M1 Macbook Air Long Term Review (2021)
I think we are in the realm of seven to eight months. We are getting closer to that one year mark, but it has been a while, since i owned this machine – and i used it for a very long time – and i used it for everything that i need to do. It’S literally my sole main machine – and i do have some things to share about it, long story short. Is it a good machine and should i buy it? Yes, yes, yes, and did i say yes, i think i said yes and if i didn’t say yes, then yes it’s a wonderful machine and i am not a light user by any means. I use a blender. I use unity. I at least learning a blender i’m using unity, and i do use xcode and i do use sublime, and all of that is related, whether to ios development, making, applications, making video games or even doing front end development or whatever that might be. It has been working without issues and it has been working good and i didn’t have any issues with it so, whatever, even when opening unreal engine and then doing some tests on our little engine or a twin motion or whatever that might be, the machine does work Without issues a granted unreal engine is not specifically optimized for the m1 machine, and i have made plethora of videos to talk about that, but in general you do need to do some work arounds in order to get it working on the m1 machine.
So if you are an unreal engine, user or that’s, mainly what you will do do not buy it, probably that’s the only category that i will say no stay away from the m1, because even adobe, which at the beginning, i was against to get. If you are using that, if you are using adobe products – and you want to get an m1 machine – the adobe product now they are optimized for the m1 and at least that what we saw in the announcements that happened very recently with announcing the imac. So you can definitely go and get a machine with adobe products, that’s good, but unreal engine, epic games and apple. They do have a fight that’s, why they don’t talk to each other and they never work together to get things working. So if you fall into this category, no it’s not for you, but if you fall into any other category, students owning your business, doing web development, doing video editing whatever that might be. Yes, the m1 machine is a really good machine and it’s good go ahead and get it yet – and i repeat – and i highlight – and maybe i would zoom in the camera on my face while saying that get 16 gigabyte of ram do not prioritize the storage, you Can always get an external storage and plug it in and you can get a fast external storage and ssd or whatever that might be down the line? That’S? Okay? Yes, you have to deal with something that is dangling from your device that’s.
Okay, i deal with that. As well, i have one terabyte fssd. I really wanted a two terabyte, but they didn’t have it in stock at the time and i’m working with it. Just fine there’s, no issues with that. So we can live with that, but you cannot live with the fact that all having only eight gigabytes of ram, because you cannot do a thing with that device when you only have eight gigabyte of ram so go ahead and spell that extra 100 to 200, or Maybe 150 to get that 16 gigabyte of front. That would be better for you overall. In the long run and even right now, 16 gigabyte of ram is very acceptable. So you will be good to go. That’S let’s say the short version of it. Let’S go into more details, swap memory swap memory is an issue swap memory idea, that’s killing your m1 no it’s, not swap memory it’s, not something new swap memory. It has been used for the longest time swap memory. Every unix based system does have a swap memory. So if you have a windows laptop and you are having a unix system on it, such as maybe you have bento or dupian or elementary os or whatever that might be always when you install a unix based system, it will ask you to allocate some swap memory. The only difference is apple, do the swap memory by themselves and they allocate it to whatever they see fit.
While when you are installing a unix based system on a windows machine or even if you install it on a mac, you can choose how much swap memory you want to put the general rule is: do not go go above what ram you have. So if you have eight gigabyte of ram, the swap memory can go up to eight. Usually the recommended is half of that. So you will put four gigabytes of swap memory and you have eight gigabyte of memory. Now your ram is 12 gigabytes of front, and this extra four gigabytes that is taking from your hard drive or from your space is only used in emergencies. You are doing something and then the machine died, and maybe you need to do. Control shift enter or delete, and or whatever, if you are on windows, or maybe you want to do the force to quit on mac or you want to do whatever terminal command that you want to kill the kernel with or the program with. While you are using opinto or a unix space system or whatever that might be, swap memory kicks in into that, because the machine has been frozen and it will kicks in while this is happening in order to save the day that’s. What the swap memory is for the swap memory, it’s, not extra ram, that you should use now. One thing to keep in mind the reason swap memory is working really well on m1 max, because the hard drive that is inside your mac is really fast.
That it’s, almost as fast as the ram that is inside the machine that’s, why it’s working in comparison and working without issues and having more ram is actually good, because you will be giving a higher swap memory as well and higher swap memory, which means you can Do much more now apple? Does it a little bit differently because you don’t know how much swap memory is there that has been allocated already because it will allocate it by itself anyway, i would assume maybe they would do extra for gigabyte or something? I am not sure, or maybe they would do it in a dynamic way where it will escalate with whatever you are doing. I am not really sure how to do that and i, even when i tried to go into the code and try to find this piece of information. I cannot at least with the knowledge that i have right now. I am not able enough to look inside the code or look inside the machine in order to find that, and i don’t think this is possible because probably at that point, you’re looking at the source code – and i don’t think apple – wants you to find the source Code for mac os, because that would be a disaster, because apple cares about your safety and privacy and they are a closed system and they don’t want anyone to copy them. So having access to the source code is a disaster in their eyes, so i don’t think anyone can do that.
I don’t think anyone can do that, because if people can do that, i think we would have more information about a swap memory and such from a very long time ago, not even today, but before that and yes, you can do swap memory on windows as well And it was very common in the windows xp days and i was one of the people who used to do that and actually there is a video on the channel. Where i talk about swap memory and define swap memory and more details, you can definitely watch that digest of it or the main idea. Is you have this swap memory, and this is what memory is being used whenever you are using uh 100 of the ram that you have, and there is something that i noticed with mac os as well, where it will start using the swap memory even before you Use your main ram 100, because what it would prefer to do is it will save some of your main ram for emergencies in order to use for secure and kill the current uh kill the kernel through terminal commands and such or the applications, and instead of using A swap memory because it knows, or the system knows or apple, build it in a way where they understand that your ram is faster than your swap memory. So we would use the swap memory for the basic stuff that you are doing because it’s still fast enough.
