New iMac Pro could pack insane ‘M1 Max Duo’ chip with up to 20 CPU cores

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iMac concept inspired by iPad Pro.
It could be twice as fast as an M1 Max MacBook Pro.
Concept: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple’s next-generation iMac Pro could feature an “M1 Max Duo” chip with 20 cores for processing and up to 64 for graphics, according to a new report.

As its name suggests, the chipset is expected to consist of two M1 Max chips combined together for double the performance. It could also feature up to 128GB of RAM — twice that currently available from Apple’s latest machines.

iMac Pro could get first M1 Max Duo chip with 64-core GPU

Apple has been blowing us away with its M1 chips since they first made their debut last year, easily outperforming the Intel chips they replaced in the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. And they’re only getting better.

The new M1 Pro and M1 Max in the 2021 MacBook Pro are significantly more powerful, and rumor has it that Cupertino is planning even beefier chipsets for its next-generation pro-level desktop machines — including a new iMac Pro.

APPL Tree and Max Tech on YouTube report that Apple could be planning a new M1 Max Duo chip for its most powerful all-in-one that will essentially see two M1 Max chips combined for double the power.

This would allow for up to 20 CPU cores, up to 64 GPU cores, and up to 128GB of RAM. That would match the maximum RAM capacity of the 27-inch iMac, which still features Intel chips, while outperforming its Core i7 and Core i9 chips.

There’s evidence for a ‘duo’ chip

As is always the case with rumors like these, it’s best to take them with a pinch of salt. We can’t be sure of what Apple is working on until the company makes it official. Having said that, there is evidence to support a “duo” chip of this kind.

Hector Martin, a developer currently working to port Linux to M1 Mac models, reported earlier this month that macOS includes “plenty” of references to “multi-die” chips, and that the new M1 Pro and M1 Max are “very clearly engineered with a (currently unused) second half for a second die.”

In other words, it seems Apple has already paved the way for fusing two M1 Pro or M1 Max chips together — it just hasn’t done it yet. That could change next year with the iMac Pro, and perhaps the next-generation Mac Pro, too.