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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 4, 2021
Hey guys, I just recently switched to entry level M1 MacBook Pro (8GB/250GB) from entry level Intel MacBook Pro (16GB/500GB). Besides usual stuff (browsing/video calls/documents) I use Unity3D for developing games quite often. I noticed occasional lags and jitters while installing apps and using them. It kind of never happened with the Intel system. I have started to think whether it was a right move coming from 16GB Intel MacBook to 8GB unified ram M1 MacBook and is it an upgrade or a downgrade? Mostly from developer’s perspective.
Last edited:


macrumors P6
Oct 14, 2008
In my experience, M1 is impressively fast in dev workloads. It can build large projects quicker than my i9 16” MBP. But in the end, it boils down to your use case. Unity toolkits are not M1-native yet and are known to have some issues. Frankly, I wouldn’t worry about that. Native unity should come out rather soon and that will bring significant improvement for your workflow.

P.S. At the same time, 8GB might be a bit low, depending on what you do…


macrumors 601
May 3, 2013
Berlin, Berlin
I noticed occasional lags and jitters while installing apps and using them. It kind of never happened with the Intel system.
Could it be that Rosetta 2 on the first run of a new app translated the entire code from x86 to ARM in the background? I guess this can be noticeable.


macrumors member
Oct 24, 2006
Cambridge, MA, USA
While the M1 chips perform very well, no CPU can make up for you running out of memory and hitting swap. Your workload is probably not one that fits in 8 GB, otherwise you would have had a 16 GB Intel Mac. Get a 16 GB M1 if you want an upgrade.


macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2011
Get a 16 GB M1 if you want an upgrade.
Or, better, wait for the actual replacements for the 16” MBP, with M1x/M2/whatever featuring more cores, better GPUs, larger RAM options. Even if they don’t appear at WWDC, Apple need to get them out soon.

Because, yeah, the M1 knocks the Intel ultra-mobiles with integrated GPUs out of the park, but people were getting a bit carried away about its ability to replace the bigger Macs with more full-speed cores, discrete GPUs and more RAM. Beating an i7 on Geekbench or Cinebench is not a guarantee of that... and the claims that 8GB on M1 = 16GB on Intel because unified RAM were always bunkum (that even Apple didn’t claim).
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macrumors 6502a
Dec 3, 2016
Malaga, Spain
I do dev/admin work and M1 is absolutely better than the Intel one. Honestly there is some hiccups with some apps like HANA Studio which are used via Rosetta (that use more battery than supposed) but I got almost everything working via Apple Silicon.

I'm still using my 16" on my day to day paired with my 3 displays and in clamshell mode, however on the go I'm using the M1 Air and it has been amazing.

Regarding Windows... I use Citrix for when I need specific Windows apps.


macrumors 6502
Dec 11, 2015
Depends on your workflow would be my answer. I have a maxed out intel 2017 MBP. I have 2 external monitors that i normally run at 2560x1440 (looks like at least as they are 4k). With the M1 its not possible to get 2 external monitors that are readable as such. Obviously the M1 only supports a single monitor haling my real estate space by 50%. I got excited to see multiple monitors running from display link but unfortunately with that option there is no scaling for any resolution above 1920x1080 and a result is on a 4k monitor the text is very large. The other option is to run at 4k and the text is way too small. In the end the impact on productivity was too high to continue to support the use of a M1 and I returned it and the dock. Have over come the desire for a faster machine as a result of the experience of the impact on productivity. Each experience will be different but that was a killer for me. I don't play games on it so was not looking for anything in high performance category but sadly the M1 could not match the capabilities of the 2017 MBP in my case.


macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2021
I know it’s an unpopular opinion but I think for the use case you’ve suggested it’s a downgrade.

Unity is very memory intensive, and the M1 gpu is approximately equivalent to a gtx 1050 ti.

I’d have passed on the M1 and waited until the next tranche of machines come out.

(If you were developing on another platform doing different work the answer would change. I like the M1 but not for this task…)


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 4, 2021
Thanks for the responses guys. After using it for about 1-2 weeks now I can say I haven’t noticed any considerable performance drops for my use case. Overall it feels butter smooth especially while doing non-dev works. I guess if not better then definitely at par with intel for dev work too. The only 2 things I miss right now is the downgrade from 500GB to 250GB disk space and from 4 to 2 ports. Overall I love the product. I think it fits the claims of being faster than Intel one.

Will keep using it and update if I notice something different.
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