On November 10th, Apple officially unveiled it’s custom silicon Mac computers. For nearly a decade, Apple has been dependent on the slow progression of Intel chipsets. Like other PC makers, Apple has designed their laptops and workstations around Intel’s specifications. Apple’s dependence on Intel timelines bottlenecked its ability to innovate and fully customize the macOS experience. Apple has designed it’s custom chips for it’s iOS devices for years now, and now that the technology is mature, it was finally time to bring this technology to the Mac.
The chipset that will be making its way to Macs this year is the M1. The M1 uses a 5mn process and utilizes eight cores. Four of those eight cores are high-performance cores, and the other four and efficiency cores. The chips will intelligently swap between the high performance and efficiency cores on the fly for specific tasks to maximize these new machines’ battery life and performance.
The performance and efficiency of these chips are the main stories here. Apple is introducing these chips into a new MacBook Air, a MacBook Pro, and a Mac Mini. Apple claims their MacBooks will receive drastically improved battery life and unparalleled performance, especially for optimized apps to work with the M1 chip.
The power of Apple’s chips isn’t a mystery. Devices like the iPad Pro and iPhone have continually blown away the competition in performance and streamlining workflows. Some creative professionals use the iPad Pro exclusively to edit high-resolution videos in record time.
Though I believe Apple’s claims regarding performance and battery life, I would hesitate for a creative professional to rush out and purchase Apple’s latest offering. I would recommend letting reviewers test these machines, run them through their paces, and see how quickly compatibility and optimization come for apps they may depend on.
Apple is continuing to be competitive with their pricing for their new devices. The MacBook Air still starts at a reasonable $999 with 256GB of storage to start. The Mac Mini starts at a very competitive $699, meaning the bar for entry for capable Mac desktops is the lowest its ever been.
These new Macs are going to usher in the latest generation of creative professionals. The substantial performance gains, unified coding experience across macOS and iOS, and reasonable price points will encourage first-time Mac buyers and seasoned professions to invest in Apple’s new hardware within the next few years. Apple silicon is going to be huge, and custom silicon will be the future of computing. Luckily, Apple has a massive head start.