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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
56,533
19,287


It's now been a few months since the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models launched in October, and MacRumors video editor Dan Barbera has been using one of the new machines since they debuted. Over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, Dan has shared a three month review of his MacBook Pro to see how it has held up over time and how it's changed his workflow.


Dan is using the 16-inch MacBook Pro that features an M1 Max chip with 10 compute cores and a 32-core GPU, aka the top of the line chip. The machine features 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD, and it is the high-end pre-configured version that Apple offers.

In usage, the MacBook Pro is close to perfect, but Dan does go over a handful of complaints in his video. The MacBook Pro is subject to crashes and restarts when used in clamshell mode, which could be attributed to third-party Thunderbolt accessories.

The SSD can also malfunction randomly when transferring footage from an external drive. At times, transfer speeds slow to a crawl, an issue fixed with a restart. These are the two major issues that Dan has experienced, and he has otherwise had no problems. Performance overall is excellent, the display is beautiful, and the extra ports are useful.

For those considering a purchase, Dan says that he wishes that he had gone with a 2TB SSD over a 1TB because of his video editing needs, and he's not sure that he's happy with the weight and size of the 16-inch MacBook Pro when the same functionality is available with the smaller and more portable 14-inch MacBook Pro.

Make sure to watch Dan's video for his full review, and let us know in the comments how you're liking your 2021 M1 Pro/M1 Max MacBook Pro if you have one.

Article Link: Review: M1 Max MacBook Pro After Three Months
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68040
Jan 8, 2003
3,635
5,738
Hardware reviews which ignore the problems in the (mandatory) operating system are meaningless.

The 3 Month Review, done properly:

"Great hardware, probably more than you need, all crippled by a shoddy, premature OS & apps."
 
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I love my MacBook Pro. I love the new design however at times I do miss the Touch Bar. In my opinion, this is definitely the product of the year. Hands down 🙌

1642621465531.jpeg
 

adamjackson

macrumors 68020
Jul 9, 2008
2,273
4,507
1 Month in and it's the best modern Mac I've ever used. It seems every Mac in the last 10 years or since Intel transition had some caveat or "but" added. The 16" Max is an amazing computer. As portable as PC laptops and way more portable than the desktop replacement PC laptops out there. Fast I/O, great web cam, very good battery life. totally silent. I love it.
 

thenahon

macrumors member
May 11, 2019
56
93
Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
I have the 16" M1 Pro MacBook Pro and I have very little to complain about.

Sure, it is big, but that's exactly what I wanted. I am a physician assistant student and the two things I didn't want to slow me down were load times (for anything) and not being able to make content big and bright.

I use Complete Anatomy 22 and like that I can really make structures larger when studying anatomy. The 16" also lets me use split screen or have multiple windows open and see everything clearly without any compromises.

Honestly, the only complaint I have is that FaceTime sometimes doesn't show me my own camera''s feed which is a little weird, but nothing that a quick restart won't fix.

Edit:
I'll ad another thing that I didn't want slowing me down: Windows' ***** software.
What? I’d much rather use a similarly priced PC with Mac OS than a Mac with Windows.
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
5,592
15,761
Temecula, CA
Hardware reviews which ignore the problems in the (mandatory) operating system are meaningless.

The 3 Month Review, done properly:

"Great hardware but more than you need, all crippled by a shoddy quality OS & apps."
Helpful comment - Not.
On my M1 MBA Monterey has been performing great, and besides the (temporary) trackpad issue, nothing else.
 

PygmySurfer

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2006
330
63
Wellesley, ON
I was really skeptical about the Atmos from a laptop, but I can honestly say I'm pretty blown away about how they achieve that sound space from such small speakers.
This, I can't get over how good the sound is from my MBP 16".

Maybe I'm late to the Apple Silicon game, but I'm also surprised by how little the architecture transition has affected me. The only (minor) issue I have is tfenv will try and download the arm64 Terraform binary for older versions where Hashicorp hasn't compiled them for arm64.
Code:
TFENV_ARCH=amd64 terraform init
is a suitable workaround for those.
 

nvmls

macrumors 65816
Mar 31, 2011
1,461
3,961
Loving the 14" as well, though the software has been a bit rocky to be frank, spotlight completely toasted, Safari is an unfixable abomination at this point, so we've just stopped using it altogether. Hopefully next versions will help polish the rest of the OS.
 

DougFNJ

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2008
1,382
1,015
NJ
I got the fully loaded version 14” and it’s precisely what I was hoping it would be. My only hesitancy before I purchased was that some of my software wouldn’t work with it, but everything is compatible.
This machine is fast! I am happy they added HDMI so I could plug into the big screen at work for meetings.
I’m glad I went with the 8 TB storage, I use a LOT of it and will be happy to not have to ever worry about needing to free up space. My SD cards have all worked, and the transfer speed has been fast, especially since I upgraded the cards to the Sony Tough series.
<knock wood> I’ve not experienced any bugs that I could think of.
The single only complaint I could point out if I want to nitpick is the screen color is on the slightly warm side compared to my LG Ultrafine 4K. The last few MacBooks matched the screen colors perfectly, this one is slightly warmer.
I’ve been playing with Final Cut Pro X and multitasking between the 2 screens and other apps at the same time. I have yet to hear a fan engage.
The “notch” was another thing I wondered if I would find annoying, with the way they laid out the screen, I barely even notice it’s there. I haven’t found myself missing the touch at, I barely used it before. Best computer upgrade since I could remember. I’m going to be enjoying this machine for a long time.
 

