Apple has added M2 Pro and M2 Max versions to its M-series CPUs, making them available in upgraded versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro and the Mac Mini desktop.
“M2 Pro scales up the architecture of M2 to deliver an up to 12-core CPU and up to 19-core GPU, together with up to 32GB of fast unified memory,” Apple claims. “M2 Max builds on the capabilities of M2 Pro, including an up to 38-core GPU, double the unified memory bandwidth, and up to 96GB of unified memory.”
These new processors replace the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max chips featured in prior models of the MacBooks and Mac Mini.
The debut of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops in October 2021 marked the beginning of a change into a more structured, squared-off design with a flat lid and sharp corners, as opposed to the slightly bent lids of prior MacBooks. These versions also lacked the touch bar interface of earlier MacBook Pro notebooks, except the 2022 M2 13-inch MacBook Pro, which retains the old design and looks for now.
Apple’s claim of up to 22 hours of battery life, which the company describes as “the longest battery life ever in a Mac,” is the largest change aside from the processor generation. Additionally, the MacBook Pro now includes Wi-Fi 6E, an upgrade from Wi-Fi 6, and an HDMI connector that supports 8K displays at 60Hz and 4K displays at 240Hz.
Apple claims that the M2 Pro processor performs up to 40% quicker in Photoshop image processing than the previous M1 Pro and that the M2 Max can conduct effects rendering in Cinema 4D and color grading in DaVinci Resolve up to 30% faster than the M1 Max. The 14-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Pro begins at $1,999 (£2,149, AU$3,199), while the 16-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Pro begins at $2,499 (£2,699, AU$3,999).
The Mac Mini was last upgraded in 2020 when the M1 chip replaced the Intel processor. The latest version has both M2 and M2 Pro processors. Apple claims that the M2 version is up to 50% quicker than the M1 version in Photoshop and 2.4x faster in Final Cut Pro transcoding, while the M2 Pro version is up to 4.2x faster than the M1 Mac Mini in Final Cut Pro. There was no M1 Pro version of the Mac Mini to which it could be compared.
Notably, Apple has also discontinued the Intel Mac Mini, of which a version was still available (with the M1 version) before this revelation. This leaves the Mac Studio desktop as the last Intel-based Mac available directly from Apple. Best Buy, among other retailers, still carries the Intel Mac Mini if you have an urgent need for one.
The M2 version of the new model costs $599 (£649, AU$999), while the M2 Pro version costs $1,299 (£1,399, AU$1,999).Apple reports that the new Mac Mini and MacBook Pro will be available for purchase beginning on January 17 and will begin shipping to customers and shops on January 24.
The 24-inch iMac, the Mac Studio, and the Mac Pro desktop might receive M2, M2 Pro, or M2 Max processor improvements later in 2022. And contrary to previous speculations, there is currently no touchscreen.