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DanClark

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 25, 2008
30
2
My 2021 MacBook Pro M1 is NOT stable and reliable. Since receiving it in January 2021, rebooting it once a day has a been the norm. Even with 32Gb of memory, it constantly runs out of memory with a normal workload. Right now, one of my BenQ monitors is constantly throwing an error “No cable attached”.

I bought this thing for general use, software development, audio editing and video editing. I knew that I was taking a risk since the M1 chip was relatively new. However the ability to integrate a Macbook, iPad, iPhone, and Apple watch seemed like an attractive option.

I also knew, despite 30+ years as a Windows software developer, that my transition would be somewhat painful. What I didn’t expect was the enormous hassle I’ve encountered There has been so many problems:
  • While the UI is bit confusing, it’s pretty nice for simple tasks. OTOH, complex tasks and software development has been a nightmare. Under the surface, MacOS is complex and confusing - Like Windows ten years ago!
  • For one or two running apps, it’s OK. Run 10 to 15 apps simultaneously, and it runs out of memory and gets unstable. Even with memory utilities, it chokes. (I would have bought 64GB of memory, but that would have meant waiting another 1-2 months.
  • I have something like 10-12 USB accessories attached using a USB extension box. I’m pretty sure that MacOS can’t handle this well. (No problem with my PC workstation.) My MacBook is hooked to a rats nest of accessories just meet my requirements.
  • Apps load VERY slowly. For instance, Davinci Resolve takes something like 30 seconds to load. On my PC workstation, it loaded in 5-6 seconds.
  • Expansion is miserable. ONE HDMI port. Three other USB/Thunderbolt ports. Memory and disk space is NOT expandable.
Questions:
  • Anyone else encountered these issues?
  • Any way to fix the issues I’ve found?
  • It would be a MAJOR pain to switch back to a Windows PC, but is that a reasonable option? Or…
  • Is it reasonable to get a Mac Studio? (Getting more memory and disk in an option, but the expansion ports are abysmal.) Can the Mac Studio handle more USB accessories safely?
  • Bottom line - is the Mac a good, general purpose workstation?
Thanks,

Dan.
 

richmlow

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
274
128
My 2021 MacBook Pro M1 is NOT stable and reliable. Since receiving it in January 2021, rebooting it once a day has a been the norm. Even with 32Gb of memory, it constantly runs out of memory with a normal workload. Right now, one of my BenQ monitors is constantly throwing an error “No cable attached”.

I bought this thing for general use, software development, audio editing and video editing. I knew that I was taking a risk since the M1 chip was relatively new. However the ability to integrate a Macbook, iPad, iPhone, and Apple watch seemed like an attractive option.

I also knew, despite 30+ years as a Windows software developer, that my transition would be somewhat painful. What I didn’t expect was the enormous hassle I’ve encountered There has been so many problems:
  • While the UI is bit confusing, it’s pretty nice for simple tasks. OTOH, complex tasks and software development has been a nightmare. Under the surface, MacOS is complex and confusing - Like Windows ten years ago!
  • For one or two running apps, it’s OK. Run 10 to 15 apps simultaneously, and it runs out of memory and gets unstable. Even with memory utilities, it chokes. (I would have bought 64GB of memory, but that would have meant waiting another 1-2 months.
  • I have something like 10-12 USB accessories attached using a USB extension box. I’m pretty sure that MacOS can’t handle this well. (No problem with my PC workstation.) My MacBook is hooked to a rats nest of accessories just meet my requirements.
  • Apps load VERY slowly. For instance, Davinci Resolve takes something like 30 seconds to load. On my PC workstation, it loaded in 5-6 seconds.
  • Expansion is miserable. ONE HDMI port. Three other USB/Thunderbolt ports. Memory and disk space is NOT expandable.
Questions:
  • Anyone else encountered these issues?
  • Any way to fix the issues I’ve found?
  • It would be a MAJOR pain to switch back to a Windows PC, but is that a reasonable option? Or…
  • Is it reasonable to get a Mac Studio? (Getting more memory and disk in an option, but the expansion ports are abysmal.) Can the Mac Studio handle more USB accessories safely?
  • Bottom line - is the Mac a good, general purpose workstation?
Thanks,

Dan.
Hello Dan,


I'm sorry to hear of the problems. This does not sound like "normal" problems.

It is quite possible that you have a "lemon" of a machine. Since it is still under warrantee, I would strongly recommend that you take it to a local Apple Store and have the problem diagnosed. If indeed it is a "lemon," insist that the Macbook Pro be REPLACED.

Best of luck on resolving the problems.


richmlow
 
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uller6

macrumors 6502a
May 14, 2010
813
1,038
My 2021 MacBook Pro M1 is NOT stable and reliable. Since receiving it in January 2021, rebooting it once a day has a been the norm. Even with 32Gb of memory, it constantly runs out of memory with a normal workload. Right now, one of my BenQ monitors is constantly throwing an error “No cable attached”.

