M2 MacBook Pro at Low Power Matches Full-Power M1 Performance


When taking a look at the new M2 MacBook Pro, some users may be surprised to discover the many ways the device outperforms the M1 MacBook Pro. On the other hand, some users may also be surprised to learn the ways the new M2 MacBook Pro underperforms in certain areas over the M1 MacBook Pro. When it comes to performance, users typically want what works best for them, and it seems there may be some interesting decisions to make when choosing between the two devices.

In a recent Max Tech video, a comparison is made between the 14-inch M1 MacBook Pro and the 14-inch M2 MacBook Pro, and some of the results are rather surprising. As the video acknowledges that some reviewers are saying that the differences between the two devices are rather minuscule, Max Tech helps make it clear that this is simply not the case.

14-Inch M1 MacBook Pro VS 14-Inch M2 MacBook Pro

When it comes to the performance of the new M2 MacBook Pro, a new video by Max Tech helps clear the air regarding the areas the M2 outperforms the M1. Additionally, Max Tech also notes that there are some sales floating around for the M1 MacBook Pro, with some places even offering it for almost half the cost of the new M2. Considering that this can be a great discount for some users, the YouTube channel really dives into the question of whether or not one should purchase the M1 or the M2 MacBook Pro.

When it comes to the positives of the new M2 MacBook Pro, Max Tech observes some noticeable differences. While this may not be something some users care about, the new Space Gray MacBook Pro does feature a color-matching charging cable. The YouTube channel also notes that the new M2 MacBook Pro still has an excellent keyboard, as well as an improved HDMI port.

However, when it comes to some negatives, there are a few as well for the M2 MacBook Pro. In a speaker test, Max Tech did observe that the speakers on the M2 are a bit quieter than the M1, while the M2 also suffers from muted highs.

SSD Performance and Multitasking

However, one of the largest drawbacks of the new M2 regards SSD speeds. Just like with the base model M1 MacBook Pro, the M2 still has 512GB of storage, but, it is also using less chips. This was a big deal when the 2022 MacBook Pro arrived with less SSD chips, and it seems like this problem still persists with the new M2 MacBook Pros.

While the M2 MacBook Pro is thirteen percent faster than the M1 when performing a Photo Export test with Lightroom Classic, the M2 Pro actually performed slower than the M1 while performing the same test while multitasking. So while the M2 was faster at just photo exporting, it is slower when exporting and multitasking.

(Photo Credit: Max Tech.)

Battery Life and Lower Power Mode

When it comes to battery life, the new 14-inch M2 MacBook Pro fully utilizes its four efficiency cores, providing 9-10 hours of battery life over the M1 MacBook Pro. However, pushing the system hard can greatly impact the battery life of the new M2 MacBook, with the device only going 3-4 hours versus the M1’s 4-5 hours. This due to the M2 MacBook Pro offering more cores overall, with more overclocking occurring as well.

(Photo Credit: Max Tech.)

However, where things start to get really interesting is the M2 MacBook Pro’s Lower Power Mode. Amazingly, the new 14-inch M2 MacBook Pro is capable of performing just as well as an 14-inch M1 MacBook Pro running in Full Performance Mode. The M2 also amazingly does this while utilizing 75% less power. During a Cinebench r23 Low-Power Mode test, the 14-inch M1 Pro received a score of 7,738, while the M2 did 9,294, a drastic 20 percent increase.

(Photo Credit: Max Tech.)

This may actually be the most interesting thing from Max Tech’s benchmark tests, as the idea that the M2 is capable of outperforming the M1 while in Low Power Mode only goes to show just how powerful the new device truly is.

Max Performance Mode

Additionally, when it comes to Max Performance Mode, both the M1 and M2 MacBook Pros performed just as well, with both devices capable of exporting five minutes of 4K video in the same amount of time. However, while both perform the same with video export, the M2 MacBook Pro is still faster with photo exporting.

This also applies to gaming, with the M2 MacBook Pro clocking 180.6 frames per second during a GFXBench 1440p test, compared to the 144.4FPS on the 14” M1 MacBook Pro. The M2 is also 15% faster when it comes to web browsing, and twice as fast when it comes to 3D rendering,

Making the Decision

At the end of the day, Max Tech says that most people aren’t necessarily going to need the M2 Pro. Most users can likely go with the M1 Pro so long as they don’t need faster Wi-Fi speeds or a system that is incredibly cool and quiet. However, users may prefer the overall battery life of the M2.

Much like what I stated when I compared the M1-Series of chips alongside the M2-Series of chips, it’s ultimately what a user needs from their MacBook Pro that will determine what they should get. If you don’t use your computer for a lot of high-octane programs, finding a good deal on the M1 MacBook Pro is most likely a safe purchase.

While it is absolutely fantastic that the M2 MacBook Pro is capable of outperforming an M1 Mac even while the M2 utilizes Low Performance Made, this may not be enough of a reason for some users to pull the trigger on the new M2 Mac. If you are able to afford the new M2 and are happy with that, that’s fantastic! However, if you are looking for something a bit more reasonable, finding a good deal on the M1 MacBook Pro can also be a safe purchase.

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