Apple announce new 14" & 16" MBP with M1Pro and M1Max

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
egbert
KVRAF
4160 posts since 21 Oct, 2001 from my bolthole in the south pacific

Post Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:20 pm

teilo wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 5:38 pm
The M1 Max machines have double the memory bandwidth, but that won't matter at all for music production. That comes into play more for things like 8K video production.
Memory bandwidth directly effects any CPU processes which are bandwidth limited. That is why higher speed RAM leads to bigger scores on the performance tests.

If you are running lots of plugins - convolution and algorithmic reverbs etc - unless the whole workspace the plugin is using is in the L2/L3 caches then data is running up and down to main memory. In many situations, most of the CPU cycles for each core in fast modern CPUs are spent waiting for data - the CPU is spinning its wheels. The lower latencies of the caches are aimed at minimising this wastage as far as possible but anything that involves cache misses brings the much larger latency to main memory into play. A big DAW mix, with lots of tracks, with effects, samplers, synths all working at once - is keeping hundreds of tasks running in parallel and keeping all their outputs synchronised and doing this will inevitably involve swapping lots of stuff in and out of main memory.

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teilo
KVRian
1096 posts since 30 Mar, 2008 from MN, USA

Post Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:58 am

egbert wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:20 pm
teilo wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 5:38 pm
The M1 Max machines have double the memory bandwidth, but that won't matter at all for music production. That comes into play more for things like 8K video production.
Memory bandwidth directly effects any CPU processes which are bandwidth limited. That is why higher speed RAM leads to bigger scores on the performance tests.

If you are running lots of plugins - convolution and algorithmic reverbs etc - unless the whole workspace the plugin is using is in the L2/L3 caches then data is running up and down to main memory. In many situations, most of the CPU cycles for each core in fast modern CPUs are spent waiting for data - the CPU is spinning its wheels. The lower latencies of the caches are aimed at minimising this wastage as far as possible but anything that involves cache misses brings the much larger latency to main memory into play. A big DAW mix, with lots of tracks, with effects, samplers, synths all working at once - is keeping hundreds of tasks running in parallel and keeping all their outputs synchronised and doing this will inevitably involve swapping lots of stuff in and out of main memory.
This is theoretical, and highly dependent on the circumstances. The benefits of higher-speed RAM do not scale linearly along with additional memory bus bandwidth.

The M1 Pro already has 2.8X the bandwidth of the M1. Real world testing has found little to no benefit for the additional doubling of the Max. Even complex music projects only need to reach realtime for the tracks being played, and once they do, no additional data is being moved, and no additional CPU cycles are being consumed.

Then there is this: All demonstrations of what it takes to max out even the M1 Pro on a music project are contrived. It would almost never happen in the real world, and I would venture to say, that it will never happen to 99.9% of music producers with an M1 Pro, and even if it does, the Max isn't going to help. In every demonstration I have seen, the CPU maxes out before the memory bandwidth does.

For music production, the only real justification for the Max is if one needs 64GB of RAM.
Last edited by teilo on Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

synchronizer
KVRian
925 posts since 27 Sep, 2010

Post Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:07 am

I’m just wondering if the 14” can really handle the Max, or if the 16” is really better for that.
As I mentioned, I do not only audio, but also (application) programming and compiling.
If I want to record via mic and the 14”’s fan are making noise, that’s a problem.

Has anyone compared the 14” and 16” in terms of relative weight? Is the ~1.3 pounds that much of a difference?

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teilo
KVRian
1096 posts since 30 Mar, 2008 from MN, USA

Post Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:11 am

synchronizer wrote:
Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:07 am
I’m just wondering if the 14” can really handle the Max, or if the 16” is really better for that.
As I mentioned, I do not only audio, but also (application) programming and compiling.
Yes, it can handle it just fine. The only advantage of the 16" is high power mode. But that only benefits GPU-intensive operations. Even at that, in real world testing, it's not showing much of an advantage. For example, crypto-mining tests, so far, have shown no benefit. Programming and compiling won't show it at all. You will not experience shorter compiles on the 16". In fact, for programming tasks, a Max will be no faster than a Pro. Your bottleneck is SSD IOPS.

synchronizer
KVRian
925 posts since 27 Sep, 2010

Post Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:18 am

Well the applications I make use the GPU.

So it’s really about the fan, which I did hear comes on sooner for a 14”, and also how often I’ll travel/how much I’ll want to use the larger screen.

