‘M1X’ MacBook Pro set to arrive in ‘several weeks’
“high-end M1 chips”
seems weird that Apple would take 1 year to ship new MacBook Pro with just some new version of the M1, when it already has new CPU cores ready to use…
Just imagine that the new A15 iPhone SoC will almost certainly have better single core performance than the M1 in many tests.
The iPhone has a lower thermal limit and they will all be manufactured on the same 5nm+ process. There were some tests posted of the A15:
It showed around 15% gains vs A14, which is to be expected from the 5nm+ process.
M1 is faster than A14:
The equivalent M-series chip this year should be around 15% faster than M1 just like A15 vs A14.
They could call it M2/M2x, they are marketing terms. It will likely ship October/November, which is a year since the M1 Air. They can refresh the Air with a 3TFLOP M2 chip (4/4-core CPU, 8-core GPU) and have a 6TFLOP M2x with 2x the CPU and GPU (8/4-core or 10/2-core CPU, 16-core GPU).
There was a rumor about a 32-core GPU but they could just increase the clock speeds. M1 GPU is clocked at 1.28GHz, they could boost that to 1.6GHz (or higher) for an extra 25% performance boost to get a 7.5TFLOP 16-core GPU. It would need to be 32-core to come close to an Nvidia 3070 mobile but a 16-core like that would perform similar to a 3060. A 24-core GPU would be somewhere in between.
A 27″+ iMac would be better with an M2x Duo option but a 7.5TFLOP GPU would be ok on the entry model, the current entry level is a 4TFLOP 5300 and goes up to a 7.6TFLOP 5700 XT. This way they could get away with 32GB RAM per chip and have 64GB on the higher iMac duo option.
Not happy about the lack of touch bar.
The Moment the revised edition was made with a separate physical ESC key, everything was fine.
The only instance where the touch bar wasn’t an asset but a drawback was during a Boot Camp Windows recovery boot, when one was supposed to press an Fn key before the touch bar drivers to enable it acting as function keys was loaded, but that was easily fixed by temporarily attaching an external USB keyboard.
If Apple does indeed do away with the touch bar entirely, and not just some entry level models, it’s a pity.
Every component adds to the cost of the laptop. When they introduced the touch bar, the prices went up around $300. They must have brought the costs down a bit since then as the 13″ MBP with touchbar starts at $1299 now but the M1 Air and M1 13″ MBP have the same spec except for the 8-core vs 7-core GPU, the Air is $999 and the MBP is $1299. Matching the chips, it’s $1499 vs $1249 so the touch bar plus touch id has to be adding somewhere in the region of $250-300 to the retail price, which is far more cost than the functionality it offers.
I’ve used laptops with and without the bar for a couple of years and the bar has only made things worse. I have one without a physical escape key and sometimes the bar removes the escape button and restarting the touch bar process shows it again.
In theory the shortcuts should be more efficient for some things like emoji or menu items but they just haven’t been for me, the buttons are pretty small, hard to read and require looking down at the bar. Touch id is nice but I would be happy to see standard buttons for audio, exposé and brightness again, especially if it brings the prices down by $100-200. It would be great to see the 16″ start at $1999 like the pre-touchbar 15″ models instead of $2399 because then that extra can go into getting 32GB RAM, which is far more useful for creative work.