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For current or would-be users of Apple Mac computers, with answers to many FAQs.

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Re: New Macs

Postby desmond » Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:15 pm

BobTheDog wrote:Build speed in XCode seems much slower on the M1, maybe 1/2 or a 1/3 of the speed. This is fully CPU bound and the MacPro has very good hyper threading so pretty good 24 “core” performance, the M1 to me seems to have 4 very fast cores and 4 pretty useless cores but even so has pretty good performance.

If you have 24 cores running parallel process, then yes you have more raw grunt than the M1, even if single core performance is potentially lower (check your Geekbench scores for that).

Having said that, I've seen various independent compile tests from different people who are saying that their Xcode builds are faster than their iMac Pros - a £6-7K machine.

Yes, the low performance cores are less performant by design than the high performance cores. That's in the name of power efficiency and battery life, so the heavier cores don't need to be activated for small workloads.

The bottom line is, this is an entry level machine with pretty stunning performance. I'm interested to see how the M1+ scales up for the larger machines, as obviously, they're not going to be putting 1.5TB of RAM the Mac Pros can support in the processor package...

BobTheDog wrote:p.s. I have not heard the fan come on yet!

*swoon*

How's the temperature?
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Re: New Macs

Postby tomas_man » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:00 pm

Wow, I'm confused, it's the first time in my life that a Mac seems appealing to me. I was in the market for a new computer, looking at a Lenovo P330 tiny with a i9 10900..Now I don't know what to do, they are pretty much the same price. Does any one have an idea how they'd compare against each other ? I'm really not into Mac world but very curious to test this new technology..
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Re: New Macs

Postby BobTheDog » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:53 pm

desmond wrote:How's the temperature?

Totally cool to the touch, not sure apart from that.

I will do a test tomorrow to see if I can get it to heat up...
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Re: New Macs

Postby BobTheDog » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:55 pm

tomas_man wrote:Wow, I'm confused, it's the first time in my life that a Mac seems appealing to me. I was in the market for a new computer, looking at a Lenovo P330 tiny with a i9 10900..Now I don't know what to do, they are pretty much the same price. Does any one have an idea how they'd compare against each other ? I'm really not into Mac world but very curious to test this new technology..

I would definitely wait at the moment till you know that all the software and hardware you want to use will work with the M1.
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Re: New Macs

Postby desmond » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:01 pm

BobTheDog wrote:Totally cool to the touch, not sure apart from that.

:thumbup:

One question, which I was planning on researching - I'm not sure what the current ports on those machines are, but on my MBP, I have Thunderbolt (1) ports, and because the cables have chips in them, they (annoyingly) generate quite a lot of heat when plugged in (which contributes to heating the computer up as well).

Do the ports in modern machines still generate heat like this? Or do they use a different tech and stay cool like say a regular USB cable?
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Re: New Macs

Postby Agharta » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:24 pm

TB support used to be provided by a discrete chip so that will consume more power.
The trend this year is to integrate support into the SoC which will reduce heat output.
No idea about the cables.

The advantage of integrating it is reduced latency, at least that’s been reported for the Intel SoCs.
Very handy when using external graphics but not sure about AI performance.
M1 doesn’t currently support ext GPUs.
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Re: New Macs

Postby CS70 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:40 pm

tomas_man wrote:Wow, I'm confused, it's the first time in my life that a Mac seems appealing to me. I was in the market for a new computer, looking at a Lenovo P330 tiny with a i9 10900..Now I don't know what to do, they are pretty much the same price. Does any one have an idea how they'd compare against each other ? I'm really not into Mac world but very curious to test this new technology..

Well, changing platform is so much more than just about performance that it is very seldom a reason. It's the full package - operating system, available applications, price and far more importantly than anything else the cost of re-gaining whatever level of efficiency you have on a given platform.. obviously if you aren't particularly efficient on a given platform, the cost of change is much smaller.

