Return of the Mac: How Apple Silicon will herald a new era at WWDC 2021

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited March 31
The stage is set for the next year to be the most impressive in the history of Apple's storied line of Macintosh computers, all starting with a grand virtual celebration of the future of the Mac at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference.




In hindsight, WWDC 2020's bombshell announcement that Apple is migrating the Mac away from Intel processors to its own custom silicon was really just a teaser to whet the appetite of developers and consumers alike. In the fall, Apple launched a trio of M1-based Macs, all sporting legacy designs in what was a clear effort to communicate: "Just you wait."

We've waited, and now WWDC 2021 is official, to be held June 7 through June 11. While there are rumors of an Apple special event before then, in April, it's likely that the company will showcase new iPads, AirPods, and perhaps its rumored "AirTags." There's even an outside chance of a new Apple TV, but new Mac hardware -- and accompanying software enhancements -- are a more logical fit for WWDC.

Not only will we likely get new Macs at WWDC, but there's also a good chance that Apple will begin to flex its chipmaking muscles with higher-end models intended for true "pro" users -- particularly developers, who are keen to get their coding fingers on the next generations of macOS, iOS and iPadOS.

If the power-sipping, benchmark-setting M1 was a shot across the bow of Intel, AMD and the legacy PC industry, what comes next could be a full frontal assault: a lineup of products ranging from your desktop to your wrist, all on a shared architecture that will make it easier than ever for developers to create applications, and harder than ever for consumers to ignore the Mac as a viable alternative to the vast but creaky PC landscape.

It's a platform play. Just as the iPod was a Trojan horse to get customers interested in the Mac ecosystem, the iPhone has taken it to the next level. Now, with all of your apps and data synced across devices large and small, thanks to the same beating heart at the center of all of its devices, Apple will be in a position to truly own the user experience to a degree that no technology company has ever been able to achieve.

Hardware? Software? Both




Apple has always been known for world-class design married with world-class hardware. But there was a catch: Apple's design prowess was limited by its hardware partners.

There are some suppliers that Apple will continue to rely on for various parts, like memory and wireless connectivity, but over the years the company has taken more control over the components in its devices, in places where CEO Tim Cook and his team feel like Apple can do it better in-house.

The switch to Apple Silicon is the biggest game-changer yet for the Mac. By swapping out the brains of its computers, Apple must no longer design based on the limitations of Intel's legacy x86 architecture.

The problems with Intel's chips were numerous, including heat dissipation and power consumption. Those considerations all affect design, leading to bigger and bulkier machines that require larger batteries and the ability to run at safe operating temperatures.

Of course, by designing its own chips, Apple has not magically defied the laws of physics. But by producing its own low-power, high-performance processors, the company now has greater flexibility to push the design of the Mac in new ways, in new form factors, with all-new looks, without sacrificing any of the horsepower.

WWDC has historically been a software-focused show, and that will likely be no different this year, with the next generation of macOS -- expected to be known as macOS 12 -- officially unveiled.

But Apple Silicon and the new design possibilities it presents for the Mac mean that Apple will be able to push both its hardware and software in new directions, in tandem, in ways that were not previously possible. More than ever before, WWDC 2021 will reveal the Mac and the Apple ecosystem as a true union of both hardware and software.

The GPU X-factor




It's expected that Apple's high-end machines will sport new Apple Silicon models beefier than the M1 chip that debuted last year in the MacBook Air, Mac mini and MacBook Pro. Whether called an "M1X," "M2" or something else, these processors will need to enable greater capabilities for developers and other professional-grade users, including expanded external monitor support, more port connectivity, and faster processing capabilities.

While faster chips are an inevitability, and we already have a hint of what Apple is truly capable of with the M1, there is still a glaring hole in the Apple Silicon strategy: graphics.

