M1 Mac First Impressions

bunnspecial

Thread starter
Messages
1,617
Location
US
Another month, another 1% of SSD life down the drain
Screen Shot 2021-04-13 at 12.57.33 PM.jpg


Don't even think about trying do to anything else while you're using Lightroom either. My 9 year old Macbook Pro 9,1 is perfectly happy with Lightroom running all day and me switching between it and other stuff. I can even get by with some slow down but nothing drastic with Lightroom doing something like bulk import and DNG conversion in the background. Forget doing anything else while Lightroom is even open on this computer.

I will be waiting to trade this in when the next generation comes out, and for one with 16gb RAM minimum, hopefully 32gb.
 
Messages
6,700
Location
New England
Everyone harps on 8GB vs 16GB of RAM however I have real world experience with a base model MacBook Pro i5 8GB / 128GB 2017 over 3 years as IT Cloud Architect.

My findings were in could run Parallels (Windows 10/Lotus Notes running), 20-30 tabs of Chrome browser including Google Meet with 10 members, Docker running a suite of two 3 "servers" and was quite usable. Yes the fan screamed on and it was warm but it never really crashed or was particularly slow. My meetings including screen shares went with a hitch.

Ultimately I replaced with a 2020 MacBook Pro 13" with 1TB/16GB and it is a bit faster, the main reason is our move to using Docker Images(portable servers with code packaged into them) which killed my drive space (100MB - 400MB per image). I like the drive space as I have allocated via Boot camp a 2nd Instance of a Mac BigSur with 128GB space for personal stuff.
 
Messages
17,901
Location
Silicon Valley
Another month, another 1% of SSD life down the drain
View attachment 53980

Don't even think about trying do to anything else while you're using Lightroom either. My 9 year old Macbook Pro 9,1 is perfectly happy with Lightroom running all day and me switching between it and other stuff. I can even get by with some slow down but nothing drastic with Lightroom doing something like bulk import and DNG conversion in the background. Forget doing anything else while Lightroom is even open on this computer.

I will be waiting to trade this in when the next generation comes out, and for one with 16gb RAM minimum, hopefully 32gb.

That's a concern. Typically most off the shelf SSD have provisioned so much extra bit error rate / spare that they don't show reduction of life till at least a few years in. I am not sure what Apple did to their own SSD other than they are Anobit based and in theory they are commercial grade capable, and Apple are familiar with every single NAND manufacturer's chips out there and shouldn't make beginner's mistakes in their design.

I hope they come up with some workaround (i.e. a USB-C external SSD for swap memory they provide you free of charge, or reserve 3x the amount of blocks and use them as SLC swap, that will last well into the 100k cycles instead of 5k in TLC) or extended warranty for people who need to replace them early. This is yet another reason I refuse to buy a machine with SSD and DDR soldered.
 
Last edited:

bunnspecial

Thread starter
Messages
1,617
Location
US
That's a concern. Typically most off the shelf SSD have provisioned so much extra bit error rate / spare that they don't show reduction of life till at least a few years in. I am not sure what Apple did to their own SSD other than they are Anobit based and in theory they are commercial grade capable, and Apple are familiar with every single NAND manufacturer's chips out there and shouldn't make beginner's mistakes in their design.

I hope they come up with some workaround (i.e. a USB-C external SSD for swap memory they provide you free of charge, or reserve 3x the amount of blocks and use them as SLC swap, that will last well into the 100k cycles instead of 5k in TLC) or extended warranty for people who need to replace them early. This is yet another reason I refuse to buy a machine with SSD and DDR soldered.

To be honest, I don't know what Apple was thinking on this.

I don't know what the replacement "life" criteria is, but folks using their computers harder than me(i.e. slogging through trying to do other things while Lightroom runs in the background, especially if they have a true base spec system) I could see eating 5% a month. That conceivably gets them to SSD failure within the extended warranty period(Applecare is 3 years).

