New MacBook Pro Tidbits: SD Card Speeds, Peak Brightness for SDR Content, eGPUs Still Not Supported, and More

Apple unveiled new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models earlier this week, and we've since confirmed some additional details about the notebooks.

macbook pro 14 16 2021

  • 16-inch MacBook Pro models configured with the M1 Max chip feature a new High Power Mode to maximize performance for intensive, sustained workloads, according to Apple. High Power Mode is not available on other models.
  • Like the Pro Display XDR, the new MacBook Pro displays have a peak brightness of 500 nits for standard aka SDR content, according to Apple. The new MacBook Pro's advertised 1,600 nits of peak full-screen brightness is for HDR content only.
  • In regards to Face ID, Apple said customers love the experience of using Touch ID on the Mac for everything from unlocking their Mac, to filling in passwords online, changing accounts, and making secure purchases with Apple Pay, but the company unsurprisingly said it has nothing to announce about its plans for Face ID on Mac.
  • The SD card reader in the new MacBook Pro models supports up to 250MB/s of data transfer with the latest UHS-II SD cards and up to 90MB/s with UHS-I SD cards, according to Apple.
  • Like other Macs with Apple silicon, the new MacBook Pro models still do not support external GPUs (eGPUs). The new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips have the most powerful GPUs that Apple has ever built and offer massive amounts of unified memory that enables completely new workflows, according to Apple.
  • The new MacBook Pro models have the same trackpad as previous-generation models, according to Apple.
  • Apple said it is invested in dedicated ProRes hardware in its silicon to enable quality, performance, and power efficiency across its platforms for pro video workflows.

The new MacBook Pro models have been available to order since Monday and will begin arriving to customers and launch in stores on Tuesday, October 26. Pricing starts at $1,999 for the 14-inch model and at $2,499 for the 16-inch model.

Related Roundup: 14 & 16" MacBook Pro
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

aevan Avatar
6 weeks ago

Yeah, really messed up this wasn’t disclosed before orders went live. It’s not like we can wait for reviews to decide what to buy, if we do that it’ll be mid 2022 before we get the machines! I wanted to go for the 14” but grabbed a 16 because of battery life and the back of my mind being concerned about potential throttling. This is worse than throttling though, and totally sucks for anyone who ordered a 14” Max.
The difference will most likely be small. You’re getting incredible performance in 14” form factor, comparable to a bigger MBP for the first time - that’s amazing. Of course the bigger chassis of a 16” will allow slightly higher performance due to thermals, but this difference will almost certainly be very small.

Let’s be honest, 90% of people here buying an M1 Max are enthusiasts that don’t need half of that performance and would be perfectly fine with a regular M1 or M1 Pro. It’s the same people who claim 64Gb RAM is needed for editing home photos in Photoshop.

Of course, people will jump on benchmarks as soon as they get new machines and we’ll see two results: incredible performance on 14“ and incredible performance +2% on 16”. Of course, the 14” people will be crushed and disappointed with these results and yell how Apple lied and how this wouldn’t happen with Steve and all that. Also something, something the notch.

This is not messed up. It does not totally suck for anyone who ordered a 14” Max. You’re getting 99% performance of the 16” in a smaller chassis. In fact, you’re getting performance that matches or surpasses the biggest, loudest PC laptops when running plugged in, and you’re getting it in this tiny laptop, on battery power. Of course, leave it to these forums to find ways to be disappointed by that.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xxray Avatar
6 weeks ago
The 500 peak nits brightness for SDR content is a bummer. Also, Apple might not have shared any FaceID plans for the future, but you can’t tell me that notch isn’t the perfect placeholder for FaceID to come in future iterations of the MBP.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adamw Avatar
6 weeks ago
Waiting for Apple to release the M1 Pro and M1 Max Mac mini and iMac models... Don't need a laptop, so cash is staying in my wallet until Apple releases one or both of these other Mac models.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jarman92 Avatar
6 weeks ago

The lack of eGPU support and the subpar performance for even old and well-developed macOS games are going to be a dealbreaker for a lot of people.

