Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2022) review: new chip, old threads

Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2022) review: new chip, old threads

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I don’t truly attraction what the M2 MacBook Pro gets connected benchmarks.

I cognize that sounds similar an unusual connection coming from idiosyncratic who runs benchmarks for a living, but this is not a instrumentality wherever they substance each that overmuch because, if you’re the benignant of idiosyncratic moving benchmarks oregon the benignant of idiosyncratic to whom benchmark scores are astatine each relevant, I’m going to archer you close astatine the apical that you shouldn’t beryllium buying this.

Let america research the existent MacBook market. This MacBook Pro has the nonstop aforesaid chassis arsenic the 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro that was released successful 2020 (which itself utilized a plan that dates backmost to 2016). It’s the aforesaid 2560 x 1600 screen, the aforesaid Magic Keyboard, the aforesaid 2 Thunderbolt ports, the aforesaid Touch Bar, and the aforesaid somewhat tapered sides. Remember each those chill caller (technically old) plan features, similar HDMI ports, SDXC slots, and MagSafe charging Apple enactment connected the MacBook Pro models it released successful precocious 2021? Yeah, nary of those are here. Neither is the fancy Mini LED show oregon upgraded 1080p webcam.

There has, basically, lone been 1 alteration made to the MacBook Pro from 2020: it has a caller processor. (Okay, truthful Apple’s besides added a 24GB representation option, the speakers present enactment Spatial Audio, the jack has “advanced enactment for high-impedance headphones,” and the adapter is simply a full six watts much powerful... but the processor is the main thing.) Like the M1, the M2 uses Apple’s customized Arm silicon. It has much transistors than the M1, much representation bandwidth, and an updated media motor arsenic good arsenic further GPU cores (10, to the M1’s eight). It’s a caller spot successful what is, astatine this point, a dated chassis.

The 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro starts astatine $1,299. For that basal price, you get an eight-core CPU with a 10-core GPU, 8GB of unified memory, and 256GB of SSD storage. The very cheapest exemplary of the 14-inch MacBook Pro comes with an M1 Pro processor (eight-core CPU, 14-core GPU) but with 16GB of unified representation and 512GB of storage. That exemplary would outgo $1,999. Now, Apple sent maine an M2 exemplary that’s a measurement up from the base; this 1 has 16GB of unified representation and 1TB of storage. It costs $1,899 connected Apple’s website, portion a 14-inch M1 Pro exemplary with those RAM and retention specs would beryllium $2,199.

Basically, the MacBook Pro with M2 is floating consistently astir respective 100 dollars nether its much almighty and modern-looking 14-inch sibling. But those respective 100 dollars bargain you a heck of a batch of perks that volition beryllium of peculiar payment to nonrecreational users, including a bigger screen, MagSafe, much ports, and each the other cores. The M1 Pro CPU besides has much performance-oriented cores, portion the M2 has much ratio cores aimed astatine extending artillery life.

Read more: Apple MacBook Pro 14 and 16 review and Apple MacBook Pro with M1 review

The MacBook Pro 13 2022 unfastened  connected  a transparent stand. The surface  displays a pinkish  and purple desktop background. It’s an awesome spot successful what’s nary longer the astir awesome chassis.

We’re going to speech astir benchmarks aboriginal on, but I’ll spoil the astonishment close now: arsenic everyone expected, the M1 Pro smokes the M2 successful astir cases. It’s adjacent to doubling its scores connected immoderate of our accustomed benchmark tests — it’s performing much than doubly arsenic good connected others. It is easy $300 amended for nonrecreational work.

For this reason, the people assemblage for this M2 MacBook Pro is not folks who volition beryllium exporting things successful Premiere each day. The people assemblage is, arsenic acold arsenic I tin tell, radical similar me. I walk astir of my time successful Google Docs, spreadsheets, and Slack — the 14-inch MacBook Pro is overkill for what I need, and it costs much than I privation to spend. But I bash occasionally request to bash things successful Photoshop, Lightroom, and Audition. I (very) occasionally similar to game, and I privation thing that tin prolong those loads.

The Apple MacBook Pro 2020 and MacBook Pro 2022 unfastened  broadside  by side. Both screens show  The Verge homepage. Look, they’re twins.

This would beryllium the cleanable instrumentality for idiosyncratic similar maine — if it weren’t for the new MacBook Air. This caller MacBook Air, besides powered by the M2, is coming precise soon. It volition be, arsenic acold arsenic I tin archer from Apple’s website, the aforesaid terms arsenic the M2 MacBook Pro for the aforesaid specs successful astir cases (they level retired astatine the $1,499 mark). But, dissimilar the MacBook Pro, the M2 MacBook Air did get a large redesign, and it includes each kinds of caller features — including caller colors, a larger display, a 1080p webcam, and, especially, MagSafe — that this instrumentality doesn’t have.

Apple hasn’t sent this instrumentality to america yet, and it’s not up for preorder astatine this time, either. But it precise good whitethorn beryllium a overmuch amended prime for my usage case. And that puts the 2022 MacBook Pro — and this reappraisal — successful a spot of a bizarre spot.

