back to article Apple's M2 MacBook Pros, Mac Mini boast more cores, higher clocks and bigger GPUs

Apple unveiled its next-generation M2 Pro and M2 Max CPUs Tuesday alongside a refreshed MacBook Pro and Mac Mini lineup. The launch comes more than six months after Apple introduced its second-gen M-series processor in the M2 MacBook Air. Apple rolled out the chip to its iPad Pro lineup in October and many had expected …

  1. gnasher729 Silver badge

    So I assume they have 19 or 38 GPUs because 20 or 40 don’t fit.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      You can always make the die a bit bigger, and put whatever is in those spots where you'd think the "missing" GPU cores are in that expanded space.

      It almost seems as if they had already done the layout for a 20/40 GPU core design then had to do some rework and rather than redo the entire layout they just erased a GPU core and used that space for something else.

      The author's assumption that the 19/38 GPU core parts were made with 20/40 cores and binned is pretty reasonable, since Apple has been using GPU cores for binning for a few years now - even in iPhone SoCs. I guess since they are using a pretty mature process with high yields binning isn't an issue so they can sell parts made with 19/38 GPU cores as having 19/38 GPU cores.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK Pricing and Price increase

    Starts at 2,14 9GBP in the UK which is about 2,650 USD which even allowing for VAT seems high. I was actually looking at buying a 14" MacBook Pro but never got around to it. I can't remember the prices but are these M2 models significantly more expensive than the M1 models?

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: UK Pricing and Price increase

      Look for refurbished Macs on apples website. With M1 chips and reduced prices, starting under 1500.

      Apart from that, thank you, Mrs Truss, for crashing the pound.

    2. Dave559

      Re: UK Pricing and Price increase

      Yes, the 14" M1 MacBookPro started at £1899 or thereabouts, I think, so the prices for the M2 models are quite a bit of a jump :-(

      And then there's Apples absolutely exorbitant RAM and storage upgrade prices on top of that, if you actually want to give your computer a reasonable spec, grrr…

      1. Crypto Monad Silver badge

        Re: UK Pricing and Price increase

        For the base 16GB/512GB model:

        14": M1 £1899 -> M2 £2149 (vs. $1999 in US)

        16": M1 £2399 -> M2 £2699 (vs. $2499 in US)

        Even taking VAT into account, it seems Apple are hedging against a ~10% drop in the pound, which is currently at $1.23

  3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Does the MacBook Pro have a reasonable compliment of ports yet?

    If not, no thanks.

    1. cschneid

      Decide for yourself. https://www.apple.com/macbook-pro-14-and-16/specs/

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, still no ethernet port though

      You need either the 14" or 16" models.

      Article had most of the deets but the TLDR was 3xThunderbolt4/USB-C an 8k HDMI an SD card slot and a wired headphone jack & WIFI6

      My company rejected my request for the M1 version when It came out so I drug my heels to wait for the M2, The WIFI6 bump honestly being the biggest feature. With Apples tendency to only produce an actual Pro laptop for 4 out of every 10 years, I will be happier with this than the M1 with what will be outdated wifi for most of it's life. The M2 should be good for 4-5 years if nothing better comes along. My last two both almost lasted 10.

      I went for the 14" as I still need to plug in while standing on a ladder a few times a year, and I have a windows box on my desk and 20 more machines in a rack if I need something "bigger"

      1. Solviva

        Re: Yeah, still no ethernet port though

        The caveat with the Wifi is that the Intel Macbooks had 3x3 spatial streams to get 1300 Mbps AC, the M1 onwards have gone down to 2x2 for 1300 Mbps on AX, and 866 Mbps on AC. Would be nice if they added the 3rd antenna back for the M3!

    3. ICL1900-G3

      I compliment them on their complement.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The new MacBook Pro M2 Max. Assume as usual, it's a soldered 8TB SSD for £6795, fully spec'd.

    When Apple says it's portable, what do people use, to move it between offices?

    Group 4 Security?

    My brother sent my a picture of his setup, and I couldn't help notice his Mac Pro has 'those wheels'.

