New M2-powered MacBook Pros and minis have 8K video, Wi-Fi 6E, dozens of cores – Ars Technica

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Apple has unveiled new systems based on its M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, giving the MacBook Pro and Mac mini line 8K video output, Wi-Fi 6E, up to 96GB of unified memory on the highest-spec machine, and what Apple claims is the longest-ever Mac battery life.
The latest M2 systems on a chip (SoC) that power the systems are the biggest change since those in the last set of Pros and minis; the hardware for both looks broadly similar to their prior releases. You can buy an M2 Pro with up to 12 CPU and 19 GPU cores and 32GB of memory. The M2 Max is something else: You get an upper limit of 38 GPU cores, double the memory bandwidth of the Pro (from 200 to 400GB/s), and up to 96GB of unified memory.
Apple clocks the M2 Pro in a new 16-inch MacBook Pro at up to 40 percent faster than its own M1 Pro MacBook Pro at the broadly defined “image processing in Photoshop” metric and 80 percent faster than an Intel-based Core i9 MacBook Pro. For Xcode compiling, Apple cites a 25 percent gain over the M1 Pro and a 250 percent leap over the Core i9.
The M2 Max has the same 12-core CPU as the M2 Pro but a lot more room for graphics processing, with up to 32 cores and a larger L2 cache. Apple doesn’t specify gains over the M1 Max found in the prior Pro or the Mac Studio but notes that its 16-core Neural Engine (present in the M2 Pro and Max) is 40 percent faster than the previous generation.
All the M2 Pro and Max systems are capable of 4K and 8K ProRes video playback “while using very little power,” Apple says. The M2 Pro has hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, and ProRes video encoding and decoding. M2 Max has two video encoding engines and two ProRes engines, making it twice as fast at encoding as an M2 Pro.
The aluminum devices that hold all that power are very similar to prior models—though the chips’ ability to provide what Apple claims is 22-hour battery life, “the longest battery life ever in a Mac,” is certainly notable. The MacBook Pro models, both M2 Pro and M2 Max, add Wi-Fi 6E and 8K HDMI output. They seemingly have the same ports, display, FaceTime camera, speakers, and mics as the 2021 versions.
The Mac Mini remains a smaller slab with a lot of ports and a very fast chip inside—this time, the M2 or M2 Pro.
The M2 MacBook Pros and minis are up for order today, with availability on January 24. A 14-inch M2 Pro with 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage starts at $1,999, while a 16-inch M2 Max model can be maxed out with 32GB of memory and 1TB of storage at $3,499. The new Mac minis are $599 for an M2 model with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage or up to $1,299 for an M2 Pro model with 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage.
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