Why Apple M1 Chips Bring New Meaning to Speed

30th August 2021
M1 Chip advantages

There was a great deal of excitement when the Apple M1 chip launched. It’s always exciting to have a new generation of sleek Apple Mac devices. However, that initial thrill has not abated with the new M1 chips. This innovative technology is continuing to draw positive attention.

It isn’t merely exciting because this is a return to form for Apple. For years and years Apple has been using Intel chips. Intel produces a wide range of chips, including some of the best the market has to offer for PCs.

What’s been surprising and very well received for the M1 chips is their speed.

There are plenty of advantages brought by these new Apple chips. High performance, smart management and balance of high performance and efficient performance, battery life, longevity, and durability.

Yet, their speed is the big feature that will be most apparent and impressive to users.

How Fast Are The New Apple Mac Chips?

Apple M1 chip on MacBook

According to tests, the M1 CPU in the latest Macbook Pro is up to 2.8x faster than the Intel chip MacBook Pro. The GPU speeds are up to 5x faster. This is a significant increase in speed, and this should hold true even as the device ages for similar generation machines.

Now, the really interesting feature about the M1 chip’s speed is how it remains fast even when using the Rosetta 2 emulator.

This emulator allows software to run on the latest generation of M1 Apple Macs even if that software was only designed to work with Intel chips. Often when emulators are utilised it makes devices and programmes slower. However, the Mac devices using the M1 chips were still astonishingly fast.

What Makes The M1 Chip So Fast?

The new technology behind these chips is phenomenal. It takes existing techniques and pushes them to the next level. Many of the methods utilised to boost speed without compromising high performance were learned from Apple’s years perfecting the iPhone.

With M1 chips, entry level Macs are actually faster than many of the bigger, recent Intel powered Macs. That means cheaper, smaller Macs are performing much faster than their recent predecessors, which cost more money at the time of purchase.

It isn’t that they are marginally faster, but significantly, tangibly faster.

System on a chip M1 chip

The M1 chip has a few differences from chips that have gone before. For starters it isn’t merely a processor chip. It’s a SoC. That makes it a System-on-a-Chip.

Now, SoCs have been around for some time but often meant drawbacks in some performance areas. The M1 chip has now solved those problems.

Many of the components that would normally be mounted on a motherboard are brought together in the M1 chip.

It combines an 8-core CPU, an 8-Core GPU, unified memory, SSD controller, image signal processor, Secure Enclave, and all of this is integrated into one chip.

There are also specialised tools that give the chip extra abilities, for example, the unified memory architecture. This allows CPU, GPU, and other cores to exchange info seamlessly, and access memory simultaneously, with no data copying between different areas.

In the past, integrated chips with the CPU and GPU meant slow graphics. Fortunately, that’s not the case with the new M1 chips.

Graphics cards tend to be data and power hungry. If you’ve seen them in desktop PCs, they are large with cooling fans and special dedicated memory. The trouble comes when they must get data from memory used by the CPU.

The M1 chip was designed to fix these issues without suffering the consequences of older integrated memory chips.

8 Core GPU and 8 core cpu

In the M1 chips, there is no reserved, separate space for the CPU or GPU. Memory is allocated to both, and they can use the same memory, hence no data copying. This boosts speed.

Apple M1 chips can serve large chunks of data rapidly with their low-latency, high-throughput. There are no two different types of memory here. Again, this boosts speed.

Apple has also managed to get GPU power consumption down significantly. This is a really challenging and remarkable feat since anyone who knows powerful graphic cards knows they run hot. One of the most impressive aspects of Apple’s new technology is the ability to reduce the power consumption of the GPU, so this component can be integrated into a SoC without overheating the whole thing.

Additionally, an all-in-one chip means less distance for data to travel. All these improvements have made the latest generation of Macbooks lightning fast. With cheaper, entry level Macs performing so highly with M1 chips, it’s encouraging many businesses to go full Apple in their offices.