Apple announces all-new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros with M1 Pro/Max chipsets, 120Hz...

nanoguy

Posts: 1,021   +14
Staff member
In brief: The new MacBook Pros feature the fastest silicon to come out of Cupertino, higher resolution Retina XDR displays, and a wider selection of ports as well as a MagSafe 3 power connector. Instead of a Touch Bar, they come with a row of Function keys. The displays are larger and support higher resolutions and a 120 Hz refresh rate, but they also come with an iPhone style notch. Overall, they prove that Apple is willing to listen to professionals who have been complaining for years about missing ports and lack of tactile feedback on the Touch Bar, but the introduction of the notch may keep some people away from these otherwise impressive machines.

Apple’s new MacBook Pro lineup is here. As expected, it includes 14-inch and 16-inch models with much faster Apple Silicon inside. The MacBook Pros come with new aluminum enclosures that are thicker, boxier, heavier, and have slightly more raised rubber feet. Apple also stressed during the event that it mostly uses recycled materials for its products, from the aluminum needed for the case down to the tin used to solder in electronic components on the main logic board, and even the rare earth elements used in the magnets.

The reason for the more spacious enclosure is that Apple needed to pack more powerful internals and a more capable cooling system. The company says the new thermal design allows for 50 percent more airflow when compared to the previous generation, even when the fans are barely spinning. Speaking of fans, Apple says you’ll have to push these new MacBook Pros really hard in order to hear them at all.

At the heart of the new 14-inch MacBook Pro is a new chipset called the M1 Pro, while the 16-inch MacBook Pro is powered by the M1 Max. Both are meant to be higher-end versions of the M1 chipset found in the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, iMac 24-inch, and the Mac mini. This also marks the second step in the company’s two-year transition to Apple Silicon, which leaves only the Mac Pro and iMac 27-inch.

There is a lot to unpack about the new chipsets, but the rumors were on point. The CPU is the same in both chips and has eight performance cores paired with two energy-efficient ones, which together offer up to 70 percent faster performance than the CPU found in the M1 SoC.

On the GPU side of things, the M1 Pro has either a 14-core or a 16-core GPU and the M1 Max has either a 24-core or a 32-core GPU. When compared to the GPU in the M1, performance is now up to two times faster with the M1 Pro and up to four times faster with the M1 Max.

But more importantly, the CPU and GPU in the new chipsets share up to 32 gigabytes (64 in the case of the M1 Max) of memory over a high speed interface that allows for up to 200 GB/s of bandwidth on the M1 Pro and up to 400 GB/s on the M1 Max. This is further augmented by a faster 16-core Neural Engine that is up to 8.7 times faster than the one found in the M1.

You can drive an insane setup of external monitors with the new chips. Apple also added hardware acceleration for the ProRes codec that allows professionals to edit up to 30 streams of 4K ProRes video or up to seven streams of 8K ProRes video in Final Cut Pro. The company says this along with color grading in HDR on 8K ProRes 4444 video can be done even when on battery, which would be no small feat. Developers will be able to get 3.7 times faster project builds with Xcode, and engineers will get 2.8 times faster computational fluid dynamics performance in NASA TetrUSS.

The new MacBook Pros come with higher resolution, Liquid Retina XDR displays that can deliver 1,000 nits of sustained brightness and up to 1,600 nits of peak brightness. To achieve this, Apple had to figure out how to take the Mini LED display technology it brought to the M1 iPad Pro and cram it into the thinner display frame of the new MacBook Pros. But more importantly, the new displays support ProMotion technology for an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120 Hz.

Now comes the polarizing part of the new display design — Apple wanted to make the screen larger and the bezels smaller, so it did exactly what it did with the iPhone X and newer iPhones. Both the 14-inch and the 16-inch MacBook Pro now have a notch that (finally!) houses a 1080p webcam. Some people may love the added resolution when compared to previous MacBook Pro models, but the notch seems rather large and leaves the door open to criticism that Apple didn’t bother to integrate Face ID.

The company has also integrated a six-speaker sound system that supports Dolby Atmos. Four of these are force-cancelling woofers that should deliver more bass than you’d expect from a laptop.

Moving on to the keyboard, Apple has removed the Touch Bar and replaced it with the standard row of Function keys that has been absent for a few generations now. There’s still a Touch ID sensor on the right, but here’s to hoping this new Magic Keyboard is easier to repair.

After years of heralding USB-C as the be-all and end-all of your connectivity needs, Apple has finally listened to professionals and added back the HDMI port and SD card slot. A USB-A port would have also been great, but the company has chosen to include three Thunderbolt 4 ports instead. The 2021 MacBook Pros also come with a MagSafe 3 power connector, while retaining the ability to charge over the USB-C ports.

