Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

Honza

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 22, 2011
93
24
SF Bay Area
I just switched jobs, and when I learned that my new company supports Macs, I was very tempted to switch. I've used Windows professionally for 10+ years as an accountant (controller), and am very fast with shortcuts in excel. I was so disappointed with my work PCs (last one was only 1 year old HP Elitebook with 32gb of RAM), that I made the leap to a MacBook Pro M1 (unfortunately the IT group gave me 8 gb RAM, but it's holding up great)

One large spreadsheet in particular (200K+ rows, lots of formulas/calculations, tabs, pivots) would take 30 seconds or more to Calculate with every change you made. Many times if I had other applications running, Excel would turn to Not Responding and crash. On the M1 MBP, each calculation takes maybe 1-2 seconds. You can see the CPU spike up when I make a change (it goes up to 550% of usage, which I don't understand), but I never get a beachball. The spreadsheet is still large, and it lags a bit when moving around, but never a spinning circle like I would get in Windows all the time.

Between the combination of assigning specific shortcuts in Excel in SysPref, the Accelerator Keys for Excel program, and the now excellent shortcut support in O365 (which keeps the majority of Windows shortcuts on the Mac), Excel is 98% the same for me as the Windows counterpart. There were a few new keystrokes to learn, but that took about a week to put into muscle memory. There are a few nitpicks - no moving through the items in a filter window with page up/page down/home/end to select them, no shortcuts for formatting pivot tables, and a couple others. Overall, I would take the speed and responsiveness in calculating large spreadsheets over losing out on a few shortcuts.

I also traded in my iPad Pro, because I watch movies and surf the web after work on my MB instead of my iPad. Previously, I needed an iPad because I couldn't use my work laptop for doing any of that - it would heat up in my bag, the battery wouldn't last more than an hour, and it's too hot and clunky to have on your lap for casual movie watching. I could go on and on - Love Love Love my MBP M1! I wouldn't have made the switch a few years ago with the old versions of Excel for Mac, but we've finally hit that point - hopefully they continue to improve Excel for Mac.


TL/DR: Most reviews focus on workflows for creative professionals - but the M1 makes for a killer corporate finance laptop as well.
 

kc9hzn

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2020
1,558
1,846
550% of usage, or usage over 100%, means that it’s using multiple processor cores. To use the example of software running on an 8 core i9 chip with HT, 100% usage means it’s maxing out one CPU core (or enough work is distributed across cores to sum up to 100). 200% means it’s maxing out two CPU cores or one core and hyper threading on that core. So that i9 chip could theoretically go up to 1600% (800% for the physical cores, since there are 8 of them, and 800% for the hyper threaded logical cores, which is really just better pipelining on those 8 physical cores).

The M1, I’m not sure if it had anything equivalent to Intel’s hyper threading technology (but, as a RISC chip, it has better pipelining than a CISC chip anyway), but it has 8 CPU cores (four run at a higher clockspeed and have better performance while four have less performance but are more energy usage and heat optimized than the four high power cores, though, granted, even the high power cores are far more energy efficient than an Intel or AMD CPU core at the same clockspeed and performance). So 550% means it’s pegging some mix of the high power and high efficiency cores, but it’s a faster chip, so it gets the work done faster.
 

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,092
18,749
TL/DR: Most reviews focus on workflows for creative professionals - but the M1 makes for a killer corporate finance laptop as well.

To add tot his: M1 is crazy fast for anything that requires complex memory access, complicated application logic and number crunching. State of the art branch prediction, massive caches, unparalleled memory parallelism (pun) and plenty of execution units make M1 perform very well on modern chaotic codebases. So yeah, speadsheets, data science (the non-ML kind at least), developer work... these things fly on Apple Silicon.
 

lpolarityl

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2009
515
319
Ohio
The #1 reason that my wife won't switch to an Apple laptop is the lack of a number pad. She too is an accountant (self employed, taxes, payroll, accounting/bookkeeping, etc.). Her desktop is a iMac 27" with a Matias Tactile Pro (link), she loves this setup. Her mobile setup is a HP envy x360, and that thing is.... its OK at best. Battery life on it isn't the best, it gets loud for no reason, etc.

Hey Tim! Release a 15" with a numpad please!
 

