Apple’s new internal M1 chip is officially on the market. The first reviews and benchmarks are starting to appear, so we are putting together everything we know about it in one useful place, which we will update as we get more information.
The first computers with Apple’s M1 chip are already on sale. To test it out, you’ll have to choose from one of three new products that feature the chip: the new MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, or the Mac Mini. Each comes with two configurations using the M1. The MacBook Pro also has two Intel configurations on offer, and the Mac Mini has an Intel processor offering. Apple began shipping purchases of M1 devices this week.
What kind of properties do Apple’s new Arm-based chips have that Intel’s x86 architecture does not?
Well, for example, it uses a 5nm process. By comparison, even Intel’s 7nm process is not expected to start making its way into its products until at least 2022. An Apple processor has 8 cores, which would typically have to go to the Intel H-series product stack to get mobile chips.
The four cores of the M1 are dedicated to high power performance, while the other four are used for low power efficiency. Overall, this even reaches the 10W heat dissipation range, and it is said that low-power cores account for one-tenth of the power required by high-power cores. The chip also has 16 billion transistors.
The M1 is also a system on a chip (SOC) with integrated graphics and integrated memory. The included GPU also has 8 cores, with 128 total compute units and 2.6 teraflops of performance (there is an exception here: the entry-level MacBook Air uses a version of the M1 with a 7-core GPU). “Unified memory” replaces the need for separate RAM, which means that the chip comes with either 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4X-4266 MHz SDRAM, depending on your device.