Apple recently announced the new M2 Pro and M2 Max MacBook Pro models, which feature upgraded internals and a design that is identical to its predecessor. According to a teardown, the new Pro models have a smaller heatsink, which may affect the machine’s thermal efficiency.
According to iFixit, the new thermal architecture in the new Mac Pro models is due to the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips’ smaller footprint. The latest M2 Pro and M2 Max Pro models have four smaller memory modules as opposed to the M1 Pro and M1 Max Pro’s two large modules.
The dies on the Apple MacBook Pro M2 Pro and M2 Max are physically larger than those on the previous chips, but the overall footprint is smaller.
This allows for a smaller heatsink than on the M1 Pro and M1 Max Pro models. It’s unclear whether the smaller heatsink on the new M2 Pro and M2 Max Pro models affects the machines’ thermal efficiency. According to iFixit, the new Pro models’ smaller heatsink is due to supply chain issues. Apple used four slimmer memory modules to save money on materials.
The SoC is mounted on a substrate, and Apple was able to use smaller substrates due to four smaller modules. According to SemiAnalysis’ chief analyst, using four smaller modules allowed Apple to reduce routing complexity.
While the new chips improve computing and graphics performance, it is unclear how the chip architecture affects thermal efficiency. Apple may have made some concessions in order to keep the new MacBook Pro models affordable.
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