Curious about the new MacBook's with the M1 chip

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by AggieMike88, Feb 20, 2021.

  1. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
  2. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    I don’t have one personally, but judging from a friend’s it seems to work as good as or better than Intel MacBooks for general purpose workloads. You’d have to get into something Intel specific such as QSV before most people see a difference.
     
  3. MountainDude

    MountainDude Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I got the MacBook Pro and the Mrs got the Air, both with M1 chips. Best laptops we have owned, by far. The fan has not turned on once in the last month on my Pro, which my previous Pro with Intel chips would do.
     
  4. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    On a a couple photography forums, they have now been well received. They are reportedly much slower for image processing.
    Speculation is this is caused by needing to run inside an emulator. No idea when photography software would be ported for native run.

    Tim


    Sent from my HD1907 using Tapatalk
     
  5. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    They run cool. Native software is fast.

    Commercially the security and other software really isn't available yet.

    Already a mysterious 30,000 confirmed infections of malware specifically targeting them with no idea what the end stage target is yet.

    Emulated software is slow.

    We can't meet security audit requirements on them yet. (Well not without an inordinate amount of scripting and lucky commercial vendor release cycles.)

    And the usual problems of gluing them shut and soldered on components we can replace on most other business class machines. Unrepairable.
     
  6. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’ve had my M1 Mini with 8 MB of RAM for a couple of months now; same chip as the MacBooks, and have only had two issues. The photo editor Acorn doesn’t work on images taken on my phone but Pixelmator Pro works fine. You can connect to your iPad and use it with a pencil to work on images. If you are an artist, this would be cool.

    Firefox will frequently freeze up when waking from sleep, but this Mac is so fast that I can quit, restart, and restore the previous session in seconds.

    I replaced an 8 year old Mini, so the speed improvement is significant. I can run X-Plane at high resolution and it takes seconds to launch rather than minutes. Likewise, Xcode would take 4 minutes to open my project and now takes about 15 seconds. It compiles in seconds instead of multiple minutes as well.

    I don’t have any Microsoft or Adobe programs so I have no idea how well they work, but from what I’ve read they are faster than on Intel.

    My mini has a fan but it has never come on. It is completely silent.

    None of the aviation apps I have are available for the M1. I haven’t tried any apps other than the ones I wrote, but mine look great on a 27” screen-no update on my part needed. If the app developer allows download to Macs the ones you have should work fine.

    The also replaced the laptop butterfly keyboard, which is the main reason I’m getting my wife one when my tax refund comes.
     
  7. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

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    God, that would be reason enough for me. I have been eyeing the costco deal for 599 as a xcode machine and this may nudge me into it
     
  8. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was curious how much faster so I did some tests this morning. (Keep in mind that my Mini is a late 2012 model, 2.3 GHz Quad Core i7 16GB RAM8). Xcode used to run fine on it but over the years they’ve added cruft so it is painful to use now. Opening takes less time than it takes to switch to a new space ~2 seconds. Opening my project with 34 apps, 8564 files, and 70,024 lines, 34 xcdatamodels takes 6 seconds. Build and run a typical game from fresh start 55 seconds—including launching the simulator. Switched to a different phone—16 seconds. Build after changing a line, literally too fast to measure.

    On my old machine, it takes 26 seconds to open Xcode. But now it wants to install components and it as been doing that for the last 5 or so minutes since I started this post. ... still not open and I’m tired of waiting.

    Update:
    Old mini with spinning HD, opened and indexed the project: 8 minutes 19 seconds. Build for iPhone 12 Pro Max: 6 minutes and 25 seconds but unable to boot Simulator (this happens a lot) Finally opened 26 minutes 26 seconds. I don’t have the time to wait to see how long it takes to open on a different phone simulation, but it is longer than 6 minutes
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
  9. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    They're very very fast
     
  10. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    I'm guessing a good portion of that speed difference is due to SATA vs NVME and/or HDD vs SSD. DDR3 vs DDR4 would also account for a minor bump.
     
