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Apple M2 benchmarks leak, showing a big performance upgrade

Published Jun 16th, 2022 7:31AM EDT

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Apple unveiled the M2 processor a few days ago at WWDC 2022. The new System-on-Chip (SoC) will bring performance and energy efficiency improvements over the M1 processor, which Apple advertised on stage. Mac users will want to independently verify these claims once the M2 MacBook Air and Pro are available to purchase. Until then, we have the first leaked benchmark scores for the Apple M2 processor, and they indicate the performance bump is indeed significant.

Apple’s brand new processor

The M1 SoC was an instant hit for Apple. The processor performed just as well as Apple claimed and delivered spectacular battery life. The M1 shocked Intel, prompting the chipmaker to harass MacBooks with Apple chips in a months-long ad campaign last year.

While Intel and Qualcomm are yet to catch up to the M1, Apple is marching forward with the next generation. The M2 further builds on that, with Apple detailing the new processor on stage at WWDC 2022.

Apple slide showing the M2 CPU performance upgrade over the M1.
Apple slide showing the M2 CPU performance upgrade over the M1. Image source: Apple Inc.

Apple did not offer benchmark results for the M2 chip during the show. That’s not how Apple does things. But the company said the M2 will deliver 18% faster CPU performance than the M1 while consuming the same amount of power.

The GPU got a bump to 10 cores in the M2, which translates to 35% higher performance than M1 at maximum power.

Apple also said the M2 also outperforms the PC chips when it comes to efficient performance. That is, the new Apple processor delivers top performance at reduced power consumption compared to PCs.

Apple M2 processor benchmarks leaked.
Apple M2 processor benchmarks leaked. Image source: Geekbench

The first leaked Apple M2 benchmarks seem to confirm Apple’s claims. They indicate the M2 is 20% faster than the M1 when it comes to multi-core tests in Geekbench 5. We’re most likely looking at the scores for the M2 MacBook Pro laptop, which goes on sale online on Friday.

First Apple M2 benchmarks leak

The 2022 M2 is clocked higher than the 2020 M1, at 3.49GHz compared to 3.2GHz for the first-gen SoC. The new Apple processor scored 1919 and 8928 in single-core and multi-core tests. That’s a 12% bump over the M1’s 1707 single-core score, per MacRumors. And up to 20% faster than the M1’s 7419 multi-core score.

The M1 benchmarks can vary slightly, as seen in the following image. But the same goes for Apple’s M2 processor.

Furthermore, the M2 scored 30627 in the Metal benchmark, compared to the 21001 score of the M1. This is a GPU benchmark that highlights Apple’s significant graphics performance boost for the new M-series SoC.

Benchmark comparison between Apple's M1 and M2 chips.
Benchmark comparison between Apple’s M1 and M2 chips. Image source: Geekbench

However, you should remember that not all M2 processors will be the same. The base M2 MacBook Air model ships with an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU inside that M2 SoC. The better M2 version rocks a 10-core GPU. This model will power the M2 MacBook Pro and a more expensive version of the M2 Air.

That’s to say that CPU performance will be uniform, although the M2 Pro can sustain peak performance for a longer time as it comes to active cooling. The GPU performance will be better on the 10-core models — again, the M2 Pro’s active cooling will help.

We expect even more M2 benchmarks and performance comparisons once the M2 MacBooks start selling. But the leaked scores should be enough to convince you to upgrade.

More Apple coverage: For more Apple news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.