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Hi all,

I feel that people don’t recognize quality any-more, they associate it with price. This is what leads to people buying and recommending these trash ear-buds which is way overpriced for what they are and advertised by every other Youtuber. (the brand starting with “ray” and finishing with “con”)

This is why I’m asking you crustaceans, you’re the only ones I can trust. (This is why I love this community :) )

I’m not a MacOS nor Apple-hardware person. I’ve never used any. But my partner does, and I think it’s perfect for her. (I lock her account down, and make sure everything is installed through brew/cask, like I do on my daily driver with dnf)

But I’ve heard from Apple lovers that the quality went down. 5 years ago, I was recommended by someone which judgement I trust “just buy a Macbook Air, it’s the last one still made in aluminium, and not overheating.” (The macbook pro had heating problems at that time)

But what was true 5 years ago may not hold anymore. What’s the current state of affairs in the Apple world? Crustaceans, what would you recommend?

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      Well, they brought MagSafe back, and the M1 chips are almost unbelievably good, so current state = good. The worst thing I can say is most all their screens are 60 Hz.

      I would recommend the cheapest M2 laptop they offer, and maybe some SD cards (some folks think the storage is small).

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        I think all of the M1/M2 macbooks have ProMotion (120hz) displays

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          The 14” and 16” M1 MacBook Pros have ProMotion displays. The 13” M2 MacBook Pro and the M1/M2 MacBook Air do not.

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          My M1 macbook pro does not have promotion. it’s 60hz, non HDR. still a very good panel though.

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        Totally agreed on everything but the “cheapest” if only because the SSDs were changed from 2 separate chips down to 1 which makes read and write performance noticeably slower.

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        If you go with SD cards be sure to check the speeds as well, since there are still very slow SD cards being sold.

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      I have a Macbook Pro M1 at work, and it is an amazing machine: silent, light and incredibly powerful. I have a quite decent personal windows machine that I got during the dark ages of the macbooks that feels like a turtle next to it. The next personal machine I am buying once my windows machine passes away is going to be whatever is the latest Mx in the market.

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        +1. If you need a bit of computing power, go for a MacBook Pro. The M1 in there has more cores and thus more power than e.g., the MacBook Air with M2. I’m doing fresh builds of Firefox in less than 10 minutes on an MBP. Compared to 3 minutes on a maxed-out Ryzen Threadripper or over 60 on a thinkpad x390.

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        I also have an M1 MBP at work. It’s great and, yes, almost always silent. But I’d hardly call it light—that’s probably its biggest downside in my book.

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      14” M1 MBP is the best you can get currently. M1 MacBook Air is great too (still unbelievably fast despite no cooling).

      M2 isn’t that much better, but is more expensive. M2 isn’t available yet in faster versions and multiple displays support. The 13” M2 MBP is an old hardware stuffed with a non-pro CPU. Very weird. This model shouldn’t exist.

      Everything Intel-based from Apple pales in comparison. Even if someone else maybe could have made an x86 laptop comparable to M1, Apple clearly never could.

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        Confirming do-not-touch anything Intel based from Apple anymore. Not only is it end of the line in terms of people paying attention to them (there already are arm-only apps), the last MBP releases (not sure about air) have weird thermal issues. While I don’t have the M yet, I’m waiting for the large M2 MBP release - also believe current small MBP is overpriced and a weird old/new mix and M1 would be just fine for “normal use”.

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        14” M1 MBP is the best you can get currently. M1 MacBook Air is great too (still unbelievably fast despite no cooling).

        I own an M1 Air for personal use and an M1 MacBook Pro for my daily work and would always chose the Air over the MBP. For me the Air is just the better laptop, it’s almost as fast as the MBP (never noticed a difference) and comes without the annoying touchbar.

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          You’re confusing the 13” with the 14”. The 14” is absolutely fantastic, no TouchBar, HDMI, SD card, MagSafe, 120 Hz screen, etc.

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            Plus can be bought with more than 16GB (M1) or 24GB RAM (M2). The 14”/16” also have more performance and GPU cores than the vanilla M1/M2. Absolutely fabulous machines.

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            Yes, I did confuse those models. Apple should assign those MacBook models some unique ID to make them easily distinguishable 😅

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      I have a maxed-out M1 Macbook Pro 16”, it’s the best laptop I’ve ever had by far, the 2015 15” MBP being the runner up (which is still being used by my younger sister currently, she loves it). It’s solid, battery is great, physical fn keys are back, compiles my C++ project 3x faster than my 2020 MBP did, and without getting scorching hot like the old one. Only downgrade was that it’s heavier and thicker than the previous gen, but it’s absolutely worth it. I’m sad this is only a work machine and I’ll eventually have to give it back. I’ll definitely get my own MBP when I do though.

