Apple ARM M1X CPU Macs eg MacBook Pro Next Week... Time to Consider?
The first iteration of the Apple ARM technology with the Apple M1 chip was/is fairly impressive, but suffered from a maximum 16GB memory limit—fine for web and email but a non-starter for many photographers and professionals.
Next week (Oct 18), Apple will announce new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro modes featuring the Apple M1X chip, said to offer more CPU cores and higher memory capacity.
Details are sketchy, but rumors suggest 10 CPU cores (8 high performance, 2 efficiency) and up to 64GB memory, as well as more GPU cores. Assuming such specifications, the new models might outperform just about everything else in the Mac lineup so long as there is enough memory. Maybe and maybe not—the only thing that matters is how fast real-world tasks run, not some silly benchmark metric.
Rumors also suggest that Apple might finally un-stupid the design*, which made practical usage a total PITA. Rumors suggest return of an SD camera card slot, MagSafe charger, and more ports. If all this works out, it might finally be time to look at the MacBook Pro as a worthy offering within the Mac lineup.
Rumors do not suggest fixing the non-upgradeable design approach; it is likely that memory and CPU and SSD will all remain soldered onto the logic board, meaning if you buy 'wrong', you have to re-buy an up-spec'd model. But at least with SSD, a fast external SSD can be added, a bit of a nuisance but a viable solution. For photographers, anything less than a 1TB SSD and 32GB memory is a really bad idea.
Supply chain woes might make supply and delivery of these new MacBook Pros pretty sluggish. Already Apple apparently has had to cut back Apple iPhone 13 production, and it would not be surprising to see similar limitations with MacBook Pros.
As for an M1X iMac 5K and a new Mac Pro: it looks like they will be many months off. And the M1X chip while presumably sufficient for an iMac 5K is not likely to be fit for a Mac Pro design (too limited).
* For some years now, Apple has made a strong impression of allowing the latest “dog” to piss on the design fire hydrant—nonsensical asinine design changes. Examples included the hated keyboard changes, the worthless and annoying touch bar design (instead of real keys), removal off important ports (SD slot, USB-A, DisplayPort, charging asinineness).