Items tagged with apple silicon

Around this time last year, there was much hoopla over Apple's first Macs with the company's home-grown Apple Silicon, dubbed the M1. Almost immediately, rumors swirled about what the follow-up, rumored to be called the M1X, would have in store. Never mind that at the time, Apple released a power-efficient champion with four high-performance cores that could tear through just about any workload, while simultaneously rewriting the book on integrated graphics performance. No, the 2020 Mac mini was old news; we just had to know what was next.  And then 2021 kicked off and it seemed nothing would change. Sure, the 24" iMac got a redesign, but it had the same M1 silicon as the smaller MacBooks... Read more...
Apple certainly raised eyebrows when it announced its departure from Intel for its CPU needs, instead opting to go with its own home-grown silicon solutions. Since then, Apple launched its fairly successful Apple M1 MacBook line, and new potent M1 Max and M1 Pro-powered MacBook Pro offerings with big performance gains and memory complements have hit the market. Apple is clearly onto something here, and it's good to see the smaller pool of memory, that many complained about in its initial offerings, being expanded to up to 64GB in M1 Pro and M1 Max enabled machines. That said, a big problem with Apple's new memory config and MacOS has surfaced, and it appears to be a massive memory leak.... Read more...
It was a little over a year ago when Apple announced plans to inject its Mac systems with its own custom Apple Silicon based on Arm, kicking Intel and its x86 chips to the curb in the process. What was said to be a two-year transition plan began in earnest with the M1 system-on-chip. That's officially a last-gen part now, with Apple today having introduced its upgraded M1 Max and M1 Pro. Apple's M1 Max Is Its Biggest And Most Powerful Silicon Apple's hype train is going full steam ahead with its updated custom silicon. It now has a mini-array of M1 chips, with the latest additions coming with the promise of big performance uplift, as well as gains in power efficiency. Measured on their own, the... Read more...
Apple first announced its intention to shift from Intel processors to its homegrown Apple Silicon in Spring 2020, and the first models launched last fall (Mac mini, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air). Since then, Apple Silicon (M1) has found its way to the entry-level iMac and even the iPad Pro. Now, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is claiming that Apple will launch a new “high-end, M1X Mac mini” within “the next several months.” While last year’s M1 refresh of the Mac mini took care of the entry-level and mid-range SKUs, it still offered higher-end models powered by up to an 8th generation Core i7 processor with up to 64GB of RAM. Unfortunately, the current M1 Mac minis... Read more...
Apple has already embraced mini LED backlighting technology with its latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which features what the company calls a "Liquid Retina XDR" display (hey, it's better than calling it a "Magical" display, right?). Having been sufficiently pleased with the result, Apple is said to also be using mini LED backlighting on a pair of upcoming MacBook systems. It is expected that Apple will announce redesigned 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro models this fall. We can anticipate they will both arrive with a new and faster Apple Silicon system-on-chip (SoC), and that in and of itself is interesting. However, that is far from the only upgrade headed to the next crop of Apple's MacBooks. Apple... Read more...
It's the first weekend of June, and that means once again it's almost time for Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference. The annual WWDC is always good for learning about what new software features the company has cooked up for its many platforms, including the Mac, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, and more. Like last year, this year's WWDC is a little different than most, since it's going to be hosted online virtually rather than in person as in 2019 and prior. Still, we expect a whole lot of new and interesting things to pop up. Software to Complement New Hardware Apple's yearly cadence of operating system releases means we'll probably get a first look at all of Apple's operating systems. Of course,... Read more...
Apple's family of M1 Macs is pretty impressive. Cupertino's attempt to replace Intel's Core family of CPUs with its own home-grown processors has been pretty solid. We were blown away by the power efficiency and performance of the most entry-level Mac there is, the 2020 Mac mini with the company's M1 SoC. The thing is, there have been some bumpy software issues along the way. The most troubling appeared to be that the systems could potentially put a lot of strain on the built-in (and non-replaceable) solid state drives.  As has always been the case when M1 software issues crop up (such as the M1 EL0 state bug dubbed M1RACLES), developer Hector Martin was among the first to discover and report... Read more...
