Since Apple launched a new generation of Apple M2 chips at WWDC 2022, it has also brought more powerful performance to Apple Silicon chips, so what is the difference between M2 and M1? Will the M2 be stronger than the M1 Pro series? This article will give you a comprehensive understanding of the differences between M2, M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max and M1 Ultra, and let you understand the differences at one time through the M2 and M1 comparison table.
Apple M2 vs. Apple M1 Chip Comparison Chart
|Specification||Apple M2 chip||Apple M1 chip|
|Number of CPU cores||8||8|
|CPU performance core||4||4|
|CPU energy saving core||4||4|
|GPU core||8 cores, 10 cores||7 cores, 8 cores|
|Neural network engine||16 cores||16 cores|
|Transistor||20 billion||16 billion|
|Process||5nm (Gen 2)||5nm|
M2 vs. M1 Pro vs. M1 Max vs. M1 Ultra Spec Comparison Chart
|Specification||M2||M1 Pro||M1 Max||M1 Ultra|
|Number of CPU cores||8||8、10||10||20|
|CPU performance core||4||6、8||8||16|
|CPU energy saving core||4||2||2||4|
|GPU core||8 cores, 10 cores||14 cores, 16 cores||24 cores, 32 cores||48 cores, 64 cores|
|Neural network engine||16||16||16||32|
|Transistor||20 billion||33.7 billion||57 billion||114 billion|
|Process||5nm (Gen 2)||5nm||5nm||5nm|
|video decoding engine||1||1||1||2|
|video encoding engine||1||1||2||4|
|ProRes codec engine||1||1||2||4|
From the above comparison table of M2 and M1 specifications, it can be found that the Apple M2 chip can only be regarded as a new generation version of Apple M1, which also means that the M2 is the second-generation chip product of the entry-level Apple Silicon, and the performance of the M2 cannot be compared with that of the M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra. The chips compete with each other, and there is a significant gap between the performance of the M2 and the M1 Pro.
If you look at the Apple Silicon chip level, roughly Mac processors will be divided into four performance revisions every year, namely:
- Entry models: M1, M2
- Basic model: M1 Pro
- Professional: M1 Max
- Flagship: M1 Ultra
Representing the follow-up M2 series, there will also be M2 Pro, M2 Max and M2 Ultra products that will be launched from 2022 to 2023 and replace the previous generation of M1 series chips.
The Apple M1 was first launched on the 13-inch MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini models at the end of 2020. It is amazing in terms of performance and power consumption, and many people like to use Apple processors and Intel processors. Compare each other. After more than a year, Apple launched the Apple M2 chip at the 2022 WWDC developer conference. It is also used on the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models. So what is the difference between the M2 and the M1? Later, we will compare in terms of chip size, performance score, and performance.
M2 vs M1 Processor Comparison Differences: Die Size
Although both M2 and M1 use TSMC’s 5nm process technology, the volume is larger than that of M1, but M2 has 25% more transistors than M1, and the number of transistors is also proportional to performance. The stronger it is, it means that the performance of M2 is better than that of M1. The CPU and GPU are improved as follows:
- Up to 18% faster CPU speed
- Up to 35% increase in GPU performance
- The neural network engine is 40% faster
The difference can be clearly seen from the size of the M2 and M1 series chips and the accommodated transistors. Only the M1 Pro and above will the CPU have more than 6 performance cores and 2 energy-saving cores. The main purpose is to distinguish the direction of the equipment and to have high performance. or power saving.
The M2 chip is also designed with a system-on-chip (SoC), and the memory controller can reach 100GB per second memory bandwidth, which is 50% more than that of the M1. Together with the memory, it can also reach 24GB, which means that the M2 chip can handle more than the M1. More complex to handle larger, more complex workflows.
Comparison of M2 and M1 processors: CPU performance and power consumption
The new Apple M2 and M1 seem to have the same 8-core CPU processor on the surface, but Apple claims that the M2 chip is an enhanced version of the second-generation 5-nanometer process, which brings faster performance cores, larger caches, and energy-saving cores. Significantly strengthened, M2 is 18% higher than M1, which is quite normal for a larger number of transistors.
The thermal design power (TDP) of the M2 chip has not yet been announced, but from the official battery life, it is probably similar to the M1 TDP. It is expected that the M2 TDP will also reach 20W or 25W. The number can be increased by more than 18%.
- Apple M1 power consumption: 10W ~ 20W
- Apple M2 power consumption: 10W ~ 25W (estimated)
In terms of power consumption, Apple also used a PC laptop (MSI Prestige 14 Evo) for comparison, saying that the Apple M2 chip can reach 90% of the peak performance of the Core i7-1260P’s 12-core processor with only a quarter of the power consumption.
