The computing world was inverted when Apple discovered back in 2020 that it would convert from Intel processors to Apple Silicon for its Mac range. But what is Apple Silicon and why should you care for it?
We’ve gathered this comprehensive guide to Apple Silicon, which includes a basic explanation as well as specs and benchmark figures. So without further ado, here is all you need to know about Apple’s new technology.
What is Apple Silicon?
Apple Silicon is an arm-based processor technology that Apple has developed for its computing products. While Apple used to outsource its MacBook processor production to the likes of Intel, the company has now decided to produce its own chips to maintain full control of the production line.
The Apple M1 chip is the very first processor in this new line-up, and so far has been installed in the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac Mini. A more powerful Apple processor is also expected to arrive soon, preferring the MacBook Pro 2021, iMac 2021 and iMac Pro 2021.
Apple has confirmed that its entire Mac range will transition more than the new Apple Silicon, but it will be a gradual process that will take about two years to complete. If you still got an Intel Mac, there is no need to worry, as Apple has confirmed that it will continue to support such devices for the foreseeable future.
Apple Silicon Display – How Fast Is It?
The Apple Silicon SoC (System on a Chip) is built using 5-nanometer process technology and includes 16 billion transistors. Apple suggests that the M1 boasts 3.5 times faster CPU performance than previous Intel chips.
We reviewed the MacBook Air M1 to see how much performance Apple’s new processors offer compared to Intel, and the results were outstanding.
As you can see above, the MacBook Air outpaced the performance of the Dell XPS 13 2020, with Intel’s 11th generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 chip. This means that Apple’s laptop is better suited for intensive workloads such as editing photos and videos.
Apple Silicon will only be even more powerful, as more specific versions of the M1 are expected to power the likes of the MacBook Pro and the iMac Pro.
But Apple Silicon is not just about CPU. The company is also bringing a custom-built GPU into the game, which it says will support the high-end gaming experience, as well as use high-performance gaming. Apple also has technology within Silicon to support image processing from cameras, machine learning through a new neural engine, audio processing, and more. System-on-a-chip is the future of Mac.
Does Apple Use Silicon Arm Architecture?
Yes. MacBooks and iMac devices previously used Intel’s x86 processor architecture, but Apple is now switching to the arm architecture.
Apple already uses arm-based A-Series chips for its iPhone and iPad devices, so the transition allows Apple the ease of streamlining its technology and providing cross-platform support for apps in both iOS and macOS Will be.
Arm technology is renowned for providing excellent power and thermal efficiency compared to Intel processors. This is shown by the fact that the new MacBook Air can operate without a fan, while its battery life has also been greatly extended.
Should you wait for Apple Silicon?
Early indications suggest that Apple Silicon will outperform Intel chips for both performance and battery life, making the M1 model a far more tantalizing option than older Intel units.
Apple urged a price increase for the new M1 MacBook, so you don’t have to pay extra for the new technology – unless you’re buying the reduced model from a third-party retailer.
The new Apple Mac processors will also feature an architecture similar to the chips found inside the iPhone and iPad, allowing smooth software transitions between ecosystems. This could potentially increase the number of apps made available to Macs in the future.
There are a lot of advantages here that you should wait for the Apple Silicon Mac where possible. That said, Apple has confirmed that it will continue to support Intel Macs for the foreseeable future, so if you see an Intel Mac that has a significant reduction in price it may still be a worthwhile purchase.