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By Ather Fawaz
MacBook Air with Apple's M1 chipset outscores the 16-inch MacBook Pro in Geekbench
by Ather Fawaz
On November 10, Apple introduced its first lineup of MacBooks and Mac Minis rocking the ARM-based M1 chipset. As expected, Apple's silicone enabled better performance at greater power efficiency. Apple claims that its M1 silicone has the world's highest performance per watt. In fact, Apple says that the chip can reach the same performance as an existing PC chip at one-quarter of the power. It also has the world's fastest integrated graphics, according to the Cupertino firm, which claimed that the octa-core GPU is twice as fast when pitted against competitors, while still using less power. And the latest benchmarks certainly point towards that direction.
On the Geekbench 5 benchmark, the newly announced MacBook Air clocked a score of 7433 on the multi-core test and 1687 on the single-core test. Both scores eclipse the higher-end 16-inch MacBook Pro that comes with an Intel Core i9 processor, which has 6870 on the multi-core test and 1096 on the single-core test. For greater context, the M1's Geekbench scores mimic those set by last year's entry-level Mac Pro, which had a 7989 multi-core score and a 1024 single-core score.
The benchmarks also showed that the M1 chipset has a base frequency of 3.20GHz backed by 8GB of RAM. For comparison, the octa-core Intel Core i9 processor on the 16-inch MacBook Pro has a base clock of 2.3GHz, which can turbo boosted to 4.8GHz. Obviously, the RAM configuration on the 16-inch MacBook Pro varies.
M1's GPU Performance VS Power M1's CPU Performance VS Power At its One More Thing event, the Cupertino firm claimed that the MacBook Air had up to 3.5 times the CPU performance of the previous generation, 5 times the GPU performance, and 9 times the machine learning performance, making it faster than 98% of PC laptops sold in the last year. All of this combined with the optimizations of MacOS Big Sur coupled with the potential to run native iPadOS and iOS make Apple's new lineup a promising one.
These figures are more impressive when you realize the fact that the MacBook Air is a fan-less machine clocking these numbers. Since Apple confirmed that all newly announced Macs have the same octa-core M1 chipset across the board, the MacBook Pro and Mac Mini with better cooling might perform even better.
While the Geekbench scores above do lend some credence to Apple's claims, of course, it goes without saying that benchmarks only capture one side of the story. Even if we were to set aside the dodgy business of comparing scores across distinct architectures, real-world usage depends on plenty of other factors as well.
By Abhay V
Here's where you can watch today's Apple event
by Abhay Venkatesh
Apple is set to take the stage today for its third virtual event this fall. The first event in September was dedicated to announcing new Apple Watch and iPad models, while the second event in October was aimed at unveiling the new iPhone 12 series. The virtual event today that bears the “One more thing” slogan in the invite is expected to be where the firm unveils its Apple Silicon-powered Mac devices.
Earlier this year at its WWDC conference, the Cupertino giant announced that it will be transitioning its PCs to ARM-based silicon, moving away from the reliance on Intel for its processors. The company aims to complete the transition in two years, with MacBooks being the first to make the switch. The company even acknowledged that it still has some Intel-based Macs in the pipeline for launch. Reports suggest that today’s event will see the launch of a 13-inch MacBook Air and a 13-inch MacBook Pro. There is also a 16-inch version of the MacBook Pro based on Apple Silicon in active development, but it is not clear if that device will be shown off today. There have also been murmurs of the return of the 12-inch MacBook sporting an ARM processor.
In addition to the devices themselves, it will be interesting to see what other announcements the firm will make. The company confirmed back in July that the Apple Silicon-based MacBook PCs will support Thunderbolt – a standard owned by Intel. It would not be surprising to see more information on advancements being made to Rosetta 2 as well, to help developers through the transition. The iPhone company might also finally provide a timeline for the impending release of macOS 11 Big Sur.
Apple will be live streaming its event on its website and on YouTube today at 10AM PT/1PM ET/6PM GMT. You can view the embedded stream at the top or head to the Apple website here to watch the event.
By Rich Woods
Apple announces the iPhone 12 Pro series with new design and more
by Rich Woods
Today, Apple held its annual iPhone launch event, where it not only announced the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini, but it announced the new iPhone 12 Pro series. Being that the company showed off the regular iPhone 12 first, we already learned about the new A14 Bonic processor, although that's unlocking some new features, such as Deep Fusion on all four cameras. There's also support for 5G, of course.
The iPhone 12 Pro series has an all new design, with a flat, stainless steel frame and a glass back. It comes in colors like Graphite, Pacific Blue, Silver, and Gold. That's not all, because the screens are bigger.
Yes, Apple slimmed down the bezels, so now the 5.8-inch screen on the smaller one is now 6.1 inches. For the Max, it's now 6.7 inches instead of 6.5 inches. Apple says that this is done in almost the same size chassis.
Apple is calling it Super Retina XDR. It's brighter, higher resolution, and it's just better.
