The new MacBook Pro - But more importantly, the new M1 chips | PCSPECIALIST

The new MacBook Pro - But more importantly, the new M1 chips

SpyderTracks

Bingo Bango Orchestrator
Moderator
So for those that missed it, forget this is apple for a second, put aside the prejudice THAT WE ALL HAVE due to the pretty troubling history for Apple with regards to desktops and laptops.

Love em or hate them, they've just announced the new M1 Pro and M1 Max powered MacBook Pro. Personally I think FINALLY, they've actually listened to the pro market and rolled back design on the keyboard, ports, headphone jack and magsafe charger to make it far more realistic for the pro market. For me the most significant update which I can't believe hasn't happened before was adding a headphone amplifier so it can actually drive studio headphones without requiring a dedicated amp like the Dragonfly's.

Now, obviously as with anything, there are currently no 3rd party reviews or benchmarks until next week, and no official performance metrics so we have to take everything with a pinch of salt.

BUT, given how performant the first M1 chip was from the Mac Mini to the 13" MacBook Pro, it really did shake up the industry with the M1 being able to keep up with the 10900k on sustained performance loads due to zero thermal throttling while using under half the power. That was pretty seriously impressive for a very first attempt.


And now we have the M1 Pro and the M1 Max system on chips.

These are beasty bad boys, purely focussing currently on the laptop market although we're very likely to see both of these in an upcoming Mac Mini Pro


Apple M1 Pro chip (up to)

10-core Big/Little configuration CPU with 8 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores

16-core GPU

16-core Neural Engine

200GB/s memory bandwidth

M1PRO.jpg




Apple M1 Max chip

10-core Big/Little configuration CPU with 8 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores

32-core GPU

16-core Neural Engine

400GB/s memory bandwidth

M1MAX_575px.jpg


And then just a little graphic to show the physical size of the different chips:

Apple_Unleashed_00033.jpeg


I have no doubt that these are going to put serious pressure on any power laptop, perhaps not including DTR's with say a 5900x in it.

These are starting to show how scalable M1 is at it's core design, the efficiency of the overall cores means that it's entirely feasible to stack these cores vertically without any substantial performance loss or more importantly, thermal issues.

The news on the hill is that they are going to be announcing a 40 CPU Core Mac Pro CPU along with dedicated graphics (AMD), which will be their first desktop attempt on the M1 architecture.

I'm posting two announcement reviews, one from an avid Linux user, and one from an Apple FanBoy:


 
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TonyCarter

Super Star
Just waiting for the M1 Pro or M1 Max to be available in my preferred iMac 27” or Mac Mini chassis and I’ll be ordering one.

My current home iMac is 8 years old and it’s starting to feel it’s age in transcoding and photo AI effects.
 

SpyderTracks

Bingo Bango Orchestrator
Moderator
Just waiting for the M1 Pro or M1 Max to be available in my preferred iMac 27” or Mac Mini chassis and I’ll be ordering one.

My current home iMac is 8 years old and it’s starting to feel it’s age in transcoding and photo AI effects.
Yeah, totally get it. I'm still running a 2013 MacBook Pro, but only for audio stuff on Logic Pro X, with Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate, and some Output plugins. It's 8Gb RAM which is really the only limitation for the kind of stuff I do. The processor is slow now, but still works fine, but RAM is definitely a bottleneck.

But I'd really like to check out the full M1 MacOS as well as the new hardware. All my studio software is now fully compatible. Aside from the M1 Silicon performance, you also get increased performance from native MacOS optimisation. And that will likely improve as well with further updates down the line.

For my uses an M1 Mac Mini would probably "do"..... but I'm definitely gonna wait for the M1 Pro Mac Mini, hopefully to be released early next year.

What software suites do you use?
 

dani72

Silver Level Poster
I usually hate Apple but damn those MacBook's look sick. If the claims by Apple are to be believed the M1 chips are beastly.

 

SpyderTracks

Bingo Bango Orchestrator
Moderator
I usually hate Apple but damn those MacBook's look sick. If the claims by Apple are to be believed the M1 chips are beastly.

I have no doubt these will be monstrous performers, but it all comes down to Thermal capabilities of the chassis as to weather the chip can reach its expected ceiling.

I'm ever hopeful, after the success of the M1 and the pressure this is putting on Intel and AMD to keep pushing boundaries, its really great for the consumer. The next few years are going to be an ongoing battle, but I do think Arm cores will be the front runners before long, just simply because of how efficient they are.
 

TonyCarter

Super Star
Yeah, totally get it. I'm still running a 2013 MacBook Pro, but only for audio stuff on Logic Pro X, with Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate, and some Output plugins. It's 8Gb RAM which is really the only limitation for the kind of stuff I do. The processor is slow now, but still works fine, but RAM is definitely a bottleneck.

But I'd really like to check out the full M1 MacOS as well as the new hardware. All my studio software is now fully compatible. Aside from the M1 Silicon performance, you also get increased performance from native MacOS optimisation. And that will likely improve as well with further updates down the line.