IIGS User

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2019
745
1,932
I love my MacBook Pro. I love the new design however at times I do miss the Touch Bar. In my opinion, this is definitely the product of the year. Hands down 🙌

Um, those hands are up? :p

Anyway. I'm looking forward to some of the newer features filtering down to the 13" model when the touch bar is finally sent out to pasture. I currently have a 2018 Intel that suits all my needs nicely for now. But, the return of mag safe and varied inputs will be nice.

I know a lot of people have said that if you're looking for a cheaper than $1999 computer, then you're not in the "Pro" market. From my viewpoint, I disagree.

I'm one of those people that buys the base "Pro" model to get some sort of longevity out of the purchase. I purchased my iPad Pro in 2019 and my MBP around the same time. Both still suit my needs well, and probably will for another year, maybe two. This way, I can upgrade on my terms, not the product cycle.

But I'm not a power user, I just like nice stuff from time to time.
 

nvmls

macrumors 65816
Mar 31, 2011
1,461
3,961
I love my MacBook Pro. I love the new design however at times I do miss the Touch Bar. In my opinion, this is definitely the product of the year. Hands down 🙌

View attachment 1946631
Really Yay? what do you miss about it? (touchbar). For us it's been completely useless since day 1 lol, of course you "could do" stuff, but 99% of it was slower & less efficiently than physical keys.
 

cluigi

macrumors newbie
Oct 31, 2010
2
8
Metro DC


It's now been a few months since the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models launched in October, and MacRumors video editor Dan Barbera has been using one of the new machines since they debuted. Over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, Dan has shared a three month review of his MacBook Pro to see how it has held up over time and how it's changed his workflow.


Dan is using the 16-inch MacBook Pro that features an M1 Max chip with 10 compute cores and a 32-core GPU, aka the top of the line chip. The machine features 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD, and it is the high-end pre-configured version that Apple offers.

In usage, the MacBook Pro is close to perfect, but Dan does go over a handful of complaints in his video. The MacBook Pro is subject to crashes and restarts when used in clamshell mode, which could be attributed to third-party Thunderbolt accessories.

The SSD can also malfunction randomly when transferring footage from an external drive. At times, transfer speeds slow to a crawl, an issue fixed with a restart. These are the two major issues that Dan has experienced, and he has otherwise had no problems. Performance overall is excellent, the display is beautiful, and the extra ports are useful.

For those considering a purchase, Dan says that he wishes that he had gone with a 2TB SSD over a 1TB because of his video editing needs, and he's not sure that he's happy with the weight and size of the 16-inch MacBook Pro when the same functionality is available with the smaller and more portable 14-inch MacBook Pro.

Make sure to watch Dan's video for his full review, and let us know in the comments how you're liking your 2021 M1 Pro/M1 Max MacBook Pro if you have one.

Article Link: Review: M1 Max MacBook Pro After Three Months
I have the 14” MBP M1Max/2T/64G (hey if you're going big, go BIG) and think it’s the absolute best machine from Apple I’ve ever used. And my first Mac was a ‘fat Mac’ (512K Mac) — so I’ve had a few across the 37? years. It SCREAMS and ‘lasts a long time’ <grin!>
 

Antknee

macrumors newbie
Sep 24, 2020
5
24
I have the 14" MacBook Pro. I wouldn't want the extra weight of the 16". Here's some extra feedback that I didn't hear in your video:

1. I went for the 96W charger and it's great that it fast-charges the machine, but it's too big for travel IMO. I bought a 3rd party 60W USB-C charger for when I want something smaller and lighter. Also, there's no strain relief around the end of the Magsafe3 cable, so I'm betting it will fray and fail relatively quickly if I'm not careful with attaching/detaching.
2. Speakers are phenomenal compared my old 13" 2013 Macbook Pro. Best part of the upgrade for me.
3. Every once in a while I hear noise/distortion when playing audio. Reboot fixes it. I'm hoping a future update will make this go away.
4. Screen is great (brightness is really great). No bezels is nice, but I have a lot more fingerprints around the edge of the display. I need to learn to carry this better or spend more time cleaning the screen.
5. So glad I waited for this machine, as I use the HDMI port all the time for playing videos to both my TVs. I also wanted more than 1 USB-C port.
6. Love the full size function keys. Still wish to have full arrow keys and a backspace key. (A guy can dream).
7. The webcam is better than my 2013 model, but I honestly hoped to be blown away, but I'm not. It's only marginally better. I think my 4 year old work MS Surface laptop webcam still beats it.
 

dmylrea

macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2005
3,870
5,223
I'd guess ones experience with a fully spec'd 16" and a similar 14" would be different. The reviews I've read said the 16" has a much better cooling system that keeps the fans off almost all the time. The 14"...not so much. Fans at 100% much of the time when under load.

If you do heavy lifting on the MBP 14 or 16, opt for the 16" if you like silence.
 
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