Wednesday, Mar 10, 2021, 17:10 Mac: Hardware

Time Plan Summary: The Switch To M1 For Remaining Intel Macs

The first M1 Macs were announced 4 months ago, however, there are still several models that have yet to see an upgrade to the new processor, these include Apple's higher-end models such as the iMac, MacBook Pro 16", and Mac Pro. This transitional phase presents both Apple and customers with some difficulties – customers looking to upgrade are ill-advised to buy a current Mac without an M1 chip, as a newer version with an M1 chip is likely to release very soon at the same price. Even the current passively cooled MacBook Air M1 is capable of competing with high-end desktops when it comes to numerous tasks, add in the actively cooled MacBook Pro and Mac mini M1 and it looks even worse for Intel-based machines. Furthermore, the performance of the M1's integrated graphics chip is leagues ahead of that of its Intel counterpart – even capable of competing with current mid-tier graphics cards. In this article, we'll summarize what's to come next in Apple's switch to ARM – and how long's left to wait. Changes to the current line-ups apart from the ARM switch will be detailed in links to other articles. We also won't be discussing changes to the current M1 line-up, such as here.

The "Smaller" iMac: (For further information, click here: )
The current delivery situations suggests that the smaller iMac with the 21.5" display is first in line for the switch to M1. Apple has walked back on production of current models, with some configurations being entirely unavailable. According to current reports, an announcement of the M1 iMac could arrive as soon as the next few weeks, with the most optimistic forecasts even pointing to before the end of this month. It's certain that the M1 chip for the iMac will come with more cores (4 efficiency cores and 8 performance) and a larger 24" display was mentioned more than once.

Rendering: Possible iMac Design



MacBook Pro 16" M1 (For further information, click here: )
The current MacBook Pro 16" is also in dire need of the M1 treatment. The price of the current model is undeservedly higher than that of its current better-performing M1 counterparts. As far as the current model is concerned, the only advantage it holds over the newer M1 laptops is a larger display. Multiple reports hold a summer release of the new MacBook Pro 16" with M1 to be likely – possibly in June with an announcement at the World Wide Developer's Conference. Last fall, a release for this spring was even suggested. The 16" "performance version" of the MacBook Pro will most assuredly come with more CPU and graphics cores.

Is this what the next MacBook Pro will look like?

The "Larger" iMac (For further information, click here: )
The 27" display of the larger model iMac could grow by up to 3" during the switch to M1, in addition to another major change. The upcoming iMac will also house Apple's first attempt at an in-house graphics card, and if the M1 is anything to show for Apple's in-house component prowess, great things can be expected. It's unknown whether Apple will announce the 24" and 30" models at the same time, or with a slight wait for the latter. For this reason, we don't expect the larger iMac M1 to release before either the smaller iMac M1 or the MacBook Pro 16" M1.

Standard Mac Pro (For further information, click here: )
As with the switch to Intel 15 years ago, the Mac Pro will be the last device to undergo the chipset switch – which could take a while, a fall release is unlikely. The release could take some time, especially given the performance expectations placed upon the high-end Mac. At the end of last year, Bloomberg reported that a 2022 spring release could be possible. When the Mac Pro does finally arrive, one thing is for sure: It's going to be extremely powerful, almost certainly capable of outperforming almost any Intel-based PC. While 4 core versions of the MacBook Pro and Mac mini are already able to run neck-and-neck with most desktop PCs, the Mac Pro will have 32 cores – along with additional efficiency cores. It's still unknown whether Apple will continue to support regular AMD graphics cards for the Mac Pro.

A smaller Mac Pro?

"Smaller" Mac Pro
It's rumored that Apple isn't just planning 1, but 2 versions of the Mac Pro. If true, then the second should be reminiscent of the PowerMac G4 "Cube" and significantly smaller than the Mac Pro. It's likely that this model will hit the market in 2022, even if the standard Mac Pro receives a 2021 release.

  • Buy the current MacBook Air M1 here:
  • Buy the current MacBook Pro 13" M1 here:
  • Buy the current Mac mini M1 here:

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