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A closer look at Apple’s M1 chip line up

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(Photos: Handouts from Apple)
AMMAN — In our last article on the M1 chip, we outlined the huge potential the new chip might have on a variety of devices in the tech industry. From faster processing power, to a more balanced approach to processing power through the use of 2x2 cores, one set of which are supercharged and the other are efficiency focused, there are a plethora of opportunities for the new technology. اضافة اعلان

Even with its drawbacks, this Apple M1 chip is just the beginning of the long and exciting road ahead. Intel has already caught on with the trend, and are looking to implement a 4x4 core layout into their upcoming processors in order to match the competition, with the next release in line to receive the upgrade being their 12th gen Alder Lake desktop CPU’s. 

With all of these benefits in mind, it might seem expected that Apple fans that haven’t yet upgraded to the latest tech are looking forward to their next big purchase.
 
However, as many of you by now have realized, the M1 comes in three flavors — each being more supercharged than the next. 

The name game

The nomenclature has become relatively confusing as of late, so for the sake of clarity, the Apple M1 chips’ rankings are the baseline M1, the M1 Pro chip and the M1 Max.

While the names aren’t exactly creative, they most certainly fit their criteria; the baseline M1 is relatively powerful enough to pair well with an everyday casual laptop user, the Pro targets professionals that use their laptops for heavier, more graphically intense processes, and the M1 Max is simply there for Apple to flex their muscles in the microchip space in front of Intel. 

Jokes aside, the performance of the M1 Max is definitely what some may consider overkill for anyone but special individuals directly involved in editing some incredibly highly-detailed graphics or networking processes. 

So how do they fare against one another? 

The baseline M1 is exactly as previously covered; eight cores, 4x4 layout with one half responsible for efficiency operations and the other used for turbo-charged performance, 16GB of RAM, and eight GPU cores. While that may not sound like the most powerful processor, integrating the 4x4 layout with both the CPU and the GPU to essentially operate as one single unit means the M1 is significantly faster than similar competitors in terms of raw processing power. The M1 can be found in MacBook Airs, fifth gen or later iPad Pros, the iMac 24, and the Mac Mini. 

The M1 Pro is where things get interesting: for starters, there are two versions of the chip, one featuring eight cores like its predecessor and the other featuring 10, with the latter increasing total processing power by around 18 percent in total. 

Additionally, the eight-core M1 Pro features 14 GPU cores, whereas its superior older brother hosts 16. Both of the M1 Pro models feature 32GB of RAM, a substantial increase over the baseline M1, and quite possibly more than any general user, or even a relative professional may ever need. 

The M1 Pro also features a single ProRes accelerator, which will definitely come in handy for those that have upgraded to the iPhone 13 and started utilizing its newest video format. Both the M1 Pro chips can be found in the MacBook Pro 14 and the MacBook Pro 16. However, there are unfortunately no mobile versions of the M1 Pro at the time of writing this article. 

Last but certainly not least, the crème de la crème of the crop — the M1 Max. 
The M1 Max can be defined in a single word — monstrous. This chip features 10 cores akin to the upgraded version of the M1 Pro: eight performance cores, 24 GPU cores for the base version and 32 for the upgraded model, a whopping 64GB of RAM and two ProRes accelerators — because when it comes to speed, enough just isn’t enough. This absolute goliath of a chip is a dream for every true professional out there — with the sheer amount of RAM, GPU, and performance cores. The M1 Max is available in the MacBook Pro 14 and 16, just as with its M1 Pro counterpart; albeit with a significantly higher mark up. 

Is it worth it? 

If you’re just looking to upgrade to the latest tech and experience the M1’s power for yourself without actually needing to push the chip to its limits, the baseline version of the M1 is definitely right up your alley. It is not nearly as expensive as the M1 Max, compares with the M1 Pro relatively well for everyday use, and is found in mobile devices as well as desktops — meaning that you could always go for the fifth gen iPad in order to test out the waters for yourself. 

If you’re in the design sector and are frustrated by the lackluster performance of your current CPU, definitely head out and get yourself the M1 Pro; the two additional performance cores are a neat addition to your arsenal. 

As for the M1 Max. Unless you’re a long time veteran in an industry that solely relies on the power of graphic cards and processing power on an hourly basis — this is quite literally the definition of overkill. The technology is, without a shadow of a doubt; impressive, but runs into a similar conundrum as the most recent GTX 3090 series cards do — there is just not much that you can use it for that the previous versions wouldn’t be able to do. If you’re a perfectionist at heart, and are ready to dish out some serious cash for a new MacBook Pro 14 or 16 models, then you’re going to find yourself set for the next several years in terms of raw technological power.

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