Apple has officially announced the new M2 Pro and M2 Max processors, the ones we’ll find in high-performance computers in both the portable and desktop areas. Along with these new processors, which are basically better-equipped versions of the Apple M2 launched last summer, we also got the announcement of the first computers to incorporate them, which promise longer battery life and significantly higher performance than the previous generation. Of course, there’s nothing new on the design front, as these upgrades are strictly hardware upgrades.
M2 Pro and M2 Max
The Apple M2 Pro is the new “professional-grade” performance processor in Apple’s portfolio. It uses the same 5nm architecture as the M2 model from the summer. It integrates 40 billion transistors, 20% more than the M1 Pro, and the performance contribution over the previous model is still “out there” depending on the load. With CPU-integrated unified memory with 200 GB/s speed and up to 32 GB capacity, the M2 Pro is configured with 10 or 12 cores (6 + 4 or 8 + 4 efficient and powerful cores), on CPU processing, it promises 20% performance gain over the M1 Pro.
The M2 Pro’s integrated GPU reaches up to 19 cores (three more than the M1 Pro) and has more L2 cache. As a result, in applications such as gaming and image processing, the M2 Pro should be up to 30% faster. Compared to the fastest Intel-powered model, the 2019 MacBook Pro with i9 processor, it should be 80% faster in professional apps like Photoshop.
The M2 Max is similar in configuration, but integrates 67 billion transistors, 400 GB/s bandwidth memory, and up to 96 GB of onboard memory. Although it has the same 12-core CPU, it can integrate the GPU with up to 48 cores and extra L2 Cache memory. Compared to the M1 Max, 30% higher performance is promised. Apple says the M2 Max is now the most powerful and efficient processor in a professional laptop.
In addition to the CPU and GPU, the two processors also received a new 16-core AI Neural Engine, 40% faster than the M1 generation, and the M2 Max can process ProRes video content twice as fast as the M2 Pro, thanks to the two Pro Res Engines it integrates.
New MacBook Pro models change components only on the inside
The two processors are built into the 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pro models, and both computers can be configured with these processors. In addition to the extra performance provided by the two processors, the new features of these laptops are exclusively under the enclosure.
For example, these are the first Apple computers to offer next-generation HDMI ports, which provide support for 8K displays at 60 Hz or 4K at 240 Hz, as well as Wi-Fi 6E, the fastest standard currently available. Elsewhere, the three Thunderbolt 4 ports remain in place, along with the SDXC card slot, amplified audio jack and MagSafe 3 magnetic port for charging. At the same time, we get the same Liquid Retina XDR Display, FaceTime HD camera and the six speakers for sound playback, which are among the best on the market.
Apple says the new MacBook models also offer the best battery life on a Mac yet. Models with the M1 Pro promise up to 22 hours of use, up from 20 hours in the past.
Starting prices remain the same: 1,999 for the base 14″ model and 2,499 for the 16″ model. They are equipped with the M2 Pro processor, base memory and 512 GB SSD. The computers can be ordered from today and will start shipping on 24 January.
Mac Mini enters the “Pro” zone with M2 Pro
Of all the new products announced today, the Mac Mini gets the biggest upgrade. It’s available not just with the M2 processor, as we expected, but also in an M2 Pro variant. The previous Mac Mini model, released in 2020, only offered the “standard” M1 processor and never upgraded to M1 Pro. Incidentally, a Mac Mini with M2 Pro of this kind might offer a user experience not unlike that of a Mac Studio, with fewer ports and a significantly lower price.
The Mac Mini with the standard M2 will offer a similar level of performance to the MacBook Air M2 or 13″ MacBook Pro, while the M2 Pro model will basically be a 14″ or 16″ MacBook Pro in desktop form factor. The M2 model will start with an 8-core (4+4) version and will also be available in a 10-core CPU variant with up to 24 GB RAM at 100 GB/s. The M2 Pro model will be available with 10 or 12 CPU cores, up to 19 GPU cores and up to 32 GB memory at 200 GB/s.
Like the MacBook Pro, the Mac Mini also gets HDMI 2.1, as well as a 10 Gbps Ethernet networking option, an amplified headphone jack, and Wi-Fi 6E with Bluetooth 5.3.
The Mac Mini M2 starts at $599 US, and the M2 Pro version starts at $1,299.