I bought this thing for general use, software development, audio editing and video editing. I knew that I was taking a risk since the M1 chip was relatively new. However the ability to integrate a Macbook, iPad, iPhone, and Apple watch seemed like an attractive option.

I also knew, despite 30+ years as a Windows software developer, that my transition would be somewhat painful. What I didn’t expect was the enormous hassle I’ve encountered There has been so many problems:
  • While the UI is bit confusing, it’s pretty nice for simple tasks. OTOH, complex tasks and software development has been a nightmare. Under the surface, MacOS is complex and confusing - Like Windows ten years ago!
  • For one or two running apps, it’s OK. Run 10 to 15 apps simultaneously, and it runs out of memory and gets unstable. Even with memory utilities, it chokes. (I would have bought 64GB of memory, but that would have meant waiting another 1-2 months.
  • I have something like 10-12 USB accessories attached using a USB extension box. I’m pretty sure that MacOS can’t handle this well. (No problem with my PC workstation.) My MacBook is hooked to a rats nest of accessories just meet my requirements.
  • Apps load VERY slowly. For instance, Davinci Resolve takes something like 30 seconds to load. On my PC workstation, it loaded in 5-6 seconds.
  • Expansion is miserable. ONE HDMI port. Three other USB/Thunderbolt ports. Memory and disk space is NOT expandable.
Questions:
  • Anyone else encountered these issues?
  • Any way to fix the issues I’ve found?
  • It would be a MAJOR pain to switch back to a Windows PC, but is that a reasonable option? Or…
  • Is it reasonable to get a Mac Studio? (Getting more memory and disk in an option, but the expansion ports are abysmal.) Can the Mac Studio handle more USB accessories safely?
  • Bottom line - is the Mac a good, general purpose workstation?
Thanks,

Dan.
Hi Dan,

It’s really hard to switch environments after 30 years with your head up Microsoft’s @$$. I feel for you. I feel the same way from the other direction - I can’t figure out how Windows works and things that should be insanely simple are incredibly convoluted or impossible. I’ve had my head up Apple’s @$$ for the past 20 years. I still can’t wrap my head around the windows registry.

That said, while I know it’s frustrating to switch, keep working at it! You’ll get more familiar as time goes by and you learn the tweaks. Keep asking questions here, the more detailed the better!

You don’t mention any specific issues with USB devices, only that you have a lot of them. Try to consolidate if you can. The M1 chip still has some issues with USB devices playing nice, but hopefully those are slowly fixed as newer OS’s are released. Without more specifics it’s hard to know what’s up.

Lastly, if programs aren’t opening fast enough for you then I suspect you have a spinning external hard drive attached. Sometimes MacOS likes to wait for external usb drives to spin back up before doing what should be simple finder tasks. I’ve noticed this in the past but moved to only SSD a few years ago so don’t notice this on my M1. I’m not sure the Max studio will fix this for you, but you could always buy the studio and test it out, then if it doesn’t work for you return within the 14 day return period.

Hope this helps!
 

haralds

macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2014
2,362
942
Silicon Valley, CA
Use your AppleCare. In my experience, they will do their best to solve the issue or replace your machine.
I bought my M1 MacBook Pro when they came out and have had very few problems. I rarely reboot.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
13,239
17,428
Before we right this out as a lemon, can you go over your actual workflow. The phrase “I should have bought 64GB RAM but would have had to wait) makes me think you may be running an underspecced machine for your needs.
 

Sheepish-Lord

macrumors 68000
Oct 13, 2021
1,641
2,884
Might be stating the obvious here but why don’t you just go back to a Windows system? You’re throwing lots of money at something you seem very unfamiliar with so I’m sure that’s not helping the experience.
 

lclev

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2013
513
312
Ohio
I have the 2021 M1 Max chip (10 CPU/32 GPU /16 NE), 1TB SSD, 64GB memory. I use an OWC hub for my external drives (all are SSD's) and connecting 2 - 4K 27" monitors. I use WiFi to connect to my work server and two Synology NAS storage drives.

I use Premiere Pro for video editing and usually have Photoshop, After Effects and Audition open. Somedays with all the listed open I am also uploading to Youtube, our local TV station, and our webpage. I will also have Brave open to edit the webpage. If I am waiting on Encore to run encoding I will watch a YouTube video, and have Outlook open to check eMail. - and that's all I can remember but there may be more.

I do not run a memory utility. I hardly ever reboot unless the OS updated. I have never seen an out of memory notice. Apps load fast and run smoothly. All seem to play nice with resources.

I also have 30+ years with using Windows PC's. I still have a very beefy Windows 11 PC. My M1 can keep up and exceed it in capacity and speed. Transitioning from Windows to Mac OS can have hair pulling moments - I know I had them! But I have finally gotten a good grip on it and I love it. I also don't miss starting up my PC and finding out I have to wait for a 30 minute update to finish.

You may need a beefier machine or it could be a lemon. You could try calling Apple Support.
 

hoo-man-b-ing

macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2022
107
87
What “memory utilities” are you using? I’ve done both Windows and Apple development and can’t think of any good product that falls under that umbrella.

