Apple M1 Mac Chip: Apple is finally starting to transition to its custom silicon.
And they’re doing it with the new M1 chip that’s going into
each of the three brand new Macs, the MacBook Air,
the MacBook Pro, and the Mac Mini.
Ever since Apple’s events, there’s been tons of
confusion over how this chip is going to perform,
how it works, and why Apple made some odd choices,
like only having two Thunderbolt ports on the Mac Mini,
and only have a maximum of 16 gigs of RAM on the MacBook Pro. There’s also the whole thing about how the only
thing different between the air and the Pro is quite
literally one cooling fan. A lot of you are missing the point.
So before I get into answering weird questions and doubts about these new Macs, as well as analyzing the leaked benchmarks of the M one’s insane performance, I’m going to do my best to explain how the new M1 chip is going to work.
How did apple start making their chip?
For years, Apple has been designing their custom chips
based on the ARM architecture that they license from ARM Holdings. They then send that design to tsmc, the most advanced chip manufacturer in the world, which builds the chips like the 14 bionic in the new iPhone 12, which is built on the same brand new five-nanometre process that the Apple M1 Mac Chip is also being built on.
To make it even better. Apple specifically designs their
software like iOS and iPad OS to take advantage of
the chips, just like Apple is doing with the new Mac OS
Big Sur software for the Mac, which is made to
take advantage of the new Apple M1 Mac Chip.
Because of all this Apple has stayed ahead of
the entire smartphone and tablet industry
with their iPhones and iPads, making the most powerful and efficient chips ever. And now they’re trying to do the same thing with the new M family of chips for their Macs.
How this M1 chip is separate compare to an iPad chip?
Starting with Apple M1 Mac Chip is essentially a beefed-up
iPad chip thrown into a Mac. But they’re adding extra features needed to run the Mac operating system like the I o chip and Thunderbolt controller. Because of this apple silicon max can run any iPhone or iPad app from day one, since the architecture is quite literally the same. This is a huge advantage for developers because, in the past, they’d have to make two separate apps if they wanted to support both the iPhone and the Mac. But now they simply make one app one time, and it automatically works on both.
Downsides of the new M1 chip & Architecture?
The only downside is that developers can opt-out of supporting Apple silicon max if they choose to.
So iPhone apps like amazon prime video won’t work because
Amazon would rather have you used the browser where
they can potentially track your data more easily and make
more ad revenue off of you.
And that’s also another benefit for using the Apple M1 Mac Chip, you get much better security with the built-in secure enclave and the new architecture which is way less prone to security issues compared to Intel chips, which constantly have security flaws, like meltdown and Spectre. Now, the downside of the new arm-based architecture is that third-party apps need to be updated to support it if they want to run natively. But don’t worry, every single third-party app that you had before on your Mac is still going to work fine because Apple created Rosetta two, which I’m going to talk about later. Now the other downside to this is that you won’t be able to run the traditional x86 version of Windows via boot camp anymore. So no more loading into Windows to play games, and no more using GPUs. To boost graphics performance either.
How Apple Silicon Macs will handle gaming?
Apple silicon Macs are going to rely on playing games that
were already available on the Mac like Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
And of course, arm based games from the iPhone and the iPad,
which I believe are going to start becoming much more impressive in the next couple of years.
Comparing new Apple Silicon M1 chip vs Intel chip architecture
Now with all of that software stuff out of the way, I want to jump into the actual m one chip itself and how it performs on previous math books. Everything from the CPU, the GPU, the memory, the T two-chip, the I o chip, and the Thunderbolt controller were on different areas of the logic board. So data had to travel back and forth between all of those components, which introduced latency. Now with the new M1 chip Max, all of that is being built into one single chip or SOC and every component is connected using high bandwidth fabric, which also connects to a unified pool of memory that’s accessible to every component on the fly, without having to copy it between different pools of memory, like traditional systems have to do.
Understanding the M1 chip’s Unified Architecture?
