Is the M2 Pro/Max MacBook worth the upgrade from the M1 Pro/Max?

by Jack Prosser
Published: Last Updated on

Apple has raised the bar for performance and functionality in a laptop with the recent release of the M2 Pro and M2 Max. But how do these new models stack up against their predecessor, the M1 Pro? In this article, we’ll compare the Performance, display, I/O, size and weight, battery life, and price of the M1 Pro, M2 Pro, and M2 Max.

Upgrade to M2 Pro/Max MacBook: Is it worth over the M1 Pro/Max?

The new Apple M2 Pro and M2 Max MacBook Pro release pack a powerful punch with their improved M2 Pro and M2 Max. But the question is whether these new MacBook Pro models are worth upgrading from M1 Pro and M1 Max models. For the sake of information, M1 Pro Macbook is at the top of best laptops to buy in 2023. Let’s find out:

CPU, GPU, RAM, and neural engine

The M1 Pro was powered by a CPU with 8 or 10 cores and a GPU with 32 cores. The M2 Pro, on the other hand, has a 10 or 12-core CPU and a 38-core GPU, making it 20% faster on the CPU and 30% faster on the GPU than the M1 Pro. M2 Pro also has a 16-core neural engine, which is 40% faster than the 16-core neural engine in the M1 Pro. The M2 Max also outperforms the M1 Max in terms of performance. The M2 Pro and M2 Max can both accommodate up to 96GB of RAM.

FeatureM2 Pro/Max (2023)M1 Pro/Max (2021)
ProcessorM2 Pro or M2 Max – 10 or 12-coreM1 Pro or M1 Max – 8 or 10-core
RAM16 to 96GB16 to 64GB
GraphicsUp to 38-coreUp to 32-core
Neural engine16-core16-core


The M1 Pro featured a Liquid Retina XDR Display with mini-LED backlighting that doubled the sustained brightness, ProMotion with up to 120Hz refresh rates, increased resolution/pixel per inch density, and greatly reduced bezels. The M2 Pro and M2 Max both have the same display with identical specifications. Both models have a 14″ or 16″ display with a resolution of 3024 x 1964 or 3456 x 2234, a PPI of 254, True Tone and P3 wide color, and a PPI of 254. Nothing changed or improved in the display of older and new Macbooks.

The new M2 Pro and M2 Max Macbook Pro display is the same as the 2021 M1 Pro and M2 Max Models.

I/O Ports on the MacBook Pro

The M1 Pro received an updated I/O array, which included the return of HDMI, SD, and MagSafe. The M2 Pro and M2 Max also have an updated I/O array, which includes 8K HDMI and Wi-Fi 6E. You can connect your M2 Pro-based MacBook Pro to an 8K monitor using HDMI 2.1, which is ideal for users who work with high-resolution video or photos.

Wi-Fi 6E is the most recent version, offering faster speeds, lower latency, and a more stable connection. This is an excellent feature for users who work in areas with poor Wi-Fi coverage or require large file transfers quickly.

In comparison, HDMI 2.1 and the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 is upgraded over M1 Pro Macbooks.

Dimensions and weight

The dimensions of the M1 Pro, M2 Pro, and M2 Max are similar, with the M1 Pro measuring 14.2″ x 9.7″ x 0.9″ and weighing 4.3 pounds. The dimensions and weight of the M2 Pro and M2 Max are comparable.

In terms of size, the MacBook Pro from 2021 and 2023 are identical. Apple’s Macbooks are still available in two colors Space Gray and Silver.

Battery Life

Battery life was impressive with the M1 MacBook Pro machines, and Apple was able to improve on that with the M2 MacBook Pro models.

Compared to their predecessors, the 14 and 16′′ M2 MacBook Pro laptops have a one-hour longer battery life for video playback and wireless web use.

That equates to up to 22 hours of video playback on the 16′′ M2 MacBook Pro and 18 hours on the 14′′ M2 MacBook Pro.

Battery life has been improved in newer generation as per Apple but we’ll test it for sure.

Price Comparison

A quick comparison of the 14″ and 16″ models reveals that the M2 Pro and M2 Max models are priced similarly to their predecessors, the M1 Pro and M1 Max. The base model with 512GB storage and 16GB RAM costs $1,999 for the 14″ and 16″ M2 Pro and M1 Pro and $2,499 for the 14″ and 16″ M2 Max and M1 Max.

However, the M2 Pro and M2 Max are slightly more expensive than their predecessors when it comes to higher storage models. For example, the 1TB storage/16GB RAM model costs $2,499 for the 14″ M2 Pro and M1 Pro and $2,699 for the 16″ M2 Pro and M1 Pro. Meanwhile, the 14″ M2 Pro with 1TB storage and 32GB RAM costs $3,099, while the 14″ M1 Pro costs $2,899.

Custom M2 Pro and M2 Max can cost up to $6,299 and $6,499, respectively, while M1 Pro and M1 Max build can cost up to $5,899 and $6,099, respectively.

Model/Price14″ M2 MacBook Pro14″ M1 MacBook Pro16″ M2 MacBook Pro16″ M1 MacBook Pro
512 / 16GB$1,999$1,999$2,499$2,499
1TB / 16GB$2,499$2,499$2,699$2,699
1TB / 32GB$3,099$2,899$3,499$3,499
Custom buildsUp to $6,299Up to $5,899Up to $6,499Up to $6,099

M2 Pro and M2 Max outperform the M1 Pro, with faster CPUs, GPUs, and neural engines and support for more RAM. They also have the same high-quality display as the M1 Pro and additional features like 8K HDMI and Wi-Fi 6E. They are, however, more expensive than the M1 Pro. I’ll try to make a comparison video of the M2 Pro and M1 Pro Macbooks because I recently purchased the Macbook Pro M1 Pro and will be spending money on a newer model.

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