14-/16-inch MacBook Pro: M2 Pro release ‘on track to launch in the near future’
The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro could soon be shipping with new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. There was an 18-month wait between the arrival of the M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro and their M2 replacements, but despite it only a year since the M1 Pro and M1 Max models launched, their successors may not be that far off. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming release.
2022 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro: Release date
A fall release prediction for the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro came via a July 2022 Power On newsletter from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in which he indicated that Apple is already preparing the next round of Apple silicon updates. Gurman wrote that the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro will be getting M2 Pro and M2 Max chip upgrades by the end of this year, although he cautions that the update could be delayed until early 2023 due to “continued supply-chain challenges.”
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo then tweeted in August that the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro will enter production in the fourth quarter, which tallies with a fall launch.
It would be normal practice for Apple to hold a Mac event in October or November, so there is some expectation that the MacBook Pro update could arrive (alongside new Mac mini) at an Apple event in October, or at least via an October press release.
However, in an October 16 newsletter Gurman reveals that he doesn’t expect a MacBook Pro release in the week of 17 October (alongside new iPad Pro models). He writes that “While the new MacBook Pros are on track to launch in the near future, I wouldn’t expect them to be released alongside the iPad Pro”, adding that Apple “has historically launched new Macs in November”. So on that basis we can assume that Gurman now expects a November release.
2022 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro: Price
The current models are priced as follows. While there are some big price leaps between the 8-core and 10-core CPU modes that many will be hoping Apple will close up, we don’t anticipate any major changes in the U.S.—although we could see some price rises in some parts of the world in line with inflation. Apple raised the price of the entry-level MacBook Air by $200 or 20 percent with the M2 redesign.
If you were hoping that Apple would change anything about the design of these two larger MacBook Pro models be prepared to be disappointed. The company made some huge changes in 2021, with the new 14- and 16-inch size displays and their ProMotion technology, along with the removal of the Touch Bar and the addition of the notch (all of which serve to differentiate from the 13-inch MacBook Pro). Gurman has indicates that the MacBook Pro is expected to “stay roughly the same” on the outside.
2022 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro: Specs
While the outside of the MacBook Pro will look the same, the inside will be different.
Based on the M2, and the M1-variants that Apple launched in 2021, we estimate that the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips will offer the following:
M2 Pro: up to 10-core CPU, up to 20-core GPU, up to 48GB RAM
M2 Max: up to 10-core CPU, 40-core GPU, up to 96GB RAM
We might see even more CPU cores than predicted above – Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that his sources indicate that the M2 Max will have 12 CPU cores.
Two extra CPU cores are not the only change that could spell a faster CPU. There had been suggestions that Apple would start using the new 3nm process for the M3 chips when they arrive, probably in 2023, but some reports suggested that this new process could be used for the M2 Pro and other variants.
YouTube channel Max Tech’s Vadim Yuryev also indicated that the M2 Pro will be 3nm.
However, as per Ming-Chi Kuo’s August tweet (above): “Given TSMC’s guidance that the 3nm will contribute revenue starting in 1H23, processors of 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pro models may still adopt the 5nm advanced node.”
If the M2 Pro, Max and Ultra chips are built using this 3nm process the gap between the M2 and these other variants will be bigger than ever and the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, Mac Studio, high-end Mac mini, and Mac Pro could offer even bigger speed boosts than those seen with the M2 compared to the M1.
Gurman also suggests a maximum of 38 GPU cores, six more than the M1 Max offered. As with the M2 chip, the M2 Pro and M2 Max will focus “on the graphics side,” according to Gurman. In the case of the M2 in the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple delivered a graphics boost from 8- to 10-cores. For the M2 Pro and M2 Max this could translate to a move from 14 cores and 16 cores to 18 cores and 20 cores for the M2 Pro and 24 cores and 32 cores to 30 cores and 38 cores for the M2 Max.
It’s likely that the new MacBook Pro models will also offer more RAM. Apple upped the RAM in the M2 MacBooks from a maximum of 16GB in the M1 to 24GB in the M2. A similar increase could theoretically mean we see up to 48GB RAM in the Pro and 96GB RAM in the Max.