Macbook M1 vs Intel Desktop

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
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KVRAF

Topic Starter

5447 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Post Tue Jul 27, 2021 2:38 am

I have searched a few components to see what a current Destkop PC system would cost. Without SSD, since you usually already have one (or two, or three... :D)
  • Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock 4
  • RAM: Corsair DIMM 16 GB DDR4-3200 Kit
  • PSU:be quiet! Pure Power 11 FM 750W
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X (pr AMD Ryzen 9 5950X)
  • Case: Fractal Design Define R6 Black
  • Graphic: ASUS GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Cerberus OC
  • Mainboard: ASUS ROG STRIX B550-F GAMING (WI-FI)
This system would cost about 1000€ with the 5600x and about 1600€ with the 5950x

Graphics cards are currently very expensive and I honestly have no idea what a good graphics card would be that is also good for video editing and does not cost 1000€.
But the new Ryzon "G" would be very interesting. The 5700G or 5600G would save the graphics card. Such a system would probably cost around 900€ (I don't know the prices of the 5700G, I guess around 300€).

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KVRAF
8049 posts since 22 Sep, 2008 from Windsor. UK

Post Tue Jul 27, 2021 2:44 am

4damind wrote:
Tue Jul 27, 2021 2:36 am
tehlord wrote:
Tue Jul 27, 2021 2:12 am
A lot of my work is video editing now too, and my previous i7 Mac Mini was absolutely fine for this, with the possible caveat of it feeling a little sluggish with a 4k timeline and Davinci Resolve.
This is a very interesting point and also very important for me. With Davinci Resolve I reach the limits with my system. The HD4000 on the i7-3770 is unsuitable. It would probably run fine with a really good graphics card, as Davinci in particular is very GPU dependent.
I guess you have a pretty good graphics card on the Ryzen system? Otherwise... yes, I've also seen some videos about the Mac Mini M1 with video editing... and that's really amazing what performance the little box has and that still for quite little money.
I didn't spec this particular Ryzen with a beefy GPU and it's running a GTX 1050 which is fine for me.

The machine is primarily a DAW and I wanted something fairly quiet. Saying that it handles what I need it to do, but it's worth noting that Nvidia have gaming and studio driver, so if you do go down the PC route, use the latter.

My use case is relatively light though. 30-60 minute videos with a mixture of screen capture and camera (1080 plus 4k) with very minimal colour correction or Fusion usage.

Considering the cost of beefy GPU's right now, the M1 Macs may be even more desirable from that standpoint. There are multiple videos on Youtube showing the performance of the M1's under heavy Davinci Resolve usage. Personally I don't have an issue with render times as I only ever put out a couple of videos a week, for me it's more about snappiness of timeline while I'm editing.

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KVRAF
8049 posts since 22 Sep, 2008 from Windsor. UK

Post Tue Jul 27, 2021 3:06 am

If you want to export an archive of one of your video projects I can run it on the Ryzen 9 (3900X)/GTX1050 to give you an idea of how it runs in Resolve.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

5447 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Post Tue Jul 27, 2021 4:05 am

tehlord wrote:
Tue Jul 27, 2021 2:44 am
[I didn't spec this particular Ryzen with a beefy GPU and it's running a GTX 1050 which is fine for me.
Apparently the GPU I found (ASUS GeForce GTX 1050 Ti) isn't that bad then. Is the preview in Resolve in real time even with transition effects (for 2K projects)?

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KVRAF
8049 posts since 22 Sep, 2008 from Windsor. UK

Post Tue Jul 27, 2021 4:16 am

4damind wrote:
Tue Jul 27, 2021 4:05 am

Apparently the GPU I found (ASUS GeForce GTX 1050 Ti) isn't that bad then. Is the preview in Resolve in real time even with transition effects (for 2K projects)?
Pretty much yes. It will depend on exactly what kind of effect you're applying.

I also have the 1050Ti installed. It's a card that will definitely do until GPU's come down to sensible prices again.

