Buzz World 365 Logo

M2 Max MacBook Pro Review: Back to Bumps!

Jan 25, 2023

M2 Max MacBook Pro Review: Back to Bumps!

(upbeat music) (upbeat music continues) - So this is the MacBook Pro M2 Max. Let's talk about it. So this week Apple updated the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros with a press release and an 18-minute YouTube video featuring a bunch of creators at first, which was great, and then basically a whole pre-recorded event that was It looked like it was cut from another event. In fact, this was basically rumored to have been removed from an event that was rumored to have late last year. Honestly, I buy it, as the URL and filename of the video was 2022 and the AR files for the new laptops were compiled in October 2022, which suggests these things were ready to go months ago.
m2 max macbook pro review back to bumps
But whatever, none of that matters. What matters is that they're here now and what you need to know is on the outside, they're basically identical, but on the inside, instead of the M1 Pro and M1 Max, it's the M2 Pro and M2 Max, and a couple of other small improvements as well. So the first Apple Silicon MacBook Pros, when they came out in October 2021, honestly some of the most unanimously liked computers I've ever seen. They've added

back

the ports, gotten rid of the Touch Bar, brought

back

MagSafe, upgraded with a great high-rate mini LED display, and the performance is amazing.
m2 max macbook pro review back to bumps
As with all walks of life, I don't think I've ever met a single person who got one and said, "Oh no, I made a mistake with this one." So when you see a new one a year and a half later, there's not really a ton that we expect to change because the big leap was from the Intel MacBook Pros to the Apple Silicons. Now

back

to more incremental improvements. So as you can imagine yes completely identical on the outside same sizes same colors the only way I can tell this new one from my old M1 Max 16 inch is the icon skin I've had on the rear.
m2 max macbook pro review back to bumps
Of course, channel sponsor dbrand is already selling these for the 2023 model, so if you want your laptop to look a little different to every other MacBook Pro in the world, then yes, this is your best bet, link below. So most of the news comes from the new internal chip. M2 Pro and M2 Max. It's essentially the same price levels and configurations across the board as before, but Apple is now quoting 20% ​​higher CPU performance and 30% higher GPU performance. What I have in front of me is a maxed out M2 Max with the 38 core GPU and the new max 96 gigs of shared memory.
m2 max macbook pro review back to bumps
Surprise, this thing breaks. Under the hood, it's based on a new 2nd generation 5nm process, and they added a few cores, two more high-efficiency CPU cores, and three more GPU cores in the Pro, so it's a 19-core GPU in the M2 Pro. And a 38-core GPU in the M2 Max. Additionally, the neural engine and media engine have been improved to handle machine learning and media play

back

and transcoding even faster than they already did. If you like synthetic benchmarks, I ran Geekbench 5 and the single-core score is now the highest I've ever seen, just over 2000, while the multicore score was north of 15,000.
m2 max macbook pro review back to bumps
Here's some context to give you an idea of ​​just how impressive these numbers are. And yes, that's about the 20% CPU improvement we were hoping for. And then in Cinebench, again, it had a top single core score on the chart and that's how multicore stacks up. So the overall capabilities, basically, the ceiling has been raised by 20-30%, which is great, but as I mentioned in the original M1 Max

review

a year and a half ago, it's not so much about the raw processing power as much. like things that allow you to do better or faster than before, hence the name Pro, theoretically.
m2 max macbook pro review back to bumps
I've noticed this in things where I have parts of my workflow that work perfectly with it. So I have the same thing I do where I record the screen with ScreenFlow and it will do a full resolution screen recording and then I'll export that and use it and bring it into Final Cut Pro. Exporting that screen recording to ProRes 422 was drastically improved when we got The media engine with Apple Silicon. So a 16-core Intel Mac Pro with a Vega Pro II Duo that retailed for over $15,000 took three and a half-minute screen recording and produced it in 56 seconds.
But the M1 max laptop did it in 32 seconds, so that was great, that's one of those things that you instantly notice is much faster. This new M2 Max did it in 23 seconds. So again, a nice substantial improvement. Like, clearly the outgoing machines weren't lacking but they've basically taken everything that was good about the old ones and made it better, just made it a little better, which is sweet. For non-demanding everyday tasks, as you can probably imagine, they're still great, totally great. Like, I already told you all about the excellent mini LED display that has a questionable amount of light bleed but still looks pretty cool most of the time.
I've already told you about the top-notch design and all metal build quality, the huge touchpad, the high-quality headphone jack, the return of the built-in SD card slot, I've already told you about all of that, but what? what about those other little improvements I mentioned above that aren't the M2 chip? Well, there are a couple of things. So first of all, the extra efficiency cores I mentioned above are great, of course, for battery life. Not only is the battery life still very good, but there's also an extra hour claimed on both the 14-inch screen and 16-inch battery life.
I don't see a dramatic difference, but hey, the fact that it's better at all is sick. And then these laptops still charge fast, but now there's a matching colored MagSafe cable as well. Now this is a slight difference as these laptops are really just silver or a bit darker silver but there you have it now its darker with a space gray one it matches color matches right down to the white plastic nub USB-C at the other end. And then there are some other WiFI 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 and HDMI 2.1 capabilities. So HDMI 2.1 was actually something that confused me was missing from the latest version since it had been out for a while.
But now it's here and that enables up to 8K 60FPS over a cable via the HDMI port. So it was time. WiFi 6E is just kind of starting to roll out now, that will be great for future testing. We literally just got WiFi 6E routers in the studio for the first time and MacBook Pros have always been like the fastest thing in our WiFi network, and it continues to spread that they lead in that department. And Bluetooth 5.3, again, very future-proof, but that's welcome. But really the Apple Silicon transition has come a long way since the first M1 Max we saw when they started doing this.
There are many more well-optimized applications, it is much more obvious what the benefits are. It's not complete yet, of course, because we don't have a Mac Pro yet, and it also feels like they forgot about the iMac. That's creepy, still stuck on M1, for some reason. But really, yeah, these are a notch above the rest. And I think my general recommendations for what to buy at certain points in the lineup basically stay the same. So if you are looking for battery life then M2 Pro will be amazing, if you are looking for maximum power at the expense of some battery life then M2 Max is probably the move.
And really my pretty textbook takeaway here is that these laptops aren't for people who already have the M1. Pro and M1 Max laptops that just came out, they're for people who have older laptops that now have a better machine to upgrade to, a Unless you're one of the small fraction of people who got the oldies and pushed it to the limit and just needs that 30% more power, in which case, you know who you are. In fact, for those folks with older laptops, I think you're looking at sales now of the M1 Pro and M1 Max, when you start finding deals on them, they're going to be really good laptops.
Now, you may have also seen the rumors that the first of the M3 laptops may be coming out later this calendar year on a 3-nanometer process, and you may be wondering if you should wait for that. To which I would say, you should actually wait until three quarters of 2027 when we get the M5s because they'll be 30% faster than the M4s, which are 30% faster than the M3s, and you can see where I'm going with this. Like, if you're going to be waiting for the next thing, you're going to be waiting forever because that's the way technology is.
These are great machines, they are more than most people need, and if you can get your hands on the M1s, those will be really good for most people too. Either way, be sure to subscribe because I think, I think actually the new M2 Mac Minis are a much more interesting machine, so stay tuned for that video. Also, I said something in my last

review

. That said, if the next version of this laptop still has a notch this big and doesn't add Face ID, I'll be wearing socks and sandals for a day, like Linus. Like, they have to be planning to put it there eventually, right?
Well, all day today, I'm a man of my word. Thanks for watching, see you next time, peace. (upbeat music)
Trending