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New M1 Pro and M1 Max Apple Silicon

nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member Posts: 130 PRO
New Apple chips and MacBook Pros were released yesterday. I know a lot of OnShape users use Macs. I bought the lowest spec of the 14” Max configuration. I’m super excited. (25 year fanboy, and stock holder).

 Copy/paste specs:
14-inch MacBook Pro - Silver
With the following configuration:
Apple M1 Max with 10-core CPU, 24-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine
32GB unified memory
1TB SSD storage

I’ve been running OS on an M1 Air and M1 Mini (both lowest spec of 8GB Ram /256 GB SSD for the past year and have been super happy. About the only time I’ve had the system slow down is if I’ve had many desktop spaces open, and 5 or 6 simultaneous OS sessions with big assemblies. It’s never slowed me down I’d just close some browsers to get memory back.

I’m looking forward to see if anything will slow down this new machine. It should be delivered in about 2 weeks. I’ll report back how I like it. 


  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,414 PRO
    I'll have to go back to best buy and try them out again. I know I tried all the floor models of M1 previously and they all suffered severely from graphical performance when manipulating even small or medium models.

    Has their 3D performance improved?

    Here is one of my test models I open when testing Onshape on a computer:
    Guitar | Guitar (onshape.com)

    It should get close to 60fps (hit ctrl+D  cmd+D to bring up the statistics)
    This model was only getting about 15fps on the other M1 macs i've tried

    The gif was recorded at 65fps but still doesn't do the smoothness justice that I'm used to seeing.

     I'd also like to see the system check and how that compares

  • nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member Posts: 130 PRO
    I’ll test with that model and report back. I have 4 systems I use. 2 PC’s with good GPU’s and 2 M1 Apple systems. 
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,414 PRO
    Cool thanks, I'm almost due for a new PC soon, I'd like to have a Mac, but I've never been able to justify it due to it costing so much more and giving so much less. I've had high hopes for M1
  • S1monS1mon Member Posts: 348 PRO
    @john_mcclary Did you test on the M1 with Safari or Chrome or Firefox? As much as I like to use Safari for everything on the Mac, I've been running Onshape in Chrome on my 2015 MacBook Pro because Onshape in Safari was not performing well enough. 

  • wayne_sauderwayne_sauder Member Posts: 189 PRO
    What does a system check show on your machine? 
  • S1monS1mon Member Posts: 348 PRO
    @wayne_sauder You can see my 2015 MBP stats under Safari and Chrome in this thread: https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/16751/mac-performance-issues-especially-with-a-4k-monitor#latest

    I ordered a new MacBook Pro with M1 Max yesterday. We'll see how it fairs. I'm assuming it will pretty much blow everything I've used up til now out of the water, but we'll see...
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,414 PRO
    edited October 2021
    Most likely I was using just safari because I was testing on a best buy floor model.

    If there was chrome or firefox installed I would have defiantly went to those first.

    Good to know Safari itself may have been the bottleneck
  • nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member Posts: 130 PRO
    I use safari for everything except my dayjob work snd onshape. I use Firefox for those, to keep pers and business separate. Also Firefox bookmarks carry over between Mac and PC. That said the only onshape issue I ran into when using safari a year ago was the cross section would not display properly. It was a bug, idk if it’s fixed now. 
  • nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member Posts: 130 PRO
    edited November 2021
    Here is my testing. I'll fill in the TBD's as I get to those systems.

    Update 2: Max arrived and tested. Definitely the fastest of the bunch.

    I tested a few more systems I have. On Mac, Safari showed approximately the same frame rate as Firefox when pressing Control D. However, it was a lie. The frames were stuttering horribly on Safari. It felt like 2-3 FPS. On Firefox, it was extremely fluid. It felt as good as the Homebuild Desktop PC with the AMD Rx5700 XT GPU. This was repeatable across two different Macs. One being an old Intel system, and one the new M1 system from 2020.

    Original post:
    I have had the M1 Air/Mini do better than my Dell laptop with Quadro GPU on an assy drawing where I accidentally turned on hidden lines. It had a bunch of PCB's in it. It got stuck, couldn't do anything, even turn off hidden lines. Then I went to the M1 machine, opened the same drawing, and it was responsive enough to turn off hidden lines.

    The desktop PC I had built to run Creo. Then I switched to OS, so I rarely turn it on anymore.

