APPLE Mac Mini (2020) - M1

Or maybe its now called 2021. The general buzz seems to be that this new version of the Mac mini with the all Apple M1 chip is fast and offers great performance for graphics. Thing is its new and I am in the market for a machine that will make my experience with Daz studio better and potentially this may do just that. There are doubtless bigger brains than mine out there in DAZ land, any views please....

Of course I am assuming that DS will work with this...

Comments

  • DS will not currently run under macOS Big Sur, which is what the M1 Mac Mini would use. In any event, no Macs now support nVidia cards so you would be limited to CPU rendering - which, even with the new M1 CPUs, is going to be slower than a reasonable nVidia GPU.

  • deeahr2169deeahr2169 Posts: 370

    Once again a devious plan to stick with Mac and explore Iray ends in failure. Well not exactly because right now I can produce really good results with Iray on my venerable old Imac without any help from Nvidea or GPU's, just takes patience. I was using Reality 4 to render anyway and using Iray is a similar experience and of course, with Iray and Lux the render never ends until I choose to end it, so its fine.

    I can imagine a future not so far away when Daz and Mac make things up, its probably inevitable so maybe I might wait for that to happen, or of course, I still have my Imac for Daz if necessary...

    Its win win sort of....

  • Well, as far as Iray using a GPU it's Apple and nVidia which need to make it up.

  • deeahr2169deeahr2169 Posts: 370

    To be honest I dont much care which giant tech is arguing with which, whether its Applr versus Daz or Nvidia or any cobination of the above. I bought a machine and I invested financially in both Apple and Daz, the latter because like almost everyone else, I have loads of purchased content. That this supports the DAZ model is fine, no problem but it would be so nice to be able to use everything. Its no ones fault is it, these things never are...

  • leemoon_c43b45a114leemoon_c43b45a114 Posts: 318
    edited January 24

    If you can delay your M1 Mac mini purchase by a few more months, then we should see a version of DAZ Studio that is compatible with Big Sur and the Apple Silicon Macs.

    As Richard mentioned, Iray rendering doesn't need an Nvidia GPU.  I've been using Iray exclusively for almost a year on my 2015 Mac mini and now a 2020 MacBook Pro 16" that's running macOS Catalina.  The MacBook Pro is about 7 to 10 times faster rendering Iray scenes than the Mac mini.  That's the difference between an older 2-core i5 and a newer 8-core i9 processor.  An Nvidia GPU would be much, much faster than either of my Macs, but I'm still impressed by the big (for me) decrease in render times when using the MacBook Pro.

    I have also purchased an M1 MacBook Air and will be delighted to use the upcoming DAZ Studio version that will run on it later this year.  I have updated some of my older graphics and video apps with Apple Silicon compatible versions and they work great on the M1 MacBook Air.  Still trying to decide about Photoshop Elements.  Might need to look at an alternative that is compatible or try using the current version of Elements running under Rosetta 2.  We'll see, as it's next on my list of things to do with the MacBook Air. :)

    The DAZ team has quite the undertaking on their hands to move DAZ Studio to their next generation development environment which will allow an Apple Silicon/Big Sur version.  There are trade-offs that will be necessary for all users of DAZ products.  Some vendors will need to write new versions of their scripts/plug-ins or to recreate scripts/plug-ins to perform the same features provided by vendors who are sadly no longer with us.  There are a lot of brilliant folks out there who will make it all work, it will take some time though.

    I'm not blind to the fact that I'm in a position to have a Mac running Catalina and a Mac running Big Sur to keep me going through Apple's transition to Apple Silicon and DAZ's transition to new development tools.  Not everyone has that luxury.  My thought when I bought the MacBook Pro with the Intel i9, was that it would keep me going with everything I've been using now and through those transitions.  I picked up the M1 MacBook Air to get some experience with the new hardware and software (and to test updates to apps as they roll out.)  Do I think the M1 MacBook Air is good?  Yes, it's quite spectacular and will be even more so when I get Photoshop Elements and DAZ Studio running on it this year. :)

    I know your situation is different from mine deeahr2169, but I think I went through the same anxiety and decisions that you're going through right now.  I hope you can find a solution for what you want.

    Lee

    Post edited by leemoon_c43b45a114 on
  • deeahr2169deeahr2169 Posts: 370

    The almost irreristable urge to go out and spend money on Apple stuff is one I find difficult to resist but I am just going to have to exercise some discipline. However the price of the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is just very attractive, but who knows, maybe it will get cheaper as time passes..... I could buy it now because currently my ancient but perfectly usable Imac 27" copes pretty well with Iray, I mean I dont find the render times onerous and because I dont have Nvidea I have nothing to compare it to anyway.  So while being able to render stuff at speeds higher than I currently enjoy is a plus, this seems the next advance in desk tops for Apple, and as my flag is pinned firmly to their mast maybe unwisely but there you go, and also I am inclined towards desktops rather than laptops the Mac mini seems right for me.

