475: Shove It Out the Back24 Mar 2022
Mac Studio upgrades and thermals, Studio Display engineering, and why we care so much about 5K.
- Pre-show: We’ve got 99 problems and Apple Music is… most of them.
- On the Mac Studio’s extra SSD slot
- John’s heart shatters into a million pieces
(Mac Studio cooling and 😱 fan noise 😱)
- Why 5K?
- Apple Studio Display default resolution oddity?
- Studio Display foibles
- Very short Thunderbolt monitor cable? (~3ft/1m?)
- “Non-removable” monitor cords
- Panzer yanks out his cable
- Snell’s Review
- Studio Display Recovery Mode
- Gui Rambo’s Findings
- Firmware Updates
- Studio Display… Ethernet?
- Studio Display has 64GB onboard storage
- Running processes
- The Verge on the camera bugs
- Latest Mac Pro rumors/theories
- Post-show: Revisiting Synology backup
- Jumpcloud: Work smarter, not harder. JumpCloud — your new cloud directory.
- Lutron Caseta: Smart dimmers and lighting control.
- Kolide: Endpoint security for teams that Slack. Try Kolide for free today; no credit card required.
Become a member for ad-free episodes and our early-release, unedited “bootleg” feed!
- Pop Hits: 200[0–6]
- (Lack of) Purchase updates
- Mac Studio: SSD upgrades?
- Sponsor: Kolide
- Mac Studio thermals, fans
- Sponsor: Lutron Caséta
- Why 5K at 27”?
- Sponsor: Jumpcloud
- Studio Display details
- Mac Pro rumor speed-run
- Ending theme
- Post-show: Synology backup
Pop Hits: 200[0–6]
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So my play pop hits of every year took a very dark turn
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the past week when we crossed roughly the year 2000. Oh,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey are you gonna be that guy? Alright, tell me why it took a dark turn.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It became nearly impossible to listen with my child around.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, okay, I’ll allow it, I’ll allow it. Really? Was it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco foul language? Oh my god, like okay, so you know in the 80s I mean
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Everyone singing love songs in the 80s was a creep and a stalker and potentially abusive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you listen to lyrics There’s that mean in real life or just in the song in
⏹️ ▶️ John the lyrics But sometimes that was intentional on his artistic
⏹️ ▶️ Marco choice, right? And but you know, it was it was a little bit more coded and subtle and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you I feel like you could listen with You know an almost ten-year-old around and you know, most
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the creepiness would go over their head Whereas, when you cross the year 2000
⏹️ ▶️ Marco approximately, F this, F that, constant swearing,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the N word all over the place, really explicit sexual stuff, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like wow, it’s like you can’t listen.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s funny you bring this up. I’d actually like to slightly pivot if you don’t mind and talk yet
⏹️ ▶️ Casey again about how much I hate Apple Music Because I know that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey there exist in Apple Music clean versions of many, many, many albums
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that are explicit. And maybe there is a way to say
⏹️ ▶️ Casey from the view of an album, like an explicit album, I would like the clean version, please.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And if there is an easy way of doing this, I will be damned if I know how.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I believe you mean darned?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco oh yes, yes,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s true. I would be darned. Oh, fork, I made a mistake. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey no, I would be darned if I could find the way to go from explicit to not explicit. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the only guidance I’ve found on this is to go into, well, actually, let me ask
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you, if you want to forbid Apple Music from playing explicit
⏹️ ▶️ Casey songs, where do you think you go to do that? And I will start with you, Marco. Oh, boy.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Okay, so where that should be is in a settings menu in the music app.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That is the correct answer, but that is nowhere near where it is.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have two other answers. I have the answer of where Apple says it should be and where it actually is. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco where Apple would say it should be is in the iOS system settings app
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the music section of that. Now where it probably actually is is buried
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in some web view that you have to access on your Apple iTunes account somewhere.
⏹️ ▶️ John it gets better. Wouldn’t it be in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey parental controls? So I will award you half credit, John. Also, I did not make it clear,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco, in your defense that I was thinking about macOS, not iOS. So I am not honestly sure where
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it is in iOS, but in macOS, it is in screen time, in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the content and privacy section, where you can say for stores
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and apps and content, somewhere, I’m not looking at it right this second, but somewhere in there, you can say,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey turn on content and privacy restrictions, And I would like to restrict the following. In screen
⏹️ ▶️ Casey time, because when I think about where I want to go so I don’t hear the F word, I think about f***ing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey screen time. That’s what I think.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Oh my gosh, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s a good thing the HomePods sound really good. Because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco doing this through Siri every day, it’s an exercise in, am I the only person ever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco using Siri? Like, so often it’ll, you know, it’ll be giving a voice
⏹️ ▶️ Marco response, now playing, and then it’ll stop itself and say something like, let me try that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco too sometimes, that’s okay. Fair enough, but like it crashes mid-sentence seemingly in some way or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fails some way that it has to start its own sentence again. There’s also been a number
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of years that I’m saying, I’m saying every morning, play Pop Hits 2005 or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And sometimes it’ll say, playing Pop Hits 2006. what? 2006
⏹️ ▶️ Marco does not sound like 2005. Like it’s not like it just misheard me and I’ll say stop and I’ll say it again
⏹️ ▶️ Marco play pop hits 2005 and it’ll say now playing pop hits 2006.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now almost every number it gets right but maybe one out of ten it’ll
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just do and like no matter how I say it it will not do it and meanwhile I can go you know fortunately
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know when you have like an Amazon cylinder or something your your possible remedies if it’s mishearing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you are are much fewer. So at least here, when it fails, I can go to my phone
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and just find that, you know, go to Apple Music, go to the Apple Music app and go to search and type in Poppets 2005
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it brings it up and I just hit play and there it is. And I can, you know, beam it over to the HomePods and it’s fine.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But it fails in such weird ways. I just, I don’t, Siri,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh, oh Apple, what, what are you doing with Siri? What, where is it?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco What happened? And can you please make it unhappen? But anyway, yeah, so Siri issues
⏹️ ▶️ Marco aside, the HomePods still do sound amazing. And my HomePods have, I think,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for some reason, stopped dying. Like they used to, I mentioned a couple months
⏹️ ▶️ Marco back, they were doing that thing where it would like, make a big bass pop, and then like it would restart one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of them. That hasn’t happened now in two months maybe? So I don’t know if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that was somehow avoided in software, I don’t know. But Siri’s still
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Siri. But that being said, yes, This music experiment is really showing me, wow, pop
⏹️ ▶️ Marco music. First of all, when we hit the present day, our plan is to go back to the beginning of 1950 or 1960
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and do the same thing but saying rock instead of pop to see like the rock charts, I think,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are what we actually want to be hearing most of the time. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John I was gonna suggest, and I’m kind of surprised that they were cursing, I was gonna suggest to ask for sort of the top
⏹️ ▶️ John radio hits because then you’d get the radio edits, you know what I mean? Like, especially for the older times, that’s what people
⏹️ ▶️ John cared about was what’s one of the top songs on the radio and everything on the radio had was a cleaned
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I even that I don’t think would actually be what I want because issue number two that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I keep having, which I’m sure everyone’s had with you, streaming apps is that, you know, many artists have gone back and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco rerecorded their old hits, you know, so that they can fully own them or something like that, or just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to remaster them in a more dramatic way. The problem is that they like tarnish the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco original recordings in the sense of like the streaming services think that’s what you want when you ask for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that. And so for instance, when we blew through the 90s, every time it wanted to play something off
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the Alanis Morissette album, Jagged Little Pill, there were like three radio hits off that album.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It was a great album. Not a single one was the one that we knew. Like not a single one was the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco version, the original version. It was all this like more recent version that sounds all different and wrong to us. iTunes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco match gone awry. Right, but I don’t even own that one. Like I own the original one. I don’t.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like it’s basically it’s iTunes match happening within the thing it sees it says you ought to know and it’s like oh I can Find you ought
⏹️ ▶️ John to know and it finds the re-recorded version
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right, but it’s but like in the playlist of Top 1996 or whatever hits like yeah, no, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco messed up and we heard there were there were it wasn’t just that album There were a number of albums where we would hear like what like Sheryl Crow
⏹️ ▶️ Marco also recently like we would hear They really wait a minute. This is not the right version you hear within the first note
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You like because you you know, you know these old songs so well You’ve heard them so much like you know instantly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that this is a different recording. This is not the original record The matches and the buds and the clean and dirty cars. Right, exactly.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know all about it. Yeah So anyway, that’s so if if they if Apple Music can’t even keep that straight I have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco no hopes for like giving us somehow a radio safe version of these
⏹️ ▶️ Marco songs that I mean, they’re so Over-the-top nasty like I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can’t even imagine there would be a radio safe version
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I don’t know. I’m trying so hard to like Apple Music and what is it that Merlin
⏹️ ▶️ Casey says constantly? Like I use this more than the people who make the service or I care about the service more than the people who
⏹️ ▶️ Casey make it or whatever. Um, and it’s so true. Like, I don’t even feel like my needs from
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple music are particularly esoteric or, or odd or interesting. But now
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I have small children that are at least slightly aware of the lyrics in which, you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, of the songs in which we were listening, I want to be able to say, you know, can I have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey only clean music and perhaps like, can I have only clean music for this listening session? Or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on this output device, like the HomePod in the kitchen. Maybe that shouldn’t be playing swear words.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, exactly. I don’t mind them in my headphones if I’m walking somewhere, but you know.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, I couldn’t agree more. And again, I haven’t really played much with doing this on iOS,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but on macOS, it is nigh impossible to go from the explicit version of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey an album to the clean version of an album. And if there is an obvious way that I’m missing, please reach
⏹️ ▶️ Casey out via Twitter or something because I would love to have a cheat code. Heck, I would even take a stupid shortcut
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to do this if that’s what it takes. But for the life of me, I don’t know how. Now, to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey be fair, I don’t recall if this is a thing that you can do on Spotify or not. So maybe
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on Spotify it’s just as bad. It’s only been very, very recently that I found myself wanting
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to listen to, I don’t know, Lil Nas X or something like that or The Weeknd and being like, ooh, yeah, there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey some not so great colorful expletives in these lyrics. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I haven’t really tried this on Spotify either. But I feel like there’s got to be an easier way on Spotify
⏹️ ▶️ Casey than going into screen time in order to change your content preferences.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, this goes back to the data model we talked about before, like the idea that like there is an abstract idea of a song
⏹️ ▶️ John and that the song may have been recorded multiple times and that if it was recorded multiple times, there are different attributes
⏹️ ▶️ John of the different recordings including which one was the first one, which one was on the, you know, which one was on an album versus
⏹️ ▶️ John a single version, because sometimes those are different and also explicit and clean. And like your data model has to express
⏹️ ▶️ John all those different ideas, including, I think what the hardest one is to realize that this song that appears
⏹️ ▶️ John on an album, on a single, on another album, on a best of that, that is the same song,
⏹️ ▶️ John but just different recordings. Right. And then from within them deciding which one is the canonical
⏹️ ▶️ John one, how many of them are clean, how many of them are explicit. And then once you have all that data in the data model, then
⏹️ ▶️ John the final step is somewhere in your playback application, you have to give access to that
⏹️ ▶️ John metadata by saying, you know, hey, Dingus, play me the clean version of the song. Hey, Dingus, play me
⏹️ ▶️ John the original version of the song, the album version of this song. And if it doesn’t know and says, this
⏹️ ▶️ John song appears on two albums, album A and album B, which one would you like to hear? Like this, like, I feel like this
⏹️ ▶️ John is an eminently solvable problem without AI, just plain old, straight up, reasonable data model, reasonable
⏹️ ▶️ John voice commands, you could get it done. But I, when you describe this, Marco, it makes you think that Apple doesn’t even have this in the data model.
