Apple M2 Release Date, Specifications, Price, and Benchmarks

Here is all the information we know so far about Apple's upcoming M2 CPU, including the Apple M2 release date, specifications, price and recent benchmarks.

Up until 2020, Apple partnered with Intel to deliver lightweight and powerful laptops. However, they could never compare to the performance of other laptops on the market rocking high-powered Intel or AMD CPUs.

Apple’s decision to make a change led to the development of an in-house ARM processor named M1. The M1 brought colossal performance and efficiency improvements.

Given that success, Apple introduced M2, the next generation.

This article will showcase everything we know so far about Apple’s M2 chip, including its release date, specifications, price, and benchmarks.

Let’s jump right into it!

Updates +

  • September 29, 2022: Added new release date information and mentions of M2 Extreme.
  • August 17, 2022: Updated certain release date information and fixed grammar throughout the article.
  • July 16, 2022: Reworked and removed outdated information. Added a bunch of new benchmarks with M2 devices and more.
  • June 28, 2022: Added possible new M2 devices.
  • June 20, 2022: Added release date for the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
  • June 14, 2022: Grammar fixes.
  • June 8, 2022: Added detailed specifications for the M2 CPU.
  • June 7, 2022: Added the announcement of the M2 processor in the 13-inch MacBook Air.
  • May 12, 2022: Updated release date information.
  • May 5, 2022: Few readability fixes.
  • April 28, 2022: Added a concise conclusion.
  • April 22, 2022: Added potential announcement date for new MacBook Air and Mac Mini at WWDC.
  • March 24, 2022: Added third-party benchmarks for the M1 Ultra.
  • March 10, 2022: Added M1 Ultra specifications, performance charts and more.
  • February 28, 2022: Grammar fixes
  • February 21, 2022: Added new possible release dates for M2 devices.
  • January 20, 2022: Added new information about the MacBook Pro 14 and M2 MacBook Air.
  • December 28, 2021: Added rumors suggesting a release date for M2 MacBook Air in Mid-2022.
  • November 22, 2021: Added benchmarks.
  • November 8, 2021: Updated the introduction.
  • October 19, 2021: Added specifications for the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips in the 2021 MacBook Pros.
  • October 12, 2021: Fixed grammar errors, improved readability.
  • October 4, 2021: Added information for the Apple Event in October and announcements.
  • September 13, 2021: Added new rumors regarding the release date of MacBook Pros with M1X
  • September 6, 2021: Added new information thoughts on the M1X or M2 naming scheme

Table of ContentsShow

Release Date

Macbook Pro M2

Apple finally announced the first devices with an M2 processor, and it’s the 13-inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro at WWDC22. Both of these devices are currently available for purchase.

According to Mark Gurman, Apple is preparing to surge with a bunch of new products, including but not limited to:


  • M2 Mac Mini
  • M2 Pro/Max Mac Mini
  • The option for M2 Pro and M2 Max 14/16-inch MacBook Pros
  • M2 Ultra in a new Mac Studio
  • M2 Extreme in Mac Pro
  • iPad Pro with M2

These new products could be announced on October 18, 2022 during Apple’s event. However, there are some rumors that Apple might not hold such an event but release the products either way.


Apple M2 specs

Based on Apple’s announcement at WWDC, this next-gen processor will be 18% faster than the M1.

This fast CPU is also a 35% more powerful graphics card. We also see up to a 50% increase in memory bandwidth and 24GB of Unified Memory (RAM).

These upgrades were possible thanks to the TSMC’s second-generation 5nm process (N5P). With this move, Apple can cram 25% more transistors (20 billion) on the M2 than the M1.

Here’s a table comparing the M1 and M2:

 Apple M2Apple M1
Process nodeN5P (2nd gen 5nm)5nm
CPU Cores88
GPU Cores8/107/8
Neural Engine15.8 TOPS11 TOPS
Unified Memoryup to 24GBup to 16GB
Memory Bandwidth100GBps68GBps

Considering the differences in the specifications and the third-party benchmark we’ve seen by now, these claims by Apple are mostly correct. So if you have an M1 device, expect 15 to 20% all-around performance improvement.

TheM2 Pro and Max CPUs should also be on TSMC’s 5nm process node, but even then, the upgrade in specifications should be enough for a considerable increase in performance over the basic M2.

The Pro and Max variants will most first appear in the new MacBook Pros.

An even higher-core count CPU was also teased during Apple’s event that will end up in the Mac Pro.

However, Apple mentioned M2 Extreme rather than M2 Ultra. Could M2 Extreme be an even faster/bigger CPU than the Ultra, or is this just a change in the naming scheme?

A new iMac Pro is also in talks that may feature up to 32-core M2 chip.

Apple M1X
The M2 iMac Pro will most likely feature 32 cores

M1 Ultra Vs. M2

While the M1 Ultra isn’t exactly part of the new M2 lineup, it can still give us an insight into M2 Ultra and M2 Extreme.

The M1 Ultra is a 20-core CPU with a 64-core GPU, 800GB/s of memory bandwidth, 128GB of unified memory, and more.

Already, the M2 chip has a faster memory bandwidth, and we imagine that the future M2 Ultra chip may be able to pack more than 20 cores by implementing Apple’s “UltraFusion” architecture which pairs two CPUs to work as one.

Here’s some additional information about the M1 Ultra:

There are sixteen high-performance cores with 48MB of L2 cache, and the rest (4) are high-efficiency cores with 8MB of L2 cache.

