The New M1 MacBooks 2020 : Air, Pro and Mini with apple silicon. Which one to buy? (New MacBook Pro vs MacBook Air 2020)

Nirvik Basnet
4 min readNov 10, 2020

-- (The New Macbooks)

Apple just announced three new members to its mac family. In the third apple event of the year “One More Thing”, they introduced their own CPU (Apple Silicon) named M1.

About M1

Mac’s were using intel based CPU in the previous generation due to which they needed multiple chips like processor, I/O and memory to deliver all the features but now with the single chip architecture or single system on a chip(SoC) they are combined into one chip.

This chip also packs the the fastest integrated graphics with 8-core GPU which increases the graphics performance by 2 times.

For machine learning, M1 features a 16 core Neural Engine which is capable of executing 11 trillion operations per second. Apple claims the entire M1 chip is designed to excel at machine learning with the 8-core GPU, machine learning accelerators and the Neural Engine.

MacBook Pro 13" vs MacBook Air (Battery, Fan, Price)

  1. Battery

Due to the power efficient M1 chip the battery performance have increased massively. Even in the software part of the new macs features advance power management to allocate tasks between CPU and efficiency cores. As per the claim by apple, once fully charged the new MacBook pro 13" can last up to 20 hrs. of movie playback and 17 hrs. of wireless web browsing, that’s a huge upgrade from the previous generations.

While the new Macbook Air is claimed to last up to 15 hrs. of wireless web browsing and 18 hrs. of movie playback.

2. Fan

MacBook AIR (Silent Design)

According to apple, with the industry leading efficiency of the M1 chip combined with the power management in the macOS bigsur, the new air delivers all the updated performance boost without a fan.

This can be good if you prefer to work in silent environment but it can be a problem if the new chip gets hot and starts thermal throttling.

Unlike the the Air the new MacBook Pro comes with a single fan design.


Coming to the final and most important difference of the new MacBooks. The Air starts at $999 with Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 7‑core GPU, and 16‑core Neural Engine, 8 GB ram , 256 SSD.

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While the pro starts at $1299 with Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine, 8GB Ram, 256 SSD.

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The only difference we can see is the 7-core GPU in Air compared to the 8-core GPU in the Pro which should not make any real life difference for light Air users considering the fact the it does not come with a fan.

The MINI :

New Mac Mini

For anyone interested in desktop pc, the mini is the perfect compact machine. Its upgraded and now has the latest Apple M1 Chip. This is the best value for money for most users. It comes with the same specs as The New MacBook Pro 13" but for only $699. If you want to upgrade to 16 GB ram and 512 SSD it comes to just $1099 that’s only $100 more than the New Air with 8GB and 256 SSD.


Although I like to have at least one fan in my laptop for occasional power use, for this time I might go with the base model Air as its cheap and has similar specs as the $300 more MacBook Pro or I will probably get a new Mac Mini with 16 GB Ram and 512 SSD in just $1099.



Nirvik Basnet

Software Engineer | Quantum Technology