14-inch and 16-inch M2 MacBook Pro: Everything you need to know – Macworld
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The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro with Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max chips only arrived in October 2021, but the the successor may not be that far off. Despite there being an 18-month wait between the arrival of the M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro and their M2 replacements, the M2 Pro and M2 Max MacBook Pro models are rumored to arrive as soon as this fall. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming release.
A fall release prediction for the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro came via a July 2022 Power On newsletter from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in which he indicated that Apple is already preparing the next round of Apple silicon updates. Gurman wrote that the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro will be getting M2 Pro and M2 Max chip upgrades by the end of this year, although he cautions that the update could be delayed until early 2023 due to “continued supply-chain challenges.”
A fall release would occur at Apple’s annual Mac event in October or November.
The current models are priced as follows. While there are some big price leaps between the 8-core and 10-core CPU modes that many will be hoping Apple will close up, we don’t anticipate any major changes—although we could see some price rises in some parts of the world in line with inflation. Apple raised the price of the entry-level MacBook Air by $200 or 20 percent with the M2 redesign.
If you were hoping that Apple would change anything about the design of these two larger MacBook Pro models be prepared to be disappointed. The company made some huge changes in 2021, with the new 14- and 16-inch size displays and their ProMotion technology, along with the removal of the Touch Bar and the addition of the notch (all of which serve to differentiate from the 13-inch MacBook Pro). Gurman has indicates that the MacBook Pro is expected to “stay roughly the same” on the outside.
While the outside of the MacBook Pro will look the same, the inside will be different. Gurman reports that his sources indicate that the M2 Max will have 12 CPU cores and a a maximum of 38 GPU cores, six more than the M1 Max.
As with the M2 chip, the M2 Pro and M2 Max will focus “on the graphics side,” according to Gurman. In the case of the M2 in the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple delivered a graphics boost from 8- to 10-cores. For the M2 Pro and M2 Max this could translate to a move from 14 cores and 16 cores to 18 cores and 20 cores for the M2 Pro and 24 cores and 32 cores to 30 cores and 38 cores for the M2 Max.
As for the CPU cores, there are suggestions that there will also be a boost here, despite the fact that the M2 has a 8-core CPU as the M1 did. There are rumors that Apple will offer a 12-core CPU for the M2 Pro and M2 Max.
Two extra cores are not the only change that could spell a faster CPU though. There had been suggestions that Apple would start using the new 3nm process for the M3 chips when they arrive, probably in 2023, but some reports suggested that this new process could be used for the M2 Pro and other variants.
The 3nm process should allow even higher transistor density among other things. According to DigiTimes in June 2022, Apple has “booked TSMC capacity for its upcoming 3nm M3 and M2 Pro processors” and TSMC will be starting volume production of 3nm chips in the second half of 2022.
YouTube channel Max Tech’s Vadim Yuryev also indicated that the M2 Pro will be 3nm.
I honestly feel like Apple intentionally left the M2 chip at 5nm for two reasons.
1. 3nm wasn’t ready yet. (it will be for M2 Pro/Max)
2. M2 chip is meant for higher-volume products, so sticking to 5nm helps with chip yield
3. 5nm M2 chips will leave more 3nm chips for M2 Pro/Max
If the M2 Pro, Max and Ultra chips are built using this 3nm process the gap between the M2 and these other variants will be bigger than ever and the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, Mac Studio, high-end Mac mini, and Mac Pro could offer even bigger speed boosts than those seen with the M2 compared to the M1.
If Apple is adopting this new process for the M2 Pro and beyond it would be unlikely that it will arrive before spring 2023. However, Gurman thinks we will have to wait until late 2023 or 2024 before we see the 3nm process arrive with the M3 chips.
Macworld editor since 2008, Karen has worked on both sides of the Apple divide, clocking up a number of years at Apple’s PR agency prior to joining Macworld almost two decades ago.
Karen’s career highlights include interviewing Apple’s Steve Wozniak and discussing Steve Jobs’ legacy on the BBC. Her focus is Mac, but she lives and breathes Apple.
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August 5, 2022 at 04:49PM