Apple M2 vs Apple M1

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CPU comparison with benchmarks


Apple M2 CPU1 vs CPU2 Apple M1
Apple M2 Apple M1

CPU comparison

In this CPU comparison, we compare the Apple M2 and the Apple M1 and use benchmarks to check which processor is faster.

We compare the Apple M2 8 core processor released in Q2/2022 with the Apple M1 which has 8 CPU cores and was introduced in Q4/2020.
Apple M series (25) Family Apple M series (25)
Apple M2 (8) CPU group Apple M1 (9)
2 Generation 1
M2 Architecture M1
Mobile Segment Mobile
Apple M1 Predecessor --
Apple M3 Successor Apple M2

CPU Cores and Base Frequency

The Apple M2 is a 8 core processor with a clock frequency of 0.66 GHz (3.50 GHz). The processor can compute 8 threads at the same time. The Apple M1 clocks with 0.60 GHz (3.20 GHz), has 8 CPU cores and can calculate 8 threads in parallel.

Apple M2 Characteristic Apple M1
8 Cores 8
8 Threads 8
hybrid (big.LITTLE) Core architecture hybrid (big.LITTLE)
No Hyperthreading No
No Overclocking ? No
0.66 GHz (3.50 GHz)
4x Avalanche
A-Core 0.60 GHz (3.20 GHz)
4x Firestorm
0.60 GHz (2.42 GHz)
4x Blizzard
B-Core 0.60 GHz (2.06 GHz)
4x Icestorm

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Processors with the support of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can process many calculations, especially audio, image and video processing, much faster than classic processors. Algorithms for ML improve their performance the more data they have collected via software. ML tasks can be processed up to 10,000 times faster than with a classic processor.

Apple M2 Characteristic Apple M1
Apple Neural Engine AI hardware Apple Neural Engine
16 Neural cores @ 15.8 TOPS AI specifications 16 Neural cores @ 11 TOPS

Internal Graphics

Graphics (iGPU) integrated into the processor not only enable image output without having to rely on a dedicated graphics solution, but can also efficiently accelerate video playback.

Apple M2 (10 Core) GPU Apple M1 (8 Core)
0.45 GHz GPU frequency 0.39 GHz
1.40 GHz GPU (Turbo) 1.30 GHz
2 GPU Generation 1
5 nm Technology 5 nm
2 Max. displays 2
160 Compute units 128
1280 Shader 1024
No Hardware Raytracing No
No Frame Generation No
24 GB Max. GPU Memory 8 GB
-- DirectX Version --

Hardware codec support

A photo or video codec that is accelerated in hardware can greatly accelerate the working speed of a processor and extend the battery life of notebooks or smartphones when playing videos.

Apple M2 (10 Core) GPU Apple M1 (8 Core)
Decode / Encode Codec h265 / HEVC (8 bit) Decode / Encode
Decode / Encode Codec h265 / HEVC (10 bit) Decode / Encode
Decode / Encode Codec h264 Decode / Encode
Decode / Encode Codec VP9 Decode / Encode
Decode Codec VP8 Decode
No Codec AV1 No
Decode Codec AVC Decode
Decode Codec VC-1 Decode
Decode / Encode Codec JPEG Decode / Encode

Memory & PCIe

Up to 24 GB of memory in a maximum of 2 memory channels is supported by the Apple M2, while the Apple M1 supports a maximum of 16 GB of memory with a maximum memory bandwidth of 68.2 GB/s enabled.

Apple M2 Characteristic Apple M1
LPDDR5-6400 Memory LPDDR4X-4266
24 GB Max. Memory 16 GB
2 (Dual Channel) Memory channels 2 (Dual Channel)
102.4 GB/s Max. Bandwidth 68.2 GB/s
No ECC No
20.00 MB L2 Cache 16.00 MB
-- L3 Cache --
4.0 PCIe version 4.0
-- PCIe lanes --
-- PCIe Bandwidth --

Thermal Management

The Apple M2 has a TDP of 20 W. The TDP of the Apple M1 is 18 W. System integrators use the TDP of the processor as a guide when dimensioning the cooling solution.

Apple M2 Characteristic Apple M1
20 W TDP (PL1 / PBP) 18 W
-- TDP (PL2) --
30 W TDP up 20 W
10 W TDP down 10 W
100 °C Tjunction max. --

Technical details

The Apple M2 has 20.00 MB cache and is manufactured in 5 nm. The cache of Apple M1 is at 16.00 MB. The processor is manufactured in 5 nm.

