New MacBook Pros, M1 Pro and M1 Max unveiled at Unleashed Event
Apple held its October “Unleashed” event yesterday. As expected, they introduced the latest additions to the MacBook Pro lineup — and the new M1 Pro and M1 Max Apple Silicon chips that will power them. Here are the highlights:
Apple Silicon M1 Pro and M1 Max
Apple unveiled the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips at yesterday’s event, presenting them as “scaled up” versions of the M1 chip introduced last year. The specs are impressive:
The M1 Pro has up to a 10-core CPU, up to a 16-core GPU, and can support up to 32GB of unified memory (more on this in a moment).
The M1 Max is even more powerful. It has a 10-core CPU, up to a 32-core GPU, and can support up to 64GB of unified memory.
Like the original M1 chip, the M1 Pro and M1 Max are both ARM-based systems on a chip (SoC). What this means is that everything that makes up the “brains” of the Mac — the CPU, GPU, I/O, and Neural Engine — is combined on a single chip and uses a single pool of memory (which is why Apple calls it “unified” memory instead of just saying RAM). This means less copying and moving data between different chips, and more efficiency and speed.
In terms of what this means for speed, Apple says that the M1 Pro and M1 Pro Max provide 1.7x the CPU performance of a comparable PC chip. Put another way, the M1 Pro and M1 Pro Max are up to 70% faster than the original M1. GPU speed is similarly impressive. The M1 Pro handles graphics up to 2x faster than the M1; the M1 Max is up to 4x faster.
The new MacBook Pro models
Apple also introduced two new additions to the MacBook Pro lineup: the MacBook Pro 14” and the MacBook Pro 16”.
In terms of design, there have been some notable changes. The new MacBook Pro models will lose the Touch Bar, offering a full row of function keys instead. They will also gain a notch (sure to annoy some people, though it is in support of a 1080p FaceTime HD camera). In addition, there’s great news for people who love ports: the new MacBooks will both have an HDMI port, a MagSafe 3 port, three USB-C ports, a slot for SDXC cards, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The 14” MacBook Pro starts at $1,999. The base model comes with an M1 Pro chip with 8-Core CPU and 14-Core GPU, 16GB unified memory, and 512GB SSD Storage.
The 16” MacBook Pro starts at $2,499. The base model comes with an M1 Pro chip with 10-Core CPU and 16-Core GPU, 16GB unified memory, and 512GB SSD Storage.
Both the 14” and the 16” MacBook Pro are, of course, configurable to specs that go well beyond the entry level options … for a price.
The new MacBook Pros are available for pre-order now, and will be fully available on October 26.
A release date for Monterey
Last but not least, Apple’s Unleashed event finally gives us a release date for macOS 12 (Monterey)!
If you’re buying a new MacBook Pro, it will ship with Monterey installed. For everyone else, the newest version of macOS will be available on October 25. Stay tuned for a look at the new security and privacy features in macOS Monterey.