MacBook Air M2 throttles a bit under load

Apple MacBook Air M2 availability July 2022 macOS Monterey

The throttling is expected and not too bad.

We had expected that the M2 chip in the MacBook Air would be slowed down more when it is continuously under heavy load. The M2 is allowed to convert more power into heat than the M1, and since the MacBook Pro’s fan runs at full speed under constant load, we expected a strong throttling for the MacBook Air, which only offers passive cooling.

However, there are several tests on YouTube with several scenarios and it shows that under permanent load the M2 chip loses about 15% of performance. So, the MacBook Pro is much better off for this kind of load because it can actively dissipate the heat.

Nevertheless, the M2 MacBook Air is still an improvement compared to the M1 chip, which is relavant for you depending on the intended use (just watch the videos).

The bottom line is that the M2 chip always provides full performance during short-term maximum performance. That is, when surfing, compiling something for a short time or editing images, where you just apply a new filter. The throttling starts after ten to fifteen minutes, when the chip has run hot. If you want to render or do extensive video editing, this is of course still possible, but there is a significant performance difference compared to the actively cooled M2 MacBook Pro.

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