Attention: Metal, Big Sur and Apple Silicon

Encrypt

Member
My concern with the M1 macs is the cost of the memory, $200 for 8GB. Perhaps more memory isn’t required, but as I have 40GB in my iMac I will reserve judgement for now.

I think I am somewhat in favour of @podperson idea of the move to metal being version 8. It seems like a lot of effort is going into this transition. I think at the very least supporting the new chips would be a new version (easy to remember which version supports what).
If it were me and depending on the effort I might consider the M1 version as a different product. I might even be tempted to go that way for metal support too.
Basecamp do something similar, they support all their old version for as long as they are in use, though I think the old versions only get security patches.
That said it’s a different sector with a different model, as its a web based app.

As a tinkerer the only competition Cheetah has for my money is MoI 3D (though its not a direct competitor), and haven just gotten an Air4 what I really really want is an iPad version of either that supports the Pencil. I think that is a very compelling use case.
But given 3D dev is beyond me, I guess I have to listen to what my mother used to say, “I want never gets” :D

@Martin thank you for the updates and for all the efforts to keep Cheetah up to date.
 

iestynx

New member
What are the chances of an iPad version one day seeing that you’re getting ready for the M1? Would love it if it was even a Cheetah 3D lite, so you could start a project on the iPad and finish it on the Mac. I’d pay handsomely for this🤑
 

Radian

New member
I got an m1 mac mini and I find this little chip very fast. I can use it to render blender relatively fast and did a test with cheetah3d. I tested the gecko on 1920x1080 and got this done in 13,36s (cheetah render). I don't know if it's fast?
 

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Somian

Member
That's pretty decent - especially considering that this isn't native ARM. I just opened the gecko on my 8 core iMac Pro - default settings but 1920x1080 and did it in 10.15 seconds.
 

MonkeyT

Active member
For Comparison:

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
3.1 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3
Radeon Pro 560 4 GB
Intel HD Graphics 630 1536 MB

Gecko_cheetah.jpg
Gecko_falcon.jpg
 

Martin

Moderator
I got an m1 mac mini and I find this little chip very fast. I can use it to render blender relatively fast and did a test with cheetah3d. I tested the gecko on 1920x1080 and got this done in 13,36s (cheetah render). I don't know if it's fast?
Thanks for the info. That's great to know. I think that's an excellent value if you consider that Cheetah3D runs under Rosetta. I'm very optimistic that a natively compiled version will see a considerable speedup.

P.S. My 12 core Trashcan MacPro takes 10.88 sec.
 

Martin

Moderator
It seems to me that Apple can address the workstation market by making one design that services the high-end iMac through to workstation SKUs. It won’t be the fastest system they *could* make, but it will still be fast enough. And the margins will be ridiculous…

It’s also not clear how the economies of scale work in this case. Can Apple make 16GB amd 8GB parts on the same wafers and just vary the mix based on demand? In such a case Apple has a lot of flexibility.

Finally, Apple is a massive consumer of datacenter computers. As long as five years ago, Facebook and Google were among the largest PC manufacturers in the US. (Amazon is likely bigger still.) Apple’s own internal servers might allow economies of scale…

I would say Apple is now doomed to be faster since users will always compare them with x86 PCs. I have some doubts if "fast enough" is really enough. Especially considering Apples margins.

The M1 is a SiP (system in package). The CPU die and the memory modules are separate parts. Moving the RAM into the package definitely gives them some speed advantages (the closer the better). But you can't scale that approach to 1 TB etc. So the workstation part has to be very different. So that speedup trick won't work for bigger parts.

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podperson

Well-known member
Definitely going to be interesting to see how Apple deals with stuff like PCI expansion, although the Thunderbolt 4 interface should be plenty fast.

Presumably they can get to ~64GB of RAM without too much problem. Beyond that, two classes of RAM?
 

Radian

New member
Definitely going to be interesting to see how Apple deals with stuff like PCI expansion, although the Thunderbolt 4 interface should be plenty fast.

Presumably they can get to ~64GB of RAM without too much problem. Beyond that, two classes of RAM?
I don't think the M1 has Thunderbolt 4. It has Thunderbolt 3 and USB4.
Thunderbolt = intel so I then they will go for a namechange and USB4 will be the standard. Still not fast enough for good epgu support in the future.
 

MonkeyT

Active member
From The Verge: Apple confirmed to The Verge that it does intend to continue supporting Thunderbolt on Macs with Apple silicon: “Over a decade ago, Apple partnered with Intel to design and develop Thunderbolt, and today our customers enjoy the speed and flexibility it brings to every Mac. We remain committed to the future of Thunderbolt and will support it in Macs with Apple silicon.”

From their article, Thunderbolt4 max capabilities are almost identical to Thunderbolt3, what they changed are the minimum requirements needed to qualify for the spec. Intel has referred to it as the complete spec of USB-C. The other significant change is requiring a security measure that prevents memory access from connected devices - but Intel has said they will design an equivalent non-intel-dependent solution to meets that spec, so it was believed this summer that Apple will move to Thunderbolt4.
 

podperson

Well-known member
I don't think the M1 has Thunderbolt 4. It has Thunderbolt 3 and USB4.
Thunderbolt = intel so I then they will go for a namechange and USB4 will be the standard. Still not fast enough fo
I’m just going on what ifixit found when they tore down an M1 mini.

 
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