The new Apple M2 chip is being touted as being the fastest SoC from all the competitors on the market today. However, Apple have always been good for shouting their favour in terms of marketing, but in today’s review, we will see for ourselves if this MacBook is really all that different from the M1 Pro. We will also compare to other competitors lón the market such as the Intel Core i7-1260P, which is on everyone’s wish list at the minute, for good reason too.
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So, getting straight into it, it would seem that the new M2 like all of the Apple products on the market, will use the arm architecture, split into a 4+4 layout. For high performance, there are Avalanche cores and Blizzard cores. If you are a tech pro, you will instantly know that this is the same configuration as the previous M1 but wait a minute. With the updated cores, they are designed for ultraportable machines, meaning the M2 can clock up to 3.5 GHz which is higher than the predecessor-even by just a little, it is still worth mentioning. The M2 also has the powerful media engine and neural engine of the M1 pro and above, so you get the bandwidth progress too, with a little bit of an upgrade.
For the consumer’s sake however, we did want to pick on a little aspect that we found strange. The use of the name M2, for two distinctly different tech specs for laptops, is a bit strange (that we will admit). However, another thing is, while Apple does make sure to show the tech specs very openly to its audience, if we get confused, it is very likely that consumers will too. They have not made it very easy, despite it being two very different chips that are available.
For testing purposes, we got an M2 configured MacBook Air, with similar 16GB memory and so on. However, for the configuration of SSD, be prepared to fork out a lot more, we noticed that the price suddenly took a huge price leap despite it being a 256 GB SSD for the new M2. That is a bit ridiculous, so do keep that in mind. Then again, it is Apple and should not be so shocking really, should it?
From a power versus performance point of view, the Multithreaded power recorded a 23-watts worth of power, in comparison to the other configuration of the Ryzen 7 6800U which is tested at 15-25 watts. This would suggest that the M2 is super powerful in how it uses single applications, very much similar to the M1 in that regard. Even though the M2 has just a slightly bigger jump in frequency, there is less power usage overall, which is best for long periods of usage. For power configuration, M2 is very close towards the Ryzen 7 6800U, with a 28 watts configuration, however the M2 still uses less power than the Core i7 1260P, which really is not that different to the MacBook Pro 13’s 25 watts configuration. So, if you couldn’t do the prices of the Intel, or the M2, the 13 MacBook would be a great compromise, nonetheless.
The final testing notification that you most likely will be waiting for, is the battery life in comparison to competitors and the MacBook 13. The M2 actually lasts 42% longer than the next Ryzen 6800U system. Using the battery capacity comparison, it is clear to see that battery size therefore does not significantly alter the results and efficiency of a laptop in the long run.
While the M2 excels hugely in performance due to its accelerators like battery life and so on, there is still better power and performance in the Ryzen and Intel. Putting these capabilities in reality, particularly for gaming for example, the other two would clearly win. Especially when you put cost into consideration. However, the M2 does have excellent performance away from a charger, for longer periods of time, where most AMD systems fail due to the high power consumption.