Apple M2 enters mass production

Red Falcon

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That isn't my understanding of the situation.

Basically the X-Serve was a product that didn't really sell particularly well - especially in consideration of their total bottom line, less than a fraction of a single percent, all the way back in 2009. And it was coupled with the fact that Apple wanted X-Serve to be a product that was also fully supported by Apple at the enterprise level - meaning expensive service contracts: expensive to sell, but also expensive for Apple to maintain. And again as a product that didn't sell well and didn't add significantly to their bottom line, they nixed it.
However, the server version of macOS has been available since then. And there are admins that still prefer to work with Apple hardware to do server duty even though it's often not with server grade hardware. There were brackets made for the 2009-2012 Mac Pro. There was a rather hilarious sideways mounting system for the cylinder. And there is also a multi-rack made for Mac Mini's. Apple themselves sells a rack version of the new/current Mac Pro.
Yeah, it didn't sell well because it performed terribly compared to PC x86-64 servers of comparable hardware, primarily because OS X had such terrible latency issues pertaining to databases.
Kind of hard to support something that severely underperforms.

You are correct, the MacOS (and OS X) Server suite has been available, but outside of light workloads and deployments, no serious sysadmin would ever seriously consider it for databases or heavy workloads, and especially not in an enterprise setting with Apple's current non-enterprise grade hardware options.
Again, just because their current offerings can be used as a server doesn't mean that they should.

While I have no commentary on how fast macOS server does with different workloads: I can say with certainty that there are those that are still working with Macs in server environments today. In fact I know a server admin at a fairly well known University that still uses Mac Server for all of their Mac deployments.
I'm sure there are many individuals using Mac Minis and other models as servers, depending on the service and function.
Even an OG Raspberry Pi can be used as a server, but that doesn't mean it will perform well.

If we are talking SMB file sharing and printing, yeah, even a decade old Mac Mini can handle that with ease, assuming an average workload.
For databases and heavier server workloads, though, the XServe fell flat because of the kernel latency issues with OS X, not because of the PowerPC/x86/x86-64 hardware itself.
Side commentary: I haven't brought this up on the forum, but I'm thinking Apple is actually uniquely positioned to re-enter the server market. If they can make a competitor to Amazon's Graviton Systems but sell them to everyone, they'll have a big market to sell to. The big question of course will be how well its OS works in the server environment. Or alternatively they could enter the web service world and never sell those processors but do what Amazon does and pickup hosting and service contracts for continuous income.
Apple isn't stupid. I'm 100% sure they have at least thought of these things. I'm uncertain though if they feel like they want to make it a part of their core strategies or not as they diversify their income streams.
Perhaps the kernel latency issues have been fixed in MacOS, and it has been over a decade since anyone has used an Apple enterprise-grade solution with OS X for comparing workload performance tests or production work.
I do see that Apple is now offering a rack mount Mac Pro, albeit with the older Intel CPUs, though that seems more like a use-case scenario for studio workloads and less so for server workloads.

With the M1, and now M2, you could be right about their hardware becoming competitive again in enterprise, assuming MacOS is up to the task.
With such a low TDP, it will be interesting to see what happens when proper power and cooling solutions are provided to their new ARM offerings, and how they will perform compared to modern competing x86-64 and ARM solutions.
 

pendragon1

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I'm sure there are many individuals using Mac Minis and other models as servers
we do but i think they are now down to just caching.
I do see that Apple is now offering a rack mount Mac Pro, albeit with the older Intel CPUs, though that seems more like a use-case scenario for studio workloads and less so for server workloads......With such a low TDP,
they had rack mounts for the trashcans too, but i think that youre right that they were for studio work, mostly. look at the price on those though, yipes!! would be nice if servers rooms didnt sound like jet engines....
 

sed8em

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It was UnkownSouljer who brought it up, specifically with that price point, in response to Armenius.
I don't think anyone is going to find a $500 anything that will compete with even the lowest-tier M1 configuration, considering in the video I posted above the M1 is dominating very decent Intel and AMD Surface configurations.

At the price point that the M1 is being sold for, it is basically unmatched in performance.
My only counter point to this is the 8gb M1 Air is dogshit. 8gb just doesn't cut it. Not sure how Apple is handling the memory but I was doing at home continuing med education using a university's streaming website and it kept reloading with an out of memory error. This was with 1 tab open in Safari, and only iMessage and Mail running in the background. Never happened on my 2015 i5 8gb Air.
I quickly returned it and exchanged it for the 16gb model.
 

