Two ways the new MacBook Pros were worse than their predecessors

the The new MacBook Pros have arrived in 14-inch and 16-inch sizesAnd, in almost every way, they’re a solid improvement over the 2021 models. They have better graphics, longer battery life, and faster connectivity. It looks the same on the outside, but the interior upgrades are real.

But there are two aspects to these machines that could end up being worse than the original models from 2021—and they’re not insignificant.

Apple MacBook Pro seen from the side.

SSD problems

Macs have traditionally been known for their use of ultra-fast storage, even across their cheaper hardware configurations. In launching the M2 last year, the company cut a corner to make its entry-level laptops a little cheaper.

by using just one NAND chip on 256GB models On the 13-inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, storage speeds were much slower than on the larger-capacity models. In fact, in some real-life tests such as large file transfers, these M2 MacBooks were slower than M1 MacBooks. The lack of transparency was frustrating, but given the price of these laptops, it wasn’t a huge deal.

M2 MacBook Air motherboard revealed in YouTube teardown.

I definitely thought that with the M2 Pro and M2 Max MacBook Pro this issue would be completely avoided. But According to some new reportsThese 512GB configurations of the new MacBook Pro also feature slower storage speeds, leading some to believe Apple has cut the same corner this time around. Remember: Apple doesn’t even sell the 256GB version of the MacBook Pro, so these are the cheapest models you can buy.

The problem is that even if you opt for one of the basic configurations, MacBook Pro buyers are likely to notice the difference in speed, or at least get frustrated that Apple wasn’t more forthcoming.

Fortunately, this is a seemingly avoidable problem by choosing one of the larger capacity SSDs. The second problem, though, is one that’s hard to avoid.

Heat and heat

The new MacBook Pro from the side.

From the beginning, efficiency has been an important selling point for Apple Silicon. It feels great how quiet and nifty the M1 Macs are, despite the impressive performance and battery life. These are all benefits of having more efficient chips that generate less hot air.

The M2 didn’t play out quite the same way. In the MacBook Air without a fanThe M2 did indeed deliver some extra performance, but at the cost of extra heat. While running more intense benchmarks, I saw internal temperatures of up to 108°C in my review unit. It’s too hot for your laptop to get through safely. Other laptop manufacturers cap the CPU temperature at 100 degrees Celsius, but it’s rare for machines to get close to that limit. The fact that Apple doesn’t have a similar ceiling for M2 chips is a bit of a concern, and is a reason for the increased throttling on long, demanding workloads. She was Similar scenario with the M2 on the 13-inch MacBook Proalthough there is active cooling.

But again, these were laptops that weren’t necessarily made For these types of more demanding tasks. Therefore, most people use MacBook Air M2 It wouldn’t be in this scenario very often. But the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro are different. These machines are almost exclusively for those who need the extra performance demanded by creative applications.

While I haven’t tested them myself yet, I expect the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros to run hotter this time around for the same reason the M2 MacBook Air did. I hope to back this up with my own temperature measurements soon, but the reason for this prediction has something to do with technology behind New M2 Pro and M2 Max chips.

An Apple representative stands in front of a MacBook Pro display.

The new chips are based on the same chip architecture as the base M2. As Apple calls it, “2nd generation 5nm,” which sounds pretty good. At least, on paper. But given what these he could It was, and is more of a temporary measure than an actual development.

Production issues with TMSC’s 3nm chips have been well documented, which appears to have been at one point what the M2 Pro and M2 Max were supposed to be based on. 3nm chips would have been more efficient, which would have allowed Apple to get the performance gains it wanted without the excessive heat. it was there Some rumors even say that the new MacBook Pro will jump to TSMC’s 4nm processsuch as the A16 chip in iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. Instead, what Apple launched here is based on the same 5nm process node as the original M1 Pro and M1 Max.

And again, we know how these work out with the core M2 chipset from an efficiency standpoint. It’s not that they’re ineffective – far from it. But they’re overclocked chips that are being pushed harder than the M1 chips, and that’s going to make some changes to these machines’ performance and thermals. like YouTuber Max Tech points it outApple states that the performance improvements are in the same power envelope, but doesn’t acknowledge that previous MacBook Pros often didn’t perform at those higher power levels.

So yeah, the claimed 20% in improved CPU performance and 30% better graphics over previous models is probably true. Apple added more cores to the CPU and GPU, increased the base clock speed — and boom, there’s a performance bump. But more testing is needed, especially to see how it handles choking on tasks like long video presentations.

Don’t get me wrong — there’s a lot to love about the new MacBook Pro. And if you’re coming from an old, outdated MacBook or Windows laptop, there’s not much to complain about. But for me, the details surrounding the M2 and SSD options diluted the excitement over the release of last year’s MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro — and it’s a similar story here.

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