Mac Overview Updated March 17, 2022


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2,253 'Mac' stories

February 2010 - April 2022


The Mac is Apple’s lineup of computers, and it can be considered the company’s oldest product. The name “Mac” comes from the original Macintosh, which was introduced in 1984 and is also considered the first personal computer for the masses to have a graphical user interface. The first Macintosh hit the stores on January 24, 1984, costing $2,945.

Among all these years, Apple has introduced many different Mac models, ranging from desktops to laptops to professional tower machines. The current lineup consists of the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMac, and Mac Pro. However, there have been other Mac models were discontinued, such as the eMac, MacBook, and iMac Pro.

The history of modern Macs began in 1998, a year after Steve Jobs returned to Apple. Apple had dozens of Macintosh computers at that time, but Steve decided to rethink the entire lineup. In 1998, Apple announced the iMac G3, which ditched the floppy disk and serial ports in favor of USB connectors.

Macintosh and iMac G3.

Unlike the Macintosh, the first iMac was considered a huge success — not only for its technology, but also for its unique design with colorful translucent plastic. Apple quickly expanded the Mac lineup with other models, which included the iBook and PowerBook (which became the MacBook and MacBook Pro) and the PowerMac, which is now the Mac Pro.


What makes a Mac the Mac is the macOS operating system, which has also had a long history since the introduction of the first Macintosh. Initially called Mac OS, the operating system was rebuilt when Steve Jobs returned to Apple.

The first version of Mac OS X was released on March 24, 2001 with a new interface that is still present in some ways in current versions of macOS. Apple’s desktop operating system comes with many free applications such as Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie, and GarageBand.

With macOS, users also have access to deep integrations with other Apple devices. For instance, you can answer calls and send SMS from your iPhone using your Mac. Handoff lets you switch from one device to the other and pick up where you left off. Apple Watch users can unlock their computer without entering a password, and you can even copy and paste between devices.

How to install macOS Monterey beta walkthrough

Apple’s desktop operating system is also integrated with services offered by the company, such as iCloud, Apple Music, and Apple TV+.

The current version of macOS is macOS Monterey (version 12), which features Focus mode for notifications, Portrait mode in FaceTime, Live Text, iCloud+, SharePlay, redesigned Safari, and more. Other new features include the Shortcuts app for the first time on macOS, AirPlay to Mac, on-device dictation, and Spatial Audio for AirPods users.

Architecture Transitions

The Mac has had three major architecture transitions in its history. Apple’s first computers ran on Motorola processors, but the company decided to migrate to the new PowerPC platform in 1994. While this brought benefits at the time, the PowerPC processors were not delivering what Apple expected.

It was in 2005 that Apple confirmed the transition from PowerPC to Intel. Intel processors had become faster and more efficient than PowerPC, which enabled the development of new Mac computers that were more powerful and also more compact. Developers have been given access to a Developer Transition Kit running Mac OS X Tiger with Intel Pentium 4 to update their apps before the transition begins.

Power PC, Mac OS X, and Intel processor.

Apple said that the transition would begin in June 2006 and be finished by the end of 2007. However, the transition to Intel was fully completed in August 2006 when the company replaced the PowerMac with the new Intel Mac Pro.

As the years went by, Apple once again felt the need to have more powerful and efficient processors for its computers. This time, the company was already working on its own chips for the iPhone and iPad. In June 2020, Apple confirmed that it was changing the architecture of the Mac, now from Intel to ARM chips, which are called Apple Silicon.

Apple offered a Mac mini DTK running on the same A12Z Bionic chip as the 2020 iPad Pro. This way developers could once again update their apps ahead of the transition. In addition to being more powerful and energy efficient, the ARM architecture of Apple Silicon chips has enabled Macs to run iOS apps for the first time.

The first Apple Silicon Macs were released in November 2020 with the M1 chip, and Apple says the transition should be completed by 2022.

In October 2021, Apple introduced the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, which deliver even more performance than M1. The new M1 Pro chip features a 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, and can be configured with up to 32GB of RAM. The M1 Max chip has a 32-core GPU and can be configured with up to 64GB RAM.

To complete the M1 family, Apple announced in March 2022 the new M1 Ultra chip. It combines two M1 Max chips working together as one, featuring a 20-core CPU and up to 64 GPU cores.

