MacBook Pro gets another refresh with new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips

  • Earlier today Apple was rumoured to be readying new MacBook hardware for an official reveal.
  • For once the rumours were true, as the company has debuted new 14″ and 16″ flavours of MacBook Pro.
  • These new offerings can be kitted out with some fresh silicon in the form of the M2 Pro or M2 Max.

The Apple foundry has been on a tear of late, announcing new chips with each quarter that boast more power than the previous iteration. The latest in the lineup are the M2 Max and M2 Pro, both of which feature as speccing options on 2023 edition of the Mac mini. Where they will likely be put to use, however, is on the latest range of MacBook Pro notebooks that Apple also unveiled today.

This is in keeping with reports earlier in the week that the Cupertino-based company was readying for a surprise set of announcements when it comes to computing hardware.

Much like the M1 versions of Pro and Max chips, these new offerings are designed for processor-intensive workflows that extend beyond video editing and rendering, although looking at the performance outlined by Apple, they will cope with that sort of work fairly handily.

To that end, Apple says the M2 Pro can be scaled up to deliver an up to 12-core CPU, and up to 19-core GPU, together with up to 32GB of fast unified memory. As for the M2 Max, it serves up to 38-core GPU, double the unified memory bandwidth, and up to 96GB of unified memory.

“Built using a second-generation 5-nanometer process technology, M2 Pro consists of 40 billion transistors — nearly 20 percent more than M1 Pro, and double the amount in M2. It features 200GB/s of unified memory bandwidth — twice that of M2 — and up to 32GB of low-latency unified memory,” highlights Apple of the M2 Pro.

“With 67 billion transistors — 10 billion more than M1 Max and more than 3x that of M2 — M2 Max pushes the performance and capabilities of Apple silicon even further. Its 400GB/s of unified memory bandwidth is twice that of M2 Pro, 4x that of M2, and supports up to 96GB of fast unified memory,” it adds of the M2 Max.

Shifting to the refreshed MacBook Pro models, and Apple took a few shots at its previous chip provider. Here it notes, “With M2 Pro and M2 Max — the world’s most powerful and efficient chip for a pro laptop — MacBook Pro tackles demanding tasks, like effects rendering, which is up to 6x faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro.”

The company also makes mention of battery life, with up to 22 hours on offer depending on how the notebooks are specced.

It did not stop throwing numbers around there either, adding with respect to the MacBook Pro with M2 Pro chips that, “A next-generation GPU with up to 19 cores delivers up to 30 percent more graphics performance, and the Neural Engine is 40 percent faster, speeding up machine learning tasks like video analysis and image processing. The powerful media engine in M2 Pro also tears through the most popular video codecs, dramatically accelerating video playback and encoding while using very little power.”

As for the even more powerful MacBook Pro with M2 Max, Apple explained that “M2 Max has a next-gen 12-core CPU with up to eight high-performance and four high-efficiency cores that delivers up to 20 percent greater performance over M1 Max, and a more powerful media engine than M2 Pro, with twice the ProRes acceleration to dramatically speed up media playback and transcoding.”

If you are wondering where you can pick up one of these new MacBook Pro models, they are already listed for order Stateside, but those in regions like ours will need to wait until 3rd February when more information will be shared.

To give you an idea of potential pricing, the 14″ variant starts at $1 999 (~R34 266), while the 16″ option starts at $2 499 (~R42 836). It should also be noted that the pricing above is for the Education models, as it climbs steeply once you add the M2 Max to the mix. Needless to say, these new MacBook Pro notebooks will be expensive when they land in SA, but we’ll share pricing once it is confirmed locally.


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