  • PeteYodisPeteYodis Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 444
    edited October 2021
    A Quadro P1000 is not a great comparison (2017 era).  Newer nVidia GTX 30X0 series will beat the pants off of it, even most of the 20X0 and 10X0 series will as well.  Careful not to compare apples and oranges.  Certainly not easy when you are comparing across platforms.  In general Onshape does not need Quadro cards whatsoever and yes we know many of you have them because you have rigs that were built for installed CAD.  But bang for buck, we really shine better on cards like the GTX series.   Of course we want all platforms/OS's/hardware configurations to run as well on us as they can.  And we are certainly excited to see how the new M1X chips do.  More competition is usually always better for the end users.  
  • brian_bradybrian_brady Member, Developers Posts: 498 EDU
    @PeteYodis what is more important for performance, a higher triangles per second or lines per second? On my M1 MacBook Pro I get 834+ million triangles/s but only about 185 million lines/s when using Safari. On Chrome (actually Brave) the triangles/s is 200 million lower, but lines/s is just barely lower than Safari. On my work Intel i9 MacBook Pro the triangles/s is considerably lower with either browser with triable/s higher on Safari and Chrome but lines/s higher on Chrome than Safari.
  • tim_hess427tim_hess427 Member Posts: 627 PRO
    Just to piggy-back on that question and hopefully dive a little deeper - what does "triangles" and "lines" refer to, more specifically? 

    Is one related to reading lines of memory and the other relating to how quickly the data is converted to triangles and rendered? 

  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,414 PRO
    edited October 2021
    In computer graphics faces are created by using triangles only.

    here you can see how triangles create faces, the more you have the smoother it looks until the point it looks round

    In cad we also have lines, which is basically the wireframe of the parts
    here the faces are hidden so only the lines are shown

    this is also why fasteners are so expensive to add into a model, and why round parts look jagged sometimes. (tessellation)
    any cylinder or round face needs to be split into many triangles.

    Here you can see a washer, with some jagged edges, and in red I outlined where 6 of the triangles are
    Now imagine how many triangles are on that smooth bolt cylinder..

    Eventually all these triangles need to be displayed, so your graphics card is capable drawing so many to the screen every second.
    The faster your card, and the more memory, the better.
  • nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member Posts: 130 PRO
    My post above with the excel screenshot is updated with new data. Summary: Safari is WAY worse than Firefox. Don't use it for OS if you have a Mac.
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,661 PRO
    edited October 2021

    I like my old M1. Here's my old M1 specs:

    When you get your new M1 max, please post your new numbers.

    I'll be keeping my old M1 air as the new 14" is 6mm bigger and 3.5lbs. I wish they'd bring the 12" back. 

    Anyone buy a pixel 6? How's it stacking up against the intel world? Hopefully google will release a screaming chromebook.

    I did buy a M1 tablet and tried to use it. 2 hours later I returned it. iOS is not ready for prime time, at least for me.

  • wayne_sauderwayne_sauder Member Posts: 189 PRO
      I saw you posted the system test results in another thread, but I was wondering if you had an opportunity to do any other test? 
    Also wondering what your impressions of the machine are. (Yes I did search and saw a lot of peoples first impressions and all the test bench runs) would love to hear from a follow onshaper, is it worth the price it commands? 
  • eggsbennyeggsbenny Member Posts: 2 PRO
    Hey Y'all

    I just got the stock mid level 16" MBP (Apple M1 Pro with 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine 16GB unified memory) and figured I'd share some stats. Overall I'm super impressed with it, especially for the 'mid lvel

    Guitar Model
    Absolutely thrashing and spinning it on my 27inch monitor I could get the FPS to drop to 35, but most of the time it stayed around 45- 50 FPS, and the computer fans did not kick on. It's nice not having a jet engine in the background or worry about burning your desk/lap when working.

    Here's the performance check. 

  • S1monS1mon Member Posts: 348 PRO
    Is this in Safari or Chrome, or ???
  • david_salyerdavid_salyer Member Posts: 2 ✭✭
    M1 Pro 14" w/ non-binned CPU, 16 GB, 1 TB SSD





  • S1monS1mon Member Posts: 348 PRO
    Do we know if the "measured triangles per second" is meaningful above 800 million? It seems like we see a lot of stats from various hardware/browser pairs which are all around these numbers. There's also the plus after the million. 

    I've done enough testing on my current machine (2015 MacBook Pro) to see that repeating the tests a bunch of times yields some variation (no surprise, since it's going to depend on all the other system processes and to some degree on some network latency in initiating the test). I'm guessing that the differences shown between browsers here are essentially noise.

    I'd love to have a more accurate way to measure performance.
  • PeteYodisPeteYodis Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 444
    edited October 2021
    @S1mon Our test does not scale aggressively enough yet on the workload side to differentiate how much better certain cards are above the "plus" threshold.  The plus lets you know the card is doing better than the number indicates.  This has an effect of making cards appear to be equal, when in fact they really are not.  So right now, it's more of a test to know that your card is generally good enough  - and that is certainly something valid as a test result as well.

