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rennocneb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2023
13
17
So i can buy either option and there is 1200 bucks between them. Which way would you all go? I work in IT and want to be able to run some virtual machines on occassion. I also code a bit. Battery life difference between them? I definately do not care about gaming etc, i have a really nice desktop pc for that purpose. I guess i do not want to miss out of M2 is way better but 1200 buck more is sizeable.
 

rennocneb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2023
13
17
16GB of ram in any modern desktop replacement class notebook is a joke. Did you see i want to run VMs and code? 16gb shared between VMs, Graphics, and Mac OS is not going to cut it. I have an M1 Pro 16GB machine I am giving to family that goes into memory pressure quite often and i do not use it as hard as i would like(no VMs currently)
 

Basic75

macrumors 68000
May 17, 2011
1,830
2,075
Europe
Depends on how much RAM your VMs use. For me 4GB is enough for one of my light-weight Linux VMs. I have 64GB which leaves enough for macOS even when running a couple of those. If your VMs are heavier and/or you need to run a lot of them you might benefit from 96GB.
 

Cyberpower678

macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2015
420
352
Everywhere
Depending on the nature of coding, that could be a real RAM eater. Swapping that data will make the process significantly slower. My coding also has me training up some machine learning models, and that's a major memory eater. I'm talking up to 100s of GBs of RAM. Most cases I get it done without about 60-70 GB, but software development, especially ones that need to train a machine learning algorithm, can really be demanding on RAM.
 

Malus120

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2002
671
1,386
16GB of ram in any modern desktop replacement class notebook is a joke. Did you see i want to run VMs and code? 16gb shared between VMs, Graphics, and Mac OS is not going to cut it. I have an M1 Pro 16GB machine I am giving to family that goes into memory pressure quite often and i do not use it as hard as i would like(no VMs currently)
I understand your frustration with the "8/16GB of RAM is more than enough" crowd (because for a lot of us it's not) but this response seems unnecessarily hostile, especially given your initial posts lacks key context ("I already have an M1 Pro 16GB and it's not enough for me.")

It sounds like you already have a pretty good idea of your needs and either machine would work, so it seems like what you really want is validation for your desire to spend more on the M2 Max.
In that case why don't your provide people with a bit more info to... help you make the best decision for yourself...

1. 14 or 16 inch?
2. What configuration of M1 Pro did you have and were you dissatisfied with the CPU or GPU performance? How much additional battery life over your existing machine would be enough to make you pull the trigger on M2 Max?
3. Could you provide more information on how you use your machine than just " I work in IT and want to be able to run some virtual machines on occasion. I also code a bit." That honestly just isn't enough information (some people could certainly do "some VMs and some coding" on 16GB of RAM.)
4. What are the specs on your PC and how do you see yourself splitting work between the two?
5. Assuming you do work on your PC (or on a workstation elsewhere) how much RAM do you currently use (or foresee yourself using.)

Anyway best of luck.
 

rennocneb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2023
13
17
It may come across as hostile but so did the first reponse. I am not looking to justify the expenditure, I would much prefer saving the 1200 bucks but i can afford either luckily and want to be sure I am not giving up a substantial bit of performance for the money. Mainly battery life honestly I have heard the M1 Max struggles a bit there?

1)It will be a 16inch model, my current one is as well(wish it was a 14inch for when i travel I would then keep it as a travel laptop)

2) its a full M1 pro 10c/16gpu with 1TB SSD. Battery life on this machine is excellent no complaints. CPU and GPU performance are fine, they could be better especially CPU wise as i do not do a lot of GPU heavy things other than some video and photo editing on my Mac

3) I would like to be able to build test labs on the machine in EVE-NG for example if that becomes possible on the Apple Silicon chips in the future, I also want to be able to run windows in a VM when i need to. Also some linux VMs for testing of software

4) My PC is a Ryzen 7950x with 128GB of RAM. RTX 3090ti video card. It gets used mainly for editing videos, photos, some coding, work from home, and serving files to the rest of the house, and gaming on occasion. RAM usage can be anywhere from 16gb if just working from home, to well north of 70GB if using after effects for example.

I also have a Dell Precision 5820 at work with a Intel 10980xe in it and 64GB of RAM
 

Cyberpower678

macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2015
420
352
Everywhere
It may come across as hostile but so did the first reponse. I am not looking to justify the expenditure, I would much prefer saving the 1200 bucks but i can afford either luckily and want to be sure I am not giving up a substantial bit of performance for the money. Mainly battery life honestly I have heard the M1 Max struggles a bit there?

1)It will be a 16inch model, my current one is as well(wish it was a 14inch for when i travel I would then keep it as a travel laptop)

2) its a full M1 pro 10c/16gpu with 1TB SSD. Battery life on this machine is excellent no complaints. CPU and GPU performance are fine, they could be better especially CPU wise as i do not do a lot of GPU heavy things other than some video and photo editing on my Mac

3) I would like to be able to build test labs on the machine in EVE-NG for example if that becomes possible on the Apple Silicon chips in the future, I also want to be able to run windows in a VM when i need to. Also some linux VMs for testing of software

4) My PC is a Ryzen 7950x with 128GB of RAM. RTX 3090ti video card. It gets used mainly for editing videos, photos, some coding, work from home, and serving files to the rest of the house, and gaming on occasion. RAM usage can be anywhere from 16gb if just working from home, to well north of 70GB if using after effects for example.

