It’s MacBook Pro (MBP) upgrade time again.
With the introduction of the latest generation M2 Pro and M2 Max silicon, Apple also refreshes its 14″ and 16″ MBP as well as the Mac mini lineup. The upgrades are somewhat incremental in nature, so last year’s buyers need not rush into this one.
New Pro and Max silicon
The M2 Pro features a 10- or 12-core CPU with up to eight high-performance and four high-efficiency cores for up to 20 per cent greater performance over M1 Pro. It gets 200GB/s of unified memory bandwidth (double the amount in M2) and up to 32GB of unified memory. The GPU is equipped with up to 19 cores for up to 30 per cent more graphics performance while the Neural Engine is also 40 per cent faster.
With the M2 Max, you get a next-gen 12-core CPU with up to eight high-performance and four high-efficiency cores that deliver up to 20 per cent greater performance over M1 Max. It’s coupled with a more powerful media engine than M2 Pro and has twice the ProRes acceleration to dramatically speed up media playback and transcoding. The GPU features up to 38 cores and delivers up to 30 per cent greater graphics performance over M1 Max.
It gets 400GB/s of unified memory bandwidth (twice that of M2 Pro) and up to 96GB of unified memory. The media engine is also more powerful than the one found on the M2 Pro, with twice the ProRes acceleration to dramatically speed up media playback and transcoding.
14″ and 16″ MacBook Pro
The new 14- and 16-inch MBP ship with M2 Pro and M2 Max, and Apple says that effects rendering is up to 6x faster than the fastest Intel-based MBP while colour grading is up to 2x faster. At the same time, they’ve apparently managed to UNO Reverse the law of physics (jesting of course), and the battery life on MBP is now up to 22 hours–the longest ever in a Mac.
M2 Pro Performance on MBP:
- Rendering titles and animations in Motion is up to 20 per cent faster than the previous generation.
- Compiling in Xcode is nearly 25 per cent faster than the previous generation.
- Image processing in Adobe Photoshop is up to 40 per cent faster than the previous generation.
Apple claims that the top-of-the-line M2 Max model with up to 96GB of unified memory enables creators to work on scenes so large that PC laptops equipped with Core i9 CPUs and RTX 6000 or RTX 3080 Ti can’t even run.
M2 Max Performance on MBP:
- Effects rendering in Cinema 4D is up to 30 per cent faster than the previous generation.
- Colour grading in DaVinci Resolve is up to 30 per cent faster than the previous generation.
The new MBP also gets the Wi-Fi 6E upgrade and an upgraded HDMI-out that supports 8K display output (8K@60Hz or 4K@240Hz). On top of that, you have three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an SDXC card slot, and MagSafe 3 charging.
The new Mac mini gets the M2 and the all-new M2 Pro treatment, Apple says it’s the first time they’ve given the mini a pro-level chip, coupled with a thermal system to ensure sustained performance. If you’re fan of the Mac mini form factor, this might be the most tempting one to date.
The working brief it seems, is a high-performance, compact design, along with more unified memory and high bandwidth along with a more powerful media engine. The new Mac mini has improved connectivity, which includes support for up to two displays on the M2 model, and up to three displays on the M2 Pro model.
Apple is essentially pitching the M2 Mac mini as a viable replacement for a basic Windows PC, touting performance that is five times better than an Intel Core i5-based PC system with onboard Intel UHD Graphics 730.
The M2 Mac mini features an 8-core CPU with four high-performance and four high-efficiency cores, along with a 10-core GPU and up to 24GB of unified memory and 100GB/s of bandwidth.
M2 performance on the Mac mini:
- Image editing in Adobe Photoshop is up to 50 per cent faster than the previous generation Mac mini.
- Video editing in Final Cut Pro is twice as fast, thanks to ProRes acceleration.
- 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.
- Up to 2.4x faster than M1 with ProRes transcode in Final Cut Pro.
- Up to 50 per cent faster than M1 in filter and function performance in Adobe Photoshop.
- Up to 35 per cent faster than M1 in Resident Evil Village.
M2 Pro performance on the Mac Mini:
- Next-generation Neural Engine is 40 per cent faster than M1.
- Media engine can simultaneously play up to five streams of 8K ProRes 422 video at 30 fps, or up to 23 streams of 4K ProRes 422 video at 30 fps.
- Up to 2.5x faster graphics performance than M1 in Affinity Photo.
- Up to 4.2x faster ProRes transcode than M1 in Final Cut Pro.
- Up to 2.8x faster gameplay than M1 in Resident Evil Village.
The M2 model features two Thunderbolt 4 ports and support for up to two displays while the M2 Pro model includes four Thunderbolt 4 ports and supports up to three displays (or one 8K display). In addition, you get two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port and a headphone jack that supports high-impedance headphones. It also sports the latest Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6E standards.
Pricing and Availability
Prices for the 14-inch MBP with M2 Pro start from $2,899 and the 16-inch MBP with M2 Pro starts from $3,599. The Mac mini with M2 starts from $847 while the Mac mini with M2 Pro starts at $1,849.
Orders for the new MBP models with M2 Pro and M2 Max start Thursday, January 19, while orders for the new Mac mini with M2 and M2 Pro start Monday, January 30, on apple.com/sg/store and in the Apple Store app.