BTW, I can't run it side by side since I sold it while it still had some value, but up until getting this system my "travel" computer was a 13" 2015 MBP-the last one with Magsafe, USB-A ports, etc. It had 8gb and a dual core CPU-it wasn't until recently that you could even get a quad on a 13" model. It had a blade-type PCIe SSD which Apple didn't officially consider user replaceable, but doing so was common on those models. For a while, you needed an AHCI drive for reliable operation, which pretty much meant using the awful and expensive Newertech ones(and yes, they really truly are awful) or finding a good Apple pull if you wanted to upgrade storage. I upgraded to a 512gb Apple drive, and then later on, when there was a firmware update that supported NVMe booting, put a 1tb Samsung EVO NVMe drive in it that double the read/write speeds of the old AHCI drive.

With all of that rambling, though, the point I'm making is that with the same RAM and storage specs-specfically 8gb/512gb-but also slower in general, fewer CPU cores, and not as tight of integration of the whole package, I didn't notice the swap getting hammered or the system-wide slowdown with Lightroom that I'm seeing on the M1. Yes, it would be "lazy" waking from sleep if I was doing a lot, but otherwise I wouldn't really have one program bogging it.

As an even more extreme case that I'm again pointing out, my MBP 9,1 has a quad i7 that's several generations old now(Ivy Bridge? The "bridge" that added USB 3.0), 16gb DDR SO-DIMMs, and a SATA SSD. It wasn't as snappy feeling overall, but Lightroom didn't seem to phase it.

I know I keep harping on Lightroom, but it's an important program to me, and conceivably a not insignificant portion of people opting for the "MacBook Pro" as opposed to the Air might want to run it. Lightroom isn't an every day, everyone uses it program, but it's also not some obscure "who's ever heard of that" piece of software. It's also been M1 native for a couple of months now(given Adobe's general track record, I'd not be surprised if it was one of the first 3rd party programs to go there, although they did drag their feet on Photoshop), so there's no issue of emulation overhead.
 

bunnspecial

Thread starter
Messages
1,617
Location
US
It's going to be interesting to see what the iPad Pro brings considering that it can be specced similarly to the MBA with virtually the same hardware.

I was really hoping for am M1X/M2 and 14/16" announcement today, even though none of the analysts were predicting that just yet.
 
Messages
859
Location
Under the hood
The iPads Pro have been hindered by their software more than their hardware, so even if they have achieved parity, with the M1 and 8GB RAM, it won't matter much if iPadOS doesn't follow suit.
 
Messages
2,389
Location
Virginia
New M1 chip iMacs are coming, available to order April 30, 2021, delivery starts in second half May 2021...


Pastel colors!
 
Messages
5,168
Location
South Carolina
New M1 chip iMacs are coming, available to order April 30, 2021, delivery starts in second half May 2021...


Pastel colors!
Yes, the IMac lineup defiantly needed a refresh in the "looks" department. I like it of course anything a super successful company does will have detractors and surprisingly I see some in the press already, as I have for the last two decades. To be a detractor means "clicks" on your website or "feature story"
I still like the processor separate from the display, so happy with my Mac mini I5 ... though for fun I wouldn't mine giving that one to my wife at the end of the year and getting the new M1 Mac mini ... again, for fun... she is still windows based but got her first iPhone 11 for xmas and we will see if she wants to leave windows and android like I did in a while.
 

bunnspecial

Thread starter
Messages
1,617
Location
US
It's 1998 again with iMacs!

As a side note/Apple history note-the original iMac G3s had their color(or pattern in the case of the Flower Power/Blue Dalmation) "coded" into the firmware. OS 9 had a "matching" wallpaper for every color, and a fresh install will default to a color/theme to match the case.

There were more sedate ones for the "pro" machines also.

Still, though, these photos-if they actually ship with that wallpaper-are an interesting nod to history. This photo-of one of my Titanium PowerBooks-is the first I found when I went looking through my photos and doesn't show a clean desktop, but the TiBook(and Qucksilver) defaulted to a theme called Platinum, and the current iMacs I feel like are reminiscent of this

Screen Shot 2021-04-24 at 2.19.32 PM.jpg
IMG_1937.jpeg


As a general comment, and I'm sure I'll get flamed for this :rolleyes: , but I'd really hoped for a 32gb option on the next round of ARM Macs. I hope I've shown through this thread why 8gb is a really poor base spec in 2021, and I'm afraid power users will hit a wall in the next few years at 16gb. I hope that the M2 or whatever comes next will allow it to be specced up. I'm saving my pennies now for a 16" M2 hopefully with 32gb. I have my 13" Retina set to the same resolution as my old 15" hi-res screen(1680x1050) but I miss the physical size of the 15" screen. It's funny how I'm so use to the retina screen now that non-Retinas look fuzzy to me.
 