In terms of battery life, Apple says you can expect to get up to 17 hours of video playback on the 14-inch MacBook Pro and up to 21 hours on the 16-inch model, but as usual your mileage may vary depending on what you’re doing.

Pricing starts at $1,999 for the 14-inch MacBook Pro and $2,499 for the $16-inch MacBook Pro, and they’ll start shipping next week with macOS Monterey.

Permalink to story.

 

Irata

Posts: 1,812   +3,053
While the new M1 models sound rather impressive (love the on die memory), Apple comparing it to Tiger Lake which need a lot of juice to perform well rather than e.g. an 8C 5800U that does very well at 15W, I.e. is designed for good performance at low wattage does make you wonder.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,338   +2,625
I was not very involved during the keynote for good or bad: just about what I expected except when they quickly mentioned the price. And if you missed it well, they made it a point to only mention pricing a single time and briefly for a reason: *base* price is 2000 for the pro and 2500 for the max and you can be sure that *will* be just the 256ssd and 8gb of ram version, not the one you'd actually want like 16gb or 32gb of ram and sufficient ssd space on board.

It probably means that properly configured they'll range 3000 to 4000. What. The. HELL.

But hey, for that much money they...*reads notes*...Oh here we go: they gave you back function keys, an hdmi port and an sd card reader, probably a total of 5 bucks of material for those overall but hey they're back!

Seriously I was wondering why they were about to just not announce any desktop offerings for professionals at all and I think we have our answer: at least for now they seem to want to completely replace high end desktop workstations with just the Pro and Max laptops. Unless of course March/April 2022 they announce a new set of workstations that will probably be base price 5000 or 6000 or something absurd like that.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,615   +3,225
TechSpot Elite
Wow, they caved and gave the customers back what they wanted. That's not very Apple of them.

But I guess they also added an ugly notch on a device that didn't need it. So they Apple'd it up there.

Like seriously, why are they trying to squeeze a bit more screen real-estate out of such a big device?? Who on their design team thought that was needed to cross over from tiny phone screens?
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,869   +1,920
Face ID. Touch ID front. No face ID. Touch ID side. Face ID. No MB face ID....
(something like that)

Don't ever change, Apple. You're perfect just the way you are.
 

brucek

Posts: 942   +1,363
If I didn't play games and didn't pay for my own equipment, I'd probably really dig these. As there's a large market fitting that description I expect Apple will do well with these.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 665   +507
I was not very involved during the keynote for good or bad: just about what I expected except when they quickly mentioned the price. And if you missed it well, they made it a point to only mention pricing a single time and briefly for a reason: *base* price is 2000 for the pro and 2500 for the max and you can be sure that *will* be just the 256ssd and 8gb of ram version, not the one you'd actually want like 16gb or 32gb of ram and sufficient ssd space on board.

It probably means that properly configured they'll range 3000 to 4000. What. The. HELL.

But hey, for that much money they...*reads notes*...Oh here we go: they gave you back function keys, an hdmi port and an sd card reader, probably a total of 5 bucks of material for those overall but hey they're back!

Seriously I was wondering why they were about to just not announce any desktop offerings for professionals at all and I think we have our answer: at least for now they seem to want to completely replace high end desktop workstations with just the Pro and Max laptops. Unless of course March/April 2022 they announce a new set of workstations that will probably be base price 5000 or 6000 or something absurd like that.

I just couldn't use a laptop as my main pc - ugh - even if you plugged it into a monitor - would be a weird set up.

So I googled Imacs - Ugh - ugh ugh - great if you want a chrome pc or windows pc or linux alternative for mum & dad - But they are mostly 24 inch - 256 or 512gb SSD - You can see why I hate apple - they know best 256gb & 24 inch is where it's at - yeah for media consumers with icloud & apple subs.

Then you are right Mac pro -why why as a consumer - get a RTX 4080 a fast intel/Amd +at least 32gb - 2tb M2 and a QR 8Tb and any 27 inch above screen you want . It's not like you will pick up a Mac pro with a 50% discount like a Dell sale .

Anyway I'm sure these laptops are fine for the WWW and media consumption , social media , light gaming . photo/video editing
ie what 95% of apple users probably have them for - same for the Imacs - look nice/space efficient - fits with decor and grandma can appletime her grand kids
 

Oshyan

Posts: 31   +50
I was not very involved during the keynote for good or bad: just about what I expected except when they quickly mentioned the price. And if you missed it well, they made it a point to only mention pricing a single time and briefly for a reason: *base* price is 2000 for the pro and 2500 for the max and you can be sure that *will* be just the 256ssd and 8gb of ram version, not the one you'd actually want like 16gb or 32gb of ram and sufficient ssd space on board.

This was my assumption too, and would be especially galling since bringing the chip design in-house probably saves Apple a fair chunk of money (once they recoup R&D costs anyway, which they've partly already amortized over years of A-series iDevice CPU designs, which M1 derives in part from).

