Apple‘s new MacBook Pros are powered by the M2 Pro and M2 Max, but how do the chips compare? In January 2023, Apple announced its next-generation 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros, along with a long-awaited revamped Mac mini. The new chips are the successors to the M1 Max and M1 Pro, which were announced in 2021. Currently, the M2 Max is only found in the new laptops, while the M2 Pro also powers the new Mac mini.
Both the M2 Pro and M2 Max are powerful chips, but the latter has even more power. As explained by Apple, both M2 Pro and M2 Max come in two avatars with different CPU and GPU core counts. Starting with the former, the base M2 Pro variant comes with a 10-core CPU and a 16-core GPU, while the higher-end version has a 12-core CPU and a 19-core GPU. The numbers represent an increase over the M1 Pro, which comes with either an 8-core CPU and 14-core GPU or a 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU. The M2 Pro also comes with either 16GB or 32GB of total memory with 200GB/s bandwidth.
M2 Max is more powerful
As for the M2 Max, it is even more powerful, offering more CPU and GPU cores as well as additional memory with faster bandwidth. The base M2 Max variant has a 12-core CPU and a 30-core GPU, while the top-end version rocks a 12-core CPU and a 38-core GPU. In comparison, the top-end M1 Max has 10 CPU cores and 30 GPU cores. The M2 Max also comes with up to 96GB of total memory at 400GB/s bandwidth, which is double that of the M2 Pro and four times as much as the standard M2.
Both the M2 Pro and M2 Max include Apple’s next-generation 16-core Neural Engine, which the company claims is capable of 15.8 trillion operations per second. The company also says that it is up to 40 percent faster than the previous generation. In terms of the media engine, the M2 Pro includes hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC and ProRes video encoding and decoding. The M2 Max, on the other hand, has two video encoding engines and two ProRes engines, which Apple claims offers up to two times faster video encoding than the M2 Pro.
The increased cores in the new chips will allow for better performance in multi-threaded apps, while the improved memory bandwidth means they’ll be able to move data super fast, helping video editors, 3D modelers and other creators. Overall, if Apple’s claims are verified by benchmarks and tests, it would mean that the M2 Pro and M2 Max are the fastest chips from the company yet. Going forward, it will be interesting to see which other Apple units they will operate in the coming months.
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