M2 MacBook Pro vs. M1 MacBook Pro: Which One is Good

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M2 MacBook Pro vs. M1 MacBook Pro

M2 MacBook Pro vs. M1 MacBook Pro: Apple last week released an improved version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the first Mac featuring an updated M2 chip. We figured we’d pick up the M2 MacBook Pro and compare it to the previous-generation M1 MacBook Pro to see what’s different.

M2 MacBook Pro vs. M1 MacBook Pro

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

There are no differences in terms of design because Apple left the chassis and internal components the same, with the upgrade limited to the internal chips. The bezels remain the same, the Touch Bar remains, and the MacBook Pro continues to use USB-C with no MagSafe port.

The M2 processor in the MacBook Pro has an 8-core CPU, a 10-core GPU, and up to 24GB unified memory support, whereas the M1 has an 8-core CPU, an 8-core GPU, and up to 16GB unified memory support. While the base system comes with 8GB of RAM, it’s nearly always a good idea to upgrade to at least 16GB for enhanced performance.

When it comes to CPU performance, the M2 outperforms the M1. Despite the presence of an 8-core CPU, single-core Geekbench performance can be up to 12% quicker than the M1, while multi-core scores can be up to 20% higher. In our tests, we noticed more diverse results, with an 8% improvement in single-core performance and a 12% improvement in multi-core performance.

In terms of GPU performance, the M2 outperforms the M1 thanks to two more cores. Geekbench Metal scores were 35% higher with the M2, while 3DMARK frame rate benchmarks showed the M2 achieving 40fps while the M1 achieved 29fps.

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M2 13-inch MacBook Pro versus M1 13-inch MacBook Pro: Specifications

13-inch MacBook Pro, M1 13-inch MacBook Pro, M2
Display Size (inches) 13.3 13.3
Max Resolution 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1600
Pixel Density 227 227
Brightness 500 nits 500 nits
Display Backlighting LED LED
Display Technology Wide Color (P3),
True Tone
Wide Color (P3),
True Tone
Processors Eight-core Apple M1 Eight-core Apple M2
Memory 8GB or 16GB Unified Memory 8GB, 16GB, or 24GB Unified Memory
Graphics (integrated) Eight-core Apple Silicon M1 10-core Apple Silicon M2
External Video 1 6K display at 60Hz 1 6K display at 60Hz
Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Touch Bar Yes Yes
Biometrics Touch ID Touch ID
Trackpad Force Touch Force Touch
Keyboard Backlit with ambient light sensor Backlit with ambient light sensor
Dimensions (inches) 0.61 x 11.97 x 8.36 0.61 x 11.97 x 8.36
Weight (pounds) 3.0 3.0
Battery Life 20 Hours 20 Hours
Ports 2 USB 4 / Thunderbolt 3 ports,
Headphone jack
2 USB 4 / Thunderbolt 3 ports
High-impedance headphone jack
Webcam 720p FaceTime HD 720p FaceTime HD
Advanced image signal processor
Speakers Stereo speakers with high dynamic range Stereo speakers with high dynamic range
Microphones 3 with directional beamforming 3 with directional beamforming
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0 5.0
Charger 61W USB-C 67W USB-C
Color Options Silver, Space Gray Silver, Space Gray
Price From $1,299 From $1,299

 

M2 MacBook Pro vs. M1 MacBook Pro: Other features

The list of miscellaneous features on both the M2- and M1-based 13-inch MacBook Pro are virtually identical.

Both models come in Silver and Space Gray, both have the same keyboard and trackpad, and both keep the same starting price of $1,299.

One major difference between the M1 and M2 models is the speakers. While both use stereo speakers, the M2 model supports Spatial Audio which can add a 3D effect for some audio tracks.

Additionally, the M2 13-inch MacBook Pro comes with a 67W charging brick instead of the 61W power adapter included with the M1 variant.

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