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According to 9to5Mac, the latest M2 Mac mini models, and new M2 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, it appears that due to a hardware decision, the previous generation of these Macs may be faster in some aspects.
9to5Mac cracked open one of the new M2 Pro MacBook Pro models and found that, like the base level M2 MacBook Air, the base level of the latest 14-inch MacBook Pro features fewer NAND chips at a higher capacity than the last generation. This results in a dramatically lower SSD read and write performance compared to the previous generation.
This decision to include fewer, higher capacity NAND chips for the SSD on base model M2 Mac mini and M2 Pro MacBook Pro models can account for up to 30-50% read and write speed loss over the last M1 generation models.
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While higher capacity is certainly a desirable feature, limiting the base models even further is an unusual choice. It would make sense for anyone who actually needs a new M2 Pro MacBook Pro to opt for the upgraded capacity storage models, but the base model M2 Mac mini will likely be a popular choice and could be a customer’s first entry into the Mac ecosystem.