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Apple unveils M2 Pro and M2 Max SoCs

by on17 January 2023

More CPU and GPU cores

Today, at its dedicated event, Apple has unveiled new M2 Pro and M2 Max SoC, adding both more CPU and GPU cores, more L2 cache, and unified memory, as well as the latest WiFi 6E and 8K HDMI support, all in order to power the new MacBook Pro and Mac mini devices.

Calling them the next-generation chips for next-level workflows, the M2 Pro and the M2 Max build up on the previous generation M1 chips, and promises some impressive performance and feature updates to the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro as well as the new Mac mini lineup.

"Only Apple is building SoCs like M2 Pro and M2 Max. They deliver incredible pro performance along with industry-leading power efficiency," said Johny Srouji, Apple's senior vice president of Hardware Technologies. "With an even more powerful CPU and GPU, support for a larger unified memory system, and an advanced media engine, M2 Pro and M2 Max represent astonishing advancements in Apple silicon."

M2 Pro comes to MacBook Pro and Mac mini

As noted by Apple, the M2 Pro is built on 2nd generation 5nm manufacturing process and packs a total of 40 billion transistors, a good 20 percent more compared to the M1 Pro.

The chip features a 10 to 12-core CPU configuration, with eight (six) performance and four efficiency cores, and up to 19 GPU cores, so there will be several options. Apple also increased the L2 cache to 32MB for high-performance cores while "high-efficiency cores are left at 4MB. There is also 32GB of unified LPDDR5 memory.

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The M2 Pro also gets a 16-core neural engine, with up to 40 percent faster performance, and also comes with a new media engine, providing hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, and ProRes video encode and decode, as well as multiple 4K and 8K ProRes video stream playback.

In terms of performance, Apple says that the M2 Pro is around 20 percent faster compared to the M1 Pro, with up to 20 percent faster GPU, which is a decent performance increase considering the increase in the number of transistors (compared to 33.7b on the M1 Pro).

As far as we could gather, the M2 Pro will be available in both the new MacBook Pro 14- and 16-inch laptops, as well as the new Mac mini desktop.

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The M2 Max is a 67 billion transistor chip

The Apple M2 Max is a behemoth of a chip, packing 67 billion transistors, up to 96GB of unified LPDDR5 memory with 400GB/s of memory bandwidth, and a 12-core CPU and up to 38-core GPU. The cache situation is the same as on the M2 Pro, at least as far as we could gather from Apple's own announcement.

The 38-core GPU packs 4,864 EUs and pushes 13.6 TFLOPs of compute performance.

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In terms of performance, the M2 Max is up to 20 percent faster compared to the M1 Max, and the GPU is up to 30 percent faster compared to the same chip. The M2 Max also doubles the amount of video encode/decode and ProRes engines.

As expected the M2 Max will be available in both new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, but, surprisingly it is off the table for the Mac mini, which will stick to M2 and M2 Pro chips.

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