Apple Ditches Intel: Three Updated Macs Released

On Nov. 11, Apple announced three new Mac devices, featuring the all-new M1 chip, a processor made completely by Apple.

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Jacob Slabosz

During Apple’s “One More Thing” event, three new Macs were announced, with heavy focus on the new M1 processor made entirely in-house by Apple.

During Apple’s “One more thing.” event held on Nov. 11, three new Mac devices were announced, all of which feature the brand-new M1 chip, the first computer processor made by Apple, featuring Apple Silicon. Each device received large increases in speed and performance, making them the fastest computers in their respective lineups. 

 

To view a quick guide of the new features and updates, view this link

 

M1 Processor

The focus of the event was Apple’s A1 chip. In June of 2020, Apple announced that they would be transitioning away from processors made by Intel and instead be switching to those made in-house. M1 is now the world’s first personal computer processor to take advantage of five-nanometer processing technology, allowing the most transistors in a single chip ever made by Apple. 

 

M1’s Central Processing Unit (CPU) features eight cores, four of which are high-performance, which are the fastest CPU cores in the world, while the other four are high-efficiency. The high-efficiency cores deliver equivalent speeds to existing Mac processors while using just one-tenth of the power. 

 

The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) in M1 features up to eight cores, allowing huge improvements over past processors. Apple boasted that this new GPU delivers two times the performance as the latest PC laptop chip at any level of power consumption. M1 also provides the same peak performance of the PC chip while using only one-third of the power. Apple did not mention which PC processor they compared with. 

 

M1 also now allows Macs to instantly wake from sleep, thanks to the increased performance speeds. Applications open significantly faster, especially those made by Apple. JavaScript editing is now 1.5 times as fast and 1.9 times more responsive. Battery life received a boost as well. 

 

M1 opens a new door for macOS application developers and users alike. In combination with macOS Big Sur, the newest Mac software, Macs can run applications made for iPhones and iPads, allowing for greater possibilities in the App Store. 

 

MacBook Air

Apple noted that MacBook Air is not only the most popular Mac device, but is also the best selling 13-inch notebook computer worldwide. Taking advantage of M1, MacBook Air is now 3.5 times as fast as the previous generation and faster than 98 percent of PC laptops sold in the last year. Graphics performance is also five times as fast.

 

Solid State Drive (SSD) storage performance is two times as fast as well, compared to past MacBook Airs. MacBook Air does not have a fan, which allows it to be completely silent, though this increases overheating issues. With up to 18 hours of video playback, the battery life received a hefty boost of six hours. TouchID is also standard, and camera quality received a minor upgrade. 

 

With a starting price of $999, or $899 with education pricing for students, MacBook Air begins orders November 10 with availability November 17. 

 

Mac mini

With the new M1, Mac mini delivers three times faster CPU performance than before and six times faster graphics. Mac mini can also now support Apple’s Pro Display XDR, their top-of-the-line computer display capable of 6K graphics. Machine learning is up to 15 times faster as well. Memory is upgradable to 16 gigabytes and WiFi 6 comes standard.

 

Mac mini now starts at $699, $100 cheaper than its previous price, and orders begin November 10 with availability November 17. 

 

MacBook Pro

The 13-inch MacBook Pro received its annual upgrade with the addition of M1. CPU performance is now 2.8 times as fast as the previous MacBook Pro, and graphics are five times as fast. MacBook Pro is also up to three times faster than the best-selling Windows laptop in its class. 

 

Battery life also gets an upgrade with 20 hours of video playback, 10 hours more than previous generations. MacBook Pro possesses the longest battery life on a Mac ever. 

 

Featuring an array of three microphones, MacBook Pro has clearer sound quality than ever before. The FaceTime camera also received a minor increase in quality. MacBook Pro, like MacBook Air, works with Pro Display XDR at full 6K resolution. 

 

With a starting price of $1299, or $1199 with education pricing, MacBook Pro’s orders begin November 10 with availability November 17. 

 

Overview

Apple’s new M1 processor has allowed for huge leaps in performance for all three devices announced, as well as improved battery life in both MacBook models. Apple was also set to announce AirTags; however, that’s something that remains to be a rumor. AirTags would compete with Tile devices and show up in the Find My app. Attaching them to things like keychains would allow users to prevent lost items. AirTags are now set to be announced in the first half of 2021, according to Jon Prosser.