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aeronatis

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 9, 2015
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M1 Pro and M1 Max seem to be quite competitive on the market with CPU performance being higher than anything that's available today and GPU performance being right there for everything except for the non-optimised games (I've tested many devices as I am a local YouTuber content creator in my country and I can safely say, it is the best laptop computer I have ever used so far.).

However, these chips are also expected to be in the new bigger screen iMac models. I know comparing an thin all-in-one and a tower PC is not quite fair; but, do you think Apple will release an even higher tier chip than M1 Max (M1 Extreme or whatever the name will be) or will they point our how thin and power efficient they are compared to Alder Lake tower PCs?

Top end iMac graphics cards has been on par with the GTX/RTX ..60 cards many times before, so M1 Max seems to be quite good for a regular bigger screen iMac if it will not directly be called iMac Pro, and Apple mentioned that they were willing to reduce the performance gap between laptops and desktops when they first announced Apple Silicon. What do you thing they will do against the upcoming Alder Lake CPUs and high end graphics cards like desktop RTX3080?
 

LonestarOne

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2019
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I can’t predict what Apple will do. I can tell you what I’m hoping for. I’d like a new iMac Pro this spring so I can replace my late 2014 5K Retina iMac. Will it have a new chip, like the rumored M1 Max Duo? That would be nice — faster is always better — but if it’s “just” the same M1 Max used in the MacBook Pro, I’m fine with that. I can distinguish between what I want and what I need. It would still be a nice upgrade over what I have now and last me for another 7-8 years. I don’t worry about comparisons to Alder Lake and RTX3080; I just care about my needs.

The real “pro”pros might not think it’s sufficient, but I suspect most of those are probably waiting for a Mac Pro tower rather than an all-in-one anyway.
 
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Gnattu

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Sep 18, 2020
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The M1 Pro/M1 Max has second set of config/mask/software-gen/hw-state registers, and the IRQ controller in those chips are designed with a second die(not available for now). For those iMacs, Apple will include not only 1, but 2 M1 Maxes in it.
 
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Adarna

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Jan 1, 2015
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PSU of the Mac will limit which M1 Max SKU can be used.

iMac Pro with a 500W PSU can easily handle Jade-4C. A Mac mini with 150W PSU can handle a Jade 2C.

I expect it to be placed in more than just the pro desktops as the best way to ramp up volume is to put it into every form factor possible
 

theorist9

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May 28, 2015
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Apple's target for the M1 Max MacBook Pro was to provide GPU performance comparable to the RTX 3080 laptop GPU. But a desktop RTX 3080 has twice the performance of a laptop RTX 3080. Thus if we define staying competitive as continuting to provide 3080-class GPU performance, then new upper-end iMac, which is a desktop machine, would need twice the GPU cores (i.e., 64) of the M1 Max MBP.
 
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MacsRgr8

macrumors G3
Sep 8, 2002
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The Netherlands
I expect that M1 Pro and Max for Mac mini and iMac (Pro) to be exactly the same as what is currently inside the MacBook Pros.
I would call that good enough (especially CPU-wise!), but, as usual, missing the high-end graphic performance. Added the fact that the high-end AMD and nVidia desktop graphics have been on the market for some time once these desktop Macs are launched, the desktop Mac-users have to face average graphics performance, and cannot upgrade this.

I hope a Mac Pro will double the CPU and GPU count of the Max. Of course, at the cost of.... $$$
 
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maerz001

macrumors 68020
Nov 2, 2010
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The iMac will probably come in the following configurations:
- M1 Max
- 2 x M1 Max
I only want a bigger display without the more expensive chips. Same goes for the MB.

This week on MR deals they had a 15.6“ HP laptop for $300.
doesn’t have to be that cheap but apples strategy for binding bigger displays to more performance is strange.
 

JPack

macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
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Given that we’re expecting a 27” iMac Pro, I’d expect the same M1 Pro/Max chips. If it were 32-inch, then it would be a different story because it would be clear Apple is targeting ultra high-end.

An MCM chip is extremely expensive to make and I don’t see it happening for an iMac under $5,000.
 

thingstoponder

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2014
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The M1 Pro/M1 Max has second set of config/mask/software-gen/hw-state registers, and the IRQ controller in those chips are designed with a second die(not available for now). For those iMacs, Apple will include not only 1, but 2 M1 Maxes in it.
That’s for the Mac Pro. I’d bet anything the iMac will have the same specs as the MacBook Pro
 

aeronatis

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 9, 2015
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PSU of the Mac will limit which M1 Max SKU can be used.

iMac Pro with a 500W PSU can easily handle Jade-4C. A Mac mini with 150W PSU can handle a Jade 2C.

