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15 minutes ago, Mark Aceto said:

This could be purely anecdotal but I thought it was interesting that Apple removed the 5gb RAM limit on iPad's running M1. Seems like they "gated" apps from leaking because of the SoC.

 

I think I read something about for the coming macOS Ventura.

At least that Apps can use more memory as swap.

Here it is :

https://www.macrumors.com/2022/06/08/more-ios-16-tidbits-video-player-facetime-more/

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Posted (edited)

We're still going to wait and see what the Mac Pro brings. I'm guessing the next point will be September for an announcement, although perhaps we'll get a special event earlier than that (given that they promised a two-year transition period on 22 June 2020). Although the M1 Mac was released Nov 2020, which would make the deadline Nov 2022 if the transition period started from then.

 

All I know at this point is that we're not purchasing anything with less than 128 GB RAM. A 16" MacBook with 128 GB RAM would have been a great option.

Edited by Christiaan
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On 6/8/2022 at 7:10 PM, zoomer said:

 

The other way round.

Of course the PC can run Windows natively.

It is more that the Hackintosh macOS is kind of a hacked Apple OS running via Bootcamp.

MacOS isn’t really off at anytime - it’s just easyer to have another pc running /at same time. (dual booting- I don’t think I’ve used windows on my hackintosh in over 2 years)

 

mark - yes, fact that Apple restrict app updates to their os is annoying. (Mainly as I always end up loosing compatibility between versions eg macOS vs iOS/iPad - which tends to be the reason I have to upgrade macOS each year over summer holidays)

 

kvm for laptop and desktop - (to just use same mouse and keyboard) - I use an app called ‘Barrier’, as for monitor input switching, I’m not sure - putting one device into sleep may switch the connection between on devices if monitor set to auto perhaps?

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I agree RonMan.
I drank the kook-aid and have a similar model. The  render times scream. All 20 cores are used at once. A 30 minute custom render is like 5 minutes now. 

Are you using one or 2 monitors?  I run 2 and the only drawback so far has been a random screen freeze on the main monitor. The 2nd monitor remains active. I can’t duplicate the problem and it usually happens with a move type  event. ( redraw) maybe. The repair is to unplug the monitor and plug it back in. No data loss just a big PIA.  I’m working with Apple about this but not resolved yet.

Jeff 

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1 hour ago, dtheory said:

it’ll be interesting to hear about RAM usage during a long work session.. 

 

Same here. I am working on a big project + am having to close VW a couple of times a day + restart because RAM is going up + up (currently 33.75 GB...)

 

Plus if you have Top/Plan VPs with lots of hatches/linework. Things get very sluggish for me at the moment

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So, I made a Mac vs PC table comparing all the trade-offs, and it basically boiled down to this for me:

 

Qualitative assumptions:

  • The current maxed out Studio is 1/3 as fast as the fastest AMD CPU (multi core) in Cinebench
    • That PC would roughly cost 10-15k
  • The imminent Mac Pro will probably be 2/3 as fast as that AMD CPU (multi core) for the same price range (or more)
  • My budget is below 10k, so it's a wash
  • All of the above is really only a big factor when it comes FQRW
    • If FQRW was not part of my workflow, an Intel i9-12900K + RTX 3080 machine could be built to order for a comparable price to the Studio, and there would be zero tradeoffs: single core, multi core, compatibility (outlined below)

The current maxxed out M1 Ultra GPU doesn't have hardware accelerated ray-tracing support:

  • Twinmotion doesn't support Path Tracer on Mac
  • Unreal Engine sort of does ray tracing but doesn't really do Lumen or Nanite (full-on)?
  • This may also affect Redshift performance but I'm not an expert

Path Tracer Requirements (link to official documentation)

 

Quote

 

When will Twinmotion officially support Apple’s M1?
Currently, we are working on ensuring that the M1, M1Pro and M1 Max work across our feature set, but until we have fully tested and updated our software we can not officially support these computers. However, most users with these computers are not experiencing major problems. We expect to officially support M1-based computers in 2022. Please be aware that official support of M1-based computers will not include support for path-tracing at this time.


Note: Unreal Engine has implemented Apple’s Metal API for using their GPUs. However, we have not implemented Metal’s ray-tracing functions because Apple has not released any hardware accelerated ray-tracing support so far. The difference between hardware-accelerated ray-tracing and non-accelerated ray-tracing is the difference between rendering a single image in minutes instead of hours. We are researching ways to bring Apple computer users the speed and capabilities of our Path Tracer, so we are not waiting on Apple to solve this problem.

 

So, what does all that mean in context / timeline?

