Discussion Apple Silicon M series thread

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igor_kavinski

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Jul 27, 2020
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But does making it more modular add that much to the weight? It's not like the connectors are made of lead (I sure hope!).
The thick mini-LED display may have considerable weight. Plus, the M1 Max with all CPU/GPU cores working full tilt likely requires a heftier cooling solution since the high powered mode is only available in MBP16.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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The thick mini-LED display may have considerable weight. Plus, the M1 Max with all CPU/GPU cores working full tilt likely requires a heftier cooling solution since the high powered mode is only available in MBP16.
Plus it’s bigger and thicker, with larger volume with more venting to improve airflow, and with modular ports held on by beefy metal connectors.

—-

Ok, so it’s official, M1 Pro 8-core (6+2) gets >10000 in Geekbench 5 CPU multi-core.


M1 Pro/Max 10-core stops just short of 13000, so the CPU performance improvement over 8-core is approx. 28-29%.
 

moinmoin

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Jun 1, 2017
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The thick mini-LED display may have considerable weight. Plus, the M1 Max with all CPU/GPU cores working full tilt likely requires a heftier cooling solution since the high powered mode is only available in MBP16.
Plus it’s bigger and thicker, with larger volume with more venting to improve airflow, and with modular ports held on by beefy metal connectors.
To be honest, you all are selling me more and more on the M1 Air and I think it's really unfortunate that M1 Pro is not available in a less heavy package.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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To be honest, you all are selling me more and more on the M1 Air and I think it's really unfortunate that M1 Pro is not available in a less heavy package.
Tell me about it. However, given that my laptop is a 2.03 lb MacBook, even the MacBook Air seems chunky for my tastes, at 2.8 lbs (38% heavier) and a bigger footprint. And of course, the 14" MacBook Pro is even chunkier at 3.5 lbs (a whopping 72% heavier than my MacBook).

(Edited to correct 14" MBP weight.)
 
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insertcarehere

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Jan 17, 2013
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To be honest, you all are selling me more and more on the M1 Air and I think it's really unfortunate that M1 Pro is not available in a less heavy package.
Given the M1 Air is itself already a very capable computer in its own right, perhaps more potential customers should be realistic about what they really need instead of splashing $2k+ for huge performance in the Pros that will never be used.
 

igor_kavinski

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Jul 27, 2020
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MacOS Monterey's low power mode got me curious how long the battery will last but sadly couldn't find anything. I found this, though:

The Macbook Air M1 is a BEAST : apple (reddit.com)

Interesting anecdote about the battery life here: Tom’s Guide Awards 2021: The best breakthroughs, brands and products of the year | Tom's Guide (tomsguide.com)

“When we saw that first system and then you sat there and played with it for a few hours and the battery didn't move, we thought ‘Oh man, that's a bug, the battery indicator is broken,’” said Bob Borchers, VP of worldwide product marketing for Apple. “And then Tim's laughing in the background, ‘Nope, that's the way it's supposed to be’ and it was pretty phenomenal.”
Also, regarding gaming on the M1:
As rumors swirl around a future M1X chip for the MacBook Pro 2021 and a possible M2 chip for the 2022 MacBook Air, Apple sees big things ahead for Apple Silicon, both in terms of achieving new designs and perhaps appealing to the most demanding audience of all — gamers. After all, many of the engineers building Apple’s chips are gamers themselves.

“Of course, you can imagine the pride of some of the GPU folks and imagining, ‘Hey, wouldn't it be great if it hits a broader set of those really intense gamers,’” said Milet. “It's a natural place for us to be looking, to be working closely with our Metal team and our Developer team. We love the challenge.”
That means this is something they are actively working on but not yet ready for primetime.
 

beginner99

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Jun 2, 2009
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There is no question of "if AMD can make a comparable" APU/SOC to what Apple has with the M1 pro and max. The question is, "are enough laptop makers interested enough to purchase sufficient quantities of them to make the project make financial sense?"
Exactly so much this. And AMD with it's semi-custom will surley make such a chip for say Asus or HP or dell if they ask for it. But as I wrote previously the market for >$2000 PC laptops is probably tiny.

