Apple

Apple’s M1 Mac is not What You Think



The first Apple Silicon Macs are here sporting the new M1 SoC. What does it mean for Macs today and into the future? Let’s find out!

At long last, Apple has finally announced and will soon be releasing Arm-based Macs based on Apple’s new “Apple Silicon” family. This new chip, the M1, is based on the A14 and makes its way to the MacBook Air, 13″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and Mac mini. Specs are vague and performance is yet to be determined, but if Apple’s slides are to be believed, this chip design and these machines are just the beginning of a hugely important transition for Apple and computing in general. But let’s go beyond what Apple said in the keynote and dive into some of the nuance behind this new Apple Silicon M1 chip.

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48 Comments

  1. im really hoping you give us some good news. that youre able to dig up some of the drawbacks of apple silicon… and that PCMR will live on (this coming from someone neck deep in the ecosystem). theres just something unsettling about a company thats been known to avoid be transparent as much as possible as often as possible.. and now they virtually control everything. sure they still have to source some parts here and there… but the pillars of a computer system, from hardware to software to the ecosystem they've curated all these years… i get this uneasy feeling about the future of apple. i considered trading my 16" mbp for a m1 air just because even though the more people test the m1s, the more shortcomings they find, it still offers the laptop experience i was hoping for when i got a laptop. but screw that, im gonna die on this hill. i refuse to update to big surveillance and just use what i have til they either break down or are no longer supported and go back to building my own rig… assuming AMD hasnt fcked up and lost their lead over intel again… quinn, youre my 1 ray of hope… tell me something bad about apple taking their Macs in the direction that they're planning to.

  2. Congratulations for your presentation!
    Very good engineering achievement by this SoC System on a Chip M1, consuming less energy with greater performance. I personally expect a Macbook M1 with a 15" screen. I know that I can connect it to an external monitor, but for me 13" is too little, if I read and type from morning to evening.

  3. iPhone chips changed the stage and the direction of their computing in iPads to similar performances . Soon all the chip sets will be of the same performance and with the only variants being use cases. “Why would you need a phone that powerful to talk, text ,stream and to do some miner writing tasks” . Instead the ram and gpu are the only optimizations

  4. This is fantastic news. If any single component in the computer goes bad, you get to buy a whole new computer. And Apple now logs when you open programs. But that's not all, when they log everything you do, the log messages you send to Apple come back with an approval message to your computer. That means Apple has comple control over everything you do on "your" computer. Oh, it will run iPhone apps natively too. And all other apps will run through a translation layer which is probably totally optimized for your programs. Probably. Anyway, I'm super stoked to pay 2x for the same performance I can get elsewhere. The hype is real my dude.

  5. I read an article on MacRumors titled "Developers delves into reasons why Apple's M1 chip is so fast" by Juli Clover. The article says that the reason M1 is so fast is not because the M1 is a fast general purpose CPU like the Intel and AMD, but it is mainly because it is a collection of specialized dedicated hardware chips that does spedific work very fast. So instead of using the general purpose CPU to encrypt files, it actually has a specific hardware chip dedicated for encryption. Similarly, instead of using the general purpose CPU to encode/decode h.264 and h.265 video, the M1 has a chip for h.264 encoding/decoding on hardware and another chip to encode and decode h.265 video. The M1 has many other chips to hardware accelerate decompressing music, for processing images, etc. and all the most used functions by the power user. So therefore the M1 appears fast, but if there is a function that it does not have hardware acceleration for, then it will use its general purpose CPU to carry that function out at speeds comparable to Intel and AMD. And on top of that, it has unified memory to accelerate memory usage. So this is why the M1 appears as if it was a very fast general purpose CPU.
    Comparing M1 to Intel/AMD is like comoparing apples to oranges, one is a general purpose CPU and the other is a collection of very fast accelerators. Ultimately, the end result is impressive. "All" Intel/AMD has to do is build a hole bunch of instruction sets in hardware into their CPU for the most used computer functions to imitate the M1 (and also reduce power comsumption). All this time people are so impressed thinking that the M1 is a super fast general purpose CPU, but the magic is in building in specialized chips for acceleration. The weakness of the M1 will show when the M1 is called to do something it is not pre-selected to handle it in hardware acceleration. When the computer is programed to do something completely new (say encode video on a future/new h.266 encoding/decoding), it will struggle and fall behind faster general purpose Intel/AMD CPUs.

  6. i stopped using mac after my last quad mac cpu g5 but now with this m1, am exited, i saw a benchmark (*if official) a macbook air is as good as my 2700x ryzen? wow can't wait to see some testing.

  7. Best Battery Life (Laptopmag.com)

    1. Dell Latitude 9510 (18:17)

    2. Dell Latitude 9410 2-in-1 (16:54)

    3. Asus ExpertBook B9450 (16:42)

    4. Apple MacBook Pro, 13-inch, M1, 2020 (16:32)

    5. Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 15 (15:44)

    6. MacBook Air with M1 (14:41)

    7. LG Gram 14 2-in-1 (2020) (14:00)

    8. Dell Latitude 7400 (13:23)

    9. HP Spectre x360, 13-inch, Late 2019 (13:20)

    10. Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1, (13:08)

    Good to see Apple finally catch up…lol

  8. I’ve been watching other little companies build their ARM based PCs for years now and just dying for someone to do it. Finally a company does it and it’s Apple. Lol so I bought one even though I’ve been hardcore PC for years. Nothing beats faster and better.

