Fourth M1 chip with 12-core CPU may arrive in updated iMac Pro

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Apple may not be completely done with its M1 generation of Apple Silicon chips, with a leaker claiming one more configuration is on the way in an "iMac Pro"




Apple currently offers its M1 chip in three general configurations, with the M1 followed by the improved M1 Pro and the M1 Pro Max. If a rumor is to be believed, a fourth M1 chip could be introduced by Apple.

According to reputable leaker @Dylandkt in a Sunday tweet, they had "received confirmation that there will be an additional configuration for the upcoming iMac Pro beyond M1 Max." The tweet goes on to say that a 12-core CPU configuration was referenced in a code snippet that also mentioned the iMac.

The original M1 uses an 8-core CPU with either a 7-core or 8-core onboard GPU. The upgraded M1 Pro uses an 8-core or 10-core CPU while the top-end M1 Max has a 10-core CPU, but the Max does differentiate itself with higher levels of memory support and more GPU cores than the Pro.

I have received confirmation that there will be an additional configuration for the upcoming iMac Pro beyond M1 Max. A 12 Core CPU configuration was tied to a snippet of code referencing the iMac. The internal naming candidate is iMac Pro for a reason. It is targeted towards pros

-- Dylan (@dylandkt)


There is no suggestion as to how the cores would be configured in the new chip, but given the 10-core CPUs combine a pair of high-efficiency cores with eight high-performance cores, it's plausible that the inbound chip could have a two-ten core split.

Dylandkt goes on to say the "internal naming candidate is iMac Pro for a reason. It is targeted towards pros." This seems likely, as reports from December put forward the idea that an iMac Pro with a 27-inch mini-LED ProMotion display could launch in the spring.

Earlier on Sunday, the leaker said that an iPad Pro with an M2 chip was inbound, with a potential launch in the fall.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    All my money is going on “Super M1 Max Plus Extra” as the name on the next chip. 
    raoulduke42entropysviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,816member
    All my money is going on “Super M1 Max Plus Extra” as the name on the next chip. 

    And next year they'll add "Classic Gold" on the end.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 20
    Gonna go out on a nomenclature limb here.

    Since M1Pro has 8 and 10 core config, the M1 Max will have 10 and 12 core config. No name change.

    We shall see. 
    fastasleeptenthousandthingsTRAGwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 20
    thttht Posts: 4,346member
    It really should be an M1 Max Duo on the top end for the "iMac Pro". The Intel iMac Pro had options for an 18 core Xeon, a Radeon Pro 64X, and it's been about 4 years since the machine debuted. A 12-core is not much of a CPU perf increase over the 18c Xeon, and it really needs  64 g-cores to have a nice GPU perf increase over the Radeon Pro 64X.

    This rumor isn't great unless is it referencing a binned M1 Pro Duo with each chip being a 4+2+14, for a total of 8+4+28. So 12 CPU cores across 2 dies, with 8 p-cores and 4 e-cores. An M1 Max would be more cost effective. Odd rumor. If it was 12 p-cores, than a binned M1 Pro Duo with each chip at 6+2+14, what's in the base model MBP14, would make for a 12+4+28. This would have a nice bump over the M1 Max, and with room to grow with the M1 Max config, but why do this as well? Why have two dual-chip MCMs?
    viclauyycpatchythepiratewatto_cobratechconc
  • Reply 5 of 20
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,396member
    Gonna go out on a nomenclature limb here.

    Since M1Pro has 8 and 10 core config, the M1 Max will have 10 and 12 core config. No name change.

    We shall see. 
    Probably true in a rational world, but my irresponsible heart calls for

    Super M1 Max Plus Extra


    patchythepirateTheObannonFilewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 20
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,821member
    Sounds like a good iMacPro chip with a nice screen. I thought Apple might have been holding off to get the software side of High power model working till they updated the larger iMac but more cores good plan as well. 

