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Apple Apple Silicon Mac

Apple’s “One more thing” event Recap

Today Apple held their “One more thing” event. This is the third event in the last two months and as expected, this event focused strictly on Macs, specifically their Apple Silicon Macs. There was also a brief mention about the operating system needed to run the Macs, macOS Big Sur. Let us start with a brief look at macOS Big Sur.

macOS Big Sur

Back at their World Wide Developer Conference in June, Apple unveiled the next version of macOS named Big Sur. macOS Big Sur features an all new design that is heavily inspired by iOS and shares many of the same features as iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. The big feature with macOS Big Sur is that it includes the ability to run iOS apps and iPadOS apps natively, but only on Macs running Apple Silicon. Because this was such a monumental shift, the version number of the operating system changed from what would have been 10.16 to 11.0.

In today’s stream they provided a release date for macOS Big Sur, and that day is this Thursday, November 12th, 2020. There is still time to pre-order my e-book, macOS Big Sur for Users, Administrators, and Developers from Apple or Amazon for $3.99 each.

Apple Silicon Macs

Today Apple unveiled not one, but three Macs running Apple Silicon. Before Apple introduced these though, they talked about the chip that powers these Macs, the M1.

M1

Apple has been designing their own custom silicon for over a decade with the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. They have brought this knowledge and experience to the Mac with the M1 chip. The M1 will power the first-generation of Macs running Apple Silicon.

The M1 has an 8-core CPU with four high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. According to Apple the CPU will have up to 3.5x faster performance than previous Macs. The high-performance cores will only be used when when they are needed. For instance, if you are editing video or doing any computational intensive tasks.

However, if you are doing some less intensive tasks, like editing a note or reading email, the more power-efficient cords will be used instead. This efficiency will allow even longer battery life, because the power-efficient cores can be utilized instead of the high-performance cores.

A CPU is great at some tasks, but one area where it not the best is when it comes to graphics. For those tasks, there is the 8-core graphics processing unit.

Many of the features found in Apple’s other devices will now be present in the M1, like the 16-core Neural Engine. This will let machine learning tasks scream more than ever.

What is needed to make all of this work together is some memory. The memory architecture of the M1 is unified. This means that the CPU, GPU, and Neural Engine can all access the same memory areas, which makes transferring data between the different processors. This unified memory architecture is what is used throughout Apple’s other devices.

Now that we have covered the M1 chip, let us look at the three Macs that Apple released. These are the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. Let us look at each of these starting with the MacBook Air.

MacBook Air

The MacBook Air is Apple’s thin and lightweight laptop that is great for a majority of users and is great for everyday tasks. This is also the best-selling laptop that Apple sells. This is likely due to its starting price. On the topic of price, the MacBook Air has a new starting price of $999. There is another configuration that starts at $1249. Both of these models have

  • Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU and 16‑core Neural Engine
  • 8GB unified memory
  • Retina display with True Tone
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Touch ID
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
  • Wi-Fi 6

The difference between the two models is with the GPUs and base storage size. The $999 model only has 256GB of storage included and a 7-core GPU. The one few core is done in order to keep down the cost. Meanwhile, the $1249 configuration does come with an 8-Core GPU and starts off with 512GB of storage. Both models can be configured with 16GB of memory, a 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB storage options.

The MacBook Air also now supports the P3 Wide Color that has been present on iOS and iPadOS devices for a number of years now. P3 Color allows better representations of colors when looking at photos and videos.

One of the more noticeable changes with the MacBook Air that comes as a benefit of the M1 is more battery life. According to Apple you can get up to 15 hours of browsing the web and 18 hours of video playback. This is an improvement six hours of video playback, as compared to the previous MacBook Air. Here are some improvements that Apple states you will get with the MacBook Air:

  • Export a project for the web with iMovie up to 3x faster. 
  • Integrate 3D effects into video in Final Cut Pro up to 5x faster. 
  • For the first time, play back and edit multiple streams of full-quality, 4K ProRes video in Final Cut Pro without dropping a frame.
  • Export photos from Lightroom up to twice as fast.
  • Use ML-based features like Smart Conform in Final Cut Pro to intelligently frame a clip up to 4.3x faster.
  • Watch more movies and TV shows with up to 18 hours of battery life, the longest ever on MacBook Air.
  • Extend FaceTime and other video calls for up to twice as long on a single charge.

