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March 18, 2022

Daily Tech News 18 March 2022

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  • The Apple Mac Studio: A historic achievement in not being overpriced garbage so long as you spend all day in Photoshop. (The Verge)

    It has a fast CPU, an adequate GPU, lots of memory bandwidth, and can run Photoshop and probably other Adobe apps quite well.

    If that's what you want to do, it should be great.

    If you want to run some Python code as well, it should be a solid choice for that - not the most cost-effective perhaps, but just fine. Likewise if you run Adobe apps and, say, JetBrains IDEs.

    If you want to play games, forget it. If you need to run x86 code, definitely not your best option. If you need to be able to upgrade memory and graphics later on, run in the opposite direction.

    And if you believe Apple's claims that the GPU on the new M1 Ultra is faster than Nvidia's RTX 3090, well:
    It was a different story with graphics performance, however. Apple, in its keynote, claimed that the M1 Ultra would outperform Nvidia's RTX 3090. I have no idea where Apple's getting that from. We ran Geekbench Compute, which tests the power of a system's GPU, on both the Mac Studio and a gaming PC with an RTX 3090, a Core i9-10900, and 64GB of RAM. And the Mac Studio got… destroyed. It got less than half the score that the RTX 3090 did on that test — not only is it not beating Nvidia's chip, but it's not even coming close.
    That's on a GPU acceleration benchmark. Gaming performance is even worse:
    On the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark, the RTX was also a solid 30 frames per second faster. Now, this is Apple gaming, of course, so Tomb Raider was not a perfect or even particularly good experience: there was substantial, noticeable micro stutter at every resolution we tried. This is not at all a computer that anyone would buy for gaming. But it does emphasize that if you're running a computing load that relies primarily on a heavy-duty GPU, the Mac Studio is probably not the best choice.
    Good to see an honest review like this. The M1 Max / M1 Ultra are well-designed chips with excellent CPU performance and decent GPU performance, coupled with industry-leading power efficiency thanks to TSMC's 5nm process.

    But they are not, as Apple keeps claiming, a fundamental breakthrough in performance. They're merely very good.

    Also the article mentions the interconnect bandwidth on the M1 Ultra: 2.5TBps. That's rather a lot.



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