M1 vs M1 Pro vs M1 Max

Apple held its October ‘Unleashed’ event yesterday, i.e. 18th October, and it will be an event to remember.

Along with a new Voice plan for Apple Music and AirPods 3rd generation, the M1 Pro and M1 Max stole the show, until the new MacBook Pros were unveiled.

A new 14-inch model was introduced, a noticeable departure from the 13-inch along with a familiar 16-inch model in a new design that has torn many.

Apple introduced a notch on the MacBook displays, but they also re-introduced some essential ports which they took away five years ago. I have listed the features in detail, so scroll for that.

This article will mainly focus on Apple Silicon chipsets – last year’s M1 chipset, and its new and efficient M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets. The graphs that Apple showcased in their event seem promising, but many are worried about its authenticity.

No matter what the benchmark scores or reviews say, if the machines perform as Apple says they do, they’ll kill all its competitors. But, how much of a difference does a one-year chipset makes?

I have pitted the M1 with M1 Pro and M1 Max and as you might expect, they are killer chipsets, at least on paper.


Features of the 2021 MacBook Pros

Apple introduced the MacBook Pro in a 14-inch chassis, instead of 13 inches. There’s the regular 16-inch model which most pro users might prefer.

The display is top-notch! And by notch, I mean a proper notch on the display. But like many anticipated, there isn’t a Face ID as is the case with the modern iPhones. The displays also incorporate ProMotion which allows the screen refresh rate to reach higher levels for a smoother overall experience. It’s available on both models.

Within the notch is a 1080 progressive-scan video-chat camera. The speakers and microphones have also been upgraded, whereas the former now supports spatial audio that makes for a theatre-like experience.

When it comes to adding things, Apple has included three ports that they removed a few years ago: the HDMI port, an SD card slot and MagSafe charging. Apart from these ports, there are four thunderbolts 3 ports on both the 14-inch and 16-inch models

As for the battery life, the smaller 14-inch model can get up to 17 hours of video playback while its bigger sibling, the 16-inch model, can reach up to 21 hours.

To top up these batteries, Apple has added support for fast-charging that will which can quickly juice the laptop’s battery from 0 to 50%.

The laptops are available in the same old Space Grey and Silver colours.


M1 vs M1 Pro vs M1 Max

The following table will give a better idea of how M1 differs from the new M1 Pro and M1 Max:

Apple M1 Apple M1 Pro Apple M1 Max
Total CPU Cores 8 8/10 10
Performance Cores 4 6/8 8
Efficiency Cores 4 2 2
GPU Cores 7/8 14/16 24/32
Neural Engine Cores 16 16 16
Maximum Memory Supported (UMA) 16GB 32GB 64GB
Devices Supported MacBook Air, iPad Pro (5th gen), iMac 24 (2021), Mac Mini MacBook Pro 14, MacBook Pro 16 (2021) MacBook Pro 14, MacBook Pro 16 (2021)

The three different chipsets have multiple versions as you can extensively configure them. The variations in the number of CPU and GPU cores enable that.

The M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max are built on the same architecture, but the newest two feature far higher power. The system-on-a-chip (SoCs) blends the CPU, GPU, and RAM onto a single package which leads to higher efficiency overall. It also means that there is a decreased latency between the CPU and RAM.

The chips include 10 total CPU cores up from the eight in the M1 chip. The 10 cores are split into eight high-performance cores and two cores for tasks that require less energy. The M1 tops out at eight graphics cores, but the M1 Pro can go as high as 16 graphics cores, and the M1 Max features a monstrous 32 cores.

The M1 Max supports much more RAM, which is not surprising. The M1 supports up to 16GB, the M1 Pro tops out at 32GB. The M1 Max goes reaches 64GB, which is insane. That’s unified memory, not what you see other computers. As they are Soc, users will notice improved CPU and GPU performance with more memory.

When it comes to battery life, the M1 has an impressive 16 hours of battery life, but the 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip can deliver up to 17 hours of video playback, while the M1 MacBook can reach up to 21 hours of video playback.

As for charging, the 2020 M1 MacBook takes 2 hours to fully charge, while the 2021 M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBooks support fast charging, which will get you to 50% of battery life with only 30 minutes of charging.

When it comes to port, the newest MacBook Pros are absolute winners as Apple included four thunderbolt ports on the MacBook Pro, one HDMI port, a 3.5mm headphone jack for high impedance headphones. The M1 only supports two Thunderbolt 3 ports, so it’s a dongle life for the users.


Versus Intel?

In the October 2021 event, Tim Cook mentioned that Apple is one year into the two-year transition from Intel chips to Apple silicon.