Now that Apple has broken up with Intel as part of a two-year transition plan to move away from x86 Core processor in favor of ts own Arm-based silicon, its former partner is free to speak its mind, and boy does Intel have some things to say. Intel did not hold back at Computex 2021, saying systems based on its CPUs deliver a "better gaming experience than 100 percent of Mac laptops," among other things. Several pages of an all-encompassing Computex slide deck are devoted to touting the benefits of Intel's processors for gaming, while Apple systems, including ones based on its fancy new M1 silicon, are ill suited for the task. It even enlisted actor Justin Long, who played the "Mac" in those... Read more...
While Apple's Mac mini received an internal upgrade late last year with an M1 SoC, the actual look of the computer hasn't changed much over the past decade (save for the removal of the optical drive). That is set to change with the next generation, which could be even thinner than the current model. The Mac mini reportedly features the same footprint as the current Mac mini but will not be as tall. When Apple opted for the M1 SoC over Intel processors, it resulted in a lot of wasted space inside the chassis. By going with a shorter design, the Mac mini is living up to its namesake as Apple's smallest desktop computer. Despite the smaller chassis, Apple will reportedly increase the number of available... Read more...
Apple recently discontinued its iMac Pro, an all-in-one machine that targeted professionals and sat above the consumer-oriented iMac. Given that the iMac Pro was a popular device, it stands to reason that a replacement is in the works that will take advantage of custom Apple Silicon. Well, a new report claims that the iMac Pro will be a potent beast using either an M1X or M2 SoC. There doesn't seem to be any consensus on what Apple will call its next-generation SoC, so we'll just settle on M2 for now. According to LeaksApplePro, base systems will come with a 10-core version of the M2 SoC, while top-end configurations will come with 32 cores. That's a lot of power to pack into an all-in-one chassis,... Read more...
Apple has garnered a lot of praise for its M1 SoC, which is quickly spreading throughout its entry-level Mac family, and even the iPad Pro. While the performance and efficiency aspects of the chip are unquestionable, there have been questions raised about some particular aspects of the Apple Silicon architecture.   There were earlier concerns about excessive wear on the permanently attached SSDs, and a new one popped up this week regarding memory usage. In this case, it’s with Acorn, a popular image editor developed by Gus Mueller for Macs. A user submitted that this one animated GIF that contained around 730 frames was causing weird memory readings on their M1 Mac. Given that... Read more...
Apple's M1 "Apple Silicon" hit the market with a big splash in late 2020 when it launched inside the refreshed MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac mini. The SoC is currently available in an 8-core CPU configuration with either a 7- or 8-core GPU onboard paired with 8GB or 16GB of RAM. The M1 has since found its way to the all-new Mac mini and even the new 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. However, a new report coming out of Japan alleges that second-generation Apple Silicon is already in production. The next-generation SoC is reportedly called the M2 and will be based on TSMC's 5-nanometer plus (N5P) process node. The M1 is currently in use in everything from the iPad Pro to the new iMac.... Read more...
Yesterday, Apple announced a refresh of its 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro tablets. Last year's 2020 refresh was relatively minor with a slightly more powerful GPU in the A12Z Bionic processor and upgraded cameras, but Apple put more effort into the 2021 update. The new iPad Pros now feature the same M1 Apple Silicon that graces the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and the all-new iMac. The M1 SoC also means that the iPad Pro is available in 8GB and 16GB RAM configurations with up to 2TB of internal storage space. Both tablets now support Thunderbolt 4 connectivity and optional 5G wireless connectivity via a Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G modem. Finally, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro gets a stunning... Read more...
Apple today announced its all-new iMac, which is the “next big step” in the design evolution for the company’s all-in-one desktop. This time around, the iMac is much thinner than before, measuring just 11.5mm thick, and is entirely flat (rather than having a curved back). But what will most likely stand out most of all is the right colors that are now available across the iMac lineup. The back features bold colors like blue, red, and green. The color is mirrored on the front of the device, albeit in a lighter shade to not be too distracting. The display bezels are also thinner, although there is still a sizable “chin” at the bottom of the device. Speaking of the... Read more...
After a lengthy technical preview, Parallels has officially released Parallels Desktop version 16.5 which includes official support for Apple's latest Macs. That includes support for the 2020 Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro which all bear the Apple Silicon M1 processor. Supported guests include Windows 10's Insider Preview for Arm 64 and multiple Linux distributions.  During the preview period, we discovered that the Arm version of Windows ran pretty well, even when the guest OS is limited to just 4 GB of RAM and four CPU of the M1's eight CPU cores. Not only did the four-core VM outrun a Snapdragon 8cx in single- and multi-threaded Geekbench, it also more than doubled up performance... Read more...