Currently, Apple relies on AMD for discrete graphics processing on its most powerful machines, including the iMac, Mac Pro, and 15-inch MacBook Pro. There is nothing preventing Apple from continuing to use AMD graphics technology for these machines in tandem with Apple Silicon. But will Apple want to continue to rely on an external partner for its GPUs?

With the M1 chip, we have seen a glimpse of Apple's System-on-a-Chip capabilities with onboard graphics. We still don't know how (or if) the company plans to deal with discrete graphics, however.

We may not get an answer on discrete graphics at WWDC 2021, or even in 2021 at all. But at the very least we will likely get a look at what is capable on a more powerful SoC GPU, whether it's the "M1X" or "M2."

Don't forget about iPhone and iPad, too




Apple's products complement each other not only from a user experience perspective, but also from a research and development perspective. Time and time again, we've seen advancements in some platforms and devices come to other products in the Apple lineup.

Touch ID was pioneered on the iPhone before expanding to the iPad and Mac. Apple Watch Force Touch (RIP) paved the way for 3D Touch on the iPhone (RIP) and Apple's Mac trackpad (still alive!). And Apple's custom silicon, dating back to the A4 processor on the first-generation iPad, was part of a long-term strategy to migrate the Mac to its ARM CPUs.

While we almost certainly won't get new iPhone hardware at WWDC 2021, we will get our first glimpse at iOS 15, as well as iPadOS 15. And with the iPhone, iPad, and Mac all running the same chip architecture, the lines between their respective software platforms will be further blurred.

Apple has said repeatedly it has no intention of converging these platforms, so don't expect one OS to rule them all. But it's likely that there will be increased feature parity across the Mac, iPhone and iPad with this year's software updates.

Just the beginning




New designs. New form factors. New capabilities. New colors. It's all on the table for the Mac, which is why this year's WWDC is already full of so much excitement and potential.

Last year's M1 Macs were something of a stopgap, buying Apple more time before it could really showcase the next generation of Mac hardware. And that hardware will be much, much more than just the Apple Silicon powering it.

Apple won't reveal all of its cards at WWDC 2021. The Mac transition to Apple Silicon is a two-year process, and we're only one year into it.

But it's fair to say that WWDC 2021 should give us a clearer view of how Apple envisions the future of the Mac platform. Our first glimpse at the next generation of personal computing kicks off on June 7.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    I hope that some of the limits of Apole Silicon will be lifted:

    1. no target disk mode

    2. more / expandable ram

    3. 3rd party graphics hardware 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 46
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,925member
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    I hope that some of the limits of Apole Silicon will be lifted:

    1. no target disk mode

    2. more / expandable ram

    3. 3rd party graphics hardware 
    If you consider those ‘limits’ then just move on. ASi is a new paradigm where those considerations are moot. If that’s what you want just stay with legacy Intel boxes running Windows.
    Beatsseanjd_2jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 46
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    I hope that some of the limits of Apole Silicon will be lifted:

    1. no target disk mode

    2. more / expandable ram

    3. 3rd party graphics hardware 
    Agree with this list and the priority order.  Target disk mode was a nice Apple-only function.  And the RAM situation just looks like greed (at least for desktops where space is at a lower premium).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 46
    thttht Posts: 3,908member
    My 2013 iMac 27 is still humming along. It's the family computer. It's unsupported now, and it's probably one problem away from total replacement.

    To replace it, I would like to have a ~30" display, 8 TB of storage, and capability to add more storage years down the road. When you keep every single picture and video taken, it adds up! A small headless desktop where I can add 2 3.5" HDD would be great on top of the builtin storage. Yes, I probably need to invest in a little computer as a file server one of these days.

    The Apple Silicon iMac better come quick!

    My main problem with laptops is that they can get hot. I hate the feeling of typing on hot keys, and my work issued MBP15 gets hot while attached to an external monitor. I want this problem to go away, so if Apple puts the SoC in the back of the laptop display, it would be so worth it for me. As the M1 models show. Well, really, as the iPad Pro shows, Apple can put a lot of computing power in a very small and thin package, 6 mm thick only. Do it, Apple. As a plus, it would let them play around with the keyboard, add more battery, etc.