  11. MarkH

    MarkH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    They are very fast when running native software, and they are very cool from a tech standpoint. (ARM chips in laptops are the future we as consumers deserve)

    I really want to see them succeed, but I would caution anyone against buying one now. Its not because they are bad hardware, or they are poorly made, but Apple has a history of offering limited support after major hardware changes.

    The Intel G4s (the first Intel Mac Laptops), offered mainstream support for half the time that later Intel Macs were supported. When they switched to PowerPC the support for the first generation was even worse.

    I generally dislike Macs, and even I want an M1, but I can't recommend anyone buy the first generation of a Mac Hardware switch knowing that you are talking about a $2000 laptop with a questionable support life.


    Having said that, even after release, what I have seen about them is encouraging. This may be the hardware that brings consumer level ARM chips into the market, I hope it is.
     
  12. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    MacBook Air is $999 and while it doesn’t have a fan and only uses 7 cores, from what I’ve seen and read it’s blazingly fast for almost any use case.
     
  13. MarkH

    MarkH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just to clarify, the $999 Macbook Air is not something I would suggest because the memory cannot be upgraded.

    I wouldn't recommend anyone buy a laptop with soldered on memory with less than 16GB. 8GB of memory can be a limitation running the Chrome web browser today if you don't manage your tabs. Long term, 8GB of RAM may cause the laptop to reach end of useful life before Apple abandons support on it.
     
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  14. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I’ve heard mostly glowing reviews.

    Rene Ritchie is pretty knowledgeable and posts reviews to YouTube. This one should be fairly unbiased and comprehensive:

     
  15. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    The old i7 is also multiple generations of i7 back. People don’t realize “i7” is meaningless now. There’s “i3” Intel tenth Gen that’ll absolutely smoke an i7 of that era.

    Yay marketing.

    Crippling that test with a spinning rust storage device on a non-PCI ancient SATA connection is also pretty mean.

    Even when Apple used/uses Intel processors in their version of modern boards they use the crippled low power consumption variety and they never protect them properly from thermal throttling.

    They purposefully did that for a couple of years in prep to make their silicon look better within their product lineup.

    Overheat the processor, yeah... it doesn’t do so well.

    Just their standard MO. Not really picking on it too hard, but they know their fans (ironic choice of word? Ha) won’t pay any attention to detail.

    I think they actually did a decent job on the new chip. But they hedged their bets hard and crippled the Intel chips with low fan speeds for a few years too.

    Be interesting to see your comparison on modern boards with Intel tenth gen and proper cooling. Probably get identical gains at the cost of a few more electrons inconvenienced and turned into heat. Heh.

    I’ve got an 8 or 9th Gen i5 here that absolutely smokes the Mac mini i7 of similar vintage to yours even with a Samsung SSD in the mini. And I can’t believe you didn’t swap that already! Spinning rust in 2.5” is nearly beyond tolerable now.

    We dumped all of them three years ago at work. We won’t even buy spinning rust for anything other than bulk NAS or SAN storage.
     
  16. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That’s why I was careful to say that I’m not comparing the M1 chip to what’s on the market now. I used to upgrade every year but since probably 2000 I don’t need to. I only upgrade when Xcode stops working and Apple stops upgrading the OS. My black MacBook Core Duo was purchased in 2006 and still runs my customer database and accounting programs. I upgraded in 2012 because Apple stopped updating the OS and I needed Xcode to run. Same thing now; Apple stopped updating the OS on my 2012 Mini and Xcode is really slow. At some point I need to update some of my apps to run on the bigger phones that Apple introduced in the Fall, so I upgraded. I’ll probably get another 6-8 years out of this one.

    I’m willing to be that for 90%+ of use cases 8MB or RAM is fine. I’ve seen videos where they have hundreds of tracks in Logic Pro and others have stressed Final Cut Pro the same way with no slowdown—fans don’t even turn on. So RAM doesn't appear to be a factor like it is with Intel chips.

