Apple is widely expected to launch the Apple M1X chip in 2021, when it will be incorporated into the next-gen MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models.
The current Apple M1 chip is already in the hands of thousands of Apple customers—it's used in the current MacBook Pro models, along with the current MacBook Air models. The M1 chip is Apple's first 64-bit processor, and is designed to help the company deliver faster, more efficient performance and enable the next-generation of iPhones, iPads and Macs.
What is the Apple M1X?
While the name is up in the air, it’s widely accepted that Apple will soon reveal an Apple Silicon processor that’s even more powerful than the impressive M1 found inside the MacBook Air and iMac 2021.
In fact, if rumours are accurate, Apple could leapfrog the likes of AMD and Intel in offering the absolute best CPU performance for a laptop in the same category as the MacBook Pro. Apple is also expected to launch an even more powerful chip than the M1X for the Mac Pro, although this is expected to launch in 2022.
The Apple M1X chip is expected to debut inside the MacBook Pro 2021, but it’s unknown when this laptop will launch.
The likes of Jon Prosser had suggested the MacBook Pro would be unveiled at WWDC 2021, but the laptop did not make an appearance during the event.
Recent reports from Digitimes (via MacRumours) have instead indicated that the MacBook Pro won’t be entering ‘volume production’ until Q4 2021 at the earliest. This means we could still be a number of months away from an official reveal for the M1X chip.
However, we are reasonably confident that an Apple laptop featuring the M1X will launch before the end of 2021.
The Apple M1X chip will only be available in certain Apple Macs. So far, only the MacBook Pro is expected to feature it, but we wouldn’t rule it out for a future iMac or iMac Pro configuration.
The cheapest Apple M1X system is expected to be the rumoured 14-inch MacBook Pro, but it’s anybody’s guess in regards to how much it will cost. The cheapest 16-inch MacBook Pro currently costs S$3499 so we expect it to cost less than that.
The Apple M1X is expected to be considerably more powerful than the existing M1 chip, but how will the specs compare?
Bloomberg reports the M1X will have a total of 10 cores, made up of 8 high-performance cores and 2 energy-efficient cores. This suggests Apple is prioritising performance over battery life compared to the M1, which sees 4 high-performance cores and 4 energy-efficient cores.
The M1X looks to have serious firepower when it comes to graphics power, with 16 and 32 graphics core variants rumoured. The M1 has a maximum of 8 GPU cores, yet still flaunted an impressive graphics performance on the MacBook Air.
YouTube channel Dave2D has estimated the graphics power of the 32 graphics core variation to be around the same level of the Nvidia RTX 3070, which is currently Nvidia’s second most powerful laptop GPU. This would be incredibly impressive if accurate, as the M1X will be a SoC (system on chip) rather than a discrete graphics card like Nvidia’s GeForce range.
While we can’t be sure whether these specs are accurate right now, it does seem like the M1X will become one of the most powerful mobile processors when it launches, while also featuring the graphical grunt to compete with high-end discrete mobile GPUs from AMD and Nvidia.
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