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Sneaky Snake

Member Since 28 Jul 2007
Offline Last Active Jan 20 2021 12:03 PM

Topics I've Started

Apple's M1 chip - huge GPU gain over Iris graphics

10 November 2020 - 01:28 PM

Apple just unveiled three new Macs that will be the first to utilize Apple Silicon: Mac Mini, MacBook Air, 13" Macbook Pro. All three machines use the same M1 chip, but the Mac Mini and MBP have active cooling while the MBA does not.

What is very interesting is the GPU performance numbers that Apple is claiming for their new M1 chip. For graphics Apple is comparing the new 13" MBP with the M1 chip against the previous 13" MBP with the 1.7 GHz quad core i7 and the Iris Plus 645.

Apple is claiming a 2.9x performance increase in Shadow of the Tomb Raider with the new M1 MBP vs the Intel MBP. The fine print of the test is the following:


Testing conducted by Apple in October 2020 using preproduction 13-inch MacBook Pro systems with Apple M1 chip, as well as production 1.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7‑based 13-inch MacBook Pro systems with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645, all configured with 16GB RAM and 2TB SSD. Tested with Shadow of the Tomb Raider 1.0.1 using the built-in benchmark, at 1440x900 resolution, with medium settings. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of MacBook Pro.

BareFeats has some benchmarks of the 13" MBP running the same Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark at 1280x800 (slightly lower resolution). The Intel 13" MBP gets 18 fps in that benchmark, so if we apply a 2.9x boost to simulate the M1 chip, we get 52.2 fps. The 16" MBP with the 5500M in the same benchmark gets 66 fps. This puts the 5500M as around 25% faster then the GPU in the M1 chip. It also places the M1 chip as more powerful then the older Radeon GPUs in the previous 15" MBPs such as the 560X and Vega20.

Obviously I have made a lot of extrapolations and assumptions that are certainly not 100% accurate, but we can safely assume that M1 equipped Macs will be very capable of some light gaming at acceptable frame rates.

macOS 11.0 - Big Sur

21 October 2020 - 06:52 PM

With Big Sur's release imminent I figured it is time to get a thread going.

Full apple product page: https://www.apple.co...ig-sur-preview/

The main features seem to be:
  • Visual re-design bringing macOS and iOS into a much more similar visual look
  • Better support for iOS/iPadOS apps
  • Updates to Apple's built in apps (Messages, Photos, Safari, Maps, etc.)
  • Support for Apple Silicon

Personally, I was running the public beta on my work laptop the moment it was available. I gave it a few releases (I think I made it to public beta 3) but eventually had to uninstall it and re-install 10.15. I had too many issues with my main work apps (remoting into clients via VNC, weird Firefox issues, weird scaling issues with text when using my MBP's retina screen beside a 1440p monitor).

Has anyone been running the public beta on its latest release?

AMD seems to finally be fully ahead of Intel after 14 years

08 October 2020 - 08:10 PM

With Ryzen 5000 reveal today and the massive increase in performance it brings over Ryzen 3000, AMD seems to have finally re-taken the overall performance crown from Intel. A crown that Intel has held since 2006 when the Core 2 Duo released.

Going off of AMD's first party benchmarks as well as the fact that AMD is pricing Ryzen 5000 as more expensive then Intel I think says enough about Ryzen 5000's upcoming performance and AMD's confidence in it.

Intel's stronghold in gaming seems to now be at best tied with AMD, and at worst - behind by ~20% in performance (10900K vs 5900X). CAD was also a huge stronghold of Intel's and that looks to be around 5% faster on the AMD platform.

Obviously, all of this should be taken with a grain of salt as we wait for independent benchmarks, but it really seems incredible how far AMD has come. From the brink of bankruptcy to now making Intel the "budget option" for high end desktops. I'm really exciting to see how Intel responds with their upcoming 10nm desktop chips that are due in 2021, and then how AMD will respond to that. A truly exciting time for the PC industry. Competition in the CPU market has never been this intense.

Here is Linus's video talking about the upcoming Ryzen 5000 chips

Despite the huge performance increase, I'm not sure I will upgrade to Ryzen 5000 even though my motherboard supports it. My black friday special 3600X does just fine paired with my RTX 2080 at 1440p, but it it sure nice having the option.

Hades is really good

02 October 2020 - 10:12 AM

I started playing Hades (made by Supergiant games - same guys who made Bastion, Transitor, Pyre, and a few other games). It is extremely good.

It is a "roguelite" game where you are making your way through randomly generated dungeons in order to try and escape Hades. Every time you die you are reset back to the beginning, but the upgrades, weapons, loot, etc. that you gathered has you made you more powerful for your next attempt to escape. Since the dungeons are random on every attempt it really keeps things fresh.

The game looks beautiful, really fun to play, and has a great Greek mythology lore to it. It also has very low system requirements so should fun flawlessly on pretty much anyone's Mac.

27" iMac Update: 10th Gen Intel Chips, RDNA GPUs, 10Gb Networking, and more

04 August 2020 - 10:34 AM

Apple updated the 27" iMac today. Notable updates:
  • 10th gen intel chips, up to the 10 core i9 10900 CPU
  • RDNA graphics, up to 5700XT with 16GB GDDR6
  • Double the memory capacity (up to 128GB)
  • Option for "Nano-texture" glass (Apple speak for matte display)
  • Option for 10Gb networking
  • Same 2012 design (probably saving the fresh new design for the apple silicon iMac)
SSD storage is now standard on all 21.5" and 27" iMacs (about time). RIP fusion drives. The 21.5" iMac remains unchanged otherwise.