New MacBook Pro M1 with whopping 12 cores could be coming in March

MacBook Pro 2020 M1 chip
(Image credit: Apple)

We got our first taste of Apple Silicon-powered Macs last year with the debut of MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini models all appearing to strong reviews. Now, a more powerful sequel could be in the works, arriving in just a couple of months’ time.

That’s the word from tipster LeaksApplePro, who’s forecasting a 12-core Silicon Mac arriving in March. That’s potentially a big jump forward in performance from the 8-core Apple M1 found in the MacBook Air with M1 and MacBook Pro with M1.

The current 8-core M1 is a formidable choice for users looking for a powerful Mac, but it ends up paling in comparison to other higher-end Ryzen setups that utilize 4 performance cores and efficiency cores. A 12-core M2 would likely help to stand up to Zen-based architecture, if the new Macs end up bringing the same specs LeaksApplePro claims they will. 

We’ve heard earlier reports of Apple looking to up the number of cores in its new Mac chips. Last month, a Bloomberg article teased the idea that Apple was testing a Mac Pro with a 32-core chip, though that offering wouldn’t be ready until 2022. More immediate plans would include 12-core chips, according to that article.

The LeaksApplePro tweet puts a March time frame on that announcement, with the new chip allegedly containing eight performance cores and four high-efficiency cores potentially powering a 16-inch MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, the tweet thread offers no further details.

At this point, seeing the more powerful "M1X” version of Apple’s chip is exciting enough news for buyers looking for a step up from the previous iteration. As LeaksApplePro indicates, however, M1X is not the final name just yet. Whatever Apple has in mind is up in the air for now. 

We’ll have to wait and see what kind of announcements come from Apple in the coming months, as the transition to an entire Mac lineup built from Apple Silicon continues toward its 2022 end date.

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.

  • SmellCoffee M1X (16 Core) 5nm 12x3.20Ghz, FP32 (Single Precision) 5,2000 GFLOPS

    Not hot enough to boil water for my coffee :-(