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Apple Silicon 2022: Your M1 Mac could soon start to feel old

Looks like 2022 will be another big year of Apple Silicon updates.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Apple, never a company to sit still, looks set to continue to push new Macs powered by updated Apple Silicon chips out of the door over the course of 2022.

We know that an iPhone 14 and an Apple Watch Series 8 are pretty much guaranteed to land this fall, but we're also expecting to see an updated iPad Pro and iPad Air, as well as a whole batch of Macs.

And if you bought a new Mac in the past couple of years, even one powered by Apple Silicon, then get ready for it to start to feel old as Apple pushes out new chips.

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, we can expect Macs based on three Apple Silicon lines:

  • A new M2 chip (these are expected to be more powerful but retain the same 8-core CPU design, but could bump the GPU up to 9 to 10 cores)
  • Last year's M1 Pro and M1 Max chips
  • Super-powered versions of the M1 Max (with x2 and x4 the power of the existing M1 Max chip)

The super-powered M1 Mac chips are likely to be monsters since they will be destined for the Mac Pro and could feature as many as 20 CPU /64 graphics cores and 40 CPU /128 graphics cores. That's a lot of horsepower, but the sort of performance that's expected from a high-end workstation.

My ZDNet colleague David Gewirtz has put together a very compelling concept for an Apple Silicon-powered Mac Pro with as much as 512GB of RAM.

The Mac Pro will be an impressive test of how Apple Silicon can scale to meet high-performance workloads.

In line with other rumors, Gurman is expecting a big Mac update over 2022:

  • A new Mac mini with an M1 Pro chip
  • A 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 chip, to succeed the 2020 model and sit below the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro in the line
  • A Mac mini with an M2 chip
  • A 24-inch iMac with an M2 chip
  • A redesigned MacBook Air with an M2 chip
  • A larger iMac Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max chip options
  • A half-sized Mac Pro, the first with Apple Silicon, with the equivalent of either two or four M1 Max chips

This is a huge overhaul that includes several Macs that have already had the Apple Silicon treatment.

It's quite an aggressive upgrade cycle, and it's clear Apple wants to make the Mac relevant once again.

And we may be seeing the first updated Mac drop as early as March, being unveiled alongside the updated iPhone SE that we're all expecting soon.

With all this in mind, it might be worth holding off making any big Mac purchase outside of the M1 Pro/M1 Max MacBook Pro line until we see what 2022 brings our way.

Buying those first-generation M1 Macs might feel like a bad idea the moment Tim Cook starts pulling out updated Macs left, right, and center.

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