You may also see progress in mid-level systems. Apple is said to be designing chips for high-end MacBook Pros and iMacs with up to 16 high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. Apple may stick with eight or 12 cores depending on chip production capabilities, but you will see these chips as early as spring and will continue until fall.
And yes, Apple also wants to improve graphics performance. The company is believed to be testing 16 and 32-core GPUs for high-end iMacs and MacBook Pros. Its high-end desktops, meanwhile, could accommodate 64 and 128-core GPUs that could be “several times” faster than AMD graphics in current Intel models. However, we would have to wait until the end of 2021 or 2022 to see these most advanced visuals.
There are still many unanswered questions. How well does Apple’s ARM architecture translate into high performance computers? Will there be dedicated GPUs, significantly higher RAM capacities, and (on the Mac Pro) PCIe slots? Apple’s M1 is often faster than comparable Intel chips and sometimes outperforms AMD’s, but there is no guarantee that future processors will exceed their x86 counterparts.
Apple could claim an advantage in the laptop space. At present, AMD and Intel laptop processors reach eight cores. That will necessarily change, but Apple could shake up the industry if it supplied 12- or 16-core chips ahead of its rivals. They might be faster for multithreaded applications and otherwise deliver performance you might not expect from current laptops. It’s safe to say that Apple has high hopes, if these leaks are correct – it wants to beat the competition in some ways, not just keep pace.