Apple debuts new MacBook Air with Apple Silicon M1 chip

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  • Reply 101 of 130
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,551member

    As for the 16 Gig RAM limit, keep in mind they have tighter integration now. IOS devices can run laps around Android devices with twice the RAM. I think the same would apply here. 
    The RAM is integrated into the SOC itself.  That's no doubt a significant factor to Apple Silicon performance.  If they ever do offer Mac's with offboard RAM we will get to see just how big a boost having the RAM *tightly* coupled (to put it mildly) with the CPU package provides.  Which is why I suspect we will never see that.  I was a bit shocked they offered two variants of RAM - 8 and 16.  I now suspect we will see fixed amounts from Apple only.  Maybe the Mac Pro replacement -  but that's where you would want MORE performance so that's the last place you would want off board RAM.

    It's going to be interesting!  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 102 of 130
    XedXed Posts: 981member
    docno42 said:

    As for the 16 Gig RAM limit, keep in mind they have tighter integration now. IOS devices can run laps around Android devices with twice the RAM. I think the same would apply here. 
    The RAM is integrated into the SOC itself.  That's no doubt a significant factor to Apple Silicon performance.  If they ever do offer Mac's with offboard RAM we will get to see just how big a boost having the RAM *tightly* coupled (to put it mildly) with the CPU package provides.  Which is why I suspect we will never see that.  I was a bit shocked they offered two variants of RAM - 8 and 16.  I now suspect we will see fixed amounts from Apple only.  Maybe the Mac Pro replacement -  but that's where you would want MORE performance so that's the last place you would want off board RAM.

    It's going to be interesting!  
    That various RAM options with the M1 SoC is a key reason why I think this is more of just a general, marketing name for the release and not the specific chip identity. IOW, there is clearly more than one M1 chip being produced (unless someone wants to claim that Apple is artificially halting the RAM in some of the M1 chips). I expect to see different chip identifiers once the teardowns begin next week.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 103 of 130
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,551member
    Xed said:
    That various RAM options with the M1 SoC is a key reason why I think this is more of just a general, marketing name for the release and not the specific chip identity. IOW, there is clearly more than one M1 chip being produced (unless someone wants to claim that Apple is artificially halting the RAM in some of the M1 chips). I expect to see different chip identifiers once the teardowns begin next week.
    There are obviously two different M1 chips being produced - one for each RAM configuration - no way they are negating half of the RAM on a CPU.   That's just nuts.  I do think it's clear the MBA with the 7 core GPU is just using a binned CPU that would otherwise just get trashed.  Nothing wrong with that either.  I may go that route just to save a couple hundred extra since I'm not gaming or video editing on a MBA any time soon.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 104 of 130
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,161member
    Rayz2016 said:

    danvm said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Disappointed by the no design refresh. iPad Pro style thin bezel screens and Face ID should have been included in the new MacBooks. Every other PC manufacturer is now making top line notebooks with modern edge to edge screen designs and Apple is still shipping a machine that looks almost identical to what they first released in 2015. Face ID is the most baffling thing of all. The Mac is the best suited platform to unlock the power of Face ID and it’s the only platform where it’s not available. 

    Yeah, that's a tricky one. The thing is that Apple is selling transition: they do not want existing sales to dry up; they do not want folk to start waiting three years until the whole line has moved across. Keeping the case the same is a psychological trick for the vast majority of Apple's customers who are concerned with platform stability more than anything else. They're going to tread slowly and cautiously. This is the biggest change to the Mac since the Intel switch. See what the reaction is to the new machines, and feed that into the design of the next generation. 

    I'd like to see new cases, but I understand why they might wait for that.

    I wasn't expecting FaceID because there are an awful lot of folk who plug their laptops into monitors. I do that and even using TouchID is a a bit of a pain; FaceID would be worse. The other thing about FaceID is that it can be a bit fussy about angles. 
    I don't think is related to users connecting notebooks to external monitors, considering many Windows laptops include Windows Hello.  
    That’s why I thought that was the problem; I’ve yet to see any of my Windows colleagues use it, and that’s why apparently. 

    For me, the easiest  way to unlock a Mac is the Apple Watch. Stroll up, start working. 
    From what I have seen with Lenovo ThinkPad notebooks, Windows Hello certified cameras are optional. Maybe your colleagues notebooks don’t have the right camera for Windows Hello. 

    One option desktop users have is the Logitech Brio or the Lenovo 500 camera, which support Windows Hello.  

