Apple Macbook Pro M1 Max Review Compared to i9 MBP with eGPU


designergy
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I just setup up my new M1 Max MacBook Pro.  Wow.  This thing is fast.  Here is my initial thoughts...

 

Past Setup

I am upgrading from a top of the line i9 MBP from last year and there is absolutely no comparison.  I was running 3 x 27" Apple thunderbolt screens with apple thunderbolt to USBC dongles.  One display was plugged directly into the right side of the MBP.  One display was plugged into the thunderbolt port on the second display and then that display was plugged into a Blackmagic Pro eGPU (Vega 56) with the same thunderbolt to USBC dongle.  The eGPU was then plugged also into the right side of the MBP.  It worked pretty well but would freeze and stutter a bit on larger plans.  The fans were insanely noisy on both the MBP and especially the eGPU.  I do a ton of screen sharing with our clients all over Western Canada and that is when it was at its worst...Thats my next test.

 

New Setup 

MBP M1 Max with 64 GB of RAM and 2TB SSD Drive.  Each screen is now using its own dongle to plug into their own USBC port on the MBP.  No eGPU.  This thing is silent and doesn't stutter at all in 3D.  I don't do any Ray Tracing so I can't give any feedback there but will try to add my thoughts here as I use this setup more over the next week or two.  I will keep my i9 MBP for a month or two as my luck with new rigs usually runs out in short order and I end up back with my prior rig LOL

 

Cheers : )

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15 hours ago, designergy said:

I just setup up my new M1 Max MacBook Pro.  Wow.  This thing is fast.  Here is my initial thoughts...

 

Past Setup

I am upgrading from a top of the line i9 MBP from last year and there is absolutely no comparison.  I was running 3 x 27" Apple thunderbolt screens with apple thunderbolt to USBC dongles.  One display was plugged directly into the right side of the MBP.  One display was plugged into the thunderbolt port on the second display and then that display was plugged into a Blackmagic Pro eGPU (Vega 56) with the same thunderbolt to USBC dongle.  The eGPU was then plugged also into the right side of the MBP.  It worked pretty well but would freeze and stutter a bit on larger plans.  The fans were insanely noisy on both the MBP and especially the eGPU.  I do a ton of screen sharing with our clients all over Western Canada and that is when it was at its worst...Thats my next test.

 

New Setup 

MBP M1 Max with 64 GB of RAM and 2TB SSD Drive.  Each screen is now using its own dongle to plug into their own USBC port on the MBP.  No eGPU.  This thing is silent and doesn't stutter at all in 3D.  I don't do any Ray Tracing so I can't give any feedback there but will try to add my thoughts here as I use this setup more over the next week or two.  I will keep my i9 MBP for a month or two as my luck with new rigs usually runs out in short order and I end up back with my prior rig LOL

 

Cheers : )

 

Thank you for posting this information! Looking forward to updates...

 

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11 hours ago, designergy said:

X13 on both

Thanks for the clarification (was confused because your signature shows x12 only).

41 minutes ago, Chrisb222 said:

 

Thank you for posting this information! Looking forward to updates...

 

Very interested in what is happening this year.  my mac pro 6.1 desktop still works well but it is probably this coming year for an upgrade for the desktop.  Still hoping they come out with the rumored mac pro desktop in small form factor that the rumors are talking about.  Something in between the mac mini and the mac pro main product...

 

Otherwise it might be an Imac pro.

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6 minutes ago, kylejmarsh said:

small mbp 13 with the M1 chip

you may want to consider the little upgrade cost and go with the 14" with m1pro...  Unless you are using it as a display only.  13" is slightly small for form factor on it's own.  14" is pushing it but more doable.  Plus have heard some big upgrades from m1 to m1pro.

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Didn't do much for 3D today still.  Was mainly on screen-shares with clients and staff.  On the intel MBP, I would experience a significant drop in performance while screen-sharing.  Chief would stutter and take some time to render.  Occasionally it would crash while going into 3D from a floor plan.  Today I could not discern a difference while in screen-share.  It worked just as flawlessly while connected.  Verified print to PDF works as well.  It actually seemed a little slower at that process but not by much.  That might just be me thinking that though...I didn't test speeds as I am just not that guy. 

 

I should note I have the MBP set in high power mode.  I also read that the RAM is discrete on these chips and there is no bottleneck with data transmission between the GPU, CPU and RAM.  That might be why the Screenshare experience is better.

 

I am posting this all here because this community has given me so much info over the years and I really haven't had much to give back...this is my tiny contribution.  I hope it is of interest to a few of you out there : )

 

 

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On 11/3/2021 at 9:08 PM, designergy said:

I am posting this all here because this community has given me so much info over the years and I really haven't had much to give back...this is my tiny contribution.  I hope it is of interest to a few of you out there : )

 

 

 

Hi I saw your post.  I am considering upgrading from my 2019 iMac to the MacBook Pro M1 Max.

