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    • Like you @cvdavis, I am eagerly waiting to see what forms of ARM chips Apple will introduce for their more powerful desktop units, and how much more powerful they will be - I expect to begin to see hints within 2021. More RAM, faster video, more CPUs or much higher clock speeds, perhaps?

      Most of my Apple devices are at least two years old, so they are still very serviceable, but if I was offered a device twice or three times as fast at image processing, I would jump at the opportunity if it was affordable.

    • I bought a new Mac Mini brand less than a month before Apple announced the new M1 based version. I heard rumors of M1 based Macs coming, but nothing specific.

      The Intel Mac Mini I bought had memory issues (RAM) that plagued it from day one. It would predictably yet randomly shut down after 5-15 minutes on its own. I tried different types of memory modules from other vendors and original as well. Nothing worked. So I returned it to the Apple store. I was disappointed.

      When Apple announced the new M1 Mac Mini and I almost ordered one right there on the spot. However, it has a few limitations that are holding me back.

      1. M1 only comes with a max of 16GB of RAM

      2. A single Thunderbolt controller (only two ports instead of four on the Intel-based version).

      Comparing 16GB of RAM on M1 architecture to the RAM on X86 architecture is like comparing apples to oranges. Some speculate that it is equivalent to 32GB, but that still isn't enough for me as I usually hover around 40GB+ of RAM used on my MacBook Pro with 64GB of RAM.
      Apple is currently selling both versions (Intel and M1) because of the above limitations.

      I'm speculating here that Apple may bring a new M1 (or M1X) version of the Mac Mini in a few months (March, maybe?). The new Mac Mini Pro (or Max) may have 32GB+ RAM options and two Thunderbolt controllers. If that turns out to be the case, I'll order one right away.

    • I picked up a MacBook pro M1 base model. And the thing is amazing. That chip is gonna change the game. With 8 gigs of ram and a 256 gig ssd (scary low stats) Fact remains, of all the computers ive owned through out my life none of them can even hold a candle to this thing. I can open every application while running a second monitor and screen sharing to my TV without a glitch. No more pinwheel!!! Everthing is instant from starting up to running the most demanding programs.

    • It's perfectly reasonable to want to wait for the second-generation Apple Silicon Macs to start arriving, especially if you're on the far end of the performance extreme. The three M1-based Macs are the slowest Apple Silicon machines that will ever ship as public products (DTK doesn't count). Even max'ed out, they're under-spec'ed from what I would prefer to buy. Waiting is a totally reasonable strategy, even for an Apple hardware transition.

      That was going to be my strategy. But my wife's requirements are lower end, and her laptop was a 2013 MacBook Air. Even the lowest spec configuration of an M1-based Mac blows it away. So I ordered her an M1 MacBook Pro, loaded, so it might last another ~7 years.

      But the reports of real world users kept rolling in, about how great the new machines are. I started to get antsy, envious. And so, two days later, I decided the MBPro was mine, and ordered a second M1 machine (MacBook Air this time) for her.

      After two weeks with the new machine, I can say that you're only hurting yourself by waiting. These machines are amazing. If you don't have specific hardware or software requirements, like virtualization, they are great machines right now, and compare to Intel-based machines with twice the spec.

      That comparison isn't random. I coincidentally simultaneously got a new laptop for my job, a 2020 MacBook Pro with Intel processor, well configured, with twice the RAM (32 gig). While I haven't done (and won't do) any direct benchmarks, so far the M1-based laptop has handled everything I've thrown at it, in terms of many open apps, browser windows, etc., with at least as much grace as the Intel-based laptop with twice the RAM. There's no doubt which one of the new machines has more of The Snappy.

      And it (M1) runs cool, all the time, and the battery life is "oops, forgot to plug it in the last two days, no big deal" good. It's actually disconcerting to put my hands on the M1-based machine, to find it cool to the touch, or even cold, even though it's been running all day. The Intel-based machine is warm-to-hot, even if just woken from the sleep screen (display sleep, not Mac sleep).

      If Apple introduces the rumored 14" MacBook Pro, with significantly higher specs, I'll probably sell this one and buy the new one, Marco Arment-style. Then again, maybe I won't. Either way, for now I'm in no way unhappy with not waiting. These first generation machines are great, in a way that the first generations of prior hardware transitions were not.

      (I went through both 68k → PowerPC and PowerPC → Intel transitions, and either owned or regularly used first generation versions of both. There is no comparison with this transition. The only downside to the new machines is you must use Big Sur, when I would rather stay on Mojave.)

    • Your reflection is pretty much exactly what I’ve read online except for - I’m one of those people who wants a Mac for gaming. I have an old Mac Pro with a discrete graphics card. I need better graphics performance. I want 200 fps when playing a triple a game. I’ll wait. Glad you are more than happy with your choice and thank you so much for sharing a detailed description of your choices and reasoning. Cheers.

    • I haven't really been paying attention to laptop specs much lately, but after thinking about the M1 chip, it gradualy dawned on me that Acer, Lenovo, HP, Samsung, and Asus, all offer several varieties of laptops built around Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors - A RISC processor with always on cellular connections. Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G offering 7 GPS download speeds and over 20 hours of operation per charge. Very interesting.

      I wonder if this trend didn't contribute to Apple's decision to design the M1 chip as well.

    • Apple's M1 chip isn't based on something new. They've been working on similar chips going way back to their early phone chips. While it's new for their laptops it's certainly not new for them to make their own chips. I can't imagine these other computers influenced their decision but then...who knows. They were certainly aware of the limitations of the Intel chip as far as heat and battery limitations that they wanted to move away from. It's been a long time in the making.

    • I wasn't suggesting that the laptops by Samsung, HP, Lenovo et al influenced Apple, so much as Apple, and the other laptop manufacturers were all influenced by the advantages of RISC porcessors in general, and Snapdragon's success in particular.

      Apple has been no fan of Qualcomm as evidenced by the previous litigation between Apple and Qualcomm, finally settled last year.