Apple M2

To better understand the chip inside my laptop, I'll delve into its mechanics.

To first understand the Apple M2 chip, I had to first understand more in-depth what a CPU was. Like most people, I understood that the Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of the computer doing tasks between the software and the hardware components. Before the M2, I used a 5th generation i7 but among that, I still did not understand how exactly it faired better than the chips before it.

M2 and the M1

It first begins with the cores. The core of a CPU is like a mini cpu; doing the processing tasks in cooperation with other cores to make multitasking easier and increase the efficiency of the computer. Speaking of efficiency, the M2 has efficiency cores which are different from the other cores. For example, an 8th-core M2 chip would have 4 cores for doing processing tasks and 4 cores for increasing efficiency. Those 4 cores would do smaller background tasks to reduce the amount of work the processing chips. Thus, increasing efficiency and lowering power consumption.

M2 Power Consumption

Next is the GPU. The Apple M2 has an integrated 10-core GPU which allows for boosted performance. Using the in-built memory of the M2, it uses it along with processing and efficiency cores. Apple claims it is 25% better than the previous M1. However, this doesn't mean the graphics are better than flagship graphics cards such as the RTX 30 series. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, notebookcheck.net states that on high settings playing at 1920 * 1080, the average fps (frames per second) is 24. Compared to the RTX 3050 it is 50 frames less than the average (74). But note that this is an integrated GPU on a Macbook. Most likely, you aren't buying this laptop to play AAA games but to do tasks such as media production. The M2's GPU allows for editing in 4k and instills confidence that you will be getting speed and performance.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

As stated above, the GPU uses the in-built memory of the Apple M2 along with the CPU portion. You might have noticed this but when you're in the build stage on the Apple site, the memory is called Unified Memory. This is a little different from your normal Random Access Memory (RAM). Using the amount of memory you set when you bought your Mac, it then shares it with the CPU, GPU, and other components. In your normal CPU and discrete GPU setups, the CPU would use the RAM and the GPU would use its own kind of RAM called VRAM.

Diagram of the M2

The Apple M2 is a chip designed with the idea of unity in mind. Inside every nook and cranny is used to increase performance and cooperation with all the parts. It even uses fabric to increase the speed at which the components communicate. By the time I finished writing this, Apple announced their new Apple M2 Pro, Max, and Ultra. The Ultra is for Mac Studios and Pros. I'm looking forward to seeing how the M3 will increase performance. Hopefully, one day we can play full AAA games at 60 frames on a Macbook.