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Starfyre

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Nov 7, 2010
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Just reading the press, it seems strange for Apple to release the M1X for MacBook Pro later this year, just to have the Air’s have a newer/better processor next year that outdoes the MacBook Pro? Seems like it would make sense for either:

1) M1X for MacBook Pro, M1X for MacBook Air or
2) M2 for MacBook Pro, M2 for MacBook Air
 

ipsedixit

macrumors regular
Jun 14, 2021
153
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I'm guessing the 14 and 16" form factor will get people to buy/upgrade to the Pro. Apple doesn't need a new iteration of the ARM to get people to buy/upgrade to the new Pro models.

But with the MacBook Air, unless they come out with a 15" model (unlikely), Apple will need a carrot for people to upgrade to the new Air, and nothing makes us act like Pavlovian dogs earning to upgrade than "new chip".
 

Moonjumper

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2009
2,740
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Lincoln, UK
it makes sense to bring out the simple version of a chip generation to come out first as it is easier to do. The X versions will have many more cores than the base versions, so the M1X is still likely to outperform the M2. I expect the X (and other versions) to follow the base version more closely in each generation when the transition is complete, but it makes sense to establish a pattern as soon as possible of having the tiers matching certain models.
 
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Puonti

macrumors 68000
Mar 14, 2011
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First off, I know very little about the finer points of chip manufacturing, and have no insider information on Apple's strategy. On the second point everyone here is on the same line, on the first one there's more knowledgeable forum members around.

That said, my understanding has been that manufacturing a specific chip design gets cheaper over time. The process is refined, fewer bad chips are produced, and in general newer manufacturing processes (smaller die size, other enhancements) start out at a higher price that pushes the price of old ones down. It's therefore financially beneficial to Apple to keep producing a chip design past the introduction of the next design.

Unlocking more CPU and / or GPU cores in the M1 makes it more powerful while keeping the same design, allowing Apple to extend its useful commercial life and reap the financial benefits. It also means they have, if they need it, a faster SOC available to a future iPad revision without going directly to M2.

Plus, of course, it's always beneficial to Apple to "interlace" product upgrades across their product lines as much as possible. It creates more "moments of temptation" for their customers to decide that now is a good time to upgrade. Someone who's used a "higher-tier" product in the past might be tempted to rationalize a "lower tier" product simply because of the availability of something new. And since they're now on a lower-tier product, there's a big temptation to go up again when that higher-tier product is updated.

It works the other way around too and the feature doesn't need to be the chip, either. It's just good business sense to introduce something like Pro Motion in a higher-tier product first, to get people on the fence to spend more than they perhaps preferred to, then gradually bring it to lower-tier products. This catches customers on multiple "price sensitivity" levels, who might be willing to pay a bit more than they expected for something new.

And finally there's those customers that go a long time between updates. Even if the above strategies aren't strictly speaking aimed at them, a higher rate of these "moments of temptation" still means eventually one comes around that they jump on. It doesn't hurt if there's more of those moments, then.
 
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GumaRodak

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2015
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Well, they will make anything that will cause you to buy every year new machine :)
 

gren81

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2013
38
14
Does it make sense? I do not know but it definitely creates confusion.

My MacBook Pro (mid—2012) has been doing just fine with upgraded memory, SSD upgrade, and Catalina.

I have no iPad but I do have an iPhone X.

I am quite selective on my upgrades and timing - trying stay informed to make longer-term purchases for an extended lifecycle.

I am looking for a desktop-capable tablet. The announcement puts off a desktop-upgrade or tablet purchase for another year.

I will just buy a newer iPhone (Max?) with 5G and Band 71 this Fall. My MacBook Pro will be just fine.
 
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Adelphos33

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2012
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People keep their laptops and computer for five, six, seven years. In the Apple silicon era, no matter what machine you buy, newer computers will have next generation chips within a year. Even if the MacBook Pro got the “M2X,” the 2023 MacBook Air will likely get an “M3” within 15 months or so. Not sure what the problem is here.
 
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jav6454

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2007
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People keep their laptops and computer for five, six, seven years. In the Apple silicon era, no matter what machine you buy, newer computers will have next generation chips within a year. Even if the MacBook Pro got the “M2X,” the 2023 MacBook Air will likely get an “M3” within 15 months or so. Not sure what the problem is here.
People always want the latest and greatest; no end to that argument. Which is fine, if you can afford it.
 

