After months of rumors, Apple has unveiled two new processors instead of one with a pair of new Macbook Pro laptops. The original M1 processor paired 4 high-performance cores and 4 low-power cores with a 7 or 8-core GPU to deliver impressive results. When tested last year, the M1-based 13-inch MacBook Pro outperformed the 16-inch MacBook Pro with an 8-core Intel i9 CPU and a dedicated GPU, while maintaining impressively cool, quiet performance.
The new M1 Pro and M1 Max increase the core count to 8 high-performance cores and 2 low-power cores and add 16, 24 or 32 GPU cores. With twice the high-performance CPU and up to four times the GPU cores of the original M1, the chip should be incredibly fast, but expect more heat and noise.
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The M1 Pro and M1 Max introduce a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) architecture to the Pro system for the first time. The chip offers fast integrated memory, industry-leading performance-per-watt, and incredible power efficiency, along with increased memory bandwidth and capacity. The M1 Pro supports up to 32GB of integrated memory, providing up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth. The M1 Max offers up to 400 GB/s of memory bandwidth (2x that of the M1 Pro, almost 6 times that of the M1) and supports up to 64 GB of integrated memory. Also, while modern PC laptops offer up to 16GB of graphics memory, this massive amount of memory allows for graphics-intensive workflows previously unimaginable in laptops. The efficient architecture of the M1 Pro and M1 Max means that the MacBook Pro delivers the same level of performance whether connected or on battery. The M1 Pro and M1 Max also feature an enhanced media engine with a dedicated ProRes accelerator for professional video processing. The M1 Pro and M1 Max are the most powerful chips Apple has ever made.
Despite the lack of compatible games, the original M1 has proven to be a very good processor for gaming, and this new chip is so much better that it can outperform most Intel CPUs and even outperform mobile NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPUs. The new 14- and 16-inch MacBooks also come with a 120Hz display with HDR and improved speakers. Putting all this together, suddenly the new MacBook Pro looks like a pretty capable gaming console, aside from compatibility issues. If Apple still supported Bootcamp.