 

I am having difficulty getting clean 3D rendering output from my iMac 2019 after upgrading from X12 to X13.  X12 renders on my iMac looked great, X13 renders are blurry and washed out.

 

I have opened a support ticket, but I am wondering if perhaps with the upgrades to the graphics performance from X12 to X13 that this has somehow revealed some limitations with the current graphics card on my iMac that is degrading 3D performance output in X13.

 

And so, after seeing this thread, I was wondering if you would be willing to share with me 5 minutes of your time and take a look at my .plan file on your M1 Max and do just two quick things:

  1. Open the two camera views I have and screen shot just the standard, vector and physical outputs for me?  
  2. Screen record a single aerial birdseye spin around the home via mouse to let me know how fluid the performance is?  

I'd like to see how they compare to the render files I have in this Dropbox folder:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9zt4tagbuhsfkbi/AABsTnIW6DjT5uExeP6e5mcAa?dl=0

 

If you would be willing and are able, I would be most appreciative.

 

Kind Regards,

 

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Screenshots were no problem.  I didn't tweak them at all so this was just the factory settings.  Took a second or two to do the physically based.  The 3D was a bit choppy in physically based on the exterior but pretty smooth on the interior.  Standard view 3D was smooth on both interior and exterior.  3D was a bit choppy for the first few seconds and then seemed to smooth out.  Interior was smoother than exterior.  Bit of a load time to switch to physical in 3D. Here is the link to the video.  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l71ppla40wwk3yd/AAAmm7rgQJyUXkd36VAx2ZBsa?dl=0. I will keep it up for a few days.  I hope this helps

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Very helpful.  Thank you so much!  I'm extremely impressed with the performance/speed of how it handled.   Do your fans even run at all?

 

As for the output, I see that your renders basically look the same as mine did from X13.  I just prefer the vividness, clarity, and sharpness of the 3D output that I got from X12 as compared to what we are able to produce from X13.

 

 

 

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Keep in mind that it may have handled the file better because I was missing some of your textures.

 

I have not heard the fans run once yet but I have not spent a ton of time in 3D.  The combination of my intel MBP and eGPU would actually raise the temperature in my office so this is a nice change lol.

 

I agree on the renderings.  X12 did appear to look better.

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10 hours ago, basilbabaa said:

 

Hi I saw your post.  I am considering upgrading from my 2019 iMac to the MacBook Pro M1 Max.

 

I am having difficulty getting clean 3D rendering output from my iMac 2019 after upgrading from X12 to X13.  X12 renders on my iMac looked great, X13 renders are blurry and washed out.

 

I have opened a support ticket, but I am wondering if perhaps with the upgrades to the graphics performance from X12 to X13 that this has somehow revealed some limitations with the current graphics card on my iMac that is degrading 3D performance output in X13.

 

And so, after seeing this thread, I was wondering if you would be willing to share with me 5 minutes of your time and take a look at my .plan file on your M1 Max and do just two quick things:

  1. Open the two camera views I have and screen shot just the standard, vector and physical outputs for me?  
  2. Screen record a single aerial birdseye spin around the home via mouse to let me know how fluid the performance is?  

I'd like to see how they compare to the render files I have in this Dropbox folder:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9zt4tagbuhsfkbi/AABsTnIW6DjT5uExeP6e5mcAa?dl=0

 

If you would be willing and are able, I would be most appreciative.

 

Kind Regards,

 

same here, so i'm using X12. very frustrating.

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Rather than hijack this thread to discuss X13 vs X12 3D performance, I have started a new thread for this:  

And so we may continue here-in to dedicate the topic of conversation to that of the M1 chip performance...  

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  • 3 weeks later...

designergy

Thanks for giving your input.  Happy to see all the apple people in one place :)

 

To recap you vote yes for x13 on the me MBP with M1?  I have 2019 MBP loaded and its okay. Spec is below.   X13 running okay after the last update.  Really like to speed things up so thinking of ordering a new one.  Printing PDF takes a little while especially on 20-30 page layouts with lots of pictures.  Most plans are under 60mb.  I do not ray trace right now.  Only standard perspective views. Only running a 40" tv right now which works well.   I am a cabinet and millwork designer so very heavy on cabinets and their components and light on the buildings construction details as I just draw the shell.

 

If you think there is improvement I might pull the trigger.  Thanks for your input! 

 

1413416173_ScreenShot2021-11-23at2_01_56PM.thumb.png.835257151ffa321cfae479471e018f6a.png

 

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It runs significantly better for me than my intel BUT...printing to PDF still takes a bit of time and I have been able to slow it down on larger files now.  I am 100% happy I upgraded as I am not constantly thinking about the speed of my computer now when I am drafting but I will probably always think that a computer could be "just a bit faster" at the end of the day ol

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