Thinking about buying an M1 Mac for music production? Maybe you should wait for the M1X…

Apple M1 MacBook Pro
(Image credit: Future)

Having shaken up the computing world in 2020 with the release of its M1 chip - now found in the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini - it looks like Apple may soon be set to go a few steps further with the release of the M1X.

CPU Monkey suggests that the M1X will have 12 cores - eight high-performance ‘Firestorm’ cores and four efficient ‘Icestorm’ cores. By way of comparison, the M1 maxes out at a total of eight cores - four high performance and four efficient.

• Check out the best laptops for music production

It’s also being claimed that the M1X will have double the GPU cores of its predecessor - 16 as opposed to eight, with 256 execution units as opposed to 128 in the M1.

How much impact these improved specs will have on music software performance remains to be seen, but the bigger question for anyone thinking of upgrading to an Apple silicon machine is whether all of their software runs on it at all. Developers are gradually catching up with the new technology - and the move to macOS Big Sur - but universal compatibility is still likely to be a little while away.

It remains to be seen which Macs will get the M1X chip - rumours suggest that it could be heading to a new 16-inch MacBook Pro, and possibly even a 14-inch MacBook. The iMac and Mac Pro are also set to get silicon chips in due course, though our suspicion is that the latter machine will be getting the previously touted 32-core silicon chip, possibly in 2022.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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