Apple, today, unveiled its first generation of Macs running their custom-built Apple M1 chip. After announcing the transition from Intel-based Macs at WWDC 2020, Apple announced its first-ever in-house ARM-based chipset today.
Apple says the new M1 chip transforms the Mac experience on the new MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and the new MacBook Pro, delivering up to 3.5x faster CPU, 6x faster GPU, 15x faster machine learning (ML) capabilities, and battery life up to 2x longer than before. Here’s what you need to know.
Apple M1 Chip
Starting the event with the unveiling of the highly anticipated chipset, Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies, said that the chip has been under development for the past ten years. It’s the ‘world’s fastest low-power Silicon chipset’.
All the computing devices (Macs, PC and desktops) have traditionally used multiple chips for the CPU, I/O, security, and more. With Apple M1, the company has combined into a single SoC, just like iPhones, that delivers great performance and power efficiency.
- 8 Core CPU – The new M1 chip from Apple has an 8-core CPU consisting of four high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. Surprisingly (or not?), Apple hasn’t revealed the clock speeds of the chipset. Apple says the four high-power cores deliver excellent performance for single-threaded tasks. The four power-efficiency cores will deliver ‘outstanding performance at a tenth of the power.’
- 8 Core GPU – The Apple M1 chip features an 8-core GPU capable of running 25,000 threads at one time. Apple claims the GPU can handle extremely demanding tasks like 4K video editing, and 3D rendering with ease. With 2.6 teraflops of throughput, Apple M1 has the world’s fastest integrated graphics in a notebook.
Other Apple M1 Features:
- The M1 Chip features same 16-core neural engine found on Apple’s A14 Bionic. It’s capable of performing 11 trillion operations per second, and will significantly improve ML tasks like voice recognition and image processing on Mac.
- The M1 chip also has a dedicated image signal processor (ISP) improving the dynamic range and better noise reduction on video calls.
- The chip also has a dedicated security module called Secure Enclave, which replaced Apple’s T-series chip on Mac.
- The chip also has an Apple-designed Thunderbolt controller with support for USB 4 (supports speeds up to 40Gbps)
Also Read: Apple Silicon — History in Making
Along with the new chip, Apple also announced new Macs running on M1.
New MacBook Air with Apple M1 — Starts at $999/Rs 92,900
The new MacBook Air comes with a fan-less design and the M1 chip. Thanks to the new chipset, Apple’s new MacBook Air boasts up to 18 hours of battery life. Other features of the new notebook are:
- Two Thunderbolt and USB 4
- Fan-less Design
- Apple M1 Chip 8 Core CPU, 7/8‑core GPU, and 16‑core Neural Engine on the base model
- Retina display with True Tone
- WiFi 6
- Up to 2TB SSD
- Up to 16GB RAM
- Magic Keyboard
New Mac Mini with Apple M1 — Starts at $699/Rs 64,900
Apple refreshed its mini computing desktop with the Apple M1 chip. The new Mac Mini starts at $699 in the United States (Rs. 64,900 in India) and has 3 times improved CPU performance, 6 times better GPU performance as compared to last generation.
It features two USB 4 ports and two USB A ports on the back, along with an ethernet port and an HDMI 2.0 port. It’s available to order today, and will start shipping next week.
New MacBook Pro with Apple M1 — Starts at $1299/ Rs 1,22,900
Along with the Air and Mini, Apple also refreshed its MacBook Pro with Apple M1 chip. The laptop starts at Rs 1,22,900 in India and offers up to 20 hours of video playback on a single charge.