⏹️ ▶️ John And if you can’t do it in Spotify, maybe Spotify has it in the data model but doesn’t have it in the interface.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, all I can tell you is that the early 2000s were terrible for pop music.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like a noticeable turn towards like, this isn’t just not for me. This is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just not as good as what came before it. It’s clear as day.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not sure if people who are, you know, a couple years older than you would agree with that because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think a couple years younger than me would would be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John more likely. Sorry,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not older younger. Sorry, I went the wrong direction. Oh God. And normally, like, you know, whatever playlist we pick for the day, like today we’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on 2006, I believe, you know, whatever playlist we pick for the day, you know, we do it mostly during breakfast.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then, you know, after school and like when I’m making lunch, I’ll go over and tap the top of the home pod. So it resumes. And I’ll
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hear I’ll keep playing it. And then, you know, maybe later making dinner, I’ll tap it again and play it, you know, for another half hour then.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So usually I’ll go through the you know, that’ll be like what we what we’re listening to out loud all that whole day.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And since the 2000 crossover. This has been the only time where we’ve been like, just not able to continue.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like after breakfast, we’ll be like, you know, start at lunch. Like, you know what, let me just play some Almond Brothers.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can’t deal with this dirty, horrible stuff anymore.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, so real time follow up. I opened up Spotify on the desktop. And I searched for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Montero by Little Nice Acts, which is, by the way, it’s a phenomenal album. Is this, does
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if I say that a modern, reasonably well liked album is good, does that have the same effect as
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a top tier host buying a car. Like, did I just instantly make this deeply uncool by saying I enjoy
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it? I think I did.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Oh, yes. Well,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco But anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because now you’re 40. Right?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the boundary. I have only a mere months
⏹️ ▶️ John you make things uncool. I have no issue. That’s not the boundary
⏹️ ▶️ Marco particular case. I think I crossed the banjo when I was sixteen.
(Lack of) Purchase updates
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So, uh, earlier today I was looking at the show notes and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was scrolling through the followup section and that was seven hours ago and I’m still scrolling. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I believe it’s called doom scrolling.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey After page 34, it became doom scrolling for sure.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But in the defense of one, Mr. John Syracuse, uh, there is a lot to talk about with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey regard to the max studio and the max studio display. To be clear, my studio
⏹️ ▶️ Casey display is not here and is not going to be here for another couple of weeks. Woe is me. John,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey did we cover what you have or have not purchased? I don’t recall.
⏹️ ▶️ John John Griever We covered what I planned to purchase, but the shipping dates are way out in the future,
⏹️ ▶️ John so we should just not bother to even ask me about this until like May or June. I know nothing is
⏹️ ▶️ John coming to my house anytime soon.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Aaron Powell I will say, in the intervening time between last episode on this one, in-store availability
⏹️ ▶️ Marco opened up and there are some configurations that you can get in-store. The monitor is actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not that hard to find in-store in a lot of places and even the Mac Studio computer,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can get the base model of course, the two base models are in stock frequently in a lot of places.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then if you bump up the higher model to a few spec tiers here and there,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco some of those combinations are also available in person sometimes.
⏹️ ▶️ John if I want to get the 32 gigabyte version of the monitor? Do they have that in stock?
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Nice. We’ll get to that a little bit later. You’re jumping
Mac Studio: SSD upgrades?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. So anyway, uh, we’ve seen a lot of teardowns fly by of the max studio. This is the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey max studio section of the podcast. Um, and one of the first things that, that set the, or our corner
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the internet of flame was that the max studio has two SSD
⏹️ ▶️ Casey slots and in many configurations, one of them is empty. So it’s, it’s,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s expandable and, and, and you can, you can add more, right? Right. Right.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Right. This is
⏹️ ▶️ John why more people should be familiar with the Mac pro because anyone who has a 2019 Mac Pro saw that and they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John like, oh yeah, it’s just like in the Mac Pro, right? And if you’re not familiar, if you look inside your Mac Pro, it’s got the similar
⏹️ ▶️ John kinds of slots. And if you get a Mac Pro with, depending on how much storage you get from Apple and the Mac Pro,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, the slots may be filled or filled with different sizes of things. It looks like you have multiple SSDs,
⏹️ ▶️ John but as you know, when you buy a Mac Pro, you just get one quote unquote internal SSD, which may be made up of multiple
⏹️ ▶️ John chips. So I think, what is my Mac Pro? I think I have a four gig, four gig, four terabyte SSD. and I think it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John like two, two terabyte modules stuck in the little slots. So yeah, when you look inside the Mac Studio,
⏹️ ▶️ John looks kind of like that, very similar looking slots, very similar looking stuff in there. But the mistake people were making is
⏹️ ▶️ John thinking, is not being familiar with the Mac Pro and thinking, oh, those are slots where I can buy an SSD from Amazon and shove it
⏹️ ▶️ John in there. And I think physically you might be able to, but that’s just not the way
⏹️ ▶️ John the Mac Studio or the Mac Pro works. The way it works is you’re basically just sticking
⏹️ ▶️ John raw NAND chips in there? Not really, we’ll get to the details in a second, but the storage controller is
⏹️ ▶️ John on the SOC, or in the case of my Mac Pro, like somewhere else on the motherboard.
⏹️ ▶️ John And unlike when you buy like a stick, like an NVMe stick or whatever, an M.2 stick, that
⏹️ ▶️ John has the NAND and also the controller to work with it, like it’s a complete drive
⏹️ ▶️ John basically, whereas in the Mac Pro and in the Mac Studio, the drive is
⏹️ ▶️ John made up of these NAND modules, which on laptops are soldered to the motherboard, but in these ones are in little slots,
⏹️ ▶️ John driven by the storage controller that is, in my case, in the T-True chip or in the Apple Silicon
⏹️ ▶️ John things inside the system on a chip. So you need both of those things to work. And so it’s not like you can buy
⏹️ ▶️ John an SSD and shove it in there. They have, and why do they have two slots? Well, if you get like the eight terabyte config,
⏹️ ▶️ John they probably put a four and a four, right? If you get a four, they might do a two and a two. If you just get a two, they might
⏹️ ▶️ John put a single two in, like they can fill them as needed. So it’s not all
⏹️ ▶️ John that exotic or weird, but if you expect it to be a place where you
⏹️ ▶️ John put a drive, it’s not. Think of it as like, it’s like they soldered it to the board, but it’s not soldered. That’s what it’s like. Because if
⏹️ ▶️ John they were soldered to the board, you’re like, can I rip those chips off there and buy a drive from Amazon? It’s like, what do you mean a drive, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John Now here’s some more interesting details about this that Hector Martin posted to Twitter. And he does a bunch of porting
⏹️ ▶️ John of Linux to Apple Silicon. And so I figure he knows about these details because he’s actually
⏹️ ▶️ John trying to get an OS up running on it, so I trust more or less that this is at least close to the truth.
⏹️ ▶️ John Here’s what he said. He says, about the Mac Studio’s things, quote
⏹️ ▶️ John unquote SSD slots, which is not really what they are. If you want to play around with those storage modules in a studio, you should
⏹️ ▶️ John know that one, you definitely need to do a full DFU erase. What does DFU stand for? Device
⏹️ ▶️ John firmware update? Yeah. Device
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, exactly. And two, if you populate both slots, they definitely need to be the same size
⏹️ ▶️ John and they they might need to be the same vendor. So the reason you might need to do a DFU erase
⏹️ ▶️ John is like, why can’t I just, like if one of those modules breaks, can I just take another one off and shove it in there? There’s a bunch
⏹️ ▶️ John of reasons for that. One is that everything on those things is encrypted with a key that’s managed by
⏹️ ▶️ John the storage controller. So first of all, if you take those things out of one Mac Studio and
⏹️ ▶️ John put them in another Mac Studio, they won’t work because they’re encrypted with a key that that other Mac Studio doesn’t have. Like this is part of the
⏹️ ▶️ John security structure of the Mac. It’s done on purpose, right? And second thing is, if you take one of them out and put another
⏹️ ▶️ John one, it’s like taking, you know, half of the soldered NAND off of the motherboard of your
⏹️ ▶️ John PowerBook, PowerBook, your MacBook, right? That’s not gonna work, right? Think of them as one drive just split
⏹️ ▶️ John up into pieces in the same way that you have multiple flash chips on the motherboard
⏹️ ▶️ John of a MacBook Pro. Again, these are the same. They’re not like individual things, even though you can pull them out separately.
⏹️ ▶️ John So Hector continues, not sure if the top level controller cares about mismatched NAND vendors, just pointing
⏹️ ▶️ John it out since it might. Apple sources its raw flash from different vendors. You can find the module level
⏹️ ▶️ John controller firmware as for each kind in the restore ram disks. And then he posts a screenshot of a bunch of files
⏹️ ▶️ John on disks, these.bin files that have names like Samsung, MLC, 3D,
⏹️ ▶️ John SanDisk, ITLC. And that’s like multi-level, what is the
⏹️ ▶️ John QLC, MLC. I forget what the background
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco is for it. Cells?
