MBP and the New Apple M1 Chip

I am planning on attending Summer Intensive in 2021 and the one thing I may need to purchase before arrival is a new laptop. I have a 2015 MBP and it is starting to show its age. For all of my work years (early retirement) i was in the PC world, but have been Mac at home for 12 years. I always hate to buy anything in the first year when there has been a big change. Any advice, hold to what I have, new MBP or PC? I use an iPad a lot, have an iPhone so the Mac has been a nice fit. But I want to get a machine that will help with the work I hope to be doing next summer in Missoula! Thanks.

Following because I will also be needing a new computer before long. And I’m wondering…is this the Richard Armstrong I knew from Photo.net? Feel free to reach out to me because I attended RMSP summer intensive and pro studies. Christal Steele

How is your 2015 MBP showing it’s age? I’m using a late-2011 MBP for Lightroom Classic and Photoshop. After upgrading it to 16GB memory, it got a new lease on life and is still very fast for editing even large images. It struggles just a bit with panoramas due to the size, but it still works. If you can add memory to your 2015, try that first. Max it out. New MBPs are not upgradeable at all; can’t change memory or disk. Planned obsolesence in my opinion.

I understand your struggle! I am a PC user but I have an iPhone and an iPad pro. Not what you want to hear but it is up to you. Despite having Appel products, I continue to be a stalwart on my laptop and desktop with a non-apple product. I love the freedom a PC gives me (its where I need it the most), however I love the flexibility from i

@rarmstrong I would recommend waiting until after SI to upgrade. Right now, Apple has put us in a tough position. On one hand the new 13" MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac Mini with the new Apple M1 chip look awesome. The problem is, Adobe hasn’t offered full support for the new chip and they haven’t confirmed when that will be ready yet either.

On the other hand, you could pick up an older Intel-based mac and use that with full support from all software developers, but you risk losing support from Apple in a couple of years.

Additionally, I would imagine another line of Macs will be launching next year at some point with a faster chip than the M1 (maybe an M1X?) and it might be wise to wait and see what the performance of that chipset would be before making a large investment.

With all of that said, I would wait until after SI to buy anything as your 2015 laptop is well up to the task of running Lightroom Classic. If you are chomping at the bit to get something new, I would probably get the 13" MacBook Pro with the M1 chip and hope that Adobe adds full support for LR before SI (very very likely that they will).

I hope that helps!


To back up what Forest recommended, here is an article that addresses the new M1 chipset and it’s current lack of compatibility with numerous programs, to include Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

Although I’m very excited that Apple went back to making their own chips (i.e., less bloatware than Intel chips), I’d avoid buying one until Adobe is able to update their programs to make them completely compatible.

Thanks for starting this discussion.
I’m in the same position looking at the Summer Intensive requirements against my 2015 MacBook Pro and was curious if a new M1 laptop would a good choice. I’ll look into upgrading my memory now and see how that works in the meantime. Thank you!

1 Like

Christal, Hello! I am not on Photo.net so I am not that Richard Armstrong! I had the post on RMSP about the M1 and MBP. Still not sure what to do. I fear the logic board on my current MBP is going out and I hate to wait until it crashes, but not sure wether I should go with Intel or M1. Also lots of the boards are saying the M1 works fine with 8g RAM but since you cannot upgrade it is one and done. What have you found out?

Ken, I have 16 g and it was working fine. Problem is I am starting to get some connectivity issues and Apple is thinking it may be the logic board, so that will be the end of this machine. That is why I am looking at a new computer. Other than that this one is stellar on speed for what I do.

Mary, I would stay with my MBP if there were not starting to be some issues and Apple thinks it is the logic board. I don’t want to get into SI and have my laptop totally crap out. It is getting worse I am thinking I need to do something. Just not sure what? I would wait for the 16" if I knew my machine would last. I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place on this one.

Forest, thanks for your thoughts on the MI and MBP. I did not explain my issue properly. I was wondering if my machine was up to the task, but the main issue is Apple thinks I am having logic board issues. I am having trouble with external drives being recognized and also disconnecting them. Also some bluetooth issues. We have spent hours on the phone and even reinstalled the OS. Seems to be getting worse. So that is what was pushing me towards an upgrade so soon. But unlike you I usually keep mine until they die, so I tend to buy with that in mind. Maybe I need to rethink that? But to do that now the machine I would buy is not out yet. I hate to spend so much on the Intel machine that is already obsolete. But the M1 options are not there yet. I hate to think that I may need to look at a PC but time is not on my side I fear. I am working on verifying my back ups, so I can wait until it crashes I guess.

1 Like

I bought a Mac Mini M1 (16Gb RAM and 512Gb drive) in December. I use it primarily for filmmaking with DaVinci Resolve Studio 17 and I’ve also got Capture One 20 installed and working without any problems so far. At this point in time, I’m taking into account that both software applications are beta versions and the new hardware needs time to mature, before I would say this is ready for business.

Some caveats: X-Rite software for monitor calibration does not work yet. Adobe is still playing catchup. Some software doesn’t work, though I’ve not run into any that I need (Rosetta 2 is automatically installed when you use an Intel application). Dual monitor functionality does work, but there’s still some teething problems still to be ironed out. I’ve experienced a few strange glitches, but nothing significant.

From a speed perspective and for photography/filmmaking purposes, the most basic M1 leaves the fully loaded Intel Mac Mini for dust. 50Mpix images and 4K footage are a breeze to work on. To answer the OP, when the M1 MBP is released and Adobe ships their M1 applications later this year, I would recommend it.

1 Like

Update on X-Rite’s software - it is now M1 Mac compatible. Other similar tools have also been made to work with the M1. Apparently they all worked with Apple to get their monitor calibration applications to work. Other software applications are being released for M1 too. DaVinci Resolve 17.1 is M1 compatible (mostly native) and I hear Capture One will be releasing something soon.

However, there’s still a lot of people having issues with HDMI/DisplayPort connections (I personally think this is due to immature HDCP configurations in Big Sur causing problems with various monitors/TV’s). Check out Reddit’s r/MacMini page if you plan on buying a new MacMini or need advice.

1 Like