    If you do lots of video rendering or use high-end programs that I don’t know anything about extra RAM would probably help, but for me it doesn’t make any difference.
     
  17. JGoodish

    JGoodish Cleared for Takeoff

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    Apple tends to support their hardware far better than other manufacturers these days, and ARM-based Macs are the future for them. I bought a MacBook Pro 16 a year ago, and while it is a fine machine, the Intel i7 (9th Gen) and the GPU cause the fans to spin (and the battery to drain more rapidly) with only fairly light workloads.

    From what I’ve seen, most major commercial software is or soon will be M1-native. Notably, this includes Microsoft Office and Adobe CS.

    One potential negative of the ARM-based Macs: They can’t run Intel versions of Windows or other Intel-based operating systems. From what I recall, someone did get the ARM-based version of Windows to run in a VM, but I don’t think that Microsoft has yet sanctioned that type of deployment. I do occasionally run a licensed copy of Windows 10 in a VM on my (Intel) Mac, but only for testing and the occasional Windows-only application.
     
  18. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    I wouldn't entirely blame Apple. AMD Ryzen is built on a 7nm process while Apple M1 is built on a 5nm process. Meanwhile Intel Ice Lake is 10nm and Rocket Lake (which isn't even out yet!) is 14nm(!!?!). And pay attention to the name "Lake". That means it's still using the same ancient pipeline architecture that was introduced 6 years ago in Sky Lake. And Sky Lake was also built on a 14nm process, which means that the only difference between back then and next year are a couple tweaks and shuffling around the number of cores/threads.

    "We have a process problem so let's just pack more cores/threads into that chip to stay competive. Who cares if it overheats as long as we can get a good 'bench number." You rag on Apple for hitting the thermal throttling limit but Intel shares a lot of the blame for making the limit easier to hit each year they don't fix their foundries.

    "Spinning rust is bad. A lot of spinning rust is good." Haha. Funny but true.
     
  19. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    I rag on them because there’s a multitude of manufacturers using those Intel processors just fine without thermal throttling them. Apple definitely did it on purpose. They know what the watt rating is and what they need to dissipate and most of it is their locked down fan profile that refuses to make noise. Literally everybody else has adjustable profiles. Definitely Apple’s fault.
     
  20. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    ROFLMAO. The company that can’t even do on site no data removed repairs? They also offer zero data recovery options.

    That’s not support. LOL. They’re literally the main focus of the entire right to repair movement as the worst in tech. They also abuse the Customs system as their private repair parts interceptors. Hahaha.

    Dying laughing here. What an amazing thing people believe that crap.

    As far as OS support no other OS cuts old hardware off any earlier than they do. Even Win 7 in the embedded version is still supported by big M. Linux just barely started cutting off 32 bit processors in mainline distros.

    Where do these weird Apple imaginary things get started? Even they don’t claim such silliness and it’s not just you, I see it everywhere. I’m honestly baffled by it. Haha. No biggie. Just funny.
     
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  21. JGoodish

    JGoodish Cleared for Takeoff

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    What other consumer company does onsite repairs and data recovery? The enterprise customer is not Apple’s target customer, but Apple does have enterprise support agreements which will get you advance-replacement systems. As far as I know, that is a support model similar to other companies. As for data recovery, if you’re not doing backups (especially with company assets) either the data must not be that critical, or your company needs new IT leadership.


    Apple provides OS support for hardware well beyond the typical hardware lifecycle, which would generously be 5 years, but I have a 2013 MacBook Pro which is fully supported by (and runs just fine) the latest version of macOS. Eight years is pretty darn good in my book, especially when you consider that Apple releases a new major OS version about once per year, and they continue to provide security updates for a few years for prior releases.
     
  22. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    I have a 14 year old iMac that isn’t supported on the current OS but the OS it runs still gets security updates. I consider that adequate.
     
