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Apple M4 Chip: Everything to Expect

The new Apple iPad Pro was finally launched on May 7, 2024, with a next-generation chip, the M4. That day, two new iPad Air and iPad Pro were unveiled during that event. However, the new chip was expected to be debuted with the Air series after the Mac Air M3. In this context, we will review what we know about the state-of-the-art Apple M4 chip based on official announcements and Apple M4 rumors.

Design, Features, and Performance

Apple M4 detailsApple M4 details

The Apple iPro is equipped with the new M4, which can perform AI processing. With 38 TOPS (Trillion Operations Per Second), the 16-core neural processing unit (NPU) can easily accelerate machine learning tasks on the iPad Pro. According to Apple’s keynote speaker Tim Millet, the M4 is 60 times faster than the first Apple neural engine in the A11 Bionic chip. Except for the 45 TOPS from the Snapdragon X Elite, M4’s NPU can outperform every other opponent all around the market in terms of AI processing.

However, based on Geekbench 6 single-core results, the Apple M4 acquired 3810 points compared to X Elite’s 2758. In the multi-core benchmark, the Snapdragon X Elite got 13943 vs Apple M4’s 14541, showing the relative superiority of the M4. 

The Apple M4 comes in 9-core and 10-core versions for the 256GB to 512GB iPad Pro and 1TB to 2TB models, with six efficiency cores; the rest are performance cores. The second generation 3 nm manufacturing technology in the M4 means lowering power consumption while maintaining the same performance or even higher. Apple claimed the latest chip boasts an impressive 50% increase in CPU performance compared to the previous M2, along with a four times speed in rendering performance. Apple claims the M4 presents the same performance as competitors at just a quarter of the power. According to speculations, Apple has indirectly mentioned the Intel core ultra 7 processor 155H product from Asus Zenbook 14 OLED UX3405MA.

In addition, the Apple M4 supports multiple features like Dynamic Caching, Hardware-accelerated mesh shading, and ray tracing. The GPU’s integrated hardware-accelerated mesh shading and ray tracing features significantly enhance the visual experience in highly graphically demanding scenarios encountered in gaming and graphics-intensive applications. Dynamic Caching was first introduced with Apple M3, a leading-edge feature that allows GPU to optimize its memory. Unlike static caching with constant memory allocation, dynamic caching allows GPU to dedicate the only necessary amount of memory to each task. This feature by M4 guarantees enhanced gaming and video editing performance, contributing to an overall superior user experience. All this has made the M4’s GPU speed quadruple compared to the previous M2.

Another new feature of the M4 is its display engine, which supports the new Tandem OLED technology and a screen refresh rate ranging from 10 to a maximum of 120 Hz. According to Apple’s website, the pricing ranges from 999 USD for the 11-inch iPad Pro to 1299 USD for the 13-inch model. Apple announced the Apple M4 release date, and the ordering process started on May 7th.

Although M4 is currently presented with the new iPad Pro 2024, we expect to see it in the company’s Mac computers shortly.