Krazy925

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You might just want to go back and re-read post #43 before going any further with that argument.
pendragon1 didn't even mention an HP laptop at $500.


Apparently, wow! :D


Your point is...?
My point is it’s trendy around here to try to hate on Apple but like most tools there is a time and a place for them.

Apple value proposition is way different than PCs. Some of their products don’t fit my needs but I don’t buy those specific products. Some do and they do a fine job and I find last longer than their windows equivalents.
 

pendragon1

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My only counter point to this is the 8gb M1 Air is dogshit. 8gb just doesn't cut it. Not sure how Apple is handling the memory but I was doing at home continuing med education using a university's streaming website and it kept reloading with an out of memory error. This was with 1 tab open in Safari, and only iMessage and Mail running in the background. Never happened on my 2015 i5 8gb Air.
I quickly returned it and exchanged it for the 16gb model.
thank you for adding that. ^^ that is what i meant when i said they cant handle multitasking. the "M1 is superior" is not always correct...
 

Red Falcon

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My only counter point to this is the 8gb M1 Air is dogshit. 8gb just doesn't cut it. Not sure how Apple is handling the memory but I was doing at home continuing med education using a university's streaming website and it kept reloading with an out of memory error. This was with 1 tab open in Safari, and only iMessage and Mail running in the background. Never happened on my 2015 i5 8gb Air.
I quickly returned it and exchanged it for the 16gb model.
Agreed, 8GB on any laptop or desktop at this point is very anemic for all but very light usage and browsers with minimal tabs.
It isn't hard to burn past 8GB of RAM with Windows, MacOS, Linux, etc. for any casual usage with modern software, let alone power users, gaming, production, content creation, etc.

There could potentially be additional memory overhead from Rosetta 2 and translating x86-64 instructions to ARM64 instructions as well, which might explain why that same memory overhead isn't seen on the older native x86-64 laptop.
 

NIZMOZ

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You are the one that brought it up, so you are the one that needs to prove your point.

thank you for adding that. ^^ that is what i meant when i said they cant handle multitasking. the "M1 is superior" is not always correct...
It handles multitasking fine. You continue to be clueless. It does not use memory the same as a PC or Intel Mac. Plenty of proof out there that M1 chip is a beast with 8gb of ram. We have the M1 Mini, for interim till the 16" MBP comes out, and it has taken everything I've hit it with with no slow downs or memory issues. I will pass it to my Mom once the new MBP comes out to replace her aging 2009 Mac Mini.
 

Krazy925

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thank you for adding that. ^^ that is what i meant when i said they cant handle multitasking. the "M1 is superior" is not always correct...
Yeah the last $500 laptop someone handed me was a Asus that has 2.4 ghz only WiFi (it maybe 1x1) and a non user upgradable HDD that requires removing the screen and the keyboard at least.

I don’t disagree with the point about getting the upgrades on the macs even at the exorbitant cost. My old 2013 I sprung for the i7 (dual core, ugh) and 256gb NVME. In 2021 those are baselines. I’m definitely looking at the M1 with 16gb and 512 SSD.

I’m not sure if the M1s are different than the old Intel based ones but this Intel one multi takes fine. The only issues I ever had with this old dog was large excel files crashing but that was my fault for not updating excel for like 3 years. Oh and R studio but that software was trash and I only need it for a 13 week MBA class. I didn’t need a power outlet for 8 hours unlike my classmates. I wish I still had that battery life on it.
 

pendragon1

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It handles multitasking fine. You continue to be clueless. It does not use memory the same as a PC or Intel Mac. Plenty of proof out there that M1 chip is a beast with 8gb of ram. We have the M1 Mini, for interim till the 16" MBP comes out, and it has taken everything I've hit it with with no slow downs or memory issues. I will pass it to my Mom once the new MBP comes out to replace her aging 2009 Mac Mini.
again. i didnt bring up shit and you continue to try to be insulting, for no fucking reason. our experiences do not match your insistence on the M1 being superior.
 

pendragon1

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Yeah the last $500 laptop someone handed me was a Asus that has 2.4 ghz only WiFi (it maybe 1x1) and a non user upgradable HDD that requires removing the screen and the keyboard at least.