Honza

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 22, 2011
93
24
SF Bay Area
The #1 reason that my wife won't switch to an Apple laptop is the lack of a number pad. She too is an accountant (self employed, taxes, payroll, accounting/bookkeeping, etc.). Her desktop is a iMac 27" with a Matias Tactile Pro (link), she loves this setup. Her mobile setup is a HP envy x360, and that thing is.... its OK at best. Battery life on it isn't the best, it gets loud for no reason, etc.

Hey Tim! Release a 15" with a numpad please!
I hear you, I work 99% of the time from my desk with monitors and full external keyboard with a number pad. I still use my windows mechanical keyboard - I definitely need a full keyboard.

I'm not sure why anybody does their full day's work on the laptop keyboard though - especially in an office setting. Wouldn't a USB keyboard with num pad solve her problems?
 
  • Like
Reactions: ian87w

nicho

macrumors 601
Feb 15, 2008
4,211
3,181
I'm not sure why anybody does their full day's work on the laptop keyboard though - especially in an office setting. Wouldn't a USB keyboard with num pad solve her problems?

Or, perhaps, an external number pad.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cdcastillo

lpolarityl

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2009
515
319
Ohio
Or, perhaps, an external number pad.
I hear you, I work 99% of the time from my desk with monitors and full external keyboard with a number pad. I still use my windows mechanical keyboard - I definitely need a full keyboard.

I'm not sure why anybody does their full day's work on the laptop keyboard though - especially in an office setting. Wouldn't a USB keyboard with num pad solve her problems?
She doesn't work from a laptop most of the day, its just sometimes from the couch or when she is on travel. She works from her desk 99% of the time as well (on her iMac). The Bluetooth numpad, she's tried using them before and just doesn't like them (when she would use a 13" MBP). I told her the likelihood of Apple ever releasing a numpad laptop again is basically never.
 

RecentlyConverted

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2015
875
629
I just switched jobs, and when I learned that my new company supports Macs, I was very tempted to switch. I've used Windows professionally for 10+ years as an accountant (controller), and am very fast with shortcuts in excel. I was so disappointed with my work PCs (last one was only 1 year old HP Elitebook with 32gb of RAM), that I made the leap to a MacBook Pro M1 (unfortunately the IT group gave me 8 gb RAM, but it's holding up great)

One large spreadsheet in particular (200K+ rows, lots of formulas/calculations, tabs, pivots) would take 30 seconds or more to Calculate with every change you made. Many times if I had other applications running, Excel would turn to Not Responding and crash. On the M1 MBP, each calculation takes maybe 1-2 seconds. You can see the CPU spike up when I make a change (it goes up to 550% of usage, which I don't understand), but I never get a beachball. The spreadsheet is still large, and it lags a bit when moving around, but never a spinning circle like I would get in Windows all the time.

Between the combination of assigning specific shortcuts in Excel in SysPref, the Accelerator Keys for Excel program, and the now excellent shortcut support in O365 (which keeps the majority of Windows shortcuts on the Mac), Excel is 98% the same for me as the Windows counterpart. There were a few new keystrokes to learn, but that took about a week to put into muscle memory. There are a few nitpicks - no moving through the items in a filter window with page up/page down/home/end to select them, no shortcuts for formatting pivot tables, and a couple others. Overall, I would take the speed and responsiveness in calculating large spreadsheets over losing out on a few shortcuts.

I also traded in my iPad Pro, because I watch movies and surf the web after work on my MB instead of my iPad. Previously, I needed an iPad because I couldn't use my work laptop for doing any of that - it would heat up in my bag, the battery wouldn't last more than an hour, and it's too hot and clunky to have on your lap for casual movie watching. I could go on and on - Love Love Love my MBP M1! I wouldn't have made the switch a few years ago with the old versions of Excel for Mac, but we've finally hit that point - hopefully they continue to improve Excel for Mac.


TL/DR: Most reviews focus on workflows for creative professionals - but the M1 makes for a killer corporate finance laptop as well.
Wow, thats some spreedsheet. I have administered and setup many large spreadsheets, but never that large. I remember setting up a very large spreadsheet on Lotus Symphony, with a lengthy macro, (took ages to write and debug). You could press run, then go off and make a hot drink whilst it ran!
 

Shirasaki

macrumors P6
May 16, 2015
15,418
10,614
The #1 reason that my wife won't switch to an Apple laptop is the lack of a number pad. She too is an accountant (self employed, taxes, payroll, accounting/bookkeeping, etc.). Her desktop is a iMac 27" with a Matias Tactile Pro (link), she loves this setup. Her mobile setup is a HP envy x360, and that thing is.... its OK at best. Battery life on it isn't the best, it gets loud for no reason, etc.