    I will let you know what and if and when later....thanks for the advice

  • bytescapesbytescapes Posts: 1,298

    The new M1 Macs are already seeing fairly frequent discounts. Keep an eye on something like dealnews.com for alerts.

    As Richard has explained, it's going to be a few months before DAZ Studio is compatible with the M1 machines. When it is, you'll still be limited to CPU-only Iray rendering, which -- however optimized it is -- is likely to be slower than using a PC with an Nvidia card.

    One thing that you could do (once the new version of DAZ Studio is ready) is to do your scene setup and test renders on an M1 Mac and then send it to a PC running Iray server for final render. DAZ's own Jack Tomalin offers quite a nice service of this kind, and I believe there are others.

    Long term, I believe that there's little chance that Apple and Nvidia will kiss and make up. Quite aside from the fact that there seems to be quite a lot of ill-feeling on both sides, Apple is reportedly moving to creating more powerful GPUs of its own for laptop and desktop computers based on Apple Silicon. These will be optimized to run Metal, which is Apple's own 3D technology. Future laptops/desktops from Apple will probably have new CPUs that are more powerful than the M1 and high-end Apple Silicon GPUs.

    I don't think Nvidia will ever produce an Iray that's optimized for future Apple GPUs (or CPUs), both for reasons mentioned above and because it would be helping Apple eat its lunch. Even if Apple and Nvidia weren't mad at each other, there'd be no incentive for Nvidia to do this. But makers of other rendering engines -- Octane, 3DL, Filament, Renderman, Cycles etc. -- might well have an interest in making a renderer that was optimized to use the Apple GPUs. If that happens, it'll be a long way in the future -- first, they'll want to see what the Apple GPUs are capable of and how to work with them, and then they'll actually have to do the hard work of rewriting their code. They may decide it's not worth it. But someone like, say, Octane, who make their money selling software licenses, would have a possible incentive to do the work, unlike Nvidia who very definitely don't.

    One final note: be aware that the M1 Macs have limited and non-expandable memory. The memory is actually integrated with the processor and for the current versions of the M1 it's limited to 8GB or 16GB. While they're said to be more memory-efficient than other architectures, I still think that 8GB is way too little for 3D work and even 16GB is marginal. So you might want to wait and see what Apple rolls out this year and whether it includes a more powerful CPU and a 32GB option (which they will no doubt sell at an eye-watering markup).

     

  • OstadanOstadan Posts: 1,066

    I built a Windows PC a couple of years ago (Nvidia GTX 2080 GPU) mainly for GPU rendering — my first PC.  My usual workflow is to set up a scene or scene component (e.g., a character, including morphs, materials, hair, and clothing) on my iMac, which is still my main machine for general tasks.  I will do test renders at small sizes to check lighting and pokethrough and the like, then transfer the .duf file to the PC with any other new or modified files (e.g., custom texture maps) for final tweaking and rendering.

    My iMac is on its last legs, though (internal hybrid drive died a year or so ago, so everything is running from an external HDD), and I will be waiting not-quite-patiently for Daz3D and Apple to get in sync again.

  • bytescapesbytescapes Posts: 1,298

    Ostadan said:

    I built a Windows PC a couple of years ago (Nvidia GTX 2080 GPU) mainly for GPU rendering — my first PC.  My usual workflow is to set up a scene or scene component (e.g., a character, including morphs, materials, hair, and clothing) on my iMac, which is still my main machine for general tasks.  I will do test renders at small sizes to check lighting and pokethrough and the like, then transfer the .duf file to the PC with any other new or modified files (e.g., custom texture maps) for final tweaking and rendering.

    The really slick way to do this would be to have Iray Server running on the PC and then you could just send jobs straight from the Mac to the PC via the 'Bridge' option in the Rendering Settings dialog. No need even to bother maintaining a library on the PC, just send geometry and maps straight over the Bridge.

    But Nvidia want $300/year for Iray Server, so unless you have a successful drug-dealing business or own a small investment bank, that's probably not really an option.

  • deeahr2169deeahr2169 Posts: 370

    This is really interesting for a rank techno idiot like me. I did know that Jack Tomalin offered an external render service which I assume is a sort of less commercial version of a render farm. Also of interest to me is the fact that as with all tech, things dont stay the same for too long. I am quite long in the tooth now, I remember when our family TV was only monochrome, and the wonder of renting my first colour set when I got married. Now look at the world, and just around the corner are Apples new chips and potentially a whole new experience for 3D rendering ( and everything else )so I am listening and learing with this thread.

    Keep it up please...