I do think the 14” is too small a screen standalone.

egbert
KVRAF
4160 posts since 21 Oct, 2001 from my bolthole in the south pacific

Post Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:28 am

@ teilo
I take your point that to some extent the architecture issues become more theoretical than practical for most. We are pretty spoiled these days with how much power and memory we have. In a sense, almost any modern computer system which doesn't have DPC latency issues is good enough for everyday DAW tasks.

My first DAW running Logic Audio PC had a Pentium 133 with 32 MB of RAM in it. I spurged on 2x 2.5 GB drives and then a third 3.2 GB drive for streaming audio which alone cost over 500 bucks in my local currency. If we keep working with 44.1 kHz audio @ 24 bits depth then we have all the power in the world on modern systems as far as streaming audio goes. It is the better quality settings on synths and plugins that chew the CPU cycles and big sample sets that stretch memory resources. Ramping up sampling rates consumes more resources of course.

synchronizer
KVRian
925 posts since 27 Sep, 2010

Post Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:00 pm

Well let's put it this way. If money were no object, which one would you want and why? Is there value in either one?

My goal is to be able to set the sample buffer to absolute minimum so I can play my vst instruments in as close to real-time as possible with almost no latency.
So I am also maximizing RAM and getting 2TB of storage.

If the 14" fan is going to make noise, that makes this pointless.

Johnny!
KVRist
484 posts since 21 Jun, 2010

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:37 am

You know more or less how both 14" and 16" models work. You know what you want to do with the machine. Do you really need someone to choose for you which one to get?

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teilo
KVRian
1096 posts since 30 Mar, 2008 from MN, USA

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:20 am

synchronizer wrote:
Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:00 pm
Well let's put it this way. If money were no object, which one would you want and why? Is there value in either one?

My goal is to be able to set the sample buffer to absolute minimum so I can play my vst instruments in as close to real-time as possible with almost no latency.
So I am also maximizing RAM and getting 2TB of storage.

If the 14" fan is going to make noise, that makes this pointless.
:dog:

Dude, I get that the tyranny of choice is a thing, but you are obsessing over details that are irrelevant. For music, there is no difference between the 14" and the 16". None whatsoever. No fan noise difference. No RAM difference. No speed difference. If you are looking for justification: If you want a 16" screen and a bigger battery, then get the 16". Otherwise, don't. This isn't as hard as you are making it.

.jon
KVRAF
5768 posts since 9 Jul, 2002 from Helsinki

Post Sat Nov 27, 2021 6:23 am

Well, turns out that one does not simply walk into a store and buy one of these things. I might get mine in January :shrug:

The display is excellent, and the 16" is perfect compromise of usability and portability.

synchronizer
KVRian
925 posts since 27 Sep, 2010

Post Sat Nov 27, 2021 8:42 am

I decided, but yes, it will be a while before it arrives.

Also, Cubase won’t run natively until v12, and who knows when NI Kontakt will.

I was considering trying Digital Performer 11, which is native, but I found it too overwhelming.

Moosy_Moose
KVRist
125 posts since 9 Sep, 2016

Post Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:09 am

Does anyone know if plugins that work on m1 processors natively will also work on m1 pro processors?
Question is, should I jump in and buy the new mbp and assume that all my plugins would work natively or should I just wait a few months.

sQeetz
KVRian
676 posts since 8 Jan, 2005

Post Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:13 am

Moosy_Moose wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:09 am
Does anyone know if plugins that work on m1 processors natively will also work on m1 pro processors?
They are basically the same architecture just more of everything. So yes
MacBook Pro M1 . 16GB . 1TB . . Logic Pro……Renoise……Reason

Bombadil
KVRAF
7306 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Down the Withywindle

Post Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:45 am

Wonder what the iMacs with these processors will cost. I have no use for a laptop, otherwise I would've had the M1 Air already. And the M1 using native ARM plugins is enough for most home recordists.
“Always after a defeat and a respite," says Gandalf, "the Shadow takes another shape and grows again."
J.R.R. Tolkien

Funkybot's Evil Twin
KVRAF
9215 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Post Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:05 am

Bombadil wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:45 am
Wonder what the iMacs with these processors will cost. I have no use for a laptop, otherwise I would've had the M1 Air already. And the M1 using native ARM plugins is enough for most home recordists.
The M1 iMacs are already out. Unless you're holding out for the M1 Pro or Max.

https://www.apple.com/imac-24/

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