Hey Tim! Release a 15" with a numpad please!
Tim: num pad is ancient technology. We need none of that. (Apple II vs Laser 128 flashback)
 

Shirasaki

macrumors P6
May 16, 2015
15,418
10,614
Companies making employees use Windows laptops is a human rights violation. I'm happy your company got on the right track.
It’s a direct insult to me who also uses excel on a daily basis on a windows PC. :mad:
Not the one having thousands of lines of course but still.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors P6
May 16, 2015
15,418
10,614
M1 chip is awesome no doubt. I too also want an M1 MacBook Air but some legacy applications locks me out of M1 pretty much forever (iTunes 12.6.5.3)
I have M1 iPad with 8GB of RAM and can’t really feel any lag (outside of beta lag). Really can’t wait to see how M1 MacBook Air could change my workflow, given iPad Pro’s exemplary performance, once I can sort out critical legacy application support.
 

Honza

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 22, 2011
93
24
SF Bay Area
M1 chip is awesome no doubt. I too also want an M1 MacBook Air but some legacy applications locks me out of M1 pretty much forever (iTunes 12.6.5.3)
I have M1 iPad with 8GB of RAM and can’t really feel any lag (outside of beta lag). Really can’t wait to see how M1 MacBook Air could change my workflow, given iPad Pro’s exemplary performance, once I can sort out critical legacy application support.
One of the big reasons my new company supports Macs is that it is a younger company that uses SaaS for all applications. My previous company was using on-premise Oracle ERP from 1997... Many apps still ran in internet explorer and needed custom VBA add-ins to excel to communicate. Much easier now to use software apps that all run in Safari/Chrome.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors P6
May 16, 2015
15,418
10,614
One of the big reasons my new company supports Macs is that it is a younger company that uses SaaS for all applications. My previous company was using on-premise Oracle ERP from 1997... Many apps still ran in internet explorer and needed custom VBA add-ins to excel to communicate. Much easier now to use software apps that all run in Safari/Chrome.
Yeah, living in the bleeding edge sometimes can boost productivity dramatically. But I value legacy support and latest greatest equally, which means Apple’s harsh stance on dropping legacy support (heck they could abandon their “tradition” of providing long term software support for their hardware to make their code always clean and fresh if they want) irks me from time to time, but that’s just my life really.
Internet explorer oh… That thing. I used it a lot when I was 7 years old. Ain’t gonna miss it too much I suppose.

I sure need more time to test out M1 Mac and see how it fares against my need, in general. Ain’t easy decision to make.
 

grandM

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2013
1,506
298
She doesn't work from a laptop most of the day, its just sometimes from the couch or when she is on travel. She works from her desk 99% of the time as well (on her iMac). The Bluetooth numpad, she's tried using them before and just doesn't like them (when she would use a 13" MBP). I told her the likelihood of Apple ever releasing a numpad laptop again is basically never.
iMac m1 or Mac mini m1 with numpad equipped keyboard?
 

spiderman0616

Suspended
Aug 1, 2010
5,647
7,439
I just switched jobs, and when I learned that my new company supports Macs, I was very tempted to switch. I've used Windows professionally for 10+ years as an accountant (controller), and am very fast with shortcuts in excel. I was so disappointed with my work PCs (last one was only 1 year old HP Elitebook with 32gb of RAM), that I made the leap to a MacBook Pro M1 (unfortunately the IT group gave me 8 gb RAM, but it's holding up great)

One large spreadsheet in particular (200K+ rows, lots of formulas/calculations, tabs, pivots) would take 30 seconds or more to Calculate with every change you made. Many times if I had other applications running, Excel would turn to Not Responding and crash. On the M1 MBP, each calculation takes maybe 1-2 seconds. You can see the CPU spike up when I make a change (it goes up to 550% of usage, which I don't understand), but I never get a beachball. The spreadsheet is still large, and it lags a bit when moving around, but never a spinning circle like I would get in Windows all the time.

Between the combination of assigning specific shortcuts in Excel in SysPref, the Accelerator Keys for Excel program, and the now excellent shortcut support in O365 (which keeps the majority of Windows shortcuts on the Mac), Excel is 98% the same for me as the Windows counterpart. There were a few new keystrokes to learn, but that took about a week to put into muscle memory. There are a few nitpicks - no moving through the items in a filter window with page up/page down/home/end to select them, no shortcuts for formatting pivot tables, and a couple others. Overall, I would take the speed and responsiveness in calculating large spreadsheets over losing out on a few shortcuts.

