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Apple introduces M2 Pro and M2 Max for upcoming devices

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Apple has further extended its custom processor lineup by introducing two more SoCs, the M2 Max and M2 Pro. The processors are meant for professional workloads and promise performance and battery life improvements over the existing M2 chips. 

The M2 Pro and M2 Max will debut in the recently updated 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, starting at $1,999 and $2,499, respectively. The Mac mini also gets its first pro-class upgrade with the M2 and M2 Pro chips starting at $599. Pre-orders for all three devices are open at the time of writing, and retail availability is expected to start by January 24.

Both new processors are based on Apple’s second-generation 5nm process and feature 12-core CPUs. They also seriously up the transistor count from their predecessors, with the M2 Pro offering 20 per cent more transistors than the M1 Pro and M2 Max offering 5.7 per cent more than the M1 Max. 

The new chips also get updated custom technologies from Apple, including support for Apple’s next-generation 16-core Neural Engine, image signal processor for improved noise reduction and better camera quality and Secure Enclave.

The M2 Max is the more powerful of the two new processors. | Source: Apple

The M2 Pro also gets hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC and ProRes video encoding and decoding while the M2 Max features two video encoding engines and two ProRes encoding, meaning twice the video encoding performance of the M2 Pro. 

The M2 Max is the stronger of the two processors. While the CPU core count might be the same, the M2 Pro can be configured with up to 19 cores and up to 32GB of Unified Memory running at 200GB/. The M2 Max ups with by supporting up to 38 GPU cores, up to 96GB of unified memory running at 400GB/s and a bigger L2 cache. 

Outside of the performance gains, these processors also make some bold efficiency claims. Apple claims a battery life of up to 22 hours on the new MacBook Pros using these SoCs.

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