M1 Pro and M1 Max: Apple silicon kicks Intel out of the Mac computer

Apple's M1 Max processor

Apple’s M1 Max processor supports 64 GB of memory.

Apple/screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple unveiled on Monday are M1 Pro and M1 Max processors, the very best chips yet and the brains in the redesigned MacBook Pro laptops, An 14-inch and a 16-inch model. With more computing cores, the chips pose a new threat to Intel’s decades-long dominance of PC processors.

Apple debuted its M1 in 2020 with new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro laptops and added the chip to new iPad Pro tablets and iMac all-in-one PCs in 2021. The M1 chip offered a winning combination of performance and battery life, but Apple is now making the case that its processors are also suitable for customers such as photographers, video editors and developers who need much more horsepower.

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Apple unveils M1 Pro chip


The new chips are behemoths in the processor world. The M1 Pro has 33.7 billion transistors, the core circuit element fundamental to all chips, and the M1 Max has 57 billion. They both use a beefier version of the M1’s unified memory architecture, with the M1 Pro reaching 32GB and the M1 Pro Max reaching 64GB.

The M1 Pro has 10 CPU (central processing unit) cores and 16 GPU (graphics processing unit) cores, although the lower-end MacBook Pros only come with eight CPU cores and 14 GPU cores. The M1 Max has 10 CPU cores and 32 GPU cores. The chips have eight high-performance cores for important tasks and two efficiency cores for background tasks.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro, which starts at $1,999 (£1,899, AU$2,999), comes with the M1 Pro chip. The 16-inch model, which starts at $2,499 (£2,399, AU$3,749), is available with both chips.

It is relatively easy to make a powerful processor, but it is difficult to make one that is efficient in power consumption. Apple also praised its new M1 Pro and Max as strong here, with battery life of 17 hours and 21 hours for video viewing, respectively. With Adobe’s Lightroom Classic photo editing software, battery life is twice as long compared to Intel-based MacBook Pros.

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Apple unveils M1 Max chip


The M1 Pro and M1 Max allow Apple to leave Intel behind for a wider range of Macs. Apple’s first Intel-powered Macs shipped in 2006. When Apple announced the M1 in 2020, it said it would take two years to push Intel chips out of its Macs. To ease the transition, the M-series chips can translate software written for Intel chips, and Apple promised five years of software updates for Intel-based Macs.

Apple unveiled the chips on an online MacBook Pro Launch Event. While iPhones have eclipsed Macs as Apple’s most profitable products, computers remain an important part of the company’s business. MacBook Pro models in particular are aimed at customers who want to spend thousands of dollars on a premium laptop.

Compared to its 16-inch MacBook Pro with a high-end Intel Core i9 processor, Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pros with M1 Pro or M1 Max chips are twice as fast in CPU performance, Apple said. In graphics speed, the M1 Pro laptops are two and a half times faster and the M1 Max laptops are four times faster, Apple said.

Faster AI too

And in AI tasks, which use machine learning techniques for tasks like recognizing faces in photos or converting speech to text, the M1 chips are five times faster than the Intel i9 machine. Apple has not disclosed which benchmarks it used for the tests.

Apple has been steadily improving the AI ​​accelerators it has built into its A-series chips for iPhones and iPads in recent years, and has brought that to its M-series chips as well. Intel, which has struggled for years improving its manufacturing processes, has been slower to add AI accelerators.

It makes a big difference. About Adobe’s Super Resolution feature, which uses AI to duplicate photo sizes in Photoshop and LightroomApple’s AI hardware doubles speed and power efficiency on M1-based Macs, spokesman Roman Skuratovsky said. And with macOS Monterey, new AI support makes Photoshop’s Neural Filter functions 10 times faster.

Compared to the M1, the CPU performance of the M1 Pro is 70% faster and the GPU performance is 100% faster. The M1 Max, which has a faster internal data transfer system and memory interface,

Like the M1 processor, the M1 Pro and M1 Max are built using a 5 nanometer manufacturing process. They are members of the Arm family of chips used to power every smartphone and many other devices. Apple uses Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to build his chips.

Other changes coming to the MacBook Pro include: camera improvements, the death of the Touch Bar, the return of MagSafe charging and an HDMI port, and the addition of a notch. Along with the new laptops and chips, Apple announced the AirPods 3 (here’s how to buy them), a new Apple Music “Voice” Subscription and new HomePod Mini Colors.

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