    A laptop with a low profile hot swappable mechanical keyboard would be interesting. They'll have prestige things like a folding display laptop, but just your simple and functional laptop that has a keyboard that is always cool to the touch and noiseless has its attractions too.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 46
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 257member
    tht said:
    My 2013 iMac 27 is still humming along. It's the family computer. It's unsupported now, and it's probably one problem away from total replacement.

    To replace it, I would like to have a ~30" display, 8 TB of storage, and capability to add more storage years down the road. When you keep every single picture and video taken, it adds up! A small headless desktop where I can add 2 3.5" HDD would be great on top of the builtin storage. Yes, I probably need to invest in a little computer as a file server one of these days.

    The Apple Silicon iMac better come quick!

    My main problem with laptops is that they can get hot. I hate the feeling of typing on hot keys, and my work issued MBP15 gets hot while attached to an external monitor. I want this problem to go away, so if Apple puts the SoC in the back of the laptop display, it would be so worth it for me. As the M1 models show. Well, really, as the iPad Pro shows, Apple can put a lot of computing power in a very small and thin package, 6 mm thick only. Do it, Apple. As a plus, it would let them play around with the keyboard, add more battery, etc.

    A laptop with a low profile hot swappable mechanical keyboard would be interesting. They'll have prestige things like a folding display laptop, but just your simple and functional laptop that has a keyboard that is always cool to the touch and noiseless has its attractions too.

    As for saying laptops get hot my M1 Air doesn't get hot, has never gotten hot and I've owned it since the beginning....
    Beatskillroyradarthekatjdb8167jony0watto_cobraspock1234
  • Reply 6 of 46
    BeatsBeats Posts: 1,957member
    I was underwhelmed with the M1 Mac reveal. Yeah I know it has a bad ass Apple processor and bad ass software support but I expected more from the company who invented the Mac.


    Here’s what I expected

    1. Apple modem or at least support for cellular networks.

    2. App Store funnel for all applications. (Probably too late for this now)

    3. A revolutionary new design. Maybe a new touchbar, FaceID, a hinge that can place the MacBook flat for Pencil support and drawing etc.


    tht said:
    My 2013 iMac 27 is still humming along. It's the family computer. It's unsupported now, and it's probably one problem away from total replacement.

    To replace it, I would like to have a ~30" display, 8 TB of storage, and capability to add more storage years down the road. When you keep every single picture and video taken, it adds up! A small headless desktop where I can add 2 3.5" HDD would be great on top of the builtin storage. Yes, I probably need to invest in a little computer as a file server one of these days.

    The Apple Silicon iMac better come quick!

    My main problem with laptops is that they can get hot. I hate the feeling of typing on hot keys, and my work issued MBP15 gets hot while attached to an external monitor. I want this problem to go away, so if Apple puts the SoC in the back of the laptop display, it would be so worth it for me. As the M1 models show. Well, really, as the iPad Pro shows, Apple can put a lot of computing power in a very small and thin package, 6 mm thick only. Do it, Apple. As a plus, it would let them play around with the keyboard, add more battery, etc.

    A laptop with a low profile hot swappable mechanical keyboard would be interesting. They'll have prestige things like a folding display laptop, but just your simple and functional laptop that has a keyboard that is always cool to the touch and noiseless has its attractions too.

    One of the main points of Apple Silicon Macs was that they didn’t run hot.... oh yeah and also noiseless.
    spock1234
  • Reply 7 of 46
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    I hope that some of the limits of Apole Silicon will be lifted:

    1. no target disk mode

    2. more / expandable ram

    3. 3rd party graphics hardware 
    Target mode won’t return. Apple provided a SMB share to startup options as a replacement. Expandable RAM will certainly not be a thing ever on a system on a chip design.

