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Everything we know about Apple’s M2 chip

Apple’s M1 line of Macs has proven a massive success, with the latest M1 Pro and M1 Max chips setting new standards in performance and efficiency. The company has also announced the M1 Ultra chip, which combines the power of two M1 Max chips in one. Apple’s not stopping there, though, with rumors suggesting the second generation of chips, code-named M2, are already in the works.

Here’s everything we know about the Apple M2 chip, what products may be getting it, and when fans can expect to get their hands on the new hardware.

What products are getting the M2?

The 2021 MacBook Pro with the lid open on a white table.

There is a lot of speculation about what is being released when, but the Apple Peek Performance event has put some of the rumors to rest — the M2 chip is probably not coming this spring. Instead, Apple has unveiled the M1 Ultra chip in the Mac Studio. Therefore, Apple is likely saving the announcement of the M2 for later in the year.

That means Apple’s M2 Macs will probably come out in the latter half of 2022. You should expect several options, though, as analysts believe Apple is releasing four M2 models in this time period. Those could include:

  • A refreshed MacBook Air
  • An entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro
  • A new 24-inch Mac
  • An entry-level Mac Mini

That lineup looks similar to when the original M1 chip launched, with the addition of the new Mac.

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M2 MacBook Pro loses the Touch Bar

The Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro.

The rumored M2 MacBook Pro already finds itself in a strange spot. There wasn’t much to differentiate the 13-inch MacBook Pro from the M1 MacBook Air, and Apple doesn’t seem to be addressing that problem in the latest release. That means the M2 13-inch MacBook Pro is already on the back foot.

However, that doesn’t mean the M2 13-inch model isn’t getting any updates. Apple is expected to remove the TouchBar, which is a long time coming. Buyers will instead get a dedicated function key row again, and Apple will have at last rid itself of a long-lasting sore spot among MacBook Pro users.

Performance

Performance is one of the most important things to consider when looking at a product refresh. There isn’t much to go on about what the M2 will be capable of, but a few dependable analysts have given their two cents.

Bloomberg analyst Mark Gurman expects the same number of CPU cores in the M2, but with more high-performance cores. The M1 chip carried eight cores evenly split between high performance and efficiency. The M2 will likely have eight cores as well, but lean more into the high-performance variants (similar to the new MacBook Pros).

Gurman also believes there will be more GPU cores. The M1 launched with either seven or eight GPU cores, but the M2 will reportedly have nine or 10. That’s great for hobbyist creators who want a bit more graphical power but don’t want or can’t afford the beefier MacBook Pros.

The release of the M1 Ultra chip could also be giving us hints about the performance of the M2. The M1 Ultra combines the power of two M1 Max chips, offering a massive performance leap. If the future M2 Pro, Max, and Ultra chips follow in the footsteps of the M1, we’re going to get a real powerhouse of a chip.

Price and release date

While there has been some speculation that M2 Macs could launch in the earlier part of this year, the Apple Peek Performance event made no mention of the M2 chip. As such, it’s a safer bet to expect them in the latter half of 2022. Apple will likely announce them in a single event, similar to how it launched the M1 lineup.

As for pricing, Apple is doing its best to differentiate its product lineup and keep costs down. As of right now, it’s safe to assume that prices will be in line with the M1 prices. The MacBook Air, along with getting a colorful refresh, will likely start at $999. The 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro will probably start at $1,299, and the entry-level M2 Mac Mini will likely begin at $899.

For more on MacBooks, check out the best deals you can get on Apple’s devices.

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