Apple M1 speed and RAM analysis

Here’s a great video showing the new machines in common usage (including compiling in Xcode). I know @Paul_Lefebvre was concerned about RAM on a recent Xojo Hangout so this might be of interest to you Paul.


I watched that video last night. Great to see how well the M1 uses RAM.


Is this the reason why ARM is fast, good memory management? Just curious.

I think it’s that and a combination of lots of other things I think they’re just very very good at integrating things onto one chip.


The primary speed benefit is two-fold: the M1 is a “system on a chip” so the CPU doesn’t have to go through the motherboard to get to RAM, IO, the GPU, etc. Secondly, the SSDs in these new Macs are very fast so when it does need to use virtual memory, it’s going to be a lot faster than previous machines.


I get that. But what happens if you want 64GB RAM? Don’t think they can put that on one die (not to speak of more cores that will come for sure).

Apple will probably split into two dies and put more RAM around it.

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I’m sure they have a plan. Perhaps it will be like the Amiga days where there were two types of RAM (fast and chip, IIRC). :grinning:

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Those were the days. I still have an Amiga4000/40 here. :slight_smile:


Has anyone tested xojo on the M1? I don’t want to give apple any money but if it speeds up play button to web app loaded time by 200%, i’d think about it.

Great days… I had Amiga 500 and GFA Basic.


A500 and Amos for me.


The general consensus is a faster clock speed (and higher TDP) to compensate for the memory being external to the CPU.

I would imagine if Apple is going to use SOC RAM and external RAM, they’d want to store it all externally and use the onboard RAM as a cache, so they can still keep the “performance” that on SOC RAM provides.

It may well be that they can get 32gb or 64gb on the chip anyway, it might just be that they are staging the releases.

I don’t see many gains in keeping ALL the memory on chip. That will increase the costs too much and lose modularity. I think they have 2 options:

  1. Lower cost. External memory beyond some address (like above 16GB) and software management.
  2. Higher cost. Add internal cache memory and parallel hardware cache management. External memory could be added beyond some address (like above 16GB). Once you access some non-cached external block of memory, the system tries to bring you that value ASAP while in background the hardware brings more data to the cache, and if you want more bytes around it, it’s already there, in the SOC. A 2GB cache should be enough for most cases. Memory could just go from 16GB to the terabytes expansion range with just one CPU design.

I just got a new mini running the M1 - will be posting. Its looking real good so far but I haven’t had time to test much yet

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In my now 3 decades of experience with Apple, the sooner you write the check, the sooner your machine is obsolete, and they have released a new, better computer :smiley:

Since the A4, Apple has release a new processor every year or so. I would not be surprised if by fall 2021, they had an even more impressive processor in their next machines.

That’s why in spite of the tingling sensation of the urge to buy, I will be waiting a tad more.


a tad more = 1 week? :slight_smile:

You could play the waiting game every year though, there’s always something better coming. These new M1 Macs are, for sure, the low-end machines. Can you imagine the kinds of Macs they’ll be able to build when they actually try? :slight_smile: It’s also likely that the 13" MBP becomes a 14" next year. Having said that, the performance and battery increases appear to be so good right now that it’s hard to resist, and I’ve a 16GB M1 MBP coming. (My order always takes weeks as I order a US keyboard with the UK plug.)

The other thing to consider is that Apple’s resale value is very high. I tend to sell my Macs on while they are “young” and upgrade every year or two.