Base Model M2 MacBook Air Takes Performance Hit with Slower SSD Speeds

BaseModelMacBookAirSSDJuly2022Featured

With the release of the new M2 MacBook Air, reviews are pouring in as well. So far, reviews from journalists and influences are highly positive, however, there is one concern. Buyers should be aware that the base model M2 MacBook Air has the same slower SSD as the base model M2 MacBook Pro.

After the release of the new MacBook Pro back in June, news quickly began spreading that the $1,299 base model has significantly slower SSD read/write speeds than the equivalent model of last year.

Base Model MacBook Air Using Single NAND Chip

This is due to last year’s M1 MacBook housing two NAND 128GB chips, whereas the new M2 MacBook Pro—and now the MacBook Air—utilizes a single 256GB NAND chip.

In several YouTube videos, critics show that the M1 has faster SSD speeds due to the two 128GB NAND chips running in parallel. The new M2 base model MacBook Air and Pro models rely on a single SSD, which doesn’t gain the same speed as parallel chips.

In his teardown video for Max Tech, Vadim Yuryev explained, “When you have double the chips, they kind of work together, almost like in a raid with the SSD controller, and they’re way faster than one.”

In a response to The Verge, Apple spokesperson Michelle Del Rio provided the following statement:

Thanks to the performance increases of M2, the new MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro are incredibly fast, even compared to Mac laptops with the powerful M1 chip. These new systems use a new higher density NAND that delivers 256GB storage using a single chip. While benchmarks of the 256GB SSD may show a difference compared to the previous generation, the performance of these M2 based systems for real world activities are even faster.

Despite this, the reviews for the new MacBook Air remain positive. The new M2 Apple silicon chip is continuing to impress, and many are applauding the decision to have the Air move away from its slanted design.

Concerning the the single NAND chip in the new base model MacBook Air, it is likely Apple made the decision due to supply chain issues. It may have also been a cost-saving measure. Whatever the case, spending the extra money to get the $1,500 model with 512GB of storage may be the smarter decision.

Are you planning to buy the new M2 MacBook Air? Let us know in the comments.

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braytonak

I’m glad I ordered one with 512 GB of storage. It’s not the end of the world that this scenario exists, but over the years hopefully having double the bandwidth will keep the laptop feeling snappy. That said, these are synthetic benchmarks showing us the difference, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 256 GB and 512 GB versions FEEL the same for most uses.