After hosting three events in a span of two months to unveil new iPhone 12 Series, Apple Watch Series 6 and SE, iPad Air and iPad 8th Gen among others, the Cupertino giant Apple is back to announce the all-new Macs with the company’s own ARM-based CPU called ‘Apple M1 Chip’ during the ‘One More Thing’ event. The entirely new lineup of Macs will bid farewell to the decades-old partnerships with Apple and Intel and create history. Like every other computer manufacturer, Apple was dependent on them for powering their Mac lineup until now. Even though the CPU lineup was powerful enough, it did not give Apple complete control.
With the newly developed ARM-based Apple M1 Chip, the company boasts of tremendous improvements in the performance of its Mac lineup. The company has also announced the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini powered by the new chip. Let us see how powerful the M1 Chip truly is, and bear with me as you will be going through a lot of comparisons and performance numbers.
Everything About the Apple M1 Chip
The new Apple M1 Chip is built on the 5-nanometer architecture which promises improvements in both power efficiency and performance. It occupies 16 billion transistors and an 8-core design with 4x high-performance cores and 4x high power cores. The Macs will be offered with up to 8-core CPU and GPU varying with different configurations. According to the company, this makes the new SoC one of the fastest in the world. It comes with dedicated I/O security, unified memory and unified memory architecture as its a system on a chip, combining CPU, memory and GPU in a chip.
It boasts of better performance per watt and up to 2x better performance when used with a power of just 10W. In addition, single-thread performance is improved by 3x times per watt according to the company. When it comes to graphics power, the integrated graphics unit inside promises 2x better graphics and comes with 25,000 GPU threads. It is capable of performing 11 trillion operations per second as claimed by the company. The four high-efficiency cores have a wide execution architecture, with 128KB of instruction cache, 64KB of data cache, and a shared 4MB L2 cache. The high-performance cores have an ultra-wide execution architecture, with 192KB of instruction cache, 128KB of data cache, and a shared 12MB L2 cache.
The all-new Secure Enclave comes with built-in Thunderbolt and USB4 Controller. An advanced Image Singal Processor (ISP) is also included in the chip. This year’s macOS Big Sur is designed to maximise the performance of Macs running the M1 chip. The 16-core Neural Engine is also designed to further optimise the Machine Learning. The new chip integrates hardware-verified boot, high-performance encryption and run-time protection by macOS.
All the numbers translate to 3x better processing performance and up to 5x better graphics performance when compared to the competing Windows laptops and computers. With the integrated SoC, users could see instant wake from sleep like the iOS devices and instant app launch. This also results in 2x times faster animations as well. If you are wondering about the apps and program compatibility, all machines running macOS Big Sur powered by the Apple M1 Chip will have universal support for apps designed natively and for Intel-powered Macs. All macOS apps are designed to be running smoothly on M1 powered machines and the company has announced that the development by Adobe among others is already underway and will be ready in no time. Now you will also be able to run apps designed for iOS on Macs too. Lastly, the Rosetta 2 will make sure any apps designed for Intel machines will run smoother on the new Macs.
Starting with the Mac mini, the portable unit boasts 3x better performance and 6x better graphics than the previous quad-core version. It also features 15x faster Machine Learning thanks to the new SoC. In terms of connectivity, the Mac mini features an ethernet port, WiFi 6, 2x Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports an HDMI port, a USB-A port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It is capable of handling XDR Pro Displays at high resolution. The storage and memory max out at 2 TB and 16 GB respectively.
MacBook Air and MacBook Pro
Coming to the MacBooks, Apple has announced MacBook Air 13-inch and MacBook Pro 13-inch both powered by the new Apple M1 Chip. These will run the new macOS Big Sur out of the box. As it’s powered by the SoC, it boasts of 3x faster performance in CPU and 5x better performance in GPU and up to 9x after ML performance. These will be able to render full-quality 4K resolution videos with ease. It will be offered with up to 2 TB memory and 16GB of RAM. As its a MacBook there will be Touch ID to unlock and verify payments via Apple Pay. Rest of the specifications and features remain the same as of the existing version.
The company has also made the SSD storage 2x times faster and has got rid of the fan inside the MacBook Air. In terms of battery life, the MacBook Air promises 15 hours of web browsing and 18 hours of video. The display also supports P3 wide colour gamut. The MacBook Pro offers 2.8x faster CPU and 5x GPU. According to Apple, it is 3x faster than the current best-selling windows laptop. The Neural Engine also promises up to 11x faster ML performance when it comes to the Pro model. It comes with active cooling and offers up to 17 hours of web browsing and 20 hours of video watching. It also features a triple array of studio-quality mics for video calls and offers Secure Enclave activation log to protect data. Regarding the connectivity options, it features 2x Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports among other standard options like WiFi 6 and HDMI port.
Pricing and Availability of Mac mini and MacBooks
The pricing of Mac mini starts at $699. The Mac mini will retail for INR 64,900 for the 8-core version with 256 GB memory and the 512 GB version with 8-cores is priced at INR 84,900.
The Apple MacBook Air 13-inch powered by the 7-core Apple M1 chip with 256 GB of storage is priced at INR 92,900 and the 8-core 512 GB version is priced at INR 1,17,900. In comparison, it starts at $899 for the Education Edition and $999 otherwise. On the other hand, the MacBook Pro 13-inch with 8-core M1 Chip is priced at INR 1,22,900 for the 256 GB version and at INR 1,42,000 for the 512 GB version. In comparison, retails for $1,199 for the Education Edition and $1,299 for the standard version.
The pre-order starts today with shipping dates set from November 17.
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