The MacBook Air comes in the same three colors, Silver, Space Gray, and Rose Gold and are available to order today and arrive next week. Next, let us look at the other 13-inch laptop, the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

MacBook Pro

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is a popular model of Mac used by many creatives. The 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at the same $1299 price. For that price you get the following:

  • Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine
  • 8GB unified memory
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • 13-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
  • Wi-Fi 6

Just like the MacBook Air you can upgrade the memory to 16GB, the storage to 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB. To go with all of this the 13-inch MacBook Pro

Apple is touting just how fast these machines are with these improvements:

  • Build code in Xcode up to 2.8x faster.
  • Render a complex 3D title in Final Cut Pro up to 5.9x faster. 
  • Fluidly design intricate game scenes in Unity Editor up to 3.5x faster. 
  • Perform ML tasks in Create ML up to 11x faster.
  • Separate out beats, instrumentals, and vocal tracks from a recording in real time in djay Pro AI, thanks to the amazing performance of the Neural Engine. 
  • Play back full-quality, 8K ProRes video in DaVinci Resolve without dropping a single frame. 
  • Compile four times as much code on a single charge, thanks to the game-changing performance per watt of the M1 chip.

The Thunderbolt and USB 4 ports do provide the ability to run the Apple Pro Display XDR at its native 6K resolution, should you find yourself in that situation.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is available to order today and begins arriving next week.

Mac mini

The last Mac to discuss is the first desktop to get Apple Silicon, the Mac mini. the Mac mini is a very versatile machine that is used in a variety of situations. These can range from a simple home computer, to a server, to a portable rendering station. The Mac mini now also comes with the M1 and a new price point. The Mac mini now starts at $699, which is $100 less than before. For that $699 price you get the following:

  • Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine
  • 8GB unified memory
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • Gigabit Ethernet

You can customize the Mac mini with 16GB of memory, or you can upgrade the storage to 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB options. One of the reasons that people opt for a Mac mini is the variety of ports. The Apple Silicon Mac mini includes Thunderbolt/USB-C 4 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, 2 USB-A ports, a gigabit ethernet port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

There are a couple of other changes with the new Mac mini. The first is that it is no longer space gray, instead it is back to being silver. While this is cometic, it may be a deterrent for some users. The second change is that there are some ports that are no longer on the new M1 Mac mini. The number of USB-C ports is half of what the Intel-based Mac minis had; the previous model had four. While for most this may not be a problem, is can be problematic for some users. The other port that has changed is the 10-gigabit ethernet option. That is not available on the Apple Silicon Mac minis. It is likely that the choice for the 10-gigabit ethernet was a very niche option, it is something to note.

Apple is also providing some statistics for the improvements for the Mac mini over the previous generation. These include:

  • Compile code in Xcode up to 3x faster. 
  • Play a graphics-intensive game like “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” with up to 4x higher frame rates. 
  • Render a complex timeline in Final Cut Pro up to 6x faster. 
  • Take music production to new levels by using up to 3x as many real-time plug-ins in Logic Pro.
  • Magically increase the resolution of a photo in Pixelmator Pro up to 15x faster. 
  • Utilize ML frameworks like TensorFlow or Create ML, now accelerated by the M1 chip.

The new price point for the Mac mini will make it very attractive for some users. However, the lack of 32GB or 64GB options may be a major factor for some users.

Closing Thoughts

Today’s event was quite short, 45 minute in total. Even though it was a shorter event, it was entirely focused on the Mac and Big Sur. macOS Big Sur will be available as a free update starting this Thursday.

While many expected a MacBook Air, the inclusion of a 13-inch MacBook Pro and the Mac mini to all be introduced at the same time shows that Apple is well on its way with Apple Silicon.

Macs with Apple Silicon are new and not everybody will want to, or will be able to use the new devices. Therefore, Apple is still selling Intel-based Macs for two of the Macs released today; the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the Mac mini. It is not known how long this will go on, but it is possible to still get an Intel-based Mac for each of these models. The MacBook Air is only available using the M1 chip.

The three new Macs are available to order today and will begin shipping next week. Customized models may take longer, depending on the choice of options.

Sources: Apple

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Apple Mac

Apple Event Roundup: Macs

Today Apple announced held their October event, “There’s More in the Making”. This was held in Brooklyn, New York. Apple announced a bunch of new products. Let us look at each of them, starting with the Macs.

MacBook Air

Back in 2010 Apple unveiled a brand new product, a very thin, very light, and all-flash laptop. They named it the MacBook Air. Since its introduction it has been the same general shape. Today Apple unveiled a brand new MacBook Air. The new MacBook Air sports an 8th Generation Dual-Core Intel i5 processor that runs at 1.6GHz. with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz.

