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agregson

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 18, 2020
47
20
Hi,

First time poster here - please be kind! Long time lurker and daily reader of site and forums. Never one to raise my head much so a leap of faith!

I wonder could I bother everyone for an opinion and any feedback from early deliveries of the new Macs? Any help much appreciated. So here goes ...

Very tempted to move to ARM. I have iMac 5K 2017, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPad Pro 12 and 11, iPad mini, Apple Watch, numerous Apple TV, HomePods (minis on way), still use Airport, iCloud One. Safe to say I am an Apple house!

Also a long time user of ARM from way back on first Archimedes (still have my ARM development kit for BBC Micro from 86/87) and every version of Raspberry PI. The Pi4 and Pi400 convinced me ARM was a usable desktop and I welcomed the move from Apple. The new M1 is amazing and Apple have really pulled off something incredible. Suddenly Intel Macs remind me of my PPC iMac when Intel was announced. I also know from using box86 on Pi4 just how good x86 emulation/dynrec is on ARM - even on PI4 which is way down scale from m1 it is usable.

Benchmarks make it look like a non-decision. Long had idea to move to a mini for a modular desktop with a decent 4K monitor, my choice of mechanical keyboard, mouse, desktop monitor speakers and so on. With the ARM evolution I though the ease with which I could upgrade the core of the machine and sell on eBay would help. Also as I have to remain mostly indoors due to health conditions and circumstances the prospect of returning to Apple store or being without my iMac for weeks worry me. Apple Care expires at end of month so a decision looms and a backup machine seems sensible.

Looking at specs I think the 256GB is fine - I have PI based SSD storage on SMB3 (saturates 1GB network if anyone is curious and also supports Apple extensions and Time Machine), several 1 and 2TB desktop SSD for USB-3 and/or USB-C and have 2TB on iCloud Drive which with the "on demand" is more than fine. I have 512GB on my iMac and could easily live with 256GB. Saving £200 there seems sensible.

I wonder on memory. The apps I use are all light though Safari, Mail and others can get hungry. Occasional use of Pixelmator, Affinity. Use Photos for my pictures and does what I need. Use all other Apple apps occasionally. Pages probably most for when I need a wordprocesor though most of that is Markdown or TeX via VIM and Pandoc. My current machine has 32GB which I added when I may need virtual machines. In the end I never used this. 16GB would be my default choice but wondering given early status, likely upgrade more often due to modular approach and ease of sale etc. if I should save £200 and go with 8GB.

M1 will do all I want in most cases. A few issues concern me. I use MacVIM and terminal VIM almost exclusively. Also use HomeBrew for some packages (SDL, Python3, PyGame, nnn, ranger and couple of others - minimal). I tend to favour terminal so VIM, Python/SDL/PyGame and nnn/ranger are very handy - can live without terminal email, web, IRC and a few others if updates are needed.

If anyone has any feedback on memory usage and the various terminal apps I would welcome any comments. Thanks in advance!
 

wyrdness

macrumors regular
Dec 2, 2008
147
113
From what you've said, I think that you'd absolutely love the M1 Mac. Homebrew shouldn't be too much of a problem. Most will be easy to recompile for Arm, though that's down to the maintainers and their timescales. Rosetta should be able to run the x86 versions too. Terminal apps tend to have extermely low memory requirements, sot that shouldn't be a worry.
VIM is already installed as part of Big Sur.
8GB should be fine, though I've gone for 16GB, since it's not upgradable and I tend to keep my Macs for a long time.
 

agregson

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 18, 2020
47
20
From what you've said, I think that you'd absolutely love the M1 Mac. Homebrew shouldn't be too much of a problem. Most will be easy to recompile for Arm, though that's down to the maintainers and their timescales. Rosetta should be able to run the x86 versions too. Terminal apps tend to have extermely low memory requirements, sot that shouldn't be a worry.
VIM is already installed as part of Big Sur.
8GB should be fine, though I've gone for 16GB, since it's not upgradable and I tend to keep my Macs for a long time.
Thanks for comments. I think HomeBrew will sort quite quickly anyway as too many Mac users depend on it. I suspect SDL will already compile from source so I could go that route. Python should catch up quickly. As you say then can run on Rosetta anyway and based on what I see on box86 I guess this will be fine.

The lack of upgrade on memory is one issue that makes me think 16GB is the way to go.

Given the awesome return policy and the extended return I am so tempted just to order one. So many products I buy from Apple on basis I can return them and I will let you guess how many go back ....
 

