m1 macbook air - it's as good as you've heard

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TOS
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m1 macbook air - it's as good as you've heard

Post by TOS »

so as i mentioned in another thread, the wife shocked me with the gift of a new air for christmas, and i thought i'd share my thoughts after using it a week

basically, this thing is incredible, every bit as powerful as you've heard ... i've got it running lots of apps, including the creative cloud apps, and you honestly can't even tell what's running on rosetta and what isn't

in fact it's fair to say it runs rings around my desktop i5 desktop (which has a gpu) ... premiere especially boggles my mind, i keep checking the specs to see if i accidentally got some kind of top model (it's not)

Image

i've been watching a lot of geeky videos to try and understand why this m1 chip runs so amazingly, and i'm only partly getting it ... however if they can keep this up, intel and amd are screwed, and in fact i wouldn't be surprised if apple's share of the computer market starts to climb again

oh and the battery life, holy crap, i've charged it once in the past week despite using it every day

plus the screen is so beautiful

basically, everything they say about this thing is absolutely true ... it is not like the old days, when design hurt performance; this thing performs like mad

i turned my back on apple a long time ago because i felt they were overpriced ripoffs; now, however, i'm back in with both feet

reeeeeally interested to see what the imacs and mac pros will be like!

unrelated: my cat is obsessed with it (or maybe she just wants to mark her territory with her sheddings)

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Post by jkahless »

Beautiful! I cannot wait till I can afford a computer. Itell be amazing to see what a 10 year leap in development looks like as a user.
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Post by juice »

I was skeptical until you posted the cat pics
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Post by TOS »

i figured someone would be
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Post by macnuke »

thinking when this old beast starts gasping too hard, i am thinking the Pros or possibly an iMac.
my gaming will be a Windows build in the future.
we shall eval in a year.
nice to hear they got something right tho and grats on your present :up:
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Post by Pariah »

With the M1 the Mac Mini stops being an absurdly bad bang for the buck deal and is now just a fairly bad bang for the buck deal so, improvement.
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Re:

Post by TOS »

Pariah wrote: With the M1 the Mac Mini stops being an absurdly bad bang for the buck deal and is now just a fairly bad bang for the buck deal so, improvement.


so what's the right price point in your view?
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Post by Mr. T »

I'm not all that familiar with PCs of comparable size to the mini, but taking a quick look at some of the competition, The M1 mini looks like a pretty good value.

The HP Z2 Mini G4 looks pretty close to the high-end mini, but which costs $1700 to the Mini's $900.

The HP has more "big" cores, but the M1 cores are much faster, to the point where it takes the crown in multi-threaded benchmarks as well (according to CPU monkey). Same goes for the GPU despite the fact that the Quadro P600 is a discrete card. I'm sure the Mini consumes significantly less power as well. The PC does have more memory, but is that extra RAM really worth an extra $800?

I do agree, though, that Ultra SFF PCs in general are not a good value compared to larger Desktop PCs. The standard rule of thumb applies : You can optimize for performance, cost, or size; pick two.
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Re:

Post by TOS »

Mr. T wrote: I'm not all that familiar with PCs of comparable size to the mini, but taking a quick look at some of the competition, The M1 mini looks like a pretty good value.

The HP Z2 Mini G4 looks pretty close to the high-end mini, but which costs $1700 to the Mini's $900.

The HP has more "big" cores, but the M1 cores are much faster, to the point where it takes the crown in multi-threaded benchmarks as well (according to CPU monkey). Same goes for the GPU despite the fact that the Quadro P600 is a discrete card. I'm sure the Mini consumes significantly less power as well. The PC does have more memory, but is that extra RAM really worth an extra $800?

I do agree, though, that Ultra SFF PCs in general are not a good value compared to larger Desktop PCs. The standard rule of thumb applies : You can optimize for performance, cost, or size; pick two.


youtube is full of pro-pc guys blown away that the $699 mini performs better than $3k+ pcs

i swear the hype is real
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Re: Re:

Post by ukimalefu »

TOS wrote:
Mr. T wrote: I'm not all that familiar with PCs of comparable size to the mini, but taking a quick look at some of the competition, The M1 mini looks like a pretty good value.

The HP Z2 Mini G4 looks pretty close to the high-end mini, but which costs $1700 to the Mini's $900.

The HP has more "big" cores, but the M1 cores are much faster, to the point where it takes the crown in multi-threaded benchmarks as well (according to CPU monkey). Same goes for the GPU despite the fact that the Quadro P600 is a discrete card. I'm sure the Mini consumes significantly less power as well. The PC does have more memory, but is that extra RAM really worth an extra $800?

I do agree, though, that Ultra SFF PCs in general are not a good value compared to larger Desktop PCs. The standard rule of thumb applies : You can optimize for performance, cost, or size; pick two.


youtube is full of pro-pc guys blown away that the $699 mini performs better than $3k+ pcs

i swear the hype is real


I'd like to see an Intel iMac Pro vs an M1 Mac + Rosetta 2, playing the same video game.
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Re: Re:

Post by Pariah »

TOS wrote:
Mr. T wrote: I'm not all that familiar with PCs of comparable size to the mini, but taking a quick look at some of the competition, The M1 mini looks like a pretty good value.

