We knew it was coming and today Apple announced three new products with its brand new Arm-based M1 chip. These are the first three releases and it will take at least two years to fully implement the custom Apple silicon that is based on a 5nm process in the full line up of computers.
Apple claims that the transition to their custom Arm-based CPUs will deliver greater performance while consuming less power.
Apple claims that the M1 features the fastest integrated graphics with up to 5x graphics performance.
Thanks to the M1 chips, the battery life on the new devices is greatly extended with Apple claiming 18 hours for the MacBook Air & 20 hours for the 13″ MacBook Pro.
Less power consumption also means that the chips will run cooler, create less heat and require less active cooling.
Run iOS Apps
With the release of macOS Big Sur, you can also run iPhone & iPad apps natively. All the existing macOS apps will work natively via Rosetta 2.
13″ MackBook Pro
The new 13″ MacBook Pro with M1 chip is being aimed at creative professionals with it’s extended battery life and increased performance.
Unlike the 16″ MacBook Pro models, the 13″ only has two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Claiming up to 2.8x CPU performance and 5x graphics, they even showed DaVinci Resolve being used in the slideshow.
13″ Macbook Pro with M1 Chip 8-Core CPU & 8-Core GPU 256GB – $1,999 USD
13″ Macbook Pro with M1 Chip 8-Core CPU & 8-Core GPU 512GB – $2,299 USD
The MacBook Air is available in two configurations. A 7-core GPU variant and an 8-core GPU.
Connectivity is simplistic, with two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
13″ Macbook Air with M1 Chip 8-Core CPU & 7-Core GPU 256GB – $999 USD
13″ Macbook Air with M1 Chip 8-Core CPU & 8-Core GPU 512GB – $1249 USD
Expected to start shipping from November 17.
The Mac Mini has finally received a refresh. Its last refresh was in 2018, when it received the 8-th Generation Intel chips.
The shell is the same size as the Intel version but is only available in silver. Just like any other Mac Mini, you will need to bring your own keyboard, mouse & display.
The Mac Mini with M1 is only available with one CPU variant:
- 8-core CPU with four performance cores and four efficiency cores
- 8-core GPU
- 16-core Neural Engine
The M1 is limited to 16gb of memory, and the Mini comes standard with 8gb, configurable to 16.
Storage is either 256GB or 512GB, configurable with 1TB or 2TB options.
The Mac Mini now features two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports for expansion, capable of driving two external displays, with support for a 6K display.
The Ethernet port has been downgraded to Gigabit from 10GbE which is a shame but you can get that back via adaptors using the Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports.
The Mac Mini will retail for $699 USD (256GB) or $899 (512GB)
It will be interesting to see what Apple does next with the M1 silicon. We haven’t seen any big design changes in this release, with the 13″ MacBook Pro, MacBook Air & Mac Mini all using the same chassis.
Whether they will do the same with the 16″ MacBook Pro and other products, we will have to wait and see.