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Apple last week launched an updated version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and it is the first Mac that is equipped with an updated M2 chip. As it's using a brand new chip, we thought we'd pick up the M2 MacBook Pro and compare it to the prior-generation M1 MacBook Pro to see just what's new.


For the video comparison, we're using the entry-level 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro with 8GB unified memory and a 256GB SSD, and comparing it to the entry-level 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro with 8GB unified memory and a 256GB SSD, so this is a direct comparison between the new machine and its predecessor.

Design wise, there are no differences because Apple kept the chassis and the internal components the same, with the update limited to the internal chips. The bezels are the same, the MacBook Pro still has a Touch Bar, and it continues to use USB-C with no MagSafe port.

The M2 chip in the MacBook Pro features an 8-core CPU, a 10-core GPU, and support for up to 24GB unified memory, while the M1 included an 8-core CPU, an 8-core GPU, and up to 16GB unified memory. As a side note, while the base machine ships with 8GB, it's almost always a good idea to go up to at least 16GB for improved performance.

When it comes to CPU performance, the M2 beats out the M1. Though there's still an 8-core CPU, single-core Geekbench speeds clock in at up to 12 percent faster than the M1, while multi-core scores can be up to 20 percent higher. In our own testing, we saw more varied results with an eight percent improvement in single-core performance and a 12 percent improvement in multi-core performance.

As for GPU performance, the M2 is much faster than the M1 because it has two additional cores. Geekbench Metal scores were 35 percent better with the M2, and 3DMARK frame rate benchmarks saw the M2 earning 40fps while the M1 earned 29fps.

In real-world usage, video export times were about the same for a basic timeline, with improvements on the M2 when adding more effects and plugins.

There has been some controversy over the 256GB SSD in the MacBook Pro, which has been seeing slower speeds on Blackmagic disk speed tests. Apple used a single 256GB NAND flash storage chip for the M2 MacBook Pro, while the M1 model had two NAND chips likely at 128GB each. Multiple NAND chips allow for faster speeds in parallel, which means the M1 MacBook Pro's 256GB SSD is notably outperforming the M2 MacBook Pro's 256GB SSD. Note that this is an issue limited to the 256GB models, as the 512GB models are not exhibiting the same problem.

On machines with just 8GB memory, the SSD is engaged for virtual memory when needed, and a slow SSD can mean slow overall performance speeds, which is something to be aware of. We did some real-world tests transferring large files and did see faster speeds on the M2, but other performance testing by YouTube channels like Max Tech have had different results and have seen performance hits on the M2 compared to the M1.

To avoid potentially disappointing performance, it's probably best to upgrade the SSD to 512GB if you're going to get the M2 MacBook Pro, and picking up more memory is also a good idea because it can't be upgraded later. With the base model the subject of controversy, those considering the machine may also want to simply wait for the M2 MacBook Air, set to launch in July.

For our full comparison of the M1 MacBook Pro and the M2 MacBook Pro, make sure to watch our video up above. Have an M2 MacBook Pro? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Article Link: Video Comparison: M2 MacBook Pro vs. M1 MacBook Pro
 

antiprotest

macrumors 68020
Apr 19, 2010
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On the SSD issue, the "most people will not notice it" people miss the point. The point is whether customers are getting what they pay for or know what they are getting.

"Most people" will think they are paying for a better and faster machine. It is a reasonable assumption. Since it's newer they'd expect everything to be the same or better.

Since it's called M2 vs M1, they'd expect the chip to be faster without having other components drag it back down.

"Most people" will not know they are not getting what they pay for. "Most people will not notice it" actually makes it worse. It makes this seem like a form of fraud.
 

hans1972

macrumors 68020
Apr 5, 2010
2,024
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On the SSD issue, the "most people will not notice it" people miss the point. The point is whether customers are getting what they pay for or know what they are getting.

They are getting what they pay for. Apple sells them a Mac with 256Gb SSD and that's what they get.
There is no specification of speed only marketing terms.

Lot's of Apple customers buy Apple stuff without knowing all the details about the product they're buying. It's up to them to make sure they buy the right stuff. If something is important to a customer, they should ask Apple about it before buying.
 