⏹️ ▶️ John like- Multi-level cell or something? Yeah, it’s like how many bits they write to each cell and the more you add, the more
⏹️ ▶️ John like tricky it is to do and the cheaper it is, right? It’s got all these different things for Hynix,
⏹️ ▶️ John SanDisk, and every one of these things is like,
⏹️ ▶️ John what Vicky’s calling the module level firmware controllers, right? And so Apple,
⏹️ ▶️ John if you stick NAND in that matches one of these things, this is the little bit of firmware that will
⏹️ ▶️ John run on that NAND to do the job. Actor continues, if you populate that config, copulate
⏹️ ▶️ John a config that Apple would ship, I’d expect it to work given a full erase. And by the way, the reason a full erase works is
⏹️ ▶️ John when you do DFU and erase them entirely, it just wipes everything that’s on them and puts new data on them with
⏹️ ▶️ John the security key that’s in the SOC, right? If you try to do something weird, chances
⏹️ ▶️ John are it won’t work. To clarify, the above firmwares are for Apple’s raw NAND controller bridge, which
⏹️ ▶️ John is embedded on package with the raw NAND flash. That’s the Toshiba Samsung Hynix bit. The top
⏹️ ▶️ John level SSD controller is separate, right? So these are the little bit of controller firmware
⏹️ ▶️ John that runs on the little module with the flash chips in it. It’s not like the quote unquote SSD controller,
⏹️ ▶️ John which in Apple Silicon is in the system on a chip thing. The raw NAND controllers are called S3E, S4E,
⏹️ ▶️ John which are ARM32 and run Apple MSPS firmware. And S5E,
⏹️ ▶️ John which is Apple custom ARM64 core running Apple MSF firmware based on RTKit.
⏹️ ▶️ John The top of the SD controller is embedded in the M1 SoC and is ANS2 and runs Apple storage firmware. So these
⏹️ ▶️ John are all tiny little ARM chips that are running their own little firmware thing used to do their tiny little job.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so as Hector points out, yes, Apple puts freaking ARM64 inside each flash chip in
⏹️ ▶️ John your machine these days. That’s how they roll. There’s also at least 12 of those ARM64 mini cores
⏹️ ▶️ John inside the M1 Macs. It has more ARM64 coprocessor cores than ARM64 main
⏹️ ▶️ John processor cores. One of those is ANS2, the Apple storage controller thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John So, like, in the little module with the NAND chips on it, there’s a
⏹️ ▶️ John little tiny ARM processor that’s job is to just manage those NAND things, but it’s not a drive controller because the
⏹️ ▶️ John SSD drive controller that makes all that NAND appear as a single drive to the OS and everything, that’s in the
⏹️ ▶️ John SoC, and that’s another little ARM mini-core alongside apparently 11
⏹️ ▶️ John other little ARM mini-cores in the M1 Max SoC that do various jobs inside the larger
⏹️ ▶️ John chip. Obviously those cores are not like computation cores to run your stuff, they’re just little things to run, you know, that’s why they call
⏹️ ▶️ John it a system on a chip. It’s not just a CPU with a bunch of, you know, execution
⏹️ ▶️ John units and registers and stuff. There’s other entire other little processes and they’re doing their things, right? And
⏹️ ▶️ John finally, Hector has one final tweet about like why Apple does this and what’s the deal with their stuff. Apple’s NVMe
⏹️ ▶️ John implementation is largely faster, lower power and has special encryption modes, including features for per-file
⏹️ ▶️ John key selection not available to standard NVMe SSDs. Apple goes custom because they want to do things better
⏹️ ▶️ John than the competition in certain ways. So if you go through the Apple’s big security papers, you can see how they have
⏹️ ▶️ John per-file encryption keys, which is a feature basically inherited from the iPhone for
⏹️ ▶️ John an extra amount of security. And you can’t do that without sort of complete understanding of the whole
⏹️ ▶️ John storage stack because NAND doesn’t know about files and the SSD controller
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t know about keys for individual files, and making all this stuff work together, lets them have not just encryption keys for the whole
⏹️ ▶️ John drive, but also per file encryption keys as well. So it’s actually fairly complicated and fairly
⏹️ ▶️ John cool, but it also explains after seeing all this and getting headache, I get why I can’t buy something
⏹️ ▶️ John from Amazon and plug it in. Cause it’s the wrong thing. Like an Amazon thing is, you know, an actual
⏹️ ▶️ John commercial drive or whatever. I keep saying Amazon, but it’s,
⏹️ ▶️ John has the storage controller, NAND, everything all in one and it presents an interface
⏹️ ▶️ John as a drive to the host computer. And that’s not how the Mac Studio or the Mac Pro work at all.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s wild. It’s really wild. But yeah, it seems like they’re, because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I watched a couple of videos. I forget who it was, but somebody had posted a video about,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh, let me take one Mac Studio and take the, you know, dismantle both, or I’m sorry, take two
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Mac Studios, dismantle them both and try to swap chips back and forth between them. And they concluded,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh, this must be something that Apple is doing to, you know, try to fight against right to repair and blah,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey blah, blah, which on the surface is a reasonable explanation if you don’t know any better.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But as soon as you dig into this a little bit, you realize, no, no, no, this has nothing to do with right to repair, even though it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is a kind of crummy offshoot that it’s a little harder to do this on your own. But nevertheless,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what it’s really about is just making as good a system as they possibly can, like you said. But-
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, and it’s physical security, which historically has been almost non-existent. If you have physical access, it was
⏹️ ▶️ John very easy to get complete access. Now Apple makes it much, just like with iPhones, much, much harder. Even when you have physical
⏹️ ▶️ John access to an iPhone, it is non-trivial to break into it. And the Macs transitioning
⏹️ ▶️ John to Apple Silicon are actually even beating with the T2. That’s what they’ve been trying to do with Macs. And what it means is you get things like,
⏹️ ▶️ John what do you mean my storage is cryptographically locked to my computer? It’s like, yeah, I mean, you can erase
⏹️ ▶️ John it. You can go into DFU mode and erase it, but then you lose all the data on it, right? You can’t, in the old days, you could rip
⏹️ ▶️ John a hard drive out of one PC, stick it into another PC, and voila, you’ve got everything, right? Can’t do that
⏹️ ▶️ John on modern Macs. And that’s a good thing. the drivers would never boot,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right? You’d have to like green-spot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Windows on it. All
⏹️ ▶️ John right, let’s just say a Mac. You could take a hard drive out of one Mac and
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco connect it to another and you would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco contents really easily. Yeah, and to be, you know, to I think characterize Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco motives here, I don’t think, when Apple does things that make it harder to upgrade or repair
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your computer or phone or whatever, I don’t think they’re doing it to,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, maliciously. I don’t think they’re doing it because thinking like, hell, if we make this one change, nobody
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will be able to buy cheap SSDs put them in here or nobody will be able to repair this thing on their own or whatever. I don’t think that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what it is. I think they just don’t prioritize people self-upgrading
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and self-repairing enough. Like they don’t design for it, they don’t think enough about it or they don’t care enough about it or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they let other factors override it. So if they’re able to make something that they think is better
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or that or that you know legitimately is better in in a way that makes it harder to repair or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco upgrade, they will choose that almost every time time, because they are, it is a lower priority
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for them to accommodate repairs and upgrades later. Now that’s, you know, that’s certainly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco worth debating whether that should be their priority, but that’s I think where it’s coming from. Not any, not any like intentions
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, as part of the product brief, really, because to give an example, the Mac Pro is the one Mac,
⏹️ ▶️ John I would say that is designed to make things upgradable and swappable. Like there’s, there’s numbered instructions
⏹️ ▶️ John with text and stuff inside the thing telling you how to add and remove cards, telling you how to
⏹️ ▶️ John add and remove RAM, you know, like it is explicitly, you know, made
⏹️ ▶️ John to be, to have parts of the inside of it upgraded and change. Just not the SSDs, which are
⏹️ ▶️ John basically exactly like this and not upgradable, but you can add a PCIe card and put as many SSDs
⏹️ ▶️ John as you want in there. And you can add, you know, seven SSD, PCIe cards with SSDs all over them.
⏹️ ▶️ John You can swap in and out hard drives. You can access all the RAM because they’re on little chips that you can take in and out and they have instructions
⏹️ ▶️ John on how to do it. Pretty much no other Mac is like that anymore, including the Mac Studio, which as we’ve
⏹️ ▶️ John seen from the teardowns, maybe we’ll discuss in a little bit, doesn’t even have user accessible screws. You have to peel off the rubber
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey foot on the bottom to even
⏹️ ▶️ John open it, right? Whereas my computer has a giant handle on the top that you lift up
⏹️ ▶️ John and twist, right? It’s very different, but this is the only Mac that has as part of its design,
⏹️ ▶️ John make this thing user accessible and expandable, right? every other Mac is like, that’s not part
⏹️ ▶️ John of the requirements. Right, and so when, like you said, Marco, when they come up with like, oh, we can make the SSD faster
⏹️ ▶️ John and lower power by soldering it to the motherboard. Do it. Oh, we can make the RAM faster by putting it all in one big system on a
⏹️ ▶️ John chip. Do it, because it doesn’t violate any of the requirements because the requirements of the system are not
⏹️ ▶️ John like, let the user be able to upgrade the components.
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Mac Studio thermals, fans
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Now, moving on to the depressing part of the podcast for one, Mr.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John Syracusa, you know, it’s like you were talking about 2000s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey songs and hits. Tear John’s heart into pieces. The Mac studio
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is currently his last resort. But But hey, this is this is bad news.
⏹️ ▶️ John because if you look at the graph, it will unbreak my heart to it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey done. Well done. That was probably late 90s, wasn’t it? That’s a great time. I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John so bad with years.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, well done. I am very proud of all three of us. Look at us go. God,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco we’re so old. By the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way, the songs I was complaining about were nothing like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Anyway, all right. So Mac Studio, cooling and fan noise. I heard your heart
⏹️ ▶️ Casey shattering into a trillion pieces, John. At least that’s the way it was, but it seems you’ve glued yourself
⏹️ ▶️ Casey back together. How do you wanna handle this? Do you want me to start walking through this? Do you wanna take this?
