Apple’s new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips raise the performance bar ... again

Apple’s new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips raise the performance bar … again

By

M2 Pro and M2 Max are next-generation chips going into multiple Apple computers.
Apple's next-generation M2 Pro and M2 Max SoCs are its fastest chips yet.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s next-generation M2 Pro and M2 Max chips went official on Tuesday. The new processors power Apple’s brand-new MacBook Pro lineup and, for the first time, the Mac mini.

Both SoCs deliver better CPU and GPU performance than their M1 predecessors, along with faster image processing.

Apple’s M2 Pro SoC is 25% faster than M1 Pro

Based on the second-gen 5nm manufacturing node, Apple’s M2 Pro/Max chips pack up to 20% more transistors than their predecessors. The M2 Pro now comes with a 10- or 12-core next-gen CPU and 19-core GPU, which can be paired with up to 32GB of unified memory.

Apple says the next-gen CPU performs up to 20% faster in multi-threaded tasks and can compile code in Xcode up to 25% faster than M1 Pro.

“With an even more powerful CPU and GPU, support for a larger unified memory system, and an advanced media engine, M2 Pro and M2 Max represent astonishing advancements in Apple silicon,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s SVP of hardware, in a press release Tuesday.

The M2 Pro is configurable with up to 19 GPU cores, three more than the M1 Pro’s GPU. It also comes with a larger cache. Combined, these improvements allow for a 30% boost in image processing while using Photoshop and similar apps.

M2 Max SoC packs a whopping 67 billion transistors

Building on the M2 Pro, Apple’s M2 Max chip further pushes the performance envelope and consists of 67 billion transistors, up 10 billion from the M1 Max. The company says it is the “world’s most powerful and efficient chip for a Pro laptop.”

The M2 Max comes with a 12-core CPU and can be configured with a 38-core GPU and an even larger L2 cache. You can equip the M2 Max with up to 96GB of system memory — 32GB more than the M1 Max.

Apple says the new GPU brings a 30% performance uplift over the M1 Max. Even better, the chip delivers the same performance irrespective of whether your MacBook is running on battery or plugged in.

The company’s newest M2 Pro/Max chips also feature a next-generation 16-core Neural Engine that runs up to 40% faster. Plus, they pack a newer image signal processor that promises better noise reduction.

Apple began accepting preorders for the M2 Pro/Max MacBook Pros and the new Mac mini today. The machines will start shipping on January 24.