Unless you are a content creator there’s precious little usefulness for the M1 pro/max’s GPU performance. I suppose it’s cool marketing to say your SoC’s GPU rivals the teraflop performance of a PS5. Unfortunately, these Macs can’t even run StarCraft 2 well. SC2 is an old game developed natively for Macs by Blizzard, a company known for making polished and high performing mac compatible games. Gaming remains a glaring problem for the Mac.
How do you know what they can and can't run well, when they haven't been released yet?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jabbr Avatar
6 weeks ago
Why couldn’t apple bump up SDR brightness to 700+ nits? Would be much better for outdoor viewing
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Blue Sun Avatar
6 weeks ago

The lack of eGPU support and the subpar performance for even old and well-developed macOS games are going to be a dealbreaker for a lot of people.

Unless you are a content creator there’s precious little usefulness for the M1 pro/max’s GPU performance. I suppose it’s cool marketing to say your SoC’s GPU rivals the teraflop performance of a PS5. Unfortunately, these Macs can’t even run StarCraft 2 well. SC2 is an old game developed natively for Macs by Blizzard, a company known for making polished and high performing mac compatible games. Gaming remains a glaring problem for the Mac.
This is probably an unpopular opinion, but Macs are not built to be gaming machines. They're for productivity. If you want to game buy a gaming laptop, PS5, XSX or build a PC.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

f1634578301

New MacBook Pros Have Up to 3x Brighter Displays for HDR Content

Tuesday October 19, 2021 8:41 am PDT by
Apple's new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are equipped with improved "XDR" displays with mini-LED backlighting. Impressively, both new MacBook Pro models have up to 3x brighter displays compared to the previous-generation models, although the increased brightness is likely limited to HDR content. The new MacBook Pro models achieve up to 1,000 nits sustained full-screen brightness...
macbook pro 2021 notch

New MacBook Pro Finally Features a 1080p Webcam Within a Notch

Monday October 18, 2021 11:12 am PDT by
Apple today unveiled new MacBook Pro models, and while some customers will be disappointed that there is now a notch at the top of the display, one positive is that both the 14-inch and 16-inch models now feature a 1080p webcam, also known as the FaceTime camera. Tech specs on Apple's website indicate that the 1080p camera is complemented with an advanced image signal processor for improved...
macbook pro 2021 handson

New Video Provides Extensive Hands-on Look at New 16-inch MacBook Pro [Updated]

Saturday October 23, 2021 4:31 am PDT by
A new video posted to YouTube today offers viewers perhaps the best real-world look yet at Apple's latest 16-inch MacBook Pro. Update: The video has been removed. The eight-minute video, narrated in Vietnamese, shows the new MacBook Pro's display notch, thinner bezels, full-size keyboard, and additional ports in close-up, as well as the thicker design, all of which are compared side by...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

New MacBook Pro Shipments Forecasted to Begin in Third Quarter

Tuesday June 8, 2021 8:28 am PDT by
While leaker Jon Prosser claimed that a new MacBook Pro was coming at WWDC, Apple's keynote did not include any new hardware announcements. Instead, it is looking increasingly likely that redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models powered by a faster iteration of the M1 chip will be released in the third or fourth quarter of the year. A paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today...
macbook pro ports hdmi sd

SD Card Slot in New MacBook Pros Supports UHS-II With Speeds Up to 250 MB/s [Updated]

Thursday October 21, 2021 6:10 am PDT by
Apple has confirmed to The Verge's Dan Seifert that the SD card slot built into the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models supports UHS-II, and while this could theoretically allow for read and write speeds of up to 312MB/s with USH-II SD cards, Apple has since confirmed that the reader supports up to 250MB/s of data transfer. Some people had hoped that the SD card slot would support...
14 16 inch 2021 mbps back to back feature

Some 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Models Backordered Into 2022

