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Apple M2 Max vs M1 Max: What’s the difference?

The Apple M2 Max is a new processor which is the most powerful of its kind that you can find inside a MacBook. 

The new second-generation chip debuted inside the MacBook Pro 2023, in both the 14-inch and 16-inch models. 

But how does the Apple M2 Max compare to its predecessor, the M1 Max? We’ve created this guide to explain the key differences.

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It’s using Apple’s second-generation architecture

The main difference between the M1 Max and M2 Max is that the latter is using Apple’s second-generation architecture for the M-series. 

Apple kickstarted the new generation with the M2 chip inside the MacBook Air. It’s based on the 5-nanometer process, which allows Apple to squeeze extra transistors onto the chip. 

The M2 Max packs 67 billion transistors, which is a whopping 10 billion more than the M1 Max. A greater number of transistors generally indicates a faster performance, and so should be capable of greater speeds than its predecessor. 

The M2 Max has extra cores

The Apple M2 Max packs a 12-core CPU, which is the same tally found with the slightly more affordable M2 Pro chip. 

That 12-core CPU marks an upgrade on the M1 Max, which only features a 10-core CPU. That means you’re getting two extra CPU cores by opting for the latest M2 Max chip over its predecessor. 

The additional cores will undoubtedly help to boost multi-core performance, which will be useful for heavy duty workloads. 

Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch specs

The M2 Max has more GPU cores too

Apple has also treated the M2 Max processor to an upgrade in terms of GPU cores. While the M1 Max features an impressive 32-core GPU, the M2 Max leapfrogs its predecessor with a massive 38-core CPU.

This should result in a big speed boost for workloads that require a high graphics performance. This includes everything from video editing and image processing, to 3D modelling. 

So great is the performance that Apple has called the M2 Max the “world’s most powerful and efficient chip” for a pro laptop.

The M2 Max is very expensive

The M2 Max configuration of the MacBook Pro is incredibly expensive. The base 14-inch model will cost you £3349, while the 16-inch version has a starting price of £3749. 

That’s a fair bit more expensive than the MacBook Pro from 2021 with the M1 Max processor, with Apple hiking up the prices. 

Unfortunately, the M1 Max configuration is no longer available to buy on Apple’s store, so you’ll need to shop around third-party stores in order to find it. 

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