KVRAF
2275 posts since 23 Dec, 2002

Post Tue Jul 27, 2021 5:20 am

4damind wrote:
Tue Jul 27, 2021 2:38 am
I have searched a few components to see what a current Destkop PC system would cost. Without SSD, since you usually already have one (or two, or three... :D)
  • Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock 4
  • RAM: Corsair DIMM 16 GB DDR4-3200 Kit
  • PSU:be quiet! Pure Power 11 FM 750W
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X (pr AMD Ryzen 9 5950X)
  • Case: Fractal Design Define R6 Black
  • Graphic: ASUS GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Cerberus OC
  • Mainboard: ASUS ROG STRIX B550-F GAMING (WI-FI)
This system would cost about 1000€ with the 5600x and about 1600€ with the 5950x

Graphics cards are currently very expensive and I honestly have no idea what a good graphics card would be that is also good for video editing and does not cost 1000€.
But the new Ryzon "G" would be very interesting. The 5700G or 5600G would save the graphics card. Such a system would probably cost around 900€ (I don't know the prices of the 5700G, I guess around 300€).
You may want faster ram. DDR4-3600 cas 16. It appears to be the sweet spot if optimal low latency performance is important to your workflow.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

5447 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Post Tue Jul 27, 2021 5:43 am

Scotty wrote:
Tue Jul 27, 2021 5:20 am
You may want faster ram. DDR4-3600 cas 16. It appears to be the sweet spot if optimal low latency performance is important to your workflow.
Makes a CL of 16 vs 18 a lot of difference? I found some Crucial RAM with CL 16 in the same price range (about 90€ for 2x8 GB)

KVRer
14 posts since 14 Mar, 2010

Post Tue Jul 27, 2021 6:05 am

I recently got myself the basic M1 Mac Mini to see if I could get along with that environment. I haven't worked with Macs since the late 90's and have never owned one until now.

My main desktop PC is a 1st gen Ryzen 8 core 1800X with 32GB memory overclocked to 4GHz with an NVIDIA 1080 graphics card. It's 4 years old and having the worst memory latencies that I know of for the Ryzen family. The basic Mac Mini is the 8GB RAM with 256GB SSD. I have a 2TB Samsung T7 external drive connected to it which is working very well to store larger files, libraries and projects.

For me audio and video are just hobbies and I'm not earning any income from them.

To test the performance between these two systems for my personal use cases I decided to only use applications and plugins which have native ARM versions. I am also using my NI Komplete Audio 6 MK1 audio interface with both systems to make the comparisons as much like for like as I can.

For audio tests I am using Reaper 6.32. I am testing at 44.1KHz 24bit using both 128 and 32 sample buffers. I have one track with one bar of 16 notes repeated 14 times for a total of 30 seconds at a tempo of 120. For the Diva test I changed the number of voices for the patch to 16 so all 16 notes can play, but for Hive and Omnisphere I left the patches with their default voices so voice stealing will happen in those tests.

I used a multi in the Omnisphere test to try to get some pressure on the CPU caches. A better and more realistic test would be to use different patches for each instance, but I'm too lazy for that.

Image

I just keep copying the track and play the full 30 seconds. If there are any crackles I remove the track. The total number of tracks that can play the full 30 seconds without any crackles is the result. (To ensure that no extra memory or CPU is used I don't just mute tracks that can't be played without crackles.)

Audio results:

Code: Select all

Diva; 1.4.5 Revision 12001; HS CanPiano patch (Accuracy: divine, Voices: 16)

44.1K; 128 buffer | 44.1K; 32 buffer
                  |
M1: 9             | M1: 9
1800X: 12         | 1800X: 11

Hive; 2.1.1 Revision 12001; HS Fusion Five patch

44.1K; 128 buffer | 44.1K; 32 buffer
                  |
M1: 68            | M1: 54
1800X: 121        | 1800X: 65

Omnisphere; 2.7.0f; Suzuki Upgrade Multi (159 MB + 57 MB)

44.1K; 128 buffer | 44.1K; 32 buffer
                  |
M1: 72            | M1: 30
1800X: 80         | 1800X: 26
I have attached the Reaper projects if others want to do the same tests on their systems.
ReaperProjects.zip
For video editing I have just tested the rendering performance. I used a project I created in DaVinci Resolve 16 for one of our Zoom Quiz nights. I am using Resolve 17.2.2 to render the project. It is a 13 minute long 1080p project using videos from YouTube, pictures and Fusion to create some effects like a moving colour frame around photos and the photos "popping up" to indicate the correct answer for a question and adjustment clips to use Mosaic Blur and colour correction nodes to blur out the moving subjects in grayscale for each question.