I also traded in my iPad Pro, because I watch movies and surf the web after work on my MB instead of my iPad. Previously, I needed an iPad because I couldn't use my work laptop for doing any of that - it would heat up in my bag, the battery wouldn't last more than an hour, and it's too hot and clunky to have on your lap for casual movie watching. I could go on and on - Love Love Love my MBP M1! I wouldn't have made the switch a few years ago with the old versions of Excel for Mac, but we've finally hit that point - hopefully they continue to improve Excel for Mac.


TL/DR: Most reviews focus on workflows for creative professionals - but the M1 makes for a killer corporate finance laptop as well.
Love your post for two reasons:

1) People keep saying that the M1 doesn't work for people needing a "real" professional laptop. That's weird--an accountant who sounds like he/she does some serious Excel number crunching says that it's great! (I'm not shocked or surprised. My M1 MBA is a screamer.)

2) You switched from the MacBook to the iPad back to the MacBook for content consumption for the same reason as me: heat and battery life were deal breakers on Intel Macs as far as doing things like watching Netflix while the computer is in your actual lap. Too much hot air pumping out of those CPUs, and it could get really uncomfortable in the hotter times of the year, not to mention loud from all the fan noise. My M1 machine has never gotten warmer than room temperature, even during gaming.
 
  • Like
Reactions: leperry and grandM

Wolff Weber

macrumors member
Nov 18, 2020
55
36
The #1 reason that my wife won't switch to an Apple laptop is the lack of a number pad. She too is an accountant (self employed, taxes, payroll, accounting/bookkeeping, etc.). Her desktop is a iMac 27" with a Matias Tactile Pro (link), she loves this setup. Her mobile setup is a HP envy x360, and that thing is.... its OK at best. Battery life on it isn't the best, it gets loud for no reason, etc.

Hey Tim! Release a 15" with a numpad please!
Solution: external keyboard.
 

polyphenol

macrumors 68000
Sep 9, 2020
1,866
2,165
Wales
The #1 reason that my wife won't switch to an Apple laptop is the lack of a number pad. She too is an accountant (self employed, taxes, payroll, accounting/bookkeeping, etc.). Her desktop is a iMac 27" with a Matias Tactile Pro (link), she loves this setup. Her mobile setup is a HP envy x360, and that thing is.... its OK at best. Battery life on it isn't the best, it gets loud for no reason, etc.

Hey Tim! Release a 15" with a numpad please!
Solution: external keyboard.
Available at six (UK) pounds and ninety nine pence from a large electrical multiple - and they are in stock.
 

polyphenol

macrumors 68000
Sep 9, 2020
1,866
2,165
Wales
One large spreadsheet in particular (200K+ rows, lots of formulas/calculations, tabs, pivots) would take 30 seconds or more to Calculate with every change you made.
My first spreadsheet, the first one I actually wrote seriously rather than using it as a glorified calculator, was on Lotus 1-2-3, and took around 15 to 25 minutes to recalculate on an 80286 processor (which was quite decent for the day).

It wasn't even big or complicated - the only "fancy" bit was look up data.

30 seconds would have appeared like witchcraft!
 

kc9hzn

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2020
1,558
1,846
I hear you, I work 99% of the time from my desk with monitors and full external keyboard with a number pad. I still use my windows mechanical keyboard - I definitely need a full keyboard.

I'm not sure why anybody does their full day's work on the laptop keyboard though - especially in an office setting. Wouldn't a USB keyboard with num pad solve her problems?
I use a 60% tenkeyless keyboard, but I also use an external numpad. I use the keyboard more often than the numpad, so I have the keyboard on the left, my trackball to the right of it, and the numpad to the right of the trackball. There’s a lot to be said for having an external numpad, in my opinion.
 

pshufd

macrumors G3
Oct 24, 2013
9,927
14,428
New Hampshire
I use a 60% tenkeyless keyboard, but I also use an external numpad. I use the keyboard more often than the numpad, so I have the keyboard on the left, my trackball to the right of it, and the numpad to the right of the trackball. There’s a lot to be said for having an external numpad, in my opinion.

I have TKLs as well and they are very nice.

If I need to enter a lot of numbers, I can just grab a full keyboard from my computer supplies and use that. For small calculations, I use an actual calculator, though you could call it a computer too. It's the oldest computer on my desk from around 1978.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.