New MacBook Pro models could have M1 Pro and M1 Max chips (not M1X)

MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) side view
(Image credit: Future)

Apple’s purported new MacBook Pros (theoretically 14-inch and 16-inch models) could arrive later today not toting the M1X chip, but rather they might be built around CPUs with different names: the M1 Pro and ‌M1‌ Max.

This may be the case according to respected leaker Mark Gurman (of Bloomberg fame), who mentioned the possible names in his newsletter, which has been a constant source of spillage around the incoming Apple devices as you might imagine.

Gurman said that a Mac developer informed him that the M1 Pro and ‌M1‌ Max names were mentioned in app logs, suggesting that they could be what Apple is going for instead of the widely-rumored M1X moniker. However, the Pro and Max labels could just be codenames or placeholders, of course, and might mean nothing at all.

Gurman wrote: “The aforementioned developer tells me that new MacBook Pro chips have appeared in logs under the names ‘M1 Pro’ and ‘M1 Max’. I’m not saying Apple will take that direction with its actual marketing names, but that’s another – albeit more confusing – possibility.”

M1X remains the most likely possibility, and the one that the rumor mill has stuck with for some time now, although the M2 name has also been floating around here and there. However, the latter has been theorized to be one for next year, with the M2 – an all-new SoC – possibly powering the MacBook Air refresh in 2022, while the M1X is thought to be the chip for this year and the MacBook Pros.

Meanwhile, as you may have seen, multiple rumors continue to swirl about these new MacBook Pro models having an iPhone-style notch.

Analysis: Maxing out Macs with a Pro-toting MacBook Pro

As Gurman indicates, having two different names for the chips, with Pro and Max versions, could be confusing. For starters, which would be better: Pro or Max? Presumably the latter, but it’s not really clear – they both suggest a heavyweight SoC – and indeed having a MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro chip seems a bit over-the-top on pushing the Pro label. (Or for that matter, a Mac with a Max chip sounds a bit odd too).

As suggested, these seem more likely to be codenames, although ultimately, we don’t know what Apple will decide to christen the next step on from the M1. About all we can say is that given it’s an upgrade, rather than a whole new SoC, it will surely keep that M1 label and append it in some form, with M1X still seeming the sensible bet.

Whatever the name, the latest speculation indicates that the chip which will power the MacBook Pro models purportedly set to be revealed by Apple at a big launch later today will be 10-core CPUs, with options on 16-core and 32-core GPUs (which could be Pro and Max variants respectively – or the other way round – in theory).

We can expect the new models to be pricey, by the way – remember, they are expected to run with fancy Mini-LED screens – and Gurman believes that a lower-end MacBook Pro 13-inch will stick around alongside the new 14-inch form-factor, and that would make sense in terms of keeping a more affordable Pro laptop option on the table.

Via MacRumors

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).