4K ProRes RAW to ProRes 422 export:
67 seconds on M1 Pro 8-core
107 seconds on Mac Pro 12-core W-3235 + Afterburner card
165 seconds on Mac Pro 12-core W-3235, no Afterburner card
600 seconds* on 13" Intel MBP

*Reviewer gave up on the Intel MBP half way through after 5 minutes, so he estimated the encode at about 10 minutes.
Yeah well obviously the only chip with a dedicated transcoder will be faster and more power efficient. What a great surprise! /s
 
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Doug S

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Given the M1 Air is itself already a very capable computer in its own right, perhaps more potential customers should be realistic about what they really need instead of splashing $2k+ for huge performance in the Pros that will never be used.
If I was in the market for a Mac laptop I'd be wishing for a Macbook Air with a larger screen. I've always had laptops with a 17" screen, because I like a lot of real estate, but performance (especially GPU) isn't all that much of a consideration for me, nor is battery life since I hardly ever go more than a few hours without plugging it in. I care more about max memory config since I'd be running Linux on it with a Windows VM or two. I have zero interest in the DTR or gamer bricks, so usually there isn't much choice.

The one I have now is about 4.5 lbs with an i5 and integrated graphics. If I was buying one right now I'd be looking hard at the 16" LG Gram which gives up an inch of screen but halves the weight of what I have, though since I'm not carrying it through airports every week I'd probably not pay the premium to shave off two pounds I definitely would have back in the day.

Now I'm not sure exactly how much market there is for "big screen, super light weight", which LG pretty much has to themselves right now, but a bigger Macbook Air with the same non-Pro M1 (to avoid duplication of the Macbook Pro 16) with a 15 or 16 inch screen would probably be interesting to some people. It would be interesting to see a teardown comparison of the Air and the Gram to see what LG is doing differently to manage being slightly lighter than the Air despite the much larger screen.
 

igor_kavinski

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Jul 27, 2020
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I've always had laptops with a 17" screen, because I like a lot of real estate, but performance (especially GPU) isn't all that much of a consideration for me, nor is battery life since I hardly ever go more than a few hours without plugging it in. I care more about max memory config since I'd be running Linux on it with a Windows VM or two. I have zero interest in the DTR or gamer bricks, so usually there isn't much choice.

If this had DDR5, I would buy it right away coz then I could enjoy 128GB ram, even if it was slower than DDR4.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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Yeah well obviously the only chip with a dedicated transcoder will be faster and more power efficient. What a great surprise! /s
This is exactly what I was commenting on earlier --> People saying "It doesn't count because it's a hardware encoder add-on."

Well, for this target market it makes a ginormous difference. That's why these guys are testing this after all - they use this functionality on a daily basis.

Previously, Apple had to resort to creating a dedicated Afterburner card for Mac Pros in order to get this done on Macs. Not anymore. Now mere mortals without $15000 to spend can do it on a base model 8-core 14" MacBook Pro at 10X the speed of the prior Intel solution it replaces.

The point here is Apple has a specific group of tasks it wants to target, and builds its silicon to accomplish those tasks. This represents a huge shift in the whole Apple Mac hardware paradigm.

I also present you the example of h.265 acceleration. Apple had 10-bit HEVC decode acceleration in its iPhones way back at A9 in 2015. (Even the A8 in 2014 had limited h.265 HEVC hardware encode/decode support.) It didn't get it in the iMac until 2017, because Intel didn't implement it in hardware until Kaby Lake in 2017. So because of this, Apple delayed its rollout on both iOS and macOS until after Kaby Lake Macs appeared.

It is rather embarrassing when an iPhone 6S can play back video files without breaking a sweat that a Core i7-6700K cannot even play cleanly at 100% CPU utilization. I suspect Apple would have wanted Intel to have implemented hardware acceleration in its iGPUs at least 3 years earlier but Apple didn't get much say in the matter.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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This is exactly what I was commenting on earlier --> People saying "It doesn't count because it's a hardware encoder add-on."

Well, for this target market it makes a ginormous difference. That's why these guys are testing this after all - they use this functionality on a daily basis.
It's great until you need an unsupported algo.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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It's great until you need an unsupported algo.
That's just it. Nobody can support everything in hardware.

Apple has its own priorities. Intel has its own priorities. Often they do not match. Now Apple doesn't care what Intel's priorities are, because Apple just rolls its own chips.
 

moinmoin

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Jun 1, 2017
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Well, for this target market it makes a ginormous difference. That's why these guys are testing this after all - they use this functionality on a daily basis.
I'd like to expand on that: People like to point to that target market being small. But that's only the current state. Apple already has a huge audience with its phones, a whole audience that is used to specific features working smoothly on their iPhones thanks to hardware acceleration. With Macs now also being based on the same hardware Apple and other developers will be able to introduce more software that makes use of hardware acceleration, and the iPhones essentially turn into entry drugs for use cases that only work smoothly on Apple Silicon Mac thanks to the same hardware acceleration.

I mentioned universal apps before in the context of games, in this context it is worth repeating: I think apple will push that more and more. The end result will be having the same use cases in the same app one is already familiar with across all possible computer form factors: phone, tablet, laptop, desktop and TV (edit: and in cars? Have no idea about CarPlay).
 