    Makes me wonder if M2 "mild improve over M1" comes from dropping it back to 6 cores overall 4power+2 efficiency using newer cores and other bandwidth improvements to make the overall speed still bump in both single and multi-core. Do the bandwidth upgrades they need to do multi-chip packaging for the M2 variations. Finally getting them to to Mac Pro clusters .


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 20
    - I hope for mostly GPU differentiation, perhaps hardware accelerated raytracing and overall increase in speed, rather than CPU increase which is always nice but not that necessary.

    - a Pro iMac should split the monitor from SoC to be truly environmental friendly and modular but I’m not getting my hopes up.

    - At the very least, USB-C and SD ports should not just be positioned on the back.. For a productive environment more accessible ports are a must with at least 2 USB-C ports on the side or bottom, and the SD easy to find ‘blindly’ when sitting in front of the machine.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    Absolutely not going to pay 6K for this.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 20
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,945member
    michelb76 said:
    Absolutely not going to pay 6K for this.
    And?  All you're saying is that this iMac won't be for you then.

    Many will buy it.  My fully-loaded 2020 10-core i9 iMac costed more than this and am quite happy with it.  It's a tool that does the job for me, and years down the road when it's time to retire it I will once again buy whatever top iMac (pro) Apple sells.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 20
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,821member
    sflocal said:
    michelb76 said:
    Absolutely not going to pay 6K for this.
    And?  All you're saying is that this iMac won't be for you then.

    Many will buy it.  My fully-loaded 2020 10-core i9 iMac costed more than this and am quite happy with it.  It's a tool that does the job for me, and years down the road when it's time to retire it I will once again buy whatever top iMac (pro) Apple sells.
    But most of the price of Fully Loaded is larger storage. If MacBookPro is a guide the price difference between a Pro and a Max is $800, $400 for the SOC and $400 as minimum memory increases as well. Apple like their price points Assuming what starting $2,499 then $3,999 would max out SOC options 
    michelb76
  • Reply 11 of 20
    sflocal said:
    michelb76 said:
    Absolutely not going to pay 6K for this.
    And?  All you're saying is that this iMac won't be for you then.

    Many will buy it.  My fully-loaded 2020 10-core i9 iMac costed more than this and am quite happy with it.  It's a tool that does the job for me, and years down the road when it's time to retire it I will once again buy whatever top iMac (pro) Apple sells.
    True. But the iMac Pro was horribly priced for old tech. I used to buy Mac Pro's until I saw what I was missing out on. I paid 4K for a beefed up hackintosh that runs circles around the iMac Pro and has tons of extra storage and connectivity. Granted, I don't get the 5k display, but instead I bought two 4k's. The M1 macs charge a ridiculous amount for storage, and only the top-end storage options are actually fast. I have a Mac Mini M1 and it's great for what it is, but feels very limited at the same time. I can't wait for a Mac Pro or Mac Mini Pro with better connectivity.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 20
    neilmneilm Posts: 944member
    michelb76 said:
    sflocal said:
    michelb76 said:
    Absolutely not going to pay 6K for this.
    And?  All you're saying is that this iMac won't be for you then.

    Many will buy it.  My fully-loaded 2020 10-core i9 iMac costed more than this and am quite happy with it.  It's a tool that does the job for me, and years down the road when it's time to retire it I will once again buy whatever top iMac (pro) Apple sells.
    True. But the iMac Pro was horribly priced for old tech. I used to buy Mac Pro's until I saw what I was missing out on. I paid 4K for a beefed up hackintosh that runs circles around the iMac Pro and has tons of extra storage and connectivity. Granted, I don't get the 5k display, but instead I bought two 4k's. The M1 macs charge a ridiculous amount for storage, and only the top-end storage options are actually fast. I have a Mac Mini M1 and it's great for what it is, but feels very limited at the same time. I can't wait for a Mac Pro or Mac Mini Pro with better connectivity.
    All of which is nice for you and irrelevant for most usage in the iMac Pro's market. Businesses who need iMac Pro performance for production don't do Hackintoshes.  
    williamlondonmattinoziHywatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,737moderator
    tht said:
    It really should be an M1 Max Duo on the top end for the "iMac Pro". The Intel iMac Pro had options for an 18 core Xeon, a Radeon Pro 64X, and it's been about 4 years since the machine debuted. A 12-core is not much of a CPU perf increase over the 18c Xeon, and it really needs  64 g-cores to have a nice GPU perf increase over the Radeon Pro 64X.

