Apple’s new M2 chip powers the redesigned MacBook Air | in computer science

At its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) event on June 6, Apple announced a new MacBook Air, one of its most popular Macs, featuring the all-new M2 System on Chip (SoC) and a host of hardware and software improvements. However, the previous generation MacBook Air is still an attractive option.

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The M2 chip

The focus of this generation update is, of course, the new M2 SoC. While it’s not as fast as the M1 Pro and M1 Ultra, it still offers a nice improvement over the M1. Composed of 20 billion 5nm transistors, the M2 features an eight-core processor, expanded cache and greater memory bandwidth. According to Apple, these improvements represent an 18% increase in processor performance over the previous generation M1.

In addition, the M2 chip increases the number of graphics cores from 7 to 10, improving its performance in GPU-accelerated workloads and in games. Thanks to the higher core count and optimizations, the M2’s GPU is 25% faster than the M1 at the same performance level and 35% faster at maximum performance.

Other systems in the M2 include an updated neural engine that can handle over 40% more operations than the M1, and a high-bandwidth media decoder that supports 8K H.264 and HEVC video. And of course, the M2 still comes with Apple’s latest Secure Enclave, a staple for the chip-based M series Macs.

The refreshed MacBook Air

MacBook Air ditches its signature tapered design and adopts the same rounded block aesthetic as MacBook Pro. Before this redesign, the MacBook Air was thicker at the hinge and then gradually got thinner to its thinnest point under the palm rest. Although the design has changed, it’s still just as light, weighing just 1.24 kg and 1.13 cm thick. The all-metal body is made from 100% recycled aluminum to be a bit more environmentally friendly.

In its base configuration, the MacBook Air only has 8GB of unified storage and 256GB of SSD storage. It also uses an M2 chip with an eight-core GPU. The full M2 with the 10-core GPU comes in the top-end configuration with 512GB of storage. However, the maximum storage capacity has been increased to 24GB. The maximum configurable storage is still 2TB. All models remain passively cooled, meaning there are no noisy fans regardless of workload.

The increase in performance does not come at the expense of battery life. Apple claims the new MacBook Air will offer up to 18 hours of use on a single charge. With the 67W USB-C power adapter, which is of course sold separately, the device also enables fast charging up to 50% in 30 minutes.

Performance aside, an immediately noticeable difference is the display. Not only is it larger now, from 13.3 inches to 13.6 inches, but it’s also been replaced by a Liquid Retina display that supports the full DCI-P3 color gamut and has a maximum brightness of 500 nits.

Prices for Apple’s new M2-based MacBook Air start at $1,499, which is $200 more than the previous generation. Prices start at $1,899 for the 10-core GPU configuration, which might tempt buyers to look at the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which has also been updated with the M2 chip and starts at $1,699 costs.

For more details, the original article (in English) is available on the website IT world Canadaa sister publication of computer science direction.

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French translation and adaptation by Renaud Larue-Langlois

Keywords: Apple, M2, Mac Book Air, hardware, WWDC

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