Last year Apple began their two year transition to their own Apple Silicon chips with the M1 chip. Almost one year later, Apple has finally announced the M1 Pro and M1 Max chip after months of speculation about an M1X chip. This article breaks down everything about these new chips, when you can purchase the new 14 and 16 inch MacBook Pro's, pricing, and more.
When is the M1 Pro and M1 Max release date?
The M1 Pro and M1 Max Apple Silicon chips were revealed at Apple's "unleashed" October event, and were available to pre order immediately for a release on the 26th October 2021. Depending on the impact of the global chip shortage on the supply of the new MacBook Pro's which feature the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, there could be delays to
What are the M1 Pro and M1 Max specs and features?
The current M1 processor has 8 CPU cores and 8 GPU cores (some entry models have 7 GPU cores). This chip is available in the MacBook Air, 13 inch MacBook Pro's, the 24 inch iMac and the Mac mini. For the moment the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are exclusive to the new 14 inch MacBook Pro and the 16 inch MacBook Pro.
Apple claims that the CPU of the M1 Pro and the M1 Max will have a 70% performance increase over the base M1 chip, and the M1 Pro will have double the graphics performance, and the M1 Max will be 4x faster. The new M1 Pro starts with an 8-Core CPU (6 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores), 14-Core GPU, then there is the 10-Core CPU (8 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores) with either 14 or 16 GPU cores. The M1 Pro has configurable memory options (starting at 16GB of Unified Memory, going up to 32GB for the M1 Pro) and configurable storage options (starting at 512GB and maxing out at 8TB). The M1 Max chip has a 10-Core CPU (8 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores) with options for a 24 or 32-Core GPU. The M1 Max chip requires 32GB of RAM to be selected when configuring the laptop on the Apple site, with an option for 64GB. The memory speed is 200GB/s for the M1 Pro and 400GB/s for the M1 Max.
As mentioned above, these new chips will feature on the 14 and 16 inch MacBook Pros, and the display rumours were correct. These new models have a Liquid Retina XDR (Mini LED), Pro Motion display, with a variable 120Hz refresh rate. The 14 inch MBP has a 14.2 inch screen, 3024x1964 native resolution at 254 pixels per inch, and the 16 inch MBP has a 16.2 inch screen, with a native resolution of 3456x2234 at 254 pixels per inch.
Other features are the removal of the Touch Bar and the reintegration of HDMI and SD card ports and a refreshed MagSafe charger. The webcam has also been upgraded from 720p to 1080p, however there isn't "center stage", a feature on the latest iPads and iMacs that used the wide lens to follow the speaker around the video call and selectively focus on who was speaking. In order to include this improved webcam, the MacBook Pro now features a notch, similar to that in recent iPhones. The notch doesn't interfere with the display and just sits in the menu bar at the top.
What are the differences between the 14 inch and 16 inch MacBook Pro?
The main differences between the two models are the slightly larger and heavier body, and a larger screen, from 14.2" to 16.2". The pricing of the two models is very close, with the 16 inch costing $200 more, regardless of the chosen spec, so you could consider the 16 inch screen to be a $200 upgrade from the 14 inch model. It is also yet to be shown whether or not the 14 inch will have some form of thermal throttling compared to the 16 inch. The larger chassis on the 16 inch with its bigger fans should logically be better at cooling the laptop under high work loads, but the high efficiency of the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips could negate any issues.
14 inch dimensions and weight
- Height 0.61 inch (1.55 cm)
- Width: 12.31 inches (31.26 cm)
- Depth: 8.71 inches (22.12 cm)
- Weight: 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg)
16 inch dimensions and weight
- Height 0.66 inch (1.68 cm)
- Width: 14.01 inches (35.57 cm)
- Depth: 9.77 inches (24.81 cm)
- Weight (M1 Pro): 4.7 pounds (2.1 kg)
- Weight (M1 Max): 4.7 pounds (2.2 kg)
How much does the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro cost?
The M1 chip went into the MacBook Air ($999-$1249), the base model 13 inch MacBook Pro ($1299-$1499), the redesigned 24 iMac ($1299-$1699) and the base model Mac Mini ($699-$899). The M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are replacing the remaining Intel models. The highest spec 13 inch MacBook Pro is being replaced by the redesigned 14 inch MacBook Pro at around the same price at $1999. The 16 inch MacBook Pro starts at $2299. These are the entry prices and increase in accordance to the RAM, storage, CPU and GPU additions. The fully maxed out 16 inch MacBook Pro with 8TB of storage, 64GB RAM, 16-Core CPU and 32-Core GPU costs $6,099.00. With the Apple Education Store you can get a considerable discount if you are a student or teacher.
Which hardware will be updated next?
The next group of products in line to be updated and or have a redesign is the MacBook Air. There are rumours that the next MacBook Air will have an M2 chip, and have a redesigned display with a notch like the new 14 and 16 inch MacBook Pros. It should be announced in Apple's Spring event in 2022. The next devices awaiting an Apple Silicon chip is the larger 27 inch (possibly with a 30 inch display) iMac, the more powerful iMac Mini and then the Mac Pro.
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