Apple’s new M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets are, simply put, astounding. Heck, even that superlative feels like an understatement! To say that they’ve knocked it out of the park would truly be an understatement and, needless to say, we can’t wait to see how well these exquisite, mind-bending SoCs will perform in real-life workloads!
And, well, we know for a fact that they’ll make gaming on macOS a lot more viable than it is right now. But before we delve any deeper into that whole part of the equation, we first need to crunch some numbers and talk specs!
Apple M1 Pro & M1 Max — Pushing the Envelope
To say that this Cupertino-based behemoth is pushing the envelope with these insanely powerful ARM-based SoCs wouldn’t even begin to explain the tectonic shift that’s about to happen across the industry. Simply put: these chipsets are more powerful than almost everything Intel and AMD have to offer while also being more efficient.
Heck, they can easily compete with most desktop-class processors as well, with the M1 Max outperforming AMD’s superb Ryzen 5800X. Just writing that last sentence feels surreal — we’re talking about a “mobile” processor that’ll be housed within extremely portable (and astoundingly beautiful) laptops. Nearly everything else from the x86 space feels ancient in comparison.
The real kicker here is the tight software/hardware integration that Apple has been able to pull off, and there’s really nothing similar out there on the market. Heck, it’s not even close! But Apple’s first-ever M1 had that too, so what did it “lack” according to most creative professionals? Sheer power for the most demanding of workflows. The M1 is great for regular day-to-day stuff and even some serious video editing, but for the most professional users out there — the ones working with 8K video files, using dozens of audio tracks, or rendering the most complex 3D projects in Cinema 4D — it just wasn’t enough. And they found it better and more convenient to stick with their desktop PCs (or spec’d out Mac Pros) as they still provided a better and more fluid user experience.
Desktop-Class Without the Bulk
Needless to say, Apple has crammed in a metric ton of horsepower in these two oh-so-alluring SoCs. There were many rumors over the last few months, but most of them seemed too good to be true. As it turns out, though, Apple really did have a slice of the future in the pipeline and, well, we’re glad beyond measure for that being the case.
The four graphs down below tell the whole tale, and while they did come straight from Apple, there’s really no reason to doubt their validity. And even if you do have a bit of doubt, it’s bound to be dispelled in just a few days once the first reviews start popping up online.
There’s nothing out there on the market that can compete with the M1 Pro and M1 Max, and while certain top-of-the-line laptops might have more power, they’ll run hotter (and probably thermally throttle) and emit a lot more noise. Moreover, with the M1 Max trading blows with desktop-class CPUs, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything this capable and efficient at any price point.
What About Gaming?
Well, that’s still a complex subject. On paper, not a whole lot has changed for anyone looking to game on Apple’s ARM-based SoCs. Still, their GPUs are noticeably more powerful (to put it mildly), so games will, in fact, run a lot better through Rosetta 2. It’s still a bit of a hassle, but with so much graphics oomph, basically any title (even those that fall under the triple-A category) will run like a dream — assuming it has any sort of macOS support, of course.
You’ll also be able to emulate Windows using Parallels, for example, and game that way. It’s not the most practical thing in the world, but these SoCs can definitely handle it! In any case, we’ll feast our eyes on the first real-world gaming benchmarks in just a few days, so stay tuned!