Author Topic: Apple Silicon M1 processors  (Read 614 times)

Carlo Didier

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Apple Silicon M1 processors
« on: February 06, 2021, 03:31:02 PM »
As I just spent some time with a friend who is looking for a new laptop, I was forced to look at the MacBooks with the M1 chip, which he is interested in.

First, as far as we could find out, there is probably no way to run iMatch on those (at least not the current version) because Rosetta 2 (which basically translates x86 code instructions for the M1 platform) does not (yet) support AVX.
So, if you are thinking about getting one of those new Macs, keep in mind that you will not be able to run iMatch in any way on them (at least at the moment).

Apart from the fact that it is the first generation of these processors, which means probably a number of issues to iron out, from what I found out, those M1 processors look very interesting.
Personally, if it wasn't too much of a hassle to change from Windows to MacOS (or vice versa ...), these CPUs could make me switch systems ... A MacBook Air with 16GB RAM and 1TB disk could be my one-for-all PC. Powerfull enough for what I do at home (Photoshop and Capture One mostly, both already very fast through Rosetta, with M1 versions in the making) and yet small and lightweight enough to be the ideal travel companion, with lots of battery life.

The most annoying thing on the hardware side is the ridiculously high screen resolution for a 13" display. I definitely can't see any difference between full HD 1920x1080 and the 2560x1600 pixels on a 13" display ... unless I take a loupe  :D. Less resolution would mean even less power needed and even longer battery life.
The second thing is that you can't get a professional display, i.e. one that doesn't function as a mirror too ... I never sit in a black box and I hate seeing myself and what's around me on my display mixed with the real content ...

Still, if it wasn't for iMatch, I'd even go for one right now that my retirement is near and, hopefully, lots of travel ... My heavy 6th generation i7 mid-range gaming laptop is starting to show its age and uses a lot of energy. That was a stupid buy anyway, as I could never get Photoshop or Capture One to really make use of the nVidia GPU ... It's still working fine, but some things are really slow, like stitching panos of 24MPix raw files.

I'd be curious if anyone has one of the M1 Macs and hear his/her experience with it so far.

Mario

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Re: Apple Silicon M1 processors
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2021, 04:15:44 PM »
If you can spend that much money for a Notebook (and pay heavy extra fees on everything, from cables to...) you can get similar performance, weight & form factor, but full Windows and PC compatibility (and IMatch compatibility) from makes like Dell, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft or ASUS. Or, some still very fast and portable hardware for half the price..

The M1 chip breaks compatibility with everything, further entrenching the Apple walled garden.
If that's no issue for you, Apple's M1 hardware is worth a look. But you also buy into the Apple world, keep that in mind.

Carlo Didier

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Re: Apple Silicon M1 processors
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2021, 05:04:53 PM »
If you can spend that much money for a Notebook (and pay heavy extra fees on everything, from cables to...) you can get similar performance, weight & form factor, but full Windows and PC compatibility (and IMatch compatibility) from makes like Dell, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft or ASUS. Or, some still very fast and portable hardware for half the price..

That's what I also always thought, but if you look at the performance you get with a M1 MacBook Air for 1800€ (if you take the 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD version), then you'll be hard pressed to find something with an Intel CPU with comparable performance for less money. You'll have to go for an i9 processor. Then look at the prices for such a laptop and the power it burns. Geez, I never thought I'd say that one day, but this time it really looks like you get more for your buck from Apple.

My 4 year old i7 Laptop also cost 1800€ and I can heat my home office with it and the M1 MacBook Air probably makes it look like an old tractor ...

As I said, I'd like to hear some real life experiences from people who have one of those.

As for the lock-in, well I'm locked in by iMatch  :D  I can't find any alternative, on Windows or Mac, which could replace it for me, considering the functionalities which are most important for me.
But, as long as I could run my main applications on it, I couldn't care less about the OS or the hardware architecture. Switching isn't impossible then, just a hassle.

herman

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Re: Apple Silicon M1 processors
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2021, 05:25:05 PM »
[...]
As for the lock-in, well I'm locked in by iMatch  :D
[...]
Same for me, IMatch is the only reason I am still using Windows machines.
All other software I use either runs on, or has decent alternatives in, the Apple universe.
I use an iPhone and Apple TV already, and the way things integrate seamlessly in the Apple ecosystem is really a pleasure.
Enjoy!

Herman.

sinus

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Re: Apple Silicon M1 processors
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2021, 06:25:58 PM »
I use Windows, because it is still often cheaper then the same in the apple - world.
And, overall, the choices for external things is simply much bigger, because a lot of companies does create stuff, including software, for Windows.
Best wishes from Switzerland! :-)
Markus

Jingo

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Re: Apple Silicon M1 processors
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2021, 06:49:34 PM »
I have both systems and still head 100% into PC land before I ever think of using my apple devices.  For starters, I just cannot get used to the "floaty" apple panels... and things just get "weird" in how they are implemented in iOS...

I do agree with Herman - the seamless integration of apple products is nice.. imessage employs the "..." as someone reads and is responding to your texts, the fact I can use the messenger app on my computer rather than the phone, and interoperability between computer, ipad and iphone.. but if you step out of that ecosystem - then you have issues.

I use an ipad mini daily for reading and love it... I own and use an ipad pro for drawing and music (guitar and piano plugins via phone jack).  But, my android phone and PC offer me complete flexibility.... of course, my real job relies upon PC's rather than apple devices as well so that is another non-starter for me.

Carlo Didier

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Re: Apple Silicon M1 processors
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2021, 07:25:24 PM »
I have both systems and still head 100% into PC land before I ever think of using my apple devices.  For starters, I just cannot get used to the "floaty" apple panels... and things just get "weird" in how they are implemented in iOS...
:D There are weird things in every system. Been using Windows since Win95, privately and professionally.

Had an Apple II clone when I was a student and loved it because it was an open system. You could even repair it yourself! I had added a RAM-disk card and a Z80 card and ran CP/M on it with Turbo Pascal. A friend of mine had an x86 card in his and ran MS DOS!

One weird thing I don't like on MacOS is that the menu for an app is always on the top of your screen, even if other app windows are nearer to the top than the active one ... totally stupid and unlogical IMHO. I mean, why would I have to move my mouse to the upper left corner of my screen to get to the menu of an app which is in the opposite corner???
But there's lots of weird things in Windows too, believe me!  :D

Even if I went for a MacBook Air, I'd still use my MS Office 365 with OneDrive, not iCloud. I would still use Capture One and Photoshop. Same apps, just another OS and hardware ...

And I'll definitely stick with Android on my phone. Mine cost me 149€ and can as much as a current iPhone in the "cheap" version. And I have to recharge it 2-3 times ... per week! I confess that years ago I had an iPhone 4 for two years. I thought I had to try it out. Was happy to return to Android after that. It was waaaayyyy too closed and limited for my taste. Heck, at that time, the iPhone was incapable of handling receipt confirmations for text messages you sent when every 15€ phone could do that!

But others may just like the closed, simplified Apple system, so no judgement here. It just isn't for me.

Jingo

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Re: Apple Silicon M1 processors
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2021, 08:59:14 PM »

Had an Apple II clone when I was a student and loved it because it was an open system. You could even repair it yourself! I had added a RAM-disk card and a Z80 card and ran CP/M on it with Turbo Pascal. A friend of mine had an x86 card in his and ran MS DOS!


ahhh Turbo Pascal.. my favorite, and one of my first, coding languages which I used to code on a commodore 64.. fun times!