M1 vs. M2 Chip: What Are The Differences

Wendy Wu
Last updated: May 21, 2024

M1 vs. M2 chip: what are the differences? You'll get the answer in this post. Read on!

"What are the differences between MacBooks M1 and M2?

I Ordered a Macbook Pro M2 13.3" and after I saw the reviews on M2 vs M1, the M1 SSD was double the speed in reading and writing and I'm confused about changing it to Macbook Air M2. Please advise."

- A Question from Apple Community.

Feel confused about the M1 chip vs the M2 chip, which one to choose while intending to purchase a new Mac? Learn what these two chips are and their differences below to make the decision.

M1 chip vs m2

M1 vs M2 Chip

Before comparing these two Mac chips, let's learn more basic information about them.

About M1 Chip

Launched:

  • M1: November 10, 2020
  • M1 Pro and Max: October 18, 2021
  • M1 Ultra: March 8, 2022

Discontinued: May 7, 2024

Apple M1 is a series of ARM-based system-on-a-chip(SoC) designed by Apple Inc. as a central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) for its Mac desktops and notebooks, and the iPad Pro and iPad Air tablets(from Wiki). M1 is the first chip type that is made specifically for Macs (different from the old Intel-based Macs. It is regarded as a boundary for Mac chips.)

Apple_new-m1-chip-graphic_11102020_big.jpg.large.jpg

Features:

  • 16 billion transistors.
  • Using cutting-edge 5-nanometer process technology.
  • 8-core CPU (4 high-performance cores and 4 high-efficiency cores).
  • The Apple Neural Engine (accelerates machine learning tasks).

About M2 Chip

Launched:

  • M2: June 24, 2022
  • M2 Pro and Max: January 17, 2023
  • M2 Ultra: June 13, 2023

The M2 chip is the successor of the M1 chip. The M2 chip has made a great breakthrough of the M1 chip. It has 20 billion transistors (25 percent more than M1). The memory controller delivers 100GB/S of unified memory bandwidth (50 percent more than M1).

Apple-WWDC22-M2-chip-hero-220606_big.jpg.large.jpg

Features:

  • M2 integrates an Apple designed ten-core graphics GPU.
  • Up to 24GB of fast unified memory.
  • ProRes acceleration.

M1 vs M2 Chip: Which One to Choose

After having a general understanding of these two types of chips, here we made a table for you to clarify their main differences.

M1 chip vs M2 chip

As M1 is the first chip type made specifically for Mac, it has some problems. For example, USB power delivery bricking, security vulnerabilities, etc. But the M1 chip is cheaper than the M2 chip. Which chip to choose depends on your actual needs for functions and your budget.

Tip
If you don't know which Mac to choose, you can visit Apple's Compare Mac models page. This page offers you the detail differences of each Mac model.
Compare Mac models

Bonus: How to Optimize Mac Performance

No matter which chip you choose, it's important to maintain your Mac for better experience and performance. Having BuhoCleaner as your Mac assistant boosts your Mac performance as its Mac cleaning and monitoring features ensure you a healthy Mac.

Main features:

  • Free up Mac space in 1 click.
  • Visually manage your disk space usage.
  • Uninstall apps completely.
  • Keep your Mac at peak speed.
  • Monitor system status in real time.
Quickly Free Up Disk Space on Mac with BuhoCleaner

Conclusion

Are you clear about the differences between these two Mac chips now? While choosing chips for your Mac, always combine your actual needs and the functions of the chips.

Hope this post helps!

Wendy Wu is a tech enthusiast with a deep passion for all things iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Wendy is always on the lookout for Apple products and is committed to providing Apple users with some of the latest information and useful tips.