Gnattu

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2020
652
741
The homebrew is not ready quite yet(for native arm64), you can track the progress here:https://github.com/Homebrew/brew/issues/7857
You have to use Rosetta to run lots of your homebrew packages for now,(and install an x86 version of homebrew, of cause)
You have to append `arch -x86_64` before command. Like install homebrew like this:
Code:
arch -x86_64 /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install.sh)"

Then use brew like this:
Code:
arch -x86_64 brew install <package>

You have to have Rosetta installed before excecute those commands.
 

vkp

macrumors newbie
Nov 18, 2020
3
0
I would like to follow this too (am also a first-time poster).

I had such an awful experience with the 2016-2017 Macbook pro that I moved to a Surface. Going into constant tech support when you need the machine all the time is a nightmare.

The worst part of the 2016/2017 Macbook Pro debacle was going over and over again to a crowded mall during the busiest moment of my life, only to be gas-lit about the constant keyboard issues. Looking back, now that the problems are acknowledged, I feel angry that I was grilled about how I was using the machine. I feel worse about all the time I spent troubleshooting when I most urgently needed the time to do my job. I was definitely in a precarious position. And I'm furious about the assumption that I was tech-incompetent because I was constantly wrestling with my laptop.

In short, I had over-heating of the machine, rapid shutdown, beach ball, keys stuck, loss of being able to use the space bar, endless issues with dongles, wifi issues, problems with connecting to printers and projectors. As a first-year faculty member that meant it was a disaster and it blew up my writing and work flow.

I switched to PC (3 years ago now) and slowly got used to it. I am reluctant to go through all of this again. It had a terrible impact on my professional output and experience as a writer.

But ... I loved my old laptops and miss the old Mac. I am in a new job that does support Mac for faculty, and I have a budget to purchase one. I'm annoyed there's a new first-gen again right when I noted positive reviews and the stupid keyboard had been acknowledged and fixed.

So I'm watching for the M1 reviews and M2 possibilities. First contact with Mac put my back up, however. They went back to all the deflection and denial of past issues, making suggestions that put teching it back on me as I risk starting with these products again. I want some on-boarding and support as a badly burned former customer and some sign that the IT will support and not lie to me.

I wonder whether this time the service and quality will resemble my previous satisfaction with these products. It was all I used from high school through a PhD.
 

andyr77

macrumors newbie
Nov 17, 2020
17
24
Personally, I would stick with your 2017 iMac and wait until next year (for new iMac releases), which will likely be more powerful than the current Mac mini. I am in the same boat and waiting to upgrade my 2015 iMac.
 

dgdosen

macrumors 68020
Dec 13, 2003
2,019
686
Seattle
I tried to install both (x86_64 and arm64) versions of homebrew - then tailor what brew/kegs get loaded by changing my path/environment based upon what environment I wanted to work in.

Arm currently has lots of roadblocks. I gave up for a bit and am just drinking from the rosetta side for now. Installing pythons/rubies/nodes and their related packages is slow - but once there, it's pretty peppy. neovim is a pleasure to work in.

One other thing that's nice - is to be able to blow away what you've loaded for either architecture and try again. It makes it pretty easy to experiment with your configuration.

Can't wait for native docker.
 

Roxy.music

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2019
803
85
uk
Hi,

First time poster here - please be kind! Long time lurker and daily reader of site and forums. Never one to raise my head much so a leap of faith!

I wonder could I bother everyone for an opinion and any feedback from early deliveries of the new Macs? Any help much appreciated. So here goes ...

Very tempted to move to ARM. I have iMac 5K 2017, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPad Pro 12 and 11, iPad mini, Apple Watch, numerous Apple TV, HomePods (minis on way), still use Airport, iCloud One. Safe to say I am an Apple house!

Also a long time user of ARM from way back on first Archimedes (still have my ARM development kit for BBC Micro from 86/87) and every version of Raspberry PI. The Pi4 and Pi400 convinced me ARM was a usable desktop and I welcomed the move from Apple. The new M1 is amazing and Apple have really pulled off something incredible. Suddenly Intel Macs remind me of my PPC iMac when Intel was announced. I also know from using box86 on Pi4 just how good x86 emulation/dynrec is on ARM - even on PI4 which is way down scale from m1 it is usable.

Benchmarks make it look like a non-decision. Long had idea to move to a mini for a modular desktop with a decent 4K monitor, my choice of mechanical keyboard, mouse, desktop monitor speakers and so on. With the ARM evolution I though the ease with which I could upgrade the core of the machine and sell on eBay would help. Also as I have to remain mostly indoors due to health conditions and circumstances the prospect of returning to Apple store or being without my iMac for weeks worry me. Apple Care expires at end of month so a decision looms and a backup machine seems sensible.

