All About Apple M1 Chip - GoTechTalk

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Thursday, September 23, 2021

All About Apple M1 Chip


All About Apple M1 Chip


MacBook was created before the mobile device era and didn't feature an apple designed chipset. While that may sound like an unfair statement consider the experience that an iPhone or iPad delivers, users can run the same apps on both devices they can expect all-day battery life an instant on display silent operation and no overheating Issues. But intel-based MacBooks don't offer any of that they have a completely different operating system architecture that can't run iPhone or iPad apps real world battery life always falls short of apple's estimates especially for performance of intensive tasks; displays aren't instant on operation can get quite loud due to fan noise which is triggered because the processor is running too hot, so it isn't hard to imagine that users might be a little disappointed with the MacBook experience compared to the iPad or iPhone. And apple knows that in fact they've been aware of the glaring differences since the original iPad in 2010 during a meeting about the MacBook's future roadmap. Steve Jobs brought his iPad and demonstrated its instant on display compared to the MacBook's less responsive display, he simply said, "See this, I want that to do this." And the only way to get the MacBook to have the same responsiveness as the iPad was to build a custom chipset. And that's exactly what apple did with their new M1 chip, so today I'll explain why the transition from intel to M1is so important and why it took apple so long to do.

Why is the M1 chip so important?

First is the improved user experience it brings to the Mac as I mentioned MacBooks weren't behaving like an iPad or iPhone which is what most users had come to expect from apple products but with M1 that's finally changed; apps launch almost instantly just like iOS devices, your MacBook's display turns on the moment you wake it up just like iOS devices the battery lasts a full day without having to recharge just like iOS devices. Users can enjoy a completely silent experience with the MacBook Air since it no longer needs a fan just like iOS devices and M1max can run iPhone and iPad apps natively which makes for a seamless experience between devices.


That's just the beginning.

The M1 chip also offers a level of performance never seen before. On a notebook compared to the previous generation MacBook Air the new M1 model is faster in every category, it's 3.9 times faster at transcoding video and final cut 3.6 times faster in XCode and 2.3 times faster at exporting images in light room in fact according to its geek bench scores the M1 MacBook Air outperforms the 16-inch MacBook Pro featuring Intel's Core i9 processor that's a one thousand dollar ultra-portable notebook outperforming a twenty-seven hundred dollar high performance notebook and if that isn't shocking enough consider that the M1 chip is delivering that higher performance while using less battery which is something referred to as performance per watt and it's by no means a new concept Steve jobs actually discussed it at apple's worldwide developers conference in 2005, when announcing the transition from power pc to intel, here's what he said Just as important as performance is power consumption and the way we look at it is performance per watt for one watt of power how much performance do you get and when we look at the future road maps projected out mid 2006 and beyond what we see is the power pc gives us sort of 15 units of performance per watt but the intel road map in the future gives us 70 and so this tells us what we have to do.”


So intel chips delivered about five times better performance per watt than power pc and this was especially important for notebooks which could run faster and cooler feature more compact designs and have longer battery life but there was another benefit of intel chips and it was their more predictable release schedule, near the end of the 90s manufacturing issues began to plague the power pc with IBM frequently delaying new chip releases that apple was counting on for their upcoming products so as you can see the type of technology a company decides to use is extremely important.

All right now if you consider what's happening with intel today

The problems they're facing are very similar to those that plagued the power pc the latest intel chips have experienced multiple delays in their performance which hasn't been as good as many expected and they've actually caused overheating issues on products like the MacBook Air. So it's no wonder that apple was eager to transition their computers to a new chip yet again except this time it would be their own custom designed arm chips which provide three times better performance per watt; faster processing power and even faster graphics but perhaps the most impressive and underrated things about the transition from intel to M1 isn't the speed improvements or longer battery life but app compatibility, one of the riskiest parts of transitioning from intel's x86 architecture. It is losing support for mac applications that have yet to be natively written for arm, in fact Microsoft suffered from this exact problem when introducing their arm-based windows RT operating system. The platform was never large enough to attract many native developers and traditional windows 8 applications weren't compatible so customers were forced to compromise when buying devices like the Microsoft surface since it didn't have a large app ecosystem. Apple though is in a more advantageous position they already have a huge base of developers creating arm apps for the iPhone and iPad so transitioning the Mac to arm will guarantee an even larger app ecosystem than exists for it today.


But what about all the previous x86 applications that users still need to use on their M1 Max, well apple actually solved that issue by creating Rosetta2 which translates x86 apps and allows them to run on arm but there are some limitations the translation process takes time, so launching these apps would take longer and run slower than a native arm equivalent although many tests have found that these emulated apps are still running faster on M1 than they had on intel processors but perhaps the most important thing to recognize is that the M1 chip is a first generation product just like the s1 created for the original apple watch this will be the slowest worst performing chip of its kind which is pretty mind-blowing since it's already outperforming the most powerful intel chips.


Why the Mac isn't updated on a regular basis like the iPhone iPad and apple watch.

It's mainly due to the unpredictable schedule and delays of intel's chips so with M1 we should begin to see regular updates to the mac and perhaps even more dramatic redesign refreshes than ever before since apple's custom silicon has proven to advance more rapidly year after year compared to intel.

Now the last big reason why the M1 chip is so important has everything to do with pcs throughout apple's modern history that they've struggled to capture even 15 percent of the USPC market while the iPhone sits at 45, the apple watch at 55 and iPad at 64% market share but with these new M1 macs that may start to change after all the number one reason why customers choose pcs over mac is their lower price, in 2019 the average pc customer spent 700$ on their notebook so it's understandable that the 1000 dollar MacBook Air would be out of their budget but consider the new pricing strategy apple is taking with the M1 model their retail price is still 1000$ and the Education price is still 900$ but for the first time they're offering an 800$ model for schools and universities with half the storage space now customers can't access this model today but I wouldn't be surprised if apple lowers the price of the MacBook air by 100$ when a new model is announced. It wouldn't be unprecedented since they just dropped the mac mini's price by 100$ and they have offered a 900$ retail MacBook Air before. So if you consider its potential affordability plus it's unbelievable performance it would be really difficult to justify purchasing a pc notebook in the MacBook Air's price range and I think that's exactly the strategy apple is preparing and it just might result in the mac becoming more popular than ever before.

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