Apple’s ARM-based M1 chips have been out for nearly a year now. The brand new chips based on the trusted, tried, and true ARM architecture have been an absolute hit among everyone other than the most ardent Apple-hating anti-fanboys. The M1 is a technical marvel and represents the much needed leap forward that the PC industry has been waiting for.
Clock for clock, watt for watt, and dollar for dollar, Apple’s new ARM-based chips are better than their Intel and AMD’s x86-based counterparts. Now, Apple has announced the M1 Pro and M1 Max which will be found in the next 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros.
Both the M1 Pro and M1 Max are built on a 5nm fabrication node and are 10-core designs. They each have 8 high-performance cores and two high-efficiency units, which are in a similar arrangement as seen on many smartphones that implement ARM’s big.Little architecture.
The graphics controller and memory sub-systems are where the two new chips differ. The M1 Max can be fitted with a 32-core GPU while the M1 Pro has ‘only’ 32. For a little context, the original M1 had just 8 graphics cores and only 7 of them were available in computers that didn’t include fans. Also, the M1 Max can make use of up to 64GB of RAM with a staggering 400 gigabytes per second transfer rate. The M1 Pro is capable of half that at ‘just’ 32GB of RAM and 200GB/sec of memory throughput.
While both of these machines are going to be BLISTERINGLY quick, people that opt for the MacBook Pro will see a massive performance difference. In comparison, the M1-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro was not all that faster than the M1 Air. It had a fan, so it was able to use all 8 graphics cores instead of the 7 that can be achieved by the MacBook Air’s passive cooling solution.
The M1 Pro and M1 Max are going to make a massive splash in creative professional circles. Also, the new machines are going to have more ports and will feature an SD card. Apple claims that the M1 Max is going to be 270% the speed of ‘competing eight-core PC chips.
These new chips and computers being put out by Apple are going to have the secondary effect of reducing the value of current M1 hardware. That it may not be the best news for current owners of M1-based systems, but its great news for someone looking to buy an M1 system on the cheap. Hold out on that M1 purchase because availability of used M1 systems will go up and their prices will go down, and all very soon.