When you need powered by your laptop, connect your charger wisely to get the best performance. However, Apple’s early M1-powered MacBook Pros drastically changed that philosophy, offering comparable performance whether you were plugged into a wall outlet or not. The new 2023 MacBook Pro models, equipped with the upgraded M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets, show the same trick, although they don’t add much.
The 2023 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models aren’t too different from the 2021 versions, so I’ll mainly focus on the changes that the new processors bring, specifically the performance and battery life of the M2 Max on the 16-inch processor. -inch MacBook Pro I’m testing. Either way, if you’re after power on the go and you’re on a big budget, these machines are some of the best.
Strength and freedom
With the M2 Max, Apple’s top laptop chip has moved from the 10-core CPU and 32-core GPU on the M1 Max to 12-core and 38-core, respectively. What is this change not represents a transition from a 5nm process to a 3nm process for silicon – this is expected to happen with the M3 Pro and M3 Max. Next year. With a smaller and more efficient chip, it should provide a bigger boost in both performance and battery life, but that doesn’t mean the improvements in second-gen chipsets aren’t impressive.
My test unit configuration is a 16-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 Max – 12-core CPU, 38-core GPU – with 64GB of combined memory and a 2TB SSD. It will set you back an incredible $4299 (£4549) and you can still spend more to upgrade it to 96GB of combined storage and 4TB or 8TB SSD. Wild. At these fully equipped levels, it still can’t reach the heights of the best laptop processors and graphics cards in pure performance. However, it comes close to and sometimes outperforms the competition in real-world tasks – and, I must stress, even from the battery.
i tested many laptops in my time, and few of them generated such a loud “wow” as often as the MacBook Pro. It consumes less power than its competitors, ultimately delivering better battery life across the board – from productivity to intensive creative workloads – and produces far less noise and heat. The M2 Max doesn’t achieve the 15 hours of wireless web browsing Apple claims, but closer to 12 hours. But, most importantly, during intensive work, he easily outperforms competitors who usually work a maximum of 2 hours, an hour or two more. When it’s time to restock, the 140-watt MagSafe charger will restore you to 100% charge in less than 90 minutes.
The M2 Max laughs in the face of titanic workloads. It’s a tab drive dream. But in fact, this chip is not for that. I enlisted the help of experienced WIRED Editor and Creative Development Manager Anna O’Donoghue to try out our review model. We added a combination of 4K footage, image files, and 3D effects to a project in Adobe Premiere Pro. M2 Max reacted with bated breath. Anna noted smooth playback – she expected that she would have to lower the quality of the footage to avoid stuttering. We also have a fast export time.
This chipset is built to handle intense, graphically demanding production work, though it may even have more horsepower than most video creators need. I’d say the M2 Pro is the best choice for intermediate photo or video editing, and for anyone who doesn’t need a lot of graphics power (like making music).