Apple revealed a lot of information about its all-new silicon, the M2 Max, which will power both the MacBook Pro and Mac mini. According to the newly released specifications of the chip, there appear to be some substantial upgrades over the previous generation.
But how does the M2 Max really stack up against the M1 Max’s chip? What is the difference between the two in terms of price, performance and specifications? There is a lot of information to analyze.
And with Apple devices equipped with the M1 Max available for sale, it can be hard to know whether to migrate to the new chip or save some money by sticking with Apple’s last-generation silicon. To make it easier for you to know which is right for you, we’ve put the two together to find the benefits of both chips depending on your needs and budget.
M2 Max vs. M1 Max: Price and Availability
When first made ready for pre-orders and released, the Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) M1 Max started at $2,499 (£2,399 / AU$3,749). Meanwhile, the slightly larger Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) M1 Max model is priced at $3,499 (£3,299 / AU$5,249).
Right now, the Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) with M2 Max starts at $3,099 (£3,349 / AU$4,999). The Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) M2 Max model starts at $3,499 (£3,749 / AU$5,599).
So for the systemic’s sake, Apple has raised the entry price by quite a bit, making buyers pay for the increased specs. As for availability, this is never an issue for Apple as their products can be purchased in many regions including the UK and Australia.
M2 Max vs. M1 Max: Specs
According to the detection video (Opens in a new tab) Apple has published that the M2 Max has 67 billion transistors compared to the M1 Max which has 57 billion, more than three times that of the M2 chip. The M2 Max also has twice the memory front-end as the M2 Pro, which brings it to 400GB/s of memory bandwidth. It also supports up to 96GB of unified memory; 50% more than the M1 Max.
The M2 Max has a 12-core CPU (8 High Performance and 4 High Efficiency) which Apple claims gives it a 20 percent performance jump from the M1 Max. The GPU has been upgraded much higher with up to 38 cores, making it 30% faster than the GPU of the M1 Max.
For comparison, the M1 Max chip currently has 64GB of unified memory, a 512-bit LPDDR5 interface, and 57 billion transistors. It has a 10-core CPU, a 32-core GPU, 4,096 execution units, and 98,304 concurrent threads. According to Apple at the time, this translates to a performance of up to 10.4 teraflops, which is twice that of the M1 Pro chip.
M2 Max vs M1 Max: Performance
As of now, we won’t be able to compare the Apple M1 Max and M2 Max in terms of performance until we can get our hands on the dual-SIM devices ourselves and run some benchmarks.
But judging by the currently known specs, it looks like the M2 Max will be significantly faster, especially when it comes to video encoding. If you are a video editor and need a powerful editing machine, the M2 Max MacBook Pro could be the MacBook Pro for you.
The site also revealed that the 14-inch MacBook Pro has 18 hours of battery life while the 16-inch has a battery life of 22 hours. If true, these numbers are absolutely ridiculous and would be an absolute godsend for professionals as you can basically work on a single charge for two working days.
M2 Max vs M1 Max: Which Should I Buy?
If you are new to the MacBook Pro ecosystem and need a high-performance laptop for professional work, investing in the M2 Max MacBook Pro would be a good idea as per the currently known specifications. Although the price is a bit more expensive than current laptops, this can be an issue for some buyers who are already on a tight budget.
However, if you already have an M1 Max Macbook Pro, it will not be necessary to double-dip the M2 Max version. The M1’s CPU and GPU are more than powerful enough to handle creative and work tasks, so there’s no real need to upgrade unless you want a shiny new game that much.
For now, it might be worth waiting until at least the official reviews are out. Then you can better judge whether the upgrades are worth the entry price, especially if you already have a current or previous MacBook Pro.