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Thread: Apple MacBook Air (M1) review: gamechanging speed and battery life

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    Biden's Carpet Slippers lost in melb.'s Avatar
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    Holy Shit Apple MacBook Air (M1) review: gamechanging speed and battery life

    The M1 represents such a large performance and efficiency leap that it is going to be several years before Intel, AMD and even Arm-rival Qualcomm catches up



    The new M1 replaces the Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 of its predecessor. In the cheapest MacBook Air (as tested) it has an eight-core processor (CPU) and a seven-core graphics processor (GPU), with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, but an eight-core GPU option is available.

    The M1 has four high-performance CPU cores that handle the demanding stuff such as crunching data and editing photos, while four high-efficiency CPU cores handle lightweight tasks such as sending emails. All eight cores can run simultaneously for maximum performance, but the chip is designed to be as power-efficient as possible.

    The M1 is aso the first desktop chip to be made at the 5nm scale, where most are made at the 10 or 14nm scale. The smaller the scale, the more energy-efficient it can be.

    Combined, it creates a once-in-a-generation performance and battery-life leap. The M1 is faster than any other laptop chip, rivalling the most high-powered desktop chips, while being very power-efficient.

    Apple’s cheapest and lowest-power laptop can now do things hitherto reserved for only large, high-performance machines, and with multi work-day battery life to boot. If you want to edit multiple 4K streams of video or other intensive tasks, the Air will now do it.

    https://amp.theguardian.com/technolo...d-battery-life

    _____________________________________


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    7 minutes to Wapner FBD's Avatar
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    5nm that's pretty damned small

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    Lying dog-faced pony soldier Teh One Who Knocks's Avatar
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    Review: Apple's new MacBook Air is speedy with iPhone-inspired chip, but here's what's missing

    Jefferson Graham - USA TODAY



    Apple's New MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini

    Imagine a laptop computer with all the modern benefits of an iPhone a machine that could last for hours and hours, ran quietly and do several things at once, without bottling up.

    That pretty much sums up Apple's latest MacBook Pro, one of three new computers Apple released in 2020 with the new "M1" chip, which is based on the same processing power Apple uses in iPhones and iPads.

    Apple's hype is pretty intense on its website. "With a giant leap in performance per watt, every Mac with M1 is transformed into a completely different class of product."

    I don't know that I'd go that far. Here's how I'd describe my experience with the 13-inch MacBook Pro:

    Battery life that just never ends. Quiet and speedy performance. It can run several high-intensity programs at once, and you don't see that pesky hourglass appear in the middle of your tasks. It turns on instantly, as fast as you can open the lid.

    That's the good news of the new MacBook Pro, which ditched the old chips by industry veteran Intel for its own "Apple Silicon."

    The bad is that Apple is very skimpy on ports, just two for the Pro. One of them goes for power, so if you want to plug in an external hard drive, flash drive, monitor and have another port open for your Lightning connector to recharge an iPhone, you'll have to get used to a dongle.

    I've got the Belkin USB-C Multimedia Hub, a $100 dongle that has 2 USB-A ports, an SD card reader, ethernet and 1 HDMI slot. Cheaper dongles can be found on Amazon in the $25 range, with fewer slots. (And yes, Apple still has a headphone jack on its computers.)

    Another issue: Apple knows we're living in a Zoom world now, with endless video conferences, so why stick us with the same crappy 720p resolution built-in webcam when there are third-party companies selling 4K webcams. I even know of a company that makes more cameras than just about any firm in the world, and if it wanted to, it could insert that iPhone camera it makes into the computer and make a whole lot of people really happy.

    That said, let's open the hood and take a look:

    Speed. I opened Final Cut Pro X, the video editing program, and worked on a 22-minute, graphics-heavy production that would normally take at least 30 minutes to complete, to finish in Final Cut and transfer to a movie file.

    With the M1 Mac, exporting it took three minutes.

    Battery. For battery test, you know when companies say they have an all-day battery and then we use the phones all day, but they die by late afternoon? My current MacBook Pro lasts about three hours before getting to that point. With the review MacBook unit, I just stopped counting after 10 hours.

    Pricing: Apple starts the MacBook Pro line at $1,299 for a 13-inch model. But reader beware: The unit I tested clocked in at $1,899, with 16 GB of RAM (up from the standard 8 GB) and 1 terabyte of solid-state, no moving parts storage. The standard is 256 GB, which you could run through in no time, considering the size of applications, and ever increasing high-resolution photos and videos.

    Other M1 Macs: The lighter MacBook Air, which Apple didn't send for review, starts at $999 with a 7-core GPU and 256 GB of storage, versus a more powerful 8-core GPU and 512 GB of storage for $1,249. (However, if you load up the machine with even more storage and RAM, you're looking at $2,049 before tax.)

    The other new M1 Mac for 2020 is the Mac Mini, the tiny portable desktop computer that connects to monitors. They start at $699 with 256 GB of storage or $899 with 512 GB, but if you want to load them up, they clock in at $1,699 before tax.

    Apple says it plans to shift all of its existing computers over the next two years to the M1 chip. Bloomberg reports that could be earlier, as soon as the spring, with a new lineup of iMac desktop computers and the 16-inch edition of the MacBook Pro.