    This rumor isn't great unless is it referencing a binned M1 Pro Duo with each chip being a 4+2+14, for a total of 8+4+28. So 12 CPU cores across 2 dies, with 8 p-cores and 4 e-cores. An M1 Max would be more cost effective. Odd rumor. If it was 12 p-cores, than a binned M1 Pro Duo with each chip at 6+2+14, what's in the base model MBP14, would make for a 12+4+28. This would have a nice bump over the M1 Max, and with room to grow with the M1 Max config, but why do this as well? Why have two dual-chip MCMs?
    I wonder if they'll increase clock speeds too. A 12-core would be 10+2 vs 8+2 in the Max so that's 25% faster but if they boost clock speeds from 3.2GHz to 4.8GHz, that's another 50% faster so overall 1.25 x 1.5 = 1.88x. The additional area on the chip could be used just for extra GPU cores for higher-end models. If they added the equivalent of up to 2 extra GPUs and similarly clocked them higher, that would allow for 4x GPU.

    Or they could still do a full Duo chip with 12 cores x 2. If they have a chip with 25% extra CPU cores, maybe they have a GPU with 25% extra cores too and can boost clock speeds. This way there would be no need for a Max Quad, only a Max Duo for the Mac Pro because you'd have CPU/GPU x 1.25-cores x 1.5-clock x 2-tiles = 3.75x CPU/GPU. That's basically equivalent to a quad Max but with 2 tiles.

    The higher-end iMac Pro would be 1.88x M1 Max for CPU/GPU (19TFLOPs) and the Mac Pro would be 3.75x the Max (38TFLOPs).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 20
    thttht Posts: 4,346member
    Marvin said:
    tht said:
    It really should be an M1 Max Duo on the top end for the "iMac Pro". The Intel iMac Pro had options for an 18 core Xeon, a Radeon Pro 64X, and it's been about 4 years since the machine debuted. A 12-core is not much of a CPU perf increase over the 18c Xeon, and it really needs  64 g-cores to have a nice GPU perf increase over the Radeon Pro 64X.

    This rumor isn't great unless is it referencing a binned M1 Pro Duo with each chip being a 4+2+14, for a total of 8+4+28. So 12 CPU cores across 2 dies, with 8 p-cores and 4 e-cores. An M1 Max would be more cost effective. Odd rumor. If it was 12 p-cores, than a binned M1 Pro Duo with each chip at 6+2+14, what's in the base model MBP14, would make for a 12+4+28. This would have a nice bump over the M1 Max, and with room to grow with the M1 Max config, but why do this as well? Why have two dual-chip MCMs?
    I wonder if they'll increase clock speeds too. A 12-core would be 10+2 vs 8+2 in the Max so that's 25% faster but if they boost clock speeds from 3.2GHz to 4.8GHz, that's another 50% faster so overall 1.25 x 1.5 = 1.88x. The additional area on the chip could be used just for extra GPU cores for higher-end models. If they added the equivalent of up to 2 extra GPUs and similarly clocked them higher, that would allow for 4x GPU.

    Or they could still do a full Duo chip with 12 cores x 2. If they have a chip with 25% extra CPU cores, maybe they have a GPU with 25% extra cores too and can boost clock speeds. This way there would be no need for a Max Quad, only a Max Duo for the Mac Pro because you'd have CPU/GPU x 1.25-cores x 1.5-clock x 2-tiles = 3.75x CPU/GPU. That's basically equivalent to a quad Max but with 2 tiles.