I don’t disagree with the point about getting the upgrades on the macs even at the exorbitant cost. My old 2013 I sprung for the i7 (dual core, ugh) and 256gb NVME. In 2021 those are baselines. I’m definitely looking at the M1 with 16gb and 512 SSD.

I’m not sure if the M1s are different than the old Intel based ones but this Intel one multi takes fine. The only issues I ever had with this old dog was large excel files crashing but that was my fault for not updating excel for like 3 years. Oh and R studio but that software was trash and I only need it for a 13 week MBA class. I didn’t need a power outlet for 8 hours unlike my classmates. I wish I still had that battery life on it.
yeah thats totally possible, depends on the model. there are still lots of "cheap" units that can be upgraded. looking at a dell xps 15 this morning and its $100CAN for go 8 to 16GB, doubling the 256nvme to 512 is $100 BUT the same upgrades on an alienware are twice that! wtf dell?! and yes, if you can splurge for the mac upgrades, youll need them. we didnt have any issues with the pervious intel based air or the old 2012 pros they replaced, just the new M1s.
 

Red Falcon

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It handles multitasking fine. You continue to be clueless. It does not use memory the same as a PC or Intel Mac. Plenty of proof out there that M1 chip is a beast with 8gb of ram. We have the M1 Mini, for interim till the 16" MBP comes out, and it has taken everything I've hit it with with no slow downs or memory issues. I will pass it to my Mom once the new MBP comes out to replace her aging 2009 Mac Mini.
You are truly being hostile for no reason at this point, and calling someone "clueless" doesn't help solve the issue, especially when you are contributing nothing to the discussion beyond blaming someone for something they didn't even bring up. :meh:
pendragon1 has multiple M1 systems in deployment, and if they aren't handling the multitasking workloads that have been described, then we should probably consider what is happening on them.

Also, how does the M1 "not use memory the same as a PC or Intel Mac"?
 

NIZMOZ

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You are truly being hostile for no reason at this point, and calling someone "clueless" doesn't help solve the issue, especially when you are contributing nothing to the discussion beyond blaming someone for something they didn't even bring up. :meh:
pendragon1 has multiple M1 systems in deployment, and if they aren't handling the multitasking workloads that have been described, then we should probably consider what is happening on them.

Also, how does the M1 "not use memory the same as a PC or Intel Mac"?
I suggest look at his posts and see how he was hostile to others in this thread. Just treating him the same as he treated others. Like I said, there are tons of data out there that prove the M1 is fine with 8gb of ram. Youtube tons of videos too.

https://www.lifewire.com/how-8gb-ram-overperforms-in-m1-macs-5091929
 

pendragon1

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I suggest look at his posts and see how he was hostile to others in this thread. Just treating him the same as he treated others. Like I said, there are tons of data out there that prove the M1 is fine with 8gb of ram. Youtube tons of videos too.

https://www.lifewire.com/how-8gb-ram-overperforms-in-m1-macs-5091929
lol where?
ps: the "idiots" are my coworkers and my "hostility" started after your stupid insistence/hostility that i brought up the HP....

1620328443910.png
 

defaultluser

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Believe it ot not, Windows can also take advantage of you placing your swap file on a fast SSd. It will also do it much faster than OSX , if you're actually using latncy-sensitive loads

movie-editing is not ram size sensitive, it's just a bandwidth hog!

This isn't some Magical Apple-only playground SSD fantasy , they just happen to castrate their ram like a Console (and then use excuses like these to make-up for it) You are still going to hit real memory limits for memory-hungry applications.
 
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NIZMOZ

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Believe it ot not, Windows can also take advantage of you placing your swap drive on a fast SSd. It will also do it much faster, if you're actually using lat3ncy-sensitive loads (no, movie-editing is not latencyy-sensitive, it's just a bandwidth hog.)

This isn't some Magical Apple-only playground, they jut hap[pen to castrate their ram like a Console (and then use excuses like these to make-up for it)

You are still going to hit limits for memory-hungry applications.

Not the same as having the SSD built into the CPU like the ram. There is still a performance hit doing it with any other system today that isn't a M1.
 

