New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros Powered by M1 Pro and M1 Max Chips

It makes sense to me. These SoCs are using all the same components as M1, just more of them. The only components (that I noticed) that are truly new are the extra image processing cores for ProRes video. Otherwise, it’s the same CPU and GPU cores (but more of them) an additional Thunderbolt port and more RAM.

On the other hand, that’s exactly the difference between the A12, A12X and A12Z so who knows, but it definitely should not be called M2. I’m expecting that name for when they upgrade the cores themselves.

The lower-end laptops (using M1 SoCs) were announced earlier this year. I wouldn’t expect them to get upgraded until after the rest of the product line goes ARM (meaning iMac Pro and Mac Pro - hopefully we’ll see them in a few months).

But with the re-introduction of MagSafe, you don’t need to give up a port in order to connect to the charger. (Yes, I’m aware that there are docking stations and displays that will deliver power while moving data on one port.)

The 16" model has gotten slightly thicker (0.66" vs 0.64" on the Intel 16" model).

The 14" model is the same thickness as the previous 13" models (0.61"), but is slightly thicker than the 2016 model (0.59").

It should just work. USB Power Delivery protocol allows devices to negotiate with chargers to determine the voltage and current levels supported. If the devices can’t negotiate, it will default to 5v, which will charge a phone just fine.

As for current, that’s not how electricity works. You can’t force more current into a device than its circuitry is capable of drawing. (Well, you could do it by increasing the voltage above the phone’s maximum, but that would cause damage all by itself.) The phone will attempt to draw what it wants (either its maximum, or some reduced value based on the optimized battery charging circuitry), and the charger will limit that to its own maximum.

So, if your phone can draw 20W and you plug it into a 95W charger, it will simply draw 20W.

Nothing special really would happen. The phone will charge as fast as it can. The adapter will stay cool. There is nothing unsafe about it. I have a little USB-C-Lightning dongle I travel with so that I can use my 100W MBP charger to also charge my iPhone if I need to. Works like a charm.

Shame no Mac Mini with option of these new processors and extra RAM for us graphic designers who already have screens and keyboards and don’t want to be hunched over a laptop. Fingers crossed for a “quiet upgrade” in the new year.

Nah…had to be at least a week or so back as all of the presentation was likely pre-recorded so that they could fix flubs or ummms…I did see a tweet or web post that Apple had “accidentally” said M1X on something earlier and wondered if they were issuing misinformation…at MacSparky I think it was.

I did not anticipate the M1 Pro and M1 Max…but it makes sense so that performance can be scaled. It also makes sense that it’s still M1 and not M2 since it’s based (mostly ( guess) on the A-whatever it is and not A-next…it takes a long time to design, test and debug chip designs. There appears to be some new IP in the Pro and Max based on the slides yesterday though.

Dates are slipping a bit now…I ordered the 10/16 core with 2TB and 32 GB this AM…Nov 11-18 delivery.

I would add a third…anybody that wants either more pixels or a physically larger screen. The M1 MBP and M1 MBA are cumbersome to use with Lightroom or Photoshop for long…even collapsing the tool panes there’s still not enough screen area or brightness to really work on images.

Performance and weight wise…the M1 MBA would have been plenty…but display area made it less than fully satisfactory. Actually I would have preferred the 16 inch size from a usability at home standpoint…but I had to compromise to get the weight down some for travel.

I was looking to replace my 15 rMBP with something lighter so that blogging and Lightroom work on travel would require carrying less weight…and originally was going to get the M1 MBA and make it my daily driver laptop since at home image processing is done on my 19 iMac. However…after loading Lightroom onto the MBA it clearly has a display size issue at least for my aging eyes. I ordered the 14 M1 Pro MBP instead…brighter/bigger screen and while not as light as the MBA…it’s still lighter than the 15 rMBP is and only half a pound more than the 13 with significantly better performance, display, and ports.

But there should have been a “speed bump” for them due to the reported problems with the initial M1 chips. I figured the best thing to do was wait for improved chips, preferably M2s or later.

You’re right about this, but consider it from a corporate point of view. New hardware and software = more press coverage, including comparisons between the infinite number of competing products. And given the fact that Apple is no longer dependent on Intel, they can now lock and load their weapons with their unique, but super powered, ammunition even more more frequently than usual.

Apple has always focused on maintaining a very unique and limited product line, so it’s not like they spit out as many versions of Windows desktops or laptops that are pretty much undistinguished from one another throughout the year, like Dell, HP, etc. do. When Apple upgrades its hardware, it’s big news and big business; Macs, MacBooks and Minis are is still very unique among the overpopulated PC market.

Apple has an ever growing retail advantage of having their own very successful physical and online stores, they don’t have as much pressure to cut deals with mass market retailers to get premium shelf space. And they regularly develop significant software upgrades. Manufacturers of Windows boxes are at the mercy of Microsoft’s relatively insignificant and infrequent Windows upgrades. Mac upgrades are almost always more than just speed bumps.

With a limited and unique product line, Apple can stagger releases of iPhone, Macs, Watch, iPad, Home Pod, along with software upgrades and new product announcements. It’s a release cycle that keeps Apple covered in the news.

My suspicion is that they sometimes want to keep the spotlight focused on solo acts, especially on performers with very small market share that could benefit from good news.