The question of whether you should bargain this MacBook Pro is, frankly, not 1 I tin reply until we cognize precisely however bully this forthcoming MacBook Air is. What I tin talk to close present is however good the M2 performs and what benignant of gains it’s made implicit the M1.

In summary: the M2 is accelerated and efficient. The M1 was besides accelerated and efficient.

The 2022 MacBook Pro tin prolong dense loads for agelong periods of time. Its 30-minute Cinebench people was really a spot higher than its 10-minute Cinebench score, which is not thing we spot each the time. Results were besides the aforesaid careless of whether the instrumentality was connected powerfulness oregon battery, which we precise seldom spot with Windows laptops. And though the beingness of an progressive cooling strategy (read: a fan) is what traditionally differentiates the MacBook Pro from the MacBook Air, I ne'er heard the instrumentality connected this M2 instrumentality — not adjacent erstwhile I was moving games.

We said each this astir the M1 MacBook Pro arsenic well. This is conscionable to accidental that those qualities remain.

How did this happening bash connected benchmarks? In CPU results — Geekbench, Cinebench, the Xcode benchmark, etc. — the results we’re seeing are somewhat amended than the M1. In GPU tests, including immoderate games, the results are substantially better. That means gaming is overmuch better, arsenic I’ll sermon aboriginal on.

The M2 did borderline retired the pricier M1 Pro successful the single-core benchmarks I ran. That’s awesome successful itself (it indicates that though the M1 Pro has much powerfulness cores than the M2 does, those cores aren’t arsenic beardown arsenic the M2’s powerfulness cores connected an idiosyncratic level). But it besides bodes good for the M2 Pro, Max, and Ultra variants that we’ll presumably spot down the line; they’ll apt show single-core velocity improvements implicit their M1-based predecessors, alternatively than conscionable loading connected much cores.

MacBook Pro 13 (2022)

Benchmark Score Benchmark Score
Cinebench R23 Multi 8689
Cinebench R23 Single 1584
Cinebench R23 Multi looped for 30 minutes 8725
Geekbench 5.3 CPU Multi 8968
Geekbench 5.3 CPU Single 1937
Geekbench 5.3 OpenCL / Compute 27496
Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark (1920 x 1200, highest) 29fps
PugetBench for Premiere Pro 556
XcodeBenchmark 132.262 seconds
4K Export 0:07:09

MacBook Pro 13 (2020)

Benchmark Score Benchmark Score
Cinebench R23 Multi 7729
Cinebench R23 Single 1519
Cinebench R23 Multi looped for 30 minutes 7729
Geekbench 5.3 CPU Multi 7554
Geekbench 5.3 CPU Single 1730
Geekbench 5.3 OpenCL / Compute 19211
Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark (1920 x 1200, highest) 20fps
PugetBench for Premiere Pro 435
XcodeBenchmark 150.125 seconds
4K Export 0:05:28

Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021)

Benchmark Score Benchmark Score
Cinebench R23 Multi 12363
Cinebench R23 Single 1532
Cinebench R23 Multi looped for 30 minutes 12368
Geekbench 5.3 CPU Multi 12596
Geekbench 5.3 CPU Single 1770
Geekbench 5.3 OpenCL / Compute 38688
Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark (1920 x 1200, highest) 46fps
PugetBench for Premiere Pro 1072
XcodeBenchmark 99.764 seconds
4K Export 0:02:50

So, checkmark: technological advancement has been made. However, the delta betwixt the M1 Pro and the M2 is importantly larger than the delta betwixt the M2 and the M1 successful each trial here, which underscores however overmuch of a amended bargain the M1 Pro is for users who volition regularly beryllium stressing the system. To repeat: this is not unexpected; it’s conscionable meant to show that $300 tin bargain you rather a batch much performance.

What’s much important for the Me demographic is however the M2 performs connected the types of tasks that the M1 Pro is overkill for. So, I enactment the M2 MacBook Pro and the M1 MacBook Pro broadside by broadside and did a clump of my regular enactment connected some of them.

The MacBook Pro 13 2022 fractional  unfastened  seen from supra  connected  a lavender background. Progress, close here, successful the flesh.

The M2 did, successful immoderate cases, pb to a technically faster experience. One of these cases was successful Google Docs. The M2 was really noticeably faster, by a fewer seconds, to unfastened up a 350-page Google Doc. My spreadsheets with hundreds of rows were besides noticeably faster to scroll done connected the M2, and the newer MacBook was quicker to swap betwixt tabs and tally calculations.

The 2022 MacBook was besides amended astatine gaming (though I volition accent that this benchmark is conscionable meant to showcase the graphic improvements that Apple has made — don’t bargain a MacBook to play games). The erstwhile MacBook ran the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark astatine an mean of 20fps, portion the M2 instrumentality averaged 29fps, which is adjacent to a 50 percent increase. That is the benignant of quality I tin spot with my eyes portion watching the benchmarks tally (and is astir really playable).

The Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 seen from above. This could be, like, immoderate fig of MacBooks.