Apple M1 Ultra CPU specifications

Apple claimed here that the M1 Ultra is 90% faster than Intel’s Alder Lake flagship i9-12900K, one of the world’s fastest CPUs. However, no third-party benchmarks managed to find a case where the Apple chip is actually 90% faster.

Either way, the M1 Ultra is a pretty powerful processor running at just 60W.

One of the main reasons why M1 and M2 devices are so fast (at a low power draw) is because memory is directly installed onto the SoC package making data transfers considerably quicker.

The M1 Ultra also has a 64-core GPU which is quite a bit more than the M2 chip, but we expect that the future M2 equivalent of the Ultra will have more and faster cores.

The M1 Ultra can only be found in the $5,000 Mac Studio, a successor to the Mac Mini.

M1 Pro And M1 Max VS M2

Before the release of the M2 and even before the M1 Ultra, Apple introduced two new processors, the M1 Pro and M1 Max.

Compari on between the M1 M1 Pro and M1 Max
Chip size comparison between the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max

Even though these are processors from the previous generation, they’re still on that 5nm process node with enough transistors to outperform the current M2 chip. The M1 Pro has 33.7 billion transistors, the M1 Max has 57 billion transistors, and the new M2 processor has just 20 billion transistors.

Both come with a larger memory capacity and more GPU and CPU cores. But keep in mind that these older chips are considerably larger and draw more power. The Pro and Max M2 equivalents will definitely be faster in the future.

M1 Max Pro performance v power
Apple’s chart of the M1 Pro/M1 Max vs. M1 performance vs. power


Apple 16 inch Macbook Pro M1X Chip

We hoped that Apple wouldn’t increase the base prices for the M2 devices, but that does not seem to be the case.

Check out the pricing of the new M2 devices:

For comparison, here is the pricing of last-generation (M1) devices:

  • MacBook Air M1 – from $999 (up to $2,499)
  • MacBook Pro 13-Inch M1- from $1,299 (up to $2,299)
  • iPad Pro 11-Inch M1- from $799 (up to $2,099)
  • Mac Mini M1- from $699 (up to $1,699)

So, definitely some price increases, especially for the MacBook Air M2, from $999 to $1,199, but at least maxing out the laptop is cheaper at $2,049.

The MacBook Pro M2 retains its base price, but at top specs, it’s $2,499.


Finally, we get the information we were looking for. How does the new M2 processor fare against AMD’s, Intel’s, and even Apple’s laptops?

To get a clear image of the performance difference, we’ll use some of Hardware Unboxed’s benchmarks/charts. Here’s the video:

First, let’s start with power consumption which is one of Apple’s strongest points. While running Cinebench R23, the sustained power is just 23 watts. That is very efficient, especially when compared to CPUs like the 6800U (25W), i7-1260P, and others.

Apple M2 power consumption

But, for good power efficiency, we also need to see some performance. Let’s have a look at some Blender benchmarks:

In Blender 3.X, with GPU encoding, the M2 clearly outperforms AMD’s mobile GPUs, and that’s expected since AMD’s GPUs were never very powerful in these kinds of tasks.

When CPU encoding in Blender, the M2 outperforms the Ryzen 7 6800U and the i7-1260P. It might be by a small margin, but it’s definitely faster.

We also see the new M2 MacBook Pro beating AMD’s and Intel’s 15W counterparts in a large number crunching test on Microsoft Excel with up to 20% better score.

However, it’s not always a win for Apple. For a 3-minute track export in FL Studio, the M2 is around 10% slower than the 6800U and the i7-1260P.

Apple M2 FL Studio

Other than FL Studio, 7-Zip decompression, and Matlabs benchmarks, there aren’t any other apps where the M2 doesn’t perform.

In Adobe Premiere Pro, the new Apple chip gets its biggest win yet, outperforming not just low-powered CPUs like the 6800U and i7-1260P, but also outperforming the i9-12900HK, Ryzen 9 6900HS, Ryzen 7 6800H, and more.

Apple M2 Adobe Premiere Pro

The M2 is almost at the top of this chart, beating all 45W mobile CPUs. That is a tremendous performance increase, and it may be the reason why a lot of Windows users might switch over to a MacBook.

With Apple’s ProRes codecs and proper hardware acceleration for these codecs, the M2 creates such a performance gap.

Finally, even though the MacBook Pro isn’t exactly made for these kinds of tasks, we will still have a glance at some gaming benchmarks. Hardware Unboxed decided to do a Shadow of the Tomb Raider test.

Apple M2 in gaming vs Ryzen 6800U

Weirdly enough, the M2 CPU surpasses AMD’s counterpart. This is a bit unexpected, mostly because macOS isn’t exactly famous for good gaming performance, and the fact that the RDNA 2 GPUs are pretty fast.

So, even if you feel like gaming on your new M2 MacBook Pro, you can comfortably do that and with the satisfaction that you’ll have a better experience than many other Windows laptops.

Overall, the M2 processor is extraordinarily efficient and absurdly fast, tackling even some of the fastest mobile CPUs from AMD and Intel.

All of these benchmarks definitely got us excited for the future of Apple’s silicon, and we are now waiting for new M2-powered devices or higher-core M2 CPUs. Once we get our hands on that information, be sure we’ll share it with you!

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Branko Gapo
Branko Gapo

Keeping up with the incredibly fast evolution of computer technology is almost impossible. That's why Branko will be using his knowledge on this matter to share news and information on all the latest essential technological innovations and advancements related to CPUs.