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Apple's M2 Pro and M2 Max chips finally arrive for MacBook Pro and Mac mini

They support the latest WiFi 6E standard, 8K HDMI and more.
Apple's M2 Pro and M2 Max chips finally arrive for MacBook Pro and Mac mini
Apple
Steve Dent
Steve Dent|@stevetdent|January 17, 2023 9:38 AM

As rumored, Apple has unveiled its new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips that will arrive very soon in new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini computers. The new models will be up to 40 percent faster and offer superior battery life — and if you're keen to get one, they're now available to order with shipping set to start next week.

The new entry level processor is the M2 Pro, which offers 10- or 12-core core CPUs including eight high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, boosting performance by up to 20 percent over the 10-core M1 Pro CPU. The GPU, meanwhile, goes up from 16 to 19 cores, promising faster processing for content creation apps like Photoshop or compiling in Xcode.

Meanwhile, Apple calls the M2 Max "the world's most powerful and efficient chip for a pro laptop." It has 67 billion transistors (10 billion more than the M1 Max) and 12 cores like the M2 Pro, but boosts the GPU cores from 34 to 38 compared to the M1 Max. More impressively, it supports up to 96GB of fast unified memory. With all that, Apple is processing graphic speeds up to 30 percent higher than the M1 Max chip, for chores like visual effects, machine learning and more. 

Apple's M2 Pro and M2 Max chips finally arrive for MacBook Pro and Mac mini
Apple

Along with the extra cores and efficiency, the new chips features Apple's next-generation 16-core Neural Engine that's up to 40 percent faster. The M2 Pro offers a new media engine with hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC and ProRes video encode and decode modes, and playback of multiple 4K and 8K ProRes video streams while using very little power. The M2 Max doubles the video encode and ProRes engines, allowing for double the encoding and playback speeds of the M2 Pro. 

The new MacBook Pro 14- and 16-inch models have the same designs as before, but offer considerably more performance, plus up to an incredible 96GB of unified memory in the M2 Max model. As such, the MacBook Pro with M2 Pro will deliver up to 20 percent better CPU and 30 percent graphics performance. The M2 Max versions offers a similar boost over the 2021 MacBook Pros with M1 Max CPUs. 

One of the main benefits, though, is battery life. The MacBook Pro models can now run up to 22 hours — the longest ever on a Mac, Apple claims. And as rumored, it now supports WiFi 6E, which delivers up to twice the connection speeds of the previous generation. Another new feature is an HDMI port that supports 8K up to 60Hz for the first time and 4K displays up to 240Hz. As before, it comes with three Thunderbolt 4 ports for high-speed connection to peripherals, an SDXC card slot and MagSafe 3 charging.

They use the same Liquid Retina XDR displays as the 2021 models — not the rumored touchscreens, which aren't expected until 2025. All told, the new models look to be what content creators and other power users have been waiting for since the launch of the last models in late 2021. The new MacBook Pro models are now available to preorder at Apple and other retailers starting at $1,999 for the MacBook Pro with M2 Pro, and $2,499 for the 16-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Pro. Shipping will start on January 24th. 

Apple's M2 Pro and M2 Max chips finally arrive for MacBook Pro and Mac mini
Apple

These chips will also appear in Apple's new Mac mini, which comes with either an M2 or M2 Pro chip, giving potential buyers a budget option. Apple is promising considerably faster graphics processing and AI speeds for content creation, gaming, music and more. 

The M2 version comes with up to 24GB of unified memory and 100GB/s of bandwidth, boosting image editing speeds in Photoshop by up to 50 percent, for example. It can also "simultaneously play up to two streams of 8K ProRes 422 video at 30 fps, or up to 12 streams of 4K ProRes 422 video at 30 fps," Apple says.

The faster M2 Pro version, meanwhile, supports up to 32GB of unified memory and offers 200GB/s of memory bandwidth. That delivers up to 2.5x faster graphics performance in Affinity Photo, 4.2 faster ProRes transcode in Final Cut Pro and 2.8x faster gameplay in Resident Evil Village, the company claims.

Apple's M2 Pro and M2 Max chips finally arrive for MacBook Pro and Mac mini
Apple

As before, it offers two Thunderbolt 4 ports with support for up to two displays, and can support a single 8K display — a first for a Mac. It also comes with two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, A gigabit ethernet port with a 10GB option and an upgraded headphone jack that supports high-impedance headphones. As with the MacBook Pro, they also offer WiFi 6E connectivity, along with Bluetooth 5.3. The new Mac mini starts at $599 with the M2 chip or $1,299 with the M2 Pro, and is now on preorder with shipping set to start on January 24th.

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Apple's M2 Pro and M2 Max chips finally arrive for MacBook Pro and Mac mini