Apple confirms new MacBook Pro models have only slower UHS-II SD card slots

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
Apple's new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are equipped with a midline SD card slot supporting the UHS-II standard, rather than the substantially faster USH-III, the company has confirmed.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The UHS-II standard allows for read and write speeds of up to 312MB/s, which is lower than the UHS-III standard's read and write speeds of up to 624MB/s. Apple confirmed the SD card slot's specs to The Verge, which noted that opting for the UHS-II standard isn't "as forward looking" as UHS-III.

The UHS-III standard, which supports the fastest SD card read and write speeds, was first introduced in 2017. Some professional users had hoped that Apple would opt for the newer and faster standard on the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro

Apple has confirmed to us that the SD card slot in the new MacBook Pro 14/16 is UHS-II (over 300Mbps). Not as forward looking as UHS-III (over 600Mbps) would be, but thank god it's not UHS-I (about 100Mbps) . https://t.co/MN1ZCLyC4T

-- dan-dor the relentless (@dcseifert)


Apple's 2021 MacBook Pro models are the first in years to feature ports other than USB-C. They come equipped with the aforementioned SD card slot, as well as an HDMI port for connecting to displays or TVs. Like the SD card slot, Apple's HDMI port is midrange -- limited to HDMI 2.0, instead of HDMI 2.1.

The new MacBook Pro models also feature a trio of Thunderbolt 4 ports and the return of an Apple MagSafe-style charging port. Users can charge their new Macs with either the MagSafe 3 port or any of the three Thunderbolt ports.

In addition to the expanded port selection, the new MacBook Pro models also feature significantly upgraded M1 chips, mini-LED displays with ProMotion, and full-sized function keys instead of a Touch Bar.

Apple's new MacBook Pro models became available to order on Monday and are slated to arrive on customer doorsteps and in-store on Tuesday, Oct. 26. The 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999, while the 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,499.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    I ordered one. Haven't used an SD card in..... well, long enough not to remember.
    williamlondonStrangeDaysdm3davgregwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 31
    Boo hoo.  
    baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 31
    Try and find a SD UHS-iii card or reader, you think if they were available that B&H or Amazon would have them, no.
    sdw2001baconstangAlex_Vwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 31
    I mean… it’s not bad. Now this makes me wonder what UHS spec my 2013 27” i-7 has ( I need a new computer)

    Again, you’d think they make it completely “Pro” by just tossing the thing right in. Because at $3k+ for the Max model this seriously is a poor choice.

    I recently got my Sony A7SIII (I use CF-Express A cards) which usually contain gigantic 4K 120fps HLG files, and this truly doesn’t ring “Pro” as they target creators. Time is money! 

    P.S Im grateful for the upgrades. But this should’ve been a no brainer for them.
    edited October 21 pulseimageswilliamlondonelijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 31
    Depends on what you use it for. Android phone users use SD as main storage device. 
  • Reply 6 of 31
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,747member
    I mean… it’s not bad. Now this makes me wonder what UHS spec my 2013 27” i-7 has ( I need a new computer)

    Again, you’d think they make it completely “Pro” by just tossing the thing right in. Because at $3k+ for the Max model this seriously is a poor choice.

    I recently got my Sony A7SIII (I use CF-Express A cards) which usually contain gigantic 4K 120fps HLG files, and this truly doesn’t ring “Pro” as they target creators. Time is money! 

    P.S Im grateful for the upgrades. But this should’ve been a no brainer for them.
    I think you'll find you're part of a limited group.  The only thing I really use my slot for is a microSD card with adapter...from my drone.  The "slower" slot makes no difference as I believe even the best cards don't go much above 300mbps.  
    baconstangcharlieFwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 31
    I for one am relieved and thrilled that the folks who have been bitching about the SD slot for the past five years still have something to keep themselves occupied with.

    Hobbies are really good for mental health.
    the1maximusTenApplesUpOnTopchiawilliamlondonpscooter63Alex_Vseanjdavgregglennhwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 31
    Eric_WVGG said:
    I for one am relieved and thrilled that the folks who have been bitching about the SD slot for the past five years still have something to keep themselves occupied with.

    Hobbies are really good for mental health.
    I love how people completely ignore the improvements in the most important parts of the device (CPU, screen) and complain about the least important parts that they will probably never use.

    In America we like to focus 95% of the attention to 5% of the problem.
    llamacharlieFwilliamlondonMplsPrundhvidglennhwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 31
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,824member
    I use SD cards constantly for my photography work.  Would it have been nice?  Yes.  Is it a deal breaker?  No.  Is it laughable that there are people out there that are focusing on this over the fantastic improvements overall?  Yes.

    Get over it.
    baconstangllamacharlieFwilliamlondonstompymacxpressdavgregglennhwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 31

    I love how people completely ignore the improvements in the most important parts of the device (CPU, screen) and complain about the least important parts that they will probably never use.

    In America we like to focus 95% of the attention to 5% of the problem.
    hm… I mean, there's not much to say until we have real benchmarks
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 31
    I'm not aware of a major camera maker that has adopted UHS III (there are licensing reasons, apparently). At this point, it appears to be used by a very small sub-set of users. I'm a photographer and shoot with Leica SL2 and Nikon D850 cameras.... and neither manufacturer has adopted UHS III so far.

