Apple's M2 chip seems to be on everyone's lips after the software company installed the 2022 iPad Pro 12.9 and 11. It is easy to get lost in the tech jargon, but what does the M2 chip do in reality? And what makes it so unique?
The M2 chip is the latest upgrade to the M1 chip. Apple started making the M1 chip in 2020 to avoid using Intel processing chips in their laptops. As of this year, Apple has almost entirely shifted to using its chips instead of Intel's. The difference is noticeable. MacBooks with an M1 chip perform better than those with Intel chips. The M chips improved heat efficiency, battery life, and speed performance.
Apple unveiled the M2 chip in June 2022 and promised to deliver new power-efficient performance and capabilities. “Built using second-generation 5-nanometer technology, M2 takes the industry-leading performance per watt of M1 even further with an 18 percent faster CPU, a 35 percent more powerful GPU, and a 40 percent faster Neural Engine. It also delivers 50 percent more memory bandwidth than M1 and up to 24GB of fast unified memory”.
Apple built the M2 system-on-a-chip (SoC) design with enhanced, second-generation 5-nanometer technology. It has 20 billion transistors, amounting to 25 percent more than M1. Apple says, "The additional transistors improve features across the entire chip, including the memory controller that delivers 100GB/s of unified memory bandwidth — 50 percent more than M1. And with up to 24GB of fast unified memory, M2 can handle even larger and more complex workloads”.
The M2 chip also means a faster central processing unit or CPU. These electrical circuits execute instructions. The new CPU features faster performance cores with a larger cache. The efficiency cores are significantly enhanced for even more significant performance. These features deliver 18 percent greater multithreaded performance than M1, allowing the M2 to complete CPU-intensive tasks with little power compared to before. This includes tasks such as applying complex filters to photos or creating music with layers of effects.
The M2's CPU delivers almost twice the performance at the same power level when compared with the latest 10-core PC laptop chip. The M2 provides the same level of a PC chip's peak performance at just a quarter of the power. Compared to the latest 12-core PC laptop chip — which needs dramatically more energy to increase performance, the M2 provides nearly 90 percent of the peak performance while using just one-fourth of the power of the PC chip.
Apple released the latest iPad Pros in October 2022, featuring the M2 chip providing performance and versatility never seen before. “Powered by the M2 chip, the new iPad Pro features incredible performance and the most advanced technologies, including a next-level Apple Pencil hover experience, ProRes video capture, superfast wireless connectivity, and powerful iPadOS 16 features. There’s nothing else like it,” Greg Joswiak, Apple's Worldwide Marketing senior vice president, said.
The M2’s performance will significantly boost the most consuming apps and demanding workflows. Whether editing photo libraries, creating complex 3D objects or playing graphics-intensive games, the M2 chip will make it look like a breeze. The M2’s extra power also extends to the new media engine and the image signal processor. This is great news for content creators, who can capture, edit, and publish cinema-grade videos from a single device out in the field.
Before buying any product, you must sit down and see whether you need a device with such powerful specs. Remember that Apple products are costly, especially the latest iPad Pros with the M2 chip. The 128GB iPad Pro 12.9 Wi-Fi version starts at $1099 and goes up to $2199 for 2TB memory. The 12.9 Pro Wi-Fi and Cellular 128GB is $1299, while the 2TB version costs $2399. The iPad Pro 11 is slightly cheaper, but only by a little. The 2TB Wi-Fi costs $1899 compared to $799 for the 128GB. The 128GB Wi-Fi and Cellular is $999, while the 2TB is $2099.
When investing in such a high-tech device, it is crucial to think of a high-quality iPad Pro 11-inch case. The Zugu iPad Pro 11 cover offers major drop protection against a five-foot drop in concrete. The case is made from highly durable TPU plastic and includes reinforced corners. It also folds back into a kickstand case with eight adjustable angles.