News & Analysis

Apple Launches Laptops with New Chipsets

The tech giant launched M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets that would power new MacBooks including the affordable Mac Mini

When was the last time you heard Apple launching new products so early in a year? The company broke with tradition to announce two new MacBooks and a Mac Mini last evening – both powered by their latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets, featuring more powerful CPU and GPU, up to 96 GB of unified memory and “industry-leading” power efficiencies. 

What’s indeed surprising is that Apple had not sent out big invites for the event, nor was there the usual show that one has come to associate with the company’s annual and now biannual event. And yet, the company broke the internet with the news that it shared this morning – a new Mac Mini, two new MacBook Pros and two spiced-up chipsets powering them. 


Let’s take up the chipsets first

The M2 Pro is built on the second-generation 5nm processes and comes with 40 billion transistors that is about one-fifth more than the M1 Pro and double the M2. Then there’s 200 GB of unified memory bandwidth and up to 32 GB of low-latency unified memory, both substantially higher than the earlier generation chip. The 10 or 12-core CPU has eight high performance cores and four high-efficiency ones that is 20% faster than earlier chips. 

Coming to the M2 Max, it is even more power-packed with 67 billion transistors and 400GB of unified memory bandwidth that supports up to 96GB of fast unified memory. The rest of the configuration is about the same as the M2 Pro, albeit paired with a larger L2 cache and a 38 core GPU. Apple claims graphics speeds are 30% faster while in terms of battery life, it can deliver up to 22 hours – the longest till date on a Mac. 


Two new power-packed MacBook Pros

The 14-inch and 16-inch versions of the MacBook Pro laptops ship with the chips mentioned above. Which means that the popular 13-inch version doesn’t get an upgrade and comes with the older M2 chip. 

The company is quite gung-ho about the new releases. Greg Joswiak, senior VP of marketing says, “MacBook Pro with Apple silicon has been a game changer, empowering pros to push the limits of their workflows while on the go and do things they never thought possible on a laptop.” Today it gets even better, with faster performance, enhanced connectivity, and the longest battery life ever in a Mac, along with the best display in a laptop, he says. 

While the 14-inch model is priced at $2,000 though when fully specced out with the 12-core core CPU/38-core GPU M2 Max, 96 GB of RAM and 8 TB of storage it could cost a whopping $6,300. The 16-inch version starts at $2,500 and goes up to $6,500.

And what does one get for burning such a big hole in one’s pocket? Here’s what Apple itself says in the press release: 

  • It renders titles and animations in Motion is up to 80% faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro and up to 20 percent faster than the previous generation
  • It compiles in Xcode is up to 2.5x faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro and nearly 25 percent faster than the previous generation, and 
  • Its image processing in Adobe Photoshop is up to 80% faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro and up to 40 percent faster than the previous generation.


So, what about the new Mac Mini? 

Now, here’s one piece of hardware that home-bound programmers and designers may actually find interesting. The new Mac Mini version of the compact desktop arrives with last year’s M2 chip or the new M2 Pro. This is the first refresh that Apple has brought in the device since 2020 when the M1 chip began powering it. 

The new desktop device features an 8-core CPU and a 10-core GPU coupled with up to 24GB of RAM8 TB storage. The fully specced out version comes with the M2 Pro processor, which could cost up to $4,099 while the low cost alternative starts at $2,000. It’s been sometime since Apple offered us as many options in its desktop offerings. 

According to the company, the new Mac Mini offers up to 2.5x faster graphics performance, up to 4.2x faster ProRes transcode in Final Cut Pro and up to 2.8x faster game play. Not bad for a mini version of the Mac desktops, right? 

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