For my uses an M1 Mac Mini would probably "do"..... but I'm definitely gonna wait for the M1 Pro Mac Mini, hopefully to be released early next year.

What software suites do you use?
I'm just running the odd thing through Compressor or Squeeze (some quick bits in Handbrake too) or some multi-layer effects in Photoshop or Illustrator, or 1000 page files in InDesign/Quark Express.
 

TonyCarter

Super Star
I apologise in advance for what I’m about to say, please forgive me…

But can it run Crysis?














Sorry, I absolutely knew what I was doing and I’ll accept a month long forum ban for my actions.
It'll probably run Crysis Remastered, whilst in a Rosetta-2 transcoded Win10 VM, faster than my 5800/3080, whilst using 30% of the power :cautious:
 

RichLan564

Enthusiast
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dtang_ie

Bronze Level Poster
I got the 16 inch MBP and it arrived yesterday. It's a solid beast. I also have a Dell XPS17 and I must say the quality of Apple products are just exceptional compared to the Dell. It's a solid machine overall but definitely not for gaming. For that, I have my PCS desktop :)
 

Scott

Behold The Ford Mondeo
Moderator
I don't like the way Apple market their products and fleece the consumers..... but.... I've never argued with their tech. They always bring premium hardware into the mix and get other companies to up their game in the hardware side of things.

Laptops in general have needed a MAJOR shakeup for a long time. I thought it was finally happening with the likes of the Microsoft Surface et all (which did get us some of the way) but this seems to be a bit more sporty in the performance aspect.

I still won't have one, but I like where it's going to lead :D
 

RichLan564

Enthusiast
I got the 16 inch MBP and it arrived yesterday. It's a solid beast. I also have a Dell XPS17 and I must say the quality of Apple products are just exceptional compared to the Dell. It's a solid machine overall but definitely not for gaming. For that, I have my PCS desktop :)
£3299 for the top 16" model and you only get a single 1TB SSD, that's just crazy money!
 

TonyCarter

Super Star
Apple has never been well known for value :p
'Value' is very subjective of course - I'm sure lots of wives/girlfriends would question the value of a £3000 gaming PC with a £1000 GPU for an extra 5fps, or a car that can do 180mph when the limit is 70mph :rolleyes:

It seems no-one on here would buy Apple, so why all the moaning?

Surely you're only being fleeced if you're forced to buy one - and it's not like Apple is holding a gun to anyone's head!
 

Scott

Behold The Ford Mondeo
Moderator
Surely you're only being fleeced if you're forced to buy one - and it's not like Apple is holding a gun to anyone's head!

No.... IMO they're fleeced by being conned into buying them.

Ask any kidz .... the iPhone is where it's at. My daughter moannneedd at me for ages for one so I got her one (2nd hand, I wasn't paying those prices). After the novelty wore off she admitted I was right and went back to her Samsung.

It's a fashion statement and people who it makes no difference to are brainwashed into thinking its what they need (Much like with anything, I'm not saying Apple are the big bad in the world here). People just want what they want, often for uneducated reasons (there are exceptions of course).

I'm passionate about PCs & this sort of tech though so I'm always judgemental of companies who fleece. I have the same judgement towards Intel right now and exactly the same message you wrote querying my comment (and others) could be applied to Intel right now as well (along with anyone/anything else).

People will always criticise and defend based on their own viewpoint. From your response I would guess you would be a fan of their tech and likely a customer , as I don't see the same response from you when people criticise the Intel brand for their marketing & sales techniques.
 

SpyderTracks

Bingo Bango Orchestrator
Moderator
I think Macs have their use case, and now with these M1 chips, they excel in that use case. They're definitely overpriced, but this release of the pro laptops is much more centered to the Pro whereas for the last 5 years or so they've been anything but Pro.

But for the workflows that benefit, the Mac does an extremely good job.

Unfortunately, die to them damaging the Pro brand for so long, major headway has been made releasing apps on windowsand Linux so they have far stronger competition now in audio and video that just wasn't there a decade ago.

On Intel though, Mac hasn't been competitive since about 2014.
 
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TonyCarter

Super Star
Without trying to sound too 'foamy at the mouth'

If it wasn't an iPhone the kids were after, then it was a Tamagotchi, or the latest Nintendo hand-held, or a Nokia 3310 to play snake. It's the use of terms like 'fleeced' and 'conned' that raise my heckles...as they both imply dishonesty when it's simply marketing & peer pressure. The marketing is obviously working if parents are willing to buy them such an expensive 'toy'...but it only takes one weak parent to break under the nagging for the rest of the school to realise they also 'need' one - otherwise you'll be accused of damaging your child's mental health or they'll get bullied!

I was the one at school who didn't want the popular choice - so would ask for Adidas, Puma, etc. when everyone else was pestering their parents for Nike just be be one of the sheeple; would ask for the less popular action figures (which ended up being the rare & more valuable ones years later); and would ask to go skiing instead of going on a beach holiday (never did as my parents didn't like skiing and told me to eff-off - but my first proper holiday, on my own, paid for from my wages, was a skiing holiday in Andorra).



