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Apple M1 vs Apple M1X: What’s the difference?

Rumours suggest Apple will launch a new M1X chip before the end of the year, but how will it compare to the existing Apple M1 processor?

While Apple is yet to release any official information about the Apple M1 chip, we’ve rounded up all of the major rumours right here. 

So without further ado, here are the major differences in the Apple M1 vs Apple M1X face-off. 

The M1X will be available in pro-level laptops

The Apple M1 is currently available in the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, iMac 2021 and the latest Mac Mini. It’s also powering the newest generations of Apple’s iPad Pro.

The Apple M1X chip is yet to be officially announced, but many rumours are tipping it to feature inside the upcoming MacBook Pro 2021 laptop. The M1X has seemingly been designed for Pro-level systems, so could potentially make an appearance in the likes of the iMac Pro and Mac Mini in the future too. This means that devices powered by the M1X will likely be significantly more expensive than those with an M1 processor. 

The M1X won’t be available until later this year 

Reports suggest the MacBook Pro 2021, along with the M1X chip, could launch anytime between September and November, with the potential of making an appearance during the iPhone 13 reveal event. 

The Apple M1 first launched in November 2020, so it could be celebrating its one-year anniversary by the time the M1X finally hits the market. 

An Apple M2 chip is also expected to follow in 2022, but that will likely just be a second generation iteration of the M1 rather than a challenger to the M1X. 

The M1X will be faster than the M1

The Apple M1X is reportedly being designed as a more powerful version of the standard M1 chip, helping to boost the performance to a level to satisfy professional creators. 

Apple hasn’t revealed any of the specs just yet, but Bloomberg reports that the next Apple processor (likely to be the M1X) will feature a total of 10 cores, made up of 8 high-performance cores and 2 energy efficient-cores. 

Apple M1Apple M1X (unconfirmed)
High-performance cores48
Energy-efficient cores42
Credit: Bloomberg

With two additional cores compared to the M1, as well as a greater focus on performance over power efficiency, the M1X is expected to be significantly more powerful when it comes to CPU speeds. 

The M1X could be just as powerful as Nvidia’s RTX 3070

The boost in graphics cores looks to be the most exciting improvement for the M1X. The Apple M1 currently only features a total of 8 cores, whereas the M1X will supposedly be fitted with up to 32 cores, likely resulting in a far superior GPU performance.

Apple M1Apple M1X (unconfirmed)
Graphics Cores7 / 816 / 32
Credit: Bloomberg

YouTube channel Dave2D suggests the Apple M1X 32-core variation could see a similar performance level to the Nvidia RTX 3070 GPU. While that’s just an estimation, it still emphasises that the M1X chip may be able to compete with dedicated GPUs which is a very impressive achievement. 

With all this in mind, it’s best to think of the M1X chip as a more powerful alternative to the M1, aimed at those who want to engage in high intensive tasks such as video editing and 3D modeling. 

M1X laptops will likely have a shorter battery life 

Since the M1X has fewer energy-efficient cores than the M1, it’s highly likely that it will see a shorter battery life. That’s no surprise, as high-performance laptops typically have limited stamina.

The MacBook Pro 2021 will likely be larger and heavier than any M1 laptop too, with the extra muscle of the M1X likely requiring beefier cooling solutions to prevent the laptop from overheating. 

This means that if you’re not fussed about the higher performance that the M1X provides, you’re probably best sticking with M1 devices since they flaunt more portable designs. 

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