    I don’t have an AW, so I haven’t experienced unlocking my MBP.  I have a Surface Pro, and the unlock experience is very good.
  • Reply 105 of 130
    XedXed Posts: 981member
    docno42 said:
    Xed said:
    That various RAM options with the M1 SoC is a key reason why I think this is more of just a general, marketing name for the release and not the specific chip identity. IOW, there is clearly more than one M1 chip being produced (unless someone wants to claim that Apple is artificially halting the RAM in some of the M1 chips). I expect to see different chip identifiers once the teardowns begin next week.
    There are obviously two different M1 chips being produced - one for each RAM configuration - no way they are negating half of the RAM on a CPU.   That's just nuts.  I do think it's clear the MBA with the 7 core GPU is just using a binned CPU that would otherwise just get trashed.  Nothing wrong with that either.  I may go that route just to save a couple hundred extra since I'm not gaming or video editing on a MBA any time soon.
    The 7 core GPU is surely that set up (which I think is the case with how they get Apple TV SoCs), but I wonder if the chips in the MBP and MBA could also be different. They at least have different power envelopes as evidenced by the lack of the fan in the MBA, but I look forward to the teardown to see what the chips actually say. My feeling is that it's just the two M1s with different amounts of RAM in the HW, and next year we'll see even more diversity in their chip HW while still using the same M-series name across the platform for a given release.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 106 of 130
    I really wish I could buy one, but sadly, I have to run windows PC only software for my work and that rules out me ever being able to buy a silicone MAC until I retire.... :0(
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 107 of 130
    I was hoping for a new design or even a refresh. But wasn’t surprised that Apple chose to stick with the same old. I thought Apple has decided to follow the car industry and keep a model design for a good 4-5 years. But no the MacBook is pretty much unchanged for more than a decade. It’s almost like cook realised that he is not great at design so he won’t change whatever it’s that jobs came up with. 

    I’m not talking about just aesthetics, even though it’s sad that Apple no longer makes the nicest looking products. At least work on the damn power brick. The flip out ears to wind the cable is such a stupid idea. And don’t be stubborn on the 720p cam geez. 
    edited November 2020
  • Reply 108 of 130
    KTRKTR Posts: 122member
    Apple's M1 chip "changes everything" in a new MacBook Air, which Apple claims is three times faster than 98% of the PC laptops sold in the last year -- and without a fan.




    Announced at its November 10 event, the first device with Apple Silicon is the MacBook Air. Reusing the same chassis as the previous model, Apple said that the new MacBook air is up to 3.5x faster than the previous generation.

    The new MacBook Air retains the pricing of the previous model, starting at $999, or $899 for education buyers. Apple has announced that pre-orders begin today.

    "MacBook Air is the most popular Mac," said Apple's Mac Product Line Manager, Laura Metz. "In fact, it's the world's best selling 13 inch notebook users love it stunning Retina display, great everyday performance and incredible portability, all in a sleek wedge shaped design."

    The MacBook Air with Apple Silicon M1 has an 8-core CPU, and comes with up to an 8-core GPU. Apple says this makes graphics up to 5x faster than the previous generation, while Machine Learning runs at up to 9x faster.

    "These days, users are working more from home, learning remotely, and using the Air to stay connected. making performance and battery life, extremely important," continued Metz. "We're thrilled that our first chip for the Mac enables the MacBook Air to do things that were previously impossible on such a thin and light notebook."

    "So if you're editing family photos or exporting a video for the web with iMovie, the new air blazes right through it," he continued. "Or if you're working in Lightroom, you can manage huge raw libraries that are unheard of speeds, turning your Air into a mobile photo studio."

    The new MacBook Air with Apple Silicon M1 has no fans, which Apple says means it runs completely silently. Apple also claims that it has the longest battery life ever in a MacBook Air, with a quoted 15 hours maximum wireless web browsing, and 18 hours of video playback.

    The display is the same 2560x1600 resolution as the previous MacBook Air. The webcam is a 720p model, also the same as the earlier MacBook Air. Wi-Fi has been upgraded to Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth remains at version 5.0

    The new GPU in the MacBook Air is capable of supporting the Apple Pro Display XDR, at 6K resolution at 60Hz.

    Preorders for the new MacBook Air have already started. Prices begin at $999 for a model with the M1 chip with seven GPU cores, 8GB of integrated RAM, and 256 GB of SSD storage. A model with the M1 chip, eight GPU cores, and 512GB of SSD storage retails for $1249.

