Apple M1 vs. M2: What’s the Difference?


Apple M1 and M2 Chips compared

The second technology of Apple Silicon is right here. The M2 SOC is Apple’s shopper improve to the 2020’s M1 within the Mac lineup and past. Right here’s a take a look at how the 2 chips evaluate—and what it means for future Macs.

A Transient Refresher on Apple Silicon

The M-series of Apple Silicon system-on-a-chip processors symbolize Apple’s transfer to distance itself from x86-architecture CPUs in its Macintosh computer systems and into ARM-based chips used with its iPhone and iPad traces. Alongside the way in which, Apple has additionally introduced the M-series to some iPads as properly.

Apple first launched Apple Silicon chips for the Mac in November 2020 with the M1. In 2021, Apple launched the sooner M1 Professional and M1 Max chips. In March of 2022, Apple debuted the M1 Extremely, which mixed two M1 Max chips into one super-powered chip within the Mac Studio.

Throughout the WWDC keynote occasion in June 2022, Apple introduced the M2 processor, which Apple is positioning because the low-mid vary improve for the M1 chip whereas conserving “prosumer” {and professional} M1 Professional, M1 Max, and M1 Extremely machines available on the market.

Actually, M1 machines are nonetheless obtainable as properly for the second, which implies you may must determine: Ought to I purchase an M1 Mac or spring for the M2 improve? Right here’s a take a look at how the 2 chips differ.

RELATED: What Is a System on a Chip (SoC)?

The M1: The Start of Apple Silicon

The Apple M1 Chip Specs

The Apple M1 was Apple’s first Apple Silicon chip, launched in November 2020. It combines CPU and GPU cores collectively for sooner efficiency than the Intel Macs that got here earlier than it. The M1 chip contains neural engine cores for machine studying acceleration, a Safe Enclave, media encoder and decoder engines, and a Thunderbolt 4 controller.

As of June 2022, Apple at present makes use of the M1 Chip within the MacBook Air (M1 model), Mac Mini, iMac (24-inch), iPad Professional (11-inch), and iPad Professional (12.9-inch).

  • Launched: November 10, 2020
  • CPU Cores: 8
  • GPU Cores: As much as 8
  • Unified Reminiscence: As much as 16 GB
  • Neural Engine Cores: 16
  • # of Transistors: 16 billion
  • Course of: First Era 5nm

Although the M1 has been outmoded by the M2, Macs that use the M1 nonetheless symbolize an enormous improve for many Intel-based Macs. They provide nice performance-per-watt, they usually can run sure iPhone and iPad apps. In our opinion, M1 machines nonetheless symbolize a superb worth, and if their costs go down in comparison with M2-based alternate options, now could be a good time to buy your first Apple Silicon machine—or perhaps a Mac for the youngsters.

RELATED: What Is Apple’s M1 Chip for the Mac?

The M2: Second Era Apple Silicon

Apple M2 SOC Chip Data information sheet

The Apple M2 system on a chip (SOC) is Apple’s fifth entry within the Apple Silicon sequence of chips, introduced in June 2022. Just like the M1, it combines CPU and GPU onto one die (one piece of silicon) with shared reminiscence for dramatically sooner efficiency than methods that separate CPU and GPU into discrete chips. Apple claims the M2 can have an 18% sooner CPU, a 35% sooner GPU, 50% extra reminiscence bandwidth, and a 40% sooner Neural Engine than the M1. It additionally incorporates ProRes media encoding, which can velocity up workflows for some artistic professionals.

As of June 2022, Apple has solely introduced the M2 Chip within the MacBook Air (M2) and the 13″ MacBook Pro, each of that are deliberate to ship in July 2022. It’s doable that the M2 will come to a future iPad or Mac Mini launch as properly.

  • Launched: June 6, 2022
  • CPU Cores: 8
  • GPU Cores: As much as 10
  • Unified Reminiscence: As much as 24 GB
  • Neural Engine Cores: 16
  • # of Transistors: 20 billion
  • Course of: Second Era 5nm

In comparison with the beefier Apple Silicon chips (just like the M1 Professional, M1 Max, and M1 Extremely), the M2 hits a candy spot for computational energy whereas conserving its energy utilization and warmth displacement comparatively low, which is good for small machines just like the MacBook Air and the 13″ MacBook Professional—and maybe a Mac Mini sooner or later.

Finally, our recommendation is to purchase the quickest Mac you may comfortably afford that matches your work model or measurement wants. However if you wish to avoid wasting money by shopping for an M1 Mac, you’re nonetheless getting spectacular expertise for the value. In a means, you may’t lose. It’s a good time to be a Mac person.

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