Apple Silicon Macs, What you need to know.
What are Apple Silicon Macs? Beginning in late 2020, Apple launched a new line of processors, instead of using only Intel. The Apple Silicon Processor, also known as M1, is the first chip design that was only for Mac. The M1 chip has great performance and delivers from the start to work with its most advanced OS Big Sur. As a result, Apple is labeling the change as a breakthrough into a new class of computers to come.
But what does that mean?
Until now Apple has only used processors from other manufacturers such as Intel and AMD. “Apple Silicon,” is referring to the M1 chip that the company designed only for the Mac OS platform. The M1 chip is the first to combining several different chips a computer has, such as chips that use Intel CPU’s, third party graphic processors and more. As a result of combining different chips together, the computer should run faster and more efficient.
In this article, we will cover what does that mean for a user, how will it effect the computer’s software, and more frequently asked questions.
Before the m1 chip, Macs have used several different chips for CPU’s, input output devices, and security. But the effort that went into combining these chips is the reason behind why the M1 is so much faster than Intel chips.
The unified memory architecture plays an important role, because the M1 can access the same amount of data without having to go through the different components having to copy the data between one another. However, because of the way the memory is used, the amount of RAM (computer memory) can not be upgraded. The M1 RAM maxes out at 16 GB, although the 8 GB base is enough for most tasks.
Current Mac Devices with Silicon Processors include:
Currently the MacBook Air only uses the M1 chips. The MacBook Pro and MacBook Mini offer an Intel model however I would not be in a rush to buy one. The reviews of the M1 were not only faster, the MacBook laptops battery life far exceeded the Intel ones.
Now that Apple has control over the processor in a Mac, the company will be able to offer better optimization with software. Which means software will have less issues with programs crashing and lagging in speed.
Apple Silicon Mac’s Speed
The Apple Silicon M1 Chip is known to preform 2x’s as fast as a MacBook with an Intel chip. As well as have multiple programs open at a time and still perform like if you had one program at a time. It is seamless to go from one application to another without any delay.
This week, Adobe Photoshop updated their software to support the Apple Silicon M1 Chip. Photoshop’s Product Manger, Mark Dahm, gave an interview with Computer World. In the interview he revealed that Photoshop runs 50% faster on the M1 Silicon Mac Book than the previous year model.
It sounds too good to be true. Not only is it cheaper, but it also is faster than the model up. But wait there’s more…
That is right! Even with all of the major improvements with speed the Apple Silicon M1 chip has to offer, the battery life has become even better.
The battery life has improved 2x’s as much as prior Mac generations. The MacBook Pro 13″ can last as far as up to 20 hours. This is double the amount of time from the 2019 MacBook Pro.
Apple Silicon’s New Security Features
Apple Silicon along with the new operating system known as Big Sur, provides one of the most advanced security system than ever before.
Some of the new features include verified hardware secure boot, automatic encryption for all your files, and even more security features built into the code.
Verified hardware secure boot checks with the OS, that all of the software running is coming from a trustworthy source. The new standard feature for the Silicon M1 is to have encryption turned automatically on.
Encryption ensures all of your files are safe by turning the data into a secret code. The only person that would be able to “crack” the code is with the user and the help of the computer.
That’s right there’s even more! When you are using the Apple Silicon processor, you will be able to access the apps that are on the iPhone and iPad. Developers have the choice on whether or not they will participate in allowing the apps to run on computers with the Silicon M1 chip. But it does mean you will be able to find iPhone and iPad apps in the MacBook app store.
Intel previously had written a script known as Rosetta that allowed Mac applications to run on Intel processors. Rosetta 2 was created to allow programs that are running on Intel processors run on the Silicon m1 processors. However the best part of Rosetta 2 is the apps run better than the ones designed for Intel processors.
So what is next for the future of Apple Silicon Macs?
Apple plans on fully transitioning to Silicon processors and getting rid of Intel for good. The plan is estimated to take place over a two years. The next model to switch to the Silicon processor is the iMac which was supposed to be the Spring of 2021. However it is now rumored to be pushed back to October of 2021 from credible sources such as Tech Radar. We will update the article on the new date. We are also expecting to hear about the next line of Apple Silicon processors known as M1 Max and M2. Sign up for our newsletter to receive notifications on all related news.
Make sure to check Tech News for the latest releases from Apple.