Apple's new M1 Pro and M1 Max are its most powerful chips to date

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,621   +139
Staff member
Bottom line: The new MacBook Pro was the starring attraction of Apple’s fall event. At the heart of the new line are the M1 Pro and M1 Max, the most powerful chips Apple has ever produced. If Intel wants to win back Apple's business, it's certainly got its work cut out for it.

The new M1 Pro is built using 5-nanometer process technology and features 33.7 billion transistors, or more than twice the number that shipped in the original M1. The 10-core CPU consists of eight high-performance cores and two high-efficiency cores.

According to Apple, the M1 Pro / M1 Max consume 70 percent less power compared to Intel’s Core i7-11800H octa-core CPU and achieves 1.7x more performance.

Apple’s M1 Pro packs a 16-core GPU and can be configured with up to 32GB of unified memory with up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth.

The M1 Max, meanwhile, utilizes the same 10-core CPU as the M1 Pro, but gets a beefier 32-core GPU that’s four times faster than the original M1. In total, this chip utilizes 57 billion transistors, making it the biggest chip Apple has ever made.

The company claims this chip is nearly comparable to the highest-end GPU in the largest PC laptops, but consumes up to 100 watts less power, translating to less heat / noise and better battery life. What’s more, the M1 Max doubles the memory interface – up to 400GB/s – and can be configured with up to 64GB of unified memory.

According to Apple, the M1 Pro and M1 Max deliver the same level of performance whether the MacBook Pro is plugged in or using battery power. Both chips also feature a 16-core Neural Engine for on-device machine learning and improved camera performance.

Apple’s new MacBook Pro models with M1 Pro and M1 Max are available to order from today. The 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999, while the larger 16-inch model will set you back a minimum of $2,499. Education pricing brings the entry barriers down to $1,849 and $2,299 for the 14-inch and 16-inch models, respectively.

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elementalSG

Posts: 219   +360
According to Geekbench, the M1 Max scored a single core of 1749 and multi core of 11542.

This would make it faster than the 10 core Intel i9-11900k (1850/10990) and within reach of the 12 core AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (1670/14094).

I haven’t seen a 3 way CPU race since the days of Intel Pentiums, AMD K6s and Cyrix/IBM x86 processors. How exciting it is to see competition in the CPU industry once again!
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,055   +875
For me all this power doesn't mean a thing if you're only allowed to use it booting an Apple OS running things from their app store.

That said it is very impressive and hopefully encourages others to step up their game.
This is for Mac OS so there is a lot of software that users can run. You aren’t just limited to the App Store like you are on iOS.
 

Beerfloat

Posts: 326   +580
This is for Mac OS so there is a lot of software that users can run. You aren’t just limited to the App Store like you are on iOS.
Not yet. But it’s headed in that direction. The default is already to not allow software from unidentified developers to run, but so far you can still override it. They literally advise you to ‘look for a later version of the app from the Mac App Store or look for an alternative app’.

With M1 every Mac now has the Secure Enclave stuff from the T2 chips and along with Launchpad (which keeps popping back on my launcher with every OS update, even though I deliberately remove it) this is gonna bring MacOS closer to iOS. And a lot of users will think that’s just great. I’m just not one of them.
 

Hollow

Posts: 47   +40
This is for Mac OS so there is a lot of software that users can run. You aren’t just limited to the App Store like you are on iOS.

I agree with you, you don't even need to use an apple account to install softwares on a mac.

The only problem I see with theses new chipsets is the high numbers of compatibility issues a lot of power users are running into when using softwares with M1 and we know how apple like to change things. I hope editors will be able to follow theses changes or the "speed" of the M1 will only be used to partially mitigate the software slowdowns it will cause.
 

BVB2000

Posts: 8   +2
You are misinformed. Most programs that run on macOS do not come from the App Store.


For me all this power doesn't mean a thing if you're only allowed to use it booting an Apple OS running things from their app store.