Ranulf

Golden Member
Jul 18, 2001
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The thickness complaints are funny, in light of how often I've seen someone whining about how Apple cares more than about making things thin than it does about usability. So Apple releases a laptop with a 99.9 Wh battery, the largest FAA regulations will permit, and revives missing ports people complained about losing, and then we have people complaining it is too thick?

I guess they could have used a battery half the size and still come out just fine in battery life and decided against the port revival, and been thinner and a lot lighter. Just goes to show that someone is going to be pissed off no matter what you do!
This is what has interested me the most with these chips. That Apple has finally woken up, stopped blaming Intel and their hot 14nm derivatives and actually designed laptops that can cool properly and be perhaps robust and easily repairable, at least somewhat. Maybe if Apple had not been firmly in the cult of Thin above all for even Pro machines (let alone TrashCan Pro workstations) they wouldn't have had the problems they did with Intel or at least offered their loyal customers a good product.

These ARM chips are them finally trying to hold or win back their main customers, the content creators.
 
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Doug S

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This is what has interested me the most with these chips. That Apple has finally woken up, stopped blaming Intel and their hot 14nm derivatives and actually designed laptops that can cool properly and be perhaps robust and easily repairable, at least somewhat. Maybe if Apple had not been firmly in the cult of Thin above all for even Pro machines (let alone TrashCan Pro workstations) they wouldn't have had the problems they did with Intel or at least offered their loyal customers a good product.

These ARM chips are them finally trying to hold or win back their main customers, the content creators.

The Cult of Thin above all was Jony Ive. I subscribe to those who believe that Steve Jobs kept Ive from going overboard, but when Jobs became seriously ill and eventually died there was no one with the power to say "no" to Ive. Hence the introduction of Macs with a single port, the butterfly keyboard, and other things that compromised usefulness at the altar of Thin. And I suppose the compromises that forced as far as ability to easily access the parts within - if you have a dictator telling you you need to shave another 0.5mm of thickness from a laptop that's going to make it harder to do the sorts of things that lead to a higher iFixit repairability score and maybe it becomes necessary to drop a port or two due to less available total volume inside.

The fact that both iPhone and Mac have been getting thicker as a result of improvements in battery life or bringing back enough ports so you don't need a dongle/hub is IMHO a result of Ive leaving Apple to found his own firm. Rumors have it that the iPhone may gain yet a bit more thickness in the next iteration, which along with a periscope lens, will allow them to eliminate the camera bump. Likewise we see the Mac dropping the "wedge" shape that played a similar game of "thinner in part of it fools the eye into thinking all of it is thinner".

Hopefully there are enough Ive devotees left on Apple's design team won't let the pendulum swing too far in the other direction.
 

DRC_40

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Sep 25, 2012
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I know the site is coding/gaming/performance centric but an area I haven’t seen mentioned here is the music industry. From the performance bench’s and the few reviews of Logic these new Macs are a game changer for many. Running 200 tracks of audio with effects and no crashes or fan/heat issues is mind boggling. I’ve never owned an Apple computer but I bit the bullet and ordered one of the new MBP’s. The audio industry is obviously smaller than the gaming industry (computer wise) but it’s no slouch as it relates to overall size. There’s a huge amount of commercial music being created outside of big production studios these days. Many on the audio front are going to try these Macs regardless of price. In the big scheme of things the cost of your studio PC is minuscule in comparison to what you’ve got invested in gear. If this works out I’ll retire my studio PC‘s forever.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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Well, this is cool.

We knew the HDR 1600 nit display profile on the MBPs is content dependent. That’s fine, but it also follows the content around the screen. If you have one regular website open and one HDR YouTube video open, the regular website is displayed as a normal page with up to 500 nits but the HDR video will go up to 1600 nits. And if you move the video, that 1600 nit profile follows the video around, while everything else on screen remains in the 500 nit profile.

Is this even currently possible on other OSes? Honestly, this impresses me just as much as those monstrously fast chips.
 

TheStu

Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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Well, this is cool.

We knew the HDR 1600 nit display profile on the MBPs is content dependent. That’s fine, but it also follows the content around the screen. If you have one regular website open and one HDR YouTube video open, the regular website is displayed as a normal page with up to 500 nits but the HDR video will go up to 1600 nits. And if you move the video, that 1600 nit profile follows the video around, while everything else on screen remains in the 500 nit profile.

