Quick advice needed. M1 vs 8 core Intel i9

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Quick advice needed. M1 vs 8 core Intel i9

Post by Guido3 »

I need some really quick advice.

My currently MBP 13” (2016) is starting to play up. So I need to make a quick decision regarding an upgrade (I usually spend ages looking at all the options but I unfortunately don’t have that luxury)

I need to get a replacement fairly quickly. Everything I have works fine on the Intel chip. I have a few NI plugins and a lot of UA plug-in (Apollo + Satellite). I believe the UA stuff still doesn’t play nicely with M1 chips. Does anyone have any experience of this?

My options are to buy a MBP M1 with 16gb and find some workarounds for the time being or get a used (fairly new) Intel machine. Someone fairly local to me has a 16” 2.3Ghz 8 core i9 MBP (16gb) for £1500.

Both options would come in at around the same price.

What would you do?

(Looks like the Rhodes is being put on hold…. Again!!)
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Re: Quick advice needed. M1 vs 8 core Intel i9

Post by Forum Admin »

Guido3 wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:17 pm Everything I have works fine on the Intel chip. I have a few NI plugins and a lot of UA plug-in (Apollo + Satellite). I believe the UA stuff still doesn’t play nicely with M1 chips.

Hi Guido3,

You've answered your own question really. If those components are essential to your music-making/mixing/recording then you will need to stick with the Intel i9 MBP.

If you are not doing paid work, and can live with waiting for software to become M1 Native, then I'd go for the M1. (I have an M1 MBP and love it - so fast! But don't use NI or UA software/apps so cannot relate my experiences of that side of things.)
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Re: Quick advice needed. M1 vs 8 core Intel i9

Post by Guido3 »

Forum Admin wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:58 pm You've answered your own question really. If those components are essential to your music-making/mixing/recording then you will need to stick with the Intel i9 MBP.

Kind of……….

There are workarounds but I was wondering whether the workarounds are worth it (sheer speed of the M1) in the short term. Having spent the last 4 years on a 13” MBP the 16” does seem tempting for that alone!
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Re: Quick advice needed. M1 vs 8 core Intel i9

Post by Forum Admin »

I always use my MBP and M1 MBP in clamshell mode anyway, plugged into a Thunderbolt display.

The M1 is stone cold all of the time when I'm running it (10+ hours minimum per day) and noise-free; the i9 is hot 'n' sweaty and like Concorde taking off when the fans kick in...

...the decision is yours.

The built-in Rosetta 2 interpreter does a grand job of running most Intel apps on the M1, and often with no loss of speed etc. But native M1 is way better, of course.

And the M1 13" MacBook Pro is lightweight - lighter than my MkI iPadPro and the same dimensions almost.
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Re: Quick advice needed. M1 vs 8 core Intel i9

Post by MOF »

I have the 13" MBP M1 16GB and 1TB drive with a UAD Apollo X4 and Komplete 12 Ultimate and they all play nicely with one another. Check the NI website for exclusions, I seem to remember that some devices or plugins, aren't currently supported.
I can vouch for low temperature and lack of fan noise.
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Re: Quick advice needed. M1 vs 8 core Intel i9

Post by Guido3 »

Thanks to everyone who chipped in with advice. Having slept on it, I’m going to go for a M1 MBP with 16gb. The only major restriction I see is the number of ports (2xTB3/USB C) available. My current MBP has 4. So I’m going to get a decent hub to run with it and I should be good to go.

I nice TB monitor will follow but not essential just at the moment.

Thanks again for the pointers.

*edit - I’ve just looked at Apples refurb store and there is a MBA (16Gb+512gb) for just under £1400. Is the MBP worth the bit extra? (fan+slightly brighter screen)
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Re: Quick advice needed. M1 vs 8 core Intel i9

Post by Forum Admin »

I can recommend the CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt hub. Solid as a rock. OWC also have some... check out YouTube videos. Depends if you need camera SD card slots etc.

Sam Inglis reviewed the OWC Docks/hubs back in our January 2021 issue:
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/owc-docks-storage

Personally, I'd still go for the MBPro M1 over the Air M1.
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Re: Quick advice needed. M1 vs 8 core Intel i9

Post by Guido3 »

I’ll check out those docks. Thanks. I don’t need a SD Card slot.

I’ll take your advice and go for the MBP over the MBA. I’ll have to wait a couple of weeks for it to be ‘built’ it would seem.

*edit - If I spec a 1TB SSD I can get one from my local Apple store tomorrow. Choices!!!
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Re: Quick advice needed. M1 vs 8 core Intel i9

Post by miN2 »

Man, i9 Apple laptops seriously get my goat. Please don't support them :protest:

You're basically paying through the nose for hardware that you can't use to its full potential due to anemic cooling. It'll be forced to run at stock speeds basically 99% of the time and it'll still be running hot.

It's why Apple 'fixed' the units with a software patch. /facepalm
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Re: Quick advice needed. M1 vs 8 core Intel i9

Post by Forum Admin »

Guido3 wrote: Thu Aug 05, 2021 11:56 am If I spec a 1TB SSD I can get one from my local Apple store tomorrow. Choices!!!

I have the 1TB internal SSD and have 2TB Samsung and 1TB Samsung portable T7 SSDs (USB3.1) for TimeMachine and general backups. I also have three older 2TB USB drives for offline archives.

So if you can, go for the internal 1TB.
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