    I agree that I hope we see Apple offer their own eGPU
    seanjjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 46
    thttht Posts: 3,908member
    Beats said:
    I was underwhelmed with the M1 Mac reveal. Yeah I know it has a bad ass Apple processor and bad ass software support but I expected more from the company who invented the Mac.


    Here’s what I expected

    1. Apple modem or at least support for cellular networks.

    2. App Store funnel for all applications. (Probably too late for this now)

    3. A revolutionary new design. Maybe a new touchbar, FaceID, a hinge that can place the MacBook flat for Pencil support and drawing etc.


    One of the main points of Apple Silicon Macs was that they didn’t run hot.... oh yeah and also noiseless.
    1. Yeah. It is curious why they haven't had cellular modem options for their laptops.

    2. As long people can side load, the App Store just isn't going to be a thing on macOS. Apple can make the App Store a popular place if they published some popular apps maybe, but they are reluctant to do that.

    3. I don't think there is a "revolutionary" design in the cards for a PC, not like the OG iPhone was. It's all iterative refinements. A foldable, with robust display covers, will be coming, but I don't think that's a revolution. You are still operating it like a laptop or a tablet, except the keyboards and tracking devices will be virtual. I do think they need to put more work in with keyboards, both the software versions on iPads, the ones in laptops, and external ones. It's something used all the time, a primary UI device, and continued optimizations and maybe experimentation would be nice to see.

    Eg, I'd like them to offer 2-row, 3-row ortho-linear software keyboards on iPadOS. Something that would yield more display area for apps.

    4. The next revolution is probably AR. Obviously Apple has been hinting so for ages now.


    Beats said:
    One of the main points of Apple Silicon Macs was that they didn’t run hot.... oh yeah and also noiseless.
    They still get hot, just less so then before. Moving the hot components away from the keyboard to the back of the display just eliminates having hot keys all together.

    Then, we will see how it goes when the large Apple Silicon laptops arrive.
  • Reply 9 of 46
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,579member
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    I hope that some of the limits of Apole Silicon will be lifted:

    1. no target disk mode

    2. more / expandable ram

    3. 3rd party graphics hardware 
    Apple Silicon requires the user to step away from the conventional solution. If the answer to the question as to why you need expandable RAM and 3rd Party graphics is performance - just say “I need more performance” and Apple Silicon will answer that question. Leave the solution to Apple.
    dewmekillroyradarthekatseanjWgkruegerd_2jony0watto_cobraspock1234Detnator
  • Reply 10 of 46
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,579member
    This is probably a good year to switch the introduction of new, higher performing cores to a device that actually needs that performance - not a phone.

    macOS 12 should probably introduce a new GPU dispatcher to balance tasks between Apple iGPU & Apple dGPU based on the Metal initialisation parameters or declarations. That way any new dGPU would easily outperform AMD/Nvidia offerings.

    Apple should fuse OS & hardware layers ASAP before the politicians start deciding their product architecture. And, introduce quality grading & filters to the App Stores so customers can be better informed about which Apps actually use the OS/platform rather than lazy, lowest common denominator ARM ports.
    edited March 31 FileMakerFellerfrantisektenthousandthingsd_2jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 46
    tht said:
    My 2013 iMac 27 is still humming along. It's the family computer. It's unsupported now, and it's probably one problem away from total replacement.

    To replace it, I would like to have a ~30" display, 8 TB of storage, and capability to add more storage years down the road. When you keep every single picture and video taken, it adds up! A small headless desktop where I can add 2 3.5" HDD would be great on top of the builtin storage. Yes, I probably need to invest in a little computer as a file server one of these days.

    The Apple Silicon iMac better come quick!

    My main problem with laptops is that they can get hot. I hate the feeling of typing on hot keys, and my work issued MBP15 gets hot while attached to an external monitor. I want this problem to go away, so if Apple puts the SoC in the back of the laptop display, it would be so worth it for me. As the M1 models show. Well, really, as the iPad Pro shows, Apple can put a lot of computing power in a very small and thin package, 6 mm thick only. Do it, Apple. As a plus, it would let them play around with the keyboard, add more battery, etc.

