Turns out the new MacBook SSDs are slower than before

MacBook Pro 2023
(Image credit: Apple/Future)

With every new release, it's assumed that Apple's tech is getting better, and by better we mean faster. But new reports have suggested that the new versions of the MacBook Pro – the 14-inch and 16-inch models, as well as the 2023 Mac mini, may not exactly be pushing the envelope.

We previously reported on the M2 MacBook Pro 13-inch base models being slower than their predecessors, as a result of having one SSD chip rather than two. And it seems that nothing has changed with the new models. 9 to 5 Mac has reported that once again, the base model of the new 14-inch MacBook Pro appears to feature fewer NAND chips than the last generation, which means that SSD read and write performance is actually worse than the previous generation.

@ZoneofTech also came to similar conclusions – see below.

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So, will this difference in chip actually make a difference to real-world usage? Zone of Tech ran some tests (see video below) and found that performance was affected when using Lightroom, with a hefty image import taking 8 seconds in the M1 Pro, and 18 seconds with the M2 Pro. But, this was the only area where the M2 Pro MacBook was slower. In all the other tests, including those on Blender and Final Cut Pro, it out-performed its predecessor. 

And according to Tech Radar, the 1TB and other configurations don't have the same problem. So if you're worried about performance, you may have to shell out for the more expensive configurations. Though we'd expect creatives who are used to dealing with a lot of files will want to have the most storage they can afford anyway.

The Mac mini M2 also apparently has the one NAND module rather than the two in the previous generation. But to be honest, we've just tested it, and we had no complaints whatsoever about its speed. See our Mac mini (M2) review for more details.

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Rosie Hilder

Rosie Hilder is Creative Bloq's Deputy Editor. After beginning her career in journalism in Argentina – where she worked as Deputy Editor of Time Out Buenos Aires – she moved back to the UK and joined Future Plc in 2016. Since then, she's worked as Operations Editor on magazines including Computer Arts, 3D World and Paint & Draw and Mac|Life. In 2018, she joined Creative Bloq, where she now assists with the daily management of the site, including growing the site's reach, getting involved in events, such as judging the Brand Impact Awards, and helping make sure our content serves the reader as best it can.