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#373782 - 11/03/2022 20:10 The New M1 Mac Studio
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3806
It's finally time to retire my 2014-era MacPro for a brand new Mac Studio.

Jan. 2014: 6-core MacPro (3.5GHz), 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, AppleCare 3yr. $4618 w/ academic discount.

Mar. 2022: 20(-ish) core M1 Ultra Mac Studio (3.2GHz?), 64GB RAM, 2TB SSD, AppleCare 3yr. $4108 w/ discount.

For my uglier CPU-bound tasks, I'll probably see 10x improvement.

Sand in the gears?
  • My employer credit card maxes out at $3000 per transaction, requiring me to go through our purchasing department. (Or I could get the M1 Max instead of the M1 Ultra machine. Nope.)
  • My employer really wants to buy these machines from CDW, who doesn't have Mac Studios for sale yet. There's a listing, but without any particular specs. ("Up to 128GB of unified memory" -- sure, but what do I get if I hit "add to cart"? Unspecified.)
  • Every day that goes by, Apple gets further backlogged.

Also, I thought I'd mention a small thing on the spec sheet that caught my eye. It appears that the Mac Studio has a "pro" audio jack, which claims to be able to drive headphones with higher impedance. That's great. What's notable by its absence is any mention of SPDIF/Toslink digital audio output. They don't have it on any other M1 Macs, so it's probably gone here as well.

I'm using a Teac A-H01 external DAC/amp, which powers my big speakers and my nice headphones. The Teac supports crazy high bitrates, but if you want to talk to it over USB, you need a kernel driver, which they're barely supporting on x86 Macs, and which so far as I can tell is completely unsupported on M1 Macs. For now, I've got a Toslink cable that makes everything work perfectly. I'll probably have to buy a USB-Toslink dongle.

Sigh.

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#373783 - 16/03/2022 04:37 Re: The New M1 Mac Studio [Re: DWallach]
K447
old hand

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 796
Loc: near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: DWallach
Teac A-H01 external DAC/amp over USB buy a USB-Toslink dongle. ...
Might there be a small Thunderbolt 3/4 dock/adapter that would be better supported (on M1 silicon) for audio output?

Rather than a USB adapter

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#373785 - 16/03/2022 18:00 Re: The New M1 Mac Studio [Re: K447]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31524
Loc: Seattle, WA
The CalDigit TS3 plus dock that I'm using, has a toslink output for audio. It's not cheap, but I like it. I don't use its toslink output (I have a Focusrite studio recording interface instead) so I can't vouch for it, but the CalDigit web site says they fully support M1 macs.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#373794 - 20/03/2022 21:34 Re: The New M1 Mac Studio [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3806
I haven't really thought through my docking needs. I have a big Anker hub with a ton of USB-A (USB3) ports, so that connects the printer, the scanner, etc.

Otherwise, the Mac Studio kinda has all the ports I'll need built-in.

The only question mark is whether I need to do something funky to connect my monitor, which is currently using a mini-DP to DP cable. I could do HDMI, but I think the monitor is old enough that it will only support 4k/30p versus 4k/60p on DisplayPort. That seems to be an $18 cable, so no big deal.

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#373795 - 21/03/2022 11:28 Re: The New M1 Mac Studio [Re: DWallach]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5909
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Originally Posted By: DWallach

The only question mark is whether I need to do something funky to connect my monitor, which is currently using a mini-DP to DP cable. I could do HDMI, but I think the monitor is old enough that it will only support 4k/30p versus 4k/60p on DisplayPort. That seems to be an $18 cable, so no big deal.


Same issue with my Dell U2713HM, a Cable Matters USB-C/Thunderbolt to DP seems to work well enough, connecting to my M1 Pro MacBook Pro.

I am having occasionally issues with the monitor not seeing the output after sleep though. Don't know whether it is the monitor, Caldigit Element Hub or the MacBook that is at fault.

Sometimes just replugging the USB-C to DP cable fixes it, sometimes I have to swap to a new USB-B port and sometimes I actually have to power cycle the monitor.

Thankfully it only happens a couple of times a month.
_________________________
Remind me to change my signature to something more interesting someday

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#373797 - 22/03/2022 17:36 Re: The New M1 Mac Studio [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3806
I suspect that Apple's DisplayPort drivers are partly at fault here. Way back in 2015 or thereabouts, my office MacPro had serious trouble talking to my Philips 40" 4K monitor. I'd have to power cycle the monitor after every time the computer went to sleep. Then, after some macOS upgrade or other, that problem went away. Now returning from sleep is wonky (the monitor blinks in and out for a few seconds), but at least stable.

For contrast, my home MacPro is connected to a Panasonic Sharp 32" 4K monitor that was, at that time, sold directly by Apple. That's always been stable. Given this, I also suspect that early DisplayPort monitors have varying degrees of standards compliance in their implementations.

In wildly unrelated news, my father -- a computer engineer -- is getting himself an M1 MacBook something or other as an upgrade from an earlier machine that predates Apple's adoption of USB-C / Thunderbolt. This means that I've been trying to explain the world of USB-C, alt modes, Thunderbolt, and so forth. It's baffling just how complicated it's become.

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#373801 - 02/04/2022 22:48 Re: The New M1 Mac Studio [Re: DWallach]
K447
old hand

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 796
Loc: near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: DWallach
the world of USB-C, alt modes, Thunderbolt, and so forth. It's baffling just how complicated it's become.
Indeed. The differences between active cables and passive, especially for USB-C vs. Thunderbolt, often make it confounding to help someone at a distance.

The tiny logo symbols (if present at all) are easily overlooked or mis-interpreted.

For myself I have taken to purchasing mostly Thunderbolt 4 cables and accessories. When plugged into an actual USB-C thing, I will find myself at the mercy of the interoperability gods. frown

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#373802 - 05/04/2022 01:31 Re: The New M1 Mac Studio [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3806
I've had very different constraints. We now have cats, and they've got a penchant for chewing through cables of any and all descriptions. This can get expensive with the wrong USB-C cables!

For what it's worth, out of desperation I ended up trying a vendor that I discovered via Google searching that explicitly stated it engineered its USB cables to deter cats. And so far they've worked! Go figure.

https://paracable.com/

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#373803 - 05/04/2022 12:47 Re: The New M1 Mac Studio [Re: DWallach]
K447
old hand

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 796
Loc: near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: DWallach
a vendor that I discovered via Google searching that explicitly stated it engineered its USB cables to deter cats. And so far they've worked! Go figure.

https://paracable.com/
This was the only mention on that site I found of resistance to cat chewing.
Quote:
This warranty excludes damage resulting from pets. Although "most" cats, like Baxter, will choose to leave these cables alone because they do not like the paracord texture, not all cats are the same, and some will chew on these.
Please take adequate precautions around persistent chewers before leaving them within reach.


I wonder if a paracable like braided sheath could be sourced that would slide over existing cables? wink

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#373804 - 05/04/2022 13:03 Re: The New M1 Mac Studio [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14449
Loc: Canada

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#373805 - 05/04/2022 14:05 Re: The New M1 Mac Studio [Re: mlord]
K447
old hand

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 796
Loc: near Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Semi rigid when heat-shrunk, apparently.

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#373806 - 05/04/2022 19:56 Re: The New M1 Mac Studio [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14449
Loc: Canada
There are lots of other search results at the bottom of that page/link, some of which may "stretch" enough to go over the connectors without need for heat shrinking.

And also the split styles. This one even claims cat resistance:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FW3GTXB/


Edited by mlord (05/04/2022 19:59)

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