The new version could be much thinner maybe, thus having similar power envelope as the Mac Mini does, which would make the regular M1 Max more likely. I won't stop dreaming for a 16-core performance core for the CPU and a 64-core GPU though. That would compel me to sell my MacBook Pro and use my iPad Pro as my only portable device ??
 

Adarna

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Jan 1, 2015
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The new version could be much thinner maybe, thus having similar power envelope as the Mac Mini does, which would make the regular M1 Max more likely. I won't stop dreaming for a 16-core performance core for the CPU and a 64-core GPU though. That would compel me to sell my MacBook Pro and use my iPad Pro as my only portable device ??
That is of course a possibility but if I was Apple I'd try to put the Pro & Max chips into all possible product line as possible to improve economies of scale.

Apple deciding to start with the M1 and use it in ~80% of all Macs shipped + the iPad Pro was brilliant. I can see them doing that again with the the Pro & Max chips.
 
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theorist9

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May 28, 2015
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I only want a bigger display without the more expensive chips. Same goes for the MB.

This week on MR deals they had a 15.6“ HP laptop for $300.
doesn’t have to be that cheap but apples strategy for binding bigger displays to more performance is strange.
A 32" iMac with just 10 CPU cores would be fine with me!

Now that Apple's large (16") MBP has moved into the workstation category, they unfortunately no longer have a light, highly portable laptop with a large display. That, to my mind, leaves a gap in their lineup for people who want a large laptop display but don't need a workstation (or workstation prices).

I thus think they should offer the next Air in 13" and 15" variants. A 13" Air, with the new narrow bezels, would be about the same size as the 12" MacBook, so it would make those who want an ultraportable happy. And a 15" Air would satisfy those, like you, who need a larger display, and don't need workstation performance or prices (and it would also be very portable, since it would have the same H and W as the 14" MBP, but be much thinner and lighter).
 

Jorbanead

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Aug 31, 2018
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I think an iMac Pro will come with 2X M1 Max chips. We already are fairly confident they are planning on doing a 2X and 4x M1 Max chip for the Mac Pro and knowing Apple they want to use these chips configs as many times as they can to keep costs down.

A 2X M1 Max chip would offer a 20-core computer that easily rivals the old iMac Pro and current 27” iMac, as well as the i9 offerings by Intel coming out. It would also support 128GB of UMA, and have a 64-core GPU that would be almost twice as powerful as the current Max chip - performing around a desktop 3080.
 

theorist9

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May 28, 2015
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I think an iMac Pro will come with 2X M1 Max chips. We already are fairly confident they are planning on doing a 2X and 4x M1 Max chip for the Mac Pro and knowing Apple they want to use these chips configs as many times as they can to keep costs down.

A 2X M1 Max chip would offer a 20-core computer that easily rivals the old iMac Pro and current 27” iMac, as well as the i9 offerings by Intel coming out. It would also support 128GB of UMA, and have a 64-core GPU that would be almost twice as powerful as the current Max chip - performing around a desktop 3080.
Yes, current rumors point to a 2X Max as the top-end iMac config. But that config would give even more total multicore CPU processing power than your comparisons suggest.

If we use Geekbench multicore scores as a rough estimate, the 1X M1 Max chip already rivals the most powerful (18-core) iMac Pro (12,700 Max; 13,400 iMac Pro); and a 2X M1 Max should have about 25% more CPU processing power than the most powerful (28-core) Mac Pro (25,400 2X Max; 19,800 Mac Pro).
 
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Jorbanead

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Yes, current rumors point to a 2X Max as the top-end iMac config. But that config would give even more total multicore CPU processing power than your comparisons suggest.

If we use Geekbench multicore scores as a rough estimate, the 1X M1 Max chip already rivals the most powerful (18-core) iMac Pro (12,700 Max; 13,400 iMac Pro); and a 2X M1 Max should have about 25% more CPU processing power than the most powerful (28-core) Mac Pro (25,400 2X Max; 19,800 Mac Pro).
Oh totally. I just said it would easily rival the previous models and Intel’s current offerings. As we have no idea how it will scale I didn’t want to make any predictions other than it’s probably safe to bet it’ll easily beat out the processors mentioned.
 
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Tagbert

macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2011
5,335
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Initially, Apple will likely bring out the larger iMac as a iMac Pro and put exactly the same SOC options as in the new MBPs. That will be plenty of power for almost anyone who is in the market for an iMac.

They will certainly establish two levels for the iMac line with the 24” and M1 as the iMac and the 27” as the Pro, just as they have done with the MacBooks. I don’t think that they will put the Jade 2C/4C (or Duo/Quattro?) into the iMac Pro. They’ll probably reserve those for the Mac Pro and charge accordingly.

