M2: Despite its name, the M2 is considered an entry-level chip with slightly more processing power than the original M1. It features an 8-core CPU and up to 10-core GPU (two more GPU cores than its predecessor) and supports up to 24GB of combined memory. Apple says the second-generation chip has an 18 percent faster processor and 35 percent more powerful GPU. The M2 is great for everyday tasks like word processing and web browsing, but tasks like editing multiple streams of 4K footage and 3D rendering should be reserved for the M1 Pro or M1 Max.
M2 Pro: The M2 Pro is the next step up from the M2. It has up to 12 cores in the CPU and up to 19 cores in the GPU with up to 32GB of combined memory. Apple claims performance is 20 percent faster than the 10-core M1 Pro and graphics are 30 percent faster. We recommend this chip for medium video and photo editors. It’s a minor upgrade over the M1 Pro, but it’s a better option for those who want a more advanced processor.
M2 Max: This is the most powerful processor for the MacBook Pro. It includes up to 12-core CPU and up to 38-core GPU (supporting up to 96GB of combined memory). The graphics are 30 percent faster than the M1 Max, according to Apple. M2 Max is an excellent choice for those who work with resource-intensive graphic content, including graphic design, 3D modeling and heavy video content. But like the M2 Pro, this is a gradual upgrade if you’re moving from the M1 Max. We recommend the M2 Max if you’re still using an older Mac with an Intel processor.
Is this a good time to buy?
Yes. If you’re a power user looking for a powerful MacBook, now is the time to get a 14- or 16-inch MacBook Pro as Apple just released new versions in January. If you don’t need that much power, you can go with the 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with the M2 chip.
These old Macs are still a good buy.
Apple MacBook Pro (14″ & 16″ 2021)
Apple is no longer selling its 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro (8/10, WIRED recommends) with M1 Pro or M1 Max chips as of late 2021. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid these older versions entirely, especially if you’re trying to save money. We recommend checking third-party sellers (for example, Amazon, Best Buyor BiH) to see if any high performance M1 chip configurations are available. Just check the price against the latest models and see that you are spending significantly less on an old car.