Apple first showed the unified memory architecture (UMA) with the release of the MacBook M1 chip. The UMA basically gives higher performance from less total RAM. So how does the UMA on the new M1 chip work? And what is the unified memory of the new MacBook M1 Max? Let us find out all the details with some basics about the memory in general below.
What is Unified Memory of MacBook M1 Max?
After the arrival of the SoC M1, Apple opted for unified memory architecture (UMA). Thus, the RAM was integrated into the chip and directly accessible by the GPU and CPU. The main advantage of UMA is that it is not necessary to transfer data between the memory of the CPU and that of the GPU, since it is the same.
The access to GPU memory is optimized because they do not go through an external bus such as PCI Express on computers with an external graphics circuit. Also, the GPU is not limited by the capacity of its own memory, but only by the total amount of built-in RAM.
The M1 chip is accompanied by a controller intended to increase the speed of data management on the SSD support. This could therefore avoid wasting CPU processing cycles.
Therefore, it improves both performance and power management. Apple claims that the unified memory architecture enables video processing up to 3.9 times faster and image processing 7.1 times faster.
Now that Apple has released the new MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch, let us find out what is the M1 Max unified memory configuration.
The MacBook Pro 16-inch is offered in three default configurations. The first two configurations feature an Apple M1 Pro processor with a 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, 16GB of unified memory, and differ in the amount of SSD storage, 512 GB or 1 TB.
On the top model of M1 Max, we find a double memory interface compared to the M1 Pro. The memory bandwidth is 400 Gb/s (compared to the 200 Gb/s of the Pro), to which are added up to 64GB of unified memory with 57 billion transistors. The CPU is always 10-core, while the GPU is 32-core.
If we talk about the 14-inch MacBook Pro, it also comes in two configurations. Both models feature an Apple M1 Pro processor instead of the M1 Max chip. So, its default configuration comes with an M1 Pro chip with an 8-core CPU, 14-core GPU, 16GB of unified memory, and 512 GB SSD. And the second configuration comes with an M1 Pro processor with a 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, 16GB of unified memory, and 1 TB SSD.
That is everything you need to know about the unified memory of MacBook M1 Max. Also, if you are looking to buy any of the new MacBook 2021 models, check out this MacBook M1 Pro vs. M1 Max Buying Guide now.