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35 minutes ago, Starhawk said:

I'd like to buy the cheapest Mac Mini for example, but not sure how the unified memory equates to memory usage we are used to. I can have Chrome open with several tabs and it will use 18GB.


From what I’ve gathered, 8GB seems to be fine for most tasks for most people.. The systems swaps out memory so quickly that it’s not noticeable.

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6 hours ago, Starhawk said:

Is there any guidance on how to choose the amount of unified memory on a new Apple silicon Mac?


I'd like to buy the cheapest Mac Mini for example, but not sure how the unified memory equates to memory usage we are used to. I can have Chrome open with several tabs and it will use 18GB.


I've poured over articles and videos about this a lot and while it's true the inherent nature of the system architecture helps move things around a lot faster than we're used to in non SOC based builds, it's obviously not enough to allow anyone to realistically say "well 8GB on an M1 is equal to 16 on a traditional computer."  Personally I'd always strive to get as much RAM as I can afford, but it really depends on how RAM intensive the software is that you regularly use, and indeed how many RAM intensive applications you might have running at any one time. 





I'd welcome 32GB in a future M Mac, though God only knows what Apple will charge for it. I wouldn't immediately dismiss going 16GB when it's time to make the choice, but for me 16 will be the bare minimum. 


I'm desperate to see iMac and a more powerful Mac Mini announcements. I'm still torn on the laptop front too, as I can still envision times where having one will be useful, but having previously done it previously with my ageing MBP I'm not convinced about the workflow of running a laptop as my lone computer hooked up to an external display.   Am I wrong to be? I just don't know. I find I am more productive with a desktop as a laptop makes things too tempting to move away from my workspace, which is really what I got the iPad for, but I'm just not sure running an MBP to an external display 90% of the time and hiding it under my desk is good for me or the computer itself.


My mid 2014 MBP has had a good run, but its being outpaced by the software I like to use now and the fans can kick in even with the most basic graphical tasks. 

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11 hours ago, Magness said:

I can’t personally find any use case that can’t be done by a laptop anymore with the sole exception of gaming :)


Ultimately once we have a 14" MBP out there, the new iMacs and hopefully a more powerful M based Mac Mini with better I/O, I will make my decision based on the performance on offer for whatever my available budget might be towards the end of the year. The Apple Silicon chips certainly re-invigorate my interest in laptops which I have typically come to hate on account of their battery life, heat and fan noise (things the M architecture succeeds in largely making a thing of the past, but it stands to reason more powerful M chips will still demand more of cooling and batteries). 


Ideally I want the next iMac with the thought of getting a MacBook Air or a 14" MBP at a later date. A beefier Mini is of great interest, but I think/hope the display on the new iMac will be rather special (beyond continuation of offering nano-texture which I am pretty sure I will not be able to afford as I suspect I will have to favour funds going towards boosting internal storage and RAM instead). Even now, the 5k display in the current iMacs is actually offering you a lot for your money that you can't really get standalone from a third party manufacturer, so if they stick to 5k but enhance brightness and contrast with mini-LED, and perhaps pack it into a 30" monitor, I think it will make the iMac a very compelling package over anything else. They could of course upgrade the iMac display and take all that tech and duplicate it in a new standalone Apple display which would be great as it could be partnered with a MacBook Pro or hypothetical powerful Mini, or act as an identical second display next to the new iMac itself. 


All I know is that I can't remember the last time I was left waiting in such anticipation for new Apple computers. What the M1 can do now is remarkable and I don't think I can really comprehend just how good this year's more powerful M based offerings are going to be.

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Back to the RAM discussion. I was just reading up on some alleged "M1X" specifications and if true then it does seem as though 32GB will be an option in the near future:



An apparent benchmark listing for the so-called Apple M1X CPU may have given us a glimpse at next-generation Apple Silicon.


The leak shows an Apple M1X with 12 cores, according to CPU Monkey, an increase over its predecessor’s 8, which will reportedly arrive in the form of 8 high-performance ‘Firestorm’ cores coupled with 4 efficient ‘Ice Storm cores’. 


The CPU will allegedly see an even more impressive upgrade in the graphics department. The leaked benchmarks, which are said to come from a “pre-sample” of the M1X, suggests the processor will feature a 16-core GPU with 256 execution units. 


The Apple M1X will also feature an increased TDP of 35W-45W, according to the listing, and support for up to 32GB of LPDDR4X memory and PCIe 4.0 storage. 


Like its predecessor, however, the chip will reportedly still be clocked at 3.2GHz and will be based on a 5nm production process. 






It's interesting that the claim is that the chip will go into both 14 and 16" MacBook Pros and the larger iMac. I had expected a bespoke chipset for the more powerful desktops, but the idea of relative performance parity between desktop and MBP is quite appealing (if all this is true, I'd still assume better cooling in a desktop could squeeze a little more from the SoC but we'll see). I'd still take the above with a large pinch of salt, however. 

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Unrelated, but for fellow music collection and metadata nerds, Mp3tag is now available for Mac from the App Store (and is apparently M1 native):




I'm planning to run a Roon server for my FLAC archived CD collection once I have a desktop Mac up and running, so to finally see Mp3tag come to Mac is fantastic.


Incidentally, for those unfamiliar with Roon... I've used it the past but it was just to much of a fiddle with my laptop and constantly connecting/disconnecting my storage all the time (I still keep wanting to build a damn unraid server but other spending priorities keep getting in the way). It's a wonderful piece of software, and the latest 1.8 version looks to be a huge leap forward:




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