New Mac Mini With 256GB of Storage Has Slower SSD Speeds Than Previous Model

While the new Mac mini with the M2 chip has a lower $599 starting price, the base model with 256GB of storage has slower SSD read and write speeds compared to the previous generation model with the M1 chip and 256GB of storage.

Mac mini M2 2023
A teardown of the new Mac mini shared by YouTube channel Brandon Geekabit reveals that the 256GB model is equipped with just one 256GB storage chip, while the same configuration with the M1 chip has two 128GB chips. This difference explains why the new model has a slower SSD, as multiple NAND chips allow for faster speeds.

We confirmed with the Blackmagic Disk Speed ​​Test benchmarking application that SSD read and write speeds for the new 256GB Mac mini are each around 1,500 MB/s, which is anywhere from 30% to 50% slower than read and writing speeds for the equivalent previous. -generation model, although benchmark results and actual performance may vary.

Customers looking for the fastest SSD speeds should make sure they configure their M2 Mac mini with at least 512GB of storage to avoid this issue. A slower SSD can affect file transfer speeds, and overall performance can also take a bit of a hit because Macs temporarily use SSD space as virtual memory when physical RAM is fully utilized.

As for the high-end Mac mini with the M2 Pro chip, the base model with 512GB of storage also has a single NAND chip, according to a teardown shared by MacStadium’s Brian Stucki. However, the Mac mini was never offered with an M1 Pro chip, so there is no direct comparison for this model in terms of SSD speeds.

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13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with the M2 chip and 256GB of storage also have slower SSD speeds due to a single NAND chip, and obviously Apple hasn’t decided to change direction with the new Mac mini.

In a statement shared with The Edge last year, Apple claimed that M2-based Macs have “even faster” performance for real-world tasks, but it’s unclear whether the statement referred to SSD performance or overall system performance:

Thanks to M2’s performance increases, 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 new higher density NAND that delivers 256GB of storage on 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 activities is even faster.

We’ve reached out to an Apple spokesperson for further comment on the matter and will update this story if we hear back.

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