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stillcrazyman

macrumors 601
Original poster
Oct 10, 2014
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Are any of the community members using a new M1 Mac to manage and edit photos ? Could you share how it compares to the older Intel Macs ?

I've been using a 2018 Mini i7/32GB/1TB to edit my photos for the last couple of years.
I had an eGpu attached that didn't really offer much in the way of help with editing programs I use (ON1 Photo Raw, Capture One Pro, etc.)
Performance with the Mini's gpu is basic, but I knew that would be the case.

Seeing that these new Macs are out with the M1 has me wondering about replacing the mini.

Thanks in advance.
 

jz0309

macrumors 603
Sep 25, 2018
6,400
17,399
SoCal
Are any of the community members using a new M1 Mac to manage and edit photos ? Could you share how it compares to the older Intel Macs ?

I've been using a 2018 Mini i7/32GB/1TB to edit my photos for the last couple of years.
I had an eGpu attached that didn't really offer much in the way of help with editing programs I use (ON1 Photo Raw, Capture One Pro, etc.)
Performance with the Mini's gpu is basic, but I knew that would be the case.

Seeing that these new Macs are out with the M1 has me wondering about replacing the mini.

Thanks in advance.
I use Adobe and they just released their “native” Apple silicon versions. I do t keep track but I believe most are supporting Apple silicon natively. That should be your first criteria.
I find the 16GB RAM Limitation in the M1 counter to editing, yea, it will work, but why do most of us have way more?
I will not upgrade to Apple silicon until those limitations have been removed and that hopefully happens later this year
 
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stillcrazyman

macrumors 601
Original poster
Oct 10, 2014
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I use Adobe and they just released their “native” Apple silicon versions. I do t keep track but I believe most are supporting Apple silicon natively. That should be your first criteria.
I find the 16GB RAM Limitation in the M1 counter to editing, yea, it will work, but why do most of us have way more?
I will not upgrade to Apple silicon until those limitations have been removed and that hopefully happens later this year
I'm aware which apps are going to be released or updated for M1.
Not a problem for my uses.

As for the memory limitations, I can see that being a potential issue. But without knowing from those who are using an M1, it's hard to know for certain.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
I have the M1 MBP with 1 TB SSD/16 GB RAM, but have only edited a couple of images on the machine one day when I was out on the deck with it and just wanted to fool around a little. I have put DXO PhotoLab 4 on it, and Luminar AI, but so far that's it, as since it is a 13" machine and not plugged into an external monitor I am not planning to use it for any extensive editing. That task still falls to my older intel-based 2018 MBP and the external monitor attached to it.

Doing things through Rosetta is surprisingly speedy, to the point where it's unnoticeable, actually. The machine has native apps, too, of course, but so far I have not experienced any issues with either native ones or older apps that are still needing to go through Rosetta first.

All that said, I was surprised and very pleased by how quickly the M1 performed the usual tasks and especially the speed. I'd thought there would be a noticeable difference between the 16GB RAM of the new machine vs the 32 GB in my older one. Just for testing purposes I stuck a fairly full SD card into the Apple SD card reader and the machine took care of quickly acquiring it, just as fast as my other, seeming more powerful machine does. I then opened DXO PhotoLab 4 and looked through the images, just as I normally do, and arbitrarily picked a couple to process and went through that usual routine. Again, the M1 was quick and responsive, no bogging down, almost as fast as the 32 GB RAM in the older machine. This machine also runs very cool, too, which is nice. Wow! Of course I was only reviewing images and then actually only processing a couple, but still, it didn't even show any signs of becoming warmer.

Both images were speedily edited and I was good to go. The only problem I did find later, though, when looking at them again in the other machine was that because I was sitting out on the shaded deck in the late afternoon/early evening that light was not ideal for actually viewing and ensuring accurate exposures on the edited images. DUH.... That had more to do with the time of day and the place in which I edited the images rather than anything with regard to the M1 machine itself, of course.

My next Mac, when the time comes to replace my 2018 MBP, will indeed be an Mx or M2, whatever Apple will be calling it, the M- version of a 16" MBP. One of those machines should blow the lid off my current machine!
 
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bunnspecial

macrumors G3
May 3, 2014
8,079
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Kentucky
I think @bunnspecial has an M1?

Yes, I have had one since the end of March.

I primarily use Lightroom and occasionally Photoshop.

My configuration is MBP/8gb/512gb. It was a BIT of a shift for me and I upped my Dropbox storage when I got the computer partially for photo editing. I came from a 2012 15" and had 3TB on-board, so felt it was a good solution.

First of all, I can say ignore the reviews that say 8gb is enough. If I had it to do over, I'd have gone 16gb.