⏹️ ▶️ John I think I can take this. So like, to start, I remember reading Jason Snell’s review. It was one of the first ones I reviewed,
⏹️ ▶️ John and he’s like, it does make fan noise all the time. Fans are always running, you hear them, and it’s noisier than I expected,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? And I think probably the next thing I saw after that was one of the Max Tech YouTube videos, and they were like,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s completely silent. I was like, well, I’ll just wait to see. I’ll wait and see how this shakes
⏹️ ▶️ John out, because lots of people have different ideas of what is noisy, what is quiet, so on and so forth.
⏹️ ▶️ John So here are some facts that we’ve gathered from various people looking at these things and taking measurements.
⏹️ ▶️ John So from the Max Tech video, which we’ll link in the show notes, it seems like the fans on the
⏹️ ▶️ John Max Studio, and there’s two of them, if you look at Apple’s intro video, there’s two fans that pull air in from the bottom
⏹️ ▶️ John and shove it out the back. They idle around 1300 RPM.
⏹️ ▶️ John And according to TG Pro, app that does like a fan measurement speed we’ll put a link to that in the show
⏹️ ▶️ John notes as well. According to the TG Pro app it lists the minimum fan RPM on the MacStudio
⏹️ ▶️ John fans as 1100 RPM. Now this is a third-party application I don’t know if it’s actually true
⏹️ ▶️ John but the point is the minimum is 1100 and they’re idling at 1300. In the testing the MaxTech
⏹️ ▶️ John did under what they consider full load they tried to exercise the CPU and the GPU as much as possible.
⏹️ ▶️ John The SoC temperature maxes out around 60 degrees Celsius. And I know we don’t do Celsius around here,
⏹️ ▶️ John but I can just tell you if you’ve ever done anything having to do with PC cooling, 60 degrees Celsius is not hot.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like this is the maximum temperature where they’re trying to say, can we put the CPU and the GPU maxed
⏹️ ▶️ John out, all cores, everything at the same time, and they got it to max at like 60 degrees.
⏹️ ▶️ John That is extremely cool, okay? And during that stress test of maxing everything out,
⏹️ ▶️ John the fan stayed at 1300 RPM. So these fans apparently never change
⏹️ ▶️ John RPM. And even under max load at 1300 RPM, they can keep the
⏹️ ▶️ John thing at 60 degrees Celsius.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I’m sorry, for those of us who believe in good temperature units, that’s 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Honestly, I’m a Fahrenheit proponent, but not with CPU temperatures.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Because it is not describing ambient
⏹️ ▶️ Marco air temperature. And so like the whole world describes CPU temps in Celsius and it is actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco useful because 100 degrees Celsius is roughly the limit of what you would ever want a CPU
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to reach and you should really keep it below that. And so like the scale actually makes sense.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m just I’m just trolling for the fun of it. No, I completely agree with you.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. And so if you’re if you’re listening to this near an Intel Mac, please go look at what your CPU temperature as you sit
⏹️ ▶️ John here idle listening to a podcast like I it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John if you max an Intel Mac to like use all the cores and some kind of stress test,
⏹️ ▶️ John it will not stay at 60 degrees Celsius, chances are very good,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right? Well, what is your, what is our lone
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco intel? Just have Dropbox running. That’s all you need to do.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And or Slack. What is your CPU running at right now, John? Do you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John have flat-disk? I had to
⏹️ ▶️ John launch TG Pro, and I will tell you, oh, there’s an update. Well, I’m going to, I’m gonna
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey click Install
⏹️ ▶️ John Update. But while I click Install Update, oh, I had to change to Celsius, I think, because I might be in Fahrenheit.
⏹️ ▶️ John Where are the settings for TG Pro? I’m gonna install
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and relaunch. So while you figure that out, I would say that it seems, I mean, I haven’t been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco following the videos and everything on this yet, but I am certainly disappointed to hear that there’s audible fans, but we know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what these, like, cause even, even not talking about the M1 Ultra version, even just talking about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the M1 Max version, people say it has the same, you know, approximate, you know, fan noise being, you know, noticeable,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I, I don’t know anything about the blowers they’re using, I mean, it’s probably some kind of weird custom thing that they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco made, but I would hope that they can actually spin slower than 1100
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or 1200 RPM. And I would love to see that idle speed, what does it sound like when
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s like 800, 900 RPM? Because it seems like if they’re able to keep
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that CPU at 60 Celsius, even under full load at the same speed.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s the same speed it idles at. Right, then that tells me that they could get away with less cooling
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and therefore less noise when it’s not under full load. And so meanwhile, I sit here next to my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco desktop laptop, which by the way, quick aside, I love the desktop laptop lifestyle
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so much. So earlier today, we were about to do a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco FaceTime session with our workout trainer. The session was like a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco half hour away, and I had a software update ready to go on the 14 inch that we
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would normally would use for that. So I said, all right, fine, installed 12.3 or whatever it is, whatever we’re on.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know system updates on M1 Macs are not fast, but surely a half
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hour will be enough time. Little did I know, after you hit install, well then it has to first
⏹️ ▶️ Marco prepare the update. And that took like 15 of the minutes.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We now only have 15 minutes left, and I’m like, okay, I’m not going to reboot after doing this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I know as soon as I begin this, it’s going to take longer than 15 minutes because M1 software
⏹️ ▶️ Marco updates are very, very slow. enough it finishes the preparing stage and then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it shows me the you know do you agree to these terms screen and I thought aha I just won’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco agree to the terms until after the workout so I just hid the window
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sure enough a few seconds later the computer reboots
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey so by the way
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you don’t have to agree to the terms turns out so we’ll see what that means if I got a knock on the door from Apple legal
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the morning and then of course it like blew way past the workout doing It’s random, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t even know what the progress bars are indicating. Like when it’s actually in the, in like the rebooted environment, doing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the software updates, it went through like four different progress bars. So like, it’s displaying
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nothing. It might as well just be a spinner at that point. So it’s not useful information anyway. So it was just so slow that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was at the last minute, able to just take my desktop laptop off of my desk. Oh, you know, unplug
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it, open it up, pop it open and use that. It’s so nice having this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco dual laptop lifestyle. So this is one of the reasons why I am not envious
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at all about everyone else’s Mac Studio results they’re getting of, wow, look, look, it compiles Xcode 20% faster.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like I am so happy with my dual setup of dual laptops.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And by the way, my 16 inch that is my desktop laptop, I have never
⏹️ ▶️ Marco heard the fan. Not once. It is a much smaller volume of, of, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco inner dimensions in there that it’s, that it’s keeping cool. much smaller fans, it should
⏹️ ▶️ Marco theoretically be much louder than the Mac Studio reportedly is. And yet
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is dead silent with everything I’ve ever thrown at it. I’ve never heard the fan.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have only heard my 14 inch a couple of times. I think both of them were FFMPEG related,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but it’s only been like twice. And I’ve had this thing, when did we get these? Like November of last year or something like that?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Whereas if I breathed wrong on my Intel MacBook Pro, the fans would spin up. No,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t want to continue to belabor this point because I feel like you and I have been gushing about the desktop laptop for a while
⏹️ ▶️ Casey now, but it occurred to me as we were talking that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we were overjoyed this year when what ended up happening
⏹️ ▶️ Casey was the 13 Pro regular size didn’t really
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have any compromises from the 13 Pro
⏹️ ▶️ Casey size, right? Was it this year or last year or both? It was this year, I believe. And we were
⏹️ ▶️ Casey overjoyed by that. And that I think is a reasonable expectation, that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the two phones that are of roughly the same size, and I know with that size
⏹️ ▶️ Casey class, everything matters more, but two phones for roughly the same size have roughly the same
⏹️ ▶️ Casey capabilities, and that’s really awesome. Never in a million years did I think I could say that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about freaking computers. You know, the ultra accepted,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it really is choose your own adventure, choose your own case when it comes to M1s. And I know that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s not entirely true because you can’t get a Max in certain places and so on, but amongst the kinds of computers
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I would look at buying, I can get an M1 Max in a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Max Studio, or I can get it in my 14-inch MacBook Pro, and they’re the same. Like never
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in a million years did I think I would be able to choose what case I wanted,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but have effectively the exact same processor in any of them. I mean, I’ve been paying
⏹️ ▶️ Casey attention to computers since I was eight or something like that. So since like 1990,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and never has this been even close to an option in my lifetime. And it’s just so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey amazing and so cool that we can have these really, well, unless you’re John Syracuse,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey these no compromise machines that you can take anywhere. It’s just phenomenal.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh yeah. I mean, even like, you know, the year that I spent before the MacBook Pros using the M1
⏹️ ▶️ Marco MacBook Air as my main computer for a lot of that time and then using the M1
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mac Mini which is the same chip for the other half of it. Like the M1 MacBook Air, that alone,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that could have been my main computer that entire time if I would have gotten higher specs on it. And it’s just like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I couldn’t believe that computer. It was so incredibly good to have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple’s cheapest laptop be the best computer I’d ever used
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and have no fan, didn’t even have one, have this amazing performance,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco incredible battery life, it’s super small and light, that’s amazing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We’re in such a good time right now for these computers. And that’s why, so let’s get back to the Mac Studio, that’s why it is kind of,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wonder, this fan noise thing seems like a pretty big downside to this, and I have to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wonder, maybe this is adjustable in firmware. Like maybe they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco set the idle RPM speed a little too high, and maybe they can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bring it down. Like again, I don’t know what, you know, maybe the blowers can’t go that slowly, but they probably can.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I really hope that they consider that because this, you know, we know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what these chips do. We know from the laptops and from the Mac mini, there is no reason
⏹️ ▶️ Marco why a desktop with an M1 Max, not the Ultra, we don’t know about the Ultra yet.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We do know about that, I’ll get to that in a second. Okay, but there’s no reason why the M1 Max
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a desktop enclosure should ever be audible, no matter what it’s doing. Because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on a laptop, it’s barely audible, even under the most ridiculous load. And it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco inaudible under almost any other load. So we know that if a laptop can do that inaudibly, so can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a desktop with the exact same chip. Now, so John, tell me about the Ultra.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, so the question is, okay, well, you just told me all these things that idles at 1300. And like, and again, I think this
⏹️ ▶️ John is another first. Can you think of a desktop computer whose fan runs at the same speed when it’s under maximum
⏹️ ▶️ John load versus when it’s idle? Like, what is the point of a cooling system? if the fan is never going to change RPM. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, you would think you would tune the thing so like, yeah, when it gets hotter, the fan spin faster, right? But to literally
⏹️ ▶️ John be at 1300 RPM under full CPU and GPU running this weird benchmark
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s synthetically designed to do that. It’s like one of those benchmarks that does stuff off screen so you’re not even delayed by
⏹️ ▶️ John the refresh rate of the monitor, right? That is weird. So what is the Ultra like? Cause that would be,
⏹️ ▶️ John that was the max. The Ultra has no real difference in fan speed or temperatures
⏹️ ▶️ John than the Max. So they, both the Ultra and the Max, run around 1300 RPM when they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John idle, stay at around 1300 RPM and around 60 degrees Celsius under full CPU and GPU
⏹️ ▶️ John load. Now, obviously the Ultra has a better cooling system. It has big copper heat sinks that weighs twice as much. It has
⏹️ ▶️ John extra heat pipes that the Max one doesn’t have, but it definitely seems like
⏹️ ▶️ John they tuned the cooling system so that both of those things, that the fans run at the same speed
⏹️ ▶️ John and that the system on a chip stays at the same temperature. Obviously the Ultra produces more heat, but then the
⏹️ ▶️ John cooling system gets rid of more heat from it. So it’s scaled to be like that. So I
⏹️ ▶️ John totally agree with Marco that if these fans are capable of running slower, you should be able to run them
⏹️ ▶️ John slower and be just fine. Because obviously 1300 RPM is sufficient to keep, and this
⏹️ ▶️ John is like, I mean, it’s not an hour long test, it’s like a 10 minute test, but even after 10 minutes at maximum load,
⏹️ ▶️ John if the fans are still at 1300 RPM, there’s so much headroom for you to deal with this. And again, we’ll put links to the
⏹️ ▶️ John Max Tech videos where they show these things. Now, as I said before, noise, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John Some people say it’s noise, some people say it’s not. These blower fans, there’s, we’ll get to this in a little
⏹️ ▶️ John bit too, but there’s two of these blower fans in the Mac Studio too, and everyone pretty much agrees that the Mac Studio you can’t hear the fans in.
