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Apple’s M-Series Performance in Creative Applications

by Felix Omondi

Final Cut Pro

  1. Rendering and Exporting:

M1 Chip: Significantly faster rendering and exporting times compared to Intel-based models. A 10-minute 4K video export that might take around 12-14 minutes on a high-end Intel MacBook Pro typically completes in about 7-8 minutes on the M1.

M1 Pro and M1 Max: Even better performance with export times for a similar 10-minute 4K video dropping to around 4-6 minutes. M1 Max, with its enhanced GPU, particularly shines in handling complex effects and high-resolution footage.

  1. Real-Time Effects and Playback:

Smooth Playback: Real-time playback of 4K and even 8K footage with multiple effects applied is significantly smoother on M1 and M1 Pro/Max, reducing the need for proxy media.

Multi-Cam Editing: Handling multiple 4K streams in a multi-cam setup is more fluid, enabling editors to work faster without lag.

Logic Pro

  1. Track Count and Plugins:

M1 Chip: Supports higher track counts and more plugins without performance degradation. Users report handling 100+ tracks with multiple plugins more efficiently than on Intel Macs.

M1 Pro and M1 Max: Further improvements, supporting even larger projects with extensive use of virtual instruments and effects. Professionals working on complex compositions notice a significant boost in performance.

  1. Latency and Real-Time Processing:

Reduced Latency: Lower latency in real-time processing of audio inputs and effects, making the recording process smoother and more responsive.

Faster Mixing and Rendering: Quicker bouncing (rendering) of tracks and projects, enhancing workflow efficiency for musicians and producers.

Adobe Creative Suite

  1. Photoshop:

Faster Filters and Effects: Tasks like applying filters, effects, and adjustments are significantly faster on M1 Macs. For example, the Liquify tool and neural filters operate more smoothly.

Large File Handling: Better performance with large files and complex compositions, reducing wait times and improving overall productivity.

  1. Premiere Pro:

Rendering and Exporting: Video rendering and export times are notably reduced. M1 Pro and M1 Max show exceptional performance with high-resolution video projects, offering export times that are nearly halved compared to Intel-based models.

Playback and Scrubbing: Enhanced playback performance, even with 4K and 8K timelines, allowing for smoother scrubbing and editing.

  1. After Effects:

Improved Preview and Rendering: Faster rendering of compositions and real-time previews, especially with GPU-accelerated effects.

Complex Animations: Better handling of complex animations and particle effects, making the creation process more efficient.

Real-Life Productivity Gains

  1. Time Savings:

Faster Export Times: Reduced rendering and export times in video and audio projects translate directly to productivity gains. Editors and creators can complete projects faster, enabling quicker turnaround times.

Smoother Workflows: Enhanced real-time performance means fewer interruptions and smoother workflows, allowing creators to focus more on the creative process rather than waiting for the software to catch up.

  1. Multitasking:

Efficient Multitasking: M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max chips handle multitasking more effectively, allowing users to run multiple creative applications simultaneously without significant slowdowns.

Background Processes: Running tasks like exporting videos in the background while working on other projects is more feasible and efficient.

  1. Battery Life:

Longer Sessions: The improved power efficiency of M-series chips means longer battery life, enabling creators to work on-the-go for extended periods without needing to recharge.

Portable Productivity: This is particularly beneficial for photographers, videographers, and musicians who need to work in various locations without constant access to power outlets.

Apple’s M-series chips deliver substantial performance improvements in creative applications, offering faster rendering, smoother real-time processing, and enhanced multitasking capabilities. In Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, and Adobe Creative Suite, these improvements translate to significant real-life productivity gains, enabling creative professionals to work more efficiently and effectively. The combination of high performance, power efficiency, and seamless integration of hardware and software makes M-series Macs a compelling choice for creators across various disciplines.

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