Yet the ram that they built in into the m1 is more trustworthy for emergencies, so they would save two gigabyte or three gigabyte of that in order to use emergencies and they would kick in the swap memory in order to use four gigabytes or whatever. That might because, if you are open a browser, if you are opening final cut pro or whatever, that might be it’s okay, to use that to swap memory and continue your work, you will not you um notice, any difference, because we care about numbers, and we really Like huge numbers and such but the applications, they do not use more than 500 to 600 megabytes per second on the read and right side. Any program do not use more than that that’s. Why it’s saying get a normal ssd and then you’ll be good to go while plugging in and working off of that external ssd? For the most part, the majority of the people who are watching this video and the majority of people who are doing work? They do not need that extra speed that comes, but we like huge numbers and technology is all about numbers. So yeah i will get four gigabyte per second, yet you are only using like 700 megabytes. In your best case scenario, and mostly you are like 500 or 400 and that’s, why i say: get um get 16 gigabyte of ram because you might use a 12 and the extra 4 is for emergencies and the swap memory will kick in and you will be Good to go so the swap memory stuff is debunked it’s, not a huge issue, it’s, something that has been used since days gone off computers.
Now, if we talk about the cpu and the gpu, the performance is really good as well. So there is no issues on that and, and i didn’t have any issues, the only thing is, if you are working outside only work and only code and only edit, but do not render when you want to render you want to plug it into a power outlet, Then render so if you are going to starbucks, if you can, that would be good and i would just plug it into power and then work there. If you want into a library, then plug it into the power that’s to render stuff not to necessarily work. But if you are at home, it’s always connected to the power anyway, and mostly you have it set up just like the one that i have right here and you have multiple monitors that are connected to your device. And then, when you have the multiple monitors connected to your device, you can some play um. You know it’s connected to the power and you will be good to go and you are working with it with no issues and you will be good to go. Last point. Is heat when it comes to the heat? Does my machine overheat? No, it does not overheat, it gets warm to the touch sometimes, but it does not overheat and right now, while i am recording the camera is connected to my laptop and the microphone is connected to my laptop and everything is being recorded.
While i am using the laptop and even though the laptop is silent and there is no sound at all granted, there is no fan inside the machine, but the machine is doing this work and it’s, not a stopping it’s, not overheating, whatever. That might be usually um. What i recommend that people do if you know that you will be rendering a lot and doing a lot of hard. You know work and such and you want that peace of mind for 20 or 10 dollars, get a stand and that stand would have a fan under it, and this fan was simply cool up the chassis and when it cool up the chassis, your machine would stay Cold cold and when it doesn’t stay cold that’s mean it can even push the cpu harder, so your performance will simply be better at least that’s. The theory – i did not let’s say test that concretely 100 to know if there was a difference or not, but it give you that a presumption or that peace of mind that my machine is cool it’s, not being overheated and it’s, giving me a better performance. Even if it gives you a better performance does 10 really worth it, probably not yet for the peace of mind, i recommend getting that, and i have gotten one myself and sometimes when i am rendering and such or maybe working for a very long period. I would just turn it on, so you can definitely get that stand and your machine will stay cold and you will be good to go if that’s, something to worry about something you don’t have to do.
Does that mean my machine overheats? No, i did not have it did. My machine usually turns off when i am overworking that machine no and i had an instance where my machine shut down. While i was working and i was like – oh no, i actually hit the brake limit for my m1 laptop. I should make a video about it right now, then i started investigating and it turns out the piece of software that i was building or the piece of software that i was working with. It was actually causing a bug that was shut down the whole device, and that was on me not on the device itself. That was me doing something bad with my machine and picking my nose into where i am not supposed to when apple code is closed, because i try as much you know to get some information here and there and poke um my fingers into places that i should Not in that instance, it was my fault because still a lot of the software is not optimized for the m1, so it will definitely not work as it should and your machine with the froze or whatever that might be it’s not like the machine, it’s weak and It cannot handle that and it stopped because it overheated no. When i touched it, actually it was cold, but it was more of this piece of software of this piece of software that you made is not compatible with the m1 or the piece of software that you are working with, it’s, not compatible with that one that’s.
Why? Your machine is acting weird because, even through the rosetta translation phase, it’s not translating that as it should, and one main african example that we can always agree on is unreal engine. In the meantime, unreal engine is definitely not a playing um as a good kid when it comes to the m1 cpus but that’s, the general breakdown when it comes to the performance and the ram and the swap memory and the heat as well. Overall for the m1 machine it’s a great machine, i really enjoyed using it and from time to time i would tell the people who are close to me that hey, i really love my laptop and i really love what i am able to do with it, because It’S, a machine that is not building a wall between me and what i want to work, it’s actually staying out of the way and me just going into doing what i want to do. I would love to get 32 gigabytes of ram in the future if they ever release that on a 14 inch, macbook or whatever that might be, then that would be my new machine, but till then the m1 is my main machine and the m1 is my main Computer and i love it, i didn’t have any issues with it and it’s, really a very wonderfully packaged laptop. The only thing that i wish, just you know, couple more usbc’s or something just a couple more inputs.
I know we can get dongles in, but still having more inputs would be good that’s. The only thing i ask, thank you so much for subscribing. Thank you so much for liking the video and, if you stayed until this very moment, you’re one of the few that i would say what do i say to you, i don’t know anyhow. Gentlemen. Thank you so much for watching.