Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

DJ_NUFC

macrumors newbie
Dec 23, 2017
17
28
This is very worrying. I’m a photographer and lemme describe what I just did the last four weeks: traveling and after on-location shoots, heading to a hotel room carrying my 2012 MBP Retina with an XQD card reader. I used the XQD card reader to dump those cards onto a hard drive while inserting the SD cards into the MacBook card reader and dumping them as well. I didn’t even think I would need two separate dongles to copy two types of cards. The SD card tech has been around for decades, you’d think after removing it from their older machines, Apple wouldn’t put it back in broken.

I truly hope it’s only a software issue so I don’t have to shell out $30 on a dongle — as once I do, I will never use the in built card reader, or I will have wasted the $30. Crappy.
 

yattr

macrumors newbie
Nov 24, 2021
5
1
Played with it a bit more this morning. Appeared to be working ok so kept increase the size of the copy until it failed. Interesting that the failure result is a "Resumable Copy" that doesn't resume but starts over from the beginning! Plus, unlike other bulk copy failures where the copy stops after some number of files have been copied successfully, there are no files on the target...
 

KDLM

macrumors member
Dec 2, 2018
87
54
San Diego
This is very worrying. I’m a photographer and lemme describe what I just did the last four weeks: traveling and after on-location shoots, heading to a hotel room carrying my 2012 MBP Retina with an XQD card reader. I used the XQD card reader to dump those cards onto a hard drive while inserting the SD cards into the MacBook card reader and dumping them as well. I didn’t even think I would need two separate dongles to copy two types of cards. The SD card tech has been around for decades, you’d think after removing it from their older machines, Apple wouldn’t put it back in broken.

I truly hope it’s only a software issue so I don’t have to shell out $30 on a dongle — as once I do, I will never use the in built card reader, or I will have wasted the $30. Crappy.
So you would be content to keep the M1 MacBook Pro even though built-in the SD card slot/reader doesn't work? I'm pondering the same thing. I don't want to exchange it because I suspect the new one will likely have the same problems. Are you considering exchanging your MBP? It galls me to keep this if it is not functioning properly.
 

yattr

macrumors newbie
Nov 24, 2021
5
1
I'll be keeping my 16" M1 Macbook Pro even with this issue. I figure it is a software issue that may get fixed. I have exiting easy workarounds if needed.

Disappointing none the less...but expected with tech...especially with first generation stuff
 
  • Like
Reactions: KDLM

throAU

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2012
8,128
6,057
Perth, Western Australia
Surely it will be either a firmware update or a software patch. I do not believe apple would have made an error to that magnitude with electrical signalling or the chip itself. Sounds like it is only with particular SD cards which makes me think more along the lines of firmware/software.
 

ksj1

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2018
133
190
I just did a test with a new Prograde gold 256Gb card. Performance as it came was pretty bad. I erased it with Disk Utility and it was night and day.
 

Fomalhaut

macrumors 68000
Oct 6, 2020
1,823
1,494
I just did a test with a new Prograde gold 256Gb card. Performance as it came was pretty bad. I erased it with Disk Utility and it was night and day.

Which format did you use in Disk Utility ? ex-FAT?
 

KDLM

macrumors member
Dec 2, 2018
87
54
San Diego
Surely it will be either a firmware update or a software patch. I do not believe apple would have made an error to that magnitude with electrical signalling or the chip itself. Sounds like it is only with particular SD cards which makes me think more along the lines of firmware/software.
Are people stating certain brands are definitely working? If so, which ones? Thanks
 

KDLM

macrumors member
Dec 2, 2018
87
54
San Diego
I just spoke with Apple tech support for over an hour. I called because I was having problems formatting a SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD on my new M1 Max 16" MacBook Pro. We also got into the issues with the SD card reader on that MBP. For both issues, the tech I spoke to consulted a higher level tech who told him that Apple is aware of both problems and is working on a fix in an update to Monterey. The tech then did a search and found that the SD card problem is documented. He had no fix or workaround for the SD card slot issue (other than to use an external card reader in the meantime), but was able to help me get the SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD formatted by doing so with my old 2017 MBP that is running Catalina.
 

