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FEATURE

Apple Silicon Max

Testing Apple's latest laptops with Xojo

Issue: 20.1 (January/February 2022)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Marc taught himself programming in high school when he bought his first computer but had no money for software. He's had fun learning ever since.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 17,877
Starting Page Number: 22
Article Number: 20103
Related Web Link(s):

http://www.xdevmag.com/browse/19.3/19303/

Excerpt of article text...

A year ago when Apple released new Macs with their own Apple Silicon "M1" chips, almost everyone was impressed. A few professionals were disappointed, for Apple's offerings were for consumers at the low-end. Sure, they ran as fast or faster than some high-end Intel CPUs, but where were the "pro" level chips and features?

A few months ago we got the answer when Apple finally released not one, but two new high-end M1 chips: Pro and Max (see Figures 1-2). These are in two new MacBook Pro laptops with 14- and 16-inch displays (see Figure 3).

There were some surprises. Instead of a completely new design, Apple simply expanded these chips to include more CPU and GPU cores, as well as support more memory and faster I/O.

The result is an interesting dilemma: in single core the new chips aren't any faster than the previous M1! The improvement comes when you're doing high-end work that requires multiple cores, heavy-duty 3D graphics, using the chips' integrated machine learning cores, or taking advantage of the chips' larger memory support.

That means for the Xojo developer, these new "pro" chips aren't necessarily going to make a huge difference in your workflow.

However, even beyond the chips themselves, we do get a new "pro" laptop design. Apple has brought back its MagSafe magnetic charging connector, added in more ports for better connectivity, and sped up the SSD. For some users, those features alone make upgrading to an M1 Pro or Max worth it. The awesome screens and dramatically-improved battery life are also huge pluses.

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