    The higher-end iMac Pro would be 1.88x M1 Max for CPU/GPU (19TFLOPs) and the Mac Pro would be 3.75x the Max (38TFLOPs).
    I don't think they will increase clock speeds by 50%. That will be a huge exponential increase in power consumption. Power will go up by the cube of the ratio of frequency increase from where they are at today. Adding cores is mostly linear. So if the M1 Max is 8 p-cores at 3.2 GHz at 30 W, 12 p-cores at 4.8 GHz will be 30 W x (10/8 p-cores) x (4.8/3.2)^3 = 126 W. That's back in Intel land. They will also have to redesign the chip to clock up that high, and that's not a trivial task. I'd like them to do the single-core turbo, but I bet that will be the last the low hanging fruit for them.

    Using MCMs (multiple dies) is mostly linear power consumption, and is used a lot in the CPU world. If they had 2 M1 Max dies in a package, those 16 p-cores and 4 e-cores will use about 60 W, plus, what 20 W, for a high speed I/O bus between them. So you are getting better multithreaded performance at almost half the power consumption versus clocking up.

    It also would be easier to just add more cores and spin a new monolithic chip. Say, a 16+4+64 chip, but that's about as big a chip (800 mm2) that foundries can make. Not economical on the fab front.
    muthuk_vanalingammattinozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 20
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,821member
    tht said:
    Marvin said:
    tht said:
    It really should be an M1 Max Duo on the top end for the "iMac Pro". The Intel iMac Pro had options for an 18 core Xeon, a Radeon Pro 64X, and it's been about 4 years since the machine debuted. A 12-core is not much of a CPU perf increase over the 18c Xeon, and it really needs  64 g-cores to have a nice GPU perf increase over the Radeon Pro 64X.

    This rumor isn't great unless is it referencing a binned M1 Pro Duo with each chip being a 4+2+14, for a total of 8+4+28. So 12 CPU cores across 2 dies, with 8 p-cores and 4 e-cores. An M1 Max would be more cost effective. Odd rumor. If it was 12 p-cores, than a binned M1 Pro Duo with each chip at 6+2+14, what's in the base model MBP14, would make for a 12+4+28. This would have a nice bump over the M1 Max, and with room to grow with the M1 Max config, but why do this as well? Why have two dual-chip MCMs?
    I wonder if they'll increase clock speeds too. A 12-core would be 10+2 vs 8+2 in the Max so that's 25% faster but if they boost clock speeds from 3.2GHz to 4.8GHz, that's another 50% faster so overall 1.25 x 1.5 = 1.88x. The additional area on the chip could be used just for extra GPU cores for higher-end models. If they added the equivalent of up to 2 extra GPUs and similarly clocked them higher, that would allow for 4x GPU.

    Or they could still do a full Duo chip with 12 cores x 2. If they have a chip with 25% extra CPU cores, maybe they have a GPU with 25% extra cores too and can boost clock speeds. This way there would be no need for a Max Quad, only a Max Duo for the Mac Pro because you'd have CPU/GPU x 1.25-cores x 1.5-clock x 2-tiles = 3.75x CPU/GPU. That's basically equivalent to a quad Max but with 2 tiles.

    The higher-end iMac Pro would be 1.88x M1 Max for CPU/GPU (19TFLOPs) and the Mac Pro would be 3.75x the Max (38TFLOPs).
    I don't think they will increase clock speeds by 50%. That will be a huge exponential increase in power consumption. Power will go up by the cube of the ratio of frequency increase from where they are at today. Adding cores is mostly linear. So if the M1 Max is 8 p-cores at 3.2 GHz at 30 W, 12 p-cores at 4.8 GHz will be 30 W x (10/8 p-cores) x (4.8/3.2)^3 = 126 W. That's back in Intel land. They will also have to redesign the chip to clock up that high, and that's not a trivial task. I'd like them to do the single-core turbo, but I bet that will be the last the low hanging fruit for them.

