Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022, 10:49 Mac: Hardware

M2 Extreme Speculation – What Are The Specifications Of Apple's Upcoming High-End Chip?

The first M1 chip already offered quite impressive performance. The M1 Pro and M1 Max models raised the bar for CPU and GPU performance. At the moment, the head of the pack is the M1 Ultra, which comes possesses double the count of CPU cores (compared to other versions of the chip – see a complete comparison of all M1 chips here: ) and even a GPU with an impressive 64 cores. In July, a report stated that Apple had even already finished the development of a Mac Pro with M1 Ultra, or an even faster chip unreleased at that time, but decided to delay the product's release for tactical reasons. Presumably, the M2-based device will see a release this coming spring.

From M2 To M2 Extreme
The "M2 Extreme" version of the M2 chip should become the most powerful chip in Apple's current lineup, surpassing even the Mac Studio's M1 Ultra chip in terms of performance. A look at Cupertino's strategy for chip development in the past allows us to achieve quite an accurate estimation of the chip's specifications. However, one factor that leads to uncertainty in this calculation is the unknown specifications of the expected M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. However, these editions should release in just a few weeks.



The M2 Series' Expected Specifications
Thus far, reports have indicated that Apple will continue to rely on combined chips for more powerful chip variants – including a doubling of cores for the graphics unit. The expectation is slightly different, though, regarding the CPU cores: An M1 offers 8 cores (with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores), whereas an M1 Pro/Max possesses 10 cores (with 8 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores). There is no doubling of CPU cores in any other iterations of the M1 until the M1 Ultra. Based on reports over the last few months, the following picture tends to form (with maxed out components in each case):

CPU Cores GPU Cores Max. RAM
M2 8 10 24
M2 Pro 10-12 20 48
M2 Max 10-12 40 96
M2 Ultra 20-24 80 192
M2 Extreme 40-48 160 384

Should the M2 Extreme appear as predicted, it will be a chip exclusive to the Mac Pro. This would give the desktop device enough playing room and power to differentiate it significantly from the Mac Studio and its M1 Ultra (or M2 Ultra). Those needing maximal performance should set their sights on the Mac Pro – although it will remain exciting to see how much Apple will design the device so that it can be expanded or upgraded modularly.

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