Is this even currently possible on other OSes? Honestly, this impresses me just as much as those monstrously fast chips.
With regard to OS support, I have no idea. But i'm pretty sure it would only be possible on an OLED or mini-LED backlit display. With a standard backlight you can't selectively make some areas normal and other areas super bright.
 

igor_kavinski

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Jul 27, 2020
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Well, this is cool.

We knew the HDR 1600 nit display profile on the MBPs is content dependent. That’s fine, but it also follows the content around the screen. If you have one regular website open and one HDR YouTube video open, the regular website is displayed as a normal page with up to 500 nits but the HDR video will go up to 1600 nits. And if you move the video, that 1600 nit profile follows the video around, while everything else on screen remains in the 500 nit profile.

Is this even currently possible on other OSes? Honestly, this impresses me just as much as those monstrously fast chips.
That's fine in a bright room during the day but 500 nits might be a bit too much for reading in a dim environment like a bedroom. Also, the 1600 nits in the video would only be for the highlights like light sources. The other content in the video shouldn't exceed 500 nits. I hope the guys at Rtings decide to test the display. By the way, the MacOS doesn't do AutoHDR for SDR sources like Windows 11, right?
 

Mopetar

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Jan 31, 2011
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It's great until you need an unsupported algo.
The fast and efficient M1 cores can handle that just as well as anything else on the market in those cases.

Complaining about having a faster option when available is silly. No one admonishes Intel for offer AVX-512 support and that allowing for superior performance in some applications.

If you don't need it the inclusion hurts nothing since those circuits can be power-gated and won't consume extra power or make other performance worse.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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With regard to OS support, I have no idea. But i'm pretty sure it would only be possible on an OLED or mini-LED backlit display. With a standard backlight you can't selectively make some areas normal and other areas super bright.
Yes, AFAIK this would be impossible without mini-LED or OLED. However, I was just wondering if it was possible on other OSes if you had the right hardware.

That's fine in a bright room during the day but 500 nits might be a bit too much for reading in a dim environment like a bedroom. Also, the 1600 nits in the video would only be for the highlights like light sources. The other content in the video shouldn't exceed 500 nits. I hope the guys at Rtings decide to test the display. By the way, the MacOS doesn't do AutoHDR for SDR sources like Windows 11, right?
Those are just the maximum brightness values for those profiles, but you can turn down the brightness of course. And yes, the HDR video's 1600 nits max is just for specular highlights, etc.

Dunno about auto HDR. What is the point of auto HDR though? Seems like a great way to screw up the image.

---

The Verge just put out their review:


Screen Shot 2021-10-29 at 11.54.04 AM.png

Premiere Pro with After Effects does extremely well on M1 Max, and pretty well on M1 Pro.

Screen Shot 2021-10-29 at 11.54.46 AM.png

They said that for Pugetbench, these machines are amongst the best laptops in existence. The scores they found on the Windows side that beat the Macs were all desktops.

Screen Shot 2021-10-29 at 11.58.16 AM.png

Gaming still is bad overall, but it is less bad on the Max than the Pro obviously.

Screen Shot 2021-10-29 at 12.01.32 PM.png

She said the overall feel of editing in Premiere Pro was somewhat similar between the M1 Pro and her usual 27" iMac Core i9-9900K with Radeon Pro 575X, but the M1 Max had a huge advantage in smoothness and overall feel compared to both the M1 Pro and Intel iMac. However, both the M1 Pro and M1 Max had way, way better export times than the Intel iMac.

Screen Shot 2021-10-29 at 12.03.52 PM.png

Obviously, working in ProRes in Final Cut was on another level, and the export times were absurdly short. She said she's an Adobe person, but these performance differences were enough to make her consider the possibility of switching to Final Cut.

Screen Shot 2021-10-29 at 12.04.39 PM.png

However, Adobe is improving their optimizations dramatically too. Compare these two versions of After Effects. The red version just came out. The blue is older. However, in After Effects the Mac Pro 16-core with 2 x Vega II still beat the M1 Pro/Max MacBook Pros. OTOH, those MacBook Pros were awfully close.
 
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DrMrLordX

Lifer
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The fast and efficient M1 cores can handle that just as well as anything else on the market in those cases.
Not nearly as well as can dedicated hardware.

No one admonishes Intel for offer AVX-512 support and that allowing for superior performance in some applications.
Yes they do. They have many times, on these forums.
 

Mopetar

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Jan 31, 2011
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The only complaints I've seen are that it uses a lot of power, but no one considers the power per watt when using AVX-512 which is what's missing from that analysis. But people seem to not even point that out and instead engage in faulty arguments about power itself.

And you can't have dedicated hardware for every single possible use case. Pick the important ones and go with what you can. It's still good when you have a better alternative than relying on the general purpose CPU cores for everything.
 

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