What’s Apple Hiding about its M1 Chips

Apple hosted the ‘One More Thing’ virtual event on Tuesday to unveil its anticipated silicon, dubbed M1 SoC. The chip is predicated on an ARM architecture and comes as Apple’s solution to scale back reliance on Intel processors. Alongside the new silicon, the Cupertino company announced the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini supported the M1 chip. During the event, however, the corporate didn’t provide all the small print about the new silicon also because the latest Mac machines. In this article, we’re rounding up all the knowledge that Apple didn’t provide at the event, but could convince be quite significant for patrons .

M1 chip doesn’t support eGPUs

Apple’s senior vice chairman of hardware technologies Johny Srouji highlighted during the virtual event that the M1 chip comes with the world’s fastest integrated graphics. He also detailed the eight-core GPU architecture that’s capable of executing nearly 25,000 threads at a time. But neither Srouji nor Apple provided any details about whether the M1 chip supports external graphics. However, As AppleInsider reports, the new silicon doesn’t support any external GPUs. this suggests that the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini will got to believe the inbuilt GPU for rendering graphics.

There are not any details on whether the unsupported behaviour comes from the M1 chip or is simply thanks to some restrictions at the software level. Nevertheless, Apple has removed the Blackmagic eGPU from the list of compatible accessories for MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini supported the M1 chip to verify the newest change. In March 2018, Apple brought eGPU support to its Mac family after much anticipation. The move was announced at WWDC 2017 and came into effect with the discharge of macOS Sierra Nevada 10.13.4. But with the initial M1 rollout, the corporate seems to possess put eGPU support on hold.

16GB RAM is that the limit

Apple claims that the M1 chip is capable of delivering up to three .5 times faster CPU performance than previous-generation Macs. However, post the event on Tuesday, it had been found that the new chip currently seems to possess a limit of getting up to 16GB of RAM. this is not the case if you check out the older Intel-based Mac models which will have the maximum amount as 32GB of RAM. Apple mentioned during a fine print on its handout that it tested M1 performance along side 16GB of RAM. Similarly, the Apple site listing the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini have featured 16GB because the top-end RAM choice to choose between .

The 16GB RAM restriction won’t be a problem for MacBook Air or 13-inch MacBook Pro users, but it could limit the performance for people trying to find a highly powerful 16-inch MacBook Pro, iMac, or Mac Pro. As noticed by The Verge, the RAM on machines using the M1 chip is additionally not upgradable since it is a a part of the silicon. This further limits the likelihood to extend memory performance of the new offerings within the future. Apple remains selling the Intel-based MacBook Pro and Mac mini to let users decide whether or not they want RAM upgradability over the new silicon. However, this is not the case with the MacBook Air as its older model has been discontinued.

Fanless design makes MacBook Air different from its Pro sibling

The new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro share many similarities as Apple not features a faster processor to bring any prowess to its Pro model. Both new machines accompany the M1 chip that gives eight CPU and GPU cores, though the entry-level MacBook Air model has seven GPU crores. However, it’s the inbuilt fan on the new MacBook Pro model that brings a serious difference from the fanless MacBook Air. Apple has also provided an identical fan on the new Mac mini.

As reported by The Verge, the presence of the fan on the MacBook Pro and Mac mini could help them sustain peak performance for extended than what you’d get on the new MacBook Air. Apple didn’t provide any performance differences among the three new machines at the time of its virtual briefing. However, thanks to the fan-based design, it’s quite certain that the new MacBook Pro and Mac mini are going to be ready to better manage their temperature in comparison to MacBook Air. this is able to eventually offer some performance boost and permit the CPU to still run at a high clock speed.

No boost in FaceTime camera resolution

The cameras on new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are claimed to enhance white balance, along side capturing sharper images and more details in shadows and highlights using the new image signal processing (ISP) of the M1 chip. there’s also machine learning (ML) enhanced face detection. However, while Apple didn’t mention this explicitly during the event, the FaceTime cameras on the new Mac machines are still at 720p, as per the small print available on the Apple site. this suggests that there’s no improvement on the a part of resolution.

Apple did acknowledge during the event that as people are staying indoors and dealing remotely from their homes, camera image quality matters even more. But with some tweaks at the chip and software levels, it’s unclear how the corporate would be ready to meet the demand for better webcam experiences on Mac machines.

Dedicated macOS shortcut keys

At the virtual event, Apple elaborated various performance improvements driven by the M1 chip. the corporate , however, didn’t provide any details beyond the new silicon and particularly how the new MacBook Air is different from the older model. Some changes were noticed shortly after the event, though.

One big change is that the new keyboard on MacBook Air that carries dedicated shortcut keys for features like Spotlight, Dictation, and don’t Disturb. Apple has replaced the sooner Launchpad shortcut with the Spotlight key and therefore the keyboard brightness controls with the Dictation and don’t Disturb keys, as tweeted by Mark Gurman of Bloomberg. there’s also a fanatical emoji globe icon on the function key to quickly enable emojis. The emoji globe icon has also been added to the function key of the new MacBook Pro. However, there are not any of the dedicated shortcuts that are provided on the MacBook Air, because of the Touch Bar in situ of function keys.

All-pervasive 3.5mm headphone jack

One last major thing that Apple didn’t emphasise during the event but might be important for several users is that the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models accompany a headphone jack. this is often something worth remarking as Apple ditched the headphone jack from its iPhone family back in September 2016 with the launch of iPhone 7.

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