Tuesday November 9, 2021 8:32 am PST by
Two weeks after Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models launched, some configurations of the notebooks remain in tight supply. While standard configurations of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models ordered through Apple's online store are estimated for delivery in the first week of December, many custom configurations are shipping in late December, and some are even backordered into 2022. ...
macbook pro 2021 side by side

New MacBook Pro Pricing: 14-Inch Model Starts at $1,999 and 16-Inch Model Starts at $2,499

Monday October 18, 2021 10:52 am PDT by
Apple today announced that 14-inch MacBook Pro pricing will start at $1,999 ($1,849 for education), while the new 16-inch MacBook Pro will start at $2,499 ($2,299 for education). The new MacBook Pro models were revealed during today's Apple event, and are powered by the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. The new models feature Liquid Retina XDR displays with ProMotion, HDMI ports and SDXC card...
14 inch macbook pro real photo

First Real-World Photos and Video of New MacBook Pro Models Begin to Surface

Friday October 22, 2021 11:09 am PDT by
Apple unveiled new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models earlier this week, and the first real-world photos of the notebooks have surfaced. YouTube creator Luke Miani tweeted the above photo of the 14-inch MacBook Pro next to the previous-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro, providing a real-world look at the notch at the top of the display, all-black keyboard design, and more. As noted by...

Popular Stories

airtag in hand

Apple AirTag Linked to Increasing Number of Car Thefts, Canadian Police Report

Friday December 3, 2021 7:10 am PST by
Apple's AirTags are being used in an increasing number of targeted car thefts in Canada, according to local police. Outlined in a news release from York Regional Police, investigators have identified a new method being used by thieves to track down and steal high-end vehicles that takes advantage of the AirTag's location tracking capabilities. While the method of stealing the cars is largely ...
apple top apps games 2020

Apple Reveals the Most Downloaded iOS Apps and Games of 2021

Thursday December 2, 2021 12:05 am PST by
Along with naming its editorial picks for the top apps and games of 2021, Apple today shared charts for the most downloaded free and paid apps and games in the United States across 2021. The number one most downloaded free iPhone app was TikTok, followed by YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. The top paid iPhone apps included Procreate Pocket, HotSchedules, The Wonder Weeks, and Touch...
m3 feature black

Macs With 'M3' Chips Expected to Use TSMC's 3nm Chip Technology With Test Production Reportedly Underway

Thursday December 2, 2021 7:36 am PST by
Apple's chipmaking partner TSMC has kicked off pilot production of chips built on its 3nm process, known as N3, according to Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report, citing unnamed industry sources, claims that TSMC will move the process to volume production by the fourth quarter of 2022 and start shipping 3nm chips to customers like Apple and Intel in the first quarter of...
telsa cyberwhistle

Elon Musk Urges Customers to Buy 'Tesla Cyberwhistle' Instead of Apple Polishing Cloth

Wednesday December 1, 2021 4:01 am PST by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has encouraged customers to buy the "Cyberwhistle" for $50 instead of Apple's much-discussed Polishing Cloth. The product page, which Musk shared on Twitter on Tuesday evening, offers a limited edition stainless steel whistle with the same distinctive design of the Tesla Cybertruck:Inspired by Cybertruck, the limited-edition Cyberwhistle is a premium collectible made from ...
app store awards 2021

Apple Picks the 2021 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting the Best Apps of the Year

Thursday December 2, 2021 12:01 am PST by
Apple today shared its 2021 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 15 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, and positive cultural impact. "The developers who won App Store Awards in 2021 harnessed their own drive and vision to deliver the best apps and games of the year --...
MBA Mock White Front Blue

2022 MacBook Air Getting Major Display Upgrade With One Drawback

Friday December 3, 2021 3:01 am PST by
Apple's next-generation MacBook Air is reportedly set to bring over many of the new MacBook Pro's features, with one noticeable omission, according to recent reports. The latest MacBook Pro models feature a mini-LED "Liquid Retina XDR" display with deep blacks and support for up to 1,600 nits peak brightness. The display also features Apple's "ProMotion" technology, which is capable of...