As someone else suggested, please share your workflow (eg specific apps, data sizes, data storage, etc) and details on what Activity Monitor (the equivalent of Task Manager) shows for memory usage.

And I’m curious what this “rat’s nest” of USB peripherals is and if you run into these problems with it disconnected. It’s entirely possible that one of them (say a cheap thumb drive or underpowered USB hub) has reads/writes queueing, resulting in poor performance which may resemble memory exhaustion.
 
Last edited:

leman

macrumors P6
Oct 14, 2008
17,009
14,744
It sounds like your machine is either defective or grossly misconfigured. What you describe is definitely not the typical experience.

I am also confused by your statement that macOS is hard to use for advanced tasks or development workflows. It’s a Unix system… and it comes with all the advanced features and tooling of Unix in addition to its own expert stuff (like full OS scriptability). What exactly are you doing and what tools are you using?
 

aperfectcircle

macrumors member
Dec 9, 2020
52
95
That is definitely not normal. I have a 14” with 32GB also, and it’s run like an absolute dream since getting it a year ago. No matter what I’ve thrown at it I’ve never had any issues and the only restarts I’ve had are when installing OS updates.

I have a bunch of USB accessories via a thunderbolt dock - though not as many as you; a webcam, external mic, external SSD, and keyboard, as well as a 5k2k monitor.

I’d definitely take it into Apple to get checked out, though I’d also suggest as others above to see if one of your USB accessories is causing issues first.
 

Isamilis

macrumors 65816
Apr 3, 2012
1,477
531
My 2021 MacBook Pro M1 is NOT stable and reliable. Since receiving it in January 2021, rebooting it once a day has a been the norm. Even with 32Gb of memory, it constantly runs out of memory with a normal workload. Right now, one of my BenQ monitors is constantly throwing an error “No cable attached”.

I bought this thing for general use, software development, audio editing and video editing. I knew that I was taking a risk since the M1 chip was relatively new. However the ability to integrate a Macbook, iPad, iPhone, and Apple watch seemed like an attractive option.

I also knew, despite 30+ years as a Windows software developer, that my transition would be somewhat painful. What I didn’t expect was the enormous hassle I’ve encountered There has been so many problems:
  • While the UI is bit confusing, it’s pretty nice for simple tasks. OTOH, complex tasks and software development has been a nightmare. Under the surface, MacOS is complex and confusing - Like Windows ten years ago!
  • For one or two running apps, it’s OK. Run 10 to 15 apps simultaneously, and it runs out of memory and gets unstable. Even with memory utilities, it chokes. (I would have bought 64GB of memory, but that would have meant waiting another 1-2 months.
  • I have something like 10-12 USB accessories attached using a USB extension box. I’m pretty sure that MacOS can’t handle this well. (No problem with my PC workstation.) My MacBook is hooked to a rats nest of accessories just meet my requirements.
  • Apps load VERY slowly. For instance, Davinci Resolve takes something like 30 seconds to load. On my PC workstation, it loaded in 5-6 seconds.
  • Expansion is miserable. ONE HDMI port. Three other USB/Thunderbolt ports. Memory and disk space is NOT expandable.
Questions:
  • Anyone else encountered these issues?
  • Any way to fix the issues I’ve found?
  • It would be a MAJOR pain to switch back to a Windows PC, but is that a reasonable option? Or…
  • Is it reasonable to get a Mac Studio? (Getting more memory and disk in an option, but the expansion ports are abysmal.) Can the Mac Studio handle more USB accessories safely?
  • Bottom line - is the Mac a good, general purpose workstation?
Thanks,

Dan.
Do you install antivirus or apps that scan the whole system? Usually people from windows install those apps, as what they did previously. If so, you can try erase the disk and reinstall the Os and apps for your work only, not the “system utilities” apps. Hope this helps.
 

pshufd

macrumors G3
Oct 24, 2013
8,485
13,469
New Hampshire
I have an M1 Pro MacBook Pro 16 32/1 and I had the memory issues when I got it but the memory leak problems were gradually fixed with subsequent maintenance releases until 12.6.1 where I didn't see any memory leaks. Then I upgraded to Ventura and there are new memory leaks but they are not bad and I only need to reboot once every two weeks. I expect these to get fixed with maintenance releases but I don't have to reboot every day.

I also have a Mac Studio which is hooked up to a lot of stuff - I prefer a desktop with a lot of ports to connecting a laptop everyday. So I use the Studio when I am at my desk (I also use a 2014 iMac because I like the screen, microphones, camera and speakers for office stuff) and it is hooked up to 3 monitors and I am going to add a fourth. And I use the MacBook Pro when I'm mobile.

I consider my MacBook Pro to be rock solid. There is the memory leak in Ventura but I can live with it.

I feel that I should have gotten the Studio with 64 GB of RAM, 1 TB SSD and 32 GPU cores but I would have had to wait for it.
 
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