M1 vs. M2 benchmark comparison
If you compare the Geekbench scores of the M1 and M2 series, you will find that the M2 single-core score is 1,869, which is also 9% faster than the 1,707 of the M1 chip, which is still behind the M1 Pro, M1 Max and M1 Ultra processors.
If we compare the M1 and M2 multi-core scores, the M2 multi-core score is 8,900, while the M1 multi-core score is only 7,395. The gap between the two will be quite obvious, reaching about 20%. The performance improvement of the M2 processor is as Apple officially announced. 18% increase.
M2 vs M1 processor comparison differences: GPU performance
Apple will also use the GPU graphics performance of the Apple Silicon chip as the product performance distinction. Whether it is M1 or M2, the same number of CPU cores will be used, and the GPU core will be used as the specification difference.
The GPU core of the M2 chip is also up to 2 cores higher than that of the M1 chip, providing two specifications of 8-core and 10-core GPU options. In high power consumption, the graphics performance of the M1 is also improved by 35% compared with the M2, mainly because the 10-core GPU is equipped with a larger size. The higher the cache and higher memory bandwidth, the graphics performance can be significantly improved.
As for M1 Pro providing up to 16-core GPU, M1 Max providing 24-core GPU, 32-core GPU, M1 Ultra providing 48-core GPU, 64-core GPU, compared to the M2 chip with only 10 GPU, the gap is too large to compare, let alone say that M2 can surpass M1 Pro and higher chips.
No matter it is M1 or M2, the highest external monitor can only use one 6K resolution, 60Hz external monitor, but Mr. Crazy believes that most users at present, whether they are going out or working from home, will only connect one external monitor, and it will not cause too much damage. influences. If you want to connect more than two monitors, choose the M1 Pro or high-end chip style.
M2 vs. M1 Processor Comparison Differences: Neural Network Engine
The number of cores of the hardware component “Neural Network Engine” is also provided in the Apple chip, which is mainly used to accelerate the processing of neural network operations. Usually, Apple will use it to improve the efficiency of machine learning. Efficiency, such as video, audio and other efficiency.
Apple first used the neural network engine in the A series chips, and then brought it to the Apple M1 and M2 series, which can be used to improve the CPU’s processing machine learning efficiency. The M1 series all use 16-core “neural network engine”, only Only the M1 Ultra features a 32-core “Neural Engine” that accelerates on-device machine learning and improves camera performance.
However, the M2 chip neural network engine also uses 16 cores, but it can perform up to 15.8 trillion operations per second, which is about 40% more efficient than M1. This performance improvement also makes the M2 neural network engine more efficient. Will outperform M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.
M2 vs M1 Processor Comparison Differences: Media Engine
Apple initially only added a high-efficiency media engine to the M1 Pro or high-end chips, which can speed up video processing and maintain battery life. Now the M2 chip also supports hardware acceleration, with new performance, more security and more features, including:
- Acceleration features designed for ProRes professional video decoders
- Allows low-power playback of multi-channel high-definition 4K and 8K ProRes video streaming
- Media engine includes higher bandwidth video decoders supporting 8K H.264 and HEVC video
- New Image Processor (ISP) for image noise reduction
Only the M1 chip does not support accelerated encoding and decoding at all. If you want to use graphics or video editing operations, you must consider choosing a high-end chip such as the M2 or M1 Pro.
Summary: M2 is a new generation of M1 processor
From the above comparison, it can be found that the performance of the M2 chip is basically unable to catch up with the M1 Pro or high-end chips, just as the Intel i3 power-saving processor should be compared with the Intel i7 or i9, regardless of the number of cores, transistors and memory. In short, the M2 chip is just an improved version of the entry-level M1 chip, and the processor specifications just fall between the M1 and the M1 Pro.
However, M2’s performance and supporting media engine have obvious room for improvement compared to M1. So how should consumers choose?
If you simply surf the Internet, write documents and watch videos in daily life, most of them are for light work and daily entertainment use, and the M1 chip model is basically enough. If you need some simple audio and video processing operations, it is recommended to choose the M2 chip. Leveraging the media engine can facilitate hardware acceleration of formats such as ProRes, HEVC, H.264, and more.
If you are pursuing high-speed work efficiency and need to process a lot of images, development, or sound effects, it is recommended to directly select M1 Pro, M1 Max or M1 Ultra high-end chips. With higher core count and decoding engine, work efficiency can also be improved.