MacBook Pros, an “M1X” chip, and other stuff to expect at Apple’s October event

Enlarge / Apple may very well be on the brink of present us the subsequent stage of the MacBook Professional’s improvement.

One other month, one other Apple occasion. Recent off a September occasion that delivered new updates for the whole iPhone lineup, some new iPads, and a gently tweaked Apple Watch, Apple is preparing for another event on Monday, October 18. And this time, we’re anticipating the corporate to deal with the Mac, which continues to be in the midst of a transition from Intel chips to the Apple Silicon chips which are making new Macs really feel thrilling and vital in a approach they have not in years.

We’ll be following alongside stay beginning at 10 am Pacific on Monday, however within the meantime, we have gathered all the present rumors and put collectively a listing of issues we’re almost definitely to see (in addition to one or two issues that are not as seemingly). The brief model is that Apple ought to lastly be gearing as much as present us high-performance Apple Silicon chips.

The “M1X” chip, or no matter it’s known as

Simply because the MacBook Air, the most recent 13-inch MacBook Professional, the Mac mini, and the 24-inch iMac all use the identical M1 chip, we count on the subsequent spherical of Macs to share the identical silicon as properly. Generally known as the “M1X,” the chip’s precise specs are a little bit of a thriller, since Apple’s chip designs are amongst its best-kept secrets and techniques. Nevertheless it’s not onerous to guess the final gist of what we’ll be getting—new chips that enhance upon the efficiency of the Intel processors they’re changing whereas additionally enabling a dramatic enhance in battery life. Current Intel MacBook refreshes have struggled to supply one or the opposite of these items, however the M1 Macs managed to do each.

To interchange the higher-end Intel Macs, the M1X might want to have only a bit extra of all the pieces in comparison with the M1: extra processor cores, extra GPU cores, and help for extra displays and Thunderbolt and USB ports. With out adapters or docks, the M1 can drive solely two screens without delay, together with the pc’s inner show. We would additionally count on configurations with greater than 16 GB of RAM, the present most for M1 Macs.

A report from late last year instructed {that a} higher-performance chip destined for the MacBook Execs may embody as many as 16 of Apple’s efficiency cores, although more recent reporting suggests we may very well be taking a look at a chip with eight efficiency cores and two low-power effectivity cores. Even eight efficiency cores ought to be capable to outpace the 4-, 6-, 8-, and 10-core processors in immediately’s Intel Macs. The M1X will even reportedly be out there with both 16 or 32 GPU cores, in comparison with the seven or eight GPU cores included in the usual M1 (Apple may additionally enhance graphics efficiency by rising reminiscence bandwidth, because it has performed in some older iPad processors, however we’ve not heard something particular about that).

New MacBook Execs

New MacBook Execs that exchange the four-port 13-inch MacBook Professional and the 16-inch MacBook Professional are the factor we’re almost definitely to get out of Monday’s occasion.

Apple’s first few Apple Silicon Macs had been very conservative from a design standpoint—the MacBook Air, two-port MacBook Professional, and Mac mini all put new guts into computer systems that appeared an identical to those they had been changing. However the brand new MacBook Execs may very well be a bit extra adventurous, within the vein of the 24-inch iMac.

For instance, persistent rumors declare that the 13-inch MacBook Professional may change into a 14-inch MacBook Professional. And breadcrumbs left in some macOS betas counsel that Apple is engaged on laptops with higher-resolution screens that would obviate the necessity for the scaled, non-native decision that every one present MacBooks use out of the field. With a extra environment friendly chip, Apple may additionally take the chance to shrink the 16-inch MacBook Professional’s enormous 100 WHr battery, lowering the 4.3-pound laptop computer’s dimension and weight. Different enhancements may embody extra energy-efficient mini LED backlighting for the shows and presumably even a 120 Hz refresh charge (the reporting for the 120 Hz refresh charge is skinny, however it might dovetail properly with macOS Monterey’s help for exterior displays with variable refresh charges).

Different rumors counsel that Apple will stroll again a number of the extra controversial adjustments made to the MacBook Professional again in 2016, the final time the laptops bought a complete overhaul. Alleged schematics from earlier this year counsel that the MagSafe energy connector may make a return, together with a full-size HDMI port and an SD card slot. These adjustments would scale back the variety of Thunderbolt ports to a few, however having just a few sorts of ports would nonetheless make the laptops extra handy to make use of, on stability, for individuals who incessantly use exterior shows or SD playing cards. The Contact Bar can also be eliminated in favor of a bodily row of operate keys.

A sooner Mac mini

The 2020, M1-equipped Apple Mac mini.

The 2020, M1-equipped Apple Mac mini.

Samuel Axon

We would say the brand new MacBook Execs are just about a certain factor, however there are a few less-likely-but-still-possible Mac refreshes Apple may introduce.

Apple already has an Apple Silicon Mac mini, however you might have observed that the corporate continues to promote a model of the 2018 Intel Mac mini with extra ports and as much as 64GB of RAM. Current rumors counsel that Apple may exchange this machine with a type of “Mac mini Professional,” which might leverage the M1X’s improved efficiency and expanded connectivity. The present Apple Silicon Mac mini is nice for primary use and even gentle picture and video enhancing, however an M1X Mac mini could be a greater workstation for code compilation or skilled video enhancing, duties that typically benefit from the entire processing efficiency they will get.

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