Peak performance by itself is important only if you live and compete on the edge of the envelope, which is seldom, if ever, the case for audio work. Nobody ever said "my track did not become a hit because my computer was too slow".. I hope :D

As impressive as the achievement is (and it is impressive) to me it's not tempting in the slightest, no more than it would to start playing the piano after almost 40 years of learning the guitar. Now if the technology could be transported to a platform I'm familiar with, now that would be nice!
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Re: New Macs

Postby tomas_man » Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:10 am

Yes, of course that's one of the reasons I haven't moved to Mac yet. But the same tools I use on PC are available on Mac so I don't think the transition would be too hard. I must admit I have been struggling with DPC problems and such on PC, which I use mostly for realtime live audio processing (MaxMSP and FX) So far it was mainly the price that put me off. But the Mac mini is somehow affordable if the performances are as good as they seem. Still, it doesn't change the fact that is a very closed, non-upgradeable system. I guess we'll have to wait and see if software runs well in Rosetta anyway, but at least this raises hope for cheaper/more powerful and lightweight systems in the future.
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Re: New Macs

Postby BobTheDog » Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:06 am

Ok, here are some temperature figures for Desmond and anyone interested.

The sensor readings may or may not be quite right, they are from iStastistica they seem to vary so something might be working!

The test I did was with all 8 cores running at 100% cpu for 15 minutes.

The mini got very slightly warm at the back and I still could not hear the fan with my ear against the case!

Image

Then after a 10 minute "cool down":

Image
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Re: New Macs

Postby TheLegit » Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:30 am

Really wanted the Mac Mini but nothing upgradeable beyond 16GB RAM. I saw a guy run 1000 plugins on Youtube!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIAUiFoYPtQ
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Re: New Macs

Postby BobTheDog » Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:16 pm

So I connected up an xCore USB Reference audio interface and did a simple test using the Billie Eilish demo song that comes with Logic Pro X, so anyone with logic can load the example and see what their current machine load is.

The first % is Logic cpu, the second total system load:
Code: Select all
                       44.1kHz      96kHz.        192kHz
===========================================================
M1 Mini                95% 17%      145% 26%.     276% 38%

MacPro 12 core.        140% 8%.     260% 16%.     Overload


These were the same for buffers sizes 32 to 1024, made no difference.

So the cheap as chips M1 can play in 192kHz and my very expensive MacPro 12 core can't!
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Re: New Macs

Postby Johnsy » Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:36 pm

It's interesting to see how many people are - unlike Apple - capitalising the word 'silicon'.

Changes the sense considerably.
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Re: New Macs

Postby desmond » Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:51 pm

Johnsy wrote:It's interesting to see how many people are - unlike Apple - capitalising the word 'silicon'.

I'm referring it as the specific "Apple Silicon" term, not the generic "silicon chips by Apple" meaning.

Like this:

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Re: New Macs

Postby Johnsy » Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:01 pm

There is no such sense. It's not a name.

Of course it says 'Apple Silicon' rather than 'Apple silicon' behind Tim Cooke there, but then it would, wouldn't it?

But...

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/06/ ... e-silicon/

P.S. Wasn't referring to this forum, or any member of it specifically, BTW. It's all over the net.
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Re: New Macs

Postby desmond » Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:17 pm

Johnsy wrote:Of course it says 'Apple Silicon' rather than 'Apple silicon' behind Tim Cooke there, but then it would, wouldn't it?

Maybe Apple itself doesn't even have a consistent way or treating this. I just think they didn't want to reveal the name at the time, and didn't want to call them "ARM" chips, so they had to have a handle, and so capitalising it in this context makes sense - particular backed up in the keynote, and then all the written coverage thereafter.

It's poor consistency to treat it as a capitalised name in some contexts, and not in others, unless they really are using the different contexts (ie "Apple Silicon" is different to "Apple silicon").

Anyway, it doesn't matter - I can't say I'm bothered either way, nor do I want to research it :tongue: , nor would I pick up on someone else spelling it differently to how I've been doing it, and now the names have been released, we can just say the "M1" chips etc.

Anyway - back to the laptops - amazing that you can spank them on full load for fifteen minutes and have them barely get warm! With the Intel MBP's, you barely have to ask the CPU to add a couple of numbers together before the fans kick into action! :crazy:
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