⏹️ ▶️ John You can feel the air coming out the top of your hand over, but you just can’t hear it. Wait, you’re referring to the Studio Display? Oh, sorry, yeah, the Studio
⏹️ ▶️ John Display. I hate the fact that they both have Studio in the name. Yeah, the Studio Display has two blower fans that look very similar
⏹️ ▶️ John to the blower. They’re not the same, obviously, but the same style of fan, like where it pushes air sideways
⏹️ ▶️ John from the direction of the rotation of the thing, is in the studio display. And everything I’ve read
⏹️ ▶️ John has said, you can’t hear the fans in the studio display unless you literally shove your ear on the top of the display,
⏹️ ▶️ John but you can feel the air coming out, right? So there’s agreement about what constitutes silent when
⏹️ ▶️ John it comes to the display. But for the Mac Studio computer itself, Max
⏹️ ▶️ John Tech in their video describes it as, quote, completely silent. Whereas many other people say,
⏹️ ▶️ John I hear the fan all the time. As Quinn Nelson says on his channel, I guess it’s a tweet actually, don’t mistake this to mean
⏹️ ▶️ John the Mac Studio is loud. It’s not, but the M1 Ultra Mac Studio is persistently audible at idle. It’s louder than any Mac
⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve ever owned in recent memory, including Intel machines. So lots of opinions vary on this.
⏹️ ▶️ John What, you know, how loud does it seem to you? Maybe you’re doing in a loud room, you know, based on the
⏹️ ▶️ John RPM, I feel like if all these machines in idling at 1300 RPM, these subjective differences
⏹️ ▶️ John have to do with the people they’re listening, people who are listening to it and the rooms they’re listening in. So here’s this website,
⏹️ ▶️ John quietmac.netlify.app. This is made for John Syracuse.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, that purports to measure the noise levels of computers both at idle and
⏹️ ▶️ John when browsing the web. I will put a link in the show notes. What this graph shows is,
⏹️ ▶️ John and what potentially unbreaks my heart, as mentioned before, is that the Mac Studio at idle comes
⏹️ ▶️ John in around 24 decibels. And the Mac Pro, the computer I’m sitting next to right now, comes
⏹️ ▶️ John in at 27 decibels. So what this is saying to me is at idle, the Mac Studio is quieter
⏹️ ▶️ John than my Mac Pro. I’m already sitting in a room with my Mac Pro. I’m sitting like I can touch it with
⏹️ ▶️ John my hand. It’s not that far away. So if I can live with that noise,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m hoping that my wife will be able to live in May or June or whatever the hell I get my computer
⏹️ ▶️ John with the noise of a Mac Studio, which will be shoved back on her desk behind a bunch of crap.
⏹️ ▶️ John And even if it’s running at 1300 RPM, The good news is that no matter what she does to her computer, apparently it will always run
⏹️ ▶️ John at 1300 RPM and never get any louder, and it will be quieter than my Mac Pro. And if you compare
⏹️ ▶️ John it in this thing to like the Retina 5K iMac, that’s 24 decibels. So the difference between a 5K
⏹️ ▶️ John iMac, which is what she’s got now, 23, 24 decibels, depending on what year iMac and what processor it
⏹️ ▶️ John is, to 25. And I know decibels aren’t a linear scale, right? So 24 is not, you know, 25 is not 1 25th bigger
⏹️ ▶️ John than 24 or whatever. Like it’s not a linear scale, but it’s not a huge difference between
⏹️ ▶️ John the noise level of these things. And so I’m inclined to
⏹️ ▶️ John think that I’m going to be annoyed from a philosophical perspective that why are you running the fans
⏹️ ▶️ John at 1300 RPM when clearly you can run them way slower and be just fine when the machine is idling.
⏹️ ▶️ John But I do like the fact that it appears that the cooling systems on both the Ultra and the Max are tuned such
⏹️ ▶️ John that even under artificial benchmark kind of like loads that you’ll never induce
⏹️ ▶️ John even when playing a game probably, that they’re not gonna get much louder and that you’re not gonna get the hairdryer
⏹️ ▶️ John effect. And during all that time, it’s not like they’re baking the innards of this machine because everything
⏹️ ▶️ John is staying relatively cool.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s still, to me, it seems like some kind of either bug or mistake
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, you know, on this quiet Mac site that the desktop Apple just released
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is the second loudest desktop they’ve released in years. Second loudest computer they’ve released in years at idle.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, it makes sense in terms of, if you look at the top two, it’s their biggest honking desktop thing
⏹️ ▶️ John and their second biggest honking desktop thing, right? I mean, like you would hope
⏹️ ▶️ John like the laptops aren’t on there. These are the separate desktop box type machine that
⏹️ ▶️ John nobody really buys. And so I don’t think it’s surprising that they’re up there, but it is surprising because
⏹️ ▶️ John the Mac Studio is kind of small and you’re like, oh, did they make it so small? So it’s so hot in there, they got to run the fans really high
⏹️ ▶️ John all the time. They don’t have to, they just do. And by the way, if anyone has this, I believe if you get like TG
⏹️ ▶️ John Pro, you can put the fans on manual. And I do wonder if you drag the little progress bar down
⏹️ ▶️ John to 1100 RPM, like can you tell a difference in the sound or can you go below like to Marcos point,
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe they go down to 800. TG Pro doesn’t seem to think they do, but you can put the fans on manual control
⏹️ ▶️ John and mess with stuff. And I finally got the TG Pro update. The iMac Pro right now is idling around 40
⏹️ ▶️ John degrees Celsius on the CPUs. And yeah, mid 30s, low
⏹️ ▶️ John 40s on pretty much everything inside my computer as it sits here idle while I record a podcast.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s still pretty good. I mean, that’s not bad at all.
⏹️ ▶️ John But I can make them go way up. I just run Microsoft Flight Simulator and all those fans will,
⏹️ ▶️ John the temperatures will go way, way up and the fans will get much, much louder. And it seems that on the Mac Studio,
⏹️ ▶️ John the fans will not get much, much louder no matter what you do to the thing because it just has cooling to spare.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That is pretty incredible. So I’m glad your heart is unbroken and Tony Braxton is also glad. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey both of us are very excited.
⏹️ ▶️ John time I actually get mine, maybe they’ll change the fan firmware in a software update.
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Why 5K at 27”?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey We got a lot of feedback, and I don’t know what the source of this feedback was,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and most of it was not snarky at all, but a lot of feedback about why 5K?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Why do people care? Why is this a thing? And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have an answer to this, but John, it sounds like you perhaps had something you wanted to start with, and since
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this seems to be the John episode so far, if you would like to kick us off
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and then I would like to add some things potentially at the end.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I saw a lot in this and a lot of Apple Studio Display reviews as well, particularly the reviews that were trying to say,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, is this monitor a good deal? Right? Because it costs $1,600, which to someone who doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John routinely shop in the Apple world seems like a lot for a monitor. You’re like, $1,600 for a monitor? I can
⏹️ ▶️ John get a good monitor for like $500. What are you doing? What’s different about this? And those,
⏹️ ▶️ John I think those debates or the reason this 5K thing kept coming up. Even on Twitter, I was sort of like
⏹️ ▶️ John thrown into a Twitter canoe, as they say, with a bunch of people who are arguing with each other about this. And inevitably, what it would
⏹️ ▶️ John say, it was like, $1,600 a lot, but there’s really only, as Casey,
⏹️ ▶️ John you’ve pointed out on your website, there’s not a lot of competition for this. The LG
⏹️ ▶️ John is like $1,300, and the LG has a lot of problems, as detailed in the show,
⏹️ ▶️ John and the Apple one is really well-built and looks nice. And so the couple hundred dollar difference is
⏹️ ▶️ John reasonable. And like, and if you don’t like either one of those monitors, what are your choices? And everyone would say, what are you talking
⏹️ ▶️ John about? That’s not the only competition. Look at all these monitors. And everyone say, yeah, but that one isn’t 5K. And you’d
⏹️ ▶️ John come back to this question. But why do you care about 5K? Like you’re telling me the only
⏹️ ▶️ John monitor that I can compare this Apple to is the one other 5K monitor and every other monitor doesn’t count because you can’t
⏹️ ▶️ John compare it because the prices are not proportional. Like if you go down to a 4K monitor,
⏹️ ▶️ John you can get a really good 4K monitor for way, way less. And you can, not only that,
⏹️ ▶️ John you can get a 4K monitor with mini LED, with HDR, with high refresh,
⏹️ ▶️ John all of that for less than the 5K. So everyone in these conversations about value inevitably saw people talking past
⏹️ ▶️ John each other until they realized they didn’t agree on the premise that the only competition to a 5K monitor is a 5K monitor. And
⏹️ ▶️ John what I wanna say about it in the context of ADP is the reason we three individual people
⏹️ ▶️ John keep talking about a 5K monitor is because it is a thing that hasn’t existed. The
⏹️ ▶️ John only one out there was the LG and the one that you could build into the iMac. And so we didn’t spend a lot of time talking
⏹️ ▶️ John about 4K monitors because there’s tons of them. There’s plenty of competition. You have many different choices. There’s lots of different models
⏹️ ▶️ John with lots of different prices. Like I have one attached to my PlayStation. Casey’s have them. Like that
⏹️ ▶️ John wasn’t a problem area or a hole that needed to be filled, but there was no 5K. And the reason,
⏹️ ▶️ John speaking for myself, the reason why I’m interested in 5K is because we have a 5K iMac since 2015.