  • wsterdanwsterdan Posts: 1,377

    I have also purchased an M1 MacBook Air and will be delighted to use the upcoming DAZ Studio version that will run on it later this year.  I have updated some of my older graphics and video apps with Apple Silicon compatible versions and they work great on the M1 MacBook Air.  Still trying to decide about Photoshop Elements.  Might need to look at an alternative that is compatible or try using the current version of Elements running under Rosetta 2.  We'll see, as it's next on my list of things to do with the MacBook Air. :

    I've been looking at the various Affinity packages as alternatives to Adobe, and all of their stuff is already optimized for m1. I'd miss some filters and actions, but I'll probaby take the plunge and see what I can put together if or when I decide to stop using Adobe.

    -- Walt Sterdan 

  • deeahr2169deeahr2169 Posts: 370

    A major grouch with me is that my current machine doesnt have the oomph to allow me to use D force in any meaningful way. I am assuming the reason for this is that I simply dont have the memory or processing power for this. It means that the process of draping cloth for example is a non starter and so of course an large degree of realism is lost. Can anyone confirm that the new Mac mini M1 will cure this problem whenever Daz is compatible with the Mac M1. I do understand that rendering with this is a different propostion to using Nvidea, its Dforce I am interested in at this precise moment.

    Thanks for any advice

  • leemoon_c43b45a114leemoon_c43b45a114 Posts: 318
    edited January 27

    wsterdan said:

    I have also purchased an M1 MacBook Air and will be delighted to use the upcoming DAZ Studio version that will run on it later this year.  I have updated some of my older graphics and video apps with Apple Silicon compatible versions and they work great on the M1 MacBook Air.  Still trying to decide about Photoshop Elements.  Might need to look at an alternative that is compatible or try using the current version of Elements running under Rosetta 2.  We'll see, as it's next on my list of things to do with the MacBook Air. :

    I've been looking at the various Affinity packages as alternatives to Adobe, and all of their stuff is already optimized for m1. I'd miss some filters and actions, but I'll probaby take the plunge and see what I can put together if or when I decide to stop using Adobe.

    -- Walt Sterdan 

    Hi Walt!  I actually purchased Pixelmator Pro yesterday as an alternative to Photoshop Elements.  While I prefer some of the color adjustment tools in Elements, I got some good results from Pixelmator Pro right away.  Will need to experiment with Pixelmator Pro to learn how to use it in my workflow.  I had an old Polaroid photo (scanned) and used Pixelmator Pro's ML Enhance on it.  It brought back true to life colors that were shockingly good.  I also removed a security guard in the background and that worked well and only took a few seconds to do.  The photo was the full version of my forum avatar.

    I was going back and forth trying to decide between Pixelmator and Affinity, but decided on Pixelmator, though I might pick up Affinity Photo if Pixelmator lacks some vital feature/function that I want. :)  I'm not sure you can go wrong with either route.

    Lee 

    Post edited by leemoon_c43b45a114 on
  • Quick update regarding Adobe Photoshop Elements 2021.

    I just purchased and installed Photoshop Elements 2021 on my M1 MacBook Air.  It appears to be running normally under Rosetta 2.  I put a couple of photos through my typical workflow and everything went smoothly and perfectly.

    It was a quick test, but thought it might be helpful for those who want most of the power of full Photoshop, but without the annual subscription, all while running on an Apple Silicon Mac.

    I did the full purchase instead of an upgrade from Photoshop Elements 2020, but I did note that someone on the Apple support forums mentioned that Elements 2020 would run on the M1.  I decided to just go with Elements 2021, in case Adobe offered an update to 2021 with native M1 support.

    Lee

  • There's many confusion here…
    Well, I'm using a Mac Pro 2013, a MacMini late 2012, a Macbookpro AND Daz3D (I also have an MSI with geforce). I can render whatever I want. No need to have an Nvidia card or something. Maybe it would runs faster and what you want… But just : it's possible to work on DAZ3D on Mac and render Iray.
    On all these computer and on my MacMini M1 I work with Cinema4D, FCPX, Motion, Premiere, AfterEffects, Photoshop, Iluustrator, Animate, Fuse, Archipelis, Blender, GarageBand, LogicPro, VLC, Maya and so on…
    I play Grid or Mad max and so on…
    And it's clear that the arm architecture is the future, even if it's not for long (because things are to evolve). See how much Intel is disappointed with Apple leaving the ship and now spit it.
    A guy who used to work at Intel's said there was so many bugs with Intel that Apple couldn't handle that anymore. Did Apple ever said Intel was a f***ing business partner ?.. No, they just quit, and I'm sure Intel did know it was coming for long…

    Anyway, I wasn't able to install Cinema4D (R17 and R20) on my M1 because the installer is based on 32bits architecture. But I just copied it from my previous hard drive to my M1 And it works.
    Same with Adobe Creative Cloud 2019…

    There are solutions (or not), but we have to just get informations from many points to be able to say it's possible or not.
    It reminds me a guy I read who was saying that he renders in 60 frames by second because television runs in 60HZ. 
    It's a nonsense. You just can't say that…

    Anyway, DAZ3D doesn't works on M1, and I just can't wait it does…

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