Performance Evaluation: M2 Ultra Outperforms M1 Ultra by 20%


The final member of the M2 series Apple Silicon, the M2 Ultra chip, was revealed at the 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) event. Designed to power the 2023 Mac Studio and Mac Pro, the M2 Ultra boasts a superior CPU and GPU, promising improved performance.

But how does it fare against the preceding M1 Ultra?

As the Mac Studio remains the sole device to feature both Ultra variants, we will compare the benchmark scores of the M2 Ultra and M1 Ultra-equipped Mac Studios to determine the performance winner.

The 2023 Mac Studio maintains its predecessor’s design language and a premium price tag of $3,999. Since its inception, the M1 Ultra Mac Studio has seen price drops at third-party retailers, now available for as low as $3,199 on Amazon.

M2 Ultra vs M1 Ultra | Specs comparison

Specs M2 Ultra M1 Ultra
5nm 5nm
CPU 24-core CPU
(16 high-performance cores @3.50 GHz and
8 high-efficiency cores @2.80 GHz)
20-core CPU
(16 high-performance cores @3.20 GHz and
4 high-efficiency cores @2.06 GHz)
GPU Up to 76-core GPU @1.40 GHz Up to 64-core GPU @1.30 GHz
Transistors 134 billion 114 billion
Memory capacity 192GB 128GB
Memory bandwidth 800GB/s 800GB/s
Memory type LPDDR5-6400 LPDDR5-6400
Neural Engine 32-core runs
31.6 trillion operations per second
32-core runs
Up to 22 trillion operations per second
Low latency Over 2.5TB/s of low-latency inter-processor bandwidth 2.5TB/s of low-latency inter-processor bandwidth

For those contemplating a new Mac purchase or considering an upgrade from an older desktop, we have drawn a comparison between the M2 Ultra and M1 Ultra benchmarks to assist you in your decision-making process.

M2 Ultra vs M1 Ultra | Benchmarks

Apple said that the M2 Ultra is 20% faster than the M1 Ultra chip. Let’s have a look at some popular benchmarks to see their performance.

Benchmarks M2 Ultra M1 Ultra
Geekbench 6 Single core: 2,837
Multi-core: 21,730
Single-core: 2,381
Multi-core: 17,664
Geekbench 5 Single-core: 1,940
Multi-core: 27,860
Single-core: 1,793
Multi-core: 24,055
Cinebench R23 Single-core: 1,695
Multi-core: 28,570
Single-core: 1,534
Multi-core: 24,189
Blender 3.1 N/A 379

Upon evaluation, it is clear that the M2 Ultra indeed surpasses the M1 Ultra, although not uniformly by 20% across all metrics. Depending on the benchmark, the performance difference varies, ranging from a low of 16% to a peak of 20%.

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Editorial Team | Masthead – AppleMagazine Digital Publication