At the start of the Mac portion of the event, Tim Cook said that this move to Apple Silicon was in the first year of a two year process. I strongly suspect that the Mac Pro will be the last model to get an update, maybe next spring, maybe not until fall, and I also suspect that they will have higher-end iMac (and a larger model) and maybe Mac mini before that time (in the spring?). I doubt that there is anything the rest of this year - they would have just announced it yesterday if there was.

I’m planning on a new MBA sometime next spring (just before summer) and I do hope that they will have a processor bump for that model. And MagSafe would be nice, too.

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I concur. A Mac Pro with Apple Silicon must be substantially more powerful than any iMac or laptop. I think it will be the model where they introduce the M2.

Certain features I think Apple must put in the Mac Pro (which we won’t see in any other model Mac) include:

  • PCIe slots for expansion cards, including at least one capable of hosting a GPU (to be used instead of or in addition to the one built-in to the SoC).

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple designs its own top-tier GPU/NPU expansion card based on the M1 tech in order to get the performance-per-watt advantages they’re talking about today (vs. the higher power consumption required by AMD and NVIDIA cards).

  • Support for TBs of RAM.

    There’s no way they’re going to be able to sell a SoC with that much built-in. I predict that the SoC used for the Mac Pro will have a large amount of built-in RAM (maybe 32, 64 or 128 GB), and then there will be slots for additional RAM.

    Since RAM in slots will not perform as well as on-module RAM, my prediction is that the on-module RAM will act as an L3 (L4?) cache for the external RAM. This should (for most purposes) strike a good balance between performance and RAM quantity.

  • Internal storage expansion.

    Probably 2-4 NVMe slots (backed up by PCIe lanes to the SoC) to be used in addition to whatever might be built-in to the module. (And if Apple insists on cryptographically binding them to the SoC, please give us the tool so we can install our own modules and pair them with the Mac! Yes, this is wishful thinking, but we can hope.)

    Maybe also 2-4 SATA/SAS connections (possibly via a PCIe-attached expansion kit) for mass storage (e.g. an 18 TB hard drive).

Whenever a technology becomes 2-3x better there is usually a large disruption in that particular marketplace. The iPhone was just such a product. Apple Silicon will likely be just as disruptive if not more so. The difference this time around is that the competition isn’t asleep nor in denial. Apple was the only one who could have pulled off switching architectures without nearly the risk their competitors would encounter. Apple has proved the technology and the success was all due to NeXT which is the foundation of macOS, iOS, iPadOS, etc. which is their secret weapon.

The x86_64 architecture reached its peak quite some time ago. For years there have only been marginal improvements. AMD innovated with chiplets and fabric but even so, Apple Silicon will be superior. The mad scramble is on to switch to either ARM64 or other RISC platforms that can offer similar advantages.

Apple has a significant head start and since they control both the operating system and the development API’s they were able to provide a seamless transition. Although Microsoft had ARM processors in the Surface tablets they simply couldn’t run most mainstream software and they were severely underpowered. Microsoft is working with Samsung on a next generation ARM platform to compete. Intel is moving into RISC V and AMD is dusting off some old ARM technology. Nvidia has laid out a long term plan to create ARM SoC’s with their GPUs. Nvidia’s attempt to procure ARM Holdings is still quite up in the air. This is all going to take quite some time to bring to market. Linux is currently booting and partially working on the M1 Macs. Linus Torvalds expressed interest in ARM technology. Meanwhile, Apple keeps moving forward at a rapid pace with a proven architecture. The tremendous leaps in memory bandwidth in the M1 followed up by serious leaps in the M1 Pro and doubling it in the M1 Max are not to be underestimated.

The next 5-10 years will not be boring, you can be sure of that.


I would expect to see a high-end Mac mini with M1 Pro/Max launched in spring. The high-end iMac probably summer to fall. The Mac Pro by end of 2022, perhaps ushering in the M2.

Interesting it’s still changing by that much 24 hrs after the intro. Right after the show, the 14" 10/16core 32GB/1TB was showing Nov 3. By the time I ordered yesterday evening it was Nov 5. Now it’s already slipped almost a full week more.

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??? Speed bumps do not “fix” CPUs. There were no “problems with the initial M1 chips”.

It was quite clear that Apple would not be updating the low-end M1 Macs (MBA, 13" MBP, Mac mini, 24" iMac) before they pushed out “M1X” to the MBP. In fact, I wouldn’t expect those to be updated before we see a high-end M1X iMac.

I think the only real uncertainty yesterday was if they’d launch the higher-end Mac mini alongside the M1Pro/Max MBP or not. They obviously chose to wait. It wouldn’t at all be unlike Apple to focus on their key sellers. I’d be surprised to learn they sell more than one high-end Mac mini for every 20 MBPs sold.

I used “speed bump” to denote a minor hardware update.

My late 2013 MBP retina also has MagSafe. So the new MBP I just ordered does have one less port.

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There’s some interesting speculation about this and other matters over at Six Colors.

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Just occurred to me that—unlike during the MagSafe 1->2 transition—this time Apple did not announce a little adapter so that we could use old MagSafe 2 chargers with the new MBPs.

I also noticed. I think MagSafe 3 is electrically a USB charge port, so it might not be compatible with MagSafe 1 and 2, which don’t involve any USB PD protocol exchanges.