[Preliminary] Apple M2 vs Apple M1 Max – there’s definitely some potential

The M1 Max is the highest-end SoC that you can get inside any MacBook laptop. There’s also the M1 Ultra, but we believe that it is strictly reserved for the Mac Mini and other desktop machines.

With the new M2 being ready to deploy, we have to compare the two chips against each other to see how they compete with one another and give you a good starting point in making a decision.

Keep in mind that these are preliminary results and these tests aren’t our own and you should take them with a grain of salt. 

You can learn more about both SoCs here: Apple M2 / Apple M1 Max

Here is our Top Laptop CPU Ranking, where you can see how most laptop CPUs stack up against each other.

Specs table

Apple M2Apple M1 Max
Process Node5nm5nm
Transistors20 billion57 billion
CPU Cores810
GPU Cores8 or 1032
Memory Bandwidth100 GBps400 GBps
Maximum Memory24GB64GB

CPU benchmarks

The new M2 chip is 8% quicker in the Single-core benchmark. On the other hand, the M1 Max is reliably more powerful in the multi-core part of the test, scoring 42% higher, meaning that the two extra cores are working overtime.

Geekbench 5Single-coreMulti-core
Apple M21919 (+8%)8928
Apple M1 Pro (10-core)177812703 (+42%)


The new M2 SoC is a definitive improvement with a new architecture. The potential is definitely there, with more single-core power, which will ultimately translate to more multi-core performance once we see professional versions like the Pro and the Max. For now, the M1 Pro and Max will still be a better offer for prolonged heavy workloads.

All laptops with the Apple M2 (8-core GPU):

All laptops with the Apple M2 (10-core GPU):

All laptops with the Apple M1 Max:

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