Apple’s M2 family of chips has gotten larger with the launch of the M2 Pro and M2 Max system-on-chips (SoC), and they pack incredible power.
Apple has announced two new chips — the M2 Pro and M2 Max — which brings the M2 family of chips to three. The Apple M2 processor was announced in June 2022 as the first M2 series System-on-Chip (SoC). The processor made its debut in the 2022 models of the MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro in the same month before appearing again in the 6th-gen iPad Pro released in October of the same year.
The M2 Pro and M2 Max raise the already-high standard set by the M2 chip even higher. Built on a second-generation 5nm process technology, the M2 Pro packs 40 billion transistors while the M2 Max has a whopping 67 billion transistors. For comparison, the standard M2 chip has 25 billion transistors, which is 25 percent more than those of the M1 chip, while the M2 Max has 10 billion transistors more than the M1 Max. The two new Apple chips also come with updated custom technologies including a next-gen neural engine, image signal processor, media engine, and Secure Enclave.
The Apple M2 Max Has Almost 70 Billion Transistors
According to Apple, the new M2 chip has 200GB/s of unified memory bandwidth, double that of the M2. It also has up to 32GB of low-latency unified memory and comes in 10- or 12-core CPU configurations with up to 8 high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. Combined, the result is an increase in speed of up to 20 percent compared to the M1 Pro with a 10-core CPU. Users should notice an increase in speeds when using apps such as Adobe Photoshop and Xcode, the latter of which is 2.5x times faster on the M2 Pro-powered MacBook Pro than any Intel-powered MacBook Pro.
While the M1 Pro’s GPU can be configured with up to 16 cores, the M2 Pro’s GPU goes up to 19 cores. It also boasts a larger L2 cache. Thanks to a 30 percent increase in GPU speeds, users should experience an improvement in image processing performance and console-level gaming. The M2 Max, which Apple describes it as the “world’s most powerful and power-efficient chip for a pro laptop,” raises the bar higher. Although it boasts a 12-core CPU like the M2 Pro, it has 400GB/s of unified memory bandwidth and up to 96GB of unified memory.
In addition, its GPU goes up to 38 cores, 14 more than that of the M1 Max inside the Mac Studio. Its L2 cache is even larger and its GPU speed is 30 percent faster than that of the M1 Max, making it suitable for training machine learning models and powering visual effects, and it offers this level of performance whether it is plugged in or running on battery. Apple says both the M2 Pro and M2 Max come with its new 16-core Neural Engine which is capable of up to 15.8 trillion operations per second.
There is also a powerful and efficient media engine that allows for the playback of multiple streams of 4K and 8K ProRes video while consuming little power. To further distinguish the two chips, the M2 Max has two video encode engines and two ProRes engines which makes it twice as fast as the M2 Pro in video encoding. The new Apple M2 Pro and M2 Max chips make their debut in the 2023 MacBook Pro and Mac mini.