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The next iMac could crush Intel with a monster 20-core duo chip

Apple’s iMac Pro was dubbed its most powerful Mac ever in 2017, but the all-in-one was discontinued earlier this year without ever living up to the hype. Now, it could be on the cusp of an explosive return with one of the beefiest chips ever to grace an Apple machine.

According to YouTuber Max Tech, Apple will likely equip the upcoming high-end iMac with a brand-new chip that essentially fuses two M1 Max chips together. This Frankenstein creation will apparently be named the M1 Max Duo and provide Mac users with one of the most powerful devices they’ve ever laid their hands on, featuring a 20-core CPU, a 64-core GPU, and up to 128GB of memory.

Where does Max Tech get this info? Most of it seems to come from a wide range of sleuthing and digging. For instance, they cite as evidence an article from reliable reporter Mark Gurman, who stated Apple is working on a new chip with up to 16 high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. That 20-core chip would feature twice as many CPU cores as the current 10-core M1 Max, suggesting Apple might combine the powers of two M1 Max units like some sort of Wonder Twins cut content.

The current Intel-based 27-inch iMac offers a 10-core Intel i9 CPU that still outperforms the M1 Max in some cases. If Apple were to outfit the new top-end iMac with that M1 Max, users would be disappointed in the apparent drop in performance, Max Tech reasons. If you follow that logic, Apple must be working on something better for its most performant desktop all-in-one.

As well as that, developer Hector Martin has claimed that macOS drivers contain numerous multi-die references (perhaps alluding to a combo chip like the mysterious M1 Max Duo), and that the current M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are engineered in such a way as to make a duo chip feasible.

The problem is that all this M1 Max Duo speculation is exactly that: Speculation. Until we see the new iMacs in the flesh — which could happen as soon as spring 2022 — it’s best to take all this news with a pinch of salt.

What else can we expect to see from the new iMac? A number of outlets and sources, including Max Tech and display industry analyst Ross Young, have claimed the iMac Pro will feature a 27-inch display that packs in mini-LED tech and a variable ProMotion refresh rate of up to 120Hz. We also expect a similar slim-bezel design as the 24-inch iMac, although perhaps in more muted colors, and a touch ID-equipped Magic Keyboard.

Alex Blake
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