MacBook Pro M2 Pro release date, 14/16-inch rumors, specs and price | Macworld
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The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro currently have M1 Pro and M1 Max chips on offer but Apple’s moved on since the M1 now, with the M2 arriving in the 13in MacBook Pro in June 2022. Now attention is turning to the next generation of the larger, more powerful, MacBook Pro models. When will they start shipping with new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips? There was hope that the updates would arrive in October or November 2022, but this didn’t transpire. Instead it looks like the update to the 14-inch MacBook Pro and it’s and 16-inch sibling will come in the spring of 2023. That might sound like bad news, but, if you are based outside the U.S. at least, it could actually be good news. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming release.
You might be wondering whether to take advantage of the sales (see: Best Cyber Monday MacBook deals) and buy yourself a new MacBook Pro right now, or if you’d be better off waiting for Apple to update the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Normally, with new Macs in the pipeline we’d be advising that shoppers wait. However, things are a little different right now. The deals are looking great, and we are anticipating that, if you aren’t based in the U.S., Black Friday might be your last best chance to buy a Mac before prices skyrocket. Following price rises for the whole range of iPads in October, Macs look likely to get price hikes in conjunction with the new product launches.
2022 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro: Release date
Hopes that new MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and Max chips would arrive in the fall of 2022 have been dashed, despite months of speculation that the new laptops would be launching soon.
In a October 30 newsletter, with the headline “New Macs coming next year” Bloomberg’s iandroid.eu Gurman wrote that “Apple’s next group of Macs probably won’t launch until early next year”. As for when: Gurman is banking on the first half of March 2023.
Gurman and many other Apple watchers had been expecting a late 2022 launch for the new MacBooks. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted in August that the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro would enter production in the fourth quarter, which tallied with a fall launch, but it looks like the launch has been delayed.
New 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.—but we do expect to see some price rises in some parts of the world in line with inflation–and the global price rise following the introduction of the new iPad models does make this look likely. Apple raised the price of the entry-level MacBook Air by $200 or 20 percent with the M2 redesign. See: Is Apple ripping off the rest of the world with inflated prices?
If Apple raises prices by 15%–which was the lowest percentage rise for iPads in October–UK shoppers could be paying these prices:
14-inch MacBook Pro, 512GB, £2,184
14-inch MacBook Pro, 1TB, £2,759
16-inch MacBook Pro, 512GB, £2,759
16-inch MacBook Pro, 1TB/M1 Pro, £2,989
16-inch MacBook Pro, 1TB/M1 Max, £3,794
Those are some pretty steep price rises, which serve to illustrate how big a leap there was in iPad prices outside the U.S. Hopefully the price leaps won’t be so big. Indeed, hopefully Apple will decide that no price rises are better for everyone and maybe the U.S. market will see a price drop instead.
New 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro: Design
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 2022, 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 indicated that the MacBook Pro is expected to “stay roughly the same” on the outside.
AppleLeaksPro on Twitter agrees. In a tweet in which he claimed that the upcoming M2 MacBook Pro will be ‘worth the wait’ he explained that his source indicated there likely won’t be any “design or I/O changes.”
New 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 2022, 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 iandroid.eu Gurman reports that his sources indicate that the M2 Max could 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.
The 3nm process should allow even higher transistor density among other things. According to DigiTimes in June 2022, Apple has “booked TSMC capacity for its upcoming 3nm M3 and M2 Pro processors” and TSMC will be starting volume production of 3nm chips in the second half of 2022. 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.
If Apple is adopting this new process for the M2 Pro and beyond it would be unlikely that it will arrive before spring 2023. However, Gurman thinks we will have to wait until late 2023 or 2024 before we see the 3nm process arrive with the M3 chips.
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. Additionally, a report by iandroid.eu claimed the new MacBook Pro will feature “very high-bandwidth, high-speed RAM,” which could mean that the new models use LPDDR5X RAM, which would bring 300GB/s (M2 Pro) and 600 GB/s (M2 Max) 300GB/s memory bandwidth. The current models deliver 200GB/s and 400GB/s, respectively.
LeaksApplePro claimed on Twitter in November 2022 that the new MacBook Pro models will offer “better battery life”. He didn’t elaborate further. The battery life of the 14-inch MacBook Pro is 17 hours while the 16-inch offers 21 hours, which is already the best battery life ever offered in a Mac laptop. Any gains in the battery life could be down to improvements in the processor. LeaksApplePro also notes that there will be “less heat”, which could be connected to a more efficient processor.
Author: Karen Haslam, Editor
Macworld editor since 2008, Karen has worked on both sides of the Apple divide, clocking up a number of years at Apple’s PR agency prior to joining Macworld almost two decades ago.
Karen’s career highlights include interviewing Apple’s Steve Wozniak and discussing Steve Jobs’ legacy on the BBC. Her focus is Mac, but she lives and breathes Apple.