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The Apple M2 chip: all you need to know

by sayama shaikh, 21 Jan 2023

Here is all the information you need to know about the M2 chip as Apple prepares to introduce additional devices this week.

What exactly is an Apple Silicon M2?

The most recent version of Apple's unique silicon processor, the M2, was presented in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The M1 chip, Apple's first attempt to create its own ARM-based silicon, has been replaced by the M2, an improved version of the M1 processor. The M2 is the most recent and effective Apple silicon, featuring an 18% faster CPU, a 35% faster GPU, a 40% faster neural engine, and 50% more memory bandwidth than prior generations.

 

Which Apple products feature an M2 chip?

The most recent models of the MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro both have the M2 chip, which was initially designed for Mac laptops. However, there are rumours that Apple will discontinue the M2-based 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros this week, expanding the chip's application beyond Apple PCs. In the future, we may anticipate Apple extending the M2 implementation to more of their products.

What makes the M1 and M2 different from one another?

 

In a nutshell, the M2 chip is an improved iteration of the M1 semiconductor. It's crucial to remember that while there is less of a gap between the M1 and M2 chips than there is between the Intel chip and the M1 chip, there is still a sizable difference.

The M2 outperforms the M1 by 18% in terms of multicore CPU performance, up to two additional GPU cores, 50% more memory bandwidth, 25% more graphics performance at the same power level as M1, up to 35% more performance at its maximum, 25% more transistors, 2.3x faster performance at the same power level, 50% more unified memory bandwidth, and 40% more neural engine operations.

Johny Srouji, senior vice president of Hardware Technologies at Apple, stated that the M2 chip "starts the second generation of M-series chips and goes beyond the remarkable features of M1."

"M2 offers a faster CPU, GPU, and Neural Engine thanks to our unwavering focus on power-efficient performance. Along with increased memory bandwidth and brand-new features like ProRes acceleration, M2 keeps up the Mac's incredible rate of silicon innovation."

Why was the M2 chip developed?

Apple announced the M1 in November 2020, replacing the Intel CPUs that had previously been used in Mac computers. The performance of Apple Silicon-based Macs is much superior to that of Intel-based Macs, including quicker performance, longer battery life, and improved heat efficiency. A benefit of Apple designing its own CPUs was that it was no longer dependent on Intel for its chips, and users benefited from a more effective Mac.

Apple also offers the M1 Pro and M1 Max in addition to the M2 and M1. The M2, which was unveiled in 2022, was designed to accommodate cutting-edge hardware, including Secure Enclave, Apple's neural engine, and next-generation CPUs and GPUs.

Should you buy a product that has an M2 processor?

Simply yes, M2 processor-equipped Apple hardware will perform better than equipment powered by earlier silicon. Therefore, you should purchase an Apple smartphone with an M2 CPU if you want one of the greatest ones available. But this improvement in performance also means that hardware costs are rising. ZDNET therefore advises you to decide which device performance specifications are crucial for you and which are not. It might make sense for you to save some money and purchase a device with the M1 chip if you don't necessarily need speed, more memory, or any of the more sophisticated features that come with the M2 chip.