Apple first announced the M2 chipset last June, alongside updated MacBook Air and 13" MacBook Pro models. More recently, the M2 found its way into Apple's latest iPad Pro tablets. The standard M2 chip uses second-generation 5nm technology and features more than 20B transistors. According to Apple, he base M2 silicon supports up to 24GB of unified memory and can also support up to 10 GPU cores, delivering 35% better graphics performance than its predecessor.

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Apple announces updated MacBook Pro and Mac Mini models with new high-end M2 chipsets

The new M2 Pro and M2 Max double down on the improved performance offered by the M2, further expanding the chipset's CPU and GPU performance and supporting up to 96GB of unified memory. The M1 Max chip featured in Apple's prior 14" and 16" MacBook Pro models, supported up to 64GB of unified memory, so the M2 Max ups the performance there. The M2 Pro supports up to 32GB of fast unified memory.

A promotional illustration from Apple detailing its new M2 Pro chipset, which offers up to 32GB of unified memory and up to 200GB/s memory bandwidth.

While the M2 Max offers the most powerful M-series performance yet, the M2 Pro is no slouch. The M2 Pro features up to a 12-core CPU and 19-core GPU (three more than the M1 Pro's GPU). Like the standard M2 chip, the M2 Pro uses a second-generation 5nm process, albeit with double the transistors (40B) and double the unified memory bandwidth (200GB/s). Apple says the M2 Pro offers multithreaded CPU performance up to 20% faster than the M1 Pro and claims apps like Adobe Photoshop will run about 40% faster than the M1 Pro and 80% faster than an Intel Core i9.

If you require even more performance, the new M2 Max builds upon the strengths of the Pro with more processing power and bandwidth. The M2 Max sports 67B transistors, 10 billion more than the M1 Max and more than triple the amount in the base M2 chip. The 400GB/s bandwidth is twice that of the M2 Pro, quadruple that of the M2, and allows for 96GB of unified memory should you need to configure it that high.

A promotional illustration from Apple detailing its new M2 Max chipset, which offers up to 96GB of unified memory and up to 400GB/s memory bandwidth.

The M2 Max features the same 12-core CPU as the M2 Pro but offers a more powerful 38-core GPU with a larger L2 cache. The M2 Max's graphics performance is up to 30% faster than the M1 Max, according to Apple, which should offer improved performance with intensive tasks such as visual effects, AI model training, image stitching and video editing.

Both the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips include Apple's latest 16-core Neural Engine, which Apple says is capable of 15.8T operations per second. The M2 Pro has a media engine that offers hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC and ProRes video encoding and decoding, that should allow for multiple stream playback of 4K and 8K ProRes video. The M2 Max features two video encode engines and two ProRes engines, that Apple says promises up to double the video encoding performance of the M2 Pro.