    A laptop with a low profile hot swappable mechanical keyboard would be interesting. They'll have prestige things like a folding display laptop, but just your simple and functional laptop that has a keyboard that is always cool to the touch and noiseless has its attractions too.
    You can get very cheap external storage via USB 3.0 or USB-C now. There's another article on AI showing a WD 10TB drive on sale at Amazon for < US$155 - a smidge over US$15 per TB! It is separately powered, so you can keep it turned on all the time or power it up only when you need it. It's slower than an internal drive would be, but not by much - and if you want to watch a video then it's plenty fast enough. The only time drive speed matters to me is when I'm copying files, and even then it's only for multi-gigabyte files like videos or those rare occasions when I need to do a full backup of my internal drive. I've been very happy relying on external drives for at least five years now - they have the added benefit of being easy to store in a different location than my main machine, just in case.

    It depends on your use case and your habits, but my recommendation is to use external drives rather than trying to mount them inside the case of the computer you use. With rare exceptions, you simply don't have the time to work with everything stored on your internal drive every day - you can't watch more than about 7.5TB of video (at 4k resolution) in a day, and that's assuming you do nothing else in a 24-hour period! So move the bulk of it to external storage and save the internal drive for what you're working on right now. Think of it like clothing - you can only wear one outfit at a time, so you maintain external storage for everything you like to wear and choose from that as needed. They key is that if you want something, it needs to be readily available; I've found that external drives are just as convenient as a dedicated server and minimal extra hassle over internal drives.
    GG1seanjmobirdjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 46

    tht said:
    Beats said:
    I was underwhelmed with the M1 Mac reveal. Yeah I know it has a bad ass Apple processor and bad ass software support but I expected more from the company who invented the Mac.


    Here’s what I expected

    1. Apple modem or at least support for cellular networks.

    2. App Store funnel for all applications. (Probably too late for this now)

    3. A revolutionary new design. Maybe a new touchbar, FaceID, a hinge that can place the MacBook flat for Pencil support and drawing etc.


    One of the main points of Apple Silicon Macs was that they didn’t run hot.... oh yeah and also noiseless.
    1. Yeah. It is curious why they haven't had cellular modem options for their laptops.

    2. As long people can side load, the App Store just isn't going to be a thing on macOS. Apple can make the App Store a popular place if they published some popular apps maybe, but they are reluctant to do that.

    3. I don't think there is a "revolutionary" design in the cards for a PC, not like the OG iPhone was. It's all iterative refinements. A foldable, with robust display covers, will be coming, but I don't think that's a revolution. You are still operating it like a laptop or a tablet, except the keyboards and tracking devices will be virtual. I do think they need to put more work in with keyboards, both the software versions on iPads, the ones in laptops, and external ones. It's something used all the time, a primary UI device, and continued optimizations and maybe experimentation would be nice to see.

    Eg, I'd like them to offer 2-row, 3-row ortho-linear software keyboards on iPadOS. Something that would yield more display area for apps.

    4. The next revolution is probably AR. Obviously Apple has been hinting so for ages now.


    Beats said:
    One of the main points of Apple Silicon Macs was that they didn’t run hot.... oh yeah and also noiseless.
    They still get hot, just less so then before. Moving the hot components away from the keyboard to the back of the display just eliminates having hot keys all together.

