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Called the M2, this builds on what the M1 chip bought to the table with significant improvements across the board without compromising power efficiency.
So, what does the M2 bring to the table?
Apple Silicon M2 specs
Second-generation 5-nanometer technology
Up to 8-core CPU (4× high-performance + 4× high-efficiency)
Up to 10-core GPU
16-core Neural Engine capable of up to 15.8 trillion operations per second
Up to 24 GB LPDDR4 unified memory
100GB/s memory bandwidth
Support for ProRes encoding and decoding
Over 20 billion transistors
New Secure Enclave
What are the improvements over the M1 chip?
Up to two extra GPU cores
Unified memory bumped up from a maximum of 16GB to a maximum of 24GB
Transistor count up 25 percent from 16 billion
Unified memory bandwidth up 50 percent
Neural engine operations per second up over 40 percent
OK, but how do these specs translate into performance? Right now, we only have Apple's numbers to go by, but the performance gains of the M2 chip compared to the M1 are huge.
Comparing the M1 to the M2, Apple claims an 18% performance increase at the same power consumption, which is quite a boost.
But it's when the M2 is compared to 10-core and 12-core chips that we find some impressive gains.
Comparing the Apple Silicon M2 to the M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra
Neural Engine Cores
8 or 10
8, 16, and 24GB
7 or 8
8 or 16GB
8 or 10
14 or 16
16 or 32GB
24 or 32
32 or 64GB
48 or 64
64 or 128GB
For example, against the Core i7-1255U found in a Samsung Galaxy Book2, the M2 offers 1.9x the performance at the same power level and delivers a peak performance while using a quarter of the power.
Compared to the 12-core Core i7-1260P found in an MSI Prestige 14Evo, the M2 delivers 87% of the performance of this chip while using only a quarter of the power.
The 10-core GPU of the M2 is also a powerhouse, delivering up to 25% higher graphics performance than the M1 at the same power, and 35% more performance at maximum power.
Compared to the integrated graphics in the Core i7-1255U chip, it delivers 2.3x the peak performance while using just a fifth of the power.
Apple M2 FAQ
Does the M2 outperform the M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra?
Based on the data supplied by Apple, no. The M2 is a direct replacement for the M1, with the Pro, Max, and Ultra being high-end versions of the M1. We'll have to wait for Apple to release the M2 Pro, M2 Max, and M2 Ultra.
What hardware is getting the M2 chip first?
The M2 will make its debut in the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Is this a revolutionary new chip, or an evolutionary step forward?
Apple is clearly building on the M1 chip, adding more memory and GPU cores and also squeezing more performance out of the old design by creating a more efficient design.
What's the biggest difference in the M2?
Depends on what you're after, but the bump up to 24GB of RAM and doubling of the memory bandwidth is a huge jump forward.
What comes after the M2?
The M2 is just the beginning. If things pan out like they did for the M1, we'll be seeing M2 Pro, Max, and Ultra chips coming out over the next year to 18-months.