The Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max: What You Need to Know About the Most Powerful Apple Chips Yet

31 October 2021 12:00 Technologies

As of yesterday, the Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max are finally being shipped out, and buyers are now able to get their hands on the most powerful chips that Apple has ever created with the new MacBook Pro models. The chips contain 10 cores in CPU and 32 cores in GPU, reaching up to 64GB of unified memory.

Although both the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are among the strongest that you can get your hands on, there is a bit of a difference between the two. The M1 Max chip is stronger and four times faster than the M1, which sounds like a significant difference – until you look at the price.

All of this raises obvious questions, such as whether the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are truly as amazing as Apple claims, and if the M1 Max chip is worth the additional cost over the Pro. So, let’s take a look at everything we need to know about these new additions to the Apple family.

Tied to the MacBook Pro

Both the M1 Pro and M1 Max are tied to the all-new MacBook Pro, which comes in different models including customizable specifications that alter the price based on what you’ve selected. We’ll get into the chip-related differences later, but first, let’s talk about what the MacBook Pro itself offers first.

We have a 16-core Neural Engine, a 12-, 14-, or 16-inch Liquid Retine XDR display, three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port, a SDXC card slot, a MagSafe 3 port, a backlit magic keyboard with Touch ID and a touch bar, a Force Touch trackpad, and a 140W USB-C Power Adapter.

We have a FaceTime camera with 1080p resolution – pretty good for a laptop cam, although still not as good as what something this costly should offer. The GPU has 14 cores but, based on how much you want to spend, can include up to 32 total cores. The unified RAM starts at 16GB and reaches up to 64GB, with the latter figure specifically tied to the M1 Max.

The storage starts at 256GB and can go up to 2TB, with every option being SSD. And, lastly, you can throw in pre-installed software for extra money, such as Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro.

The price of the MacBook Pro is difficult to pin down because there are multiple models and everything from the RAM, display, storage, and the chips make a difference in how much it costs. But, to give you an idea, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD costs $1,299 dollars.

The Apple M1 Pro vs. the Apple M1 Max

Both of the chips offer state-of-the-art performance – the best that the MacBook Pro has ever performed before. The M1 Pro is twice as fast as the vanilla M1, while the M1 Max is four times faster. Tasks such as compiling projects, using image and video editors, managing files and documentation, and playing video games are all faster and more efficient than ever.

The M1 Pro has 200GB of memory bandwidth, while the M1 Max has 400GB. A feature unique to the Apple M1 Max is that it can go up to 64GB of unified RAM.

Both of the chips perform similarly and, if you don’t do particularly demanding tasks, you won’t notice much of a difference in everyday usage. For those who push their hardware to the limit or use their device professionally for tasks beyond documentation, however, the M1 Max is the obvious choice since it’s faster, stronger, and more efficient. The only other thing you need to consider is that it’s costlier, too.

So, which one you get is entirely up to you, but we can tell you that both chips are excellent and worth the upgrade for Mac users. And, if you have the extra money, the M1 Max is undoubtedly the better choice for anyone who wants to use its power to its fullest capacity.

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