Apple M1 Extreme: Four dies, ultimate power for Mac Pro?

Ever since Apple began the transition to its own silicon chips inside its Macs, we’ve been wondering about the chip that will come to the next Mac Pro. This will be the ultimate test of Apple’s chipmaking abilities, as highly demanding professional users will not be pleased if the company struggles to meet their requirements.

Fortunately, all the current rumors suggest Apple has a monster of a chip waiting in the wings, rumored to comprise two M1 Ultra chips joined at the hip. We’ve found all the latest news on this chip (dubbed the M1 Extreme, among other names), so if you want to know what’s coming next, you’re in the right place.

Price and release date

Apple Mac M1 Ultra Graphic.

The good news here is we don’t think we’ll have long to wait until the M1 Extreme is unveiled to the world. Reporter Mark Gurman has chimed in with his thoughts, noting: “I’d expect Apple to finish its transition to its own silicon from Intel chips as early as June at WWDC 2022.” He later clarified that the chip will be revealed at WWDCbut not launched at that point.

An announcement at this time makes sense. WWDC — otherwise known as the Worldwide Developers Conference — is a developer-focused event that Apple often uses to show off its upcoming pro-level hardware. The Mac Pro and its accompanying chip would fit right in.

Likewise, display industry analyst Ross Young believes a new Mac Pro is coming alongside a new 27-inch displayboth in June 2022. Since Apple explained at its Peek Performance event that the Mac Pro is the only Mac yet to transition to Apple Silicon — and remember Apple only has until the end of the year to hit its two-year deadline for the switch — this Mac Pro will surely bear the M1 Extreme chip.

Based on what my re reports, here is some official information on the new Mac Pro 2022

This is the bridge that connects 2 M1 Ultra together and will be found in the new 2022 Mac Pro.

Processor name: "Redfern"
Coming with new Macs Pro this September #Apple #AppleInternal pic.twitter.com/afj0dSmQvk

& mdash; Majin Bu (@MajinBuOfficial) March 12, 2022

That’s the announcement of the chip out of the way. What about a release date? Twitter leaker Majin Bu has claimed that will arrive in September, and we wouldn’t expect anything sooner. Apple has a slate of consumer-grade devices rumored to be updated soon, including the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. It makes no sense for Apple to launch the Mac Pro alongside these entry-level devices, so it’ll come later in 2022 at the earliest.

Now for the daunting part: The price. Right now, the M1 Ultra chip commands a $1,400 premium over the M1 Max in the Mac Studio — and that’s just for the base M1 Ultra. Similarly, the very first CPU upgrade you can make in the 2019 Mac Pro costs $1,000. The top-end chip is $7,000 more than the base-level Intel Xeon W.

Bearing that in mind, and considering there could be at least two M1 Extreme chips available (as is the case with the M1 Ultra), a $1,000 upgrade price from one to the other would not be unexpected.

The name: M1, M2, or something else?

Apple M1 chip.

Apple said at its Peek Performance event that it was adding “one last chip” to the M1 family. That turned out to be the M1 Ultra. Does this mean therefore that the next Mac Pro’s high-end chip will be in the M2 family? It’s certainly possible but depends on how literally we take Apple’s statement.

Let’s take a strict approach and assume there will be no more M1 chips of any sort. YouTuber Vadim Yuryev of the Max Tech channel believes Apple could give this chip a completely new family name, such as X1 or Z1. This is based on a leak from Twitter user Appleakationwho doesn’t have much of a track record, so we’re skeptical.

However, Yuryev makes the good point that a separate name would allow Apple to put the chip on a different release schedule to the rest of its products. Since the Mac Pro doesn’t get updated as often as the MacBook Pro, this new name could help its chip not feel quite so outdated as the years progress.

The chip in the new Mac Pro will not be part of the M1 or M2 family

— Bob (@appleakation) March 31, 2022

Conversely, Mark Gurman believes the Mac Pro will come with two new chips, one of which now seems to match the specifications of the M1 Ultra. If that’s correct, why would Apple mix and match chip family names, for example by kitting the Mac Pro out with an M1 Ultra and,