What are the differences between Apple Silicon MacBooks? Comparative

Comparatif MacBook Apple silicon

To start, a little definition: Apple silicon is a brand launched by the company of the same name during WWDC 2020 to qualify SiPs (system in package) homemade from his computers. Previously, Mac motherboards were made by Intel. But Cupertino, to gain gross margins and overcome the competition, chose to design proprietary components. These integrate RAM, Secure Enclave, processor and GPU on the same printed circuit.

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2021/2022 MacBook Pros

In addition to laptops, several desktop machines are equipped with this solution such as the twenty-four-inch iMac.

List of Apple Silicon MacBooks

  • MacBook Air M1 (2020)
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro (2020)
  • 14-inch MacBook Pro (2021)
  • 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021)

Differences between screens

To begin, let’s compare the screens, the main source of interaction for the user. The first difference between them is the size, since the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro M1 (2020) are limited to 13.3 inches where the 2022 MacBook Pros offer 14.2″ and 16.2″. The resolution is also better with the larger models: 3,024 x 1,964 pixels for the 14″ MacBook Pro and 3,456 x 2,234 pixels for the 16″ MacBook Pro, but simple 2K for the smaller ones.

Comparative MacBook Apple silicon

MacBook Air M1 © iPhon.fr

Regarding the brightness, we see the same phenomenon: the MacBook Pro 13″ and the MacBook Air M1 are quite limited and it quickly becomes difficult to use them in direct sunlight. Apple thus speaks of 500 and 400 nits, respectively. That’s almost three times less than what the 14″ MacBook Pro and 16″ MacBook Pro offer, which are capable of displaying a ProMotion refresh rate at 120Hz.

To finish with the comparison of screens, also know that the panels of MacBook Apple silicon do not have the same technology. Thus, if the MacBook Air M1 and the MacBook Pro 13e are satisfied with an IPS LED backlight, the MacBoook Pro 2022 do better and adopt mini LED. The result: deeper blacks, perfect for film or graphics.

Comparative MacBook Apple siliconComparative MacBook Apple silicon

MacBook Pro M1 © iPhon.fr

Note: the 13″ MacBook Pro also offers the Touch Barbut this one having since been abandoned, we consider that this is not a question of an implacable advantage.

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Comparative classification MacBook Apple silicon (screen):

  1. MacBookPro 16″
  2. MacBookPro 14″
  3. MacBook Air M1 / ​​MacBook Pro 13″

Performance Comparison

With the Apple silicon MacBook Pros, you have the choice between three different chip families. To compare them, it is important to take into account several criteria. The first is pure processing power, embodied by the number of cores present in the CPU and which makes it possible to run several apps at the same time (photo, code, etc.). The second is the management of the video stream, this time measurable by looking at the technical characteristics of the GPU. We also have the NeuralEngine : the more robust it is, the more efficient the machine learning will be.

Comparative MacBook Apple siliconComparative MacBook Apple silicon

With this, a quantity of strips of random access memory higher drastically improves the execution speed of apps, especially when working on large files: music, AR, etc. Finally, we also have the memory bandwidth, which is responsible for opening these documents as quickly as possible. Let’s see how these numbers relate to Apple silicon chips:

M1 chip

  • for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13″
  • 8-core CPU
  • 7 or 8 core GPU
  • RAM: 8 or 16 GB
  • 16-core Neural Engine

M1 Pro chip

  • for MacBook Pro 14″ or MacBook Pro 16″
  • 8 or 10 core CPU for the 14″ MacBook Pro / 10 core CPU for the 16″ MacBook Pro
  • 14 or 16 core GPU for the 14″ MacBook Pro / 16, 24 or 32 core GPU for the 16″ MacBook Pro
  • RAM: 16 or 32 GB
  • 16-core Neural Engine

M1 Max chip

  • for MacBook Pro 14″ or MacBook Pro 16″
  • 10-core CPU
  • 24 or 32 core GPU
  • RAM: 32 or 64 GB
  • 16-core Neural Engine

You guessed it, going for a MacBook Pro gives you more velocity. However, as has been shown the test of our colleagues at Lemon-squeezer.net, the MacBook Air M1 is already doing very well for office automation or conventional tasks. However, if you’re more into gaming or editing, then it’s better to opt for a MacBook Pro 2022. The potential 64 GB of RAM really makes a difference on a daily basis, especially with software like Premiere Pro or Logic.

2021/2022 MacBook Pros

Comparative ranking MacBook Apple silicon (performance):

  1. MacBook Pro 16″ / MacBookPro 14″
  2. MacBook Air M1 / ​​MacBook Pro 13″
Comparative MacBook Apple siliconComparative MacBook Apple silicon

MacBook Air M1 © iPhon.fr

Design

Even if it is rarely the detail that we consult in a comparison of such powerful computers, the design of the MacBook Apple silicon can be taken into account for purists or the most nomadic. There are indeed real differences between the four devices, starting with the color : Space grey Where Money for each model, but Gold is only available on MacBook Air M1.

