In 2022, the Apple M1 will still be the chip to beat. A lot of eyes have been on Apple since the MacBook Pro 13 and air launched with the Apple M1 in November 2020, and it looks like the move has paid off for the Cupertino behemoth.
According to a new Canalys report, worldwide shipments of Apple computers increased by 28% last year, shipping nearly 29 million Macs. Lenovo shipped over 82 million PCs, but Apple continues to grow at a faster rate than the competition.
You can’t look at this without thinking about the Apple M1’s meteoric rise. Despite the fact that Apple has a large number of Macs that don’t use it (yet), the fact is that its three most popular devices have been upgraded with its own chip and have received critical acclaim, including our own glowing reviews.
It is likely that Apple’s growth in the computing world will only continue from here after the M1 Max and M1Pro were inserted into the 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro. First time in years, Mac sales are soaring, thanks to the MacBook Air, a powerful machine that’s not much more expensive than its Windows counterparts.
As a result of how Apple describes its M1 processors, it’s easy to assume that the company is decades ahead of the rest of the industry. According to what we saw at CES 2022, Apple’s lead over AMD and Intel won’t last into the new year.
Alder Lake and the Intel Core i9-12900K (a review will be forthcoming; I promise; I’m working on it) have shown that Intel has made significant strides in performance and power efficiency since the 11th generation of processors that we’re used to. Alder Lake processors may not be ready for prime time yet, but Intel made some bold claims at its CES keynote.
And it’s not just Team Blue. On top of that, Nvidia slammed Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro for its rendering and video tasks, claiming that Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti laptops would annihilate those machines.
In our review, we found the MacBook Pro 16-inch to be as good as Asus ROG Strix G15, which I reviewed almost six months before the new MacBook Pro was announced, and that’s before considering GPU performance. That’s because we tested it with only the M1 Pro, not the Max.
To take Apple’s claims that its chip is miles ahead of the competition, it’s important to remember that PCs aren’t just one piece of hardware; rather, they’re made up of a number of smaller components. This generation of mobile hardware, like Nvidia’s new 4th-generation Max-Q technology and Intel’s upcoming Deep Link, will continue to make discrete GPU solutions that Windows laptops are known for even more effective for heavy workloads.
Only in battery life do I see Macs continuing to outperform Windows PCs, especially in the workstation class of laptops. When you’re sitting down at your desk, you’re likely to be plugged into an outlet anyway, so it’s important to have that specification on paper.
Regardless, the massive growth of Macs in the last year shows that the CPU war is heating up in huge ways, and unlike the past where that battle was in hulking desktops and gaming PCs, we’re starting to see it happen in the best laptops.