M2 Pro, M2 Max Feature No Additional Performance Cores, Which May Result In Lower Multi-Core Benefits

Omar Sohail
M2 Pro and M2 Max

Apple did increase the total CPU core count on the M2 Pro and M2 Max, but like most companies, the entire truth requires a little more research to better inform potential customers. While it is true that Apple went from a 10-core CPU configuration on the M1 Pro and M1 Max to 12 cores on the latest SoCs, the company did not add any additional performance cores to the mix.

Apple may have wanted to focus on the battery life on the new 2023 MacBook Pro models, which is why this benefit is marketed first

Both the M2 Pro and M2 Max will sport eight performance cores and four energy-efficient ones when the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models start shipping to customers. In 2021, the M1 Pro and M1 Max came with eight performance and two energy-efficient cores. In short, Apple has not made an effort to cram any additional performance cores into the M2 Pro and M2 Max, suggesting that increased multi-core gains may not have been the company’s goal at this time.

Even in the company’s press release of the 2023 MacBook Pro, the title immediately talks about increased battery life, which is why those two power efficiency cores have been added to the total. While a portable Mac is intended to be used away from the wall charger for multiple hours, we have seen Apple follow the same approach for its iPhone chips too, particularly the A16 Bionic.

Official press image of the 2023 MacBook Pro lineup

It appears that unless the technology giant does not switch to a more cutting-edge manufacturing process from TSMC, it will continue to focus more on battery life while offering little performance gains with each successive chip launch. According to an earlier M2 Max benchmark leak, there was only a 20 percent performance gain in multi-threaded workloads compared to the M1 Max, which proves our previous point.

Then again, with the battery life improvements, Apple claims that its 16-inch MacBook Pro can last for 22 hours on a single charge, which is the highest for any portable Mac. No Windows-powered notebook is able to come close to this figure, so there is some benefit, even if it does mean losing out on potential performance gains. Do you appreciate the path that Apple is following, or would you prefer more performance cores when the M3 Pro and M3 Max launch?

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