 

First of all, it sucks that that Mac Pro / SoC was not announced at WWDC because we can only speculate what "the ceiling" of M-series chips will be in 2022/2023. Will it be the rumored 4-die M1 "Jade" chip, 3x M1 Ultras side by side, 2x M2 Ultras or what? It's like Schrodinger's cat: simultaneously both the most powerful / compatible workstation ever... and also a total letdown.

 

Therefore, it's safe to take the Studio out of the box today and happily use it until Apple release a hardware accelerated ray-tracing chip sometime between 2022 (not likely) and 2024. Hopefully by then, Twinmotion will support Spotlight Lighting Devices. Until then, every other trade-off is a nice-to-have (mainly, a few Windows-only apps and plugins).

 

Apple seem committed to realtime rendering, AR, and presumably VR, but stubbornly iterating at their own pace which, fittingly, seems "throttled" by energy-consumption. It seems pretty likely that they'll eventually catch up to the hardware. The rub will be how many Windows-only developers are willing to port their software / develop for the Mac (probably some but not all).

 

If I needed a machine today that would run any of the below:

  • Path Tracer in Twinmotion (but didn't care about Spotlight Lighting Devices)
  • Ray tracing with (hardware driven) Lumen and Nanite in Unreal Engine 5
  • Carbon for Unreal (4.27) with a physical console
  • Disguise (D3)
  • Enscape (with VW not SketchUp)
  • Lumion and myriad other Windows-only apps and plugins
  • VR (as noted above)

That machine could only be a PC.

 

But it's back to the Kool-Aid for me for another year or so. I look forward to testing everything on this Studio, and sharing performance results (both positive and negative) with the great community here in the forum.

 

Edited by Mark Aceto
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And away we go... 

 

First up, THIS is why people are mad about HDMI 2.0 vs 2.1:
346483056_ScreenShot2022-06-11at8_59_06PM.png.adfae763209145bb496d7f4089294071.png
Because I had to orphan the useless HDMI port, I had to waste one of the Thunderbolt ports: 1343412276_ScreenShot2022-06-11at9_31_11PM.thumb.png.03f562d24425a3dacf3fb52198ed4883.png

The display port shouldn't be the bottleneck for signal that the GPU can clearly handle. The Studio Display doesn't even have an HDMI input! And that's not to mention displays capable of frequency above 60Hz...

 

This is straight up Tim Crook being cheap because he's Tim Crook.

 

Edited by Mark Aceto
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Mark Aceto said:

This is straight up Tim Crook being cheap because he's Tim Crook.

I have a very hard time believing Apple went with HDMI 2.0 over of 2.1 because of cost. Any cost difference is going to be miniscule.

 

It's more likely to be a technical reason, such as bus bandwidth limitation. Apple TV 4K ships with HDMI 2.1 for instance.

Edited by Christiaan
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4 hours ago, Christiaan said:

I have a very hard time believing Apple went with HDMI 2.0 over of 2.1 because of cost. Any cost difference is going to be miniscule.

 

It's more likely to be a technical reason, such as bus bandwidth limitation. Apple TV 4K ships with HDMI 2.1 for instance.

 

Until the next Mac Studio ships with HDM1 2.1 to create incentive to purchase that one.

 

I mean why not use use DisplayPort 1.4 which has been around forever, and is made for monitors instead of TV's?

 

I have a hard time believing they stuck a M2 in that 13" MBP, or that they continue to sell the Apple Watch 3. Or why the new MBA can still only drive 1 external monitor, or only has 2 TB ports instead of 4. Or that the iPhone is the last remaining product that's still not a USB C connection, or the confusing recycling of iPad components over the years. Or that they removed all the ports from the MBP to begin with, and then had to restore them. They don't have the greatest track record with this stuff.

 

That's the nice that about a PC: you pick the ports coming out of your graphics card. This is tradeoff #1 so far.

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Posted (edited)

Why would they save HDMI 2.1 as an incentive for a later model when they could use it as an incentive now? I've followed Apple pretty intensely for over 25 years and it just doesn't operate that way. It's not in its DNA.

 

1 hour ago, Mark Aceto said:

I mean why not use use DisplayPort 1.4 which has been around forever, and is made for monitors instead of TV's? I have a hard time believing they stuck a M2 in that 13" MBP, or that they continue to sell the Apple Watch 3. Or why the new MBA can still only drive 1 external monitor, or only has 2 TB ports instead of 4. Or that the iPhone is the last remaining product that's still not a USB C connection, or the confusing recycling of iPad components over the years. Or that they removed all the ports from the MBP to begin with, and then had to restore them. They don't have the greatest track record with this stuff.

You can definitely argue that Apple has made some bad design choices here and there, but that's just it, they're design choices. These are not choices made by bean counters.

 

1 hour ago, Mark Aceto said:

That's the nice that about a PC: you pick the ports coming out of your graphics card. This is tradeoff #1 so far.