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Also good to know: the 14″ MacBook Pro and 16″ MacBook Pro are the only ones with an Apple silicon chip and notch. This dark area in the center of the upper edge of the slab cuts out the camera, and moreover guarantees a much better size / screen ratio. As a result, the 14″ MacBook Pro is barely larger than the 13″ MacBook Pro: 31.26 cm wide and 22.12 cm deep compared to 30.41 cm wide and 21.24 cm deep in its predecessor .

Comparative MacBook Apple siliconComparative MacBook Apple silicon

MacBook Pro 2022 © iPhon.fr

The weight, too, changes depending on the Apple silicon MacBook you choose. By comparing each edition on the scale, we notice without much surprise that the MacBook Pro 16″ is the heaviest with more than 2 kg on the counter while the MacBook Air does not exceed 1.3 kg. It is therefore much more suitable for trips. But the 14″ MacBook Pro is now thinner: only 1.55 cm thick.

No ranking here, therefore: it will be according to the needs of each (office and comfort for the large MacBook Pro 2022 or transport and practicality for the MacBook M1).

Comparative MacBook Apple siliconComparative MacBook Apple silicon

MacBook Pro M1 © iPhon.fr

What storage options for MacBooks?

Apple silicon MacBooks prevent increasing the amount of storage, unlike models with an Intel chip. However, you can increase the basic space offered with an external hard drive or a package iCloudfor a fee.

Moreover, be aware that the options are 512 GB, 1 TB or 2 TB for all Apple silicon MacBooks. On the other hand, the MacBook Air M1 and the 13″ MacBook Pro also offer a 256 GB SSD. Another difference: on the 14″ MacBook Pro and 16″ MacBook Pro, we are also entitled to a configuration with 4 TB or 8 TB. however, did not show any speed difference for reading or writing.

Comparative ranking MacBook Apple silicon (storage):

  1. MacBook Pro 16″ / MacBookPro 14″
  2. MacBook Air M1 / ​​MacBook Pro 13″
Comparative MacBook Apple siliconComparative MacBook Apple silicon

MacBook Pro 2022 © iPhon.fr

Battery life: Apple silicon comparison

Unfortunately, the new generation of MacBook Apple silicon is not necessarily the most enduring. Indeed, we see by comparing the battery of the MacBook Pro 14″ to that of the MacBook Pro 13″ -the best- and to that of the MacBook Air M1 that the largest model lasts less long. We even saw it completely discharge before the end of the day. Besides, it’s the same for the 16-inch MacBook Pro, even if it does a little better.

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Comparative ranking MacBook Apple silicon (autonomy):

  1. MacBookPro 13″
  2. Macbook Air M1
  3. MacBookPro 16″
  4. MacBookPro 14″

2021/2022 MacBook Pros

Camera

Comparative MacBook Apple siliconComparative MacBook Apple silicon

MacBook Pro 16″ © Apple

The Apple silicon MacBooks with the most powerful camera for vision calls are the MacBook Pro 2022. Indeed, these are entitled to HD definition in 1080p while the MacBook Air M1 and MacBook Pro 13″ are content with a definition 720p. And you can clearly see the difference with FaceTime: faces are much sharper with higher quality.

Comparative ranking MacBook Apple silicon (webcam):

  1. MacBook Pro 16″ / MacBookPro 14″
  2. MacBook Air M1 / ​​MacBook Pro 13″

Connectivity: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro

Comparing the sides of each Apple silicon MacBook, we can see that the 14″ MacBook Pro and 16″ MacBook Pro come with more sockets. Thus, unlike the 13″ MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air M1 which only have one plug USB-C, here there are three. These are Thunderbolt 4 compatible.

Comparative MacBook Apple siliconComparative MacBook Apple silicon

MacBook Pro 2022 © Apple

The 16″ MacBook Pro and 14″ MacBook Pro also include an HDMI port and a SDXC card reader. This port is a real differentiator if you have a Tascam-type portable camera or audio recorder.

Comparative classification MacBook Apple silicon (connectors):

  1. MacBook Pro 16″ / MacBookPro 14″
  2. MacBook Air M1 / ​​MacBook Pro 13″

Our conclusion

To conclude this comparison, a single watchword: the most powerful Apple silicon MacBooks are the latest. Indeed, the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are only available on the MacBook Pro 14″ and on the MacBook Pro 16″, which also have the major advantages of their larger screen and their SD card slot. Some differences, however, qualify these results, such as the reduced autonomy of these models (thanks to the 120 Hz) or their protruding notch. The price, starting at 2,249 euros for the 14″ MacBook Pro and 2,749 euros for the 16″ MacBook Pro, is also very high.

The MacBook Air M1 and the 13″ MacBook Pro, on the other hand, know how to exploit their differences brilliantly. In fact, they are more affordable (from 1,129 euros or 1,449 euros, respectively) and compact.

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Bonus: The MacBook Air M1 gets a better rating of repairability (6/10) than the 13-inch MacBook Pro (5.5/10), but does worse than the 16-inch MacBook Pro (6.4/10).

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Macbook Air M1

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Macbook Air M1Macbook Air M1


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