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How Apple can build the best MacBook with silicon iPad Pro



Now that the new iPad Pro and MacBook Air are turned off, one thing immediately pops up like a painful thumb: performance.

It's comical (but incredibly rewarding) that the new iPad players are much more powerful than the new MacBook Air, and even offer comparable performance with the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2018.

This type of power – promotion only because Apple designs its own custom A series chips – provides a new version of the iPad Pro worthy of its "pro" moniker.

But more importantly, Apple's own silicon paves the way for an inevitably more exciting portable product: the "amazing" MacBook, a computer with the full power of a 15-inch MacBook Pro and long-life iPad Pro batteries, in the volume of a 13-inch laptop.

This is the MacBook that I wanted since I bought my first in college many years ago.

At that time, Apple sold two lines of laptops: 13-inch plastic MacBooks and a 15-inch aluminum MacBook Pro. The choice of the MacBook was then quite easy.

You bought a MacBook if you only need light calculations like browsing the web, listening to music (there was no streaming), writing documents and viewing photos. Yes, they came with iMovie and GarageBand, but they really worked on weaker Intel processors and poor integrated Intel graphics.

Anyone who wanted to do more graphics processing requiring large amounts of graphics, such as Video Editing or sketching with CAD software, had the cash to jump out of the 15-inch MacBook Pro for its stronger processor and stronger separate graphics layout.

I was a freshman and I was not sure what my needs would be after graduation, so I went with an ordinary MacBook. It was smaller and lighter (only 5.2 pounds compared to the 15-inch 15-inch MBP 5.6 pounds), and it was also cheaper.

The new air is pleasant, but it has little more power than the old one from three years ago.

The new air is pleasant, but it has little more power than the old one from three years ago.

Image: ZLATA IVLEVA / MASHABLE

But even after I upgraded to various MacBooks over the years (up to the 13-inch MacBook Air in 2011, then the 13-inch MacBook Pro in 2014, then the 12-inch MacBook in 2015) and we pushed everyone to I wanted the power of a 15-inch MacBook Pro, forcing them to do things they really did not design.

Each of my MacBooks came with compromises that I learned to accept and work with.

My original MacBook could not edit the video or run the Maya program when I needed it for classes the following year. The MacBook Air was lighter and more powerful than the MacBook and had an amazing battery life, but still chugged to edit video, as YouTube begins to grow, and video editing has become a rapidly growing part of my work.

My old MacBook Pro seemed like a solution. I bought it with a big discount, but with the maximum specification. However, even though the Intel Iris Pro graphics are useful when exporting 1080p video, it is practically unsuitable for working with today's 4K material. And then there is a 12-inch MacBook, an extremely poor machine that despite a very poor processor can edit 4K video in Final Cut Pro X (though not very fast) and it was more versatile – and easier to wear – than my MacBook Pro for covering events.

This is just a 13-inch MacBook Pro with 13-inch versions of MacBooks that have jumped to Intel's quad-core processors and improved (but still not as good as discrete) graphics chips that the smaller Apple laptop has managed to exceed the power of the 15-inch MacBook from 2017 Professional. In other words, the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro is one year less efficient than the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

It is definitely a narrowing gap. But the performance gap can be even greater if Apple hacks Intel's own silicon processors – a step that the company can do already in 2020.

The new crazy performance of the iPad Pro is enough proof that the custom silicon Apple & # 39; he has already crossed and they will probably jump over Intel's order of magnitude over several years.

Let's explore the benefits of the new iPad Pro to further improve my prediction. Its A12X Bionic chip is almost as good in both single- and multi-core tests as the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2018 with an Intel Core i7 2.6 GHz processor (5 053 on a single core and 21,357), as recorded in Geekbench.

I prepared a few graphs to show how the efficiency of Apple's A series systems has rapidly increased each generation.

Here is one core:

The performance of Apple A-Series processors increases with the single-core Geekbench 4 CPU.

The performance of Apple A-Series processors increases with the single-core Geekbench 4 CPU.

Photo: raymond wong / mashable

And here are many cores:

Multi-core is growing even faster.

Multi-core is growing even faster.

Image: RAYMOND WONG / MASHABLE

Looking at these charts, you can extrapolate that within two years the A14 chip (assuming that Apple will continue to call "A") should be as powerful or even more powerful than the Intel Core i9 processor in today's top 15-inch MBP, both in the version single-core and multi-core.

The advantages of Apple's own silicon are a huge distinction of the iPhone and its Android competitors. With the new Pros iPad, A12X Bionic sprint forward, leaving even powerful laptops in the dust.

Imagine the processing power of a 13-inch MacBook Pro. The dilemma that I had before the Apple store ten years ago – decisive between compactness and power – would essentially be a problem solved.

Why not have both portability and power?

Why not have both portability and power?

Image: ZLATA IVLEVA / MASHABLE

To be clear, I'm not a hardware or software engineer. MacOS is undoubtedly more hungry for energy than iOS, and it is likely that these synthetic comparative tests that suggest that Intel chips will soon fall behind Apple & # 39; m, may still explain the weaker performance for macOS things. Even so, the idea that Apple can potentially provide such power in a laptop with without a fan the project is extremely exciting.

What I mean is that if Apple can provide this kind of entertainment in the new slim 0.22 inch (5.9 mm) Pro Pro body, the current 13.9 inch MacBook Pro Pro body (14.9 mm) should have more than enough space for the 7-nanometer Bionic A12X system to be cool. And this is only in today's size of chip production. In a few years Apple can go to the 5-nanometer process, which will be even smaller, more energy-efficient and allow more space for other components.

These components may contain larger batteries and keyboards that do not need be as thin as the controversial butterfly keys on current MacBooks. Maybe there will be room for restoring things like the new version of MagSafe and the SD card slot, or turning on the TrueDepth camera system for Face ID or even a touch screen (which would require a thicker display panel like a Surface 2 laptop).

The fact that the new MacBook Air is just three times faster than Old Air is another sign of upcoming events. Apple devices running iOS are ahead of the competition because the hardware is more integrated with the software than the Mac. Apple is no longer waiting for a chipmaker to create a chip fast enough for its Android developers to rely on Qualcomm.

Abandoning Intel chips will give Apple more control (not to mention better performance) when it comes time to refresh MacBooks with significant updates and tangible benefits for all users. Now Intel has a heavy ball and a chain that keeps Apple & # 39; from designing the best MacBook that balances leanness and power.

Apple releases the new Pros and MacBook Air iPads as two separate products today, but it is inevitable that the innovations of the mobile layouts on the tablet meet the MacBook format if you read between the lines. When that happens, the MacBook of my dreams (and maybe yours) can finally be realized.

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