I am using the NVIDIA encoder on the 1800X to utilise my 1080 graphics card as much as possible.

Image

Image

On my 1800X the project takes 90 minutes to render and on the M1 it takes 30 minutes. It is not consistent that all parts of the project always renders faster on the M1. Some parts render at a higher frame rate on the M1 and other parts render faster on the 1800X.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

5447 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Post Tue Jul 27, 2021 7:00 am

Cool test, thanks!
It seems that the GPU performance/encoding power of the M1 is a real winner.
For audio, the MI is also very good but the AMD is better ;) With the 5950X or the 5600x, the lead would certainly be much bigger. But of course you also have to look at the price... for 800€ you get a very good all-round computer with the Mac Mini M1, which can convince both in graphics performance but also in audio.

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KVRAF
8049 posts since 22 Sep, 2008 from Windsor. UK

Post Tue Jul 27, 2021 8:58 am

Just be aware of the connectivity on Macs.

You've only got two USB3 slots and robust/reliable USBC docks can be pricey. Add to that you'll almost certainly want an Apple wireless keyboard at some point too as I've yet to find a 3rd party Apple layout keyboard that isn't rubbish. These additions can add up.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

5447 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Post Tue Jul 27, 2021 9:24 am

Yes, I've heard about the "connection hell" on the Mac... there are the PC users a bit spoiled :hihi:

User avatar
KVRAF
8049 posts since 22 Sep, 2008 from Windsor. UK

Post Wed Jul 28, 2021 8:08 am

The other (flip side) to consider is that if you invest €1500 in Mac 'gear' now, you're likely to still have around €1000 in resale in 2 years. In real terms, the cost of ownership is very low with Macs.

My last Mini was purchased for £1149 refurb from Apple, and I sold it for £1100 one year later. It was effectively free for the duration of my ownership.

KVRAF
4480 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Post Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:44 am

tehlord wrote:
Tue Jul 27, 2021 8:58 am
Just be aware of the connectivity on Macs.

You've only got two USB3 slots and robust/reliable USBC docks can be pricey. Add to that you'll almost certainly want an Apple wireless keyboard at some point too as I've yet to find a 3rd party Apple layout keyboard that isn't rubbish. These additions can add up.
Two thunderbolt 4 ports on M1.
Both which can be split into 3 more for 150$.

And there’s a plus to that - when i swapped my mini i7 for an M1 i simply connected the new one into two Thunderbolt cables and was on my way.
Image

KVRist
142 posts since 24 Oct, 2006

Post Wed Jul 28, 2021 10:30 am

tehlord wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 8:08 am
The other (flip side) to consider is that if you invest €1500 in Mac 'gear' now, you're likely to still have around €1000 in resale in 2 years. In real terms, the cost of ownership is very low with Macs.

My last Mini was purchased for £1149 refurb from Apple, and I sold it for £1100 one year later. It was effectively free for the duration of my ownership.
This is a much overlooked factor. The same applies to iPhones vs. Android phones. Total cost of ownership can be significantly lower. The $200 lifetime cost of Logic is also unmatched in any other DAW.

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KVRAF
8049 posts since 22 Sep, 2008 from Windsor. UK

Post Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:41 am

Ploki wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:44 am
Two thunderbolt 4 ports on M1.
Both which can be split into 3 more for 150$.

And there’s a plus to that - when i swapped my mini i7 for an M1 i simply connected the new one into two Thunderbolt cables and was on my way.
Yeah I agree with that. I'm not suggesting the connectivity is a problem as such, just that adding to connectivity on a Mac Mini can be relatively expensive.


echosystm wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 10:30 am
This is a much overlooked factor. The same applies to iPhones vs. Android phones. Total cost of ownership can be significantly lower. The $200 lifetime cost of Logic is also unmatched in any other DAW.
Logic is obviously a bit of a loss leader for them, but the cost of ownership of the hardware cannot be ignored, assuming you pick your upgrade dates carefully. I can't imagine any Intel based Macs will be worth much in 2-3 years.

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