Red Falcon

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Like I said, there are tons of data out there that prove the M1 is fine with 8gb of ram. Youtube tons of videos too.

https://www.lifewire.com/how-8gb-ram-overperforms-in-m1-macs-5091929
So the swapiness is basically set to maximum and thus the SSD gets hammered, which explains why the SSDs on these M1 systems are burning through their write-cycles so quickly.
Yeah, great design, that's sooo much better. :rolleyes:

Also, "fine with 8GB of RAM" is extremely subjective to the use-case scenario and the workloads - that is hardly a one-size-fits-all solution.
Thanks for the link.
 

NIZMOZ

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So the swapiness is basically set to maximum and thus the SSD gets hammered, which explains why the SSDs on these M1 systems are burning through their write-cycles so quickly.
Yeah, great design, that's sooo much better. :rolleyes:

Also, "fine with 8GB of RAM" is extremely subjective to the use-case scenario and the workloads - that is hardly a one-size-fits-all solution.
Thanks for the link.
And if you researched, that proved to not be an issue other than software not reading the hardware properly.
 

Red Falcon

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Not the same as having the SSD built into the CPU like the ram. There is still a performance hit doing it with any other system today that isn't a M1.
The only difference that makes is slightly lower latency, and the SSD is still going over PCIe.
What "performance hit" on other systems would even be present?
 

NIZMOZ

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The only difference that makes is slightly lower latency, and the SSD is still going over PCIe.
What "performance hit" on other systems would even be present?
Ok, I am done. You just proved what you know. Please research some.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Yeah, it didn't sell well because it performed terribly compared to PC x86-64 servers of comparable hardware, primarily because OS X had such terrible latency issues pertaining to databases.
Kind of hard to support something that severely underperforms.
You've said this twice now. I do not claim to be an expert, but I've heard any system admin say anything remotely like this. macOS is BSD/Unix. I, perhaps in my ignorance, can't see how it would perform worse than any other BSD/Unix system. The article that I linked and other ones that I have read have also never sited this as a reason for the discontinuation of the X-Serve.
Can you provide links with details or any information?
we do but i think they are now down to just caching.

they had rack mounts for the trashcans too, but i think that youre right that they were for studio work, mostly. look at the price on those though, yipes!! would be nice if servers rooms didnt sound like jet engines....
Perhaps the kernel latency issues have been fixed in MacOS, and it has been over a decade since anyone has used an Apple enterprise-grade solution with OS X for comparing workload performance tests or production work.
I do see that Apple is now offering a rack mount Mac Pro, albeit with the older Intel CPUs, though that seems more like a use-case scenario for studio workloads and less so for server workloads.
Well I suppose this deflates my ego. People clearly do not read my posts (surprise surprise). I literally linked every rack mountable version of the Mac since the discontinuation of the X-Serve, up to and including the current Mac Pro. In fact you literally quoted the post in question, Red Falcon.
 

Red Falcon

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And if you researched, that proved to not be an issue other than software not reading the hardware properly.
https://www.macworld.com/article/33...d-you-be-about-your-m1-macs-ssd-lifespan.html
From the article:
What is also clear from other studies is that the more memory you have the less you have to swap it to the SSD. The M1’s memory management is no doubt more efficient than that of Intel Mac’s, but it can’t work miracles. When it’s time to swap, it’s time to swap, and that may be due to heavy-duty creative work or simply having a lot of memory-hungry programs open at once.

After this article originally posted in March, there have been further reports that would seem to indicate that a lot of the excess swapping is due to Rosetta 2, and even more specifically, browsers that aren’t optimized for M1 and using said translation layer. The evidence I’ve seen for this being the case it rather compelling, but not foolproof. Regardless, bug your favorite software vendor for an ARM/M1 release.
Your claim of "not reading the hardware properly" isn't in any article I can find on this issue, and it is related directly to SWAP and swapiness as I stated.

Ok, I am done. You just proved what you know. Please research some.
No, you are the one making these claims, so you need to be the one to provide the proof which support your claims.
 

NIZMOZ

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https://www.macworld.com/article/33...d-you-be-about-your-m1-macs-ssd-lifespan.html
From the article:

Your claim of "not reading the hardware properly" isn't in any article I can find on this issue, and it is related directly to SWAP and swapiness as I stated.