PsykX

macrumors 68000
Sep 16, 2006
1,764
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That's certainly a stupid assumption to make.

Now some Apple customers will learn this the hard way. I'm extremely happy about that.
Well the MBP is basically the same computer, but with a faster M2 chip in it. This is how Apple sells it.

So why would this assumption be stupid ? I for one would certainly have fallen in this trap, and I think everybody would. Fortunately, some people on YouTube did benchmarks and it made the news.
 

Junipr

macrumors regular
May 4, 2011
154
577
The M1 might be faster than M2 at 256gb, but
 
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Moonlight

macrumors 65816
Jul 9, 2002
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Los Angeles
We did some real-world tests transferring large files and did see faster speeds on the M2
Who are you going to believe, benchmarks or real world transfer speeds? It doesn't seem slower.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 3.23.58 PM.png
 
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mikethemartian

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2017
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Melbourne, FL
They are getting what they pay for. Apple sells them a Mac with 256Gb SSD and that's what they get.
There is no specification of speed only marketing terms.

Lot's of Apple customers buy Apple stuff without knowing all the details about the product they're buying. It's up to them to make sure they buy the right stuff. If something is important to a customer, they should ask Apple about it before buying.
That’s another way of saying they shouldn’t have faith in the brand.
 

RAS2MR

macrumors member
Jul 20, 2021
45
105
So much outrage.

Anybody here voting with their wallet to send Apple a message?

Or is it just forum faux outrage?
Would be hard for me to "vote with my wallet" about the 8-GB/256-GB MacBook Pro since I'd never buy that configuration. Whether or not people in general are choosing to voice a protest with the wallets, we might know on January 28th after the conference call (but only if Apple were to break down sales by computer model)...
 

citysnaps

macrumors G3
Oct 10, 2011
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Would be hard for me to "vote with my wallet" about the 8-GB/256-GB MacBook Pro since I'd never buy that configuration. Whether or not people in general are choosing to voice a protest with the wallets, we might know on January 28th after the conference call (but only if Apple were to break down sales by computer model)...

OK, so that's a "No."

Anybody else going to vote with their wallet and send a strong message to Apple to express their outrage?
 
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GuruZac

macrumors 68020
Sep 9, 2015
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I’m not sure who is in the market for a base M2 MacBook Pro, but I would think just wait for M2 Air, or buy a 14” MBP. As a ‘Pro’ machine most would likely opt for the 16GB/512GB model in which case the base 14” MBP is a much better machine for only $300 more.
 

cupcakes2000

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2010
2,965
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Why is there always such outrage. It’s hilarious. If the machine suits your purpose. Buy it. If it does not - don’t! These machines (base model mbp) are aimed at base model users. They’re blindingly fast. They’re better than their predecessors. so a new buyer will get a great machine.

However - the complaints and benchmarks (benchmarks btw, are normally the source of the outrage as being pointless), are trying to put usages that people buying these machines don’t generally use, and if they are using them they don’t mind as they know what they are buying verses what they should buy (or don’t - in which case the point is moot).

False outrage at its finest yet again.
 

Ludatyk

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2012
3,816
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Texas
I’m not sure who is in the market for a base M2 MacBook Pro, but I would think just wait for M2 Air, or buy a 14” MBP. As a ‘Pro’ machine most would likely opt for the 16GB/512GB model in which case the base 14” MBP is a much better machine for only $300 more.
However small the market is for Touch Bar enthusiast.. I think thats who in large part will buy it. As for me, I represent the minority and if I was in the market to buy a MacBook… this is the one I’ll buy since I value having the Touch Bar.

I think the noise around 256GB model is valid… but I personally wouldn’t go for that particular model anyways. I understand you looking at the “pro” aspect… but rest assured it’s marketing speak. I think those who want to get work done can make it happen on this M2 MacBook Pro.

I read a piece by Jason Snell of Six Colors… which I think he was spot on, the reason why this exist is to have a price point between the Air at 1k and the 14”/16” Pros at 2k. This is primarily why the M2 MBP exist.
 
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