May 30, 2024


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M4 vs M3 and M2: Apple Silicon comparison

M4 vs M3 and M2: Apple Silicon comparison

The new iPad Pro debuts as Apple’s first device with an M4 chip, jumping from the M2 chip. How does the latest Apple Silicon improve over its predecessors? Here’s a detailed look at the M4 vs M3 and M2 on CPU, GPU, Neural Engine, and more.

Since there’s no iPad with the M3 and no Mac with the M4, there’s little digging to understand the differences and improvements between the three latest Apple Silicon chips.

Check out our detailed comparison between the latest devices and below we’ll go over the M4 vs. M3 and M2 😁.

M4 vs M3 and M2: Apple Silicon comparison

CPU, GPU and Neural Engine specifications

M4 vs M3 and M2 cpu, cpu specifications
Image via Apple
M4 m3 m2
CPU 9 or 10 core 8 core 8 core
GPU 10 core Up to 10 core Up to 10 core
Neural drive 16 cores 16 cores 16 cores
ram 8 or 16GB with iPad Pro (possibly 24GB with future Macs) Up to 24 GB Up to 24GB (max 16GB with iPad Pro)
storage Up to 2TB with iPad Pro (possibly 8TB with future Macs) Up to 8TB Up to 8TB
Memory bandwidth 120 GB/s 100 GB/s 100 GB/s
practical 3nm second generation 3 nm 5 nm
Number of transistor 28 billion 25 billion 20 billion

The total number of transistors increased to 28 billion for the M4 chip. This compares to 25 billion for the M3 and 20 billion for the M2.

This is impressive 40% increase In just two years.

CPU benchmark results

Apple says that M4 CPU is up to 50% faster than M2. However, a detailed comparison between the M4 and M3 CPUs has not been shared.

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But when you look at what it might be early M4 iPad Pro benchmarksresults show ~3700 single-core scores and ~14000 multi-core scores.

It is benchmarked against the M3 Mac CPU benchmark with up to 3,100 single-core scores and 12,000 multi-core scores.

  • If accurate that puts the M4 CPU Up to 18% faster For single-core performance and Up to 21% faster For multi-core performance

GPU and media engines

M4 vs. M3 and M2 GPU
Image via Apple
  • Apple says M4 GPU is 4 times faster than M2. And he says no The M3 GPU is up to 1.8 times faster than the M2.
  • Based on these numbers from Apple, the M4 is approximately 2x faster than the M3 GPU

In what may be early record results for Metal for the M4 iPad Pro, With an average score of 53,000 It was established.

Compared with the The average metal grade for M3 is 46,571this Only 13% faster for metal count – count.

But Apple’s most impressive numbers may be “up to” speed improvements for various GPU operations.

Like its predecessors, the M4 has dedicated media engines to deliver hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes and ProRes RAW support. It features the same amount of engines as the M3 and M2.

But M4 hardware-accelerated support for H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW now works with 8K video.

M4 m3 m2
Hardware acceleration in 8K H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW
Hardware acceleration of H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW
Hardware-accelerated ray tracing
Video decoding engine
Video encoding engine
ProRes encoding and decoding engine
AV1 decoding

Neural drive

When it comes to the M4’s upgraded neural engine, Apple says it’s the most powerful neural processing unit in “any AI PC today.”

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The M4 Neural Engine can process 38 trillion operations per second. This is more than double the 18 trillion operations/second of the M3 neural engine and close to 3 times the 15.8 trillion operations/second of the M2 neural engine.

M4 versus M3 and M2 neural drive
Image via Apple

Support external display

Currently, the M4 only supports one external display with the iPad Pro.

But it’ll likely be different when the first M4 Macs arrive, as the M3 MacBook Air supports up to 2 (with the lid closed).

Summary of M4 vs. M3 and M2

Image via Apple

The M4 offers an amazing performance improvement over the M3 and M2. But is it worth it to upgrade your iPad now?

For professionals or aspiring professionals who need the latest and greatest from Apple, want a tax write-off, or are just happy to spend money, purchasing a new M4 iPad Pro could be worth it.

But for anyone who doesn’t have an intense workflow that demands faster performance, passing on the M4 for now probably makes the most sense.

We’ll have to wait to see the M4 appear in Macs as well as the arrival of the M4 Pro, Max, and Ultra chips.

The M4 iPad Pro is available in apple, Amazonalmost Best buyAnd more.

Thanks for reading our guide to the M4, M3 and M2!

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