MacBook Air M1 vs M2 and Ram Selection

Does anyone have any experience comparing Xojo with an M1 vs a newer M2 MacBook Air?
Do you find much difference between 16 and 24gb ram?

I had an Intel macbook pro with 32Gigs of Ram and upgraded to M1 mac Mini with 16gigs. That was a huge upgrade. Massive speed improvements, and the memory management was noticeably better. Once Xojo started compressing memory on Intel machine you had to restart Xojo. I then upgraded to M2 MacBook air with 24 gigs and did not “notice” a huge performance change. Maybe 5 or 10% improvements but nothing like the 50 to 100% improvements over intel. I still have the M1 machine if you want me to run a speed test on something I can get free access to. I don’t do anything other than Xojo development on this machine so my benchmarks are very limited.

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I have the M1 Mini with 16GB and it works like a charm!
No complains so far using Xojo for iOS and Android

I went from a M1 mini with 16GB of RAM to a MBP M2 Max with 32GB of RAM. There’s a noticeable difference almost all the time, but especially when I’ve had the IDE open for a few days and am running a VM or two and that’s largely due to memory.

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My biggest issues have been:

13” is too small for GUI design.
16gb ram seems fine until I’m running PhotoShop and Parallels as well.

I may also look for a 2nd display, but I work remote a lot and can’t carry too much gear around.

I run my MBP closed with dual 28” 4K Samsung displays the vast majority of the time. No way I could work for any extended period on that tiny display.

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That sounds like a great setup.

M2 gives you something like maybe a 10% performance boost, but be warned if you buy the base model M2 Air, you get the gimped SSD which is half the speed of the M1 Air. This affects a LOT of things.

I would recommend getting 24GB of RAM, but once you factor in RAM upgrade and SSD upgrade, you’re in MacBook Pro territory (clever arn’t they).

As for core count, don’t worry about it. Xojo doesn’t effectively (or even efficiently) support concurrency, so your apps can’t really benefit.

Typically I would recommend getting a refurb, I bought a 16" MacBook Pro M2 Pro for ~ $USD 1,000 off. It still has the one year warranty. However, the refurb 16" MBP I bought in 2020, is already dead. So I’m not 100% confident in refurbs being as reliable, or Apple laptops in general. Gone are the days when a MacBook would last 10 or more years. The MacBook I bought in 2015 died in 7 years.

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I have been on the hunt for a refurb M2 Mac Studio for weeks and they just don’t exist yet. Sad panda.

One thing to look out for with refurbs these days is that the flash cells in the SSD will eventually wear out and can’t be replaced. Not only do you not know how many disk writes a refurb has on it until you receive it, but early M1 also had some issues with accelerated degradation, so it’s just something to keep in mind. If you buy from the Apple refurbished store, I’d trust them to do a thorough examination of the hardware before selling it to you. Third parties you’ll need to use your best judgement.

I’m going to put my 2 cents in here. Last fall, I upgraded from a 2019 i9 MacBook Pro with 32 GB to an M1 with 32GB . the one regret I have for this machine is that I did not get more RAM. 32 sounds like a lot, and it is for Xojo development, but if you’re doing (or planning to do) any other memory intensive things, spend the extra bucks. If you’re doing anything CPU intensive, get more cores. You can always add an external USB3 SSD if you need more storage or add an external monitor if you need a larger screen, but you can’t add more RAM or CPU without a full machine upgrade.

FWIW, Xojo does use multiple cores when linking and if your project is large and/or you are compiling in Aggressive mode, having more cores is not a bad thing.

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The graphics card does not have dedicated memory, that’s what Apple calls unified memory. The more memory you have, the better it is. Go for more memory instead of a faster chip.

My iMac from 2018 has 32 GB and it’s plenty. The only time the computer gives me problems is when I don’t restart Xojo. The MacBook Air M1 with 8 GB is just a tiny bit slower than the iMac.

I misspoke. I have 64GB of RAM in my M2.

well now I’m just jealous!!!

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