M1 Mac First Impressions

bunnspecial

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Side note-I picked up a nifty little TB dock from OWC this past week.

It's 14 ports, including a whole bunch of USB 3.0 type A, a USB-C, and two TB ports. The only thing I'd like that it's missing is Firewire, and I have a potential solution to get it. I have my 27" Cinema display connected to it, and it makes for a slick little desktop set-up combined with the BT keyboard and mouse. I even have a Superdrive on it :)

Although I hope to see Magsafe return, this particular dock has exposed me to one real advantage of USB-C/TB3. I can have this really nice dock that connects with a single port that both transfers data(blazing fast) and charges. I hope anything with Magsafe retains the ability to charge over USB-C.

Just for fun, I have the dock set up now so that I can plug an older TB1/TB2 Mac into it. My 2011 13" plugs into it and everything works perfectly, and I get USB 3.0 on it. It's a shame my 17" kind of falls apart doing that since the dGPU is hardware-disabled and can't directly drive an external display. There's a way I could get it run a display, but it's complicated...
 
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I have a few Macs:

1. Late 2015 27" Intel iMac with 24GB of ram at home
2. Intel Mac Mini with 32GB of ram at work
3. M1 MacBook Pro with 16GB ram at home.

By far my favorite is the M1 MacBook Pro - fastest, coolest, with great battery. It never seems to get bogged down even though it has the least ram. The iMac is holding up surprisingly well for a 6-year-old computer but it does very light duty as a homework and web browsing computer. The Mac Mini gets very heavy use at work as I usually have many large apps open at once and my primary app runs through Parallels and while it has very good performance, **** it is almost too hot to touch most of the day.

I'm looking forward to an M1 Mac Mini with 32GB and perhaps an M1 iMac with a larger screen than what's offered with the current models.
 

bunnspecial

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I have a few Macs:

1. Late 2015 27" Intel iMac with 24GB of ram at home
2. Intel Mac Mini with 32GB of ram at work
3. M1 MacBook Pro with 16GB ram at home.

By far my favorite is the M1 MacBook Pro - fastest, coolest, with great battery. It never seems to get bogged down even though it has the least ram. The iMac is holding up surprisingly well for a 6-year-old computer but it does very light duty as a homework and web browsing computer. The Mac Mini gets very heavy use at work as I usually have many large apps open at once and my primary app runs through Parallels and while it has very good performance, **** it is almost too hot to touch most of the day.

I'm looking forward to an M1 Mac Mini with 32GB and perhaps an M1 iMac with a larger screen than what's offered with the current models.

I've been using my 2011 13" on and off the past day. I tossed 16gb RAM in it, and I need to dig out the Snow Leopard disks that came with my 17" to install SL on it. My 13" is a late 2011 which shipped with Lion, but the late 2011s are so similar to the early 2011s that 10.6.7(and 10.6.8) are completely compatible.

The 13" is special to me as my very first Mac, and it's going to get a new lease on life as my scanning workstation since I don't have room for my 5,1 tower now. I need SL max for full compatibility since I need software that never became Intel native. Heck, the last version of Nikon Scan is...fun...since it's still a Carbon program and in Snow Leopard feels like it's still running in OS 9.

In any case, where I'm going with that is it's amazing how hot the Intel systems are. It's easy to forget that after you're use to "hot" on an M1 being ~60ºC, and 80ºC is a "cool" operating temperature for an Intel.

I'm looking forward to Apple Silicon Macs in 16", and I'm hoping that it won't be too long of a wait to get a 16" with 32gb.
 

JHZR2

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I’m wondering when the best time to jump on a new mba M1 might be. Is the processor any different in performance or capability to a current m1 MBP?
 

bunnspecial

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I’m wondering when the best time to jump on a new mba M1 might be. Is the processor any different in performance or capability to a current m1 MBP?

The MBA and MBP fundamentally have the same CPU, but there are two key differences in their respective systems:

1. The base model MBA comes with a 7 core GPU, while the higher end model and all MBPs have an 8 core GPU. Presumably these are "binned" units where they all start on the same wafer but the 7 core ones have one "faulty" core that gets disabled. This is a fairly common practice in semiconductor manufacturing. As for how that affects you-probably not unless you're doing GPU intensive stuff.

2. Even with the same CPU, the MBP has a fan and the MBA doesn't. These M1s run very cool as a general rule, and it's rare that the fan in my MBA even turns on(unlike in Intel Macs where the fan is always running at some level). With that said, under heavy workloads, the MBP has been shown to be faster. Under high load, the MBA reduces CPU performance(called throttling) to keep the temperatures under control, again another common practice in all kinds of CPUs. The fan can kick on to keep the MBP cool while the CPU is still working at its maximum capabilities(although if you really hammer the MBP it can throttle with the fans running). You may or may not see a difference in this depending on what you do. 95% of the time, it wouldn't matter for me, but the other 5% of the time I'm glad that I have the fan in mine.
 

OVERKILL

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The MBA and MBP fundamentally have the same CPU, but there are two key differences in their respective systems:

1. The base model MBA comes with a 7 core GPU, while the higher end model and all MBPs have an 8 core GPU. Presumably these are "binned" units where they all start on the same wafer but the 7 core ones have one "faulty" core that gets disabled. This is a fairly common practice in semiconductor manufacturing. As for how that affects you-probably not unless you're doing GPU intensive stuff.

2. Even with the same CPU, the MBP has a fan and the MBA doesn't. These M1s run very cool as a general rule, and it's rare that the fan in my MBA even turns on(unlike in Intel Macs where the fan is always running at some level). With that said, under heavy workloads, the MBP has been shown to be faster. Under high load, the MBA reduces CPU performance(called throttling) to keep the temperatures under control, again another common practice in all kinds of CPUs. The fan can kick on to keep the MBP cool while the CPU is still working at its maximum capabilities(although if you really hammer the MBP it can throttle with the fans running). You may or may not see a difference in this depending on what you do. 95% of the time, it wouldn't matter for me, but the other 5% of the time I'm glad that I have the fan in mine.

Great info as usual (y)
 
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The MBA and MBP fundamentally have the same CPU, but there are two key differences in their respective systems:

1. The base model MBA comes with a 7 core GPU, while the higher end model and all MBPs have an 8 core GPU. Presumably these are "binned" units where they all start on the same wafer but the 7 core ones have one "faulty" core that gets disabled. This is a fairly common practice in semiconductor manufacturing. As for how that affects you-probably not unless you're doing GPU intensive stuff.

2. Even with the same CPU, the MBP has a fan and the MBA doesn't. These M1s run very cool as a general rule, and it's rare that the fan in my MBA even turns on(unlike in Intel Macs where the fan is always running at some level). With that said, under heavy workloads, the MBP has been shown to be faster. Under high load, the MBA reduces CPU performance(called throttling) to keep the temperatures under control, again another common practice in all kinds of CPUs. The fan can kick on to keep the MBP cool while the CPU is still working at its maximum capabilities(although if you really hammer the MBP it can throttle with the fans running). You may or may not see a difference in this depending on what you do. 95% of the time, it wouldn't matter for me, but the other 5% of the time I'm glad that I have the fan in mine.
Fundamentally the MBA line is ultra portable low power silicon based and MBP is low power silicon based. While they are only maybe ten or so watt difference the result can be huge when not on battery.

Intel really needs to invest more in their fab and before that use more TSMC foundry to make their higher end chips. The last 2 CEOs were just goofing around on power points and accounting (look how much money we save by not investing in the fab) and they are finally paying the price when Apple/AMD/Nvidia/Qualcomm are kicking its butt.
 
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