Apple Silicon / M1 Macbook Air & Macbook Pro

PricelineNegotiator

Well-known member
I've been a PC guy my entire life. I've custom built computers, bought straight from Dell and everything in between. I have also had Android phones for the last 10 years, and appreciate cutting edge software and hardware. I preordered the HTC Vive, which was the highest end VR kit at the time. But I am comfortable using the Macs we have at our shop, and usually have to do "Mac tech support" for the other employees.

That being said, I needed a new personal laptop so I ordered on Sunday a Macbook Air with 8 gb of memory and the new M1 processor/SOC. It was $999.

This little "tablet with a keyboard" is competing head-to-head in terms of performance with $2,500+ PCs and iMacs. I would highly suggest you ditch Intel and AMD as soon as you can for your Apple products. I cannot imagine how much more powerful the iMacs and Mac Pros will be with Apple Silicon. Four hours straight using InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop, downloading files, and really just torture testing this thing and I only managed to take 25% of the battery life...after four hours! It doesn't even have a fan. It didn't get hot either. It defies everything I thought was possible for laptops/desktop. Geekbench scores were 1648 for single core, and 6885 for multi core. Absolutely nuts.
 

joshlindsay

Well-known member
Pretty exciting times for sure. I can't remember a time where both performance and battery life has been double on a product for the same price. I just got my wife a new Air which should be here next week. Looking forward to playing for sure.
 

PricelineNegotiator

Well-known member
It's akin to the generational leap between hard drives and solid state drives. This will make Intel and AMD really sharpen their pencils. I used my laptop for another 4 or 5 hours last night and it was down to 70%. I am blown away.

I won't be switching my workstation to the Mac. It's too soon. There are some minors display bugs and I haven't been able to get Acrobat to install. Firefox won't play streaming sites like Twitch or Dlive, it just hangs on loading, I have to force quit the application as it affects all of the other tabs from loading further as well. Safari works fine. I MAY return this to Best Buy and just wait until March next year to consider where the tech is at. I did the same thing with the HTC Vive headset I had, just sold it to a friend for the same value I bought it for. I'll make a decision before the end of this weekend and let you guys know.
 
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Topher

Member
What about software from esko/Kodak/Miraclon who knows how far off from m1 support they are. Our dept currently runs 6 2013 mac pros and are looking to upgrade hardware sometime this year. Minis sound like they would be absolutely perfect, except for the support for the specific software we use.
 

PricelineNegotiator

Well-known member
What about software from esko/Kodak/Miraclon who knows how far off from m1 support they are. Our dept currently runs 6 2013 mac pros and are looking to upgrade hardware sometime this year. Minis sound like they would be absolutely perfect, except for the support for the specific software we use.
Buy a Mac Mini and test out your software on it. I bet it's faster than your 2013 Mac Pros. Test it to make sure Rosetta properly translates the code without throwing a fit. I doubt you'll see app support any time soon as Adobe isn't there yet.
 

scotts

Well-known member
Another option, if you have the space, would be to keep a couple of those 2013 Mac Pros in operation but off in a corner and turn on screen sharing. Then upgrade the user's Macs and they could remote into the Mac Pros when needed. At least until those software manufacturers make M1 compatible software. That is what I have done in a couple of shops in the past when 70+% of the software can take advantage of the increase of the power and speed.
 

Topher

Member
Another option, if you have the space, would be to keep a couple of those 2013 Mac Pros in operation but off in a corner and turn on screen sharing. Then upgrade the user's Macs and they could remote into the Mac Pros when needed. At least until those software manufacturers make M1 compatible software. That is what I have done in a couple of shops in the past when 70+% of the software can take advantage of the increase of the power and speed.
Thats a great idea! We currently use 2 of the 6 in that way, because there is some Kodak software that hasn't been upgraded to 64-bit yet, and we need it for production, so we have to keep 2 of the workstations on Mojave while everyone else can move on to Catalina. Holding off on Big Sur as long as I possibly can, Im seeing too many horror stories.
 

manishbjain

Active member
It's akin to the generational leap between hard drives and solid state drives. This will make Intel and AMD really sharpen their pencils. I used my laptop for another 4 or 5 hours last night and it was down to 70%. I am blown away.

