Ssd speeds, how much do they matter?

I’ve never thought much about it but I was recently doing some drive speed tests and I came to the realization that disk read/write speed on my m1 mac mini is less than half the rate of the drive on my gaming pc (Western Digital SN850 7.0 GB/s read and 5.3 GB/s write). After some research it seems as though the Pro and Max chips have much higher speeds than the base M chips.

My workload doesn’t isn’t particularly extreme but how much difference does this make in real world application? Basically, loading a large video file would be twice as fast on the Pro/Mac chips, and even a little faster still on a pci 4 nvme such as the SN850 I listed above?

You probably won’t notice it, unless you’re constantly moving 10 GB files.


A basic problem with benchmarks is that the don’t necessarily represent actual use. Drive speed won’t matter unless you are using the drive extensively, processor speed won’t matter unless you are doing heavy computation, graphics speed won’t matter unless you are doing animations. Boot times (once a common benchmark) won’t matter if you only boot up once a week. As an extreme example, if you only use the computer for writing you might be satisfied with an Apple ][.

Does this apply to you?

512GB version of the new MacBook Pro has a slower SSD than the Mac it replaces | Ars Technica

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‘ArtIsRight’ has looked into this issue for photographers, especially photographers who use Lightroom. He argues on the basis of a lot of tests that there is no need to worry about SSD speed. Here is a link.

Should you buy the fastest SSD for Pro Photo + Video Workflow? The answer will surprise you!

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The only place I can imagine it mattering - Swap. If your memory pressure is always yellow and sometimes red then the faster ssd will make your Swap usage less painful.

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