Anyway...

I started out programming COBOL on AS400 and XT/AT PCs...and only started using Mac computers (a Mac SE) a couple of years later when I signed on for a design agency...but throughout my working life I have probably worked on Windows PCs as much as Mac...depending on which client (or software) I was working with - so was platform-agnostic due to having to be so.

At the time there was no real alternative to the Mac if you wanted to do graphic design or desktop publishing, and the DOS/Windows clients tended to be for back-end form design or database work were my COBOL skills helped.

My experience in the first 10 or so years doing the job made me an Apple/Mac desktop computer fan - everything seemed easier, simpler, more straightforward.

But I've never been, and am still not, a fan of the rest of their 'lifestyle' products like smart-speakers, headphones, earphones, or laptops (I just can't work on one comfortably without having an external keyboard, mouse, monitor, so what's the point?).

The household has an equal amount of Mac (2 iMac, 1 MacMini) and Windows (AMD gaming PC, 2 x Intel NUC) PCs, 1 iPhone, 2 iPads, 1 Galaxy Tab, 2 Samsung phones, 0 smart speakers, 0 home automation devices, 0 magic door cameras.

I still use both Mac & Windows (using similar software packages), and stay with dual platforms to remain 100% compatible with clients' requirements...and when I'm not forced into a specific platform I will choose simply by preference/ease of use...for example Windows (MS Office, Project Visio, PrimaVera, Illustrator), others on Mac (Quark, InDesign, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro).

Until the M1 Macs were announced, I would simply dual-boot my Intel iMac between MacOS and Windows to service different clients. But when/if I upgrade my 8 year old iMac to Apple Silicon model it's looking unlikely that I'll be able to do so - so my 'gaming PC' will likely become used more and more for client work...which was not the intention.

Prompted by the 'value' argument, I've just checked...the iMac I'm on right now was the top-spec one from 2014 and cost £2500 (27" 5k resolution, 4.0GHz i7-4790K, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, R9 M295X GPU). What else was available in 2014 that gave you a 27" 5k monitor? A 4K Asus monitor at the time was £3000 by itself!
 

Scott

Behold The Ford Mondeo
Moderator
I have absolutely zero doubt that your use case and the cases exemplified by @SpyderTracks warrants their purpose and their value. I think their hardware is fantastic but I still think they do go about things in order to maximise profitability in a harmful nature to the end consumer, at least where their pocket is concerned.

They deliberately design their products and software to monopolise their own eco-system of products. I know this is hardly revolutionary but they take it to an entirely new level and make it very hard for other manufacturers & providers to provide compatible products. Did you see the price of the castor wheels for example? That was not about value at all, it's a fashion statement for the rich........ which is what the advertising from Apple seems to focus around, fashion statements for the various budgets (with exceptions of course, I mean the bulk of the income).

If the people who bought Apple products were the people who got true value from them I don't think there would be any Apple products. It's the marketing to people who don't actually get value from them that wins over so many people, and that's across the board. People aren't forced to buy anything, but that doesn't mean they aren't fleeced by the advertising and deliberate propaganda that sways the decision to do so.

I used Intel as I think it's the perfect example for how swayed this forum consensus is towards AMD right now vs where the view of the public lies (clearly Intel as we are still seeing the majority of green-builds having Team Blue). It's not the chosen brand because of value or because it's at the top of the tree, they are chosen due to reputation and assumption.... along with fear of the unknown (which is a huge contributor).

The one thing I will say with Apple is at least they are delivering a top end product for the heavy cash, Intel aren't..... which has them even lower in my estimation.
 

TonyCarter

Super Star
I agree, and there are consumers (not prosumers or professionals) who just see the biggest, baddest machine and want it...then complain about 'being forced' to pay £20 for a cloth or £400 for wheels, or that it won't play Crysis (at all, never mind on ultra) - when they don't NEED either, nor the pro-level Mac & screen they've spent £13k on in the first place.

I'm as guilty as the next person, but wouldn't dream of splurging on a new MacPro when the iMac of the time was almost as fast for 1/3rd of the price...and was the fastest iMac I could buy at the time as I know I won't be able to upgrade anything internally (well, not easily) and use it for 8-10 years before trading/gifting it and buying the next new thing.

When you can offset the spend with an hourly/daily rate, and the specific machine (be that Windows or Mac PC) for the job helps you get it done faster, then great...otherwise stick to a consumer notebook form-factor at £900 for your social media updates...rather than spending 2-3 times that and wondering where your money went and why you're now living on bread & water.

It's a similar argument for me as to why I have 2 cars...one that is as it left the showroom and used as a reliable daily driver...the other gets new tweaks every year purely for pleasure. The 320D saves me money (in commuting costs) that I use to offset the cost of (for example) my supercharger on the Z4MC.
 
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