The 16GB memory ceiling and two Thunderbolt ports on M1-based Macs has left pro users more than a little concerned — will the eventual higher-end systems be hobbled compared to their Intel counterparts? Thankfully, the answer might be "no." Bloomberg sources claim the rumored MacBook Pro redesign and a higher-end Mac mini will use chips that not only "greatly outpace" the M1's performance, but will include up to 64GB of RAM and four Thunderbolt ports. That's no different than on the existing Intel models, but it should still be a relief if you intend to push a future Apple Silicon laptop to its limits.
The parts, nicknamed Jade C-Chop and Jade C-Die, will reportedly include eight high-performance cores and two low-power cores, with either 16- or 32-core GPUs. You would also see an "improved" Neural Engine for AI tasks, according to the tipsters. The M1 currently includes four high-speed cores, four low-power cores and no more than an eight-core GPU.
Previous rumors had the new MacBook Pros shipping with 14- and 16-inch screens housed in a new chassis that brings back MagSafe, HDMI and an SD card slot. Data leaked as part of a ransomware attack on an Apple supplier showed schematics of a MacBook Pro with these ports.
The new MacBook Pros could debut as soon as the early summer.
The apparent leak also provided an update roadmap for Apple's other Macs. You would see a "revamped" MacBook Air as soon as the end of 2021 with a true successor to the M1 that has the same number of cores, but better performance that includes a nine- or 10-core GPU. The low-end MacBook Pro would get that chip as well. An "all-new" Mac Pro isn't due until 2022, but it would come in 20- or 40-core versions (four or eight of those being low-power) and either 64- or 128-core GPUs.
This won't necessarily thrill you if you were hoping for a larger memory cap or discrete non-Apple graphics. If the leak is authentic, though, Apple is clearly aware that many of its users won't upgrade until it overcomes the limitations of M1 hardware.