Apple’s two new MacBook Pros — and the Mac mini — recently hit the scene packing new spins on the M2 chip, and we’ve caught some new info on how Wi-Fi 6E support works — with a major caveat — along with an informative glimpse at the M2 Pro die.
Let’s start with the Wi-Fi 6E support these new Macs include, but the catch is that not all macOS apps will be able to take advantage. At least not at first, anyway, because 9 to 5 Macs (Opens in a new tab) In reports, the co-founder of Intuitibits — which makes the WiFi Explorer app — told us that some apps can’t yet use Wi-Fi 6E with these Apple devices.
Changes are required in macOS and its frameworks for third-party apps to take advantage of the new 6E Wi-Fi interface. I hope Apple makes these changes available as soon as possible. https://t.co/GMapX4vmH8January 17, 2023
Why not? Because as the tweet explains, macOS in its current form does not contain frameworks to allow third-party apps to work with Wi-Fi 6E.
However, the good news is that this groundwork is a work in progress, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it will arrive with the next big macOS update.
The other interesting point that has come up regarding Apple’s new Macs is a pixelated shot of the M2 Pro chip. As wccftech (Opens in a new tab) This was reported by High Yield on Twitter, where the internals of the chip clearly show the presence of 19 GPU cores.
Initial analysis of the #Apple M2 Pro SoC death shot. Clearly visible 8 cores, 4 electronic cores, 19 GPU cores, 16 NPU cores, dual media engine, large SLC and LPDDR5 memory interface. Produced in a TSMC N5 node awaiting a closer look from @Locuza_ pic.twitter.com/epvIpsxafCJanuary 17, 2023
Why is this important? Mainly because some rumors were floating around that the M2 Pro came with 20 GPU cores, but one of them was locked down to make up 19 — mainly based on it being an odd number (and a previous conversation on the grapevine). However, die clearly shows no obstructed cores, and the plan was to have 19 cores in there the whole time.
Wccftech also reports the presence of LPDDR5 memory, dispelling another previous rumor that Apple might upgrade to faster RAM with these new M2 chips. The belief was that the switch to LPDDR5X was more likely in 2023, but that didn’t happen with the M2 Pro, as we can see it stuck with LPDDR5.
Analysis: No real surprises — and hopefully Apple will be quick with Wi-Fi
The old LPDDR5X rumor being proven untrue isn’t really much of a surprise, mind you, given its initial source, as explained by Wccftech. (Opens in a new tab), was a forum post (a really shaky source, unlike a well-known Apple leaker — if he had come from a heavy presence, we might have given him more stock). Anyway, we now know it’s not true (even if that’s a disappointing touch).
We also know that Wi-Fi 6E won’t work with some apps at this time. The new wireless standard is important because it greatly improves on Wi-Fi 6 in terms of pushing faster connection speeds, lower latency, and less interference (so bandwidth isn’t clogged, avoiding problems like dropped or unstable connections). The latter is especially important in signal-dense environments like apartment buildings where there are a lot of routers and devices in close proximity (you can read more about Wi-Fi 6E here).
Wi-Fi 6E is a clear winner, then, for devices that support the standard, and we suspect it won’t be long before Apple introduces the necessary frameworks in macOS. Since this device launches now, it would be a pretty bad show if owners were to wait an extended period of time for that support to roll out — so its arrival with the next big update, macOS 13.2, makes sense.
All that said, we’ll just have to wait and see, but we won’t have that long to wait, as macOS 13.2 is expected to arrive soon (most likely in early February, maybe just a couple of weeks from now).