At WWDC in June, Apple announced that it was going to take the next two years to transition from Intel processors to Apple Silicon in its Mac lineup, similar to the processors included in its iPad and iPhone lineup. What benefits does this give Apple users though.
Specs and Features
One of the biggest benefits of buying anything Apple is that everything is “made in the same house”. On the iPhone for example, Apple is not only designing the software experience, they are also designing the hardware, and have their own silicon inside. This allows Apple total control over the user experience, as well as optimizing the hardware to work with their chipset and vice versa.
Whereas on the Mac lineup, as it currently stands with Intel, their lineup historically sits about a generation behind of Intel processors due to constraints of not having the processors prior to release, as well as Apple running into countless bugs while trying to make their hardware play well with Intel processors.
The processor anticipated for Apple’s Mac lineup is the A14X Bionic. The chip is jam-packed with tech that allows it to process audio, images from cameras, and Apple’s new neural engine for better machine learning. Another key benefit of all Apple hardware running Apple silicon is that everything will be based on the same architecture, meaning that any app written for iPhone or iPad will also be optimized for the new Macs, and vice versa.
This is the biggest mystery so far of the transition, but early leaks have shown a significant performance boost compared to the existing Intel lineup. The benefits of ARM mainly live in the aspect of battery life and portability, which is perfect for ultrabooks like the iPad Pro and MacBook Air. However, with Apple committing to transition the entire Mac family, they believe they will be able to use their chips for more performance based machines like its iMac Pro and Mac Pro.
Based on personal experience, I own a 2020 MacBook Air and the 2020 iPad Pro 12.9″, I will say that I am excited for the transition and think it will forever change Apple’s path in computing. I do 80% of my work on my iPad Pro, and that includes Photoshop and Lightroom edits of graphics and images from my Sony A6600, which are 24.2 MP images.
I am able to get several more hours of work out of my iPad Pro than I do my MacBook Air doing the same workload. This transition will further improve Apple’s dominance in the computing market, and if they are able to lower the cost of their hardware due to not having to pay Intel for their processors, there is a real possibility that there could be a Mac in every home.