The MacBook Air comes with two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports. These are both along the left side of the machine. The biggest change to the MacBook Air is the brand new Retina display, which is the first time there has been a Retina display on the MacBook Air. The display is edge to edge and has a

The MacBook Air also comes with 8GB of memory standard and 128GB of flash storage. The memory can be configured up to 16GB and the flash can be upgraded to 256GB, 512GB, or 1.5TB.

The new MacBook Air starts at $1199, which is $200 more than the older MacBook Air, which is still on sale. The new MacBook Air comes in three colors, Silver, Space Gray, and Gold. You can order the new MacBook Air today, and it will ship next week. Let us now turn to another new Mac, one that has been a long time coming.

Mac mini

The Mac mini was introduced back in early 2005. At its initial release, and with subsequent updates it was positioned as an entry-level Mac that would be great for new Mac users to bring your existing keyboard, display, and mouse and replace your old device. The Mac mini has not been updated since October of 2014, so four years old. Today, that has changed with a brand new update.

The new Mac mini has all re-designed internals. This start with the all new flash-only storage options. These options are 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB.

To go along with the flash options, there are some additional memory options as well. 8GB is standard, but you can configure 16GB, 32GB, or even 64GB of memory.

The Mac mini comes in two models, the entry level, which sports a 3.6GHz quad-core 8th Generation Core i3 processor, and the higher-end model has a 3.0GHz six-core 8th Generation Core i5 Processor. Yes, you read that correctly, a six core processor. You can configure either model with a 3.2GHz six-core Intel Core i7 processor if you want.

There is one last configurable option. The Mac mini comes with a standard Gigabit ethernet port, but you can configure a 10-gigabit ethernet network adapter that is capable of running at 1Gbps, 2.5Gbps, or 5Gbps. This option does cost $100 more, but if you need it, you can configure it.

The last new feature of the Mac mini is the case. Since its initial release the Mac mini has been Silver in color. The new Mac mini no longer come in silver, it comes in Space Gray, and it only comes in Space Gray. The new color looks really good and will be welcome by man.

The new Mac mini comes with a slew of ports. In fact it has four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, 1 HDMI 2.0 port, one ethernet port, one 3.5mm headphone jack, and two USB 3, traditional USB A ports. It also comes with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0.

The new Mac mini starts at $799. You can order it today and it will ship next week.

The new MacBook Air and Mac mini are great updates to machines that have been a long time coming and will be welcome to users who are looking to upgrade their existing machines.

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Apple

Apple October Event Roundup: Macs

At Apple’s event, they discussed iPads, Macs, and other items. If you want to read about the iPads, go check out this post. Right now, we will discuss the Macs. There were only a couple of updates to Mac, one somewhat minor, but the other being significant.

Mac Mini

MacMini.2014.Large

The Mac Mini, the lowest priced Mac in the line-up, was last updated in October of 2012, until today that is. The Mac Mini received a bunch of great updates. The first is that the lowest-end model is now $100 cheaper at $499. This is good news for those who are new the Mac, but before we decide if that is fantastic news, let us look at all of the specifications.

The second improvement is that they are now all running Intel’s 4th Generation Core series, codenamed Haswell. There are three models of the 2014 Mac Mini. The standard configurations all include dual-core Core i5 processors. Their speeds are 1.4GHz, 2.6GHZ, and 2.8GHz. The 2.6GHz and 2.8GHz models are able to be configured to use a 3.0GHz dual-core i7 processor.

The memory configurations start at 4GB for the 1.4GHz model, and 8GB for the 2.6GHz and 2.8GHz models. All three of these can be configured for up to 16GB of memory. These are still DDR3, however they are now Low-powered memory chips.

The Mac Mini uses integrated graphics, so with the upgrade to the 4th Generation chips, the graphics have improved. On the 1.4GHz model, this now includes Intel HD 5000 Graphics, on the 2.6GHz and 2.8GHz models use Intel’s Iris Graphics.

The port configuration on the Mac Mini has changed. The Mac Mini now supports Thunderbolt 2, which is capable of up to 20Gigabits per second. The Mac Mini no longer has a Firewire connection. In its place, is now a second Thunderbolt 2 port. With the second Thunderbolt 2 port, the Mac Mini is now capable of displaying two monitors running at 2560 by 1440.

Connectivity within the Mac Mini has also been slightly upgraded. The device now contains 802.11AC, which will provide faster wireless access.

The storage capabilities of the Mac Mini has changed slightly. The previous generation Mac Mini came with a 500GB 2.5″ hard-drive. This has not changed for the 1.4GHz model. The 1.4GHz model is configurable with a 1TB Fusion drive. The 2.6GHz comes with a 1TB drive, and can be configured for a 1TB Fusion drive or a 256GB SSD. The 2.8GHz models now come with a 1TB Fusion drive, and can be configured with a 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSD drive.

