Benchmarks show slower 256GB SSD in M2 chip version of MacBook Air

Apple's new MacBook Air equipped with M2 chips will be available for order from July 8 (Friday) and will be officially launched on July 15 (Friday). Before the official launch, the first evaluation of Apple's new M2 MacBook Air has been lifted.

The Verge confirms that the $1,199 base M2 MacBook Air with 256GB of SSD storage uses a single NAND chip, resulting in slower SSD speeds in benchmarks, but actual performance may vary.

Last month, benchmark tests found that the SSD read and SSD write speeds of the 13-inch 256GB storage version of the MacBook Pro equipped with the M2 chip were 50% and 30% lower than the previous-generation MacBook Pro 13 models.

In a statement, Apple said that while the new 256GB MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13-inch benchmarks "may be different" compared to previous-generation models, actual performance is "even faster" :

"Thanks to the M2 performance boost, the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13-inch are incredibly fast, even compared to Mac notebooks with the powerful M1 chip. These new systems use new higher density NAND, using a single chip 256GB of storage is available. While the 256GB SSD benchmarks may be different from the previous generation, these M2-based systems perform even faster in real-world activities.”

It's unclear whether Apple's statement explicitly refers to real-world SSD performance or overall system performance.

Some tests on the base 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip showed that the SSD was slower, even in real-world use, with mixed results. Overall, if SSD speed is important to you, we recommend buying at least the 512GB version of the M2 MacBook Air configuration.

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