How Does A MacBook Pro Differ From A MacBook

Apple recently released its latest MacBook models, featuring a completely redesigned Apple Silicon M1 chip. This new technology has made the MacBook Pro Intel one that was released prior to the M1 chip quickly outdated. Though both models are from Apple, the differences between them are quite great and could constitute a complete shift in how you use your laptop depending on which model you purchase. In this guide, we will review the differences between Apple’s MacBook Pro Intel and its new MacBook Pro M1 chips in order to help you make an informed decision about which is best for you.


MacBook Pro processors can vary and currently come equipped with either Intel or Apple M1 chips. Intel-based MacBook Pros use Intel’s Core processor technology, while the M1 MacBook Pros feature Apple’s own M1 chip, designed specifically for use on Mac computers. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two processors and see which one might suit your needs best:

Intel vs M1

The biggest difference between the performance of an Intel-powered MacBook Pro and one equipped with an Apple M1 chip lies in the internal architecture. The Intel-based Macs have Intel processors that use a system of Interrupt Requests (IRQs) to initiate and manage operations within the machines’ multiple cores. In contrast, the M1 processor utilizes a unified memory architecture that binds its processing engine with memory and storage directly on a single chip, also known as System on Chip (SoC). This integration increases overall performance allowing for better parallelism between components and faster processing speeds.

When it comes to graphics, Intel-based machines offer only integrated GPUs which are not ideal for graphically intensive tasks like gaming. The M1 chip, however, is outfitted with Apple’s custom designed GPU – an eight-core variant of ARM’s mali GPU – offering significantly better performance than its Intel predecessors.

Both types of MacBook Pros provide great battery life, but depending on your usage habits, one may be more suitable than another. While Intel chips come in several different wattage models, ranging from low-power U series to higher power H series plans; the Apple M1 has a consistent 7W TDP across all versions when idle or running optimally under heavy load averaged across single core usage or multi core tasks. This results in longer battery life on average over traditional processors on many everyday tasks such as web browsing or audio/video replay consumption.

Performance Comparison

Performance is an important factor when considering which MacBook model to buy. The MacBook Pro models equipped with Intel processors are powered by either the 8th, 9th, and 10th generation processors. These include Core i5 and Core i7 versions of Intel’s Comet Lake and Ice Laker processor architectures. These architectures offer enhanced processing speeds over the previous-gen chips, letting you multitask more efficiently and edit video with ease.

The most recent MacBook models feature Apple’s new M1 processor. Compared to their Intel counterparts, these M1-based laptops boost significantly faster single-core and multi-core performance, as well as superior graphics capabilities, all while conserving battery power. There is no doubt that the M1 is a formidable opponent for Intel’s latest offerings – offering higher performance at lower power consumption for a longer lasting experience.

Despite its superior power efficiency metrics and improved computational performance over Intel chipsets, the M1 might struggle with some demanding tasks such as 3D rendering or intensive gaming due to its slower clock speed compared to its Intel rivals in terms of single core performance. However, it should still provide plenty of horsepower to complete everyday tasks like web browsing or document preparation quite easily – if battery consumption isn’t a major factor in your decision making process then M1 might be preferable when considering raw power output alone.


When comparing the two MacBook laptops, the design of the Pro model is slightly different from the standard model. The Pro model has a larger display, more ports, and a new keyboard design. It also features a fan system to help keep the chips cool while they are running. On the other hand, the standard model’s design is significantly more compact and lightweight, making it easier to carry around.

Weight and Size

The weight and size of a laptop can play an important role in deciding which model to buy. The MacBook Pro (Intel) is usually heavier than the MacBook (M1). The 13-inch MacBook Pro (Intel) weighs 1.4kg, while the 13-inch MacBook M1 weighs just 1.2kg. A lighter device provides more freedom of movement when you’re traveling or working outside the house.

In terms of size, both models offer a 13-inch display with a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels. They both measure just 0.61 inches in height, so they are both quite slim and portable devices that can easily slip into most backpacks and bags without adding too much bulk or weight. Despite the similar dimensions, it’s worth noting that the MacBook Pro (Intel) does have larger bezels around its display compared to the slimmer bezels of the MacBook (M1). This gives it a slightly smaller screen-to-body ratio, making it less effective at displaying larger graphics or images when compared to its M1 counterpart.

Display and Colors

The MacBook Pro and MacBook both come with impressive high-resolution display screens which enable you to take advantage of Apple’s superior hardware and software. The MacBook Pro has a 13″ or 15″ Retina Display with a resolution of 2160×1620 or 2880×1800 respectively, while the MacBook comes in 12″, 13″ and 16″ models with resolutions up to 3072×1920. The MacBook Pro also features True Tone technology which adjusts the white balance of the display to its ambient lighting, making it easy on the eyes.

As far as color choices go, both laptops are available in either silver or space gray aluminum finishes, but the MacBook Pro also has options for black and silver models. Additionally, the 16″ version of the MacBook Pro is also available in a touch bar version where you can interact directly on your keyboard to access frequently used commands.


One of the major differences between the MacBook Pro with Intel processors and the MacBook with Apple’s M1 chip is the battery life. The MacBook Pro with Intel processors have been known to have significantly less battery life compared to the newer MacBook powered by the M1 chip. The new M1 MacBook is able to get up to 20 hours of battery life, while the MacBook Pro with Intel processors can only manage up to 10 hours.

