Alleged Apple M1X Surfaces in CPU Monkey with Specs Leaked

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Written By Anastasios Antoniadis

(Former) Computer science Ph.D. student, amateur photographer, passionate blogger, SEO-nerd, and tech-enthusiast, Anastasios is the creator of BORDERPOLAR back in October 2020.

Just a few weeks after the launch of the Apple M1, there were already rumors of a new, even faster chip built on Apple Silicon. The Apple M1X coming and it is quite possible that its name is now final. The new Apple chip will probably be announced along with the unveiling of the 16″ Macbook Pro.

The latter should take place in the first quarter of 2021. With the Apple M1 already giving the competition from Intel and AMD a run for their money, the upcoming Apple Silicon will likely be yet another significant boost in performance. So while the Apple M1 receives raving reviews and topping CPU and battery life benchmarks, the Cupertino-based tech giant already has its sights to 2021.

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16" Macbook pro power with the Apple M1 chip
The 16″ MacBook Pro will be powered by the Apple M1X Pro.

The Apple M1X Chip – Alleged Specs

Update: The benchmark results for the Apple M1X surfaced on CPU Monkey earlier this week. The M1X is reported to be a 12-core chipset instead of its 8-core predecessor, which was expected. Apple will also include a more powerful 16-core GPU aboard this chipset. The Apple M1 is equipped with an 8-core GPU on the MacBook Pro and a 7-core GPU on the MacBook Air base variant.

Apple tries to push its integrated CPU performance to the maximum. Is this an indicator of an effort to go fully integrated on desktops too? According to CPU Monkey, the clock will remain at 3.2GHz, without turbo or hyperthreading, and the core setup will be 8 Firestorm performance core and 4 Icestorm power-efficiency cores. The new GPU unit will be able to support up to three displays, according to the leak.

According to prematurely leaked information by LeaksApplePro on Twitter, the Apple M1X chip will be even more powerful. It will come with 12 CPU cores, four higher than the Apple M1's 8 cores. What makes things even more interesting, though, is that while Apple M1 has 4 Firestorm performance cores and 4 Icestorm power-efficiency cores, the Apple M1X chip will not split the cores in half. Instead, it will potentially have a configuration of 8 Firestorm cores and 4 Icestorm cores. If that configuration is true, it should make the Apple M1X chip a challenger for the top spot of synthetic benchmarks.

Apple M1X:

-12 Cores.

– 8 performance cores.

– 4 high efficiency cores.

– Coming first on a MacBook Pro
16″ unveiling as a press release.

– According to a source who used a prototype, “if you think M1 is fast, you haven't seen M1X”.

-Name isn't final though.

– LeaksApplePro (@LeaksApplePro) November 22, 2020

Wait till you see the M1X

The same leaker quotes a source claiming that “if you think M1 is fast, you haven't seen the M1X”. If the Apple M1X chip's configuration is true, it's hard to imagine a different scenario. But for now, we will have to do with just leaks and rumors about the upcoming lineup of MacBook Pros and the SoC powering them. Regardless, low-power, portable performance is here to stay. Meanwhile, it feels that I am turning to a tech blogger, at least for now. Finally, I don't know why they would call it the Apple M2 so soon. M1X sounds more appropriate for the high-end version of the M1.

What is Apple M2?

The M2 codename may be used for Apple's 2021 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in Fall, but it's also possible that it will be used for chipset expected to power the iMacs and Mac Pros, as it will have to be significantly more powerful,

What about the Intel-powered 16″ MacBook Pro?

The new Apple M1-powered MacBooks of 2020 have already rendered obsolete pretty much every Intel-powered MacBook Air or Pro released before them. If the trend continues and the specs of the Apple M1X are confirmed, then probably even Intel-powered MacBooks will not be close in performance. What Apple will do with pricing remains to be seen, though, and how things will work out with having two variants of the same product.

The Main Challenge for the M1X – Graphics Performance

The main challenge for the M1X, just like any other SoC, is GPU performance. The idea of unified memory is great, but dedicated VRAM is typically much faster than RAM. At the same time, accommodating a GPU powerhouse like a dedicated graphics card in an SoC remains the challenge so far.

Let's see how the M1X tackles this issue and what solution Apple will come up with, especially on iMacs and Mac Pros.