    For example, the current nVidia GTX 3090 card is an absolute monster but appears similar to many other cards on our tests  - when it fact it is probably several times more powerful.  We do have an improvement to more aggressively scale the workload based on the card being tested, so that results would appear much higher than say 800+.
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor, User Group Leader Posts: 2,106 PRO
    Here are some figures from the 14" M1 Max

    I am hoping the 600m + gives me plenty of speed in drawings. 

    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,661 PRO

    Do you like your new mac?

  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor, User Group Leader Posts: 2,106 PRO
    edited November 2021
    billy2 said:

    Do you like your new mac?

    It's ok. It does not feel much different to my old one in Onshape but only had it for a day. I am thinking maybe I should have saved my money and got the pro instead of the max. 
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • NathanMcCNathanMcC Member Posts: 19 PRO
    One thing I noticed between my wifes Intel macbook pro and the new macbook pro m1 pro was the how silent the computer was when processing the cad models. my wifes laptop would warm up quite a bit and the fans going full belt. my M1 pro, the fans have not kicked in once, no lag other than what is expected from the browser.
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,661 PRO
    edited November 2021
    @brucebartlett give it time.

    When I got my M1, a year ago, homebrew didn't run. There's been so many advancements in MAC code to take advantage of this new RISC architecture, every day something new is released. You know about rosetta right? I force loaded it, not waiting till it was needed. I have had no issues running anything except homebrew which has been released and no longer a problem.

    This CPU is revolutionizing everything. Wait and your M1 max will become more relevant.

    One of the things I was working on at my last job was feedback for automation. Currently cognex & keyence dominate the visual sensor interpolation market and both laugh at their deep learning capabilities, which is sad. What we were looking at was tapping into Google's AI libraries and saying goodbye to cognex & keyence sensors. I have a mac mini and was using it as a system controller. Automation is all about sensing and with the newer mini macs you could host 10 cameras and run the images through it's neural net giving you amazing real time feedback. Have you ever run something 10,000 times and then something, boom, happens? These events are going to get easier to handle in the future.

    Make sure you're running Google's M1 chrome version, don't run chrome through rosetta and keep it updated.

    The most impressive thing about the M1 is battery life. I stopped watching TV and stream movies at night on my laptop. I've never used more than 50% of my battery watching movies all night long. Who needs a 60" TV?

    I was reading an article the US government selecting a new IT provider after Microsoft leaked everyone's info with their uncaught exchange backdoor issue. Google's pushing their AI library as the reason for choosing them as an IT provider. What computer on this planet can run neural nets better than anybody?, M1. If the world is going AI, then we'll be needing a CPU that can handle it.

    I read an article about google's new risc chip, found in the pixel 6, developed using AI but they said it's GPU is a standard chip that's not integrated. It wasn't that impressive for gaming or, more importantly, CAD. I was hoping google's risc chip was more advanced and they would put it in chromebooks. I think their new chip would be better than an intel chip, but it could be better if they integrated the GPU like the M1.

    There's articles out there that say M1 will cook & eat nvidea and ATI for lunch.

    No one cares about CAD and we're the step child to the gaming world. They'll be improvements to our world like real time texture mapping and ray-tracing so when we design a brick wall, it'll look like a brick wall. I can't believe we're still stuck with 256 colors. I think the multi-thread aspects of CAD belong on a server and amazon will have to build a server bank of M1's before we'll see any improvement to OS. As far as your browser instance and running multi-cores, do we really need to solve 10 sketches simultaneously? I don't know how the M1 max will help a client based CAD computer.

    Anyway, I think you just bought of piece of the future. I think it's a great investment.

  • nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member Posts: 130 PRO
    My M1 Max 24 core GPU arrived 2 days ago and I got around to testing it. Its definitely the fasted of the bunch. It got 70-80 frames per second on the guitar spin test. Opening my largest mechanical assemblies with a bunch of imported pcba's visible was smooth.

    The wind-up is I think I might return this new 14" M1 Max. Its a slight bit bigger and heavier than my M1 Air that I absolutely love as an everyday carry around computer. At my dayjob, I use the Dell laptop for CAD. I don't want to use my personal $3000 machine at the office all the time. It would be perfect for that, but not with my money, and I know the boss won't go for it. At home, I use the M1 Mini, hooked up to a big display for CAD. I was intending to replace my M1 Air with the 14" M1 Max MacBook Pro for everyday use. But truth be told, I need the extra power either on my Dell work laptop, or my M1 Mini at home, not on a carry around laptop. So I'm thinking to return this new machine, and when they put the M1Max in a Mini to get that.

    I will say though for anyone considering a Mac for Onshape for professional use, these new chips are great. For hobby use, the M1 Air/Mini regular version with 8GB ram is more than enough. I've been using that for professional use the past year, and only once in a while do I reach a performance limit caused by the computer.

  • wayne_sauderwayne_sauder Member Posts: 189 PRO
     I am quite happy with my new MacBook. 
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