    Mac Pro Wheels 'unboxing': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpEZFp_IZJs

    I clearly need to up my fees/salary. It really is difficult to take these macs seriously, until they get a socketed M.2 SSD.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, it's vendor locked for sure

      They moved the controller off the memory sticks, so it's impossible to upgrade the capacity by swapping parts. SSD is proprietary and basically nobody makes 3rd party parts, logic boards are tied in "the system" to your serial number, so they will block you from installing a better one even if you are replacing the logic board for damage.

      I hate everything about the engineering and business dimensions, the nagging cloud nonsense and all the rest of that.

      Having a unix native OS one click away, reasonably stable desktop environment, and long hardware support window takes the edge off of it a bit.

      Overall still a more positive D2D living experience than my windows laptops. Got a SFF PC on my desk with a decent monitor, and an old MBP(new one will be shipping).

  5. Anonymous Cowherder
    Mushroom

    Grr!!!!

    My trusty 2017 Macbook Pro gave up the ghost about a month ago after years of service and I was able to finagle a replacement through work. A shiny new 2021 Macbook Pro with an M1 Pro chip, really nice device once I'd changed some settings back to my personal preference and I was straight back to work, until I needed to use some software that only runs on Windows, not a problem, just install VirtualBox and spin up a Win10 VM and I'd be back up to speed by the end of the afternoon... Having changed roles over the years I have to admit my fingers had come off the tech pulse a fair bit and so I'd missed that running MS based VMs on the new line of Macbooks wasn't possible like it used to be.

    I remember the switch to Intel chips being seen as heresay by many several years ago, much to my amusement. Well this change of chips does feel like payback, or the sign that I have gone from being a young thing with new and exciting experiences ahead to being an old hand moaning at progress and change that means some things do their thing at slightly higher speeds, sometimes, when the planets align and under lab conditions. But mostly imperceptible to the average human. I remember Gnome 3's painful birth that led to my switch to Macs, 32 bit's demise, multiple USB standards requiring me to carry several cables just so I could charge or import from specific devices now gathering dust but got work done or gave happiness.

    So this is a delayed grump about changes that happen to tech stuff that don't always benefit the consumer and user. And I'm not happy about it, no sir. I'd already noticed that I had edged well away from the bleeding edge and left the cutting edge behind too, I've not upgraded my phone for years, the Pixel 3a is still going strong, does exactly what I need it to and will only be consigned to the drawer when the battery holds even less of a charge than it does now. So by the end of this year when it will be replaced by another mid-range device, probably one that is being sold off cheap as it is last year's model.

    I've managed a reasonably good living in the tech industry since the late 90s but it has finally happened, I've become one of them, multi times burned but not so shy about it anymore. All this progress coming along and breaking things that don't need breaking. No wonder that IT depts are only second to HR in people's lists of most useless depts at work. I'm too tired to have to learn new stuff to do simple and mundane things anymore. Desktop virtualisation was like wizardry, it enabled so much, effortlessly and now I've got to look into solutions that work for me with the least amount of fuss.

    Or maybe I'm just ready to go willingly to landfill myself.

    1. EVP

      Re: Grr!!!!

      "I'm too tired to have to learn new stuff to do simple and mundane things anymore."

      A thousand times this, and then some more. Imagine if you had to relearn your cars controls every year again, or even more often. You're not alone with your thoughts!

    2. Mishak Silver badge

      You can run Windows, but...

      You will have to use Windows 11 Arm - easiest way seems to be using Parallels, which will install it for you. Not sure how to license it though...

      Once you have that running, the Intel emulation mode in Windows Arm should allow you to run your apps.

      Not quite got round to trying this all out, but I will need to at some point...

      1. the reluctant commentard

        Re: You can run Windows, but...

        You can run Windows on M1 & M2 Macs using UTM, which is free. It has to be Windows 11 for ARM which is currently in Insider Preview and can be downloaded from Microsoft provided you sign up for the Windows Insider program, which is free.

        I have followed one of the howtos and it does indeed work, it was rather nice to see an ancient Windows application from 2005 run on Windows 11 on a completely different architecture.

        Here is a link to a HowTo: https://2ality.com/2022/06/windows-on-macs-via-utm.html

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Grr!!!!

