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Melodist
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Still torn between M1 Air and Pro

Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:16 pm

Having tested both the Air and Pro, it's just hard for me to make a choice between them. They both have advantages and disadvantages.

Let's start off with the pure computational capabilities in Cinebench, which is a very realistic realtime multicore stresstest:

Air: 7200 Points

Pro: 7815 Points

Both results were done during the 30 Minutes stability test.

That's less than 10% performance difference between the Air and the Pro, which consumes 10 Watts less (15 vs 25 watts).

Therefore, in theory, letting the SoC run at 25 watts, will level them both out in terms of battery life.

Then there is the physical keys, which is more appealing with the Air. But the Pro has a larger trackpad and 100 nits more brightness.

However, being fanless is an advantage, also from being completely closed up vs, open holes for ventilation, which makes it more prone to moisture and humidity effects.

It's just tough to make a choice.

What do you guys think?

I think anpeformance difference of 8% isn't really worth spending the extra money but I'm just generally afraid of getting a laptop without a fan since it'll probably add to a better durability.

It's just, there is no real choice between them for me, it's so hard to decide.

Help me.

By the way, I'm doing post audio production work with plugins and studio sessions and having this laptop will make me more flexible plus the main plugins which I use (Fabfilter, Valhalla and DMG Audio) have already been ported to Apple Silicon so I'm good on that end and actually doing back from Pro Tools to Logic Pro is a blessing.

I need to decide till the end of this week before I can send one of them back.
 
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fisherking
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Re: Still torn between M1 Air and Pro

Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:48 pm

i feel your pain, i keep looking at them both. that one thing, tho... that, with the fan, the pro could run more-sustained processes without any throttling... seems to make it 'the winner'. plus those better speakers (if that matters). still, i love the design/size of the air.

tough choice (and annoying, really, that they're so closely spec'd), but i'd go with the pro. either way, you should be good...
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robinloops
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Re: Still torn between M1 Air and Pro

Fri Apr 02, 2021 10:28 pm

Wait and get the MacBook Pro when it comes out with the m1 version.
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fisherking
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Re: Still torn between M1 Air and Pro

Sat Apr 03, 2021 5:18 am

robinloops wrote:
Wait and get the MacBook Pro when it comes out with the m1 version.


there is a macbook pro with the M1, that's what the OP is referring to... unless you mean the upcoming macbook pros (which i am going to hold out for)...
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des99
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Re: Still torn between M1 Air and Pro

Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:16 am

That's what I'm holding out for - at least to make an informed opinion on which way I'm going to go...
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Melodist
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Re: Still torn between M1 Air and Pro

Sat Apr 03, 2021 3:46 pm

des99 wrote:
That's what I'm holding out for - at least to make an informed opinion on which way I'm going to go...


It's fast enough for me right now.
 
facej
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Re: Still torn between M1 Air and Pro

Sat Apr 03, 2021 3:47 pm

My choice was simple - MacBook Air - no fans - that was always a hassle for me (noise) - the performance difference between the MBA and MBP is small, and my new MBA almost matches (or exceeds) my 8-core i9 - soooooo. MacBook Air for the "always quiet" win.
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Glenn Lancaster
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Re: Still torn between M1 Air and Pro

Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:18 pm

I don't think I've read any reports of fans actually going on, or maybe slightly, but I haven't read every anecdote out there. I have trouble making the Mini warm, and other than the first boot, it's been silent and cool. I haven't been able to do an actual project since I got it set up, but I hope to do one this month.
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Melodist
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Re: Still torn between M1 Air and Pro

Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:42 pm

So basically, running Cinebench is the best 100% CPU pure performance test which you can run.

On the first run, here are the results:

MBP: 7815
MBA: 7212

That's a 8% performance difference after 1 hour of Cinebench.

This was followed 2 Minutes after it had stopped by one another 1 hour run (2 in total then) with the following results.

MBP: 7805
MBA: 7034

That's about 10% and you gotta remember, the MBA is fanless and the Pro runs the fans at 4000 RPM, which is noticably audible.

But I want the 10% *cry* I guess nobody can help me, personal choice. But I think just based on pure reason, I should go for the Air. On full load 100% CPU usage, the Air has a better battery life.

And since nobody would believe me, here I am, testing them against each other side by side at 3 AM:

20210404_032052.jpg
20210404_032052.jpg (873.07 KiB) Viewed 732 times


They have a key cover on them from EeeCoo, I can eat my Pizza and don't worry about prints. One of them has to leave my house by Tuesday though *cry*

Reason tells me get the Air and anything else the Pro.

However, I would've chosen the Pro over the Air if I had scored 6600 points versus 7800 but after 2 hours of Cinebench, which is super unrealistic and hefty, the difference is 10% (7034 points versus 7805, maybe I have cought a well binned chip) and during a more reasonable hefty usage of 1 hour, the difference is 8% and the Air has even more battery life than the Pro, given that the Pro uses 25 watts under full load vs the Air max 15 Watts.
 
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fisherking
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Re: Still torn between M1 Air and Pro

Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:48 pm

melodist; any other thoughts? screen brightness difference noticeable? weight? and the speakers... much better in the pro? or somewhat better... and do you like the touchbar, or is it not important?

annoys me how closely spec'd they are. anyway, thanks for the detailed report
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JakobP
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Re: Still torn between M1 Air and Pro

Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:15 am

Since the old Intel mbp:s gets very hot when using external displays, I wonder how the M1 Air keeps up using one ?
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Eriksimon
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Re: Still torn between M1 Air and Pro

Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:55 pm

JakobP wrote:
Since the old Intel mbp:s gets very hot when using external displays, I wonder how the M1 Air keeps up using one ?


My M1 MBP does not get hot (or even slightly warm), nor do the fans spin up when using an external display (which is most of the time). It does seem to have an effect on the battery though. That is probably the USB C/HDMI hub - that gets warm, so it converts battery power to heat...
Why did the chicken cross the Mobius ring?

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Eriksimon
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Re: Still torn between M1 Air and Pro

Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:59 pm

I just used my M1 for an hour (mail and webbrowsing), powered by a measly 5W phone charger. The battery stayed at 78 % in this hour.
Why did the chicken cross the Mobius ring?

MacBook Pro 13" M1 8GB RAM/miMac Intel i5 3.6 GHz 16 GB RAM/OS X 12.6 (Sierra)/HackBook Lenovo E530 i5 2.6 GHz 8 GB/Logic Pro X 10.4.4 & OS X Mojave 14.6/Logic Pro 10.5.1/AKG P120/Marantz MPM-1000/Sony F-V3T/Behringer BA 85A/U-Phoria UMC204HD/Novation Impulse 49/Studiologic CMK 149/M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 mk3