Current Mac lineup

Apple currently sells a variety of Mac computers, which includes MacBooks, Mac mini, iMac, and Mac Pro. While some of the Macs have already been updated with an Apple Silicon chip, others remain with Intel processors.

MacBook Air

The MacBook Air is Apple’s most affordable laptop and it has become popular for its light, compact design. It’s powered by the M1 chip and is offered with 8GB or 16GB of RAM, plus it has a 13-inch Retina display and Touch ID.

Unlike the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air has a Magic Keyboard with function keys and no Touch Bar. The laptop has only two Thunderbolt 3 compatible USB-C ports and a headphone jack. Prices start at $999 in the US. It’s offered in silver, space gray, and gold.

M1 MacBook Air.

Apple introduced the latest generation of the MacBook Air in November 2020 and there are no rumors of a significant upgrade coming in 2021. It’s worth mentioning that the laptop has no fans due to the high efficiency of the M1 chip, which also delivers incredible performance when compared to the previous MacBook Air with Intel processor.

MacBook Pro

There are currently three different versions of the MacBook Pro, which are the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the 14-inch MacBook Pro, and the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 is only available with 8GB or 16GB RAM. It still features the Touch Bar and has only two USB-C/Thunderbolt ports, in addition to the headphone jack. The Retina LCD display supports wide color gamut (DCI-P3) and up to 500 nits brightness. Available in silver and space gray, prices start at $1299.

M1 MacBook Pro.

There’s also the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro with the new M1 Pro chip. Both models feature new edge-to-edge Mini-LED display that also supports ProMotion for refresh rate up to 120Hz. The Touch Bar has been replaced by the classic function keys on these models.

The new 2021 MacBook Pro features an all-new design that is thicker, but comes with more ports. There are three USB-C/Thunderbolt ports, HDMI port, SD card slot, MagSafe, and the headphone jack. Customers can upgrade both models with the M1 Max chip for more powerful graphics.

Interestingly, these are the first Macs to have a notch on the screen, although they don’t have a TrueDepth camera with Face ID. Still, the new sensor records video in 1080p.

Prices start at $1999 for the 14-inch version and $2499 for the 16-inch version, and they come in silver and space gray.

Mac mini

Mac mini is the cheapest Mac currently available since it’s basically a desktop without a built-in display or other peripherals. The current generation was introduced in November last year with the M1 chip and a starting price of $699 in the US.

It features one Ethernet port, two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, HDMI 2.0, two USB-A ports, and a headphone jack. Thanks to the HDMI 2.0 port, Mac mini is the only M1 Mac that supports multiple external displays. It’s also the only M1 Mac with regular USB-A ports.

M1 Mac mini.

The M1 version is offered with 8GB or 16GB RAM, but Apple still offers an Intel version that can be configured with up to 64GB RAM. The M1 Mac mini is only available in silver, while the Intel model is only available in space gray. Apple is expected to update Mac mini with a new Apple Silicon chip and a refreshed design in 2022.

Mac Studio

Mac Studio represents a new category between Mac mini and Mac Pro. It features a design based on the Mac mini, but with a taller body to support the more powerful hardware and also a better cooling system.

By default, Mac Studio already comes with the M1 Max chip, the same one found in the high-end models of the 2021 MacBook Pro. A more expensive option lets users customize Mac Studio with M1 Ultra. The machine offers up to six Thunderbolt ports, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, headphone jack, two USB-A ports, and one HDMI port.

Mac Studio specs

In the US, prices for the Mac Studio with M1 Max chip start at $1999. The M1 Ultra chip version starts at $3999.


iMac is Apple’s most popular desktop computer with an all-in-one construction. It features a 4.5K display in its 24-inch version and a 5K display in the 27-inch version. At the same time, Apple still sells an entry-level iMac with a regular 1080p display.

The 24-inch iMac is the first to feature the M1 chip, the same as in the Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. This allowed Apple to introduce a completely redesigned model with a slimmer design, which is also offered in seven new colors. Customers can customize the new 24-inch iMac with up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of storage.

The company ships the 24-inch iMac with Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard, plus a Lightning cable for recharging accessories. Prices in the US start at $1299. Apple has discontinued its old 21.5-inch iMac and the 27-inch iMac 5K.