Fortunately it's not as bad as you feared, and the pricing is easy to find post-announcement:
https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/macbook-pro/14-inch

M1 Pro 14" base at $2000 comes with 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM. Considering the efficiency of the chipset and that the previous M1 maxed out at 16GB, that's actually, well... surprisingly not terrible! You can get the 16" with same specs for $500 more ($2500).

The M1 Max at 16" does start out at $3500, but you get 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD at least.

So I wouldn't say these are "good" prices, but for the specs included they're actually better than I would have expected.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,338   +2,625
This was my assumption too, and would be especially galling since bringing the chip design in-house probably saves Apple a fair chunk of money (once they recoup R&D costs anyway, which they've partly already amortized over years of A-series iDevice CPU designs, which M1 derives in part from).

Fortunately it's not as bad as you feared, and the pricing is easy to find post-announcement:
https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/macbook-pro/14-inch

M1 Pro 14" base at $2000 comes with 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM. Considering the efficiency of the chipset and that the previous M1 maxed out at 16GB, that's actually, well... surprisingly not terrible! You can get the 16" with same specs for $500 more ($2500).

The M1 Max at 16" does start out at $3500, but you get 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD at least.

So I wouldn't say these are "good" prices, but for the specs included they're actually better than I would have expected.
That base 14" Pro SKU is actually...Not terrible? It's still far and above what you can get even for overpriced PC laptops configs but it's not without it's own set of advantages: I am sure some folk would pay 200-300 extra to be able to do the same tasks as a competing laptop except this one gets 2 full workdays of use on a single battery charge.

The Max SKU is really just flat out not worth it: I am sure the Max chip is very capable for graphics and ML tasks but for that money you can probably configure an actual desktop with a decent Quadro car that surpasses it comfortably.

But I would actually not find it the base Pro config objectionable and it might be the ideal one tbh.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,976   +2,306
TechSpot Elite
I thought you were joking about the notch.

That's just the most bizarre idea though it can work with MacOS as Apple keeps it's menu bar there, but what do you do with full screen apps? It's not like a few extra mm of space on top is somehow killing the aesthetics of the device up 'til now.

Bizarre.
 

crocography

Posts: 34   +30
Just cannot get passed the notch on a laptop. Utter fail. Of course I know iSheep will be defending it from day one. This notch is just such a damn bizarre decision.
 

merikafyeah

Posts: 268   +218
At least they know how to do arrow keys properly. So many laptop KB designs have the left and right arrow keys larger than the up and down keys which is just dumb and much harder to use due to the shift in tactile placement.
 

Yenega

Posts: 302   +202
1000 nits with 1600 nits peak is great .. Now lets get MiniLED high refresh rate PC monitors

I need 3840x2160 at 240 Hz, at 28-30 inch. Maybe 1-2 years more and I can get this.
 

spaceboy

Posts: 9   +2
While the new M1 models sound rather impressive (love the on die memory), Apple comparing it to Tiger Lake which need a lot of juice to perform well rather than e.g. an 8C 5800U that does very well at 15W, I.e. is designed for good performance at low wattage does make you wonder.
Maybe because their previous models used Intel chips so they are demonstrating the advantages of using Apple silicon instead?
 

Irata

Posts: 1,812   +3,053
Maybe because their previous models used Intel chips so they are demonstrating the advantages of using Apple silicon instead?
Did Apple ever use Tiger Lake in their MacBooks ? If previous models did, that would make sense, otherwise it seems like they just picked the lowest hanging fruit.

-> A15W Cezanne U series has over double the MT performance of a 15W TGL and since Apple used MT apps for their chart, it probably would have looked much less impressive when comparing performance to Cezanne.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,812   +3,053
Here‘s a positive worth mentioning - the new M1 Pro / Max are very large chips that are produced on TSMC 5nm.

This should be good news for nVidia and AMD when they start having their CPU/GPU manufactured on the same node.
Afair, their chips were previously the first large(r) ones made on new TSMC nodes.
 

Yenega

Posts: 302   +202
Here‘s a positive worth mentioning - the new M1 Pro / Max are very large chips that are produced on TSMC 5nm.

This should be good news for nVidia and AMD when they start having their CPU/GPU manufactured on the same node.
Afair, their chips were previously the first large(r) ones made on new TSMC nodes.

I expect Nvidia RTX 4000 series on TSMC 5nm by Q3 2022.

I doubt AMD have the funds to use it before Q1/Q2 2023 - AMD refreshes Zen 3 on TSMC 6nm next time anyway, so they don't really need it before.

Zen 4 on TSMC 5nm vs Raptor Lake on Intel 4 is going to be fun to watch. And this is when I know if my next platform will be Intel or AMD. True next gen platforms in 2023 when DDR5 and Windows 11 has matured.