Apple first introduced its M1 chip back in November 2020 by ditching Intel for good. And it was a groundbreaking success for them. Mostly because of the tight integration between hardware and software. Naturally, we were all eager to see what their next-gen chip would offer. Well, the wait is over, as Apple just introduced two brand new chips, which are M1 Pro and M1 Max, based on the same architecture of the previous M1 chip at the Apple Unleashed Event recently. The new MacBook Pro 14 and 16 Inch will be sporting these new chips. But before they arrive, we are here to break down the differences among M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max, as well as what you should expect from these new chips.
Let’s look at the specs of these chips first. As mentioned earlier, both of the new chips are based on the TSMC’s five nanometers architecture, which is the current smallest offering in the market. Although the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max are built on the same architecture, the new M1 Pro features a massive 33.7 billion transistors, that’s more than twice the M1. And the M1 Max takes it to a new height featuring 57 billion transistors, that’s 1.7 times M1 Pro and 3.5 times M1 chip. The M1 Pro and M1 Max feature a total of 10 CPU Cores with 8 Performance Cores along with 2 Efficiency Cores, where on the M1 you will find 4 Performance Cores and 4 Efficiency Cores a total of 8 CPU Cores.
In terms of GPU, there is a huge difference. The new M1 Pro can go up to 16 graphics cores, and the M1 Max packs a staggering 32 graphics cores. Whereas the previous M1 Chip tops out only at eight graphics cores.
For RAM, the M1 Pro supports up to 32GB, the M1 Max up to 64GB, and the M1 is limited to 16GB. Keep in mind that these are unified memory, not the standard memory you will see in a standard PC, which allows all the components to access the same memory at the same time at a much faster data transfer rate.
The chart clearly shows that the new M1 Pro and the M1 Max bring a huge performance boost to their predecessor, M1. The M1 Pro and M1 Max provide 70% faster performance than the M1 in CPU. The M1 Pro provides two times faster performance for GPU, while the M1 Max gives up to four times faster graphics performance than the M1. The memory bandwidth of these two new chips is also much higher than the previous M1. The M1 Pro has a memory bandwidth of up to 200GBps, nearly three times more than M1. The M1 Max delivers up to 400GBps memory bandwidth, that’s twice M1 Pro and six times than M1. The M1 Pro also adds one ProRes Accelerator, and the M1 Max adds two ProRes Accelerators, which is extremely important for pro video editing.
One of the main reasons people loved the M1 is because of how energy efficient it was despite the performance boost. And, this year, Apple says the M1 Pro and M1 Max can achieve even better battery life. With these chips inside, the new 14 Inch MacBook Pro delivers 17 hours of video playback, which is seven additional hours than the previous MacBook Pro powered by the M1 chip. And, the 16 Inch model gets up to 21 hours of video playback; that’s 10 hours of additional video playback and the longest battery life ever on a MacBook.
Both of these M1 Pro and M1 Max chips bring staggering performance across the CPU, GPU, Memory as well as in battery life. Taking everything into consideration, it’s clear that the new M1 Max is the clear winner here. Don’t get us wrong, the previous M1 chip is a fantastic chip, but the new M1 Pro is just better, and the M1 Max is the best. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best option for you. For day-to-day tasks and content creation, the previous M1 is still an awesome value option. But if you don’t wanna compromise the power and want the absolute best, you should definitely go for the new M1 Pro and M1 Max.