Between the Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max, a complex choice between 10 MacBook Pro configurations

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Joel Fulleda
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Are you going to need the Apple M1 Pro? M1 Max? 32 or 64 GB of unified RAM? 16, 24 or 32 graphics cores? We try to see more clearly.



Apple has introduced its two new MacBook Pros, the 14-inch and the 16-inch. So far, everything was planned. One of the big news is the new range of Apple Silicon chips, on the one hand the M1 Pro and on the other the M1 Max.

With the arrival of the Apple M1 chip, we got used to a certain simplicity, we just had to choose between two configurations with additional graphics cores. The Apple M1 seemed like a remarkable blend of power and efficiency, the M1 Pro and Max are much more willing to break that balance and tip the scales in favor of raw power when needed.

9 / 10

Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021

Product sheet See the test € 2 248/9

Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021

Product sheet See the test € 2

10 different configurations

On the Apple M1 Pro and Pro Max, we therefore end up with 10 different layouts : from 8 to 10 cores for the CPU and from 16 to 32 cores for the GPU. Additionally, depending on the M1 chip, you can configure 16, 32, or 64 GB of Unified RAM. For us, it is a real complexity that we have summarized in a table. For neophytes, it can be even more complicated.



 CPUBut by the full GPU acceleration techRAMOption price
Apple M1 Pro8 hearts14 hearts16, 32 GoBasic
Apple M1 Pro10 hearts14 hearts16, 32 Go230 euros
Apple M1 Pro10 hearts16 hearts16, 32 Go270 euros
Apple M1 Max10 hearts24 hearts32, 64 Go500 euros
Apple M1 Max10 hearts32 hearts32, 64 Go730 euros

Example with the 14-inch MacBook



Apple has added some explanations to help us choose well. It is thus specified that the Apple M1 Pro “can easily run several professional applications at the same time (…) It is also able to manage tasks with intensive use of the CPU, such as photo editing or code compilation, and tasks GPU-driven, such as 3D visualization or video effects processing. ".

A story of external displays and power

On the M1 Pro chip, one of the elements that stands out is the number of external screens supported: two maximum. The M1 Max chip can support up to four external displays. While the M1 Max can play up to 5 streams of 8K ProRes 422 video, Apple is talking about 20 streams of 4K ProRes 422 video on the M1 Pro.


Half a word, Apple seems to explain that the M1 Max chip is more suitable if you plan to process large files, such as 8K definition videos, multicamera video editing or complex 3D scene renderings. This M1 Max chip goes far, it can encode videos 2x faster than the M1 Pro chip, according to Apple, and it integrates two ProRes accelerator cards. While the M1 Pro catches up and overtakes the laptop competition in terms of performance, the M1 Max aims to offer something never seen before. With a 32-core GPU, the maximum you can configure is no longer an SoC with an integrated GPU, but a GPU with an SoC around it. Moreover, Apple compares its chip to a dedicated Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU… except that the Apple chip consumes much less energy for similar performance.


The size comparison between Apple M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max chips

Finally, Apple equips its MacBook Pros with up to 64 GB of unified RAM (with the M1 Max chip), and the bandwidth of these chips goes up to 200 GB/s on the M1 Pro and up to 400 GB/s on the M1 Max, which is 2 and almost 6x more than the M1 chip.

What we can say is that no portable PC can match Apple on these configurations. However, we advise you to wait for a few benchmarks to get a more precise idea of ​​the expected performance. Currently, it is impossible to clearly identify the configuration to choose according to your needs: Apple M1 Pro? M1 Max? 32 or 64 GB of unified RAM? 16, 24 or 32 graphics cores?

In addition to the MacBook Pro and the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, the Apple firm focused on other new products, such as the new AirPods 3 wireless headphones, a new Apple Music subscription at a knockdown price, but also new very pop colors attributed to the HomePod mini.

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