⏹️ ▶️ John And as we said many times, once you get used to being able to see more stuff to
⏹️ ▶️ John have more points of resolution, if not necessarily pixels, it’s hard to go back
⏹️ ▶️ John to a smaller monitor. It feels like a downgrade because we’re accustomed in general over the course
⏹️ ▶️ John of our computing lives to starting off, I start off with a nine inch monochrome monitor and progressively
⏹️ ▶️ John as computers have gotten better and better the screen that I look at every day has gotten bigger. Obviously
⏹️ ▶️ John this will stop at some point. It’s not gonna be 7,000 inches eventually, right? But it has gotten bigger over time. So
⏹️ ▶️ John if you spent many, many years in front of a 5K monitor, the idea of getting a brand new Mac
⏹️ ▶️ John and having to go down to a 4K monitor isn’t particularly attractive. It’s not the end of the world.
⏹️ ▶️ John What if you get two 4K monitors? Isn’t that better? Maybe you don’t like two monitors. Maybe you don’t have room for two monitors. Maybe you’re just
⏹️ ▶️ John a single monitor person like I am. So once you get used to 5K, it’s nice to have 5K.
⏹️ ▶️ John And Apple made a Mac with a 5K monitor, but they never made a standalone 5K monitor and the LG was the only
⏹️ ▶️ John one. So the reason why we keep talking about this is one, it was a product that seemingly nobody made,
⏹️ ▶️ John which was frustrating. And two, for me personally, I’ve gotten used to 5K. So it was frustrating
⏹️ ▶️ John that this is what I’m used to, but my options are so narrow when I go to my next computer. I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s what drove me to buy this ridiculously priced 6K monitor because hey, it’s even more than 5K. I would have been happy
⏹️ ▶️ John with 5K, but at the time literally my only option was the LG or this and I wasn’t gonna get that LG because I’m not as
⏹️ ▶️ John brave as Casey. So I got this stupid 6K, right? But now they have a 5K, that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John why people are talking about it. And the people who are stuck on 5K, why do you care about 5K? It’s basically
⏹️ ▶️ John people who have gotten used to 5K, probably by using a 5K Amlog, or maybe by using the 5K LG,
⏹️ ▶️ John and going to anything smaller, or going to two 4K displays, feels like to them either a downgrade,
⏹️ ▶️ John or something they don’t wanna do.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, it’s tough because I think
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Mac users are a little bit different and cut from a different cloth than your
⏹️ ▶️ Casey average PC user and that doesn’t mean we’re more right or anything like that. We’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco just a little different. Lyle Troxell No, we
⏹️ ▶️ Casey are. We are definitely more right. Steven Connelly Fine, fine. And so I think another
⏹️ ▶️ Casey way of looking at this is that, you know, especially when did the Retina MacBook Pros
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Lyle Troxell 2012. Steven
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Connelly 2012. God, was it that long ago?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey years ago. Lyle Troxell It sure was. Steven Connelly Holy smokes.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So when these Retina MacBook Pros came out in 2012, we got these incredibly, incredibly crisp displays,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just phenomenally crisp. And the same thing happened with the phones and the iPads and so on and so forth. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was the first time that I saw any sort of computer monitor that was that crisp. That was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what people sometimes call high DPI. And when you have all
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of that data to make things so clear, but you put it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in a relatively small package. So, I mean, what was the original sales pitch of Retina? You get four pixels
⏹️ ▶️ Casey where you would previously have only had one, if I remember correctly. Do I have that right?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey I mean, that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is what happened. I don’t know if that was
⏹️ ▶️ John the sales pitch. Yeah. The sales pitch is you can’t see the pixels anymore. They’re so small that your eye can’t resolve them. That’s what makes it a Retina
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Exactly. And so, you know, this was true on the iPhone, it was true on the iPad, and then it was true on Macs.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so, you know, from 2012, Mac OS, or it might have even still been OS 10
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at that point, had phenomenal high DPI support because they were, you know, making computers that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey had these ridiculously high DPI displays. And as of years ago now, and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I haven’t personally tried this recently, although I have friends that still run Windows and they say it’s not great.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey As of, actually, John, you might even have opinions about this, but as of years ago now, Windows high DPI support
⏹️ ▶️ Casey was rather trash. Like it would work in some places, it wouldn’t work in others, and it was
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I can tell you my experience with it because obviously I’m running Windows on a high DPI screen here Windows itself
⏹️ ▶️ John does pretty okay It has adjustable resolution and you can basically make it look the
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s even more flexible than that It’s probably the same flexibility It’s more straightforward than Apple because I hate those stupid
⏹️ ▶️ John little thing where you have five different choices and it’s like, you know default scaled It’s like just tell me
⏹️ ▶️ John what the ratio is So I don’t anyway Windows is straightforward that but here’s the problem with you using Windows on a high
⏹️ ▶️ John DPI monitor Just because Windows, the OS, has reasonable scaling and handles it well, and
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m running Windows 10 and I assume Windows 11 is even better, because Windows backwards compatibility is like their religion,
⏹️ ▶️ John tons of stuff that you run on Windows has no idea that it’s running on a high DPI
⏹️ ▶️ John monitor and just plain shows itself at 1X and everything is microscopic. Like even, I think I was playing
⏹️ ▶️ John like Valorant or something, like a modern, fairly modern game, and like
⏹️ ▶️ John the Riot game launcher thing shows itself at 1X with Retina Pixels. It was so small, like my
⏹️ ▶️ John nose was practically touching the screen. I couldn’t see anything, because it has no, like they just don’t expect to run, especially gaming
⏹️ ▶️ John things. Because gaming, you don’t game on a Retina monitor. That’s why most gaming monitors on PCs, they have these
⏹️ ▶️ John resolutions. When you look at them, like, oh, it’s an awesome monitor. You’re like, no, that’s not points, that’s pixels. You’re like, oh,
⏹️ ▶️ John well, for a Mac user, that’s not how we want to do things. But for a PC gamer, Retina
⏹️ ▶️ John is not something that you crave, really. And so games never expect to run at high DPI, and sometimes
⏹️ ▶️ John they just don’t care, and they just show themselves microscopic. And you wouldn’t think that’s a big deal, but if you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John old and don’t have great vision, being able to use the tiny Windows controls
⏹️ ▶️ John on a like 1X window being displayed on a 2X retina display is actually really difficult.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I can tell you very frustrating. It’s literally like reading an eye chart. So yeah, the
⏹️ ▶️ John overall experience is something to be desired, but it’s mostly not the fault of Microsoft because they get it right in the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. So if you, if you start from the premise that you want something that’s high DPI,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that changes your requirements quite dramatically. So,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey uh, when I was going on a search for a, a retina monitor, when I was still at my jobby job, uh,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we landed on a bunch of different options and that was, uh, covered in a post of mine
⏹️ ▶️ Casey from 2017. And at the time there was a 24 inch
⏹️ ▶️ Casey 4k monitor, and that’s actually the one I’m looking at right this very moment. and it was about $300 then, it’s about $300 now. And that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey worked out just fine. It’s not a fantastic monitor, but it’s fine. And it’s cheap. I mean, $300 is a lot
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of money, but given everything else we’re talking about right now, it’s pretty cheap. There was at the time a Dell 24-inch 4K
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that was a little more expensive and a little bit better, like a little bit better color reproduction,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so on and so forth. That has been discontinued to the best of my knowledge. And there was a 27-inch
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Dell 5K monitor, which has also been discontinued. So we have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the LG 24 inch 4k. There’s also the LG ultra fine
⏹️ ▶️ Casey 4k, which at the time in 2017 was like 700 bucks. I don’t know if that is the case anymore or not.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And then you had the LG ultra fine 5k and that was, you know, like 1300 bucks. I think it was like 15 or 16 when it was brand new. And then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey they dropped the price shortly thereafter. And that was it. That’s all you could do. Because in my
⏹️ ▶️ Casey personal opinion, if you cross above about 24 inches with 4k resolution,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you start to get out of retina because you can start to see the pixels. And yes, this is the first worldiest of first world
⏹️ ▶️ Casey problems, but that’s the whole point, is that you want to have a setup where you can’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey see the pixels, where it really does look, you know, pixel doubled and everything is retina. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my rule of thumb, that works for me, and a lot of people like to argue with me about this, maybe you feel differently. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for me, anything over 24 inches, you really need 5k. Well, all of these monitors that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey people love to cite as being way more expensive, or excuse me, way less expensive, and way more inches and so on and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so forth. I don’t want that. More inches is bad in this context. Like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that is the opposite of what I want. There are cases where I do want that. This is the opposite of what I want in this context.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so, so people will say, well, why not have this 39 inch curved monstrosity that’s, you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, ridiculously large and looks stupid in my opinion. Well, aside from the fact that it’s aesthetically not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey great, I don’t want that much space unless I have, you know, like an 8K resolution monitor,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which would be unaffordable.