    An upgrade to 16GB of unified memory costs $200 on all models.
    One thing apple didn't indicate in the specs, is the clock speed or the cores.  Or does it not matter with that type of design?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 109 of 130
    docno42 said:
    Will this run legacy apps? As in, do current apps need to be ported over? Will there be Rosetta-like technology available?

    Sorry if this was made clear already.


    Yes - there is Rosetta2 technology.  AI has several good articles discussing it from when it was introduced back at the world wide developers conference.  Just search the site for Rosetta 2 and they should pop right up :smile: 

    Thank you very much!  :smile: 
    watto_cobradocno42
  • Reply 110 of 130
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,615member
    M1-M4 were not entirely successful. M5 is. A whole, new approach. Apple has impressed Steve Jobs’ memory engrams on a single chip.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 111 of 130
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,830member
    danvm said:
    Rayz2016 said:

    danvm said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Disappointed by the no design refresh. iPad Pro style thin bezel screens and Face ID should have been included in the new MacBooks. Every other PC manufacturer is now making top line notebooks with modern edge to edge screen designs and Apple is still shipping a machine that looks almost identical to what they first released in 2015. Face ID is the most baffling thing of all. The Mac is the best suited platform to unlock the power of Face ID and it’s the only platform where it’s not available. 

    Yeah, that's a tricky one. The thing is that Apple is selling transition: they do not want existing sales to dry up; they do not want folk to start waiting three years until the whole line has moved across. Keeping the case the same is a psychological trick for the vast majority of Apple's customers who are concerned with platform stability more than anything else. They're going to tread slowly and cautiously. This is the biggest change to the Mac since the Intel switch. See what the reaction is to the new machines, and feed that into the design of the next generation. 

    I'd like to see new cases, but I understand why they might wait for that.

    I wasn't expecting FaceID because there are an awful lot of folk who plug their laptops into monitors. I do that and even using TouchID is a a bit of a pain; FaceID would be worse. The other thing about FaceID is that it can be a bit fussy about angles. 
    I don't think is related to users connecting notebooks to external monitors, considering many Windows laptops include Windows Hello.  
    That’s why I thought that was the problem; I’ve yet to see any of my Windows colleagues use it, and that’s why apparently. 

    For me, the easiest  way to unlock a Mac is the Apple Watch. Stroll up, start working. 
    From what I have seen with Lenovo ThinkPad notebooks, Windows Hello certified cameras are optional. Maybe your colleagues notebooks don’t have the right camera for Windows Hello. 

    One option desktop users have is the Logitech Brio or the Lenovo 500 camera, which support Windows Hello.  

    I don’t have an AW, so I haven’t experienced unlocking my MBP.  I have a Surface Pro, and the unlock experience is very good.
    Ah, I didn’t know that. I’ll check at the next meeting. They could then use a Logitech camera mounted on top of the monitor. 
  • Reply 112 of 130
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,830member
    Xed said:
    What moving to Intel was to getting Windows users switch platforms because of the Boot Camp/VM "safety net", the ability to run all your iPhone and iPad apps on a laptop or desktop will push even more Windows users to the Mac.
    The importance of this cannot be overstated. 
    watto_cobraronnBeats
  • Reply 113 of 130
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,830member
    Xed said:
    elijahg said:

    docno42 said:
    elijahg said:
    Yes, all these added bells and whistles are nice, looking better on webcam etc, faster ML, but those things are super niche. Better battery is great, but having 10 hours vs 20 isn't essential. When's the last time you worried about how you look on webcam, or how fast ML is? It's actually less functionality for me at least, as it can't run Windows which I use for parts of my job - And so does Apple. Amusingly, the Mac Pros are running Modelsim, which is a logic analyser. And it's Windows only. I used Windows on my Mac regularly at uni, if I couldn't, I would have got a PC laptop. Same for several of my friends at uni.
    With that kind of battery life I will no longer care that magsafe is gone.  It’s now irrelevant.  If you need Windows that sucks and these machines aren’t for you (yet).  Luckily I have no such needs for my laptop.  I only care about Windows for gaming and I have a gaming PC for that.  

    Also the Windows story on Apple Silicon hasn’t been completely told yet.  We know Parallels is working on x86 emulation and since Apple owns their CPU design it wouldn’t surprise me if it was going to be beneficial and not complicate things that they have hardware assist for x86 emulation.  I’m not holding my breath, but Apple knows x86 is going to be an issue for Pro’s so I wouldn’t count something like that out.

