M2 MacBook Pro review: In-Depth Analysis
Before the first orders hit buyers on Friday, reviews of the new MacBook Pro M2 have officially hit the web. The new entry-level MacBook Pro is virtually the same as the previous generation model in every way, making the new M2 chip the star of the show. These reviews provide our first look at the M2 chip and its performance.
The edge did some comparisons between the MacBook Pro M2 and its M1 predecessor, as well as the M1 Pro chip found in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. This is true almost exclusively for single-core tasks, not multi-core tasks.
The M2 outperformed the more expensive M1 Pro in the single-core benchmarks I ran. That’s impressive on its own (indicating that while the M1 Pro has more power cores than the M2, those cores aren’t nearly as powerful as the M2’s power cores on an individual level). But it also bodes well for the M2 Pro, Max and Ultra variants that we’re likely to see in the future; they’re likely to show single-core speed improvements over their M1-based predecessors, rather than just loading onto more cores.
How did it perform on the benchmarks? In CPU results (Geekbench, Cinebench, the Xcode benchmark, etc.), the results we see are a bit better than the M1. In GPU tests, including some games, the results are significantly better.
An in-depth series of benchmarks from six colors also corroborates this. Jason Snell explains that the M2 chip will outperform any M1 machine in single-core testing, simply because the M2 is based on the A15, while the M1 is based on the A14. Memory is also faster with the M2 chip:
The M2 also includes some features that previously only existed on the high-end members of the M1 chip family. It has increased performance in 4K video encoding and decoding and supports faster LP5 memory, and this memory can be slightly denser, allowing the M2’s maximum RAM to be 24GB, up from 16GB on the M2.M1.
All of the testing I’ve been able to run on the MacBook Pro M2 has led to this story. Yes, the single-core output of a MacBook Pro M2 will outperform any M1 device; this is because it is an A15 based kernel and therefore faster. But of course, so much performance these days comes from using multiple cores at the same time. And while the 8-core M2 will run faster than the 8-core M1 for obvious reasons, it can’t keep up with the many cores of high-end M1 processors.
CNET notes that while the MacBook Pro M2 is the first Mac M2, the real comparison will come when the MacBook Air M2 launches next month. This will allow us to take a closer look at the efficiency and performance of the M2 chip in a completely fanless machine.
Gizmodo contains more in-depth details on how the M2 performs in benchmarking and how it compares to other machines on the market:
Our tests backed up those claims, with the M2 chip taking the MacBook Pro 13 to a Geekbench 5 score of 8,603, about 15.2% higher than the previous model (7,470). Although a far cry from the MacBook Pro 14 (12,663) with M1 Max or more powerful Intel chips found in gaming laptops like the Asus Zephyrus G14 (9,830), the MacBook Pro outperformed its peers like the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 (6,643) and the Lenovo Yoga 9i. (7,259) with the latest Intel Core i7-1260P processor.
You will notice that all of these reviews focus on the M2 chip. Indeed, the MacBook Pro M2 is literally identical to the MacBook Pro M1 in every other way. It has the same design, the same Touch Bar, the same ports, and the same limitations. One of the biggest limitations is that the M2 is limited to a single external display, just like the M1 before it.
Almost all reviews come to the same conclusion that the MacBook Pro M2 is an impressive upgrade over the M1. Battery life is impressive at around 17 hours, performance is excellent thanks to the M2 chip and support for up to 24GB of RAM, and performance under heavy load lasts a bit longer than before.
The design, however, is getting old, especially with the imminent release of the redesigned MacBook Air and the release of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models last year.
MacBook Pro M2 Video Review
Abram left his e-business studies to devote himself to his entrepreneurial projects. In 2017, he created the company Inbound Media and wrote articles about high-tech products for his Chromebookeur site. In 2019, Chromebookeur was renamed Macbound and became a general purchasing advice site. Today, Abram manages the development and growth of Macbound, surrounded by a young and talented team.