Mac Pro

Mac Pro is a computer built for professional users who depend on extremely powerful hardware. Available in tower and rack versions, it has a completely modular design. That means users can replace RAM, SSD, GPU, and other internal components.

By default, it features four USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, and two 10Gb Ethernet ports. However, the ports can be expanded using the PCI Express slots. Apple also ships the computer with a Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard, but it does not come with an external monitor included.

All models feature Intel Xeon W processors, which are the most powerful processors offered by Intel. Consumers can configure Mac Pro with up to 28-core processor, 1.5TB RAM, and 8TB of SSD storage. In addition to supporting multiple dedicated GPUs, Apple also offers the Afterburner card — which accelerates the decoding of ProRes videos.

The company recently updated the Mac Pro with new graphics card modules, which include Radeon Pro W6800X and Radeon Pro W6900X.

2019 Mac Pro.

Mac Pro prices start at $5999 in the US. Apple has confirmed that it has been working on a new Mac Pro with an Apple Silicon chip, but there are no details on when it will be announced.

Rumors about upcoming Macs

Top stories about the Mac

Mac Stories Yesterday

With an enormous amount of apps on the App Store, it’s sometimes hard to decide which ones are worth downloading. I’ve been a college student off-and-on for some time now, and I’ve come to realize that certain apps can really make your life easier. 

As a current graduate student, here are the top free apps I use the most for school. Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who uses a mixture of both Apple and non-Apple devices.

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Mac Stories April 18

Pro users of M1 Macs have reported disappointing transfer speeds with external SSDs, and tests appear to show that most M1 Mac Thunderbolt ports don’t support USB 3.1 Gen 2 – which means they don’t offer the maximum 10Gb/s transfer speeds that would be expected from Thunderbolt 4.

The tests were conducted on a 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro M1 Max, and a 2022 Mac Studio M1 Max …

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Mac Stories April 16

With the two-year transition completed from Intel to its own silicon, Apple just unveiled all the M1 family chips to its main Macs. With that, the company is now readying the next wave of computers with the second generation of its processors.

In a new story from the Wall Street Journal, the publication writes a profile of Apple’s Johnny Srouji, a former Intel engineer and IBM executive that led Apple’s semiconductor division to ditch Intel for its own silicon.

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Mac Stories April 14

Almost two years after Apple introduced the first Macs with its own silicon, the company is now preparing to introduce the next generation Apple Silicon chip for its machines. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is currently testing third-party apps with at least nine new Mac models running with an M2 chip.

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Satechi is out today with a new accessory to keep your Mac, iPad, or iPhone organized and easily accessible on your desk. The new Dual Vertical Laptop Stand supports two devices securely with a sleek and simple design.

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Mac Stories April 13

The latest lockdown in China is already impacting some Apple products, such as the higher-end MacBook Pro, while other devices seem unaffected, which is the case of the third-generation iPhone SE, highlighting a lackluster demand from its customers.

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Mac Stories April 12

The latest COVID-19 lockdown measures in China have seen Apple production halted at three key Chinese suppliers. One of these in particular could significantly hit iPhone availability.

Assembly of iPhones, iPads, and Macs has been suspended in the electronics production hubs of Shanghai and Kushan …

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Mac Stories April 11

The pandemic and working from home heated up the PC market over these past two years. Now, a new report by IDC shows the global shipments of traditional PCs declined 5.1% in the first quarter of 2022. The Mac market, on the other hand, is still growing, as Apple focuses on a strong line of computers with its proprietary silicon.

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Mac Stories April 10

After announcing the new Mac Studio and Studio Display last month, Apple still has a few more Macs to introduce in 2022. According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, in his latest edition of the Power On newsletter, two of them could be introduced at the WWDC 2022 keynote.

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Mac Stories April 8

The story of Apple’s growth from garage startup to multi-trillion dollar business is one that has been told in many different ways by many different people, but still new versions can be found.

Statista has put together the story of the last 20 years of Apple growth in a 40-second hypnotic video, with animated revenue bars showing how the company’s product mix has changed over time …

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Apple chipmaker TSMC has announced record revenues for the first quarter of the year, despite the continued component shortage and COVID lockdowns in China.

