We didn’t expect any design changes as there was a major overhaul last year and Apple usually uses a design for several years. Last year, Apple introduced the regular M2 processor in the new MacBook Air, and the chip was still manufactured on the 5nm process (N5P). This leads many to believe that the new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips will already be based on the new and more efficient 3nm process. However, this is not what we got, and Apple is still using the familiar, albeit optimized, 5nm process. Our experience with the new MacBook Air’s regular M2 SoC already gives us some clues as to how the new MacBook Pro models will perform. Our analysis clearly showed that the M2 offered more CPU performance compared to the older M1, but it also required more power, so performance dropped.
Apple continues this strategy with the new M2 Pro and M2 Max SoCs, doubling the number of performance cores from two to four. The base model of the M2 Pro (only available on MBP 14) gets 6 performance cores, all other models are equipped with 8 performance cores, so each version of the chip gets two more performance cores. Apple has increased the core clocks, similar to the regular M2, so we’re once again expecting a performance boost combined with higher power consumption and therefore less efficiency.
Overall, the new chips are pretty much improved versions of the M2 chip, with more cores (for both the CPU and GPU), an improved neural engine (compared to the M1 Pro and M1 Max), and more memory. interface. However, memory bandwidth is still the same as the old chip at 200GB/s and 400GB/s for the M2 Max, which once again offers 256-bit LPDDR5 RAM and 512-bit LPDDR5-RAM respectively. Apple has also increased the maximum amount of RAM to 96GB for the M2 Max with 38 GPU cores, but the memory bandwidth is still 400GB/s.