⏹️ ▶️ John What you want is more in Apple products, you want more points. You don’t want more inches, you want more points. And when we say points,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s the abstract unit that Apple uses to measure things on screen. They try to display everything
⏹️ ▶️ John at a fixed size in points. The number of pixels may vary. In an Apple simple case, if you have a retina
⏹️ ▶️ John monitor, two pixels of length is equal to one point in length. And if you have
⏹️ ▶️ John a non-retina monitor, one pixel is one point. But in that monstrosity that’s 32 inches, The
⏹️ ▶️ John point resolution of that in retina parlance is you take the pixels, you divide by two, and that’s how many points
⏹️ ▶️ John wide it is. And then that’s how you would see that the width of that giant, really wide monitor
⏹️ ▶️ John in points is less than the width of the 5K in points. Not in inches, but in points,
⏹️ ▶️ John because that’s how everything is measured. And when we say we want retina, we don’t want a monitor where
⏹️ ▶️ John one pixel equals one point. We want a monitor, or as Casey said, in 2D parlance, four pixels equals
⏹️ ▶️ John one point. a little square of one, two, three, four, and a little square. That is one point because that allows
⏹️ ▶️ John the edges of things to be drawn using pixels, which are half or quarter of the size of a point.
⏹️ ▶️ John Again, I’m switching from 1D to 2D depending on how you’re measuring it. And so that’s what Mac users are looking
⏹️ ▶️ John for because all of Apple’s Macs with built-in displays are within that range. They have a DPI range
⏹️ ▶️ John that puts them in that sort of retina-ish range and the point size of things, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John the number we shop for them based on how many points, because how many points is how much stuff you can see on screen. Now you can do non-native
⏹️ ▶️ John scaling modes and get essentially more points of resolution with the same pixels, but just starting from the native
⏹️ ▶️ John res of saying at native res in retina mode here’s how many points wide it is and you can go up
⏹️ ▶️ John or down a little bit in either direction by scaling, but that’s the native res.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco When people who don’t care about retina, because there’s a lot of those people including
⏹️ ▶️ Marco among Mac users, but when people who don’t care about retina enter this discussion, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco keep telling them over and and over again, what I want as a retina carer is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this DPI range in this size range. And every single time they’re like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco well, what about this? And it’s not that. And it’s like, it drives you mad. You’re like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco okay, I literally, I want this very specific set of conditions. This small
⏹️ ▶️ Marco number of monitors satisfies the these conditions. And literally everything else
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’ve ever told me about does not. Like, I don’t and I don’t understand like, it’s not like these specs
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are hard to find. It’s not like these are somehow unreasonable things to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco want in a monitor. What could be more natural to the specs of a monitor than
⏹️ ▶️ Marco its physical size and the number of pixels it has? Like those are pretty basic specs. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yet, it seems like the world keeps showering us with options that we should
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that are totally outside of the specs that we want. It’s like, no, you don’t,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco did I not speak it correctly? Did I not communicate? Are we having a communication issue? Why would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you think if I say I want this, why would you think I would want that? Like, and it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco crazy. It’s maddening.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I imagine you’ve written two different posts across four years about this very issue and how many suggestions you’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Casey gotten. You know, Marco, I know you’re interested in a four-door electric car, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have you heard about two-door V8 Mustangs? I think you would really like them.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco How about this motorcycle? I was like, no, that’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John And by the way, the reason why we want this, Like, well, but why do you want that thing? It’s dumb to like that thing. I haven’t
⏹️ ▶️ John ever had it and I think it’s fine. I like my monitor better. Why don’t you, why do you want that thing? Basically, we’ve been trained by
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple to want it because Apple has shipped monitors with most of its computers for a long time. And
⏹️ ▶️ John you get accustomed to looking at things like that. And it’s the same thing with the size thing in terms of like, I had a monitor that had
⏹️ ▶️ John this many points on it and going to one with fewer at native res feels like a downgrade. Cause either
⏹️ ▶️ John I have to scale and things are more blurry or I just don’t get to see as much. That feels like a downgrade. In the same way,
⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re accustomed to Apple computers since 2012 coming to you with retina,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, retina DPI monitors with a given number of points, going
⏹️ ▶️ John back to non-retina from that doesn’t feel, it doesn’t even feel like a lateral move. It feels like a downgrade
⏹️ ▶️ John because you’re used to years and years of not being able to see the pixels and suddenly you can see them again. And it feels kind
⏹️ ▶️ John of like, you know, going back to your Palm PDA after using an iPhone. It doesn’t feel like,
⏹️ ▶️ John it feels worse. doesn’t feel like an advancement. If you never got used to Retina and have only used non-Retina Macs,
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe you don’t even care when you see your first Retina Mac because at this point we’re all old and we, you know, but like we’re
⏹️ ▶️ John used to Retina, we’re used to 5K resolution from having 5K iMacs, from having laptops that
⏹️ ▶️ John have Retina screens in them for all these years. And although it may not be what you’re shopping for, it’s what we’re shopping
⏹️ ▶️ John for. And it’s such a tiny market, getting back to the studio display, it’s why the studio display looks so
⏹️ ▶️ John much more reasonable because it has so little competition and this competition is so bad
⏹️ ▶️ John that in the abstract, it may still seem outrageous, but practically speaking, if you
⏹️ ▶️ John go out there looking for something with these specs, there are so few choices and the
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple Studio Display looks like, according to our tastes and many other people’s tastes,
⏹️ ▶️ John actually the best choice. Does it mean it’s super awesome and a great value? No, but if your choices are that limited
⏹️ ▶️ John and you really want these things, it’s slim pickings and this is the best one.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, and another great example is, you know, I’ve gotten used to having the blackest blacks
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on my OLED displays, on my OLED TV, on my OLED iPhone. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I do prefer to have that kind of super deep black in the same way that you guys
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have it in your, what is the technology in the XDR that does this? The backlight technology?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John It’s just mini LED, it’s the same thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Okay, so in your mini LED displays, like the, I almost said cinema
⏹️ ▶️ Casey display, The studio display does not have particularly black blacks. And that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is annoying, but for me, for me, that is like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a tertiary or what is a quaternary priority for me. My number one priority
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is a monitor that works. My second priority is one that’s about 27 inches and that’s 5K.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And like anything else is subsequent to that. Like I, in my
⏹️ ▶️ Casey personal list, good speakers are above black blacks. I’m not saying you have to agree,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s just the way I look at it. And so it’s like you said, John, I mean, there really aren’t many
⏹️ ▶️ Casey options. And if you look at the post I wrote at the very, very end of last year, you know, your options
⏹️ ▶️ Casey were the 24 inch 4K, which I’ve got right here, the ultra fine 4K, the ultra fine 5K, and the Pro Display
⏹️ ▶️ Casey XDR, literally that was it. And now you’ve got one more slotted in there, which is the studio
⏹️ ▶️ Casey display, which is a touch more expensive than the ultra fine 5K. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey by any reasonable measure is way, way, way nicer. Because I can tell you, even though
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am an LG 5K apologist, even after my crummy experience with it, the speakers on
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this are hilariously bad. The stand makes the speakers look like they’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey high fidelity. Like there’s so much around the panel itself that is so bad.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Like the webcam is fine, which is apparently better than the studio display, at least
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as it exists right now. But like the speakers suck, the stand sucks,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the service sucks. Everything about the 5K other than the panel
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sucks. And so for $300, hell yes, I’m gonna go for the Apple version. Hell
⏹️ ▶️ Casey yes, I am. Because that’s gonna be so much nicer. And you know what, if it breaks, you know what I do? Instead of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey shipping it to frigging city of industry, you know where I ship it? In my car to the Apple store, that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like 10 minutes away, don’t be creepy. So it’s so much better in every measurable
⏹️ ▶️ Casey way for the things that I prioritize. but you may feel
⏹️ ▶️ Casey differently and that’s quite all right.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We are brought to you this week by JumpCloud. JumpCloud is launching
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Studio Display details
⏹️ ▶️ John Alright, so some details on this monitor
⏹️ ▶️ John that have come out in the week since we last recorded. So the first is, this is just a tip from a friend that I don’t know if this is just a
⏹️ ▶️ John one-off thing, but at least watching for it, when he hooked it up to his Mac, it defaulted to 1920 by 1080. He was like, why
⏹️ ▶️ John does this look all fuzzy? And I have not heard of this happening to anyone else, so maybe this is just a one-off
⏹️ ▶️ John fluke, but if you get up an Apple Studio Display and you hook it up to your Mac and it looks a little weird, just hop over to the display
⏹️ ▶️ John preference brain and make sure it’s set to, know, 2560 by 1440, which is the native retina
⏹️ ▶️ John res, because it might not be. Another one of the weird
⏹️ ▶️ John foibles of this monitor is that it apparently comes with a very short Thunderbolt cable, the thing that you use to
⏹️ ▶️ John connect the monitor to your computer, the only thing that connects
⏹️ ▶️ John monitor to your monitor to the computer, it looks like it’s about three feet or maybe one meter for metric
⏹️ ▶️ John folks or whatever, which is not particularly long, it’s perfectly fine if you’re connecting it to like a laptop
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s sitting next to it. But if for example, you had a Mac Pro and it was sitting on the floor,
⏹️ ▶️ John that probably wouldn’t reach. And if you look at Apple’s prices for like their braided Thunderbolt cables,
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re outrageous. So if you want to get something cheaper, maybe look at O2VC or something, you can find
⏹️ ▶️ John more reasonably priced Thunderbolt cables.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco You can even
⏹️ ▶️ John use a display port cable if you can get that cheaper as well. But of course it depends on when you’re connecting it to
⏹️ ▶️ John and also all the accessory stuff won’t work like the camera and USB port. So maybe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, don’t do that. Just get a Thunderbolt, like a two meter Thunderbolt cable is probably gonna be like 50 bucks.
