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Apple M2 Ultra vs Apple M2 Max: Which chip is best?

Apple has launched yet another processor based on Apple Silicon, as it claims the M2 Ultra to be the most powerful processor it’s ever launched.

But how does this compare to the Apple M2 Max, which previously held the title as the most powerful processor based on the second generation of Apple Silicon? 

We’ve created this guide to sum up the key differences between the chips, so you know exactly which processor is best for your needs.  

M2 Ultra has twice the number of transistors 

The Apple M2 Ultra and M2 Max may be based on the same second-generation architecture, but the former has doubled the number of transistors to result in a significantly more powerful performance. 

The M2 Max packs an impressive 67 billion transistors, but that count is dwarfed by the 134 billion transistors on the M2 Ultra. The M2 Ultra is best thought of as being two M2 Max chips merged together, hence having twice as many transistors. 

M2 Ultra has 12 more CPU cores

Apple has slapped a 24-core CPU inside the M2 Ultra, which is twice the size of the 12-core CPU inside the M2 Max. 

Apple hasn’t confirmed the performance upgrade you’ll be getting, but expect it to be significant.

Apple M2 Ultra

M2 Ultra has 38 more GPU cores

Remarkably, the M2 Ultra features up to a 76-core GPU to ensure an incredibly high-end graphics performance. In comparison, the M2 Max only has a 38-core GPU, which is half the count of its more powerful sibling. 

Again, Apple hasn’t said what kind of performance boost you can expect, but it’s likely to be around 2x more powerful.

512GB Apple Mac Mini with M2 chip

512GB Apple Mac Mini with M2 chip

Amazon is offering more than £70 off the uber-compact, uber-powerful 2023 Mac Mini with a very reasonable 512GB storage.

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M2 Ultra has 100GB more unified memory 

Apple has revealed that M2 Ultra will support up to 192GB of unified memory. This doesn’t mean you’ll get this much memory with every single version of the chip, but shows the max amount you’ll be able to configure. 

In contrast, the M2 Max processor is limited to just 96GB, once again emphasising that its performance ceiling is far lower than the new M2 Ultra. 

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