The transition from Mac to Apple Silicon: questions and answers

There is no doubt that yesterday was a historic day for the Mac. WWDC20 served as a starting point for the transition of Apple computers to its own chip architecture, based on ARM and dubbed Apple Silicon. If you don’t know what this means and why this is a very important step, we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions.

From Intel to Apple Silicon: all the answers to change

  • What is Apple Silicon? This is what Apple called its own family of chips, based on the ARM architecture and present on iPhone and iPad for over a decade.
  • Why has Apple decided to stop using Intel chips? For many reasons. The margin for improvement of Apple Silicon is much greater than that of Intel (especially in the general public), and in addition, Apple is said to control the central part of the creation of the Mac.
  • How will we notice it? Application performance should improve dramatically (if they squeeze all the cores on the chip), and we should see thinner, lighter Macs that don’t need as much battery or ventilation.
  • I have a recent Mac with Intel, does that mean I’ll be out of date in a few months? No. Like all Macs, sooner or later you will need to renew your computer, but not necessarily now. Apple will be offering updates and official support for Intel-based Macs for several years to come. In addition, thanks to Rosetta 2, applications can be compiled and used for a long time by Intel.
  • I need to renew my Mac, better wait until they start launching models with ARM to do so? It would be recommended if you want your next Mac to last a decade. Either way, if you think it will last less or your needs are very basic, you can buy a Mac with an Intel processor now.
  • Which Mac will be sold first with the Apple Silicon chip? If we build on what was done during the last transition from PowerPC to Intel, we should see a desktop Mac (an iMac or a Mac mini) and a laptop (MacBook Air or MacBook Pro) to meet the needs. public.
  • What about that Mac mini with the A12Z chip from the iPad Pro that has already been announced and costs $ 500? This is an experimental Mac, which Apple will sell to developers so that they can start developing their applications from this week. It is not a computer that should be sold to the general public.
  • Will Macs with Apple Silicone Chips be Cheaper or More Expensive? It depends. We should see an overall increase in performance for the entire lineup if Apple promises it’s been fulfilled, although there are naturally some Mac models designed for general use and others for more professional models.

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  • When will these Macs go on sale? Apple has promised them by the end of the year. The latest filtering rumors corroborate this.
  • What versions of macOS will be compatible with these Macs? Macs with Apple Silicon chips will ship with macOS Big Sur installed, and this version will be the oldest supported. macOS Catalina and earlier versions of the system only work on Macs with an Intel chip, so they cannot be installed on models with an ARM chip.
  • And will I be able to install macOS Big Sur on my Mac with an Intel chip? Yes, although this Mac must be modern enough for that. Here is the list of compatible computers.
  • How long can I install new versions of macOS on my Intel-based Mac? Again, it depends on the age of that Mac, although Apple will offer macOS compatibility with Intel chips for several years.