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  23. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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  24. MountainDude

    MountainDude Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Photoshop runs at least as fast on the M1 as it did on Intels for my 12 MP and 20 MP photos (I load 100s of them at once).
     
  25. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Dell, Lenovo, HP, Acer... should I go on? LOL. Are you serious?

    Yes, we know that’s their excuse for being at least a decade behind in adding proper controls to their OS. This is control stuff NT had and it was late to the game, commercial Unix had it half a decade earlier.

    (They tried and failed miserably with OSX Server, using standard open source tools lots and lots of other places managed to get working. Ha. Couldn’t even build working LDAP support into BSD and support it? Laughably bad. Truly. I’ve seen home grown LDAP setups that handled thousands of systems easily. Like in its sleep. All AD started as was LDAP with benefits. LOL. This is late 90s stuff. They’re 30 years behind, really at this point. I mean, we had to pay Sun for the LDAP server back then but it was cheap. Every Unix had security modules and eventually PAM which worked with it flawlessly. How apple can take a Unix derivative and not know how to configure PAM properly is comical really.

    Nope. It’s not. I can easily buy multiple more options from literally anybody else.

    But like I said its truly hilarious people think so. I guess y’all don’t notice these options even for home machines on all their websites? It’s literally there at checkout. Hahaha.

    (In your case it sounds like you haven’t purchased any other hardware in a decade or more so it’d be easy to miss in that case. Check it out. Standard offerings for a very long time now everywhere else.)

    No other vendor makes us drive corporate machines to a retail outlet. They show up and repair on site. For very little money too. This part always cracks me up. Mac user says their machine is dead we asked em if they want to drive over or us? If it was a PC we’d send the tech over to them. Even cooler they’ll dispatch throughout the entire city during the pandemic. Total cost per machine amortized over three years? $12 on our contract. Max. Including the “data never leaves our control” drive replacements to meet security standards all the customers want these days.

    Not the point. Backups are not infallible.

    Apple actively works against professionals who offer such services and offer none of their own in return. At worst everyone else is neutral.

    As far as backups go, it’s exceedingly rare for companies to back up desktops. That’s what network storage is for. Only home gamers keep data on the machines themselves. Companies wipe machines for all sorts of security and other reasons. Backups are required to be encrypted too. Even local ones. Try enforcing that without expensive third party software on a Mac. LOL. Good luck passing the audit!

    No they don’t. I already gave examples.

    I’m still running MSFT *server* software *NAMED* “2012”. Bwahahaha.

    Are you kidding?

    It’s no better than anybody else. Clearly MSFT is supporting stuff older than 8 years as is Linux. They also release major versions as quickly.

    Not sure what you’re smokin’. Apple stuff is at best average. That’s one of the reasons they had to move to their own silicon honestly. It’s just an Intel PC with a goofed up boot loader running BSD without making their own processors. At least four vendors had passed them up in build quality in the last five years.

    (Examples include the Lenovo Carbon X1 entire series currently at Gen 9 or 10, HP’s thin and light models, nearly all of Dell’s XPS lineup... even Acer had equivalent hardware.)

    There was a time Apple was pushing way out ahead of everyone else but that ended about a decade ago. Mostly under Cook. He’s no visionary.

    Even ARM wasn’t done by Apple first. MSFT did ARM in their Surface lineup years before Apple. But they’re a software company. They screwed the implementation up bad. Be interesting to see if anybody goes back to it. Probably happen. Meanwhile AMD is smoking Intel right off the planet... if only they could do the same volume. That’s always been their biggest problem.

    At least for a little while longer an Intel hackintosh is still the home gamer’s best bang for the buck. Easy to build a machine that smokes any apple hardware including the M1 for the moment. Probably not in two years.

    Always fun to watch. But more fun to see the marketing BS people believe.

    Remember when Sun said the Network was the Computer? And ignored that everyone was running Apache on their hardware? Hahaha. Nice hardware for a short while. Commodity stuff running Linux smoked them pretty quick.