That said it is very impressive and hopefully encourages others to step up their game.
 

quadibloc

Posts: 324   +211
For me all this power doesn't mean a thing if you're only allowed to use it booting an Apple OS running things from their app store.
Fortunately, this is not the case, yet, as those chips are for Macintosh computers, which aren't restricted in this fashion, not iOS devices such as the iPhone or the iPad.
Of course, though, even without this particular problem, the limited market share of the Macintosh compared to Windows does impact the selection - and price - of the software available for it.
Also, the fact that one has to buy a Macintosh with a nearly five-figure price tag to be able to freely upgrade parts (this, of course, refers to the famous cheese grater at the close of the Intel era) is just one example of how, even without being locked into an App Store, there are many other reasons for not being interested in considering a Macintosh.
This is sad, but it's the result of choices that Apple has been making for a long time, including when Steve Jobs was alive, and, indeed, extending right back to when the original 128k Macintosh made its debut.
If Apple wanted to compete with Wintel, well, it knows what it has to do. But it has chosen otherwise.
 

Beerfloat

Posts: 326   +580
You are misinformed. Most programs that run on macOS do not come from the App Store.
Yeah, I feel you would do well to not get too comfortable with that notion. The groundwork has been laid.

Already, all developers need to either be registered with Apple, or deal with users having to circumvent default settings to be allowed to install their software.

More and more apps and utilities that I've been using for a long time have started to either maintain App Store versions in parallel or move altogether. Stuff like Microsoft Office, Remote Desktop, Winclone, JollyfastVNC used to be completely separate, but not anymore.

With T2/M1 Apple has the tools to lock MacOS down. You think Apple won't go that way?

And it's not like they're the only ones, either. Remember how we were told not to worry about TPMs and secureboot on PCs because it was optional? Well guess what, with Windows 11 it just became mandatory. Like frogs and boiling water.
 

Nintenboy01

Posts: 87   +69
It's insane how good and efficient both the CPU and graphics portions are. Everyone else (Nvidia, AMD, Intel, Qualcomm, ARM itself) have a lotta catching up to do.
 

dragosmp

Posts: 39   +46
Can you imagine, a few years back in a meeting room Apple says to Intel "Sorry man, but you're just not improving fast enough"... "No, says Intel, we'll have 5% from the 14nm+++ in 3 years, that's awesome, right?" And Tim has a Fred from CPU design wispering in his ear "Boss, we can do 2x the performance in 1/2 of power and add a 160WGPU, all for cheaper than this". Then it's all history

I'm against the wall garden thing like any reasonable person, but gotta admit, if you could buy an M1 Max for the PC, you'd jump on it now. I would
 

Phaetos

Posts: 44   +43
For me all this power doesn't mean a thing if you're only allowed to use it booting an Apple OS running things from their app store.

That said it is very impressive and hopefully encourages others to step up their game.

It's an ARM chip. Windows has an official ARM distro ... I hope someone gets it to work on these new chips and see what happens
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,055   +875
Performing at the same speed whether plugged in or on battery is a flex in itself. Using my Ryzen 5 laptop away from the wall is painful. Fortunately the battery only lasts 1-2 hours so I never have to put up with it for long.


 

Nintenboy01

Posts: 87   +69
I've seen some analysts predicting x86 could start fading away in the next decade or so, and go the way of MIPS unless Intel gets their act together.
 

Bao Nguyen

Posts: 110   +82
It's an ARM chip. Windows has an official ARM distro ... I hope someone gets it to work on these new chips and see what happens

The VMware people have already made Windows 11 ARM worked in VMs, sadly it is against the EULAs for both Apple and Microsoft so you're pretty much on your own without support, or future updates. VMware also said that moving forward they will spend more focus more on Linux and not Windows ARM on OSX.

Don't hold your breathe for neither Windows or Linux that will run natively on Apple hardware.

I'm both happy and unhappy for the advancement of the M1 Pro/Max chips because they're just simply the best improvements that we have for a while, but at the same time they are ridiculously expensive, and completely locked down to OS X.
 

Phaetos

Posts: 44   +43
The VMware people have already made Windows 11 ARM worked in VMs, sadly it is against the EULAs for both Apple and Microsoft so you're pretty much on your own without support, or future updates. VMware also said that moving forward they will spend more focus more on Linux and not Windows ARM on OSX.

Don't hold your breathe for neither Windows or Linux that will run natively on Apple hardware.

I'm both happy and unhappy for the advancement of the M1 Pro/Max chips because they're just simply the best improvements that we have for a while, but at the same time they are ridiculously expensive, and completely locked down to OS X.
While true that "official" support may not be a thing, Hackintosh's still exist. It will happen in some form.