    Then, we will see how it goes when the large Apple Silicon laptops arrive.
    Apple is never going to put a cellular modem in their desktops or laptops. Reasons why, off the top of my head:
    1. "Everybody" already has a phone in their pocket that they "always" have with them. Easier to share that connection than add hardware components that affect the design.
    2. Apple sells iPhones for hefty prices that people are more than willing to buy. Why give up that revenue stream?
    Frankly, I'm surprised that Apple put a cellular modem in the iPad. But I guess that's due to the evolution of the iPhone and iPad from the original idea back in the early 2000s.
    watto_cobraspock1234
  • Reply 13 of 46
    thttht Posts: 3,908member
    You can get very cheap external storage via USB 3.0 or USB-C now. There's another article on AI showing a WD 10TB drive on sale at Amazon for < US$155 - a smidge over US$15 per TB! It is separately powered, so you can keep it turned on all the time or power it up only when you need it. It's slower than an internal drive would be, but not by much - and if you want to watch a video then it's plenty fast enough. The only time drive speed matters to me is when I'm copying files, and even then it's only for multi-gigabyte files like videos or those rare occasions when I need to do a full backup of my internal drive. I've been very happy relying on external drives for at least five years now - they have the added benefit of being easy to store in a different location than my main machine, just in case.
    Yes, I have a cheapo USB 2-bay HDD cradle holding 2 6TB drives. I would prefer it to be internal. That's one less power cable and charging brick, one less USB cable deal with if it was so.

    My closet has a cluster of power cables, power bricks too. Fiber modem, VOIP box, wireless phone, wireless box to my solar PV inverter. Not a pleasant mess of cables. It seems the charging brick plugs are designed to cover power strip outlets on purpose. That's where a file server or NAS would go.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 46
    lkrupp said:
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    I hope that some of the limits of Apole Silicon will be lifted:

    1. no target disk mode

    2. more / expandable ram

    3. 3rd party graphics hardware 
    If you consider those ‘limits’ then just move on. ASi is a new paradigm where those considerations are moot. If that’s what you want just stay with legacy Intel boxes running Windows.
    You are dead wrong, as always.  Look at all benchmark results and discrete graphics continues to blow away the M1.  Apple is not going to release an iMac, MacBook Pro 16, or Mac Pro with the inferior integrated graphics, even on the M1.  The 16GB RAM limit of the M1 is embarrassing, and it is a big deal.  Large graphics files would choke on it.  Especially embarrassing when the previous Intel models had more features than the M1 models.  But of course you hate Apple as evidenced in all your comments.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 46
    GG1GG1 Posts: 439member

    tht said:
    Beats said:
    I was underwhelmed with the M1 Mac reveal. Yeah I know it has a bad ass Apple processor and bad ass software support but I expected more from the company who invented the Mac.


    Here’s what I expected

    1. Apple modem or at least support for cellular networks.

    2. App Store funnel for all applications. (Probably too late for this now)

    3. A revolutionary new design. Maybe a new touchbar, FaceID, a hinge that can place the MacBook flat for Pencil support and drawing etc.


    One of the main points of Apple Silicon Macs was that they didn’t run hot.... oh yeah and also noiseless.
    1. Yeah. It is curious why they haven't had cellular modem options for their laptops.

    2. As long people can side load, the App Store just isn't going to be a thing on macOS. Apple can make the App Store a popular place if they published some popular apps maybe, but they are reluctant to do that.

    3. I don't think there is a "revolutionary" design in the cards for a PC, not like the OG iPhone was. It's all iterative refinements. A foldable, with robust display covers, will be coming, but I don't think that's a revolution. You are still operating it like a laptop or a tablet, except the keyboards and tracking devices will be virtual. I do think they need to put more work in with keyboards, both the software versions on iPads, the ones in laptops, and external ones. It's something used all the time, a primary UI device, and continued optimizations and maybe experimentation would be nice to see.

    Eg, I'd like them to offer 2-row, 3-row ortho-linear software keyboards on iPadOS. Something that would yield more display area for apps.

    4. The next revolution is probably AR. Obviously Apple has been hinting so for ages now.


    Beats said:
    One of the main points of Apple Silicon Macs was that they didn’t run hot.... oh yeah and also noiseless.
    They still get hot, just less so then before. Moving the hot components away from the keyboard to the back of the display just eliminates having hot keys all together.

