We covered the advantages of the M2 over the M1 processor in our reviews of the new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, but there’s one benchmark we didn’t run that anyone can recognize that demonstrates prowess of the M2.
David Heinemeier Hanson (@dhh on Twitter) recently tweeted his results from Speedometer 2.0, a test that measures browser speed. He found that the M2 is 33 percent faster than the M1, and also 2.5 times faster than the iMac with a 4.2GHz Core i7 CPU.
The 400 score is hugely impressive, especially since in March we reported that Google Chrome (version 99) and the Safari Technology Preview 15.4 (release 141) placed scores at or close to 300. In fact, that 400 score is a 33 percent increase over those 300 points.
With Heinemeier Hanson’s tweet and our previous testing in mind, and that the browser is probably the most used Mac app by just about everyone, we thought we’d run Speedometer on the M2 and different browsers and see what happens. happens. Here are our results.
How we tested
The Speedometer browser benchmark was created by Apple’s WebKit team and uses web-based applications and simulates user actions. The benchmark measures the browser’s responsiveness to those actions and then creates a performance score. The higher the score, the better the performance. You can learn more about how the speedometer compares performance, and the speedometer is free for everyone to use.
I ran Speedometer 2.0 on Safari 15.6, Chrome 104 and the Safari Technology Preview (Release 150). The hardware included the following chips and Macs:
Results: M2 gives a boost
When I tested Safari 15.6, I saw an 18 percent increase in the M2 over the M1. That’s just over half of what Heinemeier Hanson tweeted, but he’s comparing the M2 to an M1 score that’s not listed. As I mentioned before, a 33 percent increase would mean the M1 would get a score of 300.
Our results are an average of three trials, and while I didn’t get an exact 400 score for the M2, I got an average just above that, and one of the trials actually scored 408. Our tests also found an 11 percent increase in the M2 about the M1 Pro.
The difference when using Chrome 104 was smaller: the M2 posted a 9 percent increase over the M1. Speedometer is a test designed by Apple, which may have something to do with Chrome’s display here.
Another interesting tidbit as a result of this test is that Chrome’s speed advantage that Google boasted about in March is gone. Again, the speedometer is an Apple-made test, so Safari has an advantage. On the M2, Safari is 18 percent faster than Chrome, and it gets even better with the Safari Technology Preview.
The Safari Technology Preview is a beta version of the browser that Apple is making available to the public to test new features. Hopefully the general public will feel the speed improvements that STP offers – it achieved a whopping average score of 420 on the M2, with one of our trials reaching 425. The 420 score is 18 percent better than the STP on the M1.
What does all this mean? Safari is quite fast on the M2 and given how much we are all on the web, every optimization counts. But in the end it doesn’t matter how fast a browser is, your experience is only as fast as your connection.