M1 Max MBP after 3 Months

I bought an M1 Max MBP (16”) which arrived in mid-November, so I’ve been using it about 3 months. I am writing this to anybody who does not have one but is considering getting one. I can recommend it without qualification.

It is the most wonderful machine I’ve ever owned. (And I say this coming from a 2015 15” MBP, the previous gold standard IMHO.) It’s fast, it’s quiet, the keyboard is the best I’ve ever typed on, the feeling of the lid when you close it is wonderfully solid, the whole laptop has a great feel when you hold it. The battery life is other level. I’ve gotten 13 hours out it on many days. I probably average a little over 11 when I’m plugged into my external monitor and am streaming media, have my brightness and sound all the way up, and have all my big apps open. That’s nuts. My iPad can’t even keep up with that. And it charges so fast, it’s hard to believe.

I’m not a blogger or a video editor or a photographer or an audio engineer. So, I have no idea how it stacks up on those jobs.

I know a “real” review has to list 25 things people dislike about the machine, but I have nothing to offer you. All I know is that I find more excuses to work just so I can use the darn thing.

If you are thinking about buying one and can justify the cost, I can’t imagine that you’d be disappointed.

Maybe others can share their experiences with the M1 Max or Pro, whether positive or less than stellar.

10 Likes

I agree completely. I have a 14” M1 Max Pro and love using it. And it is fast! For one of my international students who was ill with COVID, I recorded an online Zoom class session for a graduate course I teach. I then needed to render the video to upload to Dropbox to share the link to the video with this student. The rendering only took about 2-3 minutes for a two hour video. I then uploaded it to Dropbox. I don’t have a lot of experience rendering large video files but that seemed incredibly fast to me. Moreover, the MBP was on battery for the two hour Zoom session, for the rendering, and for the uploading to Dropbox (which took awhile from my home Wi-Fi) with the screen brightness set high. After all of that I had nearly 70% battery left.

6 Likes

I totally agree with you. I’m curious as to why you bought the Max and what you needed the power for. I am also not a video editor, photographer, or anything computationally intense, but I am an ex-smoker, and I told myself so could spend whatever I’d spend on cigarettes in a year on a new computer. So, Max + 64gb it was!

It really is a joy to use, and totally feel you on finding excuses to work more just to use the dang thing.

You know when you buy a new car, and after a few months it’s just… your car? All the excitement is gone? Yeah. Not with this bad boy. It still leaves me in awe often.

7 Likes

This has to be one of the most compelling and effective techniques for quitting smoking. I am on 7 cigarette packs per month!

5 Likes

Thank you @iPersuade for taking the time to share your reflection. I have a top config of a 2015 15 (or 16?) MBP and inching towards a M1 MBP Pro (rather than Max) to replace it. I too am in a situation where I’ve no heavy lifting or data crunching needs. An overall performance boost would be welcomed for all that I do do. I’ve a couple of questions for you:

What had you choose Max over Pro?
Did you opt for 32 or 64GB of RAM?

Cheers
Neil

I had a hard time deciding between the Pro and the Max. There were three factors for me. First, I felt strongly that I wanted the 64 GB of RAM. Second, I wanted a machine that would last me at least seven years. Third, I wanted a machine that would not just last seven years, but still be a competent tool to use even when aged. All the same, I wanted to make sure that I was going to use every bit of the machine and not just buy something so I could have the latest shiny object.

Initially, I was going to with 32 and go with the Pro. The price bumps for going with the Max and 64GB of RAM where both $400, a total of $800. That was not a trivial bump. But the cost over the life of the machine – assuming it lasts seven years – was low. The biggest deciding factor for me was RAM. Still, for my workload, I was worried I might be getting it too much. (When I bought my 2015, I felt the same way. Now seven years later, 16 GB of ram is not nearly enough for me.)

Since having the machine, I’ve found my RAM usage has tipped over 35 GB on multiple occasions, so I feel like I made the right decision. Even though I don’t have a photo/video workflow, I often have tons of big applications open simultaneously, and everything runs so very smoothly.

1 Like

I have the same machine, 64 RAM 16" Max with 4TB drive. I had exactly the same reasoning that you did. The only place we differ is our opinion of the machine we are replacing. My late 2015 fully loaded 15" MBP has been a bit of a disappointment. The keyboard was awful and the machine never felt as good as the 2012 it replaced.

My new machine is scary fast. I do render video on it a few times a month and I can’t believe how fast it is. It’s essentially an Mac Pro that is portable and has a built in 13 hour UPS. I probably could have gotten by with less machine, but when I consider that I make my living on this thing and I also expect to get 7 years out of it, the cost is about $750 per year. If the faster machine saves me a minute of billable time a day it more than pays for itself. It’s the 7th mac I’ve owned in 10 years, and it gives me more joy than any of the others.

2 Likes

This is the right way of thinking!

2 Likes