13-Inch MacBook Pro With M2 Chip Outperforms Base Model Mac Pro Despite Costing Nearly $5,000 Less

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip appears to be faster than a base model Mac Pro in benchmarks, despite costing nearly $5,000 less.

13 inch macbook pro and mac pro
In an apparent Geekbench 5 result that surfaced on Wednesday, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro achieved a multi-core score of 8,928, while the standard Mac Pro configuration with an 8‑core Intel Xeon W processor has an average multi-core score of 8,027 on Geekbench 5. These scores suggest the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, which starts at $1,299, has up to 11% faster multi-core performance than the base model Mac Pro for $5,999.

Higher-end Mac Pro configurations are still able to outperform the M2 chip, such as the 12-core model, but at the cost of $6,999 and up.

Given the Mac Pro has other benefits like expandability, configurable GPU options, larger built-in SSD storage capacity options, and much larger RAM options, this certainly isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, but the benchmarks are nevertheless a testament to the impressive performance of Apple silicon chips in more affordable Macs.

A sample of average Geekbench 5 multi-core scores for various Macs:

  • Mac Studio with M1 Ultra: 23,366
  • Mac Pro with 28-core Intel Xeon W: 20,029
  • 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro with M1 Max: 12,162 to 12,219
  • Mac Pro with 12-core Intel Xeon W: 11,919
  • 13-Inch MacBook Pro with M2: 8,928 (based on a single result)
  • Mac Pro with 8-core Intel Xeon W: 8,027
  • 13-Inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with M1: 7,395 to 7,420

The Mac Pro and the high-end Mac mini are the only Intel-based Macs remaining in Apple's lineup. During its March event, Apple teased that a new Mac Pro powered by Apple silicon is coming, with an announcement widely expected by the end of this year.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro will be available to order worldwide starting this Friday, with deliveries to customers and in-store availability beginning June 24. Apple is also releasing a redesigned MacBook Air with the M2 chip in July that should likewise outperform the base model Mac Pro for an even lower starting price of $1,199.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Related Forums: Mac Pro, MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

sorgo † Avatar
22 months ago
But does it have optional $700 wheels? ?
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ufgatorvet Avatar
22 months ago
It does grate cheese better though, so there's that. :p
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
now i see it Avatar
22 months ago
This is normal evolution. Tick/Tock. The slowest and cheapest MacBook made today runs circles around the top tier fastest MacPro of yesteryear.

Then the new MacPro will come out and become the current trophy holder - only to be supplanted in the future by the next laptop.

This leap frog cycle of laptop and Mac Pro has been going on for decades.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
theluggage Avatar
22 months ago

why spend 5000 more when you can get the m2 MacBook Pro?
I've hardly been an ardent supporter of the 2019 Mac Pro or it's admittedly extravagant pricing - but some of these comments are just too dumb to endure.

Someone has already said it here, but it bears repeating: if you don't know why you would need a Mac Pro then you don't need a Mac Pro. (The same goes for the M1 Max/Ultra).

Good luck adding 512GB RAM, quad high-end AMD workstation-class GPUs (and yes, they will thrash the M2 on GPU-heavy tasks, especially if they're not lovingly hand-optimised for Metal and the Apple Silicon GPU) or maybe 4 specialist PCIe video/audio interface cards to that MacBook Air - or maybe fitting an internal RAID array. OK you could use an external PCIE cage but those only provide a fraction of the 64 lanes of PCIe bandwidth that the Mac Pro offered.

What's true is that the base, $6000 8 core Mac Pro (with a worse GPU than the iMac) has never made sense as a stand-alone purchase, unless you were in a very small niche that just needed those specialist PCIe cards. With that CPU and GPU, even the top-end Intel iMacs and MacBook Pros offered comparable power.

I'd wager that most serious Mac Pro customers spent at least another $6000 on internal expansions and upgrades (whether they were third party or Apple). That's the bit you can't do on an iMac or MacBook.

What's changed with M1 is that the raw CPU power of the M1 Ultra in the $4000 Mac Studio now beats even the top-end Xeon available in the Mac Pro (something like a $7k upgrade over the base MP) - but even that glosses over a few points, like, the M1 Ultra tops out at 128GB RAM while the MP can take 1.5TB (...about half of that $7k CPU upgrade is not to just get more, but to get the M-suffix version that supports up to 2TB RAM). ...and you have to very carefully pick your benchmarks for the M1 Ultra to compete with some of the high-end GPU options you can fit to the Mac Pro.

The Intel Mac Pro probably is heading for obsolescence in the long term, and we know that Apple are going to offer some sort of Apple Silicon-based replacement Real Soon Now, but the sort or enterprises that need Mac Pro-level expandability can't turn on a dime, and a lot of work needs to be done on optimising the software they use before they can switch to Apple Silicon.

Also remember that computer pricing is enormously dependent on economies of scale - and Apple sell vastly more MacBook Airs than they do Mac Pros.

Even compared to PC hardware you'd probably need to spend Mac Pro-like prices to get Xeon-W, ECC and (these two are important) 1.5TB RAM capacity and 8 PCIe slots with comparable numbers of lanes. However, that skipped over a whole class of much cheaper machines with maybe 3-4 PCIe slots, 512GB RAM capability and maybe better-value AMD procesors. My main beef with the 2019 Mac Pro was not that it was a bad machine, but there was such a huge gulf between the totally non-expandable iMac and the insanely expandable Mac Pro.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rafagon Avatar
22 months ago
...And the Mac Pro can't handle Stage Manager!
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JosephAW Avatar
22 months ago
Yeah but I bet the Mac Pro runs Windows faster :p
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
iOS 17

When Will Apple Release iOS 17.4 for iPhones?

Friday February 23, 2024 11:56 am PST by
Apple has been beta testing iOS 17.4 for nearly a month now. Below, we explain when the update is likely to be released to all users. In its press release announcing major App Store changes in the EU, which were implemented in response to new regulations under the EU's Digital Markets Act, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released at some point in March:Developers can learn about these...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...