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What is the M1 Chip? Introducing a New Era for MacBooks and other Apple Devices

What is the M1 Chip? Introducing a New Era for MacBooks and other Apple Devices

19th Jan 2022

In 2020, Apple introduced its first computer chip ever made by them for the laptop and desktop line-up, the M1.

This chip is exclusively available in the Apple Mac product line-up only. Recognized for cutting edge performance, the Apple’s M1 chip is not just only changing the Apple landscape, but the tech industry as a whole. This chip surpasses expectations due to its seamless integration from MacBooks to iPads and across the entire Apple product spectrum.

But what is the M1 chip really, and what are some of the advantages and features it brings to the table? Find out the answers here.

The M1 Chip Under the Microscope

Clearly, the M1 chip is propelling Apple computers forward, but some of its more usability features (battery, fan noise, speed to launch an app and display) also set it apart from prior models. So for individuals that are heavily relying on computer use each day, we found the following features a great improvement in the day to day use of this computer:

Battery Power

Battery power has always been an important topic for laptop users. And every year new advances in technology make it possible for the battery to last longer. The M1 is not an exception – depending on your computer settings, this battery lasts in most instances for a whole day without being charged, to be more exact up to 21 hours. Nobody beats its battery life.

Fan Noise

Office or school environments normally have a fair amount of background noise, so you might not even pay too much attention when the computer fans start to get going. The M1 laptop however, is completely silent because of its power efficiency as well as a fan-less design in the MacBook Air and iPad. The M1 MacBook Pro series have fans, but overall, they come on very occasionally, and if they do, at a decreased level of prior models. Steve Jobs always hated fan noise, and some of the Apple products in the past were designed to be fan-less. We are sure that he would have much approved of this new line-up.

Launching An App

The M1 chip has also improved the ability to launch an app. It will now launch almost instantly.

Display

Yes, the new display is fantastic, but it is also worthwhile mentioning that you no longer need to wait for the display to be up. It will be on the moment you turn on your laptop.

M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max By the Numbers

The M1 chip is the first personal computer chip built using cutting-edge 5-nanometer process technology with 16 billion transistors, featuring up to eight powerful cores capable and running nearly 25,000 threads simultaneously. Additionally, its advanced GPU can handle extremely demanding tasks with ease.

The M1 is on par with other high-performing gaming hardware in terms of GPU performance. Since the M1 includes Apple’s streamlined GPU architecture, the graphics performance is equal, if not exceeding, dedicated GPUs found in other devices.

The Neural Engine in the M1 chip makes machine learning 15 times faster. Given the architecture of Apple's M1 chip, MacBooks and iPads can conduct 11 trillion operations per second. In addition, with the latest image signal processor (ISP), Apple users can watch higher quality videos with better noise reduction, improved auto white balance, and more excellent dynamic range.

But if you think this is astounding, the M1 Pro and M1 Max computer chips can do more yet. The M1 Pro chip in the MacBook Pro utilizes 33.7 billion transistors, which is double the amount in M1. It includes a 10-core CPU, with eight high-performance cores and two high-efficiency cores. This can be configured with up to 32 GB of fast unified memory and 200 GB/s of memory bandwidth.

The M1 Max chip has the same powerful 10-core CPU as M1 Pro and adds a massive 32-core GPU for up to four times faster graphics performance than M1. M1 Max has 57 billion transistors, 70% more than M1 Pro and three and a half times greater than M1.

M1 Max is the largest chip Apple has ever built, with 400 GB/s memory bandwidth or nearly six times the memory bandwidth of M1.

M1 Features and Benefits

So, what do you exactly get with the Apple M1 chip? Here’s a rundown on the chip’s performance from the surface to the core.

1. System-on-a-Chip (SoC)

Before Apple developed the M1 system, Apple utilized multiple chips for its components. Today, the M1 model features system-on-a-chip (SoC), a single system where most processes are integrated. SoC translates into better power usage, faster execution, and an overall higher-speed processor.

Leveraging GPU, CPU, Secure Enclave, image signal processors, thunderbolt controllers, neural engines, SSD controllers, and a unified memory architecture such as RAM, the functionality of M1 is further magnified. As such, the unified M1 chip enables all these components to access similar data without transitioning to different pools of memory.

2. CPU Performance

Regardless of what M1 model you chose – whether the M1 chip with eight-core processors or M1 Pro and M1 Max with 10 processors – M1 systems have more than enough processors to efficiently run and manage both mundane and multithreaded, high-demand tasks.

M1 Apple MacBooks and iPads are sure to delight professionals and students alike, and provide years of speedy computing. They do demand a premium price while other Apple models remain a great choice for most applications.

3. GPU Performance

The M1 is on par with high-performing gaming computers such as Nvidia's 1050 Ti and AMD's RX 560, meaning it can process high-resolution videos at 4K quality, increase accessibility, make navigation easier, integrate graphics, use a raw power output of 2.6 teraflops, render complex three-dimensional scenes, and unify memory.

4. Neural Engine

Similarly, M1 uses the Apple neural engine processor’s artificial intelligence to advance its machine learning capabilities, making MacBooks work 15 times faster.

This improves the overall performance level of MacBooks in the AI department, including video analysis, voice recognition, and image processing.

5. RAM

Current devices running on the M1 chip have 16 GB random access memory. While an average of 8 GB RAM gives applications a place to store and access data on a short-term basis—16 GB RAM is great for multitasking and switching between apps, even when you're working with extensive files.

Coupled with the functionality of the unified memory architecture and the fast processing of Apple's SSD storage, the 8 GB RAM is a great choice for most.

6. Machine Learning

Working together with the high-functioning neural engine of the M1 chip, machine learning can use historical data as input to predict new output values. Thus, with M1 powered by machine learning, software applications are more accurate at determining results without explicit programming.

7. Artificial Intelligence

Having a total of 16 processors in its neural engine, the M1 chip’s artificial intelligence abilities, such as recognizing faces in photos, converting speech to text, adapting to the historical data of the user, integrating to wearables, and family sharing technology, make the device more personal.

Being able to leverage the advantages of AI, Apple products that use the M1 chip are a powerful and compatible tool, allowing users to have a seamless experience. It is an optimal setup when communicating, designing high-resolution graphics, editing music and videos, gaming with PC exclusive titles, and coding in any language!

Massive Power in a Tiny Chip

The M1 chip has enabled Apple products to have next-generation graphics, high-capacity storage, and a better sound system. Indeed, it has paved another route and defined the standard for hardware tech. There is no doubt the M1 chip is a stepping stone that Apple could use to leap towards developing devices capable of further revolutionizing the world we live in.

While Mac products using M1 technology are game-changing and undeniably top-notch, especially if you know how to maximize the Apple ecosystem, their prices can also be higher than other computers available in the market. Thus, look for a trusted company that provides M1 and Intel based MacBooks to save more. Make your budget stretch further with us.