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      Before I got my hands on a ~$3,500 late 2021 M1 16” MBP for work, I was ready to return to a non-Apple Intel laptop for my next workhorse device after years of disliking but enduring the 15” MBPs I got 2016-2020. I liked my 2010 and 2014 MBP 15” devices used for work a lot, though, and had 13” MBP or 13” MBA 2009-2021.

      If I had $3,500 and no need for a Windows/Linux machine with an AMD 5950X, I’d buy a high-end 16” MBP in a second without hesitation. For about $2,000, I built a PC gaming/dev rig that way outclasses any Mac right now, and got a Chromebook to use for mobility. If I ever find myself needing mobile power again, I’ll reach for the Apple Silicon Macs. This machine I’m using for work is ridiculously awesome.

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      I just picked up a (nearly) maxed out M2 MacBook Air. Rust absolutely flies on this thing. I don’t need a ton of IO, or sustained performance, so I opted for the cheaper and lighter model.

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        Completely agree! The only thing I didn’t max out on mine was storage (512 is enough for my uses) and the laptop has been amazing! My first Apple laptop in a very long time. Although the extra performance of the Pro laptops was tempting, I really love how thin and light the M2 air is. Haven’t noticed any issues without a fan yet!

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          I upgraded to 1TB because I also do photography. 512GB is definitely enough for the vast majority of dev work

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      For someone who’s a developer, or other use case (data science, multimedia editing, etc.) which will want the extra computing power, I’d say wait until they refresh the larger Macbook Pro laptops with the M2 chips. Most people are expecting that around the same time as the announcement of this year’s iPhone, which probably will be September/October.

      That’s my current plan, for example: I’m on an old MBP that’s showing its age, and I’m only waiting until they’ve released the M2 across the whole lineup (right now only the smallest one has it) before buying a replacement.

      For anyone else, the recently-refreshed Macbook Air is likely the best choice.

      If you want more details on specs, comparisons, and expected product refresh timelines, there are sites like macrumors that aggregate all this stuff into recommendations and buying guides, and might be useful additions to your research.

      The main complaint people had 5-ish years ago was the keyboards, which were completely overhauled and now are fine, and the Touch Bar, which is vanishing from the entire laptop line as they get refreshed.

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        As a developer I find the M1 in my 13” MBP to be more than sufficient. Therefore if they need a new laptop now I’d be more than happy to recommend any of the current systems. There’s no need to wait in my opinion.

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          I think a lot depends on the planned upgrade cycle. I tend to stick with laptops for a while, and so I usually buy the top-spec configuration or close to it in order to maximize the useful life. I probably wouldn’t even be looking into this right now if not for the fact that my current MBP is from the bad keyboard generation and really starting to show it (it’s effectively only usable with an external keyboard at this point).

          So the fact that a refresh of the top-end MBPs is likely to happen in the next couple months is a big factor for me, because it gains a year of cycle time to buy right after the refresh rather than right before.

          Also, the 13” MBPs already got the M2 chips recently; it’s the 14” and 16” models that are due for refresh soon.

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            I agree, I want a long upgrade cycle. These chips aren’t bad and I would expect an M1 Pro would last me many years, let alone an M1 Max.

            If you can wait and want to, go for it. I don’t personally think it’s necessary to wait for the future upgrade cycle.

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      There’s very little to distinguish the machines from a quality perspective any longer; I’d just buy my budget and be happy.

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      I just had this discussion at work today. Almost all of my coworkers with a M1 with only 8GB of RAM are feeling the pressures of “too little” memory. All of the coworkers with 16GB+ of RAM are extremely happy. I have heard less good things about the Air simply because of the lack of a fan. Given a choice between an Air and a 13 Macbook Pro, you should choose the one with the fan. You could even get a refurb directly from Apple and save a couple of hundred dollars.

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      I have an M1 air because I hate the touchbar, but I think those are gone now on pros. To be perfectly frank, any of them since they fixed the keyboard issues are going to be great in terms of build quality. It really comes down to what you want to spend.

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        You just convinced me to get an air as next device.

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      I use my MBA M1 just for fun (as in not in any professional capacity) and it’s a great machine, even in the simplest of configurations (8GB RAM & 256 GB storage). I find MacOS to be nice but would prefer Linux, but given the fast chipset, great screen and OK keyboard & great trackpad the only thing I miss is magsafe.