Exactly. It's trade offs. All design involves trade offs.

Edited by Christiaan
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2 hours ago, Christiaan said:

I've followed Apple pretty intensely for over 25 years and it just doesn't operate that way. It's not in its DNA.

 

Ports have always been a point of contention with Apple. There are infinite memes and T-shirts available for the company that inspired "DongleBook Pro" and "Welcome to Dongletown", and that's not to mention all of their proprietary connectors that have been deprecated along the way. It's absolutely in their DNA.

 

I've been using Macs since I was 12 in the 80's, so I'm not interesting in starting a flame war. I'm just here to share my unbiased experience with the community, so they can make informed decisions. It's not a great feeling when you start up a desktop that costs upward of $6k, and you already have to buy a dongle (and lose a port).

 

For anyone following this thread, and considering purchasing a Mac Studio, they should be aware of the following:

  • The primary dedicated display output that is capable of 4k at 60hz may not support the resolution of your current monitor(s)
    • For example, mine is set to 3840 x 1620 (TB) which is actually less than 4k but it's not included with the HDMI 2.0 profile for some reason
    • My guess is this primarily affects the 34", 38", 40" curved monitors with a 21:9 aspect ratio (and any ultra wides)
    • Does anyone here know of a Terminal command to enable the missing resolutions?
  • You may lose a TB port because of this
    • Because there are only 2x USB A ports, users will probably be adapting TB to USB, and eventually adding dongles and hubs (to a desktop computer)
  • If you're planning on using Universal Control with another Mac (as I am), this I/O limitation will be a factor

 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Mark Aceto said:

Ports have always been a point of contention with Apple. There are infinite memes and T-shirts available for the company that inspired "DongleBook Pro" and "Welcome to Dongletown", and that's not to mention all of their proprietary connectors that have been deprecated along the way. It's absolutely in their DNA.

Agreed, but it's a mistake to think Apple do this intentionally to make money off dongles or some other two-bit scheme. These decisions are always design decisions about the device or the ecosystem; moving the industry away from a certain port or device, simplifying the number of ports, making a device thinner, etc. I've listened to dozens of interviews that shed light on these priorities. The look and use of device in its own right has always been put ahead of backwards or 3rd party device compatibility. This was even more acute under Jony Ives. I think his absence is the reason we now have Magsafe, HDMI and an SD card slot back on the MacBook Pro.

 

The hockey puck mouse is another great example. Another of Jony Ive's mistakes. It's a great example because it shows just how far Apple would go to put aesthetic simplicity ahead of practicality. The original Apple TV remote fits into this camp too.

 

Mostly this mode of thinking works out really well. My favourite example was when they moved the whole industry away from floppy disk drives (and toward USB) by simply leaving it off their new fandangled computer, the iMac. That was an extremely a shocking move to many, but it was absolutely the right decision and it was one of the reasons the iMac became what I think is the best desktop computer ever made.

Edited by Christiaan
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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, J. Wallace said:

You might find this article of interest in terms of what monitors are best suited for Mac.

 

image.thumb.png.592743681eeffc74f4008a6c7568d18d.png

https://bjango.com/articles/macexternaldisplays/

 

Very handy. Just missing Zeno's 43":

https://forum.vectorworks.net/index.php?/topic/93360-mac-studio-m1-ultra/page/5/#comment-424964

 

Updated version of article here:

https://bjango.com/articles/macexternaldisplays2/

Edited by Christiaan
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7 hours ago, Christiaan said:

Agreed, but it's a mistake to think Apple do this intentionally to make money off dongles or some other two-bit scheme.

 

Not suggesting any conspiracy theories.

 

7 hours ago, Christiaan said:

Mostly this mode of thinking works out really well.


What would work out really well is if they had AMD processors and RTX graphics cards, so we wouldn't have to run TM and UE on Rosetta (to the point that UE is unusable). Or use industry standard display outputs like DisplayPort vs prosumer I/0, and budget CPU and GPU's. But Apple have a beef with NIVIDIA and Epic, so their customers lose.

 

Anyway, like I said, I'm just letting potential Studio buyers know which ports they should expect to use for what.

 

On that note, I just tested a cheap USB-C to HDMI cable I've had for years. When I plug that cable into one of the Thunderbolt ports of the Mac Studio, these are the resolutions I get, so the only resolution bottleneck on the Mac Studio is that vestigial HDMI 2.0 port:

624089389_ScreenShot2022-06-13at9_47_40AM.png.ca3a9373b63ce81ba8bb43fe141a118f.png

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21 hours ago, J. Wallace said:

You might find this article of interest in terms of what monitors are best suited for Mac.

 

image.thumb.png.592743681eeffc74f4008a6c7568d18d.png

https://bjango.com/articles/macexternaldisplays/

 

Bjango are one of those amazing indie developers that made me fall in love with using the Mac (OS).

