Is Apple’s M1 Max Chip really the fastest laptop chip ever?

Courtesy: C. Schodt
Update: October 20th, 2021

Apple M1 Max — everything to know about Apple’s most powerful chip yet

Apple is making some big promises with their new Macbook Pro chips

After months of rumors, Apple has revealed not one but two new processors, along with a pair of new Macbook Pro laptops. The original M1 processor paired four high-performance and four low-power cores with a 7- or 8-core GPU, and with that set up it delivered impressive results. The M1-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro bested a 16-inch MacBook Pro with an 8-core Intel i9 CPU and dedicated GPU when we tested it last year, and did so while staying impressively cool and quiet.

The new M1 Pro and M1 Max bump the core count to eight high-performance and two low-power cores, and add 16, 24, or 32 GPU cores. With twice the high-performance CPUs, and up to four times the GPU cores as the original M1, these chips should be incredibly fast, but expect it to come at the cost of more heat and noise.

Despite a shortage of compatible games, the original M1 proved to be a remarkably adept processor for gaming, and these new chips should be even better, outpacing most Intel CPUs and maybe even besting a mobile NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPU’s performance. The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBooks also come with a 120Hz display with HDR, and improved speakers. Add that all together, and suddenly the new MacBook Pro looks like a pretty capable gaming machine, compatibility issues aside. If only Apple still supported Bootcamp.

CURRENT MACBOOKS COMPARED

14-inch MacBook Pro 16-inch MacBook Pro
CPU M1 Pro or M1 Max M1 Pro or M1 Max
No. of GPU cores 14 (up to 32) 16 (up to 32)
Screen size 14.2 inches 16.2 inches
Screen resolution 3,024×1,964 pixels 3,456×2,234 pixels
Starting storage 512GB 512GB
Starting RAM 16GB 16GB
Webcam 1080p 1080p
Networking 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Connections Thunderbolt USB-C x3, HDMI, SDXC card, MagSafe 3 Thunderbolt USB-C x3, HDMI, SDXC card, MagSafe 3
Weight 3.5 lbs 4.7 lbs
US starting price $1,999 $2,499

For all the details on these new chips, check out the video below.

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