    Using MCMs (multiple dies) is mostly linear power consumption, and is used a lot in the CPU world. If they had 2 M1 Max dies in a package, those 16 p-cores and 4 e-cores will use about 60 W, plus, what 20 W, for a high speed I/O bus between them. So you are getting better multithreaded performance at almost half the power consumption versus clocking up.

    It also would be easier to just add more cores and spin a new monolithic chip. Say, a 16+4+64 chip, but that's about as big a chip (800 mm2) that foundries can make. Not economical on the fab front.
    If they were going the Multiple die route couldn’t they do the whole line with say 2 or 3 dies each of a reasonable. A core SOC. An add on performance die. Apples own cellular die
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 20
    1348513485 Posts: 226member
    entropys said:
    Probably true in a rational world, but my irresponsible heart calls for

    Super M1 Max Plus Extra


    My psychoactive heart is pulling for M-K Ultra. Millions of cores, talking to you (younger readers may have to google this).
  • Reply 17 of 20
    tht said:
    It really should be an M1 Max Duo on the top end for the "iMac Pro". The Intel iMac Pro had options for an 18 core Xeon, a Radeon Pro 64X, and it's been about 4 years since the machine debuted. A 12-core is not much of a CPU perf increase over the 18c Xeon, and it really needs  64 g-cores to have a nice GPU perf increase over the Radeon Pro 64X.

    This rumor isn't great unless is it referencing a binned M1 Pro Duo with each chip being a 4+2+14, for a total of 8+4+28. So 12 CPU cores across 2 dies, with 8 p-cores and 4 e-cores. An M1 Max would be more cost effective. Odd rumor. If it was 12 p-cores, than a binned M1 Pro Duo with each chip at 6+2+14, what's in the base model MBP14, would make for a 12+4+28. This would have a nice bump over the M1 Max, and with room to grow with the M1 Max config, but why do this as well? Why have two dual-chip MCMs?
    Yeah, this rumor doesn't really make much sense to me.  I think we all agree that if there is going to be an iMac Pro, it would more likely be an M1 Max Duo configuration.  That's really the only thing that makes sense... at least based on the limited information in this rumor.  It also doesn't seem to make much sense to create another different chip just for the iMac Pro.  That seems like a lot of extra work for a low volume in sales.  The only way the scaling really works is if Apple can leverage the same chips in many different configurations and products.  

    If there is any validity to this rumor, I would think this is advanced information for an M2 type of chip that would be coming later.  It's very possible to have just the 27" iMacs debut without the full pro option this spring.  Maybe in the fall, we'll see M2 based devices with a configuration like that. 
  • Reply 18 of 20
    thttht Posts: 4,346member
    Hmm, the dylandkt Twitter account has been deleted. Wonder if this 12-core rumor burned his source and that was enough for him to delete his account and lay low for awhile.

    Gurman has the protection of being a Bloomberg employee. dylandkt? Basically doing it for the feeling of infamy, a hobby. It's stops being fun when the figurative poop hits the fan.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,737moderator
    techconc said:
    Yeah, this rumor doesn't really make much sense to me.  I think we all agree that if there is going to be an iMac Pro, it would more likely be an M1 Max Duo configuration.  That's really the only thing that makes sense... at least based on the limited information in this rumor.  It also doesn't seem to make much sense to create another different chip just for the iMac Pro.  That seems like a lot of extra work for a low volume in sales.  The only way the scaling really works is if Apple can leverage the same chips in many different configurations and products.  

    If there is any validity to this rumor, I would think this is advanced information for an M2 type of chip that would be coming later.  It's very possible to have just the 27" iMacs debut without the full pro option this spring.  Maybe in the fall, we'll see M2 based devices with a configuration like that. 
    It could be an early M2 sample but they currently have 5 models of the Pro chips: 8C/14G, 10C/14G (+$200), 10C/16G (+$300), 10C/24G ($500), 10C/32G (+$700). They are charging roughly $200 for each 2C and 8G upgrade. They could make 12C/32G (+$900), 12C/40G (+$1100), 12C/48G (+$1300) for the iMac Pro (even just the middle option).

