With all the attention on Apple moving the Mac over to its own processor design, why is the latest leaked MacBook Pro suggesting that the next macOS laptop will be returning to an Intel Core processor? If the platform is moving towards the ARM-based Apple Silicon, why would anyone consider gambling on a machine that looks, to all intents and purposes, to be an Intel-powered digital millstone? Why even is Apple making people face up to a cruel decision of Intel vs ARM?
Why a millstone? During its worldwide developer conference in 2020, Tim Cook confirmed that the Mac range will be switched over to the ARM based Apple Silicon by the end of 2022. That pegs this Intel machine as not just the end of the line, but the very end of the line according to Apple.
Not only that, but if you look at the recent leaks, Apple has the replacement 16-inch MacBook Pro with its new chipset ready to go, here’s the team at TechRadar:
“The information comes from LeaksApplePro on Twitter, an account with a decent track record for all things Apple. Citing an insider who used a prototype, the next chipset from Cupertino could be called the Apple M1X. It will supposedly debut on the next 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2021.”
So why bring out another Intel-powered flavour of the largest MacBook? Surely this is going to be a dead rubber of a laptop? As it stands the entry-level MacBook Air with the M1 chip is perilously close to offering similar processor performance, the M1X is going to offer a significant step up, and the investment required for a high-specced 16-inch MacBook Pro makes two purchases in the space of the year look reckless.
There are some arguments for investing in the larger MacBook Pro but staying on Intel silicon. The first would be if your use of the machine is in a business critical role; for all of Apple’s talk of raindrops on roses and emulation of kittens, Rosetta 2 is not a perfect world of running x86 apps under ARM. It will improve over time (and it’s already very strong) but for…