Apple updates MacBook Pro and Mac mini with new chipsets and other features

Apple unveiled new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, as well as a new Mac mini, via press releases and a video on its YouTube channel today. The new laptops, which are available in M2 Pro and Max chip combinations, include greater memory bandwidth, WiFi 6E, and the same design as the machines they replace. The Mac mini has also been upgraded, with the addition of the M2 and M2 Pro models, as well as additional improvements.

Apple stated in its press release regarding the new M2 Pro and M2 Max SoCs:

M2 Pro expands on the M2 architecture to give up to 12-core CPU, up to 19-core GPU, and up to 32GB of rapid unified storage. M2 Max expands on M2 Pro’s capabilities, including a GPU with up to 38 cores, twice the unified memory bandwidth, and up to 96GB of unified memory. Its industry-leading performance per watt makes it the most powerful and energy-efficient professional laptop CPU on the market.

The standard M2 variant was added to the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air last year, but the laptops revealed today are the first to have the Pro and Max versions of this SoC. Apple says about the MacBook Pro:

The MacBook Pro tackles demanding activities including rendering effects that are up to 6 times quicker than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro and colour correction that is up to 2x faster with the M2 Pro and M2 Max – the world’s most powerful and efficient CPU for a professional laptop. Building on Apple silicon’s remarkable energy efficiency, MacBook Pro battery life is now up to 22 hours – the greatest battery life ever in a Mac. The new MacBook Pro features Wi-Fi 6E, which is up to twice as fast as the previous generation, as well as improved HDMI, which now enables 8K screens for the first time. Developers may work on scenes so enormous that PC laptops couldn’t even run them with up to 96GB of unified storage in the M2 Max variant.

The MacBook Pro with M2 Pro is available in 10- and 12-core CPU versions, which Apple claims promise up to 20% greater performance than the M1 Pro, which makes sense given the SoC’s 20% more cores. The laptops may be outfitted with up to 32GB of unified storage with a bandwidth of 200GB/s, which is double that of the regular M2. According to Apple, the GPU has 19 cores and provides 30% quicker performance. The laptop also has Apple’s Media Engine, which handles video encoding and decoding.

The M2 Max MacBook Pro may be customized with up to 38 GPU cores, which Apple claims is 30% faster than the M1 Max, while the CPU has 12 cores. The MacBook Pro with M2 Max can also accommodate up to 96GB of unified memory with a bandwidth of 400GB/s.

Today, Apple also released an update for the Mac mini. Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Greg Joswiak, stated:

Mac mini is utilized in so many locations and in so many different ways because of its outstanding capabilities and wide range of connectivity in its tiny size. Today, we’re excited to take it a step further with the M2 and M2 Pro. The Mac mini with M2 is a fantastic deal, offering even more performance and a cheaper entry-level pricing. Furthermore, for consumers who want outstanding professional performance, the Mac mini with M2 Pro outperforms any other desktop in its class.

The Mac mini, which was one of the first Macs to be upgraded to the M1, now has an M2 SoC with the option of upgrading to an M2 Pro. The M2 small features two Thunderbolt 4 ports, while the Pro version has four. The M2 model can power two screens, while the Pro model can power three.

For the first time, the upgrades deliver WiFi 6E to all Macs launched today. The 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros are the only other Apple products that support the faster wireless networking standard.

These appear to be decent changes across the board, but the Mac mini, which appears to be the most cheap of the Macs unveiled today, piques my attention.

Both Macs are now available for pre-order, with shipping starting on January 24th.

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