What Apple’s new in-house silicon chip means for you

Ruben Fields
November 16, 2020

For the 13-inch MacBook Pro, this means faster processing, faster graphics, faster machine learning capabilities and up to 20 hours of battery life - twice the battery life of the previous generation and the longest of any Mac, according to Apple. As already mentioned, combined with the M1, Big Sur will allow users to run apps from the iPhone or iPad on their Mac computers, and much of the aesthetic for the new operating system has been borrowed from iOS. And in MacBook Air, the M1 is faster than the chips in 98% of PC notebooks sold in the past year, Apple claimed. But ultimately the number of transistors is related to the overall objectives and design style of the CPU itself, so a chip with less transistors could still be more powerful depending on the rest of its design. Apple revealed that when paired with the new M1 chip system, responsiveness improves greatly, and popular programs like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro will see boosts in performance.

For information about the new M1 Mac trio, please check out the linked Apple press release about these machines, and the official Mac product pages.

At its One More Thing event, Apple unveiled its first ARM-based Macs, marking a severance from the Intel x86 chips it's relied upon, and bringing all processor chips for its devices in-house. A new MacBook Air will set you back $999, with local pricing yet to be confirmed.

The Mac Mini is also getting updated with the new M1 magic, where it will reportedly be up to three times faster than ever before. Plus, all the Windows-based Arm devices include a built-in cellular modem, primarily 5G, which is an added benefit that Apple did not choose to integrate into this first-generation Mac-focused Arm processor.

Apple seems to think people will play video games on new Mac computers
Apple seems to think people will play video games on new Mac computers. Image apple

Patrick Moorhead, founder of Moor Insights & Strategy, estimated Apple would save between $US150 and $US200 ($205 and $275) per chip in costs by using its own central processors. Apple's lengthy reliance on Intel processors changes from this moment on, along with the following years to come. There are 8 cores in the CPU, which is under the roof of the M1. Apple says that, compared to other high-end laptops, the M1's power-efficiency is up to three times better, with graphics twice faster - the world's fastest integrated graphics, as explained in the event.

It is a boon for Apple computers, which are overshadowed by the company's iPhone but still rack up tens of billions of dollars in sales per year.

The new Mac chips promise faster processing speeds, sleeker designs, and longer battery life.

Surprisingly, for the upgraded specifications, the new Mac Mini comes in at a lower price than the previous generation quad-core model. USA prices will start at $699 (R11 500), and you can tweak it to have up to 16GB of RAM and up to 2TB of internal storage as needed. These are still MacBooks and Mac minis, not an iPad with a keyboard or without a display. The 8-core version can execute nearly 25,000 threads at a time, resulting in what Apple claims to be the world's fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer.

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Following the likes of Dish and Columbia Capital, T-Mo is aiming to strike similar deals with a company called Tstar. T-Mo also notes that legacy Sprint customers can still take advantage of Priority Status in their Sprint app, too.

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