It has been over a year since the fourth-generation iPad Pro launched, which means that the fifth-generation is likely just around the corner. Luckily, Apple is dropping some hints about the next-gen iPad Pro in the newest iOS 14.5 Beta 5 release.  A reference to an SoC with the internal codename "13G" was discovered, which has not been used by any other iOS devices. Based on previously disclosed GPUs used in iPhone and iPads, this SoC is the unannounced A14X Bionic. As you might recall, the standard A14 Bionic is used in the iPhone 12 family along with the current-generation iPad Air. The A14X Bionic, based on what we know from previous iPad Pro generations, will likely have additional... Read more...
Apple last year confirmed a seismic shift that we all knew was coming for a long time. The company announced its decision to abandon Intel processors over the next 2 to 3 years and switch to its own Apple Silicon. Making this move would put Apple in the driver's seat concerning its product roadmap, though the move was bold and risky to be sure. The first products to move to Apple's homegrown SoC -- the M1 -- were the 13-inch MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini. Intel is probably none-too pleased at Apple's decision, which has been compounded by the fact that Apple has touted its superiority over Intel chips ever since. In return, Intel has launched a new ad campaign... Read more...
In August of last year, Apple gave the iMac a much-needed Comet Lake-H and Radeon Pro Navi refresh, which boosted the sleek all-in-one's performance. Concurrently, Apple sold the iMac Pro, which touted slightly better upgrades for more intensive computing tasks, but it seems people did not necessarily need all that horsepower. Putting the final nail in the coffin, Apple has finally updated the iMac Pro webpage with a “While Supplies Last” notice and is only allowing the sale of the machine's base configuration. Comparing the updated iMac and iMac Pro side by side, it is not hard to see why anyone would prefer the iMac over the Pro variant. When configuring an iMac, you can select... Read more...
Apple's latest M1 Macs -- and many Intel-based ones, for that matter -- all use the company's T2 security chip, which encrypts the system's built-in storage. The issue with highly-integrated motherboards with onboard storage is that if the onboard SSD wears out, the whole system becomes a brick of e-waste. And as flash density increases by storing more bits per cell (for example, Samsung's QVO drives with QLC NAND), its longevity decreases, since it can't handle as many write operations. That's why it might be a good idea to keep track of whether a system with built-in storage is wearing itself down.  Hector Martin, one of the developers responsible for porting the Linux kernel to Apple... Read more...
While users may never want to have to rely on them, it's comforting to know that PCs running modern operating systems have fail-safes and recovery modes that can help get the system back up and running when disaster strikes. Back in the day, PCs came with a collection of floppy disks or a recovery CD that would reinstall the OS from scratch. These days it's a partition on the computer's primary storage that helps get back up and running. Every manufacturer does it a little differently, and with the advent of Apple Silicon M1 Macs, the procedure has gotten even easier. Every Mac that relies on a built-in SSD and has Apple's T2 security chip ships with a secure vault that prevents booting from... Read more...
Apple made quite the splash with its first homegrown processor for Macs: the M1. This Apple Silicon SoC is based on the 5nm process node and includes an 8-core CPU, 7-core or 8-Core GPU, and up to 16GB of on-package LPDDR4x memory. While the M1 is perfectly fine for the three Macs that it launched in -- MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini -- it's not nearly enough to handle the needs of power users currently rocking the 16-inch MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, or Mac Pro. To that end, the engineers in Cupertino are working on even more powerful Apple Silicon, with the next chip in the pipeline reportedly being called the M1X. According to specifications being reported by CPU Monkey,... Read more...
Apple is embarking on a two-year plan to transition away from using Intel processors across its laptop and desktop families, in favor of its own Arm-based silicon. The venture begins with the M1, an impressive piece of hardware that is generally garnering favorable reviews (including our own Mac mini 2020 review with an M1 chip inside). However, it's not all peaches and cream—a security researcher has discovered the first bit of malware in the wild that is native to the M1 chip. Patrick Wardle, a former researcher for the US National Security Agency (NSA) and currently an independent macOS security researcher, came upon a malicious Safari browser extension called GoSearch22. It was originally... Read more...
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