TBH, the first couple of months of use it was painful and a step down from my 9 year old computer. The only thing really faster in Lightroom was the NEF to DNG conversion(on 36mp files from a D800 or D810). Browsing was slow, rendering was slow, and most adjustments had a pause after making them. My old 15" didn't do any of that, and more than once I pulled it back out just to make sure I remembered things correctly. Also, I COULD NOT leave LR running in the background and have any hope of doing other stuff. A lot of this seemed memory bound, and I'd regularly see pressure hold over 70% and spike to 90% when using LR or even with it in the background(no leaving it running until I'd finished with a batch of photos).

The M1 native version was a game changer, and it's now as ridiculously fast as everything else on the M1. I think I'd still benefit from more RAM, but it's more than useable. The experience editing now is excellent.

I still have yet to calibrate as my old ColorMunki Smile has now been deprecated. It took a little while for X-Rite to come around to getting anything to work on an M1, but as I understand it that has now been fixed.

I suspect that a lot of these little annoyances and quirks you might find in older programs will be fixed in the next few months as more things become native. With that said, I'm ready for a 16". Even though I run the display at the same resolution as my old 15"(1680x1050...I had the HR-AG display), there's still something to be said for physical size and not just screen resolution when editing photos.
 

stillcrazyman

macrumors 601
Original poster
Oct 10, 2014
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Exile
Thank you @Clix Pix and @bunnspecial for sharing your experiences.

I'm patient enough to wait for the next version to come out. I would hope that memory will not be limited to 16GB.
As for all the other performance issues, I'm sure they'll sort out quickly as the apps get updated.

I'm most interested at how the graphics performance is. The Intel mini has a decent enough gpu, but editing can be challenging with brushes and complex tools being used.
 
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Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
I am thinking that the memory will not be restricted and that we'll have options of 32 and maybe 64 GB RAM. The 16 GB is surprisingly quick on the M1 but still, not when one is doing major editing and using complex tools. The couple of editing tasks I did the other day on the M1 were pretty basic, nothing complicated. (Most of my editing is not complex, as my skill set and interests do not lie in that direction anyway.)

My current 2018 MBP has discrete graphics (Vega 20) in addition to the standard graphics, and I would expect that some sort of discrete graphics would also be available on the next generation of M- machines in order to really differentiate at least some models of the MBP and Mac Mini from baseline models.
 
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Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2017
4,513
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Tanagra (not really)
I currently have an M1 MBP, the base 8GB/256GB model. The most intensive thing I do is run 20MP RAWs through DxOPureRAW, and it does take some time to process the images (62 photos took about 12 minutes), though I don't know how much that compares to an Intel platform. The kicker is, the fan barely, if ever turns on in the MBP. The M1 just really doesn't get that hot--the most I've seen while processing is near 70C, where an Intel model would probably be capping at 90C with the fan running. As far as editing goes, it does the job for me just fine.

The take-home from the M1 Macs are, IMO, that it's not earth-shattering performance in terms of reduced processing time, but it is a remarkably efficient chip that equates to relatively cool running temps and a lot of battery life. That doesn't mean a whole lot to you if you're getting a mini, though. I'm debating swapping this MBP with a 16/265 MBA instead. It would be about the same price with more RAM and no fan, which doesn't appear to be required anyway for what I do. Plus I really don't like the Touch Bar.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
The Touch Bar.....oh, yeah. That..... I have one on my 2018 MBP and I've got one on the 2020 M1 MBP and in both cases I have simply ignored the thing, as I do not find it the least bit useful.

Darmok, definitely go ahead and swap your MBP for an MBA with more RAM -- that 16 GB will serve you well! These M1 machines run so cool it's rather unnerving, isn't it? Definitely one can do without a fan unless they are using their machine for something really, really intensive, and most people with an MBA aren't going to be doing that. I think the only other differences between the MBP and MBA are some slight difference in the nits (whatever they are) in the display screen and also maybe a little longer battery life. If one primarily uses the machine at home anyway the battery life thing isn't all that crucial, and unless one is doing something seriously, seriously critical when it comes to what is displayed on the machine's retina screen, those extra nits shouldn't make much difference either. The increase from 8 GB RAM to 16 GB RAM will make a difference, though, and I think you'll be much happier.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors G3
May 3, 2014
8,079
5,874
Kentucky
My fan turned on the other day for about the 5th time in my ownership, and it hit maybe 80ºC. The culprit-Messages deciding to not respond and soaking up about 200% of the CPU.

On my old 2012, 80ºC is cool, and 100º isn't uncommon when beating on it heavy.

Even when I was having performance issues with Lightroom, the issue was memory and not heat/CPU cycles.
 