It signifies that the rest of the Mac lineup will get updated in 2022.

This means that Apple has removed all of the Intel MacBook Pro models from its MacBook Pro lineup, and the Intel i7 and i9 machines are now discontinued.

Even though Intel chips continue to be available in desktop machines (Mac mini, iMac, and Mac Pro) but they will all be upgraded soon, probably next year.

When day-to-day tasks are concerned, Intel is fast but M1 chips are faster.

As for AI tasks, M1 chips are five times faster than the Intel i9 machine considering the machine learning techniques like recognizing faces in photos or converting speech to text.

Apple was quick to mention that the M1 Pro has 70% faster CPU and 100% faster GPU performance than its Intel counterparts.


Pricing in the US

Most of us would rather buy any Apple product from abroad, especially from the US since there aren’t exorbitant taxes in India. There is at least a difference of ₹60,000 no matter which model you choose.

The 14-inch M1 MacBook Pro with M1 Pro costs $1,999 (₹1,50,128) for an 8-Core CPU, 14-Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory, and 512GB SSD Storage. If you want the 1TB model, it will cost $2,499 (₹1,87,679).

If you want to max out the 14-inch with an M1 Max chipset with 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine along with 64GB unified memory and 8TB storage, it will cost you $5,899. If converted to INR, the cost comes to ₹4,43,024. So, Indian users will be paying ₹1,36,876 just for taxes.

As for the 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro, the base model with 10-Core CPU 16-Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory, 512GB SSD Storage costs $2,499 (₹1,87,679). If you want the 1TB model – everything else will be the same – you’ll be paying $2,699 (₹2,02,699).

The 16-inch M1 Max with 10-Core CPU 32-Core GPU, 32GB Unified Memory, and  1TB SSD Storage will cost $3,499 (₹2,62,780). Now, the maxed-out model – 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU and 16-core Neural Engine, 64GB unified memory, and 8TB SSD storage – will cost you $6,099 (₹4,58,045).


Pricing in India

While both the 14 inches and 16-inch models are absolute beasts, their pricing is equally ridiculous, especially in India.

The new 14-inch MacBook Pro model starts at Rs 1,94,900, and Rs1,75,410 for students. The 16-inch MacBook Pro model starts at Rs 2,39,900, and Rs 2,15,910 for students.

The detailed pricing are listed below –

The 14-inch M1 MacBook Pro with M1 Pro costs ₹1,94,900 for 8-Core CPU, 14-Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory, and 512GB SSD Storage. If you want the 1TB model, you’ll have to pay ₹2,39,900 which also bundles a 10-Core CPU, 16-Core GPU, and 96W battery as compared to 67W on the base model.

If you want to max out the 14-inch with an M1 Max chipset with 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine along with 64GB unified memory and 8TB storage, it will cost you ₹5,79,900.

As for the 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro, the base model with 10-Core CPU 16-Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory, 512GB SSD Storage costs ₹2,39,900. If you want the 1TB model – everything else will be the same – you’ll be paying ₹2,59,900.

The 16-inch M1 Max with 10-Core CPU 32-Core GPU, 32GB Unified Memory, and  1TB SSD Storage will cost ₹3,29,900. Now, the maxed-out model – 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU and 16-core Neural Engine, 64GB unified memory, and 8TB SSD storage – will cost you ₹5,89,900. That is ridiculous pricing!


FAQs

Can I order the new MacBooks?

Yes, the 2o21 MacBooks are up for pre-order now in many countries.

When will the 2021 MacBook be available for consumers?

If you preorder any of the new MacBooks right now, Apple says you’ll get it by 26th October. But it will probably be delayed due to chip shortages.

Should I buy an Intel MacBook or wait for some time?

If you have the budget for the new MacBooks or even the M1 MacBook, I’d suggest you opt for those as Apple MacBooks are gradually transitioning to their chipset.

Can I exchange my current laptop for the new MacBooks?

You should confirm that with an authorized Apple store.

Will Apple overtake the personal computer market with their 2021 MacBooks?

They are surely going that way, but nothing can be said for sure unless they are thoroughly tested. If Apple’s claims come to be true, it’s game over for Intel and AMD.


Conclusion

This is how the M1 compares to the M1 Pro and M1 Max.

With their latest chipsets, Apple has shown yet again that they are innovating when it comes to notebooks.

The lack of Intel chipsets in the 2021 MacBooks truly shows that Apple is transitioning to its silicon.

If the graphs that Apple showcased in their online event come to be true, then it’s bad news for Windows.

Keep in mind that macOS Monterey will be available as a free software update on Monday, 25th October.