The company said that Q1 revenue was 35% higher than the same quarter last year – even though it had faced challenges …

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Mac Stories April 5

Mac emulators for System 7 and Mac OS 8 run on M1 Macs in a web browser

There’s always a surprising amount of interest in Mac emulators for classic Macintosh and vintage Mac machines. For the older ones among us, it’s a nostalgic trip down memory lane, while for younger readers it’s an interesting peek into the history of the machines we use today.

A couple of years ago saw a Mac app to run Mac OS 8 on a virtual Quadra 900, and now there’s another Quadra emulator running entirely in a browser …

Mac Stories April 4

The popularity of live streaming has soared since the beginning of 2020. Everything from video games to music to chess is live online from creators with followings large and small. While Macs are not the traditional streaming computer, it is entirely possible to become a successful live streamer on one of these devices.  

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Mac Stories April 1

USB-C/Thunderbolt display options have really grown over the last couple of years. While Apple’s Pro Display XDR isn’t the best fit for most Mac users at $5,000+, it’s now launched the more affordable Studio Display. And there are also lots of solid choices from LG, Samsung, BenQ, and more. Let’s look at the best USB-C/Thunderbolt displays available in the $400-$1,600 range.

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In February, DSCC analyst Ross Young said Apple was “investigating the idea of foldable notebooks.” Then, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reported that this future product could be a MacBook/iPad hybrid with a touchscreen keyboard.

While this foldable MacBook/iPad is not expected until at least 2025, a new report suggests LG Display could supply the panel for this upcoming device.

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Mac Stories March 31

Today, March 31 is World Backup Day – a good reminder to check in on your device backups. Even with Apple’s high-quality products, it’s important to backup regularly. No device works flawlessly all the time and there are many scenarios outside of device failure when a backup is crucial like upgrading, accidents, bugs, loss, or theft. Let’s look at a variety of ways to backup iPhone, iPad, and Mac with built-in and third-party options, NAS, and more.

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Mac Stories March 29

This gesture trick lets you share photos between iPhone, iPad, and Mac faster than AirDrop

Ever run into the issue where a photo on one Apple device takes a while to sync to the rest with iCloud Photos? Check out this little-known three-finger gesture to share photos instantly between iPhone, iPad, and Mac without having to use AirDrop.

Mac Stories March 26

A report from early this week showed that Apple in the last quarter of 2021 sold more MacBook Pros with miniLED displays than all high-end OLED notebook manufacturers combined. That said, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the company will push harder with this new MacBook.

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Mac Stories March 25

Looking to have more flexibility with your Mac (or PC) external display, create more desk space, or just dial in your setup? A VESA monitor arm is a simple way to do all that with great options from under $50. Read along for a look at the best monitor arms from simple to high-end choices.

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Mac Stories March 23

The Okta hack revealed yesterday, and which dated back to January, may have impacted up 366 clients, says the company’s chief security officer, David Bradbury. Okta hasn’t named any of them, so it’s not known at this stage how many end users may be affected.

We noted yesterday that Okta offers single sign-on services to a huge range of blue-chip clients, with its services running on Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android …

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Mac Stories March 22

Hackers have posted credible screengrabs to back reports of an Okta security breach. Otka provides single sign-on user authentication tools in the enterprise sector, with a huge range of blue-chip clients. Its tools are available for Mac and iOS, as well as Windows and Android.

The hacking group LAPSUS$, known for its ransomware attacks, says that it is targeting Otka users …

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Mac Stories March 20

When Apple released the Mac Studio and the Studio Display during the “Peek Performance” event, the company discontinued the 27-inch Intel iMac. With these two new products available, is there any room for a new 27-inch iMac or iMac Pro? Here’s what we know so far.

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Mac Stories March 17

Apple introduced an all-new Mac category with the Mac Studio landing as the most powerful machine yet with Apple Silicon. And until Mac Pro transitions from Intel, Mac Studio will become the go-to for many creative pros and other power users. However, with more choice comes more to consider and while it looks tempting, Mac Studio could be overkill for many. Let’s dive into Mac Studio vs the rest of the Mac lineup.

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After first being announced at WWDC last June, Universal Control has finally arrived with the release of iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3. Despite delays and some people questioning whether the feature might meet the same fate as AirPower, Universal Control is here and is equally as impressive as its original WWDC demo.

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