The Mac Mini is available to purchase now, and ships in 1 to 3 business days.

iMac with 5K Retina Display

iMac5K.2014.Large

The iMac with 5K Retina Display is a brand new 27″ device. Its biggest feature is the screen. It sports a 5120‑by‑2880 pixels, which is a total of 14.7 million pixels. This is 67% more pixels than standard 4K display. The 27″ iMac with 5K Retina Display needed some additional technology to be able to handle the number of pixels. The screen is only 1.4mm thin.

The first of these technologies is the Timing Controller, also called the TCon. This controller handles the coordination between all of the pixels on the display. According to Apple, there was no timing controller to handle the 5K display, so they had to create a custom one. Apple’s TCon can handle 4 times the bandwidth, and up to 40 Gigabits per second. This is the same speed as Two Thunderbolt 2 ports working in parallel. As a side-effect, the 27″ iMac with 5K Retina Display cannot be used in Target Display Mode. Now that the unique technology has been discussed, let us talk about the specifications.

The processor for the iMac with 5K Retina Display is a quad-core Intel Core i5 running at 3.5GHz and can Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz. The processor can be configured for a 4.0GHz (that can Turbo up to 4.4GHz).

The default memory is 8GB (which seems low for this model) of 1600MHz DDR3 memory. This is configurable up to 32GB. There are four ports that are user accessible, which is the same as the standard 27″ iMac.

The iMac with 5K Retina Display comes with a 1TB Fusion Drive and can be configured for a 3TB Fusion Drive or, 256GB SSD Flash, 512GB SSD Flash, or 1TB Flash Storage.

The graphic card on the 27″ iMac with 5K Retina Display is an AMD Radeon R9 M290X with 2GB of GDDR5. This is configurable to an AMD R9 M295X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. This processor is needed to drive all of the pixels in the 5K Display.

The ports available on the iMac 5K with Retina are the same as the regular 27″ iMac. These include four USB 3 ports, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet, and an SDXC card slot. The iMac with 5K Retina Display is capable of handling an external display up to 3840 by 2160 pixels.

The iMac with 5K Retina Display is available today and begins at $2499 for the base model.

Final Thoughts

Even though none of the other Macs received updates, the one that was updated and the new one released have kept the Mac line fresh. The introduction of the 27″ iMac with 5K Retina Display brings an additional device in the iMac to the lineup. The 5K Retina screen option will be a great improvement for those who can benefit from the device. The updated Mac Mini will bring even more users into the fold. The biggest aspect of this may be the $499 price point. The biggest surprise is that everything is available today.

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Daily Run Down

Daily Run Down 05/13/2011

Here is today’s Daily Run Down.

  • The TSA Has frisked a baby because the stroller set off the ‘explosives’ detector.
  • Google Storage is now available all Developers.
  • Google has made the Chrome Webapp Store worldwide.
  • Google has unveiled the Acer Chromebook for $349.
  • America’s smallest turtle is becoming scarce.
  • Sunlight may turn Jet exhaust into toxic particles.
  • Samsung is creating a ChromeOS Desktop similar to a Mac Mini.
  • Tree Frogs have provided new answers to Amazon Diversity.
  • Senators have questioned AT&T on the T-mobile merger.
  • A Firmware hack can transform your 2009 Mac Pro into a 12-core behemoth.
  • A Jury has found former Galleon Hedge Fund manager Raj Rajaratnam guilty of insider trading.
  • An Ancient Supernova is firing gamma rays.
  • Four Months after agreeing to the Comcast-NBCU merger, Meredith Baker is leaving the FCC to join Comcast.
  • The FBI is stating that customers might sue if they knew companies were helping with Wiretaps.
  • US Researchers have identified the first human lung stem cell.

Look for more stories tomorrow. If an important story has been missed please leave it in the comments.

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Daily Run Down Stories

Daily Run Down 06/15/2010

Here is today’s Daily Run Down.

  • Nintendo has released the Nintendo 3DS.
  • The Strange Hole-Punch clouds have been explained.
  • A Bolt of Lightning has struck a ship and has halted the oil spill cleanup.
  • Apple has approved Google Earth for iPad.
  • The surface of Mars may have been covered by 1/3 water.
  • AT&T has had a network meltdown due to the amount people attempting to purchase an iPhone 4.
  • Apple has quietly released an update to the Mac Mini.
  • Office 2010 has hit store shelves.

Look for more stories tomorrow.