We benchmarked the storage of the base M2 MacBook Air and (surprise!) it’s slow

Previously, several reviewers have reported that the SSD of Apple’s entry-level M2 MacBook Pro is significantly slower than that of the M1 MacBook Pro due to the configuration of the storage model in the computer. Apple has confirmed ledge That the base M2 MacBook Air has the same storage configuration as the Pro, so, naturally, we’re wondering if it will suffer from the same problem. Well, we’ve finally got our hands on a base model (including 256GB of storage and 8GB of memory) and the answer is: yes, it does.

Judging by the results we’re seeing in Blackmagic’s Disk Speed ‚Äč‚ÄčTest app, the base model of the M2 MacBook Air has write speeds that are typically 15 to 30 percent slower than the 512GB model shipped by Apple. ledge To review – read more speeds that can be 40 to 50 percent slower.

This is not an unexpected result as the base Air includes only one NAND chip, while the M1 model and the 512GB (and above) M2 model have two, which can allow for nearly twice as fast speed.

512GB M2 MacBook Air 1GB Test.

256GB M2 MacBook Air 1GB Test.

512GB M2 MacBook Air 5GB Test.

256GB M2 MacBook Air 5GB Test.

While I wouldn’t say the speeds we’re seeing from this base MacBook Air are bad, They are (especially when it comes to reading data) the kind of speed you can easily get on a laptop that is a bit high, well, meh. For example, the base model is slightly faster than my 2019 Intel MacBook Pro when it comes to write speeds, and its read speeds are noticeably worse. To kick a Windows machine out of a hat, Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Go 2 (which starts at $600) also loses out to the Base Air on writing, but collapses on reads. (Read speed is generally more important for normal use, measuring how fast your device can access the files on its system.)

We didn’t have the 256GB M1 Air to test with, but the 512GB model we have is faster than the base M2 model for both reads and writes, as you can see in the results below.

512GB M1 MacBook Air 5GB Test.

256GB Intel MacBook Pro 5GB Test.

as ledge As editor Dan Seifert points out in his review of the M2 Air, slow storage speeds can affect many functions, including file transfers, and can also slow down overall performance as Macs use SSD space as temporary memory (swap memory). When they have onboard RAM. used up.

That said, will these particular differences impress you? Those the Air is marketed to probably won’t notice the life-changing contrast between the 256GB and 512GB models when it comes to everyday performance. I played two 4K YouTube videos on 25 open Chrome tabs for 30 minutes on both machines without needing to dip into swap memory. Boot times were also pretty similar – I started the two devices at once several times. And I don’t see much of a difference when it comes to opening any number of apps, including Chrome, Safari, Messages, Photos, Activity Monitor, Slack, Music, etc.

for macbook professional Target audience, however, such a limitation can be a deal-breaker. If you’re someone with a high workload (who very well can see the difference), we generally recommend that you buy a MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro or Max chip instead of an Air.

Activity Monitor in the base MacBook Air after 30 minutes of playing two 4K videos on 20 other tabs.

That said, these results will certainly matter to some people. If you’re in that camp, you’ll need to pay $200 to upgrade from 256GB to 512GB, bringing the price of the eight-core M2 MacBook Air from $1,199 to $1,399. If that sounds like a lot, you can still get 512GB of storage and 8GB of RAM in the excellent M1 MacBook Air for $1,199 (the same price as the base M2 Air). My real-world comparisons have found that the M2 machines are better for graphics-heavy use cases (such as running games), but their performance differences aren’t overly impressive in other tasks (photo and audio editing, Internet work, etc.) Huh. A casual user can.

We have contacted Apple for comment on these specific results and have yet to receive a response. When we asked the company about the different storage configurations for the device to be reviewed, spokesperson Michele Del Rio provided the following statement:

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

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