Apple M1 Chip Devices: Game Changer Worth Upgrading For or Just Hype?

September 8, 2021

Apple M1 Chip

Announced back in November, Apple introduced a big device that comes in a tiny package.  This technology is called the M1 chip: the most powerful chip Apple has ever produced.  It’s specifically designed to fit into the smallest Apple products without sacrificing space or memory.  With this chip, Mac implements a game-changing technology that’ll change your computer experience.    

Better graphics and longer battery life are just a few ways Apple is revolutionizing technology.  But is all of this commotion worth the hype?  Let’s take a look at Apple’s newest products and discover the potential benefits of this upgrade.  

What is the M1?

There is more to this tiny chip than meets the eye.  First off, it marks a transition away from the Intel chips Apple products have used for almost 20 years.  It is the first Apple-designed chip to specifically work for Mac products.

Known as a System on a Chip, or an SoC, the M1 combines different technologies into one piece of equipment.  Components like RAM (the computer’s memory), image signal processors, and encoding/decoding engines all exist now on a single, minuscule chip.  

The combination of these technologies increases the speed and efficiency of the computer’s operation.  Instead of accessing data from different memory pools, there is now only one pool to look through.  By limiting the copying of data between systems, the smoother your computer will run.   

What’s Special About M1? 

Since 2006, Apple has had the same core designs for all of its products.  Now, some of your favorite products from Mac hold this powerhouse of a chip.  It includes an 8-core CPU with four high-efficiency cores.  This sounds like a lot of advanced technical jargon, so let me break it down for you.  What this means is that programs requiring a lot of power can operate quickly.   And for activities that need less power, like surfing the web, fewer cores are activated for better battery life preservation.  

These intelligent cores understand when you’re doing demanding tasks that need more power.  Engaging all cores at once, or limiting their power, is what sets this operating system apart.  

Big Sur Mac 

Most of us operating on Apple products use the most recent software, Big Sur.  The M1 Chip works in tandem with this upgrade for faster operation.

Speediness is something the M1 prioritizes.  Waking up your computer from its routine slumber might feel fast enough, but M1 eliminates all of the lag time.  A product with this new chip has an even better time scrolling the internet.  Safari, a web browser known for its quickness, is said to operate 2x faster.  

There are even more possibilities with the App Store than with the previous software.  Apps specifically made for the iPhone and iPad now work seamlessly on computers with M1.  The power of M1’s amplified graphics also enhances apps specific to design and animation.  Apps like Metal or Photoshop look visually advanced compared to the past operating systems.  

M1 Security Features 

Security is a must in this day and age.  With breaches left and right, computer users want to know that their information is safe.  

The M1 has a unique safety feature that is unlike other software.  A T-2 chip is the usual culprit for safety measures and is added to the CPU.  This information is already inside the M1, allowing for hasty reactions to malware and breaches.  

M1 has a built-in tool called Secure Enclave that manages Touch ID amongst other security measures.  This new feature is separated from the computer’s main processor, allowing for an additional protection layer.  

Security Enclave also has a separate processor for the security system.  This might not seem like much, but it’s a key factor in preventing informational compromises.  Since the processor doesn’t share its data with other programs, it’s way safer from attacks.  

Getting excited about a chip seems silly, but the M1 isn’t something to write off.  Its power is unprecedented, with better battery life and less lag time.  As the first fundamental change in Apple hardware since the early 2000s, M1 is a particular upgrade worthy of its hype.