I also have a Dell Precision 5820 at work with a Intel 10980xe in it and 64GB of RAM
I'm an M1 Max user, and I don't really have complaints about the battery life. If you need the RAM, you probably want to go for the M2 model, but from what I gather, you aren't leaving too much performance on the table if you opt for an M1. I'm pretty much satisfied with the performance and battery life balance of my M1 Max, which hangs between 10 to 21 hours, depending on usage. I usually get 10 when working on my IDEs.
 

MacDevil7334

Contributor
Oct 15, 2011
2,517
5,664
Austin TX
2) its a full M1 pro 10c/16gpu with 1TB SSD. Battery life on this machine is excellent no complaints. CPU and GPU performance are fine, they could be better especially CPU wise as i do not do a lot of GPU heavy things other than some video and photo editing on my Mac
Keep in mind that the M1 Max will not get you anything from a CPU perspective compared to a non-binned M1 Pro. You’re only gaining GPU cores. You’ll need to go up to M2 for added CPU performance, so that might answer your question right there.

If you’re not doing much GPU intensive work and are mainly getting the Max to get more RAM, have you considered a binned M2 Max with the 96 GB RAM? Might save you a little bit.
 
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JouniS

macrumors 6502a
Nov 22, 2020
605
372
If you’re not doing much GPU intensive work and are mainly getting the Max to get more RAM, have you considered a binned M2 Max with the 96 GB RAM? Might save you a little bit.
I don't think that option exists. I was ordering a similar configuration recently, and my employer had to pay for useless GPU cores to get a 96 GB model.
 

rennocneb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2023
13
17
M1 Max is probably fine for me CPU performance wise. I at times could probably use the RAM but not often. I guess I am more wandering things like. How long will the M1 be supported for versus the M2, will M2 have substantially better battery life when im traveling(light use). 1200 bucks is a sizeable cost upgrade but if it gains me battery life on travel days, and longevity it might be worth it. Then again 1200 bucks is a 3rd of the next laptop.
 

MacDevil7334

Contributor
Oct 15, 2011
2,517
5,664
Austin TX
I don't think that option exists. I was ordering a similar configuration recently, and my employer had to pay for useless GPU cores to get a 96 GB model.
Ah yep you’re right. You can only spec 96 GB RAM with a non-binned M2 Max. That’s odd.

M1 Max is probably fine for me CPU performance wise. I at times could probably use the RAM but not often. I guess I am more wandering things like. How long will the M1 be supported for versus the M2, will M2 have substantially better battery life when im traveling(light use). 1200 bucks is a sizeable cost upgrade but if it gains me battery life on travel days, and longevity it might be worth it. Then again 1200 bucks is a 3rd of the next laptop.
M1 Max will have the exact same CPU performance as the M1 Pro machine you currently have. You’re only gaining graphics cores and some dedicated media engines it does not sound like you are likely to use.

For how long each chip will be supported, only Apple knows for sure. If iPhones are any guide, the M2 will probably be supported 0-1 years longer than the M1. Keep in mind that M2 is not a massive upgrade over M1. It’s about 15-30% faster depending on the task.

For battery life, you can expect the M2 Max to last about an hour longer than the M1 Max on light usage due to the 2 extra efficiency cores. But for sustained heavy usage, you may find that M2 drains the battery faster because it consumes more power than M1. So your real world battery life will probably be somewhere between 0 and 1 hours longer than the M1 model. Given that the battery life on the 16” M1 model is already really good, I wouldn’t pick M2 just for battery life gains.
 

bnumerick

macrumors member
Jan 14, 2010
86
60
M1 Max is probably fine for me CPU performance wise. I at times could probably use the RAM but not often. I guess I am more wandering things like. How long will the M1 be supported for versus the M2, will M2 have substantially better battery life when im traveling(light use). 1200 bucks is a sizeable cost upgrade but if it gains me battery life on travel days, and longevity it might be worth it. Then again 1200 bucks is a 3rd of the next laptop.

I have both in 32Gb variants. If it were me with your use case I'd save the $1200. No one knows how long it'll be supported for sure but Apple is still actively selling new MacBook Airs with M1 so there's a good chance they will have a long life ahead of them considering they're significantly more powerful than those. Not a huge difference in battery life that I've noticed but I'm a heavier user than most people and I kill them much faster than reviewers so I mostly run them on power.
 

mi7chy

macrumors G4
Oct 24, 2014
10,495
11,155
M2 Max has better GPU cores and go with at least 64GB RAM. Here's just one app running that's showing ~42GB used and swapping to disk.
Screenshot 2023-04-02 at 1.15.50 PM.png
 
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rennocneb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2023
13
17
It’s sorta funny to me that people don’t feel 20% is a sizable upgrade for year I’ve year it’s down right impressive. If battery life is a wash that puts a feather in them 1st cap to me. The extra ram would be very nice but it might be mostly bragging rights. I would on occasion be able to use it but not super often. It’s a hard choice I get bang for the buck the m1 makes the most sense.

