What to expect at Apple’s October 18th event

Apple is holding their second autumn event on Monday, October 18th at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT. Expectations are for the company to focus on the Mac, which is amidst transition from inefficient, hot Intel to advanced Apple Silicon chips that set the Mac even further apart from Windoze and Crome PCs.

It's official: Apple to hold special event on October 18th

Andrew Cunningham for Ars Technica:

Just as the MacBook Air, the newest 13-inch MacBook Pro, the Mac mini, and the 24-inch iMac all use the same M1 chip, we expect the next round of Macs to share the same silicon as well. Commonly referred to as the “M1X,” the chip’s exact specifications are a bit of a mystery, since Apple’s chip designs are among its best-kept secrets. But it’s not hard to guess the general gist of what we’ll be getting—new chips that improve upon the performance of the Intel processors they’re replacing while also enabling a dramatic increase in battery life. Recent Intel MacBook refreshes have struggled to provide one or the other of these things, but the M1 Macs managed to do both.

To replace the higher-end Intel Macs, the M1X will need to have just a bit more of everything compared to the M1: more processor cores, more GPU cores, and support for more monitors and Thunderbolt and USB ports. Without adapters or docks, the M1 can drive only two screens at once, including the computer’s internal display. We’d also expect configurations with more than 16 GB of RAM, the current maximum for M1 Macs.

A report from late last year suggested that a higher-performance chip destined for the MacBook Pros could include as many as 16 of Apple’s performance cores, though more recent reporting suggests we could be looking at a chip with eight performance cores and two low-power efficiency cores. Even eight performance cores should be able to outpace the 4-, 6-, 8-, and 10-core processors in today’s Intel Macs. The M1X will also reportedly be available with either 16 or 32 GPU cores, compared to the seven or eight GPU cores included in the standard M1 (Apple could also improve graphics performance by increasing memory bandwidth, as it has done in some older iPad processors, but we haven’t heard anything specific about that).

MacDailyNews Take: Expect 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros, almost for certain, along with the release date for macOS Monterey. Possibilities of varying odds also include the unveiling of a “M1X” Mac mini, a larger “M1X” iMac (30-inches would be cool), and third generation AirPods featuring the shorter-stemmed design of AirPods Pro without Active Noice Cancelation.

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  1. I think MacBook Pro M1X, 14-inch and 16-inch, obviously. 13-inch Pro goes way with MacBook Air M1 (13-inch) continuing as base Apple laptop. Probably not larger iMac… Apple seems to have unstated rule that Apple Silicon replacement is NOT released until it is undeniably better (for most uses) than the best current Intel config. The best Intel config is 10-core i9 with up to 16GB video and up to 128GB RAM. We make fun of Intel, but that’s a powerful iMac. On the other hand, the current (dark gray) Intel Mac mini is ready to be replaced by M1X “pro” version, with the existing M1 Mac mini continuing at low end.

    After this M1X overhaul, I think Apple will release M2 and M2X at the same time. So maybe at about one year point of smaller M1 iMac (released April 2021), both smaller and larger iMacs will be released with M2, with “pro” option for larger iMac M2X. It matches what’s happening with MacBook Pro. Smaller MacBook Pro got M1 last year (November 2020), now it gets upgrade with release of larger Apple Silicon MacBook Pro.

    No new AirPods at this event because Apple will keep focus on Macs.

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