Fomalhaut

macrumors 68000
Oct 6, 2020
1,823
1,494
I just spoke with Apple tech support for over an hour. I called because I was having problems formatting a SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD on my new M1 Max 16" MacBook Pro. We also got into the issues with the SD card reader on that MBP. For both issues, the tech I spoke to consulted a higher level tech who told him that Apple is aware of both problems and is working on a fix in an update to Monterey. The tech then did a search and found that the SD card problem is documented. He had no fix or workaround for the SD card slot issue (other than to use an external card reader in the meantime), but was able to help me get the SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD formatted by doing so with my old 2017 MBP that is running Catalina.
Thanks for your help. At least Apple acknowledges that there is an issue with the SD cards. Let's hope this is not a hardware issue and can be fixed with software updates.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KDLM

Fomalhaut

macrumors 68000
Oct 6, 2020
1,823
1,494
Another thought and a question....

If this is a hardware error - i.e. if initial models produced were affected by a batch of substandard reader slots or controllers, how quickly can Apple react to such discoveries and update the design, apply better quality testing, or change suppliers?

I understand that modern manufacturing works on "just-in-time" processes and finely tuned supply chains to avoid stockpiling components, so hopefully Apple will not be producing new MBPs with the same batch of (possibly) defective SD card reader components.

I'm curious about how long a Mac actually takes to build from start to finish, includng sourcing the components that go into the machine.

If there is a hardware issue, then this might be a reason for deferring purchase until the "bad components" are removed from the supply and manufacturing chain. For some machines "being built", this may be too late, but maybe those built next month will be using new parts that have had additional QA?
 

Jl006p

macrumors regular
Dec 15, 2019
121
145
I just spoke with Apple tech support for over an hour. I called because I was having problems formatting a SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD on my new M1 Max 16" MacBook Pro. We also got into the issues with the SD card reader on that MBP. For both issues, the tech I spoke to consulted a higher level tech who told him that Apple is aware of both problems and is working on a fix in an update to Monterey. The tech then did a search and found that the SD card problem is documented. He had no fix or workaround for the SD card slot issue (other than to use an external card reader in the meantime), but was able to help me get the SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD formatted by doing so with my old 2017 MBP that is running Catalina.
Thanks for this. I just picked up a Samsung t7 and it's not even close to hitting the read/write speeds that I paid for.


Just for peace of mind I'm going to continue to use my USB-C SD card reader until apple fixes this. My sony tough cards are $200 a pop and I'm not trying to corrupt them.
 

wilberforce

macrumors 68020
Aug 15, 2020
2,313
2,390
SF Bay Area
Thanks for this. I just picked up a Samsung t7 and it's not even close to hitting the read/write speeds that I paid for.


Just for peace of mind I'm going to continue to use my USB-C SD card reader until apple fixes this. My sony tough cards are $200 a pop and I'm not trying to corrupt them.
I also have a T7, formatted APFS, and I get: (MB/s)

14" M1 Pro: 780 write, 720 read

2020 iMac: 830 write, 910 read

The T7 is advertised as "up to" 1050 MB/s which is likely under ideal conditions, and probably not achievable under real world conditions. Googling some speed tests of the T7, reported real world speeds seem to be similar to what I got using my 2020 iMac.

I'm OK with the speeds above, at least it's in the ballpark.

What I'm not OK with is the 5 MB/s I'm getting on many of my SD cards in the 14" M1 Pro's SD card slot.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Jl006p

Fomalhaut

macrumors 68000
Oct 6, 2020
1,823
1,494
Thanks for this. I just picked up a Samsung t7 and it's not even close to hitting the read/write speeds that I paid for.


Just for peace of mind I'm going to continue to use my USB-C SD card reader until apple fixes this. My sony tough cards are $200 a pop and I'm not trying to corrupt them.
Presumably you weren't aware of the same problem on the M1 over the last year? Lots of threads a some YouTube videos on this ("Constant Geekery has a few comparing the USB performance on the M1 & M1 Pro/Max)

I doubt there will be any fix from Apple for this, given the failure to address the problems of the M1 in the newer SoCs. They've had a year to roll out any software fix, so it's most likely a hardware limitation.

You can get marginally better peformance connecting via a Thunderbolt hub that has USB 3.1gen2 ports.

If I were cynical, I would say that that it an effort to get people to move to Thunderbolt drives, which don't suffer from this limitation, and are 2-3 times faster.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jl006p

KDLM

macrumors member
Dec 2, 2018
87
54
San Diego
Presumably you weren't aware of the same problem on the M1 over the last year? Lots of threads a some YouTube videos on this ("Constant Geekery has a few comparing the USB performance on the M1 & M1 Pro/Max)

I doubt there will be any fix from Apple for this, given the failure to address the problems of the M1 in the newer SoCs. They've had a year to roll out any software fix, so it's most likely a hardware limitation.

