The new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are so powerful that most reviewers believe they are overkill for most Mac users, including those who do video work.
A new benchmark ranking compares the machine to every other current Apple Silicon chip, ranging from the A14 Bionic to the M1 Ultra (which still smokes the M2 Pro)
The new chips
Apple announced the new chips last week, alongside the release of the new Mac mini and MacBook Pro models.
M2 Pro expands on the M2 architecture to provide an up to 12-core CPU and up to 19-core GPU, as well as up to 32GB of fast unified memory. M2 Max expands on M2 Pro’s capabilities, including an up to 38-core GPU, double the unified memory bandwidth, and up to 96GB of unified memory. Because of its industry-leading performance per watt, it is the most powerful and power-efficient chip for a professional laptop. Both chips include improved custom technologies, such as a faster 16-core Neural Engine and Apple’s powerful media engine
“Only Apple manufactures SoCs such as the M2 Pro and M2 Max. “They deliver incredible pro performance while maintaining industry-leading power efficiency,” said Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies, Johny Srouji. “The M2 Pro and M2 Max represent astonishing advancements in Apple silicon, with an even more powerful CPU and GPU, support for a larger unified memory system, and an advanced media engine.”
Despite the fact that the chips are still built on a 5nm architecture, Apple claims that the M2 Pro has 40 billion transistors – nearly 20% more than the M1 Pro and twice as many as the base M2. The M2 Max boosts that figure to 67 billion transistors.
The M2 Pro is 40% faster than the M1 Pro and 80% faster than the top-end Core i9 chip in the previous Intel-powered 16-inch MacBook Pro, according to Apple.
M2 Pro and M2 Max versus other Apple Silicon
Source examined how the new chips compare to not only their predecessors, but also to all other current Apple Silicon chips.
We only included chips from Apple devices that are still available for purchase, and the chart is somewhat predictable, with the fastest Macs at the top, followed by a mix of iPads and iPhones. However, there are some intriguing results: Owners of the iPad Pro can confidently claim that their tablet is roughly as fast as a MacBook Air. And the price difference between the $399 iPhone SE and the $899 iPhone 14 isn’t as large as it appears.
Owners of the Mac Studio may have raised an eyebrow at the new Mac mini, wondering if they should have waited, but the news could have been worse.
If you own an M1 Ultra Mac Studio, the new chips have not dethroned it as the speed king. With a Geekbench 5 Multi-core score of 23,369 versus 15,242 for the two M2 Max chips; 15,079 for the top-end M2 Pro; and 11,851 for the M2 Pro with 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU, both 48-core and 64-core variants still outperform the M2 Max.
With a score of 12,590, the M1 Max is also in the same league as the two M2 Pro variants.