Apple M2 Chip vs Apple M1 Chip


  • The M2 chip is reported to have an 18 percent faster CPU, a 35 percent more powerful GPU, and a 40 percent faster Neural Engine compared to the M1 chip.
  • The M2 chip is built with TSMC's enhanced 5nm process (N5P) and features 20 billion transistors, while the M1 chip is built using TSMC's first-generation 5nm process and has 16 billion transistors.
  • Both chips have four high-performance and four energy-efficient cores, but the M2 chip offers "Avalanche" and "Blizzard" cores, while the M1 chip uses "Firestorm" and "Icestorm" cores.
  • The M2 chip's CPU runs at 3.49GHz, compared to the M1 chip's 3.2GHz, resulting in about 18 percent greater multithreaded performance.
  • The M2 chip supports up to 24GB of unified memory with a memory bandwidth of 100GB/s, while the M1 chip supports up to 16GB of unified memory with a bandwidth of 68.25GB/s.

Graphics and Display:

  • The M2 chip features a 10-core GPU, whereas the M1 chip integrates an 8-core GPU.
  • The MacBook Air M2 uses a Super Retina display with a 13.6-inch 2560 x 1664 pixel panel, 500 nits peak brightness, and support for billions of colors on the P3 color gamut.
  • The MacBook Air M1 uses a Retina display with a 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 pixel monitor, 400 nits peak brightness, and support for millions of colors on the P3 color gamut.
  • Both displays support the full sRGB and P3 color gamuts, have similar pixel density, and are suitable for well-lit environments.
  • The M2's display may hold a slight advantage for those who watch a lot of HDR content due to its enhanced capabilities.


  • The M1 chip offers clearer audio due to its traditional speaker grille placement, while the M2 chip integrates speakers between the display and keyboard, causing audio to sound muffled in comparison.
  • Both MacBook Air models have the same speaker drivers, but the M1's speaker placement leads to better sound clarity.

Webcam and Charging:

  • The MacBook Air M2 introduces a 1080p webcam, a significant upgrade over the MacBook Air M1's 720p webcam, providing better image quality.
  • The MacBook Air M2 features a MagSafe charging port, eliminating the need to use one of the Thunderbolt ports for charging, as required with the M1 model.

Comparison Source Citations:

  • Performance, CPU architecture, GPU, memory, and fabrication process details are derived from Here.
  • Additional insights on Apple Silicon history, first-generation M1 chips, and second-generation M2 chips are based on information from Here.
August 09, 2023 — Edgar Caldera