You can get marginally better peformance connecting via a Thunderbolt hub that has USB 3.1gen2 ports.

If I were cynical, I would say that that it an effort to get people to move to Thunderbolt drives, which don't suffer from this limitation, and are 2-3 times faster.
I'm not experiencing this issue with slow performance on external USB-C SSDs. I just tried my SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD (that has USB-C), and I get about 980/930 with BlackMagic tests. Those speeds are slightly better than I get when I connect it to the TB4 port on my OWC TB4 hub. And those speeds are actually about as high as you can expect with the SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD (unless you connect it with dual-lane USB-C, in which case you'll get about twice those speeds).
 

Fomalhaut

macrumors 68000
Oct 6, 2020
1,823
1,494
I'm not experiencing this issue with slow performance on external USB-C SSDs. I just tried my SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD (that has USB-C), and I get about 980/930 with BlackMagic tests. Those speeds are slightly better than I get when I connect it to the TB4 port on my OWC TB4 hub. And those speeds are actually about as high as you can expect with the SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD (unless you connect it with dual-lane USB-C, in which case you'll get about twice those speeds).
Then count yourself very lucky! Your results are certainly an outlier compared to just about every other external SSD based on USB 3.1/3.2. I have 6 external SSDs and they are all 20-30% slower on my M1 Mini compared to my 2019 Intel MBP or Windows machines. Some only connect at 5Gbps even though they are cabable of 10Gbps connections on other Macs, and are even slower.

Which Mac do you have?
 

Jl006p

macrumors regular
Dec 15, 2019
121
145
I also have a T7, formatted APFS, and I get: (MB/s)

14" M1 Pro: 780 write, 720 read

2020 iMac: 830 write, 910 read

The T7 is advertised as "up to" 1050 MB/s which is likely under ideal conditions, and probably not achievable under real world conditions. Googling some speed tests of the T7, reported real world speeds seem to be similar to what I got using my 2020 iMac.

I'm OK with the speeds above, at least it's in the ballpark.

What I'm not OK with is the 5 MB/s I'm getting on many of my SD cards in the 14" M1 Pro's SD card slot.

Presumably you weren't aware of the same problem on the M1 over the last year? Lots of threads a some YouTube videos on this ("Constant Geekery has a few comparing the USB performance on the M1 & M1 Pro/Max)

I doubt there will be any fix from Apple for this, given the failure to address the problems of the M1 in the newer SoCs. They've had a year to roll out any software fix, so it's most likely a hardware limitation.

You can get marginally better peformance connecting via a Thunderbolt hub that has USB 3.1gen2 ports.

If I were cynical, I would say that that it an effort to get people to move to Thunderbolt drives, which don't suffer from this limitation, and are 2-3 times faster.
This is why I typically skip 1st gen products. We're the guinea pigs.
 

KDLM

macrumors member
Dec 2, 2018
87
54
San Diego
Then count yourself very lucky! Your results are certainly an outlier compared to just about every other external SSD based on USB 3.1/3.2. I have 6 external SSDs and they are all 20-30% slower on my M1 Mini compared to my 2019 Intel MBP or Windows machines. Some only connect at 5Gbps even though they are cabable of 10Gbps connections on other Macs, and are even slower.

Which Mac do you have?
I have the new 2021 16" M1 Max MacBook Pro maxed out in all ways. I just edited an FCP Library that has seven streams of 4K 30 fps MP4 footage (optimized in FCP). The video is 25 minutes long. I did it all on one of these SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSDs connected to a Thunderbolt 4 port with the included USB-C cable. And it's connected to an OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock (not directly to the MacBook, though the drive is just a tiny bit faster when connected directly the MBP, I believe). Even with all of that, the drive did not dismount or malfunction even once in several hours of editing. I got the beach ball a few times when it had to catch up, but only a few times. So it has proven very, very stable so far.
 

Fomalhaut

macrumors 68000
Oct 6, 2020
1,823
1,494
I have the new 2021 16" M1 Max MacBook Pro maxed out in all ways. I just edited an FCP Library that has seven streams of 4K 30 fps MP4 footage (optimized in FCP). The video is 25 minutes long. I did it all on one of these SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSDs connected to a Thunderbolt 4 port with the included USB-C cable. And it's connected to an OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock (not directly to the MacBook, though the drive is just a tiny bit faster when connected directly the MBP, I believe). Even with all of that, the drive did not dismount or malfunction even once in several hours of editing. I got the beach ball a few times when it had to catch up, but only a few times. So it has proven very, very stable so far.
Good to know; thanks!
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.