    The current M1 Max CPU is around 12k multi-core in the following list:

    https://www.cgdirector.com/cinebench-r23-scores-updated-results/

    12-core would go to around 15k. A Duo model of that chip would match the highest Intel CPUs e.g the top option in the 2019 Mac Pro (or current i9-12900k) and the GPU would be roughly equivalent to a 3090. A quad model of that chip (48C/192G) would be needed to get up to the level of the Threadripper 3990X and would also be equivalent to dual 3090. This Duo model would still be under 300W and the quad under 600W.

    If they plan to target higher-end performance, they'd have to go with a multi-chip model or scale up the C/G cores even further. It will be interesting to see how high they target. The 2019 model was a sort of gloves-are-off design and that let them see what people are actually willing to pay for. There's little reason for designing computers that don't sell so I think they will design the next Pro desktops around what people have been buying in the old iMac Pro and Mac Pro models. Their roadmap should allow for another 3x performance boost by 2025/26 so this would eventually become 3x 64-core Threadripper + 6x 3090. This is a lot of performance in a workstation and it would fit in a cube at under 600W.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 20 of 20
    Marvin said:
    techconc said:
    Yeah, this rumor doesn't really make much sense to me.  I think we all agree that if there is going to be an iMac Pro, it would more likely be an M1 Max Duo configuration.  That's really the only thing that makes sense... at least based on the limited information in this rumor.  It also doesn't seem to make much sense to create another different chip just for the iMac Pro.  That seems like a lot of extra work for a low volume in sales.  The only way the scaling really works is if Apple can leverage the same chips in many different configurations and products.  

    If there is any validity to this rumor, I would think this is advanced information for an M2 type of chip that would be coming later.  It's very possible to have just the 27" iMacs debut without the full pro option this spring.  Maybe in the fall, we'll see M2 based devices with a configuration like that. 
    It could be an early M2 sample but they currently have 5 models of the Pro chips: 8C/14G, 10C/14G (+$200), 10C/16G (+$300), 10C/24G ($500), 10C/32G (+$700). They are charging roughly $200 for each 2C and 8G upgrade. They could make 12C/32G (+$900), 12C/40G (+$1100), 12C/48G (+$1300) for the iMac Pro (even just the middle option).

    The current M1 Max CPU is around 12k multi-core in the following list:

    https://www.cgdirector.com/cinebench-r23-scores-updated-results/

    12-core would go to around 15k. A Duo model of that chip would match the highest Intel CPUs e.g the top option in the 2019 Mac Pro (or current i9-12900k) and the GPU would be roughly equivalent to a 3090. A quad model of that chip (48C/192G) would be needed to get up to the level of the Threadripper 3990X and would also be equivalent to dual 3090. This Duo model would still be under 300W and the quad under 600W.

    If they plan to target higher-end performance, they'd have to go with a multi-chip model or scale up the C/G cores even further. It will be interesting to see how high they target. The 2019 model was a sort of gloves-are-off design and that let them see what people are actually willing to pay for. There's little reason for designing computers that don't sell so I think they will design the next Pro desktops around what people have been buying in the old iMac Pro and Mac Pro models. Their roadmap should allow for another 3x performance boost by 2025/26 so this would eventually become 3x 64-core Threadripper + 6x 3090. This is a lot of performance in a workstation and it would fit in a cube at under 600W.
    Yeah, there are a lot of possibilities to be sure.  For that matter, we don't really know what an M2 is.  Is an M2 an A15 based part that has minor CPU improvements + 2 more GPU cores + updated media blocks?  Or, is the M2 something on more like a 2 year cycle that will be A16 based (hopefully ARMv9, etc.)?

    Anyway, I'd be surprised if the the high end iMac and Mac Pro get anything but an M1 Max based derivative.
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