Looking at specs I think the 256GB is fine - I have PI based SSD storage on SMB3 (saturates 1GB network if anyone is curious and also supports Apple extensions and Time Machine), several 1 and 2TB desktop SSD for USB-3 and/or USB-C and have 2TB on iCloud Drive which with the "on demand" is more than fine. I have 512GB on my iMac and could easily live with 256GB. Saving £200 there seems sensible.

I wonder on memory. The apps I use are all light though Safari, Mail and others can get hungry. Occasional use of Pixelmator, Affinity. Use Photos for my pictures and does what I need. Use all other Apple apps occasionally. Pages probably most for when I need a wordprocesor though most of that is Markdown or TeX via VIM and Pandoc. My current machine has 32GB which I added when I may need virtual machines. In the end I never used this. 16GB would be my default choice but wondering given early status, likely upgrade more often due to modular approach and ease of sale etc. if I should save £200 and go with 8GB.

M1 will do all I want in most cases. A few issues concern me. I use MacVIM and terminal VIM almost exclusively. Also use HomeBrew for some packages (SDL, Python3, PyGame, nnn, ranger and couple of others - minimal). I tend to favour terminal so VIM, Python/SDL/PyGame and nnn/ranger are very handy - can live without terminal email, web, IRC and a few others if updates are needed.

If anyone has any feedback on memory usage and the various terminal apps I would welcome any comments. Thanks in advance!
Like you i have a 2017 5k IMAC and thinking about selling it ,and buying the excellentM1 Mac Mini .i have only had it for six months i think i paid over the odds for it, so i expect to get a lot less than i paid for it.:(I just wish i waited a bit longer to buy one.I never expected the the new Mac to be mind blow-in and only 699.:oops:Like iyou have the pi4 i ordered the Desk pro pi case.The M1 Mac Mini is more than enough for me.:)
 

Roxy.music

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2019
803
85
uk
Personally, I would stick with your 2017 iMac and wait until next year (for new iMac releases), which will likely be more powerful than the current Mac mini. I am in the same boat and waiting to upgrade my 2015 iMac.
I think i will to Andy.I like everybody else was blown away with M1 Mac Mini .I have an old 2012 Mac Mini it seems to be faulty as nothing comes up on the screen 🧔 I don,t know what is up with it ,as it was working the last time i used it.👨
 

skaertus

macrumors 68040
Feb 23, 2009
3,751
866
Brazil
Personally, I would stick with your 2017 iMac and wait until next year (for new iMac releases), which will likely be more powerful than the current Mac mini. I am in the same boat and waiting to upgrade my 2015 iMac.
I agree that this would be the better approach. If you like the iMac form factor, then there is one more reason to wait. What if you buy an M1 Mac now, and then Apple releases a brand new redesigned gorgeous iMac next year, equipped with an even more powerful ARM processor, which is very much likely to happen? Will you upgrade again or will you just wish you had not jumped in so soon?
 

Roxy.music

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2019
803
85
uk
I agree that this would be the better approach. If you like the iMac form factor, then there is one more reason to wait. What if you buy an M1 Mac now, and then Apple releases a brand new redesigned gorgeous iMac next year, equipped with an even more powerful ARM processor, which is very much likely to happen? Will you upgrade again or will you just wish you had not jumped in so soon?
There is not much i can do about it now.I am happy with my IMAC. It is a good machine. :)
I had no idea Silicon Macs would be so good.I am not one of these people who have to have the latest stuff.
I will see how it goes it is best to see how it goes.
 

James_C

macrumors 68030
Sep 13, 2002
2,550
1,285
Bristol, UK
I have a Late 2014 Top spec at the time iMac 27". I recently upgraded my Late 2016 MBP and upgraded to a MacBook Air M1 16GB RAM / 1TB SSD. After a week I did a long post about the experience here :


The switch made sense as I love the 27" iMac screen, and dropping down the screen on my portable, made it more portable. Before I traded my 15"MBP in my percentage usage was around

iMac 27" 40%
iPad Pro 12.9" 40%
15" MBP 20%

Now my usage is around

iMac 27" 30%
iPad Pro 30%
13" MBA 40%

I am working from home at the moment.

Given I love the real estate a 27" iMac gives me and my usage, If I only had a iMac I am not sure I would have traded it in for a M1 Mac at this time. My plan is to upgrade my iMac when all the Apps I use are Apple Silicon native (Screenflow is the main hold out at the moment) and Apple releases an Apple Silicon version of the 27" iMac - hopefully with smaller bezels and no chin.
 
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