Apple M1 Vs Apple M2 – What’s the Performance Difference?

Apple M1 Vs Apple M2

Apple recently announced its new M2 chip that will be powering the all-new redesigned MacBook Air and an updated 13-inch MacBook Pro. If you are considering upgrading your iOS devices in the year 2022 and beyond, you may be wondering how the new M2 hardware stacks up against Apple’s M1 chip. This article will take a closer look at the M1 and M2’s CPU and GPU, as well as their Unified Memory and Media Engine. The performance difference between these two models is significant, and you need to know the details of each of them. Hopefully, this article will help you make an informed decision on if you should upgrade to M2 chip.

Apple M1 vs Apple M2: In-depth Comparison (2022)

Below you can find an in-depth comparison of both Apple M1 Vs Apple M2 chips.

Apple M1 vs M2: CPU

When it comes to processing power, the Apple M1 and M2 are similar. Both processors utilize the same 5nm technology, but the M2 is built on a 2nd generation process node. This process node provides additional refinement and optimization.

Image Courtesy: Apple

The differences between these two processors can be easily identified by looking at the comparison table below. Apple’s M2 processor is also smaller and faster than the M1 chip.

 M1 ChipM2 Chip
Fabrication Process5nm2nd-gen 5nm
Transistors16 billion20 billion
CPU Cores88
GPU Coresup to 8 coresup to 10 cores
Frequency (Max)3.2GHzDetails Missing
TDP20 to 24WDetails Missing
Neural Engine16 cores; 11 TOPS16 cores; 15.8 TOPS
Unified Memory (RAM)Up to 16GBUp to 24GB
Memory Bandwidth68.25GBps100GBps
Supported scaled resolutions1680x1050
2560x1664 native resolution at 224 pixels per inch

The M2 chip is more power efficient than the M1 CPU. It is capable of delivering the peak performance of a PC processor while consuming a quarter of its power. It is also equipped with an eight-core GPU, while the M1’s GPU only offers one core. The M2 chip is faster than the M1 by 18% and offers 50% more memory bandwidth.

cpu performance

The new chip also has the ability to support up to ten cores. The newer processors offer a greater memory bandwidth, which will improve the performance of both the CPU and GPU.

Apple M1 vs M2: GPU

In the GPU department, Apple’s M2 has a larger L2 cache and should deliver 25 percent more performance than the M1’s. The M2 also can draw more power and deliver an additional 35% performance at 15 watts. Despite this drawback, the M2 is ready to take on the latest AMD and Intel GPUs. It will be interesting to see how each of these chips stacks up when compared to the previous generation.

GPU Performance
M2 delivers up to 35 percent higher graphics performance than M1 at its maximum power.

Both the M1 and M2 are built on a 5nm process node, which means they’ll provide better power efficiency than the N5. However, there’s a trade-off here.

The Apple M1’s 4+4 core configuration will handle the most demanding tasks, while the M2’s 8-core CPU will provide better efficiency. Regardless of the choice you make, both chips will offer you excellent performance and a good value for your money.

Apple M1 vs M2: Unified Memory

The main difference between the Apple M1 and the M2 is the M2 chip. This chip has eight cores and supports up to 24GB of unified memory. The M2 supports up to 24GB of fast unified memory. The new chip features second-generation, 5-nanometer technology with twenty billion transistors.

Unified Memory
M2 delivers 100GB/s of unified memory bandwidth — 50 percent more than M1 – Image Courtesy: Apple

The M1 chip was first introduced in the last WWDC conference. It is more efficient and powerful than its predecessor, introducing ARM-based technology to Apple’s lineup. The new chip is expected to come with more advanced memory bandwidth and an improved GPU. Apple’s M2 is the final M-series chip to support LPDDR5 memory. The M1 chip supports only two GB of unified memory.

Apple M1 vs M2: Media Engine

The CPUs in Apple M1 and M2 are similar, but the differences come in the performance. The M1 has only eight cores, while the M2 has up to twenty billion transistors. The M2 also has a larger GPU core. While the Apple M1 is faster, the M2 is still not as responsive.

Apple says that the new chip offers a 20% improvement in image editing. The M2 also claims to be 40% faster than the M1, a difference that could be attributed to the on-chip Media Engine. In comparison, the M1 features a 16-core Neural Engine that can perform over 11 trillion operations per second. The M2 has eight cores, but the cores are faster. The M1 Max also includes the Media Engine from the M1 Pro, which enables hardware-accelerated video encoding. The difference between the two is significant, and we’ll go over each separately.


Apple M1 vs M2: Secure Enclave and Neural Engine

Despite the differences, there are some similarities between the two. Both machines are equipped with the same features: a 16-core Neural Engine, Secure Enclave, media encoder and decoder engines, and Thunderbolt 4 controller.

The differences, however, lie in the details. Let’s take a closer look at what makes them different. Here are some of the most important differences between these two machines.

The next-generation Secure Enclave and Neural Engine are at the heart of the Apple M2 chip. This chip delivers approximately 90% of the performance of a 12-core Intel CPU while utilizing only a quarter of its power. Compared to the M1, the new chip will be found in Apple’s new MacBook Air. The Neural Engine is responsible for processing 15.8 trillion operations per second.