I won't be switching my workstation to the Mac. It's too soon. There are some minors display bugs and I haven't been able to get Acrobat to install. Firefox won't play streaming sites like Twitch or Dlive, it just hangs on loading, I have to force quit the application as it affects all of the other tabs from loading further as well. Safari works fine. I MAY return this to Best Buy and just wait until March next year to consider where the tech is at. I did the same thing with the HTC Vive headset I had, just sold it to a friend for the same value I bought it for. I'll make a decision before the end of this weekend and let you guys know.
Hi,

Can we have your latest review on the Mac Air which you purchased - both with respect to the color and performance. How has the experience been ?

Is it worthwhile considering for Photoshop and Illustrator work on continuous basis ?

Are the colours as accurate as MacPro 16 after calibration . Can we use it for color management ?
 

OffsetStorefront

Well-known member
Hi,

Can we have your latest review on the Mac Air which you purchased - both with respect to the color and performance. How has the experience been ?

Is it worthwhile considering for Photoshop and Illustrator work on continuous basis ?

Are the colours as accurate as MacPro 16 after calibration . Can we use it for color management ?

I'm not @PricelineNegotiator but I also bought a Mac Air for personal use and can comment on performance - it's fantastic. Quick and responsive even on emulated x86 apps. I don't even notice the supposed performance hit. The arm-native ones being released (Adobe just released Photoshop) are even faster. Make sure you get it with 16 GB of RAM instead of 8 GB. Apparently it can match the Macbook Pro 13in. model's performance in long tasks (rendering) with a simple thermal pad application to the inside of the back plate - other than that they have identical performance so you can save some money by skipping the 13in. Pro model.

That being said, I believe an Apple-Silicon 16in MacBook Pro may be released this summer perhaps? If so, it'll likely have even better performance than these 13in models so if price isn't your chief concern and performance is, it might be worth waiting till June to find out.
 

manishbjain

Active member
I'm not @PricelineNegotiator but I also bought a Mac Air for personal use and can comment on performance - it's fantastic. Quick and responsive even on emulated x86 apps. I don't even notice the supposed performance hit. The arm-native ones being released (Adobe just released Photoshop) are even faster. Make sure you get it with 16 GB of RAM instead of 8 GB. Apparently it can match the Macbook Pro 13in. model's performance in long tasks (rendering) with a simple thermal pad application to the inside of the back plate - other than that they have identical performance so you can save some money by skipping the 13in. Pro model.

That being said, I believe an Apple-Silicon 16in MacBook Pro may be released this summer perhaps? If so, it'll likely have even better performance than these 13in models so if price isn't your chief concern and performance is, it might be worth waiting till June to find out.
Thanks for guiding mate. What's your review on colors. Can I use it for color management ?
 

Dov Isaacs

Well-known member
That being said, I believe an Apple-Silicon 16in MacBook Pro may be released this summer perhaps? If so, it'll likely have even better performance than these 13in models so if price isn't your chief concern and performance is, it might be worth waiting till June to find out.

FWIW, there are beta test versions of ARM-native Illustrator and InDesign available from Adobe. There are not yet such versions for Acrobat and certainly not for the Acrobat plug-ins that many of us use. I would concur that it is very likely that within half a year, you will not only see new MacBook Pro models coming out based on ARM chip technology with larger screens (13" for graphic arts work? You must be kidding – it is difficult enough to see what I need with a ThinkPad P17 17.3" screen!) and more memory (16 gigabytes is really minimal for graphic arts use especially with InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, who knows what other desktop applications running concurrently) options. Plus we expect to desktop Macs as well based on ARM technology (may an M2 chip?) And of course, expect MacOS 12 as well.

As such, it may great for the ego to be the first one on the block with a shiny new toy from the Cathedral of St. Steve-the-Infallible of Cupertino, but for production work, it would probably be very prudent to wait until the new hardware base, the operating system, the applications, and necessary plug-ins and utilities all synchronize and stabilize, hopefully by the end of 2021!

- Dov
 

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