    Then, we will see how it goes when the large Apple Silicon laptops arrive.
    Apple is never going to put a cellular modem in their desktops or laptops. Reasons why, off the top of my head:
    1. "Everybody" already has a phone in their pocket that they "always" have with them. Easier to share that connection than add hardware components that affect the design.
    2. Apple sells iPhones for hefty prices that people are more than willing to buy. Why give up that revenue stream?
    Frankly, I'm surprised that Apple put a cellular modem in the iPad. But I guess that's due to the evolution of the iPhone and iPad from the original idea back in the early 2000s.
    Never say never. My guess is that once Apple develop their own modem chip, it could be cheaply placed in nearly every product. Now it's optional in the Apple Watch and iPads, but I wouldn't count it out for laptops. Cost should be lower than Qualcomm. And Apple are keen to use the eSIM, so imagine the eSIM being built into their own modem chip.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 46
    I love my M1 Mac. It’s an amazing computer. 
    mwhitewatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 46
    This is a great article and reminds me of DED.  Speaking of DED, can anybody tell me if he is ok and  coming back to Apple Insider?
    edited March 31 Alex_Vjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 46
    Finally an article that clearly points out the unfortunate limitations of the M1.  Everyone is so blinded in tunnel vision of 3x performance that they are completely missing out on the fact that the M1 is a low-end base model CPU with less features than the models it replaced.  

    It was not long ago that all the commenters were complaining of soldered memory, soldered storage, no upgrades, etc.  All Apple has to do is slap an Apple logo on a pig and the fanatics think it is the best thing in the world.  It wasn't long ago that people were complaining about 16GB RAM in the MacBooks and then they cheered when Apple bumped it up to 32GB and 64GB.  Now suddenly they are all happy that the M1 is capped at 16GB?  Suddenly they are excited that integrated graphics in the M1 are faster than the integrated graphics on the intel Macs, but still much slower than discrete graphics?  WTF?  

    Could you imagine if Apple introduced an iMac with only 16GB of RAM (instead of 128GB), 2TB of storage (instead of 8TB), two USB-C (instead of 4 USB/2 Thunderbolt), and integrated graphics driving a 27+" 5K display?  It would be a joke!  Or a Mac Pro with those specs?  Suddenly people think a 16GB M1 can do anything?  Not when you throw a huge graphics file at it.  Let's not forget about the excessive read/writes that is occurring in the M1 Macs, wearing out the flash storage prematurely.

    Hopefully the next iMacs have specs that meet or exceed the current 2020 models.  There is a big reason why Apple is still selling the Intel models because they have more features than the M1 models.  Notice how fast M1 Macs appeared in the refurb store?  High customer returns triggered that.  Unfortunate that Apple intends to solder everything to the board.  No more replacing bad memory DIMMs or swapping out a bad drive.  Now when that goes bad outside of the warranty, the Mac will end up in the trash because replacing the motherboard is an expensive repair and people will throw it away and buy a new Mac.  I have high hopes for the iMac and MacBook Pro 16", but the M1 was too limiting in features to consider buying.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 46
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 257member
    Finally an article that clearly points out the unfortunate limitations of the M1.  Everyone is so blinded in tunnel vision of 3x performance that they are completely missing out on the fact that the M1 is a low-end base model CPU with less features than the models it replaced.  

    It was not long ago that all the commenters were complaining of soldered memory, soldered storage, no upgrades, etc.  All Apple has to do is slap an Apple logo on a pig and the fanatics think it is the best thing in the world.  It wasn't long ago that people were complaining about 16GB RAM in the MacBooks and then they cheered when Apple bumped it up to 32GB and 64GB.  Now suddenly they are all happy that the M1 is capped at 16GB?  Suddenly they are excited that integrated graphics in the M1 are faster than the integrated graphics on the intel Macs, but still much slower than discrete graphics?  WTF?  

