Apple has recently taken steps to maintain or cut the pricing of its devices, but the impact has not been made public, and the specs have been dropped often. This trend can be seen in the company’s most recent Mac mini and MacBook Pro models, which have slower SSDs than their predecessors.
The 2023 Mac mini has a 256GB NAND flash chip, whereas the earlier M1 Mac mini featured two 128GB storage chips. Using multiple NAND flash memory chips in a single enclosure enhances read and write speeds and chip longevity. The 256GB SSD only transmits data at 1,500MB/s, which is 30-50% slower than the M1 Mac mini, according to the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test tool.
The situation is similar for the MacBook Pro models released in 2023. Models with less storage capacity have higher density and fewer NAND flash chips than previous models. Therefore they do not benefit from the increased transfer speed achieved by parallelizing multiple flash chips, resulting in slowdowns.
For example, the SSD in the current MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and 512 GB of memory is slower than the SSD in the same model in 2021. The deterioration is due to Apple’s switch to huge NAND memory modules, with the 2023 model using one module on the visible area of the motherboard, whereas the 2021 model used 512 GB of four 128 GB NAND drives.
According to testing, the SSD in the new MacBook Pro has a read speed of 3154 Mbps and a writing speed of 2973 Mbps, whereas a similar model in the face of the MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro in the test has a read speed of 3950 Mbps and a writing speed of 4900 Mbps, respectively. The M2 processor and 256GB of RAM Mac mini also got a slower SSD than the M1 variant.
While Apple may be trying to lower device prices, it appears that the company is cutting costs and equipping devices with slower SSDs. This may not be a major issue for most users, but it may cause a modest reduction in loading rates for content creators working with huge files.