      Stapelberg wrote a piece on the MBA M1 as well.

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        MBA M2 adds magsafe back in, and with 24GB of ram, this thing is pretty glorious[1].

        [1]: I locally use productivity apps, browers, vscode, etc, etc… but most of my longer builds and test runs occur on a larger linux server reached over ssh.

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      I’ve been using a 14” M1 Pro and I love it.

      I can’t stand modern macOS but until Asahi becomes ready enough (proper power management, adjustable display brightness, GPU support) I’m stuck with it and I’m making it work: it’s okay for my use-cases.

      Screen is great, keyboard is good, but the thing that made me fall in love with it was raw power and battery life: getting 8-9hrs while doing software development and having the usual 3-4 Electron messaging apps open, along with a browser in the background is a game changer for a mobile-first user.

      If you can overcome the no-upgrade, no-repair life of the MacBook then you’ll be fine.

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      The latest M1/M2 Apple laptops have fixed all the horrible mistakes of the late-gen Intel Apple laptops. Butterfly keyboard: gone! Magsafe power connector: back!

      Plus you get fantastic performance & if you don’t need to run the thing at 100% CPU for hours at a time you can have that performance in a passively cooled, no fans shell.

      If you’re doing memory intensive work, then get a 16Gb version.

      Also, Linux support is powering along & looks like it will be fully supported on these laptops in the near future.

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        If you’re doing memory intensive work, then get a 16Gb version.

        With the M2 you can also get 24 GB. If you are using Docker or VMs a lot, I’d recommend at least getting 24GB RAM. Preferably 32GB RAM, but then you are are looking at a 14” or 16” Pro.

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      If you don’t want to plonk down full price for the latest machine, the best value for money today is to buy a used 2015 MacBook Pro off of somewhere like macofoalltrades.com. That isn’t going to have the performance of a recent M1 or M2, but it is a solid build with a decent keyboard and good trackpad and recent enough where it should have updates for a while to come.

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        I can’t stand the keyboards on those machines. I still have a late 2013 15” MBP. The M1 versions are the first ones that seem a lot better, some of the newer Intel ones are a bit faster (a lot faster if you care about GPU performance, but I don’t really). We recently bought one for my partner because they’re absolutely dirt cheap now, and a quad-core Haswell CPU with 16 GiB of RAM is ample for a lot of things.

        Unfortunately, these are no longer supported with the latest macOS (which doesn’t stop Apple sending notifications telling me to upgrade) and so will stop getting security updates soon. I’ll probably get a newer Arm MBP at some point before that happens and install something else on the old one.

        I’m honestly amazed at how well this machine has stood up. It’s now 9 years old and is still getting daily use. I hope the new ones age this well!

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          You’re thinking of the 2016-era machines. The 2013 MBP and the 2015 MBP have the same keyboard, which is the design that precedes the 2016–2019-era keyboardtastrophe.

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            Huh, I thought the 2015 had the stupid touchbar thing instead of an escape key, but it looks as if that didn’t come in until 2016. The 2015 and 2014 ones were a small incremental speed increase over 2013. I think 2016 was around the time I started thinking ‘I’ve had this machine a while, I wonder if I should upgrade’ and was very disappointed by the newer models (significantly worse keyboard, marginally better CPU, same RAM limit).

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          The 2015 is the last one before they switched the keyboards. That’s why I recommend it: longest period of support ahead of it and newest hardware, but still really solidly built with a good keyboard.

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      The MBA M2 is developing a reputation for running hot. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2022/07/the-new-macbook-air-runs-so-hot-that-it-affects-performance-it-isnt-the-first-time/

      My MBP M2 seems to work great and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the M1 machines.

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        To be clear, the thermal throttling folks have found shows up when you out it under sustained “pro”-type workloads, and even then it’s faster than the M1 and has phenomenal battery life. Unless you’re simultaneously taxing all the CPU and GPU cores simultaneously for sustained periods in your daily usage, you’re unlikely to ever even hit those.

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          Can confirm. Have a M2 Air and have not had any issues with Rust development

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          Yep. My current PC laptop (Asus Zephyrus G14) doesn’t just run hot when it starts using the GPU. It crashes with a hard reboot. I’ll take throttling over that every single time.

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        Shrug. The MacBook Air M1 also runs hot and starts throttling. I had a MacBook Air M1 for a while (now Pro 14”) and could get the CPU to heat up to 95 degrees and start dropping from 3.2GHz to 2.3 GHz very quickly (e.g. by building PyTorch).