This probably means that the larger iMac now starts well above $2K, maybe above the 16” MBP. Perhaps they could have an M1 version of the large iMac closer to the 14” MBP price to address that price gap. I think the gap between consumer pricing and pro pricing is an interesting product area and it will be interesting to see how they manage that gap.
 

LonestarOne

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2019
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I think an iMac Pro will come with 2X M1 Max chips. We already are fairly confident they are planning on doing a 2X and 4x M1 Max chip for the Mac Pro and knowing Apple they want to use these chips configs as many times as they can to keep costs down.
But we don’t know what the schedule for those chips is.

I’d love to have a 2x M1 Max in an iMac Pro. Even a 4x, if the price is reasonable. But not if it means a long wait. I *want* as much power as I can get, but I don’t *need* anything more than the M1 Max provides right now, and I probably won’t for the next 7-8 years at least.
 

Jorbanead

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Aug 31, 2018
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But we don’t know what the schedule for those chips is.

I’d love to have a 2x M1 Max in an iMac Pro. Even a 4x, if the price is reasonable. But not if it means a long wait. I *want* as much power as I can get, but I don’t *need* anything more than the M1 Max provides right now, and I probably won’t for the next 7-8 years at least.
We don’t. But product delays weren’t exactly because of 5nm chips. They were due to supply/shipping/display constraints and legacy nodes. We also know these M1 Pro/Max chips were likely originally scheduled for WWDC (as I remember Cmaier even said back when we called it M1X that they were supposedly tapped out early this year). For all we know, Apple has already tapped out the 2x M1 Max chip and they’re just waiting on supply constraints to get sorted out after the holiday season. Apple releases chips when they have a product ready. It doesn’t always mean they’re waiting on the chip.
 
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ADGrant

macrumors 68000
Mar 26, 2018
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I can’t predict what Apple will do. I can tell you what I’m hoping for. I’d like a new iMac Pro this spring so I can replace my late 2014 5K Retina iMac. Will it have a new chip, like the rumored M1 Max Duo? That would be nice — faster is always better — but if it’s “just” the same M1 Max used in the MacBook Pro, I’m fine with that. I can distinguish between what I want and what I need. It would still be a nice upgrade over what I have now and last me for another 7-8 years. I don’t worry about comparisons to Alder Lake and RTX3080; I just care about my needs.

The real “pro”pros might not think it’s sufficient, but I suspect most of those are probably waiting for a Mac Pro tower rather than an all-in-one anyway.
It's not just about what you want or need, Apple has something to prove. When they replace the current 27" Intel iMac, they have to target 12th gen Alder Lake performance, not the 10th gen i9 that the current iMac can be configured with. They also need to target the desktop Nvidia GPUs, not the first gen AMD Navi GPUs in the 2020 iMac.
 

theorist9

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May 28, 2015
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Oh totally. I just said it would easily rival the previous models and Intel’s current offerings. As we have no idea how it will scale I didn’t want to make any predictions other than it’s probably safe to bet it’ll easily beat out the processors mentioned.
Apple is also rumored to be coming out with one more (Ice Lake) update of the Mac Pro before it releases its AS version. If so, and if they also release a 2X Max iMac around that time, it will be interesting to see how their performance compares.

I'm guessing the 2X Max iMac could equal or exceed the performance of most of the Ice Lake Mac Pro configs, most of which (presumably) will be much more expensive than a 2X Max iMac (and they won't come with a 120 Hz 27" Retina display!). If so, unless you need the top-end Ice Lake CPU (38 cores), then it seems the only reasons to get a Mac Pro would be software compatability, connectivity, or a need for lots of RAM (Ice Lake may allow up to 4 TB) (or a need for ECC RAM, if the iMac Pro doesn't have it).
 

theorist9

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May 28, 2015
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It's not just about what you want or need, Apple has something to prove. When they replace the current 27" Intel iMac, they have to target 12th gen Alder Lake performance, not the 10th gen i9 that the current iMac can be configured with. They also need to target the desktop Nvidia GPUs, not the first gen AMD Navi GPUs in the 2020 iMac.
If they really want to target Alder Lake desktop performance, they'd also need to modestly increase their single-core speed (Alder Lake is ~10% faster), which may not be practical if they're still using the M1 Max/Pro, since those are probably optimized to run at their current clocks. It will be interesting to see if they can and do up the clock speeds on these chips in the iMac, though we may not see increased single-core speeds until the M2 Max/Pro. Where they should really make a big leap is when they go to 3 nm (predicted for 2023).
 
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