    Won’t be seeing any Apple logos in data centers still. Haha. We definitely know that! It’s consumer grade weak sauce hardware made in the same Foxconn building as the Dell.

    Oh ok. Maybe across the street in the work compound. Hang some more safety nets for the suicidal workers...

    If you haven’t seen a Macnook bend itself into cool arched shapes from the battery problems they all have, you really haven’t lived.

    How big is your fleet of machines and how many are Macs that you manage? Got some good tips on command and control software to meet audit requirements? Pass em along.

    Pretty much all I’ve got is hacky nasty JAMF like most places. Requires easily 4-8x the man hours to deal with than AD/Azure/Intune. Costs more too. And is usually broken at every minor OSX release. Damn near not auditable due to constant breakage.

    Just the reality of Macs. I don’t hate em. I don’t hate any tech. It all pays the same to me if somebody wants to waste my time on them. Whichever one they think they need.

    (Been wasting time on Outlook for an entire career and have never used it other than once when it was mandatory. Total garbage software people are strangely addicted to. Should have s been put down with a shotgun decades ago. And Exchange? Have managed to keep that junk out of the data center my entire career completely. Apple ain’t the only company that makes junk. But they’re waaaaaaaaay behind on the desktop these days.)
     
  26. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    The photo group comment did seem weird. Adobe already optimized for the new chip.

    But if you’re using something else more economical than Adobe subscriptions, it would be slower. For sure.

    Adobe also released a complete ass load of horrid security patches a week or so ago. Lovely crap code they’re quite famous for.

    They’re still the company who claims storing imagery on network drives is “unsupported” and only local storage is officially supported. LOL.

    You’d think with their money they could...

    Nah. Too hard. Haha.
     
  27. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ah, M1-curious.
     
  28. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I have my first Mac laptop. It works fine, though is hopelessly outdated. I can still write stuff on it, and use it on trips as a DVD player. I still own my second laptop. I still has some functionality, though early on the connection to the battery went bad. Has to be plugged in. Other than that it still works fine. My latest laptop is starting to get a bit long in the tooth. I bought it in 2014. I can live with laptops that don't break but instead go obsolete.
     
  29. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

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    I guess I've just been educated on how much Apple support sucks. I had no idea. I've owned a dozen Macs, starting with an SE/30 in 1989, a few iPhones, one iPad, and one Apple watch. I've never needed tech support.

    Good thing they all just keep running, or I guess I would have found out how horrible they are.
     
  30. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    Many years ago I had a Dell laptop. The tech support would come to my house, but their competence was in question. I think they replaced the motherboard at least twice, before they came to the conclusion it was the heat sink causing the problem. Never had any problem with the two MacBook Airs I have owned. The hard drive in my iMac died about 6 years ago and I had to have it replaced, but I am using it today; a mid 2011, so 10 years old. Been thinking of getting a new iMac since I can't update a lot of software now. Wonder if I should wait for the M1, possibly out this year.
     
  31. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Many people are predicting M2 chips being announced at Apple’s developer conference in June with machines available in the Fall. An M1 iMac for mere mortals and an M2 for high-end users is a distinct possibility.
     
  32. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    How about Lightroom Classic. That's going to be my major concern.
     
  33. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    I'm just a mere mortal. :p

    Also, like @flyingron , I use Lightroom Classic. It has had some upgrades that I can't access, since my iMac's OS can't be upgraded any further than High Sierra.
     
  34. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    5 years from now, how will they distinguish their latest laptop chip with the M7 motion coprocessor used in the iPhone 5S?
     
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  35. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Consider yourself lucky. Virtually impossible not to need tech support on the ones that had the class action for the keyboard. Speakers busted, batteries blown up like air bags, display dead on one...

    Running a fleet of em ain’t anything like the comfy life of a personally owned device.

    We were at a 20 percent failure rate around then, but admittedly the fleet was a lot smaller then, too. Ha.

    One also had a flakey Touch Bar but the Dev didn’t care, as long as his fake escape key still worked. Worst design ever.