No, you are the one making these claims, so you need to be the one to provide the proof which support your claims.
I did provide the link above that backs that claim up. I guess you didn't read that too? Kind of like how you talked about PCIe with the new M1, which in fact doesn't use that for the SSD. lol.
 

Red Falcon

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I did provide the link above that backs that claim up. I guess you didn't read that too? Kind of like how you talked about PCIe with the new M1, which in fact doesn't use that for the SSD. lol.
I re-read the entire article, and it does not state that, and I'm tired of your attitude towards me and others in this thread.
As for the SSD not using PCIe, you are correct and I do stand corrected on that, as it does appear to use an embedded storage controller within the SoC instead of PCIe.
 
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Red Falcon

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You've said this twice now. I do not claim to be an expert, but I've heard any system admin say anything remotely like this. macOS is BSD/Unix. I, perhaps in my ignorance, can't see how it would perform worse than any other BSD/Unix system. The article that I linked and other ones that I have read have also never sited this as a reason for the discontinuation of the X-Serve.
Can you provide links with details or any information?
Maybe I need to say it a third time... I'm kidding. :)
You know, this issue may have changed with MacOS by this point, though I do remember from around 2005 to 2009 that OS X Server 10.4 and 10.5 (and by extension the XServer servers) were heavily criticized for their performance in regards to databases and other heavily threaded services, regardless of whether the ISA was PPC32 (G4 XServe), PPC64 (G5 XServe), or x86/x86-64 (2006+ XServe).

The Mach/XNU kernel is broken into separate pieces, and while it is stable and secure, it does add latency to specific processes, such as databases and other enterprise workloads.

http://sekhon.berkeley.edu/macosx/g5.html
This article showcases a few of the faults with it, at least at the time circa mid-2000s, though I do remember this issue persisting up until at least 2011 when Apple stopped selling the XServe servers.

From the article:
OS X is incredibly slow by design not least because it uses the Mach Microkernel (see Linus vs. Tanenbaum). For example, in Linux, the variables for a system call are passed directly using the register file. In OS X, they are packed up in a memory buffer, passed to a variety of places, and the results are then passed back using another memory buffer before the results are written back to the register file. You can just imagine what that does for TLB and cache hits. This just adds to the context switching difficulties on the Power4 chips. Memory management in OS X is awful. To quote Kazushige Goto talking about his BLAS: "Performance is suppressed on purpose due to [the] awful memory management of OS X". Goto's work is described and praised on Apple's own website because he added a custom BLAS for the Apple super computer at Virginia Tech. On the Apple site it states that Goto was "pulling out incredible efficiencies". Well, given the Goto's own benchmarks and comments, this is just another example of the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field.
Granted the PowerPC 32-bit and 64-bit CPUs, featured in the G4 and G5 XServe servers respectively, were significantly slower than the Intel Core, and later Intel Core 2 (Conroe) desktop variants, let alone the Xeons of the time, yet the issue of the Mach microkernel latency persisted even into the new x86-based OS X
What is killing me is that nearly every single major article and site from back then is virtually gone, and I vividly remember this being a high point of contention in 2009 with the Intel Nehalem XServe servers, especially since it was such a powerful CPU for that time period, and yet OS X Server held it back compared to the nearly identical PC server counterparts with either Windows Server or Linux running identical synthetic and real world benchmarks.

Please keep in mind that none of these issues were directed at desktop performance with the vanilla version of OS X on desktops or laptops, nor was that ever an issue.
This also wasn't a specific problem with the XServe servers themselves, as the hardware itself was very stable, as was OS X Server, but the performance for enterprise-based tasks and operations were lacking - I don't mean by a few percentage points, but more like 40%+ differences in workload tasks.