      While my companions have pointed out some currently working options, most of the major players will be rolling out support in the near future. Different teams concentrated on different virtualization modes first, so x86 32 and 64 virtualization has been scattershot.

      Fusion has good support for most guest OS combos on the M1-2 hardware with the humorous exception of running OSx as a guest which currently still only works on Intel macs.

  6. Buzzword

    8GB extra for £200

    The upgrade from 8GB to 16GB on the Mac Mini still costs £200 extra. No wonder Apple is so profitable.

    1. Crypto Monad Silver badge

      Re: 8GB extra for £200

      Oddly, the common off-the-shelf configurations for Mac Mini (e.g. that you can pick up in John Lewis or Currys) are 8GB/256GB and 8GB/512GB.

      I would rather have 16GB/256GB. You can always plug in more storage via Thunderbolt, but you can't upgrade the RAM.

      1. Snapper

        Re: 8GB extra for £200

        Simply use the Apple Store instead. 16/256 Mac Mini is £707.00 + VAT

  7. therobyouknow

    Extra monitors possible with Certified DisplayLink USB to HDMI from Sonnetech and Startech

    This perhaps more useful for the lower end Mac Book Pros and Air.

    Sources - Sonnetech's own website and reddit.

    Though there will be some overhead of these addons in terms of memory and cpu. So I suppose going for the higher RAM selection is worth considering.

    There may be limitations and glitches too, worth studying DisplayLink Apple Silicon driver release notes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, thanks for pinitng that out. As a heads up to everbody else.

      There is still some weirdness in the Apple display support. The OS to hardware layer is prone to gremlins like frozen or black screens, the nostalgic but annoying snow crash, and unresponsive system hiccups that look like a lockup until you start unplugging peripherals.

      Checking the HCLs like you did will really help, but the biggest pain point is finding hubs/docs that don't crash the device chain when the machine sleeps. We have found a few docks (really "docks" as they are just a dongle with ports not an actual docking station.)

      USB based displays can get weird on both windows and OSX when the OS detects the display as a different logical display when plugged into a different USB/thunderbolt port. More likely to have a host of problems if it isn't plugged directly into the Mac as well. Like so many things plugging and unplugging the dock may be come a routine and annoying part of your life, or in my case my users which is worse.

      1. therobyouknow

        Re: Yeah, thanks for pointing that out. As a heads up to everbody else.

        Indeed and thank you.

        Successes so far though:

        I've been lucky with my Windows 10 Pro 64bit desktop: I have a Startech USB32HDPRO USB to HDMI which I have attached a 3rd 1080p monitor to. This works when the same machine is booted into Ubuntu 20.04 and was used a lot with that, using DisplayLink linux drivers. Now more recently on 22.04 and works on that but need to use it for a bit longer to check for glitches. Running off a USB 3 hub.

        Also using 2 USB32HDPROs on a Dell 7220 tablet running Windows 11 to give me 2 additional external displays on top of the 1st external one via the USB-C. Running off a USB 3 hub.

        And on a Dell Latitude 5491 for 1 additional displays in addition to 2 via machine's hdmi and usbc port - that with usbc to hdmi adapter.

        And further back I have used the USB32HDPROs with a 2015 11inch 8gb i7 MacBookAir to add 2 external displays in addition to one via the machine's thunderbolt 2 port. Running off USB 3 hub.

        My hope would be when the time comes to get perhaps an Air that I can reuse these USB32HDPROs on that, DisplayLinks Apple Silicon driver. The USB32HDPRO device is DisplayLink certified and one of the beefiest I think in terms of its own internal graphics hardware and video RAM. So these coupled with the positive reddit reports is encouraging. No affiliation by me I should add!

        A 15 inch MacBookPro 2016 I have has 4 thunderbolt 3 ports and I've used three of these to drive 3 external displays via 3 of Apples own thunderbolt to HDMI adapter, so I wonder if these would work with Apple Silicon Macs too.

        So with all our comments there's a fair bit of success and potential success along with some difficulties which is all the more informative for future purchase decisions. Thanks!

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