Back in WWDC 2020, Apple has announced a major plan to move all computers to custom-designed ARM-based processors. And now Apple is ready to announce the first batch of systems using these chips, starting with the new MacBook Air M1.
M1 Macbook Air
Apple’s M1 processor, the first of the new processor family designed specifically for the Mac, is at the heart of the new MacBook Air. The M1 features 16 billion transistors with a CPU that uses an 8-core design divided into 4 high performance cores and 4 high efficiency cores to optimize both speed and lifetime. Based on 5nm process.
Apple states that the M1 offers twice and three times the performance per watt when compared to top-end PC laptop CPUs. In addition, despite using an integrated GPU, Apple says the M1’s 8-core GPU offers twice as good performance as a comparable laptop integrated GPU. Finally, the rest of the M1 is closed with a brand new secure enclave and a 16-core neural engine.
In terms of software, Apple says it has optimized macOS Big Sur to run faster and more efficiently on Apple’s homemade silicon to get the most out of the M1 chip. As an example, Apple advertises instant wake time, 1.5x performance in Safari, and more. Apple also claims that the large amount of memory shared between all the different components of the M1 processor allows the GPU of the new MacBook to access more resources than competing Windows laptops.
Apple even says that improving macOS for the M1 means optimizing all of Apple’s default applications. For non-native apps, on the other hand, Apple has also created a universal app platform for apps designed to run efficiently on both Apple silicone and Intel-based Macs. Some universal apps run more efficiently on Intel-based systems than before. In addition, these new Macs have the same base silicon architecture as iPhones and iPads, so you can seamlessly run iOS and iPad OS apps on your Mac.
The MacBook Air itself with the M1 features the same design as the previous MacBook Air, including an Apple Retina display, a thin scissor switch keyboard, and an onboard USB-C port. Also, compared to the previous MacBook Air, according to Apple, the MacBook Air with the M1 offers 3.5x the performance and 5x the graphics, and the new SSD is twice as fast. And despite the improved performance, the MacBook Air with M1 is completely fanless, delivering up to 15 hours of web browsing or up to 18 hours of video playback on a single charge.
Another big upgrade is that the MacBook Air with the M1 is also getting a new webcam that offers better image quality with fewer particles in a smaller overall package.
Thankfully, when it comes to price, the MacBook Air with the M1 is still starting at $ 1,599. Pre-orders start today and will ship next week.
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