Released in late 2020, M1 processors revolutionized Apple laptops with a seismic leap in performance and battery life. Now, the company is preparing a high-end version of this chip to take things to the next level: Apple M1X.
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This new processor could help establish Apple’s laptops and desktops as the enemy to beat. But what can you expect from the M1X? How will it compare to the M1? What kind of specs will you enable on the Macs that host it? We have all that information and more in this detailed guide. Keep reading to know everything you need to know about Apple’s M1X chip.
After many months of speculation, we are now about to see the M1X in the spotlight. That’s because Apple is rumored to be holding an event in October where it will introduce the new chips. If our calculations are correct, the show will most likely drop on October 19 or 26.
At the presentation, the M1X is expected to be revealed inside the new MacBook Pro 14 and the updated MacBook Pro 16. According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, the M1X will also find its way into a new high-end Mac Mini, although that might not appear until sometime after Apple’s showcase in October.
Despite the hype, the M1X may not be the reigning processor for long. This is because we already know that Apple is working on its next generation chip, the 4nm M2.
We expect this new processor to be introduced in mid to late 2022 in a new MacBook Air and possibly a high-end iMac. Its 4nm process should help outshine the M1X, which is expected to use the same 5nm process as the M1.
As for the price, it is dictated by the devices the M1X sits on. The MacBook Pro 14 is set to replace the existing MacBook Pro 13, and that starts at $ 1,299.
Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro 16 starts at $ 2,399. We’ve heard of price increases for these devices though, so don’t be surprised if you have to pay a little more for an M1X laptop.
As for the Mac Mini, the M1X version is said to be a step above the current M1 model, which starts at $ 699. No word on pricing yet, but it will likely be higher than the $ 899 price tag for the current M1 high-end edition.
Let’s get straight to this: if the rumors are true, the M1X will perform noticeably better than the M1. That’s thanks to its higher core count, as detailed by Mark Gurman. He posits that there are two variants of the M1X in the works, codenamed Jade C-Chop and Jade C-Die respectively.
The former will offer up to eight high-performance cores, two high-efficiency cores, and 16 graphics cores. The second will come with the same configuration, but will increase the number of graphics cores to 32.
Compare that to the M1, which has four high-performance cores, four high-efficiency cores, and eight graphics cores. In fact, it is such a big leap that the popular YouTuber Dave2D has estimated that the M1X could reach the graphics performance levels of the Nvidia RTX 3070 (mobile).
Jade C-Chop and Jade C-Die could represent the chips that go to the MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 respectively. Or it could be two variants offered on both MacBook Pro models: a high-end chip and a low-end chip for each laptop.
The former is probably the most likely scenario though, just because 32 graphics cores (not to mention the extra processor cores) will draw a lot more power than the M1, meaning you’ll need a bigger battery and better cooling.
On the larger MacBook Pro 16, that’s probably not a problem, but Apple may find it difficult to squeeze everything into the MacBook Pro 14. Aside from the core count, the onboard memory is said to get a big boost.
Right now, the maximum memory you can get with an M1 chip is 16GB. While this works much better than the standard 16GB of memory, the YouTube channel Max Tech showed that an 8GB MacBook Air outperformed a 16GB Intel MacBook Pro in memory tests.
For example, the RAM capacity of the M1 could still be limiting for demanding users. The good news here is that rumors have pointed out that the M1X has 64GB of onboard memory.
We also expect Apple to update and improve the neural engine on the M1X. This part of the chip handles machine learning tasks, something to which Apple has increasingly devoted its attention and resources in recent years.
We hope it will be compatible with more than the only external monitor that the M1 supports. Recent talks have suggested that the M1X will support up to three displays, so our fingers are crossed.
However, there is a counterpoint to some of these rumors. A leaked landmark in CPU Monkey shows an M1X with 12 processor cores, not 10. But, this page agrees with other rumors elsewhere, such as 64GB of memory and support for three displays.
As far as benchmarks go, the alleged M1X lived up to the Intel Core i7-11700K in the Cinebench R23 single-core test and multi-core tests. If accurate, that’s pretty incredible for a laptop chip, but don’t believe it all, Apple’s “leaked” chip benchmarks have been proven wrong in the past.
A key consideration for any laptop is battery life, and Apple’s MacBook M1s perform brilliantly here. In our reviews, the MacBook Pro 13 with M1 achieved more than 16 hours of light web browsing and 21 hours of video playback.
The MacBook Air M1, meanwhile, managed 15.5 and 18.5 hours in the same tests. That was absolutely miles ahead of Apple’s previous Intel-based MacBooks.
With numbers like that, Apple is in no rush to improve battery life. Instead, it appears that the company is focusing its efforts on performance. We can infer that based on the central counts we discussed earlier.
If Gurman is right and the M1X gets an 8/2 ratio between high-performance and high-efficiency cores, that’s a very different one from the M1’s 4/4, and one that applies much more in favor of cores. high perfomance. .
So it seems that Apple is quite happy with the current battery performance and we can’t blame it. Therefore, we predict that the M1X will maintain approximately the phenomenal battery life of the M1, while also offering better processor and graphics performance. Point for Apple.
Since much of the M1 update was superior to anything Apple could offer previously, it had a major drawback. Each Mac M1, be it a 24-inch MacBook Pro or iMac, can only offer two Thunderbolt 3 slots. It seems that the M1 chip just doesn’t have the bandwidth to support anything more than that.
Well, that goes out the window, if rumors are to be believed. The Twitter filter Dylandktwhich has a decent track record, claimed in April 2021 that the M1X will have more Thunderbolt 3 channels than the M1, presumably allowing it to offer more than just two high-speed Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Dylandkt’s claim was endorsed by Mark Gurman in May 2021. Gurman stated that the M1X will “allow for the addition of more Thunderbolt ports” and said it would come up with a new high-end Mac Mini with four ports. That should mean less need for MacBook dongles and adapters, which can only be a good thing.
There’s another pound chickpea with the M1X going around, but we’re not entirely sure what to make of it. In a report outlining much of Apple’s future chip plans, Gurman mentioned that the company was working on a high-end successor to the M1 that will be available on the upcoming MacBook Air and a lower-end MacBook Pro 13.
It will supposedly have the same number of cores as the M1, but will run faster, while the number of graphics cores will increase from seven or eight on current MacBook Air configurations to 10 on the new model.
This is a bit out of line with what we’ve heard since. For one thing, the next MacBook Air, expected in the middle of next year, is said to come with the next-gen M2 chip, not the M1X, and we can’t imagine Apple introducing a MacBook Air M1X that will be replaced so quickly. for an M2 version.
On top of that, the lower-end MacBook Pro 13 is a curious claim, as the totally redesigned MacBook Pro 14 is almost upon us. We assume that Apple may have two sizes of MacBook Pro running at the same time; after all, the iPhone X was released at the same time as the iPhone 8 with its old chassis and home button design.
But it doesn’t feel very Apple-like to do such a thing. The company usually does its best when it launches a new product format, and the iPhone X is the exception that proves the rule.
Still, we can’t rule it out entirely. Ultimately, we’ll probably get our answer at Apple’s October event later this month.