Is Apple M1 Chipset any Good?

Overview of Apple M1 chip in 2021.

The Apple M1 is the first system-on-a-chip developed in-house for the Mac. It should be completed by the end of 2022.

According to Apple, you can expect big leaps in performance and efficiency with the M1. On the other hand, the chip also has limitations.

New Macbook Pro with M1 chip inside.

Apple M1 Overview

With sixteen billion transistors, it is expected to be the “world’s fastest CPU core” and the “fastest integrated graphics.

If Apple wasn’t skimpy with one thing yesterday, then it was the superlatives named for the M1. Where precisely the performance of the M1 is to be classified will only be able to be determined with independent tests after the publication of the first appropriately equipped products.

Last time with the M1, Apple introduced a new MacBook Air, a new MacBook Pro 13" and a new Mac mini.

Intel remains in Apple’s Range

Apple continues to offer the MacBook Pro and Mac mini with Intel processors, so the company has not (yet) carried out the radical cut. However, that was never mentioned, but a two-year transition phase until the end of 2022.

The fact that Apple continues to keep Macs with Intel processors in its range and also did not switch the MacBook Pro 16 “or even the iMac (Pro) and Mac Pro to Apple Silicon yesterday is due to certain limitations of the chip. These are mainly in the segment of professional users stand in the way of a change.

Apple is reducing the number of Chips

With the M1, Apple is initially replacing Intel processors with integrated instead of discrete graphics. The combination of its own 8-core CPU with four performance and four efficiency cores as well as its own (up to) 8-core GPU appears not only to be fast enough for the application areas covered by these CPUs but also faster than previous ones To be models with Intel CPUs.

The 16 billion transistors in the Apple M1 include significantly more than the CPU and GPU. As a system-on-a-chip, the Neural Engine, I / O including Thunderbolt, T2 and the RAM are also on the package.

There are no more than 16 GB of RAM

The fact that all components are now combined on one package does not only have advantages. For professional users, the biggest limitation is likely to be the reduced RAM, which Apple offers with only 8 GB and optionally with 16 GB.

Even at the end of the transition in two years, it remains questionable whether Apple will ever offer 1.5 TB directly on the package.

M1 achieves less than a tenth of the GPU performance

Another limitation concerns the graphics units. Apple offers the M1 in the MacBook Air with seven or eight GPU cores, in the MacBook Pro always with eight GPU cores.

With a maximum of 128 execution units (i.e. 16 per core), Apple achieves up to 2.6 TFLOPS of performance. With what accuracy, Apple does not yet say, but with 10 watts of power consumption, it promises twice the performance of the current competitor and at its peak performance a two-thirds reduction in power consumption.

Looking for your own Macbook with M1 inside? Have a look here.

Written by

CEO Contentyze, the text editor 2.0, PhD in maths, Forbes 30 under 30 — → Sign up for free at

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store