TheRdungeon

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2011
542
92
Does it make sense? I do not know but it definitely creates confusion.

My MacBook Pro (mid—2012) has been doing just fine with upgraded memory, SSD upgrade, and Catalina.

I have no iPad but I do have an iPhone X.

I am quite selective on my upgrades and timing - trying stay informed to make longer-term purchases for an extended lifecycle.

I am looking for a desktop-capable tablet. The announcement puts off a desktop-upgrade or tablet purchase for another year.

I will just buy a newer iPhone (Max?) with 5G and Band 71 this Fall. My MacBook Pro will be just fine.
That's what I keep finding with my 15" mid 2012 too. Dual SSDs, 16gb RAM, now an ac wifi card (highly recommended) and a relatively high res matte display. Every time I go to upgrade it I think jesus this thing is still so quick and I love how I can keep expanding the storage for so cheap
 

theluggage

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2011
7,433
7,239
Just reading the press, it seems strange for Apple to release the M1X for MacBook Pro later this year, just to have the Air’s have a newer/better processor next year that outdoes the MacBook Pro? Seems like it would make sense for either:
Of course it would make more sense to customers if "bigger number = better". However, if Apple Marketing think this is a problem they can fix it at the stroke of a pen - it's a problem that begins and ends with a sticky label. The only real problem is that some people start building arguments along the lines of "no, that can't be true because that's an M2 feature and the MBP is getting the M1X" as if these things were established facts.

The current speculation seems to be that "M1X" is a scaled-up version of the M1 with more CPU cores, more GPU cores, maybe a different balance of performance/efficiency cores - but presumably of the same type as found in the M1, whereas the "M2" will be a new core design presumably with similar numbers of cores to the M1.

...but the sort of thing that could realistically mean in terms of performance is that the "M2" might be, say, 10-20% faster than the M1 on a given task whereas an "M1X" with 16+4 CPU cores could be 3-4x faster M1 on a task which could take good advantage of multiple cores... or little or no faster than a M1, and slower than the M2, on a task that didn't multi-thread well. Then, maybe the "M2" will have some new hardware acceleration feature that makes FCPX run twice as fast but that Adobe CS doesn't use... It's also possible that the big advantage of the M2 will be power consumption, which would be a big deal in an iPad or MBA but not so much in an iMac. Multi-thread performance & lots of performance cores is very much an issue for video/audio/3D/scientific applications which tend to parallelise well - not quite so much for everyday use/gaming where the "economy" cores seem to do a great job of keeping the UI smoothly.

So it would be a good idea to have a separate naming system for the "consumer" and "pro" chips to discourage false comparisons - more informed customers could always look deeper to find out core types etc.

Of course, the other issue is timing, and part of the "problem" is that current rumours make it sound as if the M1X MBP/iMac and M2 MBA could come out only a month or two apart. If the M1X MBP had come out in early summer (as rumoured) and the M2 MBA wasn't expected until next March then it wouldn't be such a big issue. It's highly plausible that Apple's schedule has been messed up by component shortages.

NB: the "M1X" naming scheme seems to derive from the A-series "A12Z"-type names - but there, the suffix usually referred to an extra GPU core, a spot of overclocking, a tweaked neural engine etc. to give the iPad Pro a few more legs than an iPhone - not twice as many cores. So it doesn't necessarily work for M series, which will potentially go in everything from an iPad to a Mac Pro....

But, still, to repeat - ultimately, it's only a label and the ultimate decision will be made when Apple make their fancy CGI rendering of the new MBP innards for their launch....
 
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aeternitas

macrumors member
May 12, 2015
81
213
TBH I'm not even interested in the M1X MBP anymore. I'm already waiting for the Q4 2022 MBP revision, which hopefully fixes any flaws from whatever will be announced this year.
 

ascender

macrumors 601
Dec 8, 2005
4,917
2,804
The chips in the new Pro machines will have fantastic single and multi-core performance - the multicore bit is what loads of us are waiting for.

So next year's M2 chip may have better single core performance, but if you want multi-core, the M1X will still be the one to go for.

If Apple do establish a naming convention where the "X" chips are the pro & multicore ones, it will be pretty easy to keep track of and arguably much less confusing than the traditional Intel ones where you have a chip name and clock speed to keep track-of. Especially when the faster clock speeds may not be the more powerful chip.
 
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