Monthly Archives: March 2022

Apples Mac-lineup finally makes sense

It is great to see not only that M1 seems to be a fantastic chip, but also that Apple finally, after many years, seem to get their entire lineup in sensible order.

iPhone        A15
iPad Mini     A15
iPad Air            M1
iPad Pro            M1
MacBook Air         M1
MacBook Pro               M1Pro    M1Max
MacMini             M1
iMac                M1
MacStudio                          M1Max   M1Ultra
Mac Pro                                    ??????? ???????

I have intentionally omitted the 13 inch MacPro. I doubt we will see much more of it.

So we have all consumer models with M1 standard as only configuration. And the simplified way of understanding the pro models is:

  • M1
  • M1 Pro – “M1 2x”
  • M1 Max – “M1 4x”
  • M1 Ultra – “M1 8x”

The important thing here is that the standard M1 is powerful enough for most everything. It is when you do serious media editing, computations, gaming, or large development projects that a pro model make sense.

MacMini vs MacStudio

MacMini is for consumers, MacStudio is for professionals. I don’t know if we should expect or even ask for the M1 Pro in either of them. Different models of the M1 chip have different USB-port capabilities. I suspect an M1 Pro would be “wasted” in a MacMini, and would not be able to deliver the ports of a MacStudio. I think it is a nice thing that ports are consistent for different CPU models of MacMini and MacStudio. The MacStudio is expensive, but compared to historical Pro desktop macs, it is quite ok.

iMac

iMac is back where it started: an entry consumer model, with an M1. I think it makes much more sense than 27-inch iMac Pros.

MacBook Air

MacBook Air is both the consumer, most afforadable, and most portable laptop. I doubt we will see the consumer iBook back, in colors and everything, but why not?

MacBook Pro

When it comes to Pro laptops, USB-port options and heat becomes more important than for other models. The Ultra probably does not “fit”, and the M1 Pro model offers many advantages to the M1 standard here.

Mac Pro

My guess is that with MacStudio out, the demand for a MacPro is significantly reduced. I would not be surprised if it comes as a rack-mountable industrial Mac.

RAM, SSD and lack of expansion options

I have complained in the past about the lack of expansion options (replacing SSD in MacMini and MacBook for example) in modern macs. Currently M1 can be equiped with 8GB or 16GB of RAM. I think that is just fine for the consumer, working consumer or prosumer. The advantage of the close integration of CPU-RAM-GPU appears to be part of the M1-success, so there is no point in complaining about RAM.

I would have wanted to replace SSD-drives with time. It mostly disturbs me that I cannot repair a broken drive. But on the other hand I don’t know if they actually fail. I have not read that failing SSDs is a huge problem in Macs last years. Fast USB-ports essentially elimate the need for extra internal storage.

Gaming

It seems to me the MacStudio is the suitable gaming computer. How it compares to a similarly priced Windows PC I do not know.