You might have noticed that Apple has recently annouced a new Macbook Air & Macbook Pro with an M2 processor inside. This is somewhat unusual a release date as Apple have historically released new Macs in the Autumn, perhaps they felt pressured to release a new Macbook with the new processors now that they had them in hand?
The best way to compare the performance gains from the new 2022 M2 processors is to put them against the 2020 M1 processors. You’ll find an 18% permormance to power gain, Apple claim 35% more processing power of the new chips.
You’ll find that both the M1 & the M2 are built on 5nm processes, the 2022 M2 chip is a revised process by TSMC which has been labbeled the “second generation” 5nm node. There are some benefits to this, however we can’t really call this M2 a new chip, when it’s the same design on a new manufacturing process, the only benefits come from TSMC not Apple. (Apple did add some extra processors to the chip, but they kinda already did this with the M1 Pro & Ultra last year).
The benefits of the new process include improved battery life and efficiency, this is why Apple were able to add more to the M2 to make it more powerful. Qualcomm were able to do this exact same thing with their current generation of Snapdragon processors, their Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 boositng each CPU & GPU performance by 10%, whilst increasing efficiency by 30%. Therefore wouldn’t Apples new processor be more appropriately named M1+ to fit in with the scheme of things, rather than deceptively branding it an M2?
Nethertheless Apples M1 & M2 processors are still impressive, but only because Apple have successfuly been able to optimised Mac OS to work on ARM with virtually no drawbacks. Apple just really need to revise their pricing, where getting a useable 16GB of RAM in the new 2022 Macbooks adds well over £500 to a base model of a similarly specced Windows laptop with 16GB RAM.