Apple M1 Pro and Max: Company releases new professional chip for its more powerful computers

Andrew Griffin
Monday 18 October 2021 18:46
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Apple has announced the ‘M1 Pro’ and ‘M1 Max’, a pair of chips built for its more powerful computers.

The processors are built on the foundations of the M1, the chip it revealed when it released its new MacBook Pro, Air and Mac Mini, last year. That was part of the company’s move to Apple Silicon, as it starts to use its own chips rather than those provided by Intel.

But the new Apple chips increase the performance found in that original M1, so that it can be used on more powerful computers, such as the larger MacBook Pro.

The first of those computers were the 14-inch and 16-inch version of the MacBook Pro, which Apple announced during the same event.

The M1 Pro is essentially an upgraded version of the M1 chip that arrived last year with double the performance in a number of ways. The M1 Max then doubles that all over again, in what Apple says is easily the most powerful chip it has ever made.

The M1 Max’s performance is roughly similar to the most powerful PC laptops, Apple said. It is “the world’s most powerful chip for a pro notebook”, Apple’s Johny Srouji said in its launch announcement.

Even with that extra power, the chips are able to do the work while using much less energy than other processors, Apple said. That means computers using them should not only have longer battery life but run much cooler.

The software will also be calibrated to ensure the best performance of the chip, Apple’s software boss Craig Federighi said. The operating system will be able to take advantage of the various parts of the chip for the fastest possible performance, he claimed.

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