        But it doesn’t matter. The machine is still perfectly fast even when it throttles. The MacBook Air trades-off a bit of sustained performance for being ultra-thin and fanless. Unless you are doing long builds, you won’t notice, because it won’t throttle with short computation bursts (e.g. your language server doing its work). If you prefer sustained performance, get a Pro 13” or even better, a Pro 14” or 16”. Those models take the other side of the trade-off - they much thicker and are actively cooled, but throttle (less) with sustained workloads.

        The whole M2 throttling saga is just clickbait of a Youtube’er and some news sites. Where were they when the M1 came out?

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      Pretty damn good. I have a 10 year old Intel MBP that was probably the most reliable computer I’ve ever had. I only just replaced it last winter with an M1 Max in the hopes that, by splurging on specs now, I’ll have something that will last me another 10 years or more. No issues so far. [Knocks on wood.]

      Although the M2 is out now, I don’t regret having been an early adopter of Apple Silicon. It’s silent and cool to the touch. .NET projects at my work work compile faster on my M1 Max than my colleagues running Windows. The irony is painful because the .NET developer experience on Macs has never been great and, although significantly improved in recent years, is still far from having feature parity.

      I have occasionally encountered dependency issues in software development when an arm64 binary isn’t available. In node projects, particularly ones that are only compatible with v12 or earlier, some dependencies don’t have a binary available, so npm falls back to compiling the dependency from source, which isn’t so bad because the CPU is so quick. In .NET projects, it’s a little trickier as one has to chose between running the framework natively in arm64 and replacing dependencies that don’t support arm64 or running the x64 version in Rosetta emulation mode, which recently stopped working with OmniSharp. I don’t expect many people will have exactly the same issues I did, but some might experience variations on the same theme. Usually, though, you just end up using an x64 binary, in which case Rosetta emulation works invisibly if marginally slower. The trend in native arm64 support crossed the threshold from fringe expectation to mainstream long ago.

      As far as hardware goes, it suits my needs just fine. I welcomed the return of MagSafe. I was only slightly annoyed by but quickly got over having to replace my collection of cables with pretty much all USB-C, including a dongle for ethernet. My MBP did bring back the HDMI port, which I understand was missing in the intervening years, but I haven’t needed it. I lucked out and bought my MBP when Apple was taking a break from the Touch Bar, which they’ve since brought back. I prefer physical function keys. I was worried that Touch ID on a MacBook was going to be a gimmick, but it actually works great. Apparently, fingerprinting has come a long way since the ThinkPad T61.

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      Depends on what you want - performance, go for a 16” M1 MacBook Pro. Anything else, go for an M2 MacBook Air.

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        IMO, it is a bit more clouded than that. I love the Air for its low weight. But the 14/16” Pros have other nice benefits over the Air. You absolutely need the Pro if you need (besides more performance):

        • Hook up more than one external screen.
        • Need more than 24GB RAM.

        Besides that the Pro 14”/16” have other benefits:

        • 3 Thunderbolt ports, including one on the right-hand side, which can be handy when docking the MacBook besides a display.
        • Much better display.
        • HDMI/SD card slot.

        Also, the price difference between the 8 CPU core/10 GPU core Air M2 and the baseline MacBook Pro 14” is very small (especially because many stores have discounts on the 14” now).

        I’d get the Air if you prefer the lower weight and passive cooling over anything else.

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      I lock her account down, and make sure everything is installed through brew/cask, like I do on my daily driver with dnf

      Just keep in mind that you will have to manually install all updates. brew/cask don’t auto-update anything.

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        I certainly hope that the author’s original post is poorly phrased, because it sounds like a fucked up thing to do. And also an unnecessary layer of complexity and maintenance that force them “to lock their partner’s account down”

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          Agreed. That’s what caught my eye and which is why I mentioned one of the drawbacks

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        I think there are some missing context, judging from all the answers I got which were all really helpful, people assume my partner was a programmer. But for clarification, my partner is not very technology literate. She used to install random .dmgs from the internet. I mostly use cask to install stuff which is not in the App Store. It’s mostly Firefox, Skype and others. Firefox takes care of its own update, and I couldn’t find a way to install it from the App Store. (But I’m not a Mac person)

        Her account is not fully locked down, she has the admin password. And I also set up and taught her some basic security hygiene. (= I bought her a security key, and told her to only use bitwarden generated passwords and store everything in bitwarden)

        But I’m always open to any suggestion to do things better. What am I doing wrong here?

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          I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong (besides the ambiguous phrasing) - to me it sounded just like the thing one does to non-technical family members’ machines if they agree and you’re available to be pestered.