

    1,779.00

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,849.00

  • baker.combaker.com

    1,849.00

  • Darty.comDarty.com

    1,849.00

  • macwaymacway

    1,849.00

  • La Redoute MarketplaceLa Redoute Marketplace

    1,849.00

  • Top BuyTop Buy

    1,855.94

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,855.96

  • Material.netMaterial.net

    1,858.96

  • AmazonAmazon

    1,849.00

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,849.00

  • baker.combaker.com

    1,849.00

  • Darty.comDarty.com

    1,849.00

  • macwaymacway

    1,849.00

  • CdiscountCdiscount

    1,853.99

  • Top BuyTop Buy

    1,855.94

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,855.96

  • Material.netMaterial.net

    1,858.96

  • La Redoute MarketplaceLa Redoute Marketplace

    2,073.86

  • Used Marketplace Fnac.comUsed Marketplace Fnac.com

    1,663.99

  • UbaldiUbaldi

    1,779.00

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,849.00

  • baker.combaker.com

    1,849.00

  • Darty.comDarty.com

    1,849.00

  • macwaymacway

    1,849.00

  • La Redoute MarketplaceLa Redoute Marketplace

    1,849.00

  • CdiscountCdiscount

    1,853.99

  • Top BuyTop Buy

    1,855.94

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,855.96

  • Material.netMaterial.net

    1,857.96

How the pricing table works

Apple MacBook Pro 13 (M2)

Introductory price 1599 €


Apple MacBook Pro 13 (M2)
5 stars by LesNumériques.com

To note Digital

Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5

  • All
  • Silver / 8 GB / 256 GB
  • Space Gray / 8 GB / 256 GB
  • Silver / 8 GB / 512 GB
  • Space Gray / 8 GB / 512 GB
  • Space Gray / 16G / 256G
  • All
  • Silver / 8 GB / 256 GB
  • Space Gray / 8 GB / 256 GB
  • Silver / 8 GB / 512 GB
  • Space Gray / 8 GB / 512 GB
  • Space Gray / 16G / 256G
  • Amazon WarehouseAmazon Warehouse

    1,487.07

  • UbaldiUbaldi

    1,575.00

  • AmazonAmazon

    1,576.00

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,599.00

  • baker.combaker.com

    1,599.00

  • Darty.comDarty.com

    1,599.00

  • macwaymacway

    1,599.00

  • grosbillgrosbill

    1,599.99

  • CybertekCybertek

    1,599.99

  • E. Leclerc - High-TechE. Leclerc – High-Tech

    1,603.90

  • CdiscountCdiscount

    1,603.99

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,605.95

  • Material.netMaterial.net

    1,608.95

  • RakutenRakuten

    1,829.00

  • UbaldiUbaldi

    1,575.00

  • AmazonAmazon

    1,576.00

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,599.00

  • baker.combaker.com

    1,599.00

  • Darty.comDarty.com

    1,599.00

  • macwaymacway

    1,599.00

  • E. Leclerc - High-TechE. Leclerc – High-Tech

    1,603.90

  • CdiscountCdiscount

    1,603.99

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,605.95

  • Material.netMaterial.net

    1,608.95

  • Amazon WarehouseAmazon Warehouse

    1,487.07

  • AmazonAmazon

    1,599.00

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,599.00

  • baker.combaker.com

    1,599.00

  • macwaymacway

    1,599.00

  • grosbillgrosbill

    1,599.99

  • CybertekCybertek

    1,599.99

  • E. Leclerc - High-TechE. Leclerc – High-Tech

    1,603.90

  • CdiscountCdiscount

    1,603.99

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,605.95

  • Material.netMaterial.net

    1,608.95

  • UbaldiUbaldi

    1,779.00

  • AmazonAmazon

    1,828.99

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,829.00

  • baker.combaker.com

    1,829.00

  • Darty.comDarty.com

    1,829.00

  • macwaymacway

    1,829.00

  • CdiscountCdiscount

    1,833.99

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,835.94

  • Material.netMaterial.net

    1,838.94

  • UbaldiUbaldi

    1,808.00

  • grosbillgrosbill

    1,819.99

  • CybertekCybertek

    1,819.99

  • AmazonAmazon

    1,827.89

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,829.00

  • baker.combaker.com

    1,829.00

  • Darty.comDarty.com

    1,829.00

  • RakutenRakuten

    1,829.00

  • macwaymacway

    1,829.00

  • E. Leclerc - High-TechE. Leclerc – High-Tech

    1,831.90

  • CdiscountCdiscount

    1,833.99

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,835.94

  • Material.netMaterial.net

    1,838.94

  • baker.combaker.com

    1,829.00

How the pricing table works

The MacBook Pro M2 and MacBook Air M2 both scored top marks in our tests. The Pro has seen its performance progress, even if the chassis has remained identical to the older generations, and the Air has not only benefited from the benefits of the M2, but also from a more modern aesthetic.

We tested models equipped with 512 GB SSDs and 1 TB of storage, which did not allow us to notice any anomalies in their operating speed when they passed through our lab. However, according to many users, a problem would concern the 256 GB SSDs embedded in the most accessible MacBooks. So we got our hands on a MacBook Pro M2 equipped with a 256 GB SSD to check what’s going on.

As we see under the Blackmagic benchmark, even taking into account a certain margin of error, the result is clear: the SSD of the MacBook Pro M2 256 GB is literally half as fast as its 1 TB cousin, in reading as in writing.

On the left, the speeds of the 1 TB SSD, on the right, those of the 256 GB SSD.

On the left, the speeds of the 1 TB SSD, on the right, those of the 256 GB SSD.

© The Digital

Why and how

How to explain this difference? Apple has decided to integrate a single 256 GB NAND storage chip on its entry-level computers instead of the two 128 GB chips found on the M1 versions. However, two chips operating in parallel are faster than one. We can see in our photo of the inside of the 1 TB MacBook Pro M2 that two modules are present (boxed in red), but we only find one on the 256 GB version. Perhaps the manufacturer has had to adapt to the difficulties in supplying certain components or that it wanted to make economies of scale, but, in any case, it is unfortunate that Apple was not transparent in explaining to users that there is a difference in speeds between SSD sizes.

MacBook Pro M2

The SSD modules inside the MacBook Pro M2.

© The Digital

What impact in reality?

Although the speeds are much lower, the impact in daily use will be almost imperceptible, whether concerning the speed of startup or the opening of applications. On the other hand, it will be more annoying for those who would like to transfer heavy files to an external SSD. In this case, we could only advise you to turn to MacBooks with at least 512 GB of storage.

The problem would a priori be identical on the MacBook Air M2, although we have not been able to verify it ourselves, having not yet been able to test a 256 GB version.

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