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5 Things To Know About Apple’s M1 Pro, M1 Max Chips For MacBook Pro

Apple is promising ‘dramatically more performance’ and ‘significantly less’ power draw than comparable Intel CPUs with its new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips that go inside the new MacBook Pro laptops. CRN reviews the most important things you should know.

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The Specs For Apple’s ‘Powerful’ M1 Pro, M1 Max Chips

As the names suggest, the M1 Pro and M1 Max are scaled-up versions of Apple’s M1 chip architecture that debuted in the company’s standard MacBooks last year. This largely means better performance for general-purpose compute, graphics and media compared to the standard M1 chip that powers the MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, 24-inch iMac and Mac mini.

Both chips are available in Apple’s new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, and Apple is as advertising the M1 Pro as more of the standard option for professional users while the M1 Max is meant for those who need even greater graphics and media capabilities.

The M1 Pro and M1 Max both have various configuration options, though only the M1 Pro has different choices for CPU core count, which consist of the performance cores and efficiency cores that are inherent to the M1 architecture’s hybrid CPU design.

As such, the M1 Pro has options for an 8-core CPU (6 performance cores, 2 efficiency cores) and a 10-core CPU (8 performance cores, 2 efficiency cores). For graphics, the M1 Pro can sport either a 14-core GPU or a 16-core GPU. The M1 Pro supports up to 32GB of unified memory with a memory bandwidth of 200GB/s. For media, the M1 Pro comes with a video decode engine, a video encode engine, a ProRes encode and decade engine as well as hardware accelerators for codecs like H.264 and RAW.

The M1 Max, on the other hand, only comes with the same 10-core CPU found on the M1 Pro. But for graphics, the M1 Max offers far more horsepower with options for a 24-core GPU or a 32-core GPU. The M1 Max supports up to 64GB of unified memory with a memory bandwidth of 400GB/s. For media, the M1 Max comes with the same hardware acceleration for codecs, but it has two video encode engines, two ProRes encode and decode engines in addition to a single video decode engine.

Both the M1 Pro and M1 Max come with a 16-core Neural Engine that is designed for on-device machine learning acceleration and improved camera performance.

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