MacDirectory Magazine

Jerad Marantz

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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New iMac Pro | Is There an Even More Powerful ‘M1 Ultra’ Chip in the Works? By Jesse Hollington If you thought the M1 Max was the pinnacle of Apple’s first-generation silicon, you may need to adjust that thinking soon, as new rumours suggest that an even more powerful version of the M1 may be just around the corner. While the original M1 blew the doors off anything else out there when it made its fall 2020 debut, we always knew that Apple had to have something bigger and better in the works. For most of 2021, reports dubbed it the ”M1X”, assuming that Apple would follow the naming conventions used for its A-series chips found in the iPhone and iPad. What we ended up getting last fall were actually two chips, the M1 Pro and the M1 Max, both packed into Apple’s substantially improved 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro lineup. Both these chips basically included a 10-core CPU, with the main difference being the number of GPU cores and maximum memory capacity. The M1 Pro supported up to 16 GPU cores with 32GB RAM, while the M1 Max doubled those specs to take us to 32 GPU cores and 64GB of memory. If the latest reports are true, however, there could be a souped-up version of that M1 Max appearing that would pack in 12 CPU cores. This is expected to be used in the upcoming larger iMac, although more details on the computer remain somewhat scant. This latest info comes from leaker @dylandkt, whose sources have said that the upcoming iMac Pro will feature a configuration that’s a notch above the M1 Max, which was also tied with code that references a 12-core CPU configuration. M1 Ultra? It’s not entirely clear whether Apple plans to release this as a new tier of M1 chip, but we’re guessing that it probably will. As things stand now, the M1 Pro and M1 Max are both 10-core chips. Although there’s an 8-core version of the M1 Pro found on the entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro, this is almost certainly due to the same kind of chip binning that gave us a version of the M1 with a 7-core GPU. Unless we’re prepared to assume that all M1 Pro/Max chips were binned versions to start with, a 12-core M1 chip would be something entirely different. This would require a new die design and fabrication process, and knowing Apple it’s also going to get a new name to differentiate it from its 10-core siblings. We’ve heard the name “M1 Ultra” bandied around, but this was in the context of a stacked M1 Max chip that would offer 20 or 40 GPU cores. That’s not where this 12-core version comes in. There’s also no word on whether this 12-core M1 will include more memory or GPU cores. If Apple were to simply bump it to 12 CPU cores but leave the other specs the same, it’s fair to say that it would be more of an “M1 Max

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