    It’s WAY early in this transition.  This is the start of a 2 year process, according to Apple.  It will be interesting to see how things play out, that’s for sure.
    Perhaps Apple will release a dual-CPU machine with an Intel CPU and an M1, so we don't have to live with emulation. Emulation is horribly slow without hardware support. Don't know if you ever tried to use Windows on a PPC Mac, but it was excruciatingly slow.
    Um, no. Not going to happen. If you don't want to use Rosetta 2 then you can either wait for your app to be updated (which will happen in record time compared to the transition to Intel) or just use your old Mac. 
    He’s talking about running his old Windows apps, not MacOS apps compiled for Intel. 
  • Reply 114 of 130
    elijahg said:
    I notice the price is the same as before, so rather than dropping the price due to cheaper CPU and increasing accessibility for people, they're just absorbing the extra profit. Great, that's the Cook Way. 🙄
    Well, this MacBook Air has more powerful CPU than my 2015 MBP. It also has 40% faster GPU (integrated) than my discrete GPU and 50% of the performance of the top discrete GPU in the latest MBP.

    All of that in a lower power envelope, no fan, and with extended battery life.

    So, actually, it is a massive upgrade compared to both the previous generation of MB Air and any other laptop on the market.

    When did other companies gave 2-3 time faster computer at a lower price?!? If anything, such an upgrade from any other vendor will come with significant price increase.

    You can think about it the other way around - there is a significant price cut for this class of performance.

    The very idea that Apple should lower the price because they pay less for the silicon is as absurd as it can get for a very simple reason - the costs are structured in a very different way.

    When Apple buys CPUs from Intel, the price includes research, development and production costs + margins.

    When Apple pays TSMC for printing their SoCs, the research & development costs are obviously not included.

    For that reason, pricing comparisons of the kind - Intel CPU is $200, Apple pays TSMC $70, so Apple adds $130 to their profit - are absolutely idiotic and inadequate.
    watto_cobraRayz2016randominternetpersonronndocno42
  • Reply 115 of 130
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,699member

    I think most folk install Windows on Bootcamp and the use Parallels to build one or more virtual machines with the BootCamp partition. So there are still not enough Windows VM users for Apple to tie themselves to Intel any longer than they have to. 

    Not a big deal, but I’ve never even considered using a BootCamp partition for VMs. I’ve always installed VMs within the native file system, either on the internal drive or an external drive, preferably an external SSD. This is especially useful if you’re doing any sort of client-server stuff and need to have the guest VMs running at the same time as the host. 

    With VMWare Fusion I can install VMs on an external SSD and run them on a Mac or Windows host, except for Mac VMs which are blocked from running on a Windows host for nontechnical reasons. But Windows and Linux VMs are not a problem at all. 

    I’ve been using VMWare for close to 20 years on Windows and since 2007 on Mac. It’s an essential capability and I cannot live without it. Because of this I have no problem keeping an Intel Mac or Windows box around just for this reason. Yeah, I’d prefer to have VMs running on my fastest platform but with sufficient memory even a 3-5 year old machine can handle VMs quite well. 
    ronndocno42
  • Reply 116 of 130
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,830member
    dewme said:

    I think most folk install Windows on Bootcamp and the use Parallels to build one or more virtual machines with the BootCamp partition. So there are still not enough Windows VM users for Apple to tie themselves to Intel any longer than they have to. 

    Not a big deal, but I’ve never even considered using a BootCamp partition for VMs. I’ve always installed VMs within the native file system, either on the internal drive or an external drive, preferably an external SSD. This is especially useful if you’re doing any sort of client-server stuff and need to have the guest VMs running at the same time as the host. 

    With VMWare Fusion I can install VMs on an external SSD and run them on a Mac or Windows host, except for Mac VMs which are blocked from running on a Windows host for nontechnical reasons. But Windows and Linux VMs are not a problem at all. 

    I’ve been using VMWare for close to 20 years on Windows and since 2007 on Mac. It’s an essential capability and I cannot live without it. Because of this I have no problem keeping an Intel Mac or Windows box around just for this reason. Yeah, I’d prefer to have VMs running on my fastest platform but with sufficient memory even a 3-5 year old machine can handle VMs quite well. 
    I suspect you may be an outlier. Most people will take the easiest path: let BootCamp worry about partitions and installations, and the install the VM software and have it pick up the BootCamp installation. 