There are some big camera improvements too, particularly on the Max. Indeed, while the only difference between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini is the size, there is most definitely a difference in camera quality between the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
While all of the sensors have been improved, the telephoto lens on the iPhone 12 Pro Max gets 2.5x optical zoom, for a total of 5x zoom. The regular Pro is only offering 4x zoom.
That's not all though. Coming to both models of the iPhone 12 Pro is a feature called ProRAW, which finally lets you take RAW photos from the Camera app. It also promises to do more than that though, combining things like Deep Fusion with the power of editing RAW images.
Video recording is improved as well. For the first time, you can record video in HDR, and not only that, but you can record in Dolby Vision HDR. Apple is also unlocking the ability to edit Dolby Vision videos in the Photos app, so it reencodes the video in the HDR format.
The pricing isn't changing. The iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999 and the Pro Max starts at $1,099. Apple has doubled the base model storage at 128GB. You can pre-order the iPhone 12 Pro on Friday, and the Pro Max on November 6.
By Rich Woods
Verizon is launching its sub-6GHz nationwide 5G network
by Rich Woods
Verizon was one of the first in the U.S. to have 5G, but this whole time, the carrier has been exclusive to millimeter wave technology. Millimeter waves, or mmWaves, are super-fast, offering gigabit speeds, but they're limited. They can be blocked by something as thin as a piece of paper. That means that they don't work indoors, or when a device is in your pocket.
The carrier has been clear that there was a sub-6GHz network coming later this year, and at Apple's iPhone 12 event today, it confirmed that it's ready to light up its nationwide 5G network. That means that you'll finaly get 5G service indoors.
Another limitation if millimeter wave is that it's expensive to roll out, while sub6 is much more inexpensive. Verizon's mmWave coverage is only in select cities, and as mentioned, you actually have to be in line of sight of a cellular antenna. With sub6, that won't be an issue. It will be available in more rural areas, and it will work everywhere that 4G worked.
Verizon didn't provide many details on if this is getting lit up today or if it's soon, or even what frequency it's using, but it will likely share more soon.
Apple introduces the iPhone 12 and 12 mini, with an OLED display, 5G, and smaller design
by João Carrasqueira
Apple has officially unveiled the iPhone 12 family during the Apple event today. The new iteration of the iPhone brings a new design with flatter edges all around, in addition to being thinner and lighter than the previous model. It also features Apple's Super Retina XDR display technology, which means it's now OLED instead of LCD, and it also has an increased 2532x1170 resolution.
Apple got help from Corning, the makers of Gorilla Glass, to design a new protective glass for the iPhone 12, which Apple calls Ceramic Shield. Apple says this new display protection offers up to four times the drop protection of the previous generation. This is done by using high-temperature crystalization to grow "nano-ceramic crystals" in the glass.
The iPhone 12 is also Apple's first phone to support 5G, and Apple says it supports more 5G bands than any other smartphone. It's also smart, and Apple says it will turn off 5G when the increased speeds aren't necessary to save battery. Apple promises speeds up to 3.5Gbps on 5G.
At the core of the iPhone 12 is the new Apple A14 chipset, which is based on a 5nm process. That makes the iPhone 12 the first phone in the world to sport a 5nm chipset. It has a six-core CPU and a quad-core GPU, both promising to be 50% faster than competing smartphones. Additionally, the Neural Engine now has 16 cores, making it 80% faster than before, and the machine learning accelerators are also 70% faster.
The camera setup has also been improved, though there are still only two cameras, and not the three you'd find on a Pro model. The new 12MP main camera has a seven-element lens for the first time in an iPhone, and it has optical image stabilization. Apple is promising better low-light performance for the camera, and the computational photography has also been improved, with Smart HDR 3 improving dynamic range.
For video, the camera on the iPhone 12 is also the first to be able to record HDR video with Dolby Vision, and it's the only device that can not only record but also edit and share Dolby Vision video.
For this year's iPhone, Apple is also introducing MagSafe for iPhone for the first time. This is meant to improve wireless charging for iPhone, and it makes it easier to find the right position for the charger thanks to new magnets in the phone. Additionally, Apple is working with partners to design accessories that support MagSafe so you can still charge the phone while it's in a case.
Apple is also committed to its sustainability goals, so 100% of the rare earth minerals used in the iPhone 12, including the magnets, are recycled.
Apple also unveiled the iPhone 12 mini, the first time it's using the "mini" name in an iPhone. It's all exactly the same as the regular iPhone 12, except the screen size is smaller. The iPhone 12 will have a 6.1-inch display, while the iPhone 12 mini has a smaller 5.4-inch display to make it easier to handle.
The iPhone 12 family will start at $699 for the iPhone 12 mini, and $799 for the iPhone 12, though there are some financing options as well. This does make the iPhone 12 $100 more expensive than the iPhone 11 was at launch, which had the same display size.
The iPhone 12 will be available for pre-order this Friday, and ship on October 23. The iPhone 12 mini will arrive a little later, with pre-orders opening on November 6, and shipping on November 13.