Apple MacBook Air M2 Memory Speed ​​Test: Yes, it’s slow

Apple MacBook Air M2 Memory Speed ​​Test: Yes, it's slow
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So far, a number by reviewers have reported that Apple’s entry level M2 MacBook ProThe SSD of the is significantly slower than that of the M1 MacBook Pro due to the configuration of the memory models in the computer. Apple confirmed that The edge that the base M2 MacBook Air has the same memory configuration as the Pro, so naturally we wondered if it would suffer from the same issue. Well, we finally got our hands on a base model (including 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM) and the answer is yes, it does.

According to the results we see in Blackmagic’s Disk Speed ​​Test app, the base model M2 MacBook Air has write speeds that are generally 15 to 30 percent slower than the 512GB model sent by Apple The edge to review — and read speeds that can be 40 to 50 percent slower.

This isn’t an unexpected result, as the base Air contains only a single NAND chip, while the M1 models and the 512GB (and up) M2 models have two, which can enable nearly twice the speeds.

A screenshot of the Blackmagic Disk Speed ​​test with results of 2706 for Write and 2850 for Read.

512GB M2 MacBook Air 1GB review.

A screenshot of the Blackmagic Disk Speed ​​test with results of 2260.5 for Write and 1433 for Read.

256GB M2 MacBook Air 1GB review.

A screenshot of the Blackmagic Disk Speed ​​Test showing results of 2187.7 for Write and 2824.4 for Read.

512GB M2 MacBook Air 5GB review.

A screenshot of the Blackmagic Disk Speed ​​Test showing results of 1537.7 for Write and 1536.3 for Read.

256 GB M2 MacBook Air 5 GB in review.

While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the speeds we’re seeing from this base MacBook Air are Bath, They’re (especially when it comes to reading data) the kind of speeds you can easily get on laptops that are, well, a little more. For example, the base model is only slightly faster than mine 2019 Intel MacBook Pro when it comes to write speeds, and its read speeds are noticeably worse. To get a Windows machine out of a hat, Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Go 2 (which starts at $600) also loses to the Air base when writing, but destroys it when reading. (Read speeds are generally more important for general usage and measure how fast your device can access files on its system.)

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

A screenshot of the Blackmagic Disk Speed ​​test with results of 2514.7 for Write and 3051.2 for Read.

512GB M1 MacBook Air 5GB review.

A screenshot of the Blackmagic Disk Speed ​​​​​​test with results of 1298.8 in writing and 2665.6 in reading.

256GB Intel MacBook Pro 5GB review.

As edge Editor Dan Seifert explains in his review of the M2 Air, slower storage speeds can affect a range of tasks, including file transfers, and can also slow down overall performance as Macs use SSD space as temporary storage (swap space) when their onboard RAM is exhausted.

Will these particular differences affect you? The people the Air is marketed to probably won’t see a life-changing contrast between the 256GB and 512GB models when it comes to everyday performance. I ran two 4K YouTube videos across 25 open Chrome tabs on both computers for 30 minutes without either having to dive into swap space. Boot time was also pretty much identical – I turned the two devices on side by side multiple times. And I didn’t see much of a difference when it came to opening any of the apps I usually use, including Chrome, Safari, Messages, Photos, Activity Monitor, Slack, Music, etc.

For the MacBook professionals Target audience, but a restriction like this could be a deal-breaker. If you’re someone with a heavier workload (who will very likely notice a difference), we generally recommend you buy one MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro or Max chip instead of Air.

A screenshot of Activity Monitor showing that the computer has 8GB of physical memory, 6.39GB is in use, and 0 bytes of swap are in use.

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

Nonetheless, these results will certainly matter to some people. If you’re in this camp, you will have to pay 200 dollars Upgraded from 256GB to 512GB, increasing the price of the eight-core M2 MacBook Air from $1,199 to $1,399. If that seems like a lot to you, you can also get 512GB of storage and 8GB of RAM in the still-excellent version M1 MacBook Air for $1,199 (the same price as the base M2 Air). My real comparisons have found that M2 machines are visibly better for graphics-heavy use cases (e.g. running games), but that their performance differences are none for other tasks (photo and audio editing, internet work, etc.) that a casual user might be doing have great impact.

We’ve reached out to Apple for comment on these specific findings and haven’t received a response yet. When we asked the company about the different memory configurations for our review of the device, spokeswoman Michelle Del Rio made the following statement:

Thanks to the performance gains from M2, the new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro are incredibly fast, even when compared to Mac laptops with the powerful M1 chip. These new systems use a new, higher-density NAND that offers 256GB of storage in 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 is even faster for real-world activities.

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