Where Apple silicon is yet to go…

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Monica Chin: The Mac Pro’s biggest problem is the MacBook

Passero still loves the Mac Pro, but he can’t justify buying the latest one when his laptop is so good. “There’s something about my experience using the M1 chip where I’m like, ‘I don’t know if I need the full Mac Pro,’” he says, with some disappointment in his voice.

I think at this point, it’s pretty noncontroversial to say that Apple silicon has radically raised the floor for what performance people can expect from a consumer level computer, especially laptops. But I think it’s also lowered the ceiling for just how performant desktop computers can be.

Absolutely, a Mac mini is plenty powerful for most people and the Mac Studio is a very performant desktop that will suit the needs of basically all Mac users. But as we’ve seen with the Mac Pro, there’s not really additional performance to be had past that, and that’s where PCs still have the edge. If you’re not as interested in performance per watt and are more just interested in raw performance, there are PC CPUs and GPUs that can radically outperform Apple Silicon desktop Macs.

I’m not saying Apple silicon is bad by any means, I think it’s been a massive win for just about everyone who buys a Mac. I just think Apple silicon discussions can get hyperbolic in suggesting Apple makes the best chips for everyone, but there’s definitely market segments they’re not leading the way in yet. Maybe there will be an M3 Galactic chip that the Mac Pro can use to plow ahead of the highest end Intel and NVIDIA stuff, but time will tell.