The biggest difference between the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro is a fan

And the Air is still thicker
The biggest difference between the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro is a fan
The biggest difference between the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro is a fan

It’s been slightly bit bizarre that Apple would promote each a 13-inch MacBook Air and a 13-inch MacBook Pro concurrently, however maybe by no means greater than right this moment — as a result of Apple’s new $999 and $1,299 laptops appear practically equivalent if you happen to look past the otherwise curved frames. They’ve obtained the same M1 processor, the same reminiscence and storage choices, the same ports, and really related screens.

I’m not joking once I say: The biggest difference is a fan.

This fan, which is unique to the MacBook Pro:

I imply, sure, it’s a little bit hilarious the MacBook Air is now a laptop computer that doesn’t blow air, similar to it’s amusing that the Air technically continues to be a thicker laptop computer than the 13-inch Pro. (I suppose it’s been a very long time since manila envelopes had been a factor.)

However you shouldn’t knock that fan, as a result of here’s a little-known truth about right this moment’s CPUs: they’ll nearly all run far quicker if you happen to give them higher cooling. A CPU’s thermal design energy (TDP) in watts is a greater predictor of efficiency than its gigahertz clock velocity as a result of a number of the weakest laptop computer and telephone chips can “enhance” as much as a number of gigahertz nowadays… till they warmth up. In a small, fanless chassis, they should throttle down rapidly, however they’ll go for longer in a bigger or better-cooled one.

That’s mainly what’s occurring in the new Apple M1-powered MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini, Apple confirms to The Verge. Every pc has the same actual processor (with one wrinkle I’ll deal with in a sec), which may theoretically run on the same velocity — however the fan in the MacBook Pro and Mac mini lets them maintain peak efficiency for longer.

Apple is attempting to have it each methods, after all: throughout its presentation, it first lauded the MacBook Air for going fanless, then talked up the “lively cooling resolution” (aka the fan you’ve had for years) in the MacBook Pro. We’ll should see which design is definitely higher in our upcoming evaluations.

Whereas the fan is likely to be the most significant difference, it’s not the one one. Keep in mind that wrinkle I instructed you about? here it’s, and extra:

  • At $999, the MacBook Air comes with seven GPU cores instead of eight, because Apple is salvaging some weaker chips (a common process known as binning) by disabling one core.
  • But at $1,249, the MacBook Air has the same eight CPU cores and eight GPU cores as the $1,299 13-inch MacBook Pro.
  • The 13-inch MacBook Pro has a slightly larger battery (58.2Wh vs. 49.9Wh) and quotes two additional hours of battery life compared to the MacBook Air.
  • The 13-inch MacBook Pro’s screen is slightly brighter at maximum (500 nits vs 400 nits).
  • The 13-inch MacBook Pro comes with the Touch Bar instead of physical function keys, though both have a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

You may also have an interest to be taught that each laptops prime out at 16GB of RAM, which is a present limitation of Apple’s M1 processor. here’s Apple’s personal spec comparability if you wish to take a better look.