Apple M2 Characteristic Apple M1
5 nm Technology 5 nm
Chiplet Chip design Chiplet
Armv8.5-A (64 bit) Instruction set (ISA) Armv8.5-A (64 bit)
Rosetta 2 x86-Emulation ISA extensions Rosetta 2 x86-Emulation
-- Socket --
Apple Virtualization Framework Virtualization Apple Virtualization Framework
Yes AES-NI Yes
macOS, iPadOS Operating systems macOS
Q2/2022 Release date Q4/2020
-- Release price --
show more data show more data


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Here you can rate the Apple M2 to help other visitors make their purchasing decisions. The average rating is 4.8 stars (271 ratings). Rate now:
Here you can rate the Apple M1 to help other visitors make their purchasing decisions. The average rating is 4.8 stars (243 ratings). Rate now:


Average performance in benchmarks

⌀ Single core performance in 4 CPU benchmarks
Apple M2 (100%)
Apple M1 (93%)
⌀ Multi core performance in 6 CPU benchmarks
Apple M2 (98%)
Apple M1 (91%)

Cinebench 2024 (Single-Core)

The Cinebench 2024 benchmark is based on the Redshift rendering engine, which is also used in Maxon's 3D program Cinema 4D. The benchmark runs are each 10 minutes long to test whether the processor is limited by its heat generation.
Apple M2 Apple M2
8C 8T @ 3.50 GHz
120 (100%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
112 (93%)

Cinebench 2024 (Multi-Core)

The Multi-Core test of the Cinebench 2024 benchmark uses all cpu cores to render using the Redshift rendering engine, which is also used in Maxons Cinema 4D. The benchmark run is 10 minutes long to test whether the processor is limited by its heat generation.
Apple M2 Apple M2
8C 8T @ 3.50 GHz
555 (100%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
509 (92%)

Cinebench R23 (Single-Core)

Cinebench R23 is the successor of Cinebench R20 and is also based on the Cinema 4 Suite. Cinema 4 is a worldwide used software to create 3D forms. The single-core test only uses one CPU core, the amount of cores or hyperthreading ability doesn't count.
Apple M2 Apple M2
8C 8T @ 3.50 GHz
1592 (100%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
1503 (94%)

Cinebench R23 (Multi-Core)

Cinebench R23 is the successor of Cinebench R20 and is also based on the Cinema 4 Suite. Cinema 4 is a worldwide used software to create 3D forms. The multi-core test involves all CPU cores and taks a big advantage of hyperthreading.
Apple M2 Apple M2
8C 8T @ 3.50 GHz
8558 (100%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
7759 (91%)

Geekbench 5, 64bit (Single-Core)

Geekbench 5 is a cross plattform benchmark that heavily uses the systems memory. A fast memory will push the result a lot. The single-core test only uses one CPU core, the amount of cores or hyperthreading ability doesn't count.
Apple M2 Apple M2
8C 8T @ 3.50 GHz
1874 (100%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
1742 (93%)

Geekbench 5, 64bit (Multi-Core)

Geekbench 5 is a cross plattform benchmark that heavily uses the systems memory. A fast memory will push the result a lot. The multi-core test involves all CPU cores and taks a big advantage of hyperthreading.
Apple M2 Apple M2
8C 8T @ 3.50 GHz
8853 (100%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
7650 (86%)

Geekbench 6 (Single-Core)

Geekbench 6 is a benchmark for modern computers, notebooks and smartphones. What is new is an optimized utilization of newer CPU architectures, e.g. based on the big.LITTLE concept and combining CPU cores of different sizes. The single-core benchmark only evaluates the performance of the fastest CPU core, the number of CPU cores in a processor is irrelevant here.
Apple M2 Apple M2
8C 8T @ 3.50 GHz
2596 (100%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
2369 (91%)

Geekbench 6 (Multi-Core)

Geekbench 6 is a benchmark for modern computers, notebooks and smartphones. What is new is an optimized utilization of newer CPU architectures, e.g. based on the big.LITTLE concept and combining CPU cores of different sizes. The multi-core benchmark evaluates the performance of all of the processor's CPU cores. Virtual thread improvements such as AMD SMT or Intel's Hyper-Threading have a positive impact on the benchmark result.
Apple M2 Apple M2
8C 8T @ 3.50 GHz
10062 (100%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
8576 (85%)

iGPU - FP32 Performance (Single-precision GFLOPS)

The theoretical computing performance of the internal graphics unit of the processor with simple accuracy (32 bit) in GFLOPS. GFLOPS indicates how many billion floating point operations the iGPU can perform per second.
Apple M2 Apple M2
Apple M2 (10 Core) @ 1.40 GHz
3550 (100%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
Apple M1 (8 Core) @ 1.30 GHz
2610 (74%)

Estimated results for PassMark CPU Mark

Some of the CPUs listed below have been benchmarked by CPU-monkey. However the majority of CPUs have not been tested and the results have been estimated by a CPU-monkey’s secret proprietary formula. As such they do not accurately reflect the actual Passmark CPU mark values and are not endorsed by PassMark Software Pty Ltd.
Apple M2 Apple M2
8C 8T @ 3.50 GHz
15472 (100%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
14463 (93%)

Blender 2.81 (bmw27)

Blender is a free 3D graphics software for rendering (creating) 3D bodies, which can also be textured and animated in the software. The Blender benchmark creates predefined scenes and measures the time (s) required for the entire scene. The shorter the time required, the better. We selected bmw27 as the benchmark scene.
Apple M2 Apple M2
8C 8T @ 3.50 GHz
277 (88%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
314 (100%)