I saw immoderate different tiny improvements present and there. When I was playing astir successful Swift Playgrounds 4, the M2 was a smidge faster to load immoderate of the interfaces and animations. I utilized Audition to adhd immoderate CPU-heavy effects to an audio clip, and the M2 was conscionable somewhat faster to implicit them. I don’t deliberation either of these would truly marque a quality successful my beingness if I hadn’t been utilizing the computers broadside by side, but I accidental it’s clip that would adhd up implicit agelong periods.

And determination were immoderate cases wherever I couldn’t spot differences, adjacent erstwhile I was actively looking. The acquisition successful Photoshop, wherever I desaturated immoderate images and added immoderate basal filters, was fundamentally identical. Lightroom was the aforesaid deal. Most of what you mightiness bash successful Audition, similar playback and hopping done projects, was besides the same.

Results successful Premiere Pro were mixed. The M2 did bushed the M1 connected the Puget Systems benchmark for Premiere Pro, which tests unrecorded playback arsenic good arsenic export performance. I didn’t really spot a sizeable quality successful export clip erstwhile I enactment the 2 laptops adjacent to each other, though — the M1 really finished archetypal successful astir cases due to the fact that the M2 kept getting caught connected definite graphics. I don’t privation to work excessively overmuch into that due to the fact that Premiere tin beryllium finicky with that benignant of stuff, truthful it’s ever hard to cognize precisely what’s going on. But it’s worthy remembering that however good a machine does connected immoderate workloads isn’t ever successful its manufacturer’s control.

Now, determination is 1 mode successful which the MacBook Pro with M2 does person a important vantage implicit the much costly machines: artillery life. This M2 MacBook Pro does not die. I person ne'er said this astir a laptop before: I was not capable to afloat tally it down during my investigating period. I tin archer you that I’ve been capable to tally it good past 10 and a fractional hours, which is erstwhile the 14-inch M1 Pro instrumentality was dying erstwhile I reviewed that past twelvemonth with this aforesaid workload.

I was also, frankly, pushing this overmuch harder than I pushed the 14-incher during that investigating period, successful portion due to the fact that I was having truthful overmuch occupation getting the artillery to tally down — I threw Premiere, Audition, coding, and adjacent immoderate artillery gaming astatine the M2 during these proceedings runs. I was inactive consistently seeing implicit fractional of the artillery near aft 8 to 9 hours of changeless use. From the results I americium getting, I would expect it to past 17 and a fractional to 18 hours.

I’m not gonna lie: that does marque this MacBook a tempting acquisition for me, idiosyncratic who spends a batch of clip utilizing my laptop successful assorted places retired and about. For me, artillery is simply a much important information than earthy performance. But, arsenic I americium continuing to punctual myself, and arsenic you should arsenic good if you’re successful my campy — the Air is coming. The Air has the aforesaid processor. It could precise good person a akin lifespan, though Apple claims the Air volition get “up to 18 hours” of usage versus the Pro’s claimed 20 hours. I’ll conscionable person to spot erstwhile I’m capable to reappraisal the caller Air.

The Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 seen from supra  connected  a lavender background. We could’ve conscionable changeable the M1 MacBook Pro for this — you would person nary idea.

Tech journalists often kick that spot bumps are boring, and I deliberation successful galore cases they’re being unfair. I’m penning this reappraisal close present connected an Intel MacBook Pro that lone lasts 4 hours connected battery, has fans that tin perpetually beryllium heard astir the office, takes aggregate minutes to boot, and slows down if I person implicit 12 tabs open. New chips redefine what radical tin do; they marque amended enactment possible, and they marque much enactment possible.

The M2, though, is not rather doing that. It is an awesome chip, and it is faster than the M1. And it’s surely helping the MacBook support up arsenic the Intels and AMDs of the satellite get better. But I’d beryllium amazed if it volition fto anyone tally a programme oregon use a filter oregon usage a instrumentality that they haven’t been capable to before. The superior vantage it has implicit the M1 Pro (apart from its little terms and flimsy borderline successful single-core tasks) is artillery life. And that’s a immense payment but besides thing I privation to debar celebrating excessively overmuch until I person a MacBook Air successful my hands.

Which leads maine to the 2nd question: should you bargain it? If you indispensable person an bid successful today, past yes. If you’re presently connected an Intel MacBook (which I presume you are if you’re already looking to upgrade), the leap to the M2 volition beryllium huge. (I don’t adjacent person to tally benchmarks against older Intel systems — this instrumentality is faster.) You’ll get each the benefits of the M1 that we raved astir successful 2020 positive immoderate other show and other artillery life. And the caveats that the MacBook carried successful 2020 with Rosetta show penalties and assorted programs being incompatible person mostly been ironed retired successful the 2 years since.

But, if you’re not connected a deadline, past the MacBook Air is coming. And, well, that’s a full happening we’re going to person to benignant out. It’s going to bring a fig of benefits that the Pro doesn’t have. It whitethorn besides person immoderate drawbacks — but we don’t cognize yet what those are. I tin spot this being a bully acquisition for immoderate radical if the MacBook Air’s cards autumn successful a fewer precise circumstantial ways. But I request to spot the cards. So ticker this space.