Apple's New Generation of MacBooks Will Be Powered By its Own Chip
Additional reporting by Chloe Pek.
The new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini will integrate Apple's new M1 chip, which delivers improved battery life and allows the computers to run apps designed for mobile devices. Combined with macOS Big Sur, it promised to deliver up to 3.5 times faster CPU, up to six times faster GPU, up to 15 times faster machine learning (ML) capabilities.
The M1 replaces Intel chips used on earlier versions of the Apple computers.
The Cupertino firm announced plans in June to launch the new chip as part of its “Apple Silicon” initiative which gives it greater control over hardware and software.
Apple said in its release that “iPhone and iPad apps can now run directly on the Mac”, allowing users to access the biggest collection of apps ever for Mac on macOS Big Sur, although software developers will need to create compatible versions for the computers.
Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy said it remains to be seen if the new computers will deliver promised performance but that Apple will gain more control over its production with the new strategy.
“Compared to Apple iPhones, iPads, AirPods, and Watch, the Mac has underperformed as it less than 10% unit market share,” Moorhead said.
“Given these challenges, the company has decided that the best strategy to help fix this issue is to make the Mac more like the iPhone and iPad by leveraging its mobile silicon into a computer platform and even allowing the Mac to run iOS apps.”
Here’s how the new-generation Mac computers have improved:
The improved performance for the M1-powered MacBook Air is said to be the biggest leap ever, with an 8-core CPU that performs up to 3.5 times faster than the previous generation and an extended battery life that lasts up to 15 hours when wirelessly browsing the web and up to 18 hours when watching videos.
Users will also notice a significant increase in speed when using iMovie, Final Cut Pro, and Lightroom, as well as ML-based features.
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MacBook Pro (13-inch)
Touted by Apple to be the “ultimate expression of what the M1 chip can do”, Apple’s pro notebook is now more powerful. Featuring an 8-core CPU paired with MacBook Pro’s active cooling system, it is expected to be up to 2.8 times faster than the previous generation.
Creatives will enjoy its high performance when compiling code, transcoding video, editing high-resolution photos, and even designing graphics-intensive games. There’s also the studio-quality mics and camera ISP, for clear recordings and calls as well as sharper images and videos during your Zoom calls.
For its compact size, the M1-powered Mac mini packs a punch with three times faster performance than the previous generation on an 8-core CPU. From graphics performance for games and videos to performance-intensive tasks like 3D rendering, multitrack music projects and compiling codes, the new-generation accelerates workloads.
Video editors, for example, can render a complex timeline in Final Cut Pro up to six times faster, while music producers can use up to three times as many real-time plug-ins in Logic Pro, compared to the previous generation. Boasting an advanced thermal design, the Mac mini also does all these while staying cool and quiet with its advanced thermal design.