Battery Life

When comparing the current generation of MacBook Pro models to the MacBook with Apple M1 Chip, there is a major difference in battery life. MacBook Pros with an Intel processor can last up to 10 hours of web browsing and cartoon streaming, while the MacBook with Apple M1 Chip can last up to 18 hours of Web browsing and video streaming. This Apple Silicon chip allows for a more energy efficient computer which offers longer battery life than comparable Intel chipsets.

It’s also important to note that while the standard Intel models tend to be more powerful than their Apple M1 counterparts, they require more power due to the additional components found in these machines. In short, if you are primarily interested in longer battery life then going with an Apple M1-powered machine may be your best bet.

Charging Times

A key difference between the MacBook Pro Intel and MacBook M1 is their charging times. The Intel version can take up to two hours to charge from 0% to 100%. On the other hand, the M1 takes just a few minutes as it utilizes Apple’s new fast-charging technology. However, the Intel model does have a longer overall battery life with its 3-cell and 4-cell Lithium Ion batteries offering up to 8 hours of use when fully charged. The M1 has a 4 or 5 cell battery that can provide up to 17 hours of usage when fully charged.


The biggest difference between a MacBook Pro and a MacBook is their connectivity. The MacBook Pro has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, as well as a USB-C port and headphone jack. On the other hand, the MacBook has only one Thunderbolt 3 port and two USB-C ports. This means that the MacBook Pro can easily connect to more high-speed peripherals like external displays and high-end audio equipment.

Ports and Connections

The MacBook Pro has a variety of ports and connections that can be used to expand the capabilities of your laptop. You’ll find two or four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, depending on your model and which size you select. These USB-C ports offer high-speed transfers, video output, and charging for compatible devices, as well as reverse compatibility with existing USB-A accessories. The M1 models also include two USB 4 ports with double the data transfer speed of Thunderbolt 3.

You’ll also find an HDMI port for connecting to external displays or an HDTV so you can watch your favorite movies in 4K resolution. This port is available in the 13 inch Intel models only and some of the mid 2020 16 inch Intel models. Finally, all MacBook Pros come with a headphone jack that allows you to plug in any headphones or headsets into your laptop. The M1 models have no headphone jack so you need to access audio via compatible devices connected to its usb-c/thunderbolt port(s) or use wireless headphones instead.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

The most notable difference between MacBook Pro models with Intel processors and Macs with the M1 chip is the speed of their Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. The MacBook Pro with an Intel processor uses the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard for wireless networking, which is capable of up to 1Gbps speeds. The M1-equipped Macs, however, support the slightly faster 802.11ax WiFi standard and are capable of 2.4Gbps speeds over both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

In terms of Bluetooth, both MacBook Pro with Intel processors as well as those powered by Apple’s M1 chip feature Bluetooth version 5 technology which provides a great wireless connection over longer distances than older versions without affecting battery life or signal strength. However, Bluetooth connections on M1-equipped Macs are slightly faster than those on their Intel counterparts due to the higher power of their chipsets.


Knowing the difference between a MacBook Pro and a MacBook is important when choosing the right laptop for your needs. The first major difference in the two is storage.

  • The MacBook Pro has several different options for storage, ranging from 256GB to 8TB and is ideal for those who need to store large amounts of data.
  • On the other hand, MacBooks max out at 2TB, making them better suited for casual use.

Internal Storage

Internal storage is one of the primary ways in which a MacBook Pro differs from a MacBook. Generally speaking, the MacBook Pro generally has more internal storage capacity than a MacBook and it typically offers more options for increasing its overall storage capacity. These two models provide different amounts of internal storage memory:

  • MacBook Pro: The newest 13-inch and 15-inch models have up to 4 TB of SSD internal storage that can be configured up to 8 TB. The 17-inch model provides up to 2 TB with an upgradeable 4TB SATA hard drive.
  • MacBook: The 11-inch and 12-inch models offer 128GB or 256GB as standard, while the 13-inch model offers 256GB or 512GB as standard. All models have options for upgrading to 1TB SSD as well. Due to their smaller size, all MacBooks are limited in terms of expandable memory compared to the larger sizes offered by the MacBook Pro range.

External Storage

When it comes to external storage, the differences between a MacBook Pro and a MacBook can be boiled down to the hardware used in each machine.

MacBook Pro models with Intel processors offer a variety of traditional options when it comes to external storage, including USB Type-A, USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports. Through these connectors, you can add external hard drives or solid-state drives (SSDs) for additional capacity. They are also compatible with certain specialized desktop accessories that help prevent data loss in the event of a computer failure.

Meanwhile, the latest iteration of Apple’s long-running MacBook line offers external storage options via USB 4 ports and Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports. These connections allow users to take advantage of faster performance than that available over earlier connection standards such as USB 3 or Thunderbolt 2. Furthermore, newer memory cards such as a CFast card are supported by the new M1 processor featured in the M1 MacBooks models and may even provide users with faster transfer rates than traditional hard disk drives and SSDs when used with compatible devices.


When it comes to comparing an Intel-powered MacBook Pro and an M1 MacBook Pro, it can be hard to determine which is the better option. Ultimately, the decision should come down to how you plan to use your laptop.

If you’re looking for power and performance, then the M1 chip likely has the best option, as it offers a reasonably priced and speedy alternative. On the other hand, if you need compatibility with existing applications or are looking for things like expandability or more ports to use peripherals or multiple displays, then an Intel-powered MacBook Pro could be what you need.

Both options offer excellent computing experiences for different user needs.

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