The HP Z2 Mini G4 looks pretty close to the high-end mini, but which costs $1700 to the Mini's $900.

The HP has more "big" cores, but the M1 cores are much faster, to the point where it takes the crown in multi-threaded benchmarks as well (according to CPU monkey). Same goes for the GPU despite the fact that the Quadro P600 is a discrete card. I'm sure the Mini consumes significantly less power as well. The PC does have more memory, but is that extra RAM really worth an extra $800?

I do agree, though, that Ultra SFF PCs in general are not a good value compared to larger Desktop PCs. The standard rule of thumb applies : You can optimize for performance, cost, or size; pick two.


youtube is full of pro-pc guys blown away that the $699 mini performs better than $3k+ pcs

i swear the hype is real

I spoke prematurely. I will wiat till more benchmarks come in before I make a judgement.
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Re: m1 macbook air - it's as good as you've heard

Post by maurvir »

Intel sat on its ass for about 8 years doing the absolute minimum. This isn't nearly as surprising as it should be.

Seriously - my i7 3770 system isn't so much slower than my i5-8400 system that I even notice unless I'm playing a pretty intense game. At 5 generations, it should be like night and day.
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Re: m1 macbook air - it's as good as you've heard

Post by TOS »

maurvir wrote: Intel sat on its ass for about 8 years doing the absolute minimum. This isn't nearly as surprising as it should be.

Seriously - my i7 3770 system isn't so much slower than my i5-8400 system that I even notice unless I'm playing a pretty intense game. At 5 generations, it should be like night and day.


reports are swirling around wall street that intel is thinking about giving up, selling its chip production facilities and focusing on design
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Re: m1 macbook air - it's as good as you've heard

Post by Metacell »

It's an awful architecture that deserves to die.
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Post by Mr. T »

maurvir wrote: Intel sat on its ass for about 8 years doing the absolute minimum. This isn't nearly as surprising as it should be.

Seriously - my i7 3770 system isn't so much slower than my i5-8400 system that I even notice unless I'm playing a pretty intense game. At 5 generations, it should be like night and day.

Do you really notice the difference at all? My PC is 13 years old, and I can play CyberPunk 2077 at 4k locked at 60FPS on Ultra. RayTracing sometimes dips below that, but that's not the CPU's fault. Every game I own runs at 4k 60FPS.

To your point though, it does seem like Intel had initial success with the original i7, but rather than stir the pot, they chose to rest on their laurels to avoid competing with themselves. Remember, it's all relative. When you own the high-end, you can charge whatever you want and people will always pay more for a chip that is 20% faster than the competing chips from AMD. It doesn't need to be 80% faster. By dialing it back, Intel figured they could artificially stretch out their road map a bit, and continue to own the high end for years to come with minimal investment. Maybe a smart strategy in the short term, but boy are they paying for it now...

This is obvious when you look at those roughly 8 years following the i7's debut. The first generation i7 was seriously underclocked from the factory. It debuted at 2.6GHz, yet everyone and their grandma were overclocking this thing north of 4GHz on air. Then came SandyBridge. That was in every sense a "downgrade" from x58, including the removal of PCI Express lanes. Then came IvyBridge which was a "cross-grade". To anyone paying attention, it was obvious that Intel was just dicking around to avoid competing with themselves. They've done this sort of thing in the past and enjoyed tremendous success in doing so. What they probably didn't anticipate this time around was how close they were to the end of Moore's Law scaling. That's the single biggest problem in the industry right now and Intel was caught with their pants down.

Going forward, I'd like to see Intel take the opposite approach of AMD, and spinoff their chip design into a separate company and bolster their position as a fab. We need more competitors to TSMC and Samsung. x86 is dying, Intel has no experience in ARM, and they have failed to deliver anything of value in the GPU space. Also, AMD has already bought ATI and NVIDIA is acquiring Softbank, so they can't "acquire" their way out of their current predicament. Intel has a lot of great talent, but it's already too late for them to remain chip-focused as a viable long-term strategy. IMO, their best long-term strategy is to gradually evolve towards becoming a chipless fab, or at least fab-centric.
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Post by Lombo »

Intel will not go fabless. It is a national security issue. I can think of 2 US chip factories.
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Re: m1 macbook air - it's as good as you've heard

Post by maurvir »

Intel's fabs are probably the one bright spot in that company. They would do better to license chip designs and run them in their own fab than the other way around.
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Post by TOS »

the kids inform me that the air runs minecraft java just great -- and it's rasterized, which i thought was only possible with a top-end video card

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Post by Lombo »

All games are rasterized. What do you mean, TOS?
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Re:

Post by ukimalefu »

Lombo wrote: All games are rasterized. What do you mean, TOS?


raytracing?