It was also right after that point that Apple released the first iPad, and with their mobile devices taking off, and their server performance going in a downward spiral compared to contemporary options, Apple decided to ax their then-enterprise offerings in favour of their newly emerging mobile devices.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/10/life-after-death-for-apples-xserve/
From the article, circa 2016:
macOS Server started getting simpler not long after Apple discontinued the Xserve. For many of those simple tasks, a quad-core Mac Mini with two hard drives got the job done while keeping stored data safe-ish. But the Xserve’s hardware had a few unique things that Apple’s repurposed consumer desktops couldn’t replicate.
Comments from the article:
The Xserve LOM unit was an atrocious piece of garbage compared to HP and Dell's solutions of the same era, which worked through Web browsers (and still do).
Xserves always had lots of problems...
- 3.5" drives instead of 2.5" 10k SAS
- the terrible LOM
- the terrible rail mounting system
- hard to get at parts like the RAID cache battery
- 1u the only option, thus limiting RAM, Storage, slots, etc
- support options never as good as HP/Dell


We used XServes in my last company (they're still there) when the company split into two separate ones. 4 of them in fact - two 2008 models and two 2009 models. We never went past OSX Server 10.6.8 for the simple reason that it would have been too much effort for too little gain, and 10.6.8 was more robust, in general, than the later offerings. The servers just ran and ran and ran. Pretty amazing robustness.

The part of the company I'm now in decided to save money and time and go with higher end Qnap NAS boxes, and for the most part they've been worth their weight in gold. The one unreliable point, however, has been AFP/Netatalk, the OSS Apple File Server. This isn't QNAP's fault, but it does slowly men the death of AFP, as we're switching to a pure SMB solution, and SMB 3 is as fast as AFP and it mostly works just as well with Macs.

A final point that is possibly more important than Apple canning the XServes is Apple's general neglect of professional hardware and software, as has been pointed out more often than not here on Ars. I think the signs are on the wall that Apple will be dropping all professional level hardware eventually, and unless it's really needed, I would be careful in buying Macs for professional graphics in future.


This is why we never went past OSX Server 10.6.8. Apple never really had much software support for their server OS and there were a lot of bugs.
Still digging for more info on the kernel latency issue from back then and will keep you posted.

Well I suppose this deflates my ego. People clearly do not read my posts (surprise surprise). I literally linked every rack mountable version of the Mac since the discontinuation of the X-Serve, up to and including the current Mac Pro. In fact you literally quoted the post in question, Red Falcon.
Well, crap - sorry I missed that, you totally did... :whistle:



EDIT:

More info on the Mach/XNU kernel:
https://www.linuxandubuntu.com/home/difference-between-linux-kernel-mac-kernel
Map of MacOS: the heart of everything is called Darwin; and within it, we have separate system utilities and the XNU kernel, which is composed in parts by the Mach kernel and by the BSD kernel.

Unlike Linux, this kernel is split into what they call the hybrid kernel, allowing one part of it to stop for maintenance, while another continues to work. In several debates this also opened the question of the fact that a hybrid kernel is more stable; if one of its parts stops, the other can start it again.
macos-kernel-resources.jpg
Microkernel-Vs-Monolithic-Kernel.jpg


EDIT #2:

This is exactly what I was talking about, and look at the difference between running OS X 10.4 Tiger (red bar) and Linux kernel 2.6 (light purple bar) on the same hardware.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/1778/5
MySQL_performance2.gif


Now, I would call this a clear win, but then I found...
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=apple_mbp_ubuntu&num=7

23.png

Apparently, things improved from the mid-2000s, and whatever the issue was with the Mach/XNU kernel latency issue was fixed as of OS X 10.6.5.
Welp, now you don't need to be the only one with the deflated ego! :D
 
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Krazy925

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yeah thats totally possible, depends on the model. there are still lots of "cheap" units that can be upgraded. looking at a dell xps 15 this morning and its $100CAN for go 8 to 16GB, doubling the 256nvme to 512 is $100 BUT the same upgrades on an alienware are twice that! wtf dell?! and yes, if you can splurge for the mac upgrades, youll need them. we didnt have any issues with the pervious intel based air or the old 2012 pros they replaced, just the new M1s.
I’m also far from a ‘power user’. If it can handle my outside sales duties it’s more than fine. I could probably use a chrome book for like 95% of my tasks. Maybe more.
 

MrGuvernment

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I just priced one out, and they were pretty close in price to me. Please post what you are looking at that is similar spec, and build quality. Because I know for a fact anything cheap from HP/Dell won't be even close to the same build quality as Apple.
exactly, you are getting a plastic case, with a crap-tastic touch pad and such. and FYI i am a PC guy, but even I jumped off the "Apple is 10000x more expensive than anything else" train years ago, when you compare OEM to Apple pricing is very close and sometimes more on either side.
 
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