CPU performance per watt (efficiency)

Efficiency of the processor under full load in the Cinebench R23 (multi-core) benchmark. The benchmark result is divided by the average energy required (CPU package power in watts). The higher the value, the more efficient the CPU is under full load.
Apple M2 Apple M2
8,558 CB R23 MC @ 20 W
428 (99%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
7,759 CB R23 MC @ 18 W
431 (100%)

Performance for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

Processors with the support of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can process many calculations, especially audio, image and video processing, much faster than classic processors. The performance is given in the number (trillions) of arithmetic operations per second (TOPS).
Apple M2 Apple M2
8C 8T @ 0.66 GHz
15.8 (100%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 0.60 GHz
11 (70%)

Blender 3.1 Benchmark

In the Blender Benchmark 3.1, the scenes "monster", "junkshop" and "classroom" are rendered and the time required by the system is measured. In our benchmark we test the CPU and not the graphics card. Blender 3.1 was presented as a standalone version in March 2022.
Apple M2 Apple M2
8C 8T @ 3.50 GHz
0 (0%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
117 (100%)

Devices using this processor

Apple M2 Apple M1
Apple MacBook Air 14 (2022)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2022)
Apple iMac 24 (2021)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 (L2020)
Apple MacBook Air (2020)
Apple Mac mini (2020)
Apple iPad Pro 11 (2021)
Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)
Apple iPad Air (2022)

News and articles for the Apple M2 and the Apple M1

Most popular processors in the first half of 2022
Most popular processors in the first half of 2022
Posted by Stefan on 2022-07-05
In the past we had repeatedly written about our most popular processors. Since this format was quiet popular, I would like to continue this today and introduce you the most popular processors in the first half of 2022.

With more than 2 million page views per month, CPU-Monkey is one of the biggest comparison sites for processors and is currently available in 16 languages.
Apple M2 Pro with more CPU cores and production in 3 nm ?
Apple M2 Pro with more CPU cores and production in 3 nm ?
Posted by Stefan on 2022-06-28
After Apple surprisingly presented the normal Apple M2 processor as the first successor to the Apple M1 already in June 2022, the Apple M2 Pro and the Apple M2 Max may follow in autumn. The difference in performance compared to the basic version could be even greater this time and range from 25 to 40 percent.

In this article we describe how Apple could realize this and why the price should also go up.
Apple M2 vs Apple M1 - What are the differences?
Apple M2 vs Apple M1 - What are the differences?
Posted by Stefan on 2022-06-09
During WWDC 2022 on June 6th, 2022 Apple surprisingly presented its new Apple M2 processor. This will initially be installed in a completely revised Apple MacBook Air with 13.6 inches, a even thinner form factor and new colors. Apple also updated the already known (old) Apple MacBook Pro 13.3 with touch bar.

Many leakers had counted on Apple not presenting its new second-generation M processor until the fall. But things turned out differently. And there is very likely a reason for that: the improvements in the Apple M2 are limited compared to the predecessor.

Comparison of the two processors

When comparing the Apple M2 and Apple M1, we find that not much has changed at all. The Apple M2 can be seen as a slight further development of the Apple M1, in which Apple has mainly screwed on the clock frequencies of the CPU cores.

The clock frequency of the Apple M2 is now up to 3.5 GHz, where the Apple M1 stopped at 3.2 GHz. The smaller efficiency cores now clock at 2.8 GHz instead of 2.06 GHz on the Apple M1. The clock frequency of the integrated graphics has also been increased slightly: from 1.3 GHz to 1.4 GHz in the Apple M2.

At the same time as increasing the clock, Apple also increased the number of graphics cores. Instead of 8 GPU cores, 10 GPU cores are now installed as standard. The number of SM processors (execution units) increases from 128 to 160. The Apple M2 now has 1280 texture shaders installed, previously there were 1024.

In addition to the change to the graphic itself, it can now also reserve significantly more memory for itself: it has access to the entire memory, which can now be up to 24 GB (16 GB was the maximum in the Apple M1). The memory in the Apple M2 is now LPDDR5-6400 with a maximum memory bandwidth of 102GB per second.

The Apple M1 only comes with LPDDR4X-4266 memory to 68 GB per second. The number of memory channels is identical. With the level 2 cache, Apple has given the M2 4 MB more, and the Apple M2 now has a total of 20 MB L2 cache.

Due to the similar CPU design, Apple had to increase the TDP (thermal heat dissipation of the processor) from 15 to 22 watts in order to accommodate the increased clock frequencies in the CPU and GPU part as well as the slightly larger GPU with 10 GPU cores.

The Apple M2 is manufactured at TSMC using the 5 nm process. This is the same manufacturing process used in the Apple M1. The Apple M processors are still based on a chiplet design, which makes scaling to larger configurations (Pro/Max/Ultra) relatively easy.

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