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    Shelter Dweller PorkChopSandwiches's Avatar
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    Lying dog-faced pony soldier Teh One Who Knocks's Avatar
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    No, I added a review with a different PoV

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    Shelter Dweller PorkChopSandwiches's Avatar
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    I didnt read it






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    Basement Dweller Godfather's Avatar
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    I should make a new thread but I'm too lazy... did you guys see the new $550 USD Airpod Max headphones No 3.5mm support either, and the carrying case looks like a bra, or a purse....

    Sennheiser Momentum Wireless and the Sony XM4's are both cheaper and supposed to be amazing.... what the fuck Apple

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    Quote Originally Posted by Godfather View Post
    I should make a new thread but I'm too lazy... did you guys see the new $550 USD Airpod Max headphones No 3.5mm support either, and the carrying case looks like a bra, or a purse....

    Sennheiser Momentum Wireless and the Sony XM4's are both cheaper and supposed to be amazing.... what the fuck Apple
    Absolutely everything made by crApple is overpriced. Everything. And almost none of it is actually "the best" when put up against other brands.

    Bought the kid some wireless earbuds from Raycon and they are reasonably priced and awesome. Fuck those stupid AirPods with the stems hanging out.

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    I agree with all of that. And the speed of their mobile phone chips don't actually matter because you can't do anything useful with the phones!

    But, dammit they seem to have hit the jackpot with the laptop CPUs. If you're into video editing or something demanding this would be a win. Power counts. Why can't Intel or AMD do that?? I'd love to know the full story here...

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    Quote Originally Posted by lost in melb. View Post
    I agree with all of that. And the speed of their mobile phone chips don't actually matter because you can't do anything useful with the phones!

    But, dammit they seem to have hit the jackpot with the laptop CPUs. If you're into video editing or something demanding this would be a win. Power counts. Why can't Intel or AMD do that?? I'd love to know the full story here...
    I don't believe the original story for a minute. There is no way that Apple is "years" ahead of Intel and/or AMD. One or both of those companies will come out with something as good or better sooner rather than later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lost in melb. View Post
    I agree with all of that. And the speed of their mobile phone chips don't actually matter because you can't do anything useful with the phones!

    But, dammit they seem to have hit the jackpot with the laptop CPUs. If you're into video editing or something demanding this would be a win. Power counts. Why can't Intel or AMD do that?? I'd love to know the full story here...
    Quote Originally Posted by Teh One Who Knocks View Post
    I don't believe the original story for a minute. There is no way that Apple is "years" ahead of Intel and/or AMD. One or both of those companies will come out with something as good or better sooner rather than later.
    It comes down to optimization to a big extent from my understanding.

    High-end AMD and Intel consumer CPU's are built for gaming. Apple brags about being a video editing and workstation machine. Video editing loves CPU core and RAM. Gaming CPU's love single thread performance rather than core, and RAM has diminishing returns for gaming these days. They're not competing for the same audience, so sure Apple building their own CPU makes sense for better video editing (at an outrageous cost) but I don't personally care if AMD/Intel competes in that type of CPU space, I care about cards built for a different use.



    I actually do have to say I like iPhones though, I don't have nearly as much bad to say about them as I do Mac computers and laptops, which I absolutely despise for so many reasons.
    Last edited by Godfather; 12-12-2020 at 01:05 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Godfather View Post
    It comes down to optimization to a big extent from my understanding.

    High-end AMD and Intel consumer CPU's are built for gaming. Apple brags about being a video editing and workstation machine. Video editing loves CPU core and RAM. Gaming CPU's love single thread performance rather than core, and RAM has diminishing returns for gaming these days. They're not competing for the same audience, so sure Apple building their own CPU makes sense for better video editing (at an outrageous cost) but I don't personally care if AMD/Intel competes in that type of CPU space, I care about cards built for a different use.



    I actually do have to say I like iPhones though, I don't have nearly as much bad to say about them as I do Mac computers and laptops, which I absolutely despise for so many reasons.
    You had me until you said you like iPhones

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    Basement Dweller Godfather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teh One Who Knocks View Post
    You had me until you said you like iPhones
    I figured it was a risk to admit.

    I have two phones, an android and an iPhone for work. I chose the iPhone given out by work just to see what it's like. We can swap them out every year or two so I figured I'd give it a go. One big perk at work is that we have full access to the Apple App store, whereas the work Androids are more locked down due to some malware concerns IT has (not sure how founded those are, but that's the reality at our company).

    I like the iPhone partly because that's what my family all has, and FaceTime is easier for my boomer parents than figuring out Skype/Zoom iMessage is solid too. The UI is clean and simple, the automatic iCloud storage of data is seamless and really impressive, and Apple's sign-in features for third party websites that protect you from needing to register an email and hides your identity is neat. I've also been playing around with Apple Music and think I may fully switch from Spotify. I have too say, the iPhone is thin and light and just feels good in my hand. Also when I got my last work iPhone upgrade, I just turned it on beside my old work iPhone, tapped one button and it transferred everything over wirelessly - the apps, everything was all exactly where I left it. I'm still impressed by that, although Android does have a similar feature I believe.

    I've also seen the integration that my wife's iPhone has with her Apple Watch, airpods and Macbook (though again, I hate her Macbook with a passion) and it's very user friendly if that's what you're going for. The whole Apple ecosystem, if you have the dough to buy in, is sleek. Windows/Android can't really compete there frankly.

    Overall I do not hate it. There's my review - I'm ready to get shit on
    Last edited by Godfather; 12-16-2020 at 08:19 AM.

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