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2017
4,513
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Tanagra (not really)
The touch bar was just not a good idea. Rumor has it that it will be gone next generation. I love the real keys for brightness, volume and media playback. I used them a bunch on the last MBA I had. With the MBP, it irritates me every time I have to use that bar. It would be a little better if the bar didn’t sleep, but it does and you can’t turn it off, so it takes twice the effort to do what a button did just fine. And safari tabs? Why do I need them down there behind my hands when they are right there at the top of the screen? I wonder if anyone will miss it. I sure won’t!
 
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kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
6,281
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Glasgow, UK
I have an M1 Mac Mini 16gb/512GB on the way. Anyone using NIK plugins successfully? Any issues with migrating from intel LR/PS to M1?

Also, did you restore from Time Machine or build fresh? My late 2016 MBP started overheating too often so it was time for a change - also, if intel Macs are for history, I don’t want to be stuck with the one that was known as the lemon.
 

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2017
4,513
31,758
Tanagra (not really)
I have an M1 Mac Mini 16gb/512GB on the way. Anyone using NIK plugins successfully? Any issues with migrating from intel LR/PS to M1?

Also, did you restore from Time Machine or build fresh? My late 2016 MBP started overheating too often so it was time for a change - also, if intel Macs are for history, I don’t want to be stuck with the one that was known as the lemon.
It sounds like maybe your fan and heat sinks could be clogged with dust. Ptobably a little challenging to do, but you should be able to open the bottom (with the right screwdriver) and take an air duster to it.
 

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2017
4,513
31,758
Tanagra (not really)
Or… I used it as leverage with “the boss” to get a new toy…. :)
Mrs Darmok doesn’t even bother keeping up with my gear spending anymore. I still spend less than her somehow, so I guess that keeps me safe. It helps that I usually trade/sell when I upgrade, and sometimes I can actually break even or come out ahead. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. It’s a non-conventional form of gambling, I suppose.
 
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Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2017
4,513
31,758
Tanagra (not really)
Your wives have it pretty good. My husband likes cars. ?
Mrs Darmok loves books, and I have no idea how many we have. It’s almost entirely quality older books for homeschooling, so it’s not really for her, but yet somehow it is. I spend it all in one shot, and with her, it’s death by a thousand (paper) cuts. :D
 

kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
6,281
10,102
Glasgow, UK
Are any of the community members using a new M1 Mac to manage and edit photos ? Could you share how it compares to the older Intel Macs ?

I've been using a 2018 Mini i7/32GB/1TB to edit my photos for the last couple of years.
I had an eGpu attached that didn't really offer much in the way of help with editing programs I use (ON1 Photo Raw, Capture One Pro, etc.)
Performance with the Mini's gpu is basic, but I knew that would be the case.

Seeing that these new Macs are out with the M1 has me wondering about replacing the mini.

Thanks in advance.
OK,

I am just finishing setting up the M1 Mini. I will say that having restored from Time Machine, I have now re-installed my key apps and it is ALOT faster than the MacBook Pro and also the Windows machine I have here with an 8 core zeon, 24gb ram and a 4gb graphics card.
 
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bunnspecial

macrumors G3
May 3, 2014
8,079
5,874
Kentucky
I have too many expensive hobbies :)

I don't say anything about my wife's 2-3x a year trips to Disney World(and even can enjoy it when I go) and cars aren't a problem if I stick to her 2 car rule(one practical, one old). The cameras...and fountain pens...and watches...just as long as I hold up my end of the bills.
 

kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
6,281
10,102
Glasgow, UK
Mrs Darmok loves books, and I have no idea how many we have. It’s almost entirely quality older books for homeschooling, so it’s not really for her, but yet somehow it is. I spend it all in one shot, and with her, it’s death by a thousand (paper) cuts. :D
Do you find yourself standing in front of them thinking I havent got anything to read? you know like when we stand in front of a full fridge and think I havent got any food to eat?
 
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kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
6,281
10,102
Glasgow, UK
I have too many expensive hobbies :)

I don't say anything about my wife's 2-3x a year trips to Disney World(and even can enjoy it when I go) and cars aren't a problem if I stick to her 2 car rule(one practical, one old). The cameras...and fountain pens...and watches...just as long as I hold up my end of the bills.
I tend to call them addictions rather than hobbies... I love fountain pens. I have a couple of Mont Blancs - which divide opinion but I like them. Having said that my daily writer is a Franklin Christoph 46.

Watches, well yeah, let's just say that like cameras, I have "tried most systems" and have proven over the years to be attracted to a Gerald Genta design like a moth to a flame.

I just let go of a little wholly impractical Stuttgart rocket to bring us back to 2 cars (brief crisis of age). One electric - in drivetrain and experience to play with - and one work horse diesel.
 
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