So here’s a weird analogy to help you understand how the unified memory works. Imagine you have a painting that both the CPU and the GPU are working on instead of them each taking turns and handing the canvas back and forth between each other. They’re both sides by side painting on the canvas at the same time. And that’s how unified memory works. This greatly lowers latency, increases efficiency, and improves performance. And if you’re worried about the GPU using the same memory as the CPU, don’t worry because the CPU has its dedicated cache. And the GPU has its dedicated tile memory as well, making it even better.
Understanding the M1 chip’s Asymmetrical Core technology
The eight-core CPU is split into four performance cores and four efficiency cores with a performance controller, which works in real-time to enable and disable cores for maximum performance and efficiency. This means that when you’re surfing the web or using a basic app, you’re most likely only using the efficiency cores, drastically saving battery life to an Intel chip, which has to use the same cores for everything going even further. Standby battery life on the new Mac books is incredible because it could only be using one of those efficiency cores, while it just sits there. And this enables the always-on feature, just like you have on a smartphone or a tablet compared to a lot of Windows laptops, which go into a deeper sleep to save battery life, so they could take seconds to start back up. But the advantages don’t stop there.
Brand new features of the M1 Chip
The M1 chip also packs the 16 core neural engine, and two dedicated machine learning accelerators, which will be a game-changer for those who do that type of work. There’s also the new image signal processor, which will help make this 720 p webcam look better. With better exposure, less noise, and more accurate white balance. There are also dedicated video encoders and decoders, which will greatly help for video editing. And it’s going to enable low power video playback, which is basically what allows the MacBook Pro to get up to 20 hours of battery life. It’s to make it even more interesting. The Apple M1 Mac chip supports the latest Gen four PCI Express, which confirms that the future Mac Pro is going to have support for that as well.
Analyzing leaked M1 chip CPU benchmarks
Now with all of that out of the way, let’s move on to the M1 chips leaked benchmarks which are mind-blowing. Let’s start with that single-core score of 1717, which is higher than any Mac ever recorded with the new 27 inch iMac in second place with a score of 1251 that makes the new one ship 37% faster in terms of single-core performance than the previous Best Mac, which is incredible. Just to put that into perspective, the absolute best single-core score on any Intel processor is 1410. On the latest desktop i9 10 900 k, which you can buy for around 500 to 600 bucks on Newegg. And that’s just for the processor itself. And to make it even crazier, the new M1 is trading blows with the brand new 5950 x top of the line CPU from AMD.
Now moving on to multi-core performance, the new M1 chips scored 7423 points, which makes it 9% more powerful than the 16 inch MacBook Pro with the best I nine processor, which is priced at 20 $700. And it outperforms every six-core 2020 iMac 27 inch as well, which are priced at up to $2,000. Now obviously, that’s just a short benchmark, but due to the new efficient process, it could very well outperform those Mac’s in performance tasks.
Future 12-core M1X (or Z) chip rumors
But the most important thing to understand is that this Apple M1 Mac Chip is the slowest Apple silicon Mac chip that Apple will ever make. We’re still expecting a fully redesigned 14 inch MacBook Pro and a 16 inch MacBook Pro coming next year, maybe before the end of summer. And we’re expecting a new redesigned 24 inch iMac as well. many months ago, it was leaked that Apple was working on a new 12 core Apple silicon mat chip. So I believe that that 12 core chip is what’s going to be going into all three of those Macs. And it’s probably going to be called the M one x or the M one z in that chip. Apple will most likely keep the same four efficiency cores, but double the performance cores to eight cores.
And based on my estimations, it should score around
11,000 to 12,500 points and Geekbench five multi-core tests
potentially outperforming the current 12 core Mac Pro
that we currently have in our office.
Analyzing leaked M1 chip Graphics benchmarks
Now moving on to graphics performance There was a leaked benchmark running open CL, which these chips are not optimized for since they’re optimized for metal, and that scored 18,500 points. I think that the eight-core version of the M one will break 20,000 points in terms of the middle score and Geekbench five, making it twice as fast as the previous best integrated g7 graphics in the tension Intel chips, and around 33% faster than Intel’s latest x II graphics.
