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Compared: 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 vs 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1

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At Monday’s WWDC keynote, Apple released a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the company’s latest M2 chipset. However, beyond the upgraded processor and graphics, not a lot else has changed.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro received a modest refresh at the company’s WWDC 2022 keynote on Monday. Unlike other Apple Silicon models, the 13-inch MacBook Pro didn’t receive a major redesign or significant new features beyond the M2.

Here’s how the new Mac differs from its predecessor.

M2 13-inch MacBook Pro versus M1 13-inch MacBook Pro: Specifications

13-inch MacBook Pro, M1 13-inch MacBook Pro, M2
Display Size (inches) 13.3 13.3
Max Resolution 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1600
Pixel Density 227 227
Brightness 500 nits 500 nits
Display Backlighting LED LED
Display Technology Wide Color (P3),
True Tone
Wide Color (P3),
True Tone
Processors Eight-core Apple M1 Eight-core Apple M2
Memory 8GB or 16GB Unified Memory 8GB, 16GB, or 24GB Unified Memory
Graphics (integrated) Eight-core Apple Silicon M1 10-core Apple Silicon M2
External Video 1 6K display at 60Hz 1 6K display at 60Hz
Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Touch Bar Yes Yes
Biometrics Touch ID Touch ID
Trackpad Force Touch Force Touch
Keyboard Backlit with ambient light sensor Backlit with ambient light sensor
Dimensions (inches) 0.61 x 11.97 x 8.36 0.61 x 11.97 x 8.36
Weight (pounds) 3.0 3.0
Battery Life 17 Hours 20 Hours
Ports 2 USB 4 / Thunderbolt 3 ports,
Headphone jack
2 USB 4 / Thunderbolt 3 ports
Headphone jack
Webcam 720p FaceTime HD 720p FaceTime HD
Advanced image signal processor
Speakers Stereo speakers with high dynamic range Stereo speakers with high dynamic range
Microphones 3 with directional beamforming 3 with directional beamforming
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0 5.0
Charger 61W USB-C 67W USB-C
Color Options Silver, Space Gray Silver, Space Gray
Price From $1,299 From $1,299

M2 13-inch MacBook Pro versus M1 13-inch MacBook Pro: Processor

The 13-inch MacBook Pro, which was last refreshed in 2020, now sports an upgraded M2 processor instead of the previous-generation M1. The inclusion of the M2 is by far the most significant difference between the two models.

Like the M1, the Apple M2 is based on a 5nm chipmaking process. However, the M2 packs 4 billion more transistors than its predecessor. The core count, on the other hand, remains the same at 8 — with four performance cores and four efficiency cores.

The M2 also supports up to 24GB of Unified LPDDR5 memory, while the M1 was capped at 16GB. Unified memory bandwidth is now 100 GBps, about 50% more than the M1.

Apple says that the M2 chip is 18% faster than the M1 when it comes to standard CPU performance. Because the core count is the same, those gains are likely because of architecture improvements.

Benchmarks will come in time — but not until July at some point.

M2 13-inch MacBook Pro versus M1 13-inch MacBook Pro: Graphics

When it comes to graphical performance, Apple has bumped up the GPU core count on the M2. The chip sports a 10-core integrated GPU instead of the 8-core graphics processor in the M1.

Overall, Apple says the new M2 GPU is about 35% faster than the graphics processor in the M1. That’s likely because of the additional GPU cores, as well as other enhancements.

Apple says the upgraded GPU will allow for better graphical workflows — and improved gaming.

When it comes to specific graphical tasks, users may notice a slightly bigger bump to performance. Apple says playing graphically intensive games like Baldur’s Gate 3 is nearly 40% faster than the M1-based MacBook Pro.

Users who work with RAW images in Affinity Photo will find that their workflows are also about 40% faster than on the previous 13-inch MacBook Pro model.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro also now supports ProRes encode and decode in the media engine. Apple says that will allow it to play back up to 11 streams of 4K video or up to two streams of 8K ProRes video. Video projects can be converted to ProRes nearly three times faster.

M2 13-inch MacBook Pro versus M1 13-inch MacBook Pro: Design & physical differences

Even though the new 13-inch MacBook Pro may have a more powerful chip on the side, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the M1 model and the M2 model.

Both 13-inch MacBook Pro models are essentially identical when it comes to physical form factor. They share the same overall dimensions and weight.

The M2-based MacBook Pro also retains the Touch Bar, making it the only Mac in Apple’s current lineup to have the feature.

M2 13-inch MacBook Pro versus M1 13-inch MacBook Pro: Display & Camera

Both of the 13-inch MacBook Pro models have the same exact camera — an aging 720p FaceTime HD camera. The M2 model also retains the same three-mic array than its predecessor did.

However, the updated image signal processor in the M2 chip could still result in slightly better video call performance. Apple says the ISP can improve exposure levels, white balance, and noise reduction automatically. We’ll be looking at this when we have the hardware in-hand.

The cameras are the same on both models, but the M2 has an updated signal processor that could lead to slight video improvements.

The cameras are the same on both models, but the M2 has an updated signal processor that could lead to slight video improvements.

The display is also the same. It’s a 13.3-inch LED-backlit display with IPS. It has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 at 227 pixels per inch, True Tone, and 500 nits of maximum brightness.

M2 13-inch MacBook Pro versus M1 13-inch MacBook Pro: Ports & Connectivity

Both models have a pair of USB4 / Thunderbolt 3 ports that support a range of capabilities, from DisplayPort to Thunderbolt data transfer at speeds up to 40Gb/s. There’s also a headphone jack on both models.

There haven’t been any wireless connectivity-related upgrades either. The M2 and M1 MacBook Pro models both support Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, and Bluetooth 5.0

If you want to connect your device to an external display, just note that the M2-based 13-inch MacBook Pro still only supports a single external display. It can connect to one display with up to a 6K resolution at 60Hz.

M2 13-inch MacBook Pro versus M1 13-inch MacBook Pro: Other features

The list of miscellaneous features on both the M2- and M1-based 13-inch MacBook Pro are virtually identical.

Both models come in Silver and Space Gray, both have the same keyboard and trackpad, and both keep the same starting price of $1,299.

There are two minor differences, however. The M2-based MacBook Pro has a slightly longer battery life, with Apple stating that it’ll last up to 20 hours when playing back video. The M1-based Mac lasted 17 hours.

Additionally, the M2 13-inch MacBook Pro comes with a 67W charging brick instead of the 61W power adapter included with the M1 variant.

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