Apple has announced more powerful M1 socs for its Mac laptops and desktops. The M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are again made at 5nm and offer more CPU and GPU cores than the regular M1. The chips also support more memory.
Apple is introducing the M1 Pro and M1 Max at its Unleashed event. The new chips will not replace the regular M1, but are intended for higher-ranking Mac computers. The two socs will be introduced in the new MacBook Pro 14″ and MacBook Pro 16″, which the company also announced on Monday. The Pro and Max variants are both 5nm chips that have up to ten CPU cores based on the Arm instruction set architecture. Apple talks about a combination of eight performance cores and two efficient CPU cores.
The M1 Pro consists of 33.7 billion transistors and has 8 or 10 CPU cores and a GPU with 14 or 16 cores. The chip supports up to 32GB of memory with a bandwidth of 200GB/s. The Pro variant also supports up to two external displays. Apple claims that the CPU performance of the M1 Pro is ‘up to seventy percent better’ than that of the regular M1, but it is not clear what the manufacturer is basing this on. The GPU is said to be up to twice as powerful as that in the regular M1.
The M1 Max is positioned higher than the Pro variant and consists of 57 billion transistors. This 5nm chip has 10 CPU cores as standard and gets 24 or 32 GPU cores, which according to Apple is up to four times more powerful than the GPU from the M1. The M1 Max-soc supports a maximum of 64GB memory and memory bandwidth is also increased to 400GB/s. The Max variant supports up to four external monitors.
According to Apple, the CPU cores in the two new Mac socs offer up to 1.7 times better performance per watt compared to undisclosed “PC laptop chips” with four and eight cores. The GPU in the M1 Max is also said to be more powerful than separate laptop video cards, while it consumes 100 watts less power.
The M1 Pro and M1 Max are the second line of proprietary chips Apple is introducing for its Mac computers. The company switched to proprietary Arm processors for its Mac systems last year when the company introduced the original M1 soc. That chip is currently used in the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13″, Mac Mini, iMac 24″ and the most recent iPad Pro.