M2 MacBook Pro reviews delve deeper into performance

Ahead of the first orders to hit shoppers on Friday, reviews of the new M2 MacBook Pro have officially surfaced on the web. The new entry-level MacBook Pro is pretty much the same as the previous generation model in every way, making the new M2 chip the star of the show. These reviews offer our first look at the M2 chip and its performance.

The edge ran some comparisons between the M2 MacBook Pro and its M1 predecessor, as well as the M1 Pro chip found in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. This is almost exclusively true for single-core tasks, not for multi-core tasks.

The M2 outperformed the more expensive M1 Pro in the single-core benchmarks I ran. That in itself is impressive (it indicates that while the M1 Pro has more power cores than the M2, those cores on an individual level aren’t as strong as the M2’s power cores. But it also bodes well for the M2 Pro, Max and Ultra variants which we will presumably see later; they will likely show single-core speed improvements over their M1-based predecessors, rather than just loading on more cores.

How did this thing perform on benchmarks? In CPU results – Geekbench, Cinebench, the Xcode benchmark, etc. – the results we see are slightly better than the M1. In GPU tests, including some games, the results are significantly better.

An in-depth benchmark round of Six colors also confirms this. Jason Snell explains that the M2 chip will outperform any M1 machine in terms of single-core testing purely because the M2 is based on the A15, while the M1 is based on the A14. The memory is also faster with the M2 chip:

The M2 also includes some features that were previously only available on the more expensive members of the M1 chip family. It has better performance in encoding and decoding 4K video and supports faster LP5 memory – and that memory could be a bit denser, allowing the M2’s maximum RAM to be 24GB, up from 16GB on the M1.

All the tests I was able to run on the M2 MacBook Pro confirmed this story. Yes, the single-core result of an M2 MacBook Pro will beat any M1 device; that’s because this is an A15 based core and therefore faster. But of course, so much performance these days comes from using multiple cores together. 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, many cores in high-end M1 processors.

CNET notes that while the M2 MacBook Pro is the first M2 Mac, the real comparison will come when the M2 MacBook Air launches next month. This gives us a better idea of ​​the efficiency and performance of the M2 chip in a machine that is completely fanless.

Gizmodo has some broader details about M2 benchmarking performance and how it compares to other machines on the market:

Our testing confirmed those claims, with the M2 chip propelling the MacBook Pro 13 to a Geekbench 5 score of 8,603, or about 15.2% over the previous model (7,470). While nowhere near the MacBook Pro 14 (12,663) with M1 Max or the 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 Lenovo Yoga 9i (7.259) with the latest Intel Core i7-1260P.

You will notice that the focus of all these reviews is on the M2 chip. This is because the M2 MacBook Pro is quite literally identical to the M1 MacBook Pro 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 M2 MacBook Pro is an impressive upgrade over the M1. Battery life is impressive at around 17 hours, performance is great thanks to the M2 chip and support for up to 24GB of RAM, and high load performance lasts a little longer than before.

However, the design is getting old β€” especially with the impending release of the redesigned MacBook Air and the release of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models last year.

More M2 MacBook Pro Reviews:

M2 MacBook Pro Video Reviews

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