Messages
17,901
Location
Silicon Valley
For the kind of "high bandwidth memory" approach Apple did, it would be kind of hard to put 32GB that close to the CPU. It would have to go with the more traditional external memory approach and slow down, and that won't be nice for what they want to do (small fast nimble machine).

I think CXL memory standard is around the corner, maybe in 2 year Apple will start using it, then you just need to (in theory) swap in a PCIe x16 slot. I'm sure Apple will make a custom version and charge you 4x the price and fans will say it is more advanced than the server grade stuff AWS, Google, and Azure are buying.

I love big screen. 14" is minimum and 15" is better, I've no problem going 17 and actually that is what I got for mom a few years ago. She loves it.
 

bunnspecial

Thread starter
Messages
1,617
Location
US
No new Macs at WWDC yesterday...hoping for an update soon to not only get more RAM but hopefully MagSafe, no touchbar, and all the other goodies promised on the next generation.

Meanwhile, my SSD usage is up to 6%.

Adobe DID release an M1 native version of Lightroom Classic yesterday, so I'm anxious to see if that fixes some of the issues I've been having with it.
 
Messages
11,697
Location
Illinois
To each their own...

Can anyone on here give typical Chrome RAM data? I refuse to install it, so can't offer it. Chrome has the largest market by a huge margin(60-70% depending on how you cook the numbers) and from past experience is as RAM hungry if not moreso than Firefox.

Also, it's worth mentioning that in the screen shot above, I show 1.12gb from Safari. That's with 1 tab open in one window...

A few months late, and I'm probably not the typical user. Seems my Chrome sessions today with a half dozen tabs open chew up close to 1GB of RAM. I have 48GB because I tend to run a couple of VMs that I allocate 8GB of RAM to. I just built (from my son's leftovers) a Ryzen 5 2600 machine with 48GB of RAM to replace an "old" i7 4770. Single threaded about the same speed, but 50% more threads and I can install up to 64GB of RAM on the "old" B350 board.

Memory usage today looks like:

2021-06-09-Memory-Usage.jpg


Only one VM running at the moment...
 

bunnspecial

Thread starter
Messages
1,617
Location
US
Alright, in a little bit of playing around, the M1 native version of Lightroom basically fixes all of my complaints about it and it's more tolerable than before.

Adobe claims that their M1 native apps run 80% faster on an M1 Mac than the Intel version does on a similarly specced Intel Mac. So far, with normal sorting and light editing, I don't see a huge change from my old 2012 MBP, but then those things happened basically instantly on it so that can't really be improved. I was disappointed in emulated version on the M1 since it was agonizingly slow-more so than the dual core/8gb 2015 13" MBP I had(my 2012 kept trucking along for such a long time because it had a quad core CPU and 16gb RAM-newer CPUs had better single thread performance, but a quad w/hyperthreading can still beat a somewhat faster dual core in highly multithreaded tasks such as in Lightroom).

With all of that said, I do see a big improvement doing some of the "heavier lifting" in Lightroom. Perspective correction in particular that involves multiple operations now happens instantly on the M1, where it could take a second or two to crunch on my old 2012. I know in the grand scheme of things, a second isn't a big deal, but when you're often making incremental adjustments, it's a big benefit to see them in "real time" as you move the sliders vs. waiting after changing something.
 
Messages
5,168
Location
South Carolina
Im glad for you that Adobe fixed their software to properly run on the M1 and glad Apple fixed its erroneous reporting of excessive SSD writing.
Looks like you will be able to rest peacefully at night. I understood your concerns but didnt think Apple would have had such a big issue and if they did, down the road there would have been a legal settlement because there is no way to cover something up in such a huge company.
I sort of expected it to be something like this or related to your Lightroom.

https://appleinsider.com/articles/2...ssd-storage-longevity-issue-in-macos-114-beta

My i5 Mac mini, M1 MacBook Air and iPhone XR all continue to work flawlessly, I cant possibly overstate how its really been a treat being out of the Windows "world" after being "in it" for close to 25 years.
 
Last edited:
Top