M1 Performance Review

Nguyen Minh
Graphisoft Moderator
Graphisoft Moderator
Dear All,

In November 2020, Apple has announced M1 – their first commercial ARM chip on Mac. This new chip can be found in the new Macbook Air, the Macbook Pro 13″, and the Mac Mini. Following our ARM Mac Support article, we conducted a series of tests with the chip. Please check out this Help Center article for our performance review and advices to the following matters:
  • General compatibility
  • CPU & GPU performance and comparison
  • Limitations and known issues
  • Purchase recommendation
If you have any further questions, feel free to ask!

Best regards,
Minh

Minh Nguyen
Technical Support Engineer
GRAPHISOFT

6 REPLIES 6

Thomas Holm
Booster
I don’t know if you’ve read Minh’s review https://helpcenter.graphisoft.com/knowledgebase/130695/
But I have.
In April I purchased a build-to-order 16” i9 MacBookPro with 64gigs of RAM and the best graphics card available. It cost me 5000 €.
Now I find that a small M1 MBP with only 8gigs, costing about ¼ of what I paid, equals or outperforms the Intel MacBookPro in almost every Archicad task he throws at it. And this is just in Rosetta translation!
I’ve got mixed feelings about this to say the least.
But I guess that’s the price of progress....
Thanks, Minh!
AC4.1-AC24SWE-25INT; OSX11.5; MP5,1+MBP16,1

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
Yeah, but the M1 has a maximum of 16 GBs of RAM (non-expandable). So you would probably not be able to do the things you are doing with your 64 GBs of RAM.
And when you run out of RAM, your whole system crawls to a halt, wasting lots of productivity. No wonder the M1 is currently built into only entry-level machines.
....................................................................................................
Laszlo Nagy, Lead Moderator, Community Admin
Get Archicad Tips at https://twitter.com/laszlonagy
AMD Ryzen 1700X CPU, 48 GB RAM, NVidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD
2x28" (2560x1440), WIN10 PRO ENG, AC20-AC25
Loving Archicad since 1995

DGSketcher
Virtuoso
I wouldn't be so quick to judge the Apple Silicon strategy in terms of memory, bear in mind the iPhone 12 can be ordered with 512GB capacity! I would imagine Apple are testing the waters, trying not to get their fingers burnt whilst having capacity for market expansion e.g. next years model M2 comes with 64Gb memory and starts to appeal to the commercial market, particularly with the anticipated speed improvements.
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

Thomas Holm
Booster
Of course Laszlo's caution is well-founded. I wouldn't risk a large project by relying on just an M1 Mac.
But now that performance issues using Rosetta translation of the x86 version of Archicad largely seem to be out of the way, my hope is that GS's and Minh's further testing of Archicad's compatibility with the M1 concentrates on finding the project size limits within the current systems (beside finding incompatibilities). This would be very valuable info for users when Apple starts delivering more advanced systems.

And, while i realise that would be Epic Game's responsibility, I would be very interested in any user's experience if somebody tried using Twinmotion with Archicad on the M1. The latest version 2020.2.2 has more or less stopped crashing on my i9 machine, which for me is very good news. But I haven't been able to find any test of T M on the M1.

(A side note to DGSketcher: the iPhone's 512 GB option is storage, not RAM/working memory)
AC4.1-AC24SWE-25INT; OSX11.5; MP5,1+MBP16,1

DGSketcher
Virtuoso
Thomas wrote:
(A site note to DGScetcher: the iPhone's 512 GB option is storage, not RAM/working memory)
I appreciate that Thomas, that's why I suggested the M2 may have 64Gb, maybe I am being optimistic and it only has 32Gb but either way I bet their 512Gb storage option is a bit quicker than plugging in an SSD storage drive. Time will tell, as will the GS testing on whether the M# series chips hack it for business. My money is on Apple giving the CPU / PC market a new target benchmark.
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
Here are some rumors about the roadmap for the "Pro Level" M chips

https://arstechnica.com/?p=1728122
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro 2.4 i9 32GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08

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