I've seen minecraft using insanely smooth textures and transparent glass and water with reflections. But it's still all blocky...
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Post by TOS »

oh yeah, sorry, i meant raytraced
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Re: m1 macbook air - it's as good as you've heard

Post by wellfleation »

Mac is back.
I believe I posted this a while back.
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Post by TOS »

one thing that really, really bugs me ... for some baffling reason, apple returned to the design of their clunky-ass first-gen ipod chargers, which take up way too much outlet space

very damn annoying
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Post by jkahless »

Does it not have removable prongs so you can add an extension cable like those did?
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Post by DukeofNuke »

Question for TOS.
When you did the initial setup, did the MBA want to connect to your Apple account using the swirly-thingie on your phone?
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Re: m1 macbook air - it's as good as you've heard

Post by Enigma »

TOS, you have piqued my interest. I have been considering a Macbook Air.
The hardware sounds most excellent. What are your impressions of Mac OS 11, or Big Sur, if you must....
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Re:

Post by TOS »

jkahless wrote: Does it not have removable prongs so you can add an extension cable like those did?


yeah and i resent the upsell

DukeofNuke wrote: Question for TOS.
When you did the initial setup, did the MBA want to connect to your Apple account using the swirly-thingie on your phone?


it did connect to my apple id, but i don't know what you mean by the swirlie-thingy
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Re: m1 macbook air - it's as good as you've heard

Post by TOS »

Enigma wrote: TOS, you have piqued my interest. I have been considering a Macbook Air.
The hardware sounds most excellent. What are your impressions of Mac OS 11, or Big Sur, if you must....


well, it seems very fast and solid, standard mac os, but i haven't used a mac in around a decade so i don't really have anything to compare it to

i was going to upgrade my pc but i've decided to buy a mini instead (and one for the wife!)
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Re: Re:

Post by jkahless »

TOS wrote:
jkahless wrote: Does it not have removable prongs so you can add an extension cable like those did?


yeah and i resent the upsell



Dang, they used to include that extension cord. :brow:

I wonder if I have one somewhere I could mail you.
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Re: Re:

Post by TOS »

jkahless wrote:
TOS wrote:
jkahless wrote: Does it not have removable prongs so you can add an extension cable like those did?


yeah and i resent the upsell



Dang, they used to include that extension cord. :brow:

I wonder if I have one somewhere I could mail you.


nah it's fine, thanks ... i probably have one buried in the basement wire archives, and if not i can buy one

i just find it irritational is all
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Re: m1 macbook air - it's as good as you've heard

Post by kamizuno »

Apple M1 laptops, made by humans, approved by cats.....
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Re: Re:

Post by DukeofNuke »

TOS wrote:
jkahless wrote: Does it not have removable prongs so you can add an extension cable like those did?


yeah and i resent the upsell

DukeofNuke wrote: Question for TOS.
When you did the initial setup, did the MBA want to connect to your Apple account using the swirly-thingie on your phone?


it did connect to my apple id, but i don't know what you mean by the swirlie-thingy

Christmas 2019, my fam got some new iPhones and a couple of new iPads. During setup, at some point the new phones talk to the old phones by displaying a swirl of moving, tiny dots. By centering this display in the other phones camera, the new phone is registered to you, connected to your Apple I.D., and your Apps and contacts and photos are transferred from old to new automagically. I'm sure there is a name for that, that is not "swirly-thingy", but i don't know it.
Did the MBA do that? or, maybe you don't have an iPhone or Apple I.D.?
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Re: Re:

Post by TOS »

DukeofNuke wrote:
TOS wrote:
jkahless wrote: Does it not have removable prongs so you can add an extension cable like those did?


yeah and i resent the upsell

DukeofNuke wrote: Question for TOS.
When you did the initial setup, did the MBA want to connect to your Apple account using the swirly-thingie on your phone?


it did connect to my apple id, but i don't know what you mean by the swirlie-thingy

Christmas 2019, my fam got some new iPhones and a couple of new iPads. During setup, at some point the new phones talk to the old phones by displaying a swirl of moving, tiny dots. By centering this display in the other phones camera, the new phone is registered to you, connected to your Apple I.D., and your Apps and contacts and photos are transferred from old to new automagically. I'm sure there is a name for that, that is not "swirly-thingy", but i don't know it.
Did the MBA do that? or, maybe you don't have an iPhone or Apple I.D.?


i have an iphone and an apple i.d., but don't remember anything like that ... setup was very simple and straightforward, and was identical to all the osx setup procedures that i remember

connect to wi-fi, use the apple i.d. login, bingo-bango
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Re: m1 macbook air - it's as good as you've heard

Post by DukeofNuke »

iPhone Migration is what it is:

Image

If you haven't seen it before, that blue circle in the image on the right; that's made of millions of tiny dots that are swirling around, moving seemingly randomly but also staying within the boundary of the circle.

I was just wondering if the MBA had this feature (iPhones and iPads do this).
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Post by TOS »

if it does, i haven't encountered it

my apple account knows i have an iphone and has my phone number
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