Is The New MacBook Pro Worth It?

person using macbook pro

by Troop Atomic Mommy

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Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pros 

Apple announced the new high-end 16- and 14-inch MacBooks Pros during their long-awaited event that happened on 18th October. Pro users have been waiting for these new MacBooks for almost two years. And to be honest, most of the complaints that these Pro users had with the previous MacBook Pro models were attended to. 

Now that these Macs have finally been announced, let’s cover some of the major and minor updates that they come with compared to the previous models. Please note, we shall be comparing these new models to the previous high-end 13” intel 10th gen MacBook Pro (mid-2020) and the 16” intel 9th gen MacBook Pro (late 2019). 

Let’s get started.

The All-New Chips (M1 Max and M1 Pro)

Photo Credit: Unknown

One of the major changes that these MacBooks have come with are the new Apple silicon chips. The previous models were both powered by intel core i5, core i7, and Core i9 chips.

These new MacBooks will be powered by Apple’s in-house high-end Laptop chips; the M1 Pro and the M1 Max. Let’s look at each of them in detail. 

M1 Pro

The first chip to be announced at the event was the M1 Pro, which is basically a more powerful and advanced version of the already impressive M1 chip powering the base model Late 2020 13” MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air. With the M1 Pro, Apple focused more on getting the most out of the chip. It comes with is a 10-core CPU with 2 efficiency cores and 8 high-performance cores. 

The chip is 3.7x faster than the 10th gen core i7 intel CPU powering the previous generation of the 13” MacBook. It is also 2.2x faster than the 9th gen intel core i9 powering the previous 16” MacBook Pro. Compared to the M1, this new chip will give users up to 70% faster CPU performance.

Considering the fact that the M1 was already the most powerful laptop chip (CPU-wise) in the last 12 months, this new M1 Pro will be a power horse for most Pro users. The M1 Pro also supports up to 32GB of unified RAM, which both the CPU and the GPU can access. 

The GPU of the M1 Pro has up to 16-cores, which is double the cores in the M1 chip, resulting in double the GPU performance. When compared to the previous 10th gen intel core i7, this GPU is 9.2x faster. 

M1 Max 

The M1 Max is the high-end version of the M1 Pro. It has the same 10-core CPU (2 efficiency and 8 high-performance). So, their CPU performance will almost be the same most of the time. However, the M1 Max supports up to 64GB unified memory, which will give it an edge in multitasking, especially for users who ran several heavy Programs ago. 

The GPU in the M1 Max doubles the cores in the M1 Pro to make it 32 cores. This gives it a performance boost of 3.7x that of the M1 chip and up to 13.4x that of the 10th gen intel core i7 CPU. Compared to the previous dedicated AMD GPU in the 16” MacBook Pro, the M1 Max is 2.9x faster. 

The New Displays

Photo Credit: Anonymous

These new MacBooks have redesigned 14.2 and 16.2-inch mini-LED displays. The displays come with ProMotion technology (they refresh between 10Hz to 120Hz) that we have had in the iPad Pro since 2017. They can reach a typical brightness of 1000 nits and a peak brightness of 16000 nits, making them ideal for outdoor usage. The previous displays have 500 nits max brightness. 

The only controversial thing about these displays is the huge notch that they come with. This will be subjective because some people don’t care about it because of how much these displays have been improved. On the other hand, there are quite a number of people who really hate the notch. 

However, the notch was put there for a reason; it houses the much the better 1080P webcam that couldn’t fit in the extra-thin bezels that Apple wanted these displays to have. My disappointment is that Apple didn’t add Face ID in this huge notch. Maybe they will do so in the next-gen models. 

Storage Configurations 

With both the 14” and 16” models, the storage options range from 512GB to 8TB SSD. These SSDs also have up to 7.4GB/s speeds, which is twice faster than those in previous generations of MacBooks. 

The Revived Full-Size Ports 

Photo Credit: Apple

One of the major complaints users had with the previous MacBooks is the lack of full-size ports, including the HDMI, USB-A, and SD card slot. Apple has decided to bring back the HDMI port and SD Card slot to these new MacBooks. The beloved MagSafe port is also back, with a new design that makes it almost the size of a USB-C port in terms of height. These new MacBooks also have 3 Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports. 

Battery Life

The 14” model has up to 17 hours battery life, which is 7 hours more than what we could get with the previous 10th gen intel core i7 MacBook Pro. The 16” model can achieve up to 21 hours, which is a 10 hours improvement compared to the previous model. These batteries also support wireless charging (50% in 30%), thanks to the new 140W MagSafe adapter. 

Pricing 

Like you would expect, all these upgrades have come at a huge cost. The 14” model now starts at $1999 compared to $1799 for the previous intel generation. The 16” model starts at $2499. A fully maxed out 16” model will cost you $6099, and the 14” will cost you $5899. 

The Takeaway 

These new high-end MacBook Pros are indeed game-changing when compared to the previous models they are replacing. The major changes, in my opinion, are the new chips, which are insanely powerful, and the redesigned ProMotion HDR displays. Bringing back the full-size HDMI port and the SD card slot is a bonus, especially for video content creators and photographers. 

However, I was a bit underwhelmed by the battery life. I anticipated at least 25 hours for the 16-inch model and 21 for the 14-inch model. This is because we already had a 2020 M1 MacBook Pro that could go up to 20 hours on a single charge. But based on the power that these machines have; Apple still did an excellent job with battery life because they can both last you a full day of work without having to worry.  


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