Apple today unveiled its two latest computer-focused ARM-based Systems-On-a-Chip (SOCs), M1 Pro and M1 Max. Compared to the M1, which debuted in November last year, these have 70% faster CPU performance.
When it comes to graphics, the difference is even more marked, as the M1 Pro’s GPU is 2x faster than that of the M1, while the M1 Max GPU is up to 4x faster than the M1’s.
This allows “pro users to fly through the most demanding graphical workflows,” Apple boasts. Memory bandwidth has also been improved, with the M1 Pro delivering up to 200 GB / s with support for 32 GB of total memory. The M1 Max takes things to another level with its 400 GB / s memory bandwidth (6x what the original M1 could achieve), and supports up to 64 GB of total memory.
Apple M1 Pro
Apple points out that Windows laptops top 16GB of graphics memory, while new MacBooks with M1 Pro and M1 Max can use much more if needed. The company also promises that the performance will be exactly the same whether it is connected or running on battery. The M1 Pro and M1 Max also feature enhanced media engines with dedicated ProRes video processing accelerators.
Apple M1 Max
The M1 Pro and M1 Max are built on a 5nm process. The M1 Pro has a new 10-core CPU with eight high-performance cores and two high-efficiency cores. “Compared to the latest 8-core PC laptop chip,” says Apple, the M1 Pro delivers up to 1.7 times more CPU performance at the same power level and achieves the maximum performance of the PC chip by using up to 70% less power.
The M1 Pro has an up to 16-core GPU, which is reportedly “up to 7x faster than the integrated graphics in the latest 8-core PC laptop chip”. And compared to “a powerful discrete GPU for PC notebooks”, the M1 Pro “delivers more performance while using up to 70% less power”.
The M1 Max has the same CPU as the M1 Pro, but adds a “massive” 32-core GPU. All this adds up to 57 billion transistors, 70% more than the M1 Pro and 3.5x more than the M1. As such, the M1 Max is the largest chip Apple has ever built. The GPU “delivers performance comparable to a high-end GPU in a compact pro or PC laptop while using up to 40% less power”, as well as “performance equivalent to that of the highest GPU in the largest PC laptops while using up to 100W less power, ”according to Apple.
All of these claims will of course be tested in the real world in the coming days and weeks when people have received their brand new MacBook benefits with the M1 Pro or M1 Max at the center. Apple says that with the M1 Max, the new MacBook Pro 13x enables faster complex timeline rendering in Final Cut Pro compared to the previous 13-inch MacBook Pro. The M1 Max delivers up to 2x faster video encoding than the M1 Pro, as it has two ProRes accelerators. Thus, the new MacBook Pro with M1 Max can encode ProRes video in compressor up to 10x faster than the previous 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Both the M1 Pro and M1 Max feature a 16-core Neural Engine for machine learning acceleration on the device and improved camera performance, a new display engine to run multiple external monitors, additional integrated Thunderbolt 4 controllers for even more I / O bandwidth, Apple’s custom image signal processor, which works with Neural Engine to use computational video to enhance image quality for sharper video and more natural-looking skin tones on the built-in webcam and Apple’s latest Secure Enclave, hardware-verified secure boot and runtime anti-exploitation technology.