When I saw the reviews of the 2021 Apple MacBook M1 Pro, I decided that perhaps it was time to change things up (I went with the 14″, 16GB + 1TB model M1 Pro).
I decided to put it into a benchmark situation for video rendering. 15 minutes of 2K footage rendered at H.265 in Adobe Premiere Pro. While the Windows PC was still rendering the required audio, the Macbook had already finished the entire render. To put perspective on it, the Macbook finished in around 13 minutes while the Windows PC took almost 30 minutes, making the Macbook 220% faster!
For software engineering, it’s much of the same. I don’t see the performance benefits much of the time because a lot of what I do is just writing code… but when it comes to building processes, the Macbook smokes the Windows PC. Even relatively quick tasks like hot reloading an app feel snappier. The Windows PC would usually complete it in under a second, but the Macbook feels almost instant. By the time I’ve switched back to the simulator or moved my eyes from the screen to the phone after saving a file, the hot reload is already complete.
Battery life is pretty incredible from what I’ve seen. I’ve only used it on battery a few times, but the times that I did, it managed to last for around 4 hours while only dropping ~15% while watching Netflix.
As for the user experience, I’ve used Macs in the past but never as my main work machine. However, due to the sheer power efficiency offered by the 2021 models, it is just too good to pass up. The UX has improved even since my 2018 Mac Mini (which eventually got put into very early retirement because my Windows PC was miles ahead of it) and now it doesn’t feel quite as stark moving from Windows to macOS.
Overall, if you’re in the market for a machine for software development, video editing and rendering, or other creative work, and you’re not using tools that only run on Windows, I can confidently recommend the 2021 Apple MacBook M1 Pro.