A quick look inside the base-level M2 Pro MacBook Pro revealed something I wasn’t expecting. Similar to the base-level M2 MacBook Air, the latest base-level 14-inch MacBook Pro appears to feature fewer NAND chips (higher capacity) than its predecessor. This makes the SSD’s read and write performance significantly slower than the previous generation.
The base model M1 and M2 MacBook Airs offer just 256 GB of storage. On the M1 MacBook Air, that storage was split between two 128GB Kioxia NAND chips. When Apple moved to the M2, they switched to new NAND chips that offer 256 GB of storage per chip. This meant that the base model M2 MacBook Air with just 256 GB of storage had only one NAND chip, and as a result SSD performance was impacted.
Like the M1 Air, the base 512GB M1 Pro split the storage between four 128GB NAND chips. The iFixit teardown shows two 128GB NAND chips on one side of the board and two more 128GB NAND chips on the other side. Like the M2 Air before it, the M2 MacBook Pro appears to have switched to larger NAND chips, resulting in lower SSD performance in the base model.
My M2 Pro MacBook Pro was experiencing severe SSD performance degradation, so I looked under the hood to see why. Sure enough, the 512GB M1 Pro MacBook Pro saw two NAND chips on the front of the motherboard, and on the back he also saw two NAND chips, but on the M2 Pro MacBook Pro, he only saw one on the front of the board. . There could be a second NAND chip directly juxtaposing this, like the M1 had.
The high storage density of NAND chips is great, but it’s always a disappointment when products deteriorate from generation to generation. Thankfully most people don’t see this effect in everyday use. Drive read and write speeds are still so fast that the difference is only noticeable in extreme edge cases. There is a possibility.
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