    Could you imagine if Apple introduced an iMac with only 16GB of RAM (instead of 128GB), 2TB of storage (instead of 8TB), two USB-C (instead of 4 USB/2 Thunderbolt), and integrated graphics driving a 27+" 5K display?  It would be a joke!  Or a Mac Pro with those specs?  Suddenly people think a 16GB M1 can do anything?  Not when you throw a huge graphics file at it.  Let's not forget about the excessive read/writes that is occurring in the M1 Macs, wearing out the flash storage prematurely.

    Hopefully the next iMacs have specs that meet or exceed the current 2020 models.  There is a big reason why Apple is still selling the Intel models because they have more features than the M1 models.  Notice how fast M1 Macs appeared in the refurb store?  High customer returns triggered that.  Unfortunate that Apple intends to solder everything to the board.  No more replacing bad memory DIMMs or swapping out a bad drive.  Now when that goes bad outside of the warranty, the Mac will end up in the trash because replacing the motherboard is an expensive repair and people will throw it away and buy a new Mac.  I have high hopes for the iMac and MacBook Pro 16", but the M1 was too limiting in features to consider buying.
    I would never return my M1 for another Intel HOT HOT BOX.... I have 16 gigs ram and haven't had any problems with it, I for one am a Happy Happy M1 owner.

    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 46
    cg27cg27 Posts: 103member
    Finally an article that clearly points out the unfortunate limitations of the M1.  Everyone is so blinded in tunnel vision of 3x performance that they are completely missing out on the fact that the M1 is a low-end base model CPU with less features than the models it replaced.  

    It was not long ago that all the commenters were complaining of soldered memory, soldered storage, no upgrades, etc.  All Apple has to do is slap an Apple logo on a pig and the fanatics think it is the best thing in the world.  It wasn't long ago that people were complaining about 16GB RAM in the MacBooks and then they cheered when Apple bumped it up to 32GB and 64GB.  Now suddenly they are all happy that the M1 is capped at 16GB?  Suddenly they are excited that integrated graphics in the M1 are faster than the integrated graphics on the intel Macs, but still much slower than discrete graphics?  WTF?  

    Could you imagine if Apple introduced an iMac with only 16GB of RAM (instead of 128GB), 2TB of storage (instead of 8TB), two USB-C (instead of 4 USB/2 Thunderbolt), and integrated graphics driving a 27+" 5K display?  It would be a joke!  Or a Mac Pro with those specs?  Suddenly people think a 16GB M1 can do anything?  Not when you throw a huge graphics file at it.  Let's not forget about the excessive read/writes that is occurring in the M1 Macs, wearing out the flash storage prematurely.

    Hopefully the next iMacs have specs that meet or exceed the current 2020 models.  There is a big reason why Apple is still selling the Intel models because they have more features than the M1 models.  Notice how fast M1 Macs appeared in the refurb store?  High customer returns triggered that.  Unfortunate that Apple intends to solder everything to the board.  No more replacing bad memory DIMMs or swapping out a bad drive.  Now when that goes bad outside of the warranty, the Mac will end up in the trash because replacing the motherboard is an expensive repair and people will throw it away and buy a new Mac.  I have high hopes for the iMac and MacBook Pro 16", but the M1 was too limiting in features to consider buying.
    I appreciate the points you’re making, but a MBAir is slim and fanless for a reason: portability.  I love my M1 MBAir, and have no delusions that it’s supposed to be a Pro desktop.

    Also, I can’t imagine Apple would design the RAM buffering/paging so that it could wear out within 10 years.  They’d have a major class action lawsuit, not to mention the backlash in reputation.  Never mind the warranty, even with extended AppleCare warranty.  Anything less than 10 years will end up being a free repair or recall.  I replaced my 2013 MBPro with this M1, despite it continuing to work flawlessly.  I expect no less of the M1.

    Having said that, I do hope that the M1 will not feel extremely dated like the original iPhone and AppleWatch were when first updated.
    watto_cobra
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