The next generation of Apple silicon has arrived. In our review of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, we got our first look at Apple’s latest silicon, and it’s a nice upgrade, even if the chassis leaves something to be desired. With the M2 MacBook Air just around the corner and more models sure to come, let’s see how much Apple’s latest chip improves on the M1.
Geekbench is the best way to illustrate the speed improvements over the M1. Being a new chip, the M2 represents the first single-core boost since the M1 launched in 2020. From the M1 to the M1 Ultra, Geekbench’s single-core score was steady around 1750, but the M2 raises it to just under 2000. That’s a nice increase of about 13 percent, which should give you some decent gains on normal day-to-day tasks.
That gap widens when it comes to multi-core performance. While the M2 clearly pales in performance against the very best M1 chips, it posts a tidy 18 percent increase over the M1, narrowing the gap between it and the 10-core M1 Pro to about 10 percent despite a price difference of $800.
With the help of the Cinebench test you can see the gain even more clearly. The M2 offers about 30 percent better performance compared to the M1. And it’s within screaming distance of the M1 Pro.
The M2’s media encoders do a better job with audio and video, and the speed benefits are easy to see. Thanks to the ProRes video accelerators, we saw a significant speed boost when exporting a 4K video in Best (ProRes) quality. The M2 exported the video in almost half the time of the M1 chip, about a minute. Those minutes will add up.
The M1 MacBook Pro has great SSD read/write speeds and the M2 model improves upon this. While write speeds are nowhere near the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, they show a nice improvement over the M1 model, which should also be seen in the MacBook Air.
And last but not least we have graphics. Apple touts a 35 percent speed increase with the M2’s new GPU, and our Geekbench 5 Metal tests even surpassed those claims with a 37 percent boost. And using Geekbench 5’s OpenCL test, the M2 MacBook Pro had an even bigger boost of 41 percent over the previous-generation chip. Graphics are a big deal with the M2, and our tests here bode well for the M2 Pro, M2 Max, and M2 Ultra, which already have massive GPUs.