The Apple M1 chip is out and about now that the company has shifted to its custom silicon for the MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac Mini, but there’s more. Apple is reportedly already working on a successor to the M1 chip, the Apple M2. This will be the next generation M series chipset for the Mac range, giving users more options to choose from.
The tale of Apple and Intel’s estrangement is still unfolding, with Apple planning to transition its Mac lineup to its custom silicon in the coming years. When Apple was running an all-Intel lineup, it was offering models with the i3, i5, and all the way up to i9 chips. Now the Apple M1 chip may be a muscular processor, and the company has already tailored the chip to the three different models it offers.
Apple M2 Chip: What To Expect
The M1 chip in the MacBook Air base variant comes with seven GPU cores instead of eight. Thanks to the fan, the same M1 on the MacBook Pro with all GPU cores enabled can be slightly more powerful. We can expect the M2 to run alongside the M1 instead of succeeding it in the entire lineup right away. Eventually, we could be looking at both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pros with two processor variants, and then the entire lineup offering the M1 as an entry-level chip, with the M2 delivering higher performance.
So far, reports indicate that the chip will be designed on the same 5nm architecture as the current one. It is expected to give a performance boost to the new Mac lineup that will come with it. The company is apparently planning to increase the number of cores as well. It is reported that Apple M2 specifications for the GPU could go as high as 128 cores. The company is apparently testing chips with 16 or 32 cores already.
Apple M2 Release Date
The Cupertino giant has been tight-lipped about the Apple M2 release date and specifications. Seeing the MacBooks and Mac Mini now running on its own silicon, the company might push it on the bigger Macs too. The 16-inch MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro are the most powerful Macs out there, and 2021 is likely the year they receive a processor upgrade.
However, new leaks suggest that the M1X and M2 will be two different chips. The M1X is reported to be in the devices with active cooling, like the MacBook Pro and the Mac Mini. On the other hand, the M2 will receive passive cooling for the new MacBook Air. The M2 release date is also expected to be pushed to 2022.
2021 MacBook Lineup
The 2021 MacBooks will have certain upgrades like a Mini-LED display, and we may also see a Smaller Mac Pro. There’s also a possibility of the MagSafe charger coming back on the 2021 MacBooks. I won’t be surprised if that happens, since Apple has already added MagSafe to the iPhone 12 lineup.
MagSafe is Apple’s proprietary magnetic cable for charging the MacBook. The company ditched it a couple of years ago to go for the USB Type-C charging ports. However, you can still find new MacBook customers complaining on Reddit about how MagSafe was more convenient compared to the current Type-C chargers.
Reports also suggest a new 16-inch MacBook Pro coming next year, packing the M1X/M2 chip. If this is true and the larger MacBook Pro gets Apple Silicon next year, that leaves us with the more powerful iMac and the Mac Pro running the Intel processors.
Apple finally updated the MacBook Air to look nearly as good as its big brother MacBook Pro. Right now, the touch bar remains a major difference between the lineup. Now rumors point out that that the 2021 MacBook Pro will pack a ‘mini LED display,’ which will translate into increased peak brightness and a darker dim display. The change is reportedly coming to the MacBook Pro first in 2021, then to the MacBook Air in 2022.
Lastly, the iMac and the Mac Pro are due for a refresh. The two are in the higher-end spectrum of the Mac range and will be expected to go neck to neck with the future Intel and AMD-backed systems. Reports also suggest that Apple is working on a new Mac Pro which will be around 50% smaller compared to the current one.
The latest leaks from @LeaksApplePro suggest that, the next Mac lineup is coming as early as March, and that too with up to a 12-core CPU. The chip will pack 8 performance cores and 4 power-efficient cores. The leakster added that the M2 or the M1X will come for the 16″ MacBook Pro.