The performance of the M2 MacBook Pro is worse than expected

Additional benchmarks have shown that Apple’s entry-level MacBook Pro with an M2 chip performs far worse than anyone expected. This comes after the first tests revealed that the device had a slower SSD compared to last year’s MacBook Pro with an M1 chip.

Spotted by MacRumors, the M2 MacBook Pro is reportedly lagging behind in daily multitasking performance in apps like Photoshop, Lightroom, and Final Cut Pro. Even file transfers to an external SSD suffer from Apple’s latest flagship laptop. This is all because the M2 MacBook Pro seems to use up space on the 256GB SSD as virtual memory when the built-in 8GB Apple Unified memory is used up by the system and other apps.

Much like the issue with SSD speeds, it’s believed to be due to the fact that Apple only uses a single NAND chip on the 2022 MacBook Pro 13-inch M2 models. That’s compared to the M1 MacBook Pro, which has two NAND chips for faster speeds.

MacBook Pro 13-inch M2

Many of the tests in question were done by the YouTuber, Max Tech† In his 12-minute video, he shows that when his tests stand on their own with no background activity, the M2 MacBook Pro beats the M1 MacBook Air. It’s only when multitasking and background activity on both machines comes into play that Apple’s latest 13-inch flagship laptop goes bad.

For easy multitasking in Google Chrome, the M2 MacBook Pro loads several tabs and pages like Google Drive more slowly than the M1 MacBook Pro. Having that open in addition to exporting 50 RAW images in Adobe Lightroom Classic takes longer on the M2 MacBook Pro with a time of 4 minutes and 12 seconds compared to just 3 minutes and 36 seconds on the M1 MacBook Pro.

In other tests conducted by Max Tech, the Apple M2 MacBook Pro falls even further behind the M1 MacBook Pro with so-called “pro-app” background activity in Final Cut Pro. A 5 minute 4K HVEC export on the M2 MacBook Pro took a total of 4 minutes and 49 seconds. The M1 MacBook Pro did the same test in 3 minutes and 36 seconds with similar background activity.

Even SSD file transfers seem to suffer on the M2 MacBook Pro. Max Tech finds that in its video transfer tests, the M1 MacBook Pro writes a 35GB video file to an external SSD in 34 seconds, but the M2 MacBook Pro does it in 1 minute 25 seconds. As far as read speeds go, the results are closer: the M2 MacBook Pro does it in 58 seconds and the M1 MacBook Pro does it in 45 seconds.

With all this in mind, if you’re considering buying a new MacBook Pro model with an M2 chip, you should definitely pay for the $200 upgrade and get the more expensive model with 512GB of storage. Or hold on and buy an older M1 model.

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