Good news for Apple fans! So finally, Apple has introduced its M1 chip successor, the M2, with the new MacBook Air and Pro models. And the company has officially said that the new processor performs faster and better. Although you will have to spend a few extra bucks for this one, let’s see if the M2 processor is worth your money. Therefore, I will compare the Apple M1 vs. M2 chip in this article.
To make this comparison fair, I’ve sorted out a few points to look at. So let’s get started with the comparison.
Regarding release dates, the groundbreaking M1 chip came to the market in November 2020 with the 13-inch MacBook Pro & Air and Mac mini.
The latest M2 chip, on the other hand, came to us in July 2022 with the 13-inch MacBook Pro and Air; that is 2 year of gap. You can see this chip in Macbook Air 15 and 13-inch laptops. However, the M1 MacBooks are still being manufactured and available.
Specifications: Apple M1 vs. M2 Chip
Now let’s see the difference between the two processors in terms of specs. Things that you’ll find similar on these two processors are the 5nm TSMC process, 8 CPU cores (4 performance & 4 efficiency cores), and the capability to encode and decode video files.
And what you will find upgraded in the M2 chip are here. The M2 consists of 20 billion transistors instead of M1’s 16 billion. In terms of clock speed, it performs slightly better, with 3.49GHz compared to 3.2GHz. Moreover, the M2 has 100GB/s of bandwidth instead of the M1’s 60 GB/s. The M2 can support from 8GB to 24GB of RAM, while the M1 can go up to 16 GB.
Finally, talking about the GPU, the M2 has 10 GPU cores compared to M1’s 8 cores. This new chip can also render ProRs, and ProRes Raw files that the M1 lacks.
Performance: Apple M1 vs. M2 Chip
Apple has stated that the M2 chip is 18% faster than its predecessor, M1, even though It consumes the same power as the M1. Well, here, I’d say that the 20 billion transistors of the M2 chip have played a great role. It also impacts the clock speed as the M2 runs up to 3.49 GHz compared to the 3.2 GHz of the M1 chip.
Now let’s look at the GPU. The M2 GPU comes with 10 cores, whereas the M1 has 8. And hence, the new GPU performs 35% better than the M1. Hence, the M2 chip is more efficient for editors, creators, and designers. Moreover, the M2 chip can render high-quality ProRes and ProRes RAW files.
To make the comparison fair enough, I’ve tested a few software like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Photoshop. And here, I’ve noticed that the M2 is 20% faster in Photoshop editing and designing and 40% better in rendering videos on Final Cut Pro than the M1 chip.
All right, so now let’s see the price point of these two Apple chips. The lowest price for an M2 chip MacBook Air starts at $1199. In comparison, the 2020 MacBook Air comes at $899. In the comparison of Macbook Air M1 vs. M2, you can choose the one that fits your budget.
Apple’s M1 and M2 chips are powerful and power efficient enough to deliver desirable performance. Although they came at a huge price distinction, each one is good on its own. If you have a fair enough budget and care more about performance, then you should go for the M2 MacBooks. And, if you have a very tight budget but still want to get a MacBook, then M1 MacBooks are for you.