  9. Interested but not buying. Just switched over from an old 2012 Mac Pro tower to a custom built Windows monster powered by a AMD 16 core Threadripper CPU and RTX Titan GPU. I will be set for a long time.

  10. Since the new M1 Mac enabled Blackmagic Disk Speed Test just came out today, it reveals much higher disk speed benchmarks on M1 Macs than the previous Disk Speed Test running under Rosetta 2. My M1 Mac Mini with 1TB SSD drive and 16GB RAM now has a write speed of 3200 MB/sec, whereas my stock M1 Mac Mini with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD drive only gets a much lower write speed of 2100 MB/sec. Both the 1TB and 256GB drives get an average read speed of about 2800 MB/sec. I had seen many reviewers saying the SSD size did not change the SSD disk speed, but now that we have the latest updated M1 Mac native Disk Speed Test, that turns out to be false. The larger the SSD disk size the faster the write speed on the M1 Mac Mini (not sure if this is the case on the new M1 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro as I do not have these).

  11. I am still not sure if apple is making the two tb3 ports share the same 40Mbs bandwidth or if they are truly fully independent with 40Mbs each.
    Please test that. Thanks

    Also can you recommend external ssds since these memory limited internally un upgradeable machines use the fast ssd as a memory swap file, this makes "the external ssd the single most important addidtion you can make to your m1 mac" performance wide, especially since GPUS are not currently supported.

  12. Thunderbolt 3 is only licenced to intel chips. That's the reason apple and even amd can't use thunderbolt 3 directly. But yeah usb4 and thunderbolt 3 are same in bandwidth but not in feature set and performance tranfer

  13. Could they just take this to the next level, and have one big SOC, and use wireless bridging for displays and peripherals? You could call it something like the Mac Nano. Or the Mac Nano Nano. Apple if you fly with this be sure to sub me an air or two in the meantime.

  14. sure they listened. More black box lockdown capability built into the chip, more serialization, and more ability for apple to maintain more control over your device than you have. Yeah, this is totally a "customer centric product". Apple has sure proven to be on consumers side! Hoo-Ee! (end sarcasm)

  15. Do you know if the Apple M1's 512 GB drive can be configured in BIOS or OS as 2 drives, without partitioning?

    ie. Is it 2x 256 GB chiplettes on SoC?
    Does each SSD chiplette have its own read write speed & buffer?

    I like to have my OS &;Apps on drive C: and all my files, media, etc on Drive C:. So they dont have to share a single drive's read write speeds ' buffer cap.

    Thanks.

  16. I've been boycotting Apple for the last 7 years, but putting an ARM-based CPU in a general purpose computing device with adequate I/O was one of the two things I said would get them my business back. True to my word, I ordered an M1 Mac Mini as soon as I heard that SBCL runs under Rosetta2, and that a port of Allegro Common Lisp is under way. I don't actually care if it performs as well as they've implied; I've been looking forward to a new non-x86-64 desktop machine ever since the day I shut-down my SGI workstation for the last time.

  17. Enn vist barn dreper faktiskt ja verandre inne på skole området for Di greier ikke styre sine følelser så skall dere og andre merker purse på med teknologi på skoler til barn som fan ikke er 16år en gang og ja Di dreper faktiskt verandre inne på skolegården på grunnv att noen ikke liker en kjereste Di har ikke kontroller sine egne følelser en gang
    Tenk omm en fatti familie ikke har råd til og kjøpe det nyeste utstyret for alle Di andre har det så blir fan noen drept oinne på skoleområdet og mobbet og Di er fan barn som ikke er 16år en gang va i hælvete holder dere på med her i Norge?

  18. Bought the Mac Mini day of the announcement! Purchased with 16GB Ram and 1TB SSD.
    Oddly enough I have been a Mac user (lover) since the 128KB Mac in 1984. My Dad bought the first Mac for his work but I used it for college while commuting to school. In my lifetime, I have been fortunate to have worked in many platforms as a designer engineer but have only needed to buy two personal use computers. Both were PC’s. All my Macs have been hand-me-ups from my children or discarded MacBook Pros from friends. This is the first Mac I have purchased for myself and have been hesitant to buy for the last couple of years due to the intel based platform being much less snappy than the iPhone and iPad. When I heard about the M1 I was pleased to learn the performance was improved drastically. Glad I waited. The Mac Mini arrives tomorrow.

  19. At what point (in how many months/years) will Apple require users to use
    all M1 native software and stop supporting Universal and Rosetta 2
    applications? Last time they transitioned from PPC to Intel, how many
    years before PPC apps no longer ran on intel Macs with Rosetta 1? How
    many years before they stopped shipping universal apps and only started
    shipping intel only apps? This time around, how long do I have before
    my intel apps stops working via Rosetta 2 on my M1 Macs? How long
    before they stop universal apps and they start shipping only M1 native
    apps?

  20. But why do you want credit for something you had no part in making ? I predict in 2030 drones will replace current taxis in major cities, come 2030 be forewarned I want credit for my prediction ?!

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