    To a certain extent, it would have 'future-proofed' the slot, but for how many people exactly? The transfer speeds for my RAW files - from either camera - are currently acceptable to me using an external card reader, so I'm glad it'll be one less thing I have to carry around and plug in to my laptop - when it gets delivered.
    baconstangGG1davgregWgkruegerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 31
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,130member
    Meh, even the faster ones aren't exactly fast.  I won't use the SD card slot all that much, it'd be nice if it was the fastest it could be, but with all the other great things about the new MBP it's a pretty small potatoes comprimise.
    sdw2001watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 31
    I recently got my Sony A7SIII (I use CF-Express A cards) which usually contain gigantic 4K 120fps HLG files, and this truly doesn’t ring “Pro” as they target creators. Time is money! 

    P.S Im grateful for the upgrades. But this should’ve been a no brainer for them.
    Given that Sony is the only camera maker supporting CF-Express type A cards for now, that would be a narrow market. Other vendors are using the larger CF-Express type B cards. Also, the laptop designs were probably finalized over a year ago, when literally the only camera supporting Type A was the Sony A7SIII. I can't imagine Apple supporting type B, as that would have required a separate slot from the SD Card slot. 

    Also, the fast CF-Express readers generate quite a lot of heat making them a significant heat management problem even if Apple had a reason to consider them. 

    As for UHS-III, B&H Photo doesn't appear to list any UHS-III SD cards, there are no devices that support writing them, and several Google searches got no hits on external UHS-III readers. As a future proofing step, it would have been nice, and Apple does have some history of being ahead of technology curves, but UHS-III would be a lot to ask for a laptop shipping in 2021. 
    baconstangfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 31
    The three people who wanted these legacy ports are becoming more disappointed every day.
    williamlondonfastasleepseanjwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 31
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member
    Let’s face it: it’s a convenience port; you wouldn’t want to risk an expensive motherboard repair by using this port all the time hard; same thing killing an expensive camera with constant card swaps.
    Most modern high-end cameras offer WiFi image transfer anyway…
    …and sneaker net is USB sticks these days. 

    So UHS-III is overkill, UHS-II sufficient, and better than crippling some other port because bandwidth needs to be reserved for it to be used at full speed.
    edited October 21 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 31
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,441member
    Appleish said:
    The three people who wanted these legacy ports are becoming more disappointed every day.
    You need to look up the definition of legacy.

    From the sounds of things this was a perfectly logical decision. Apple essentially took the bandwidth of a single TB4 port and divided it between an HDMI port and an SD slot. They also added a MagSafe port so you don’t need to take a USB C jack to charge. Like most logical decisions, the ideologues are deeply offended by it because, God forbid someone might have different needs than they do.  
    williamlondonbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 31
    I haven't shopped for SD cards in a while, but from what others have reported here, UHS-III is hard to find, so for that and other technical reasons, not surprising that UHS-II is what's included.

    Maybe next major Mac upgrade cycle skips UHS-III and goes to SD Express UC-I. With bus speed up to 3,490 MB/s (!), if cards are available to take advantage, then we're talking SSD level performance.
    entropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 31
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,202member
    MplsP said:
    Appleish said:
    The three people who wanted these legacy ports are becoming more disappointed every day.
    You need to look up the definition of legacy.

    From the sounds of things this was a perfectly logical decision. Apple essentially took the bandwidth of a single TB4 port and divided it between an HDMI port and an SD slot. They also added a MagSafe port so you don’t need to take a USB C jack to charge. Like most logical decisions, the ideologues are deeply offended by it because, God forbid someone might have different needs than they do.  
    Well, certainly cheaper than adding PCIe channels to be able to use the latest and greatest.  And it is future proofing in a way, Apple’s margins. Now, because the build is simpler and cheaper, and in the future as people upgrade when it does add them.
    I wish it was straight up SD Express. It would have been the first volume product to have it, but then people would go SD path rather than internal storage upgrades.
    edited October 21
  • Reply 19 of 31
    I mean… it’s not bad. Now this makes me wonder what UHS spec my 2013 27” i-7 has ( I need a new computer)

    Again, you’d think they make it completely “Pro” by just tossing the thing right in. Because at $3k+ for the Max model this seriously is a poor choice.

    I recently got my Sony A7SIII (I use CF-Express A cards) which usually contain gigantic 4K 120fps HLG files, and this truly doesn’t ring “Pro” as they target creators. Time is money! 

    P.S Im grateful for the upgrades. But this should’ve been a no brainer for them.
    What’s the USB-C data transfer speed on the A7SIII if you do it that way? I’d try it myself but I’m not even sure if my camera is shipping anytime in the next month. Also, those 120fps 4K files are why I opted for the 8TB model. :)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 31
    My little USB-C SD/micro SD reader is UHS-I, just looked it up. It’s been fine. So this is an upgrade.  I’ll probably still use the other reader for the micro cards from my drone instead of using a card adapter. 
    sdw2001watto_cobra
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