Apple announced the M1 chip on Wednesday, headlining its release with the tagline "With industry-leading performance, powerful features, and incredible efficiency, M1 is Apple's first chip designed specifically for the Mac". The M1 chip marks a turning point for the tech giant, reflecting the end of the company's reliance on Intel
In terms of performance, Apple remarked that the M1 chip is a considerable leap forward for the company, stating that "M1 delivers up to 3.5x faster CPU performance, up to 6x faster GPU performance, and up to 15x faster machine learning, all while enabling battery life up to 2x longer than previous-generation Macs. With its profound increase in performance and efficiency, M1 delivers the biggest leap ever for the Mac."
The chip is a considerable improve in many regards over previous chips used in Mac computers, and Apple going completely proprietary with a key component of its Mac products is immensely beneficial, but the release of the M1 chip is not without its drawbacks. The transition will likely have some bumps in the road as developers learn to work entirely new hardware, and while most software will work, there is the chance that some will not. The chip also caps at 16 GB of RAM, far short of the needs of Apple's professional clientele. The M1 chip also does not support external GPUs.
Regardless of technological shortcomings, M1 proved to be a darling among investors, who drove Apple's stocks higher during trading on Tuesday and Wednesday.