How Apple maneuvered nearly $4000.00 out of my wallet
I haven’t done much with music and synthesizers lately. As my friends know I ran out of creative room (in my mind) and I have been renovating a new room that will be much more productive for music production, at least to my desires. Part of moving forward with this is a new music production computer, that also fills my other online, accounting, graphics and video needs. After years of lusting for one, this is the 1st Apple computer I have purchased since the late 1980’s.
Goodbye Microsoft, woohoo!
Hello MacOS with Unix under the hood that any old-timer Unix/Linux sysadmin like me would love!
Testing my patience, the MacBook of my dreams is now on backorder. I will let you know when I get it! I’m expecting it before April.
Naturally, considering the cost of Apple computers, once I knew Apple was going to dump Intel CPUs and switch to its own, I did not want to drop a few grand on a soon to be obsolete system. When the M1 came out, seeing it handle 100+ tracks and a few other chores without a hiccup sold me.
My hip hop producing son has a Mac mini M1 with 8GB Unified Memory and loves it for his recording, etc. needs. Seriously, I do think a 16GB Mac mini M1 would have suited my current needs, but I wanted a laptop. I don’t need portability frequently, but on occasion I do.
For portability, a 13″ MacBook Air M1 with 16GB would likely satisfy my needs but the screen is a tad small for every day use with my old eyes. Ditto, a 13″ MacBook Pro M1 with 16GB would also be nice for portability, but the screen is too small for every day use, and I really do not care for the Touch Bar. Some love it, I do not. A 24″ iMac M1 with 16GB would also be nice for current needs, but again not portable enough.
So for me, there really wasn’t an Apple M1 system that suited all my needs/wants for today with future-proofing for tomorrow. I waited knowing more was to come.
And arrive they did.
The 14″ MacBook M1 Pro/M1 Max is a real beauty. The 14″ MacBook M1 Pro with 10-Core CPU, 16 Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory, and 1TB SSD for $2499.00 is very attractive for someone that needs more portability than I do.
For a $200.00 bump to $2699.00, the 16″ MacBook M1 Pro with the same 10-Core CPU, 16 Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory, and 1TB SSD, is a better choice for a system that is primarily a desktop, with ability to go portable on occasion. This clearly would have more than suited my present needs.
FYI, an Apple M1 Pro CPU has 200GB/sec memory bandwidth, which is double the 100GB/sec memory bandwidth of the M1 CPU, and more than 4x the memory bandwidth of Intel i3/i5/i7/i9 CPUs.
I really don’t think you could find a musician or any other type of user that would be dissatisfied with a 16GB M1 Pro MacBook in the screen size that suits them. It is quite simply the nicest laptop ever made.
But we’re not done with my brain and wallet yet people!
For better multitasking and future-proofing, bump $400.00 to $3099.00 for a total of 32GB of Unified Memory.
In my opinion, at this point you’re dropping major change, you might as well bump another $400 for the M1 Max CPU. This is also the point where I nearly ran out of money. 64GB of Unified Memory or larger SSDs would be sexy, but for me, not really worth the pain.
The M1 Max definitely has some value upgrades over the M1 Pro though. I do think doubling the GPU to 32 cores and the media engine enhancements are going to be a bigger part of music content presentation over the lifetime of this machine, and doubling the M1 Pro memory bandwidth of 200GB/sec to 400GB/sec alone is worth the price uptick if you can do it. If you are upgrading from a PC or Mac with Intel CPUs, note that the Apple M1 Max has more than 8x the memory bandwidth of the i3/i5/i7/i9 CPUs.
The 16″ 3456×2234 native resolution screen is top of the line, and some of us are going to appreciate the M1 Max’s ability to add three 6k external displays and one 4k external display. This has value to me.
Still, with all these amazing features, we are talking $3499.00 for the 16″ MacBook M1 Max, plus another $399.00 wisely spent for AppleCare for a total of $3898.00 + tax and whatever other goodies you need/want. A grand more than I really intended to spend, but I’m glad I had some time due to the backorder situation to emotionally prepare to move higher. I know I will be glad I did. At least until M2 comes out. Just kidding, don’t even talk to me about M2.
Good job Apple, you did it.
Update #1: If laptops aren’t your thing, I’m sure that before the end of 2022 we’ll see 27″+ iMacs with comparable features, and recently Apple announced its Mac mini-like and most powerful personal computers to date, the Apple Mac Studio M1 Max – M1 Ultra‘s. Multi-processor tower/mini tower Mac Pros with even greater features and price tags are surely on the horizon but features or release dates would be pure speculation at this time. Should be exciting though for big studios and high compensation creatives.
Update #2: After all this, I bumped up a smidgen again, see my post about it: Changed MacBook order to Mac Studio M1 Ultra.
Apple related posts
June 26, 2022 – Apple Mac Studio M1 Ultra: Delivered!
March 22, 2022 – Apple M1 is the new DAW performance minimum
March 9, 2022 – Changed MacBook order to Mac Studio M1 Ultra
February 20, 2022 – Finally a MacBook Pro M1 with all the wanted features
Apple related pages
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M2 Pro & M2 Max
Updated periodically – Apple Mac mini M1
Updated periodically – Apple Mac mini M2 & M2 Pro
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Air M1
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Air M2
Updated periodically – Apple 24″ iMac M1
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Pro M2 Series
Updated periodically – Apple M1 Processor Series
Updated periodically – Apple M2 Processor Series
Updated periodically – Apple M3 Processor Series
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Miscellaneous
Updated periodically – Apple Technology YouTube Critique
Updated periodically – Apple Studio Display
Updated periodically – Apple Studio Pro Display
Updated periodically – Apple M Series External USB-C SSD Options