5 Things You Need to Know About M2 Pro and M2 Max

Apple this week expanded its lineup of Apple silicon chips with the new M2 Pro and M2 Max processors, building on the M2 chip announced in June. The new lineup of ‌M2‌ chips represents the second generation of Apple silicon that can now now be found in the latest Macs.

Apple M2 chips hero 230117
The ‌M2‌ Pro and ‌M2‌ Max are noteworthy upgrades over the M1 Pro and M1 Max, bringing more performance, battery life, and capabilities to professional users. Below, we've listed five of the most important details you need to know about Apple's latest Mac chips.

  • A Lot of Memory Bandwidth: The new ‌M2‌ Pro and ‌M2‌ Max chips feature the same memory bandwidth as their respective predecessor, which is some of the highest in the industry. Like the ‌M1 Pro‌, the ‌M2‌ Pro chip supports up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth, while the ‌M2‌ Max supports 400GB/s of memory bandwidth like the ‌M1 Max‌.
  • Even Longer Battery Life: The ‌‌M1 Pro‌‌ and ‌‌M1 Max‌‌ have two high-efficiency cores, whereas the ‌‌M2‌‌ Pro and ‌‌M2‌‌ Max both feature four efficiency cores, allowing the new Macs to tackle heavy workloads using less energy, thereby conserving battery life.
  • Tons More Transistors: Thanks to the use of second-generation 5nm process technology, the ‌M2‌ Pro has 40 billion transistors, which is 20% more than the ‌M1 Pro‌. With ‌‌M2‌‌ Max, the jump is even bigger – its 67 billion transistors is 10 billion more than the number used in the ‌‌M1 Max‌‌.
  • Highest Unified Memory Yet in a MacBook Pro: 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros configured with the high-end ‌‌M2‌‌ Max processor now support up to 96GB of unified memory. The 96GB of memory option is an additional $800, on top of the $200 extra for the higher-end variant of the ‌M2‌ Max chip.
  • Connect Even More Displays: 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros and Mac mini models configured with ‌M2‌ Pro support up to two external displays. ‌M2‌ Pro supports two 6K displays over Thunderbolt, or one 6K display at 60Hz over Thunderbolt and one 4K display at 144Hz over HDMI. MacBook Pro models with ‌M2‌ Max support up to four displays: three displays with 6K resolution at 60Hz over Thunderbolt and one more 4K display at 144Hz over HDMI. ‌M2‌ Max also supports two 6K displays at 60Hz over Thunderbolt, and one 8K display at 60Hz or one 4K display at 240Hz over HDMI.

The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro can be configured with both ‌M2‌ Pro and ‌M2‌ Max, while the updated ‌Mac mini‌ can be configured with either ‌M2‌ or ‌M2‌ Pro. Both the new MacBook Pro and ‌Mac mini‌ are available for pre-order on Apple's website and will begin arriving to customers on Tuesday, January 24.

Related Roundups: Mac mini, 14 & 16" MacBook Pro
Related Forums: Mac mini, MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

kyjaotkb Avatar
2 weeks ago

The expanded display support throws up an interesting conundrum - it seems that the 8k60 (or 4k240) is only supported by the HDMI port and that the Thunderbolt interface is limited to 6k60. This means that to get the highest performance video output you can't have a one-cable solution (USB-C) and none of Apple's displays accept HDMI in (and don't seem to support >60 Hz)... Even a new Apple XDR display that supported 120 Hz would still need an HDMI cable. Does this imply that the ports are still DisplayPort 1.4? (the PC market is moving to DisplayPort 2.1 and plant of GPUs and monitors with support were announced at CES)

On battery life, does this mean maxing out the CPU will give less battery life than M1 Pro/Max as it seems that the increased battery life advertised arises from the low power cores being able to do a bigger proportion of low-mid level tasks?
HDMI 2.1 offers 48Gbps whereas Thunderbolt 4 is limited to 40 Gbps. You need 43 Gbps for 8K, 60Hz in 4.2.0.
This means that the MacBook Pro's support for 8K is limited to 4.2.0 chroma subsampling: fine for watching movies, unsuitable for grading movies, OK for gaming but downright awful for displaying text at 1x the resolution, but probably alright at 2x retina. https://www.rtings.com/tv/learn/chroma-subsampling

My guess is that next year's laptops will offer Thunderbolt 5, which offers 80Gbps and will allow full 4.4.4 chroma subsampling, and the next XDR display will be 8K and require Thunderbolt 5. Or maybe, Apple will put two Thunderbolt ports on that future XDR and allow 2022 MacBook Pros to output 4.4.4 to it using 2x Thunderbolt 4 connections. Similar to how the Dell UP3218K uses two Displayport connections (this monitor seems incompatible with the 2022 MacBook Pro and I've only read about one person using it with a Mac, using a Mac Pro 7.1, two PCIe graphics cards and a fair amount of hacking).
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kiranmk2 Avatar
2 weeks ago
The expanded display support throws up an interesting conundrum - it seems that the 8k60 (or 4k240) is only supported by the HDMI port and that the Thunderbolt interface is limited to 6k60. This means that to get the highest performance video output you can't have a one-cable solution (USB-C) and none of Apple's displays accept HDMI in (and don't seem to support >60 Hz)... Even a new Apple XDR display that supported 120 Hz would still need an HDMI cable. Does this imply that the ports are still DisplayPort 1.4? (the PC market is moving to DisplayPort 2.1 and plant of GPUs and monitors with support were announced at CES)

On battery life, does this mean maxing out the CPU will give less battery life than M1 Pro/Max as it seems that the increased battery life advertised arises from the low power cores being able to do a bigger proportion of low-mid level tasks?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
star-affinity Avatar
2 weeks ago

Can we expect a MacBook Pro redesign in 2024? I'm really not a fan of the bulky design and the all black keyboard. ?
I'm a fan of it. I think the design is great. I'm pretty sure it's ”bulky” (I think it's heavy, but not bulky) for a reason. If you want slim there's MacBook Air.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Klagarde Avatar
2 weeks ago
Another thing:
Every upgrade extra is ridiculous expensive.
You can upgrade your M2 chip with $1000's worth of extra cores, graphical cores of unified memory.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mystery hill Avatar
2 weeks ago

Now we have this strange scenario where the Mac mini suddenly offers M2, M2 Pro, and M2 Max, while the Mac Studio is stuck with M1 Max and M1 Ultra.
Mac mini doesn’t offer the M2 Max.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xraydoc Avatar
2 weeks ago
While benchmarks will be interesting to see compared to the M1 Pro & M1 Max, I've still got no regrets buying my 14" MBP with the M1 Pro back in July and not waiting for the M2-series.

Battery life already lasts longer than I need it to and I don't use high-refresh rate displays. And the machine is currently faster than I need anyway. So the M2 Pro isn't bringing anything else to the table.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy they're out, but Apple hardware is so good currently, I no longer need to upgrade constantly.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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