    If I needed to run Windows I would probably keep it running on a separate box and then remote into it. I imagine that will still work. (Which is probably what you’re doing.)
    ronn
  • Reply 117 of 130
    aderutter said:
    My 6 year old MBP has 32GB RAM so I won’t be upgarding it yet. Sigh.
    Odd given the MBP with 32GB RAM has only been available since 2017
    docno42jdb8167
  • Reply 118 of 130
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,265member
    KTR said:
    Apple's M1 chip "changes everything" in a new MacBook Air, which Apple claims is three times faster than 98% of the PC laptops sold in the last year -- and without a fan.




    Announced at its November 10 event, the first device with Apple Silicon is the MacBook Air. Reusing the same chassis as the previous model, Apple said that the new MacBook air is up to 3.5x faster than the previous generation.

    The new MacBook Air retains the pricing of the previous model, starting at $999, or $899 for education buyers. Apple has announced that pre-orders begin today.

    "MacBook Air is the most popular Mac," said Apple's Mac Product Line Manager, Laura Metz. "In fact, it's the world's best selling 13 inch notebook users love it stunning Retina display, great everyday performance and incredible portability, all in a sleek wedge shaped design."

    The MacBook Air with Apple Silicon M1 has an 8-core CPU, and comes with up to an 8-core GPU. Apple says this makes graphics up to 5x faster than the previous generation, while Machine Learning runs at up to 9x faster.

    "These days, users are working more from home, learning remotely, and using the Air to stay connected. making performance and battery life, extremely important," continued Metz. "We're thrilled that our first chip for the Mac enables the MacBook Air to do things that were previously impossible on such a thin and light notebook."

    "So if you're editing family photos or exporting a video for the web with iMovie, the new air blazes right through it," he continued. "Or if you're working in Lightroom, you can manage huge raw libraries that are unheard of speeds, turning your Air into a mobile photo studio."

    The new MacBook Air with Apple Silicon M1 has no fans, which Apple says means it runs completely silently. Apple also claims that it has the longest battery life ever in a MacBook Air, with a quoted 15 hours maximum wireless web browsing, and 18 hours of video playback.

    The display is the same 2560x1600 resolution as the previous MacBook Air. The webcam is a 720p model, also the same as the earlier MacBook Air. Wi-Fi has been upgraded to Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth remains at version 5.0

    The new GPU in the MacBook Air is capable of supporting the Apple Pro Display XDR, at 6K resolution at 60Hz.

    Preorders for the new MacBook Air have already started. Prices begin at $999 for a model with the M1 chip with seven GPU cores, 8GB of integrated RAM, and 256 GB of SSD storage. A model with the M1 chip, eight GPU cores, and 512GB of SSD storage retails for $1249.

    An upgrade to 16GB of unified memory costs $200 on all models.
    One thing apple didn't indicate in the specs, is the clock speed or the cores.  Or does it not matter with that type of design?
    It does mention 8 core CPU, 4 big, 4 little, and 7 or 8 core GPUs on the tech spec  pages of the various machines.

    Clock speed is an imperfect measure even between x86 processors, let alone across architectures; Apple must have thought it was better to focus on benchmarks.
    edited November 2020 ronn
  • Reply 119 of 130
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,551member
    Xed said:
    The 7 core GPU is surely that set up (which I think is the case with how they get Apple TV SoCs), but I wonder if the chips in the MBP and MBA could also be different. They at least have different power envelopes as evidenced by the lack of the fan in the MBA, but I look forward to the teardown to see what the chips actually say. My feeling is that it's just the two M1s with different amounts of RAM in the HW, and next year we'll see even more diversity in their chip HW while still using the same M-series name across the platform for a given release.
    They don't need a second chip for the MBA - they just let it throttle if it overheats.  If you need sustained performance you get the MBP with the fan (and larger chassis, more heavier batteries, etc.)
    ronn
  • Reply 120 of 130
    XedXed Posts: 981member
    docno42 said:
    Xed said:
    The 7 core GPU is surely that set up (which I think is the case with how they get Apple TV SoCs), but I wonder if the chips in the MBP and MBA could also be different. They at least have different power envelopes as evidenced by the lack of the fan in the MBA, but I look forward to the teardown to see what the chips actually say. My feeling is that it's just the two M1s with different amounts of RAM in the HW, and next year we'll see even more diversity in their chip HW while still using the same M-series name across the platform for a given release.
    They don't need a second chip for the MBA - they just let it throttle if it overheats.  If you need sustained performance you get the MBP with the fan (and larger chassis, more heavier batteries, etc.)
    I wager that it's more than just using thermostats to initiate a throttle, but coding that tells the chip where its thresholds are based on the device it's in.
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