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Apple M2 Pro vs M2 Max: How do these new chips stack up?

Apple blew everyone out of the water with the announcement of the latest MacBook Pro M2 (2023), alongside two new chips.

No one expected the MacBook Pro 2023 to be announced this early, but it was even more surprising to see that the latest Pro models come with two brand-new chips: the M2 Pro and the M2 Max.

As of writing, these chips can only be found in the latest MacBook Pro (2023) models, although we expect that they will crop up on more devices over the next year.

If you’re interested in learning more about these two powerful chips then make sure you keep reading, as we will be breaking down all the key differences so you can decide which model is best for you.

M2 Max can be configured with a 38-core GPU

While both chips seem to be massively powerful, the M2 Max edges out its smaller sibling with an incredible 38-core GPU option. The M2 Pro caps out with a 19-core GPU overall, suggesting that it will be less capable when it comes to intensive workloads, such as extreme 3D geometry.

M2 Max chip Apple
Image Credit (Apple)

Apple claims that the M2 Max comes with a staggering 67 billion transitions, which is 10 billion more than what can be found on the M1 Max and over three times more than the original M2. The company has also claimed that the M2 Max is the most powerful chipset ever found in a MacBook Pro, putting it head and shoulders above the M2 Pro in terms of raw power.

M2 Pro has less unified memory

The M2 Pro features up to 32GB of unified memory, putting it below the incredible 96GB of memory that can be found on the M2 Max chip. Both the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models can be configured with up to 96GB RAM, but they will need to be kitted out with the M2 Max.

M2 Pro chip
Image Credit (Apple)

The fact each laptop comes with unified memory instead of RAM – which you can read more about here – means that it should have improved speed and performance. It also helps to cut down the energy consumption of both the RAM modules and HDD, which should result in a more streamlined experience for users overall.

Up to 400GB/s memory bandwidth on the M2 Max

The M2 Pro chip features up to 200GB/s while the M2 Max can be configured up to 400GB/s. Memory data dictates how quickly data and information can be read and stored by the CPU. Simply put, more memory bandwidth results in faster data speeds and response times, which can be vital if you’re working on intensive media tasks such as 3D rendering or 4K video editing.

The M2 Max and M2 Pro differences
Image Credit (Apple)

The 400GB/s memory bandwidth on the M2 Max means that it will be the better option for professional creatives since it boasts double the bandwidth of the M2 Pro, and will be able to move data significantly faster.

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