But compared to the 16 inch MacBook Pro, which has a dedicated graphics chip, the new M1still falls short, with the base 5300 m getting around 25,000 points and metal compared to the M ones estimated 20,000. But keep in mind that the new 12 Core M one x chip is going to have faster graphics as well, potentially a 12 core GPU, which could bring the score up to as high as 30,000 points in metal.
Custom Apple Silicon dedicated GPU coming soon
It doesn’t stop there. A couple of months back, we had leaks of a new iMac launching in the second half of 2021 with a custom Apple dedicated GPU, which is going to be incredibly powerful, just based on how impressive the integrated graphics on the M one are. And keep in mind that both of those GPUs are going to be working together on that iMac.
New MacBooks limited to just 16 gigs of RAM?
They’re replacing Mac books, which only had a maximum of 16 gigs of RAM on the previous models, I’m 100% confident that on the 14 inches MacBook Pro next year, you’re going to be able to get 32 gigs of RAM.
You may even be able to get the same 64 gigs of ram limits on the 16 inch MacBook Pro. A lot of you guys are doubting that 16 gigs of RAM are going to be enough. But keep in mind that the M one chip is using a new unified architecture.
So it’s going to use ram much more efficiently compared to Intel chips, especially when running native arm based apps using the new Mac OS Big Sur, which is fully optimized for these new chips. It’s sort of the same story as the iPhones ram management with the new iPhone 12 Pro with six gigs of RAM, outperforming the less efficient Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with 12 gigabytes of RAM. So there’s a good chance that 16 gigabytes of unified memory on the M one will perform close to as well as 32 gigabytes of RAM running on an inefficient x86 system.
Why do the new Mac books only have two Thunderbolt ports instead of four?
Well, because they’re replacing models that only had two ports. Previously, Apple is saving the four ports for the more expensive 14 inch MacBook Pro and 16 inches next year, which will replace the models that currently have four ports. Yes, I agree that it sucks that the new Mac Mini only has two ports instead of four on the previous model. So it seems like the M1 ship has a limited number of CPU lanes. So they weren’t able to pack four ports onto that model. That’s also probably the reason why these new Macs can only connect to one external display. There’s probably limited Thunderbolt bandwidth. But keep in mind that there is a very small percentage of the market that needs to connect to more than one external display while using a lower-end MacBook instead of just getting something like the 16 inch MacBook Pro.
Why does the base MacBook Air have a weaker version of the M one chip with only a seven core GPU?
Well, the main reason is something called binning. Since this is a new chip, sometimes one of the GPU cores won’t pass quality control. So instead of tossing the chip out, they can disable that one core and throw it into the less expensive base MacBook Air, which isn’t meant for high graphics performance workflows.
Why does the MacBook Air not have a fan?
Well, because it makes for an incredible silent experience
having no fan noise at all in for basic and common apps.
There shouldn’t be any overheating issues but the even
more important thing is that a couple of years later,
the fan and the heatsink won’t get clogged up with dust
which will make it start overheating like on basically any
other laptop or a PC. The MacBook Air won’t have this
issue at all since it doesn’t have a fan which gives it
incredible long-term reliability.
The last concern is software support
People worried about apps like Microsoft Office running on
the new Macs in that the answer is Rosetta to emulation.
Basically, every single app you’re currently using on your
back is gonna work instantly on the new M1 max.
And from what developers have said in the past, Rosetta two
can run those apps under emulation faster than current
Intel chips can run them natively. Now, as for the performance
apps like Photoshop and Premiere Pro, we’re not exactly sure
how over is that a two is going to run them. But they will
eventually be updated to run natively, hopefully, sooner than later.
And by the way, if you’re worried about plugins and apps like
Logic Pro Rosetta two, we’ll also be emulating them on the fly
until they get updated. But we’re still not sure how they’re
going to perform.
So there you guys go. Hopefully, this article helped answer some of your questions about Apple’s new emblem chip.