M2 finally launched
Apple finally told us about the M2 chipset. Let’s compare the Apple M1 chip to the Apple M2 chip and see what changes it makes to the CPU, GPU, and other important parts.
At WWDC 2022, Apple showed off the Apple M2, the second generation of its custom silicon chips for Mac. The M2 chipset family will power the next generation of Apple devices, such as the upcoming MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and other future Mac and iPad models.
Even though on paper it looks like just another number upgrade, the release of the Apple M2 chipset is important because it shows how the amazing Apple M1 has changed. When the Apple M1 came out in 2020, we were all impressed. Now, the M2 has come out with even more improvements. In this article, we’ll compare the Apple M1 chip to the Apple M2 chip and look at the changes it makes to the CPU, GPU, and other key areas.
Comparison between M1 and M2
Apple’s M1 and M2 chipsets are both based on ARM architecture. Both chipsets have an 8-core CPU, with four high-performance cores and four cores that use less energy. According to Apple, the CPU in the M2 is 18% faster than the CPU in the M1 at the same power level.
M1 and M2 chips appear to have the same data and instruction cache and architecture. The only difference in cache size is that the high-performance cores on the M2 have a shared cache that is a little bit bigger than on the M1—16MB instead of 12MB. The increase in shared cache size should make it much easier to do tasks that use a lot of CPU.
When it comes to how it is made, the Apple M2 uses second-generation 5nm node technology. Apple says that the new way it is made makes it faster and use less power, even though the Apple M1 is also based on 5nm node technology. Also, the new M2 chip has 20 billion transistors, which is 25% more than the first M1 chip.
The M2 chipset can be upgraded to have up to 10 GPU cores, while the M1 chip could only have 8 GPU cores. Apple says that the graphics performance of the M2 chipset is much better than the last generation, giving up to 25% better performance than the M1 GPU at the same watts and up to 35% better performance at maximum power. Apple says that M2 Macs can play AAA games thanks to the new Metal engine (some of them are launching later this year).
In technical terms, the Apple M2 GPU can do up to 3.6 teraflops of graphics work, while the M1 GPU can only do up to 2.6 teraflops. The company says that the M2’s GPU can render up to 55 gigapixels per second, which is more than the Apple M1’s 41 gigapixels per second. According to Apple, even playing graphics-intensive games or processing huge RAW photographs, a MacBook with an M2 CPU can run cool and silently. There has been a significant improvement to the GPU.
Media Engine Comparison
Both the Apple M1 and M2 have a built-in media engine. The first-generation Apple silicon can encode and decode H.264 and HEVC video formats. The Apple M2 chip can also encode and decode Apple’s ProRes video format. The chipset also has a video decoder with a higher bandwidth, which lets the new media engine play back 8K H.264 and HEVC videos.
Unified RAM Comparison
When it comes to the Unified Memory part of the Apple M2, there are some major improvements. The Apple M1’s unified memory (RAM) is based on LPDDR4X and can hold up to 16GB. The Apple M2’s unified memory, on the other hand, is based on the most recent LPDDR5 platform and is available in 8GB, 16GB, and a new 24GB configuration. Bandwidth is also better on the new chipset. The new M2 chipset can give a unified memory bandwidth of up to 100GB/s, which is a big improvement over the M1’s 68.25GB/s.
Neural Engine Comparison
We were all surprised by how well Apple M1 worked with AI and ML. This is because its neural engine is so fast that it can do up to 11 trillion operations per second. This number is beat by the new Apple M2 chip, which can do up to 15.8 trillion operations per second. This is a 40% improvement over the M1 chip. Lastly, the chipset has a new Secure Enclave that adds an extra layer of security to the M1 and a new image signal processor (ISP) that makes it easier to get rid of image noise.
Overall, the new Apple M2 chipset is a significant upgrade over the Apple M1. While the enhancements are not revolutionary, they do establish the groundwork for the Pro, Max, and Ultra editions of Apple’s second-generation silicon. You may not notice a major change when switching from an M1-based Mac to an M2-based Mac, but if you’re coming from an Intel Mac, you will.