Where do you guys typically sale used hardware? I may give my dad the current M1 Pro but I also don’t know if I want to teach a 68yo guy Mac OS lol. So I may sale it.
 

MacProFCP

Contributor
Jun 14, 2007
1,085
2,357
Michigan
So i can buy either option and there is 1200 bucks between them. Which way would you all go? I work in IT and want to be able to run some virtual machines on occassion. I also code a bit. Battery life difference between them? I definately do not care about gaming etc, i have a really nice desktop pc for that purpose. I guess i do not want to miss out of M2 is way better but 1200 buck more is sizeable.

Once you’re spending that much money, get the M2 for the extra $1,200. You’ll have more ram and a newer chipset.

I spent a lot on my MacPro and had to also make some decisions on components. I slacked off on only 128 of ram and had to make an expensive upgrade afterwards. Get what you need for the long term.
 

120FPS

macrumors regular
Oct 26, 2022
165
177
If you are in a position to afford it and this computer will be kept and well used for a number of years then buy the highest spec you can afford. If you are planning to upgrade every time there is a processor upgrade then consider being a bit more economical because the resale value will diminish quite a bit if you order a custom-configured system.
 
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rennocneb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2023
13
17
I would guess I would keep the system 3 or so years before it gets handed down to someone.
 

120FPS

macrumors regular
Oct 26, 2022
165
177
I would guess I would keep the system 3 or so years before it gets handed down to someone.
The M1 should be supported for another 4 years at least (it will probably be more) in regard to software updates so you would be covered there if you wanted to go for that one. M2 Max will have a minimum of 5 (again probably more)

Not sure if you are buying from Apple directly but you could save $400 for the 64GB M2 Max and $600 off if going for the lower M2 Max and 64GB variant. Unless you really feel your VM's and other requirements would make use of 96GB of RAM and the higher-spec RAM.

Depending on how much you value your time you could sell this on eBay in 3 years and recoup some of your costs rather than handing it down. That being said MacOS is easier to manage if you are dealing with parents with not much computing history, in my experience anyhow.
 

Literate

macrumors newbie
Aug 27, 2021
14
19
This isn't an answer to the question per se, but if you want the best battery life and you're already using a central device (the 7950X PC) for remote storage, you might consider hosting the VMs on that same device and simply remoting into them.

This already saved my butt once when my previous MBP failed, since I could immediately pick back up where I was on another device. Not to mention, you sip precious little battery when you're just SSH-ing in.

If you ever find yourself switching machines whilst working on the same project, I'd highly recommend this strategy. It also enables a consistent host platform, as opposed to mixing AArch64 and AMD64 across machines (which can be an obstacle in certain cases).

Most IDEs have remote development plugins available nowadays. More comprehensive remote desktop solutions are plentiful as well.

Of course, that's not to say you shouldn't beef-up the laptop for future-proofing's sake (esp. if you have workloads that must be done locally as well). By remoting in, though, you can simply unlock perhaps more convenience.
 

ironstas

macrumors newbie
Apr 3, 2023
4
5
Depends on what you code but I would get the 96. I work as an iOS dev and have the M1 Max 64gb - the app I work on is massive and just running Xcode plus deploying to one sim takes around 50gb. Add other stuff like browser, slack, and meet and I’m closing on 60. Again depends on what you do but I’m for sure maxing out my next MacBook ram wise
 
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rennocneb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2023
13
17
Most stuff I write is smaller .net stuff for work but sometimes to test it I need to run multiple virtual machines and more than one instance of said code etc. it’s pretty common on my desktop at work or home to see 40gb of ram usage plus at times
 

jtkiley

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2007
104
117
I have two MBPs, an M1 Pro 16GB and an M1 Max 64GB. I run docker containers for data science-type academic research, and I definitely feel the memory limitation on the 16GB. The 16 is plenty usable for a lot of things, but I have to pay attention to RAM when using containers. I feel it a lot less on the 64GB, and I can multitask about as freely as I like without issue, even if I have a couple of multi-container docker compose projects open.

To the original question, I'd get the M2 Max 96GB between those two options. If you can configure more freely, I'd split the difference and get the M2 Max 30GPU 64GB. That's $600 less for eight fewer GPU cores and 32GB less ram. If you're not maxing GPU cores for something meaningful, that $200 may not be buying a lot, and I have yet to hit an issue of high memory pressure with 64GB that wasn't the result of a memory leak. I often deal with 10s or 100s of GB of data, and smaller stuff is fine in RAM, and I kick the bigger ones out to a database or other out-of-core option.
 
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kildraik

macrumors 6502a
May 7, 2006
926
1,298
Just check every box you can, enter your card number and complete your purchase. If you change your mind between now and after you receive it, return it before the return period ends and configure a new one.
 
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