As rumored, Apple has finally brought its new M2 Pro and M2 Max processors to the Apple MacBook Pro. The Apple Silicon is coming to the 14-inch and 16-inch models, promising up to 40 percent faster performance and the “best” battery life on a Mac.
But what performance gains do the new chips bring?
Apple MacBook Pro & the M2 Pro
The new entry-level M2 Pro offers 10- or 12-core CPUs, including eight high-performance and four high-efficiency cores. This translates to a 20 percent better performance over the 10-core M1 Pro processor. Its GPU goes up from 16 to 19 cores. That promises faster processing for content creation apps like Photoshop or for compiling in Xcode.
The M2 Pro also brings a new media engine to the Apple MacBook Pro with hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, and ProRes video encode and decode modes. It supports playback of multiple 4K and 8K ProRes video streams while ensuring it uses minimal power.
What about the M2 Max?
If the M2 Pro isn’t enough for your needs, Apple also brings the M2 Max to the Apple MacBook Pro. The company dubs this processor the “world’s most powerful and efficient chip for a pro laptop.”
It has the same 12 cores as the M2 Pro but gets 67 billion transistors (10 billion more than the M1 Max). And its GPU cores get bumped up from 34 to 38 compared to the M1 Max. And it supports up to 96GB of fast unified memory.
All that tech should translate to processing graphic speeds up to 30 percent higher than the M1 Max, allowing it to breeze through tasks like visual effects and machine learning.
The M2 Max and M2 Pro get the next-generation 16-core Neural Engine, which is now up to 40 percent faster. The M2 Max also gets double the video encode and ProRes engines, which results in double the encoding and playback speeds of the M2 Pro.
But what else is new with the Apple MacBook Pro?
That performance gain might worry you about battery performance. But Apple promises the new MacBook Pro models can last up to 22 hours on a single charge.
The Apple MacBook Pro now also supports WiFi 6E, which delivers twice the connection speeds of the previous generation. Its HDMI port now supports 8K up to 60Hz for the first time and 4K displays up to 240Hz.
The design of the laptop remains the same. It also still comes with three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an SDXC card slot, and MagSafe 3 charging. The displays are also still the Liquid Retina XDR on the 2021 models.
Apple has already opened preorders starting at USD 1,999 for the 14-inch M2 Pro model and USD 2,499 for the 16-inch M2 Pro variant. Shipping will start on January 24.
The Apple Mac mini’s M2 upgrade
Apple also breathes new life into the Mac mini. But it doesn’t get the rumored redesign. It does, however, get a lower starting price than the previous generation at USD 599.
Apple brings the M2 and M2 Pro chips to this compact PC, promising a considerable boost in graphics processing and AI speeds. That will be handy for everything from content creation, gaming, music, etc.
The M2 version gets up to 24GB of unified memory and 100GB/s of bandwidth, while the M2 Pro variant supports up to 32GB of unified memory and 200GB/s of memory bandwidth.
The M2 version boosts image editing speeds in Photoshop by up to 50 percent and can “simultaneously play up to two streams of 8K ProRes 422 video at 30 fps, or up to 12 streams of 4K ProRes 422 video at 30 fps.”
Meanwhile, Apple claims the M2 Pro delivers 2.5x faster graphics performance in Affinity Photo, 4.2x faster ProRes transcode in Final Cut Pro, and 2.8x faster gameplay in Resident Evil Village.
Like the new Apple MacBook Pro, the Mac mini now supports WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. It still gets two Thunderbolt 4 ports that support up to two displays. And for the first time in a Mac, it can handle a single 8K display.
The Mac mini also comes with two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, a gigabit ethernet port with a 10GB option, and an upgraded headphone jack that supports high-impedance headphones. The preorder period and shipping are the same as the new MacBook Pros.
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