 

Been a paying customer of iStat Menus for years. I just wish they'd completely rebuild their iStat widget from scratch since Apple deprecated the old one with Big Sur:

 

https://bjango.com/help/istatmenus6/knownissues/

 

Anyway, this chart is about the PPI which is more of a qualitative study of what looks the best at various monitor resolutions. It's also related to that mysterious "Using a Scaled resolution may affect performance" message.

 

The issue I'm flagging is that not all default or scaled monitor resolutions are available when using the HDMI 2.0 port. However, all of those resolutions appear to be available with the TB ports.

 

I imagine some folks are holding out for the Mac Pro, so that might be a tipping point for them. Or like how I had to scramble over the weekend with cable and dongle deliveries while I moved to a new computer before the work week started.

 

Again, that feels like a gut punch for the (currently) newest, most powerful, most expensive, top end desktop machine that's "faster than the 28-core Mac Pro." I wasn't expecting more of those prosumer trade-offs with this purchase. Regardless of why the decision to use HDMI 2.0 vs DisplayPort 1.4 or HDMI 2.1 or just more TB / USB ports was made, it was a terrible choice for us paying customers.

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On 6/11/2022 at 1:17 PM, Mark Aceto said:

Looks similar to Synergy. Synergy is OK with a wired connection but still feels a little janky.

 

So far, Universal Control feels at least as good as Synergy (when Synergy is in ethernet mode; Synergy is terrible in wireless mode). I have had a few (wired) mouse freak-outs but haven't been using it long enough yet (could have been a 3Dconnexion driver issue). Will continue testing but, so far, feeling cautiously optimistic 😅

 

One advantage I immediately noticed was that all trackpad gestures work on the secondary screen which is something that Synergy has never worked out. I live and die by trackpad gestures with my left hand (mouse in my right), so this is kind of a must-have for me.

 

Edited by Mark Aceto
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Mark Aceto said:

Anyway, like I said, I'm just letting potential Studio buyers know which ports they should expect to use for what.

Yeah I think we would get non-Apple displays so that's handy to know. Apart from the cost of the 128GB RAM version I'm also a bit disappointed by the Studio Display itself. If the retina display iMacs (which we have) supported target display mode we'd probably be running Mac Studios already.

 

But at over 5 grand without a display I thought we might as well wait to see what base Mac Pro looks like. At least then we could easily upgrade RAM and HD space later on.

Edited by Christiaan
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I've been using non-Apple displays since 2015 (BenQ, Dell, and even a 43" Sony TV before 4k monitors were available), and haven't looked back. As size and availability increased, I moved from a 27" to a 32" to a 40". The current one in my signature also doubles as a hub (one cable to rule them all with a MacBook).

 

When we eventually get to 8k displays (and the inevitable hit to our GPU's and FPS that has), I'll use the "Retina" default scale (4k). Well, that is if I'm on a 16:9 monitor... 

 

In the meantime, I pick a scale where text is readable without craning my neck. Well, except for the OIP, Nav and Vis palettes which have a text size that's 1/64th the rest of the VW interface... 

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Ran Geekbench, and got consistent CPU scores:

  • 1,769 single core
  • 23,823 multi core

Interestingly, the GPU score is higher than what's in the benchmark browser (guessing that one's a 48-core):

  • 83,607 OpenCL

For context, here's the top of the charts (2-3x faster for NVIDIA 30-series):

 

1931164715_ScreenShot2022-06-13at9_07_27PM.thumb.png.de93f054d459fb4accbd62217fe8671e.png

 

The more I think about it, it seems like the real deal-breaker for VW users that are also using Unreal Engine and Twinmotion will be the GPU (and lack of native ARM support from Epic). Maybe the Mac Pro will double GPU performance but it will still have to add hardware accelerated ray tracing, and then users will have to wait for native ARM from Epic (they're working on it).


Next up: Cinebench... 

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Cinebench multi core score:

  • 24,098

686088257_ScreenShot2022-06-13at9_42_20PM.thumb.png.3d5ff3754c983310776026952023ff01.png

 

The 2 benchmarks above mine are pretty random.

 

Here's a more complete list:

 

277077663_ScreenShot2022-06-13at9_46_34PM.thumb.png.002dd63d2b8b2873bfa50fdd5f103b09.png

 

My interpretation of these results:

  • 32% as powerful as the top benchmark (AMD)
  • Dollar for dollar, the Mac Studio is comparable to the PC competition (so no "Apple tax")
  • Intel i9 12900K beats the M1 Ultra multi-core and single core performance (also on Geekbench)
    • Guess it didn't take them too long to catch up lol
    • Presumably the Mac Pro will leapfrog that but with a very literal cost $$$$$

 

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