what makes M1 chips so fast?

30th November 2021

What Makes M1 Macs So Fast?

Stan Milanovich

2020 saw the dawning of a new age in Apple’s technology and quite possibly for the whole computer industry. It was the year that Apple launched its first M1 chip.

Prior to M1, you would find that, while Macs used a lot of unique technology, they utilised Intel processors for their hardware.

All that changed with the creation of the M1 chip.

The M1 chip Now Macs are powered by Apple’s own technology. It isn’t merely different from other systems on the market, the M1 chips have been game-changing.

The pre-hype for the M1 chips turned out to be very well deserved. Apple fans and critics alike were impressed by the speeds and high efficiency offered by these chips.

The M1 chips provided 2.8x faster processing, up to 11x faster machine learning, 3.5x faster CPU performance and up to 5x faster GPU speeds.

But how did M1 Macs achieve these increased speeds?

M1 System On A Chip Architecture

Apple’s M1 chip is an SoC i.e., a system on a chip. The architecture of these clever chips is fundamentally different from other computers.

In a more traditional setup, you would observe a separate CPU and GPU. Both of these would have separate stores of memory, and when tasks are carried out on your device, the data must be copied and communicated between these systems. This invariably means that, no matter how powerful your CPU and GPU are, there is a limit on their speed because of this data copying necessity.

M1 chip CPU fastThe M1 chips are revolutionary because they completely bypass this problem. The unified memory architecture on an M1 chip allows for the seamless and speedy transfer of data. This makes the M1 chip far faster than older tech.

To further boost speed and efficiency, the M1 chips have four high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. Depending on the power needs of your current task, the M1 chips can use the right cores to maximise speed and efficiency. That’s what makes the M1 such a smart piece of technology.

Scaling Up Power

Since the roaring success of the original M1 chip, Apple has released two more chips: The M1 Pro and M1 Max. Both these chips deliver the impressive speeds that users have become accustomed to with M1. Additionally, both ramp up the power and performance of Macs with more demanding software and multitasking requirements.

M1 Max The M1 Pro chips double the size of the chip architecture compared to the original M1. The M1 Max does the same again, doubling the size of the M1 Pro.

M1 Pro houses a 10 core CPU and 16 core GPU with 200GB/s of memory bandwidth and 32 GB of unified memory. There are 5-nanometre technology and 33.7 billion transistors. This can deliver up to 70% faster CPU speed.

The M1 Max has mind-boggling 32 GPU cores and 400 GB/s of memory bandwidth. There are 64 GB of unified memory and 57 billion transistors.

The M1 chip, M1 Pro and M1 Max are all ideal for business use, with the latter two chips being particularly suited to industries using power hungry tech.

An unrivalled balance of speed, powerful performance and energy conservation is what makes this new technology really stand out.

Hardsoft’s Device For Teams is a DaaS (Device as a Service) style lease that is perfect for deploying Macs with M1 chips to businesses.

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