Apple started shipping Mac computers with its M1 chip in 2020, marking the start of Apple’s migration away from Intel chips. Now the company has revealed the aptly-named sequel, the Apple M2.
The M2 is a direct replacement for the original M1, not the more powerful chips Apple introduced afterwards (like the M1 Max and M1 Ultra). It uses a 5-nanometer design, with 20 billion transistors and 100GB/s of unified memory bandwidth. That’s a 50% upgrade in bandwidth compared to the original M1, which should improve everything from managing Chrome tabs to rendering 3D graphics.
Apple is sticking to the same 8-core CPU design with the M2, with 4 high-performance cores and four “high-efficiency” cores. Just like most ARM-based chips, the M2 is designed to run more demanding applications and games on the high-performance cores, and everything else on the cores designed for higher power efficiency.
Apple says the Intel Core i7-1260P processor requires 4x the power than M2 with the same workloads — it’s probably a good idea to wait for independent benchmarks, though.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, all the CPU and GPU cores are faster than their M1 equivalents. When running at the same power level as the M1’s GPU, the M2 GPU is 25% faster. Apple said the focus is still on power-efficiency, though — power users might want to wait for a Max or Ultra version of the M2.
The Apple M2 will ship in the upcoming MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. If history is anything to go by, the M2 will likely also appear in future iPad Air and iPad Pro models.
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