⏹️ ▶️ John I know, but it still just seems very expensive, right? Okay, so speaking of cables, the power
⏹️ ▶️ John cable. I was actually looking at this last week before we recorded. I kept trying to find photos of like the
⏹️ ▶️ John back of the Apple Studio display. And the only one I found was really small and blurry. I’m like, oh,
⏹️ ▶️ John what I wanted to see was is the cable permanently attached or not? And I found a photo of the back of it without the cable.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I’m like, well, it must be unattachable. And I saw like three little dots inside it. and like that must be the plug, the little,
⏹️ ▶️ John what is it called, Marco? Any M, whatever, what is the
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco one? Oh yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the C13 or whatever it is.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, the little triangle-y three hole. Anyway, that’s what I thought it was, but it was a really small
⏹️ ▶️ John picture, right? So now we know what the deal is. The cord is quote unquote non-removable,
⏹️ ▶️ John but you can remove it. And so we have a picture from Apple’s repair manual for the tool
⏹️ ▶️ John they apparently give to like the Apple stores or whatever on how to remove this. So it’s basically like
⏹️ ▶️ John a giant barrel with a handle for leverage and you wrap the cord around the barrel and then you
⏹️ ▶️ John push down on the stick that’s coming out of the barrel and it sort of presses against the back
⏹️ ▶️ John of the stand and what it’s doing is basically pull exactly straight out of the monitor
⏹️ ▶️ John really hard and it will come out. We’ll have a video to Matt Panzarino
⏹️ ▶️ John of TechCrunch doing that to presumably his Mac Studio display. It’s a pretty
⏹️ ▶️ John violent process, right? It does come out. It is not like
⏹️ ▶️ John a normal plug connector. It’s more like, I mean, you can do this in your HomePod too, like lots of
⏹️ ▶️ John things you can pull the cord out of. Like it’s not attached by tiny little wires. There is an actually
⏹️ ▶️ John connector. So the thing you pull out has three holes in it and it is connected to a thing with three metal pins.
⏹️ ▶️ John So it’s not like you’re breaking it to pull it out, but boy, it’s almost
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like you’re breaking it. You probably wouldn’t want to do it unnecessarily. Yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ John And the reason this comes up is No one wants a permanently attached cord because why do you have this expensive monitor? What if your cat shrews through the
⏹️ ▶️ John cord? Do you have to get the whole monitor replaced? The answer is no, you won’t have to get the whole monitor replaced, but you probably will
⏹️ ▶️ John have to bring it to an Apple store because it’s not like you can go buy this cord. Like this is a part. It is not a, oh, just
⏹️ ▶️ John go to the store and buy a power cable. That won’t work. Whatever this thing is, it might not even be proprietary,
⏹️ ▶️ John but whatever it is, it’s not the type of thing you’re gonna find at a store that you can just buy and plug in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey imagine, John, just hypothetically, If you had a desk that had your
⏹️ ▶️ Casey computer and a couple of displays on it and maybe one or two other things that might need power, and then you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey had off to the corner of the room – and it’s not a very big room, but in the corner of the room –
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you had a Synology and a Mac Mini and a Switch and an Eero and things of that nature, and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you wanted all of those things to be on the same uninterruptible power supply,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey then what you might end up doing is realizing that most of the equipment that needs to be in the UPS
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is off in the corner of the room and you would need just a couple of longer cables
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to reach to the desk. Imagine if you had, I don’t know, a need
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for maybe a six-foot power cable instead of a three-foot power cable. And on the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey LG Ultrafine, this is all just hypothetical, John, on the LG Ultrafine, you can just swap out whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that plug, Marco always knows, I never remember it, whatever that plug type is for like a six or ten-foot
⏹️ ▶️ Casey version of it, easy peasy. I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John think this is, I’m not I’m not sure the power cord is three feet. The Thunderbolt
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John was three feet.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, I understand, I understand.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John But whatever the length of the power
⏹️ ▶️ John cables. I think this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey six feet or two meters or whatever. Six feet is potentially too short. Hypothetically,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John hypothetically, hypothetically. You
⏹️ ▶️ John can always buy it on UPS, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey okay. I gave her permission. But I actually don’t even have a plug that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Glaxight dev will not tell me about. Hey, don’t talk to me about lack of plugs. Actually, that’s true. I take it all back,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John I take it all back.
⏹️ ▶️ John Sorry, dad. I’m from the 30s, I have, my dining room has literally one plug. Not one plug with two places to plug in,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey it is not a very convenient place.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey If we don’t have a better post show, remind me about an adventure I went on recently. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey anyways, I have the UPS in the corner and I need easily
⏹️ ▶️ Casey six feet, maybe closer to 10 to get to the back of the monitor between the length
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the wall and then going up the back of the desk. And so I’m going to have to get like a stupid extension
⏹️ ▶️ Casey cord just from the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John monitor. You
⏹️ ▶️ John can buy, the other end of the cord is just a regular US plug,
⏹️ ▶️ John so it’s okay to buy a sufficiently heavy duty extension cord, it will be fine. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John a lot easier than extending the Thunderbolt cable, let me tell you, and it’ll cost you a lot less money and you can buy it in a hardware store.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yep, all true statements. So more details on the studio display, it’s time for Jason Snell.
⏹️ ▶️ John Talking about the mounts, as we said last week, you have to pick them out when you buy it and they’re not interchangeable,
⏹️ ▶️ John but Jason says, just like in the past, while Apple says that the display’s mounts are not user serviceable, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John my understanding that if you take a studio display to an authorized Apple dealer and pay a fee, they should be able to
⏹️ ▶️ John swap on a different mounting element. And of course, the way they’ll probably swap that is they’ll replace the entire back of your display
⏹️ ▶️ John at a cost that you probably will not want to pay. But technically it is possible, just like with the iMacs, I believe, in the past.
⏹️ ▶️ John So if you make the wrong choice and decide you want to go with the VESA mount and you
⏹️ ▶️ John bought the one with the stand or something, it is possible, but again, probably not for a price that you want to
⏹️ ▶️ John pay, but how desperate are you going to be? And then Jason also posted a screenshot once
⏹️ ▶️ John the studio display embargo went up that is showing a little dialog box that says your display
⏹️ ▶️ John was restarted because of a problem. So that is a thing that might happen.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Do you think like, you know, getting into the, you know, that that angle of it where they have this basically this entire iOS
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stack running on the monitor and It can have its own software updates on the monitor.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It can reboot itself. It can crash. All the stuff with the camera that I’m sure we’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gonna get to in a second. Like, do you think this was over-engineered in the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sense that do you think they should have gone with all of this iOS-based processing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and complexity in the monitor? Because the XDR does not do this. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco frankly, I’m really kind of happy about that. Like I’m very happy that when I plug in my monitor,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s just a monitor. And there’s a relatively small amount of things that can go wrong
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with that. And it always kind of just wakes right up. It never, my monitor
⏹️ ▶️ Marco does not display its own, you know, ellipsis icon or animation when it’s itself
⏹️ ▶️ Marco booting up. Like I kind of like things to be simple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that if they can reasonably be. Do you think it was a mistake to design this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with such complexity?
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, so let me go through some of the details of the complexity you’re talking about so we can sort of put some parameters
⏹️ ▶️ John on that and say what actually is inside there and how bad is it? And Martin posted on Twitter
⏹️ ▶️ John a picture of extracted from the studio display firmware showing
⏹️ ▶️ John like an icon on the screen with an exclamation point and the URL it says support.apple.com slash display slash restore
⏹️ ▶️ John for a restore per se. I mean, this is not a thing that happened to him, but like for, you know, if your monitor to your
⏹️ ▶️ John point marker, if your monitor, something goes wrong with all this crap they put in there. Might I have to go restore my monitor
⏹️ ▶️ John by going to a URL? That’s a thing you can do. So the story underlying this is that people discovered pretty quickly
⏹️ ▶️ John that Apple Studio Display runs, it’s quote unquote firmware
⏹️ ▶️ John is version 15.4 with the exact same build number as iOS 15.4,
⏹️ ▶️ John which is very suspicious, making people think that it is just plain running iOS. The operating
⏹️ ▶️ John system it runs, according to Guy Rambeau, reports itself as just Darwin OS, which
⏹️ ▶️ John is not much of anything. But if the build number is the same as iOS and the regular version is the same as
⏹️ ▶️ John iOS, it’s probably running iOS. And in terms of the
⏹️ ▶️ John complexity you were describing, many people who if they got like I guess the early batch of manufactured ones or whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ John when they got it out of the box, they were prompted on their Mac for a quote unquote, display
⏹️ ▶️ John firmware update because not all of them came with the version that like the reviewers got like the latest latest version,
⏹️ ▶️ John whatever it is, build 19E241. Some of them came with an earlier version. And the
⏹️ ▶️ John update for the display, it looks like an iOS update. It’s 632.4 megabytes for the
⏹️ ▶️ John quote unquote firmware for the display. People don’t remember when the iPhone first came out, it was also described as having
⏹️ ▶️ John firmware. And when they would update the operating system on the iPhone, it was a firmware update.
⏹️ ▶️ John Eventually they figured, okay, we’re not gonna call it firmware. we’re gonna call it iPhone OS and eventually iOS and so on and so forth.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so the people who dug into this, figured out, well, what’s in there? But we already knew there was an A13 in there. I
⏹️ ▶️ John mentioned last time, like the A13 is better than what’s in the Apple TV. So the thing could like doubles in Apple TV, but oh, but it doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John have everything in there. It doesn’t have like wifi and Bluetooth or whatever, but we do know that it has the A13. And of
⏹️ ▶️ John course we could have surmised that the A13 is useless without some kind of storage, flash storage,
⏹️ ▶️ John because what would the A13 do? How does it boot? It has to have storage somewhere. How much
⏹️ ▶️ John storage does it have? 64 gigabytes. 64 gigabytes. So this has
⏹️ ▶️ John a better system on a chip than the Apple TV. And it has as much storage as the big expensive
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple TV. 64 gigs. And how much of that 64 gigs
⏹️ ▶️ John is taken with stuff? Not a lot. People like looked at the file system output and it’s like taking, this is
⏹️ ▶️ John just the operating system on there. It’s taking like, I don’t know, two gigs of that 64 gigs or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John As Gruber said, effectively there’s a base model ninth generation iPad in there, an A13 with 64 gigs
⏹️ ▶️ John of storage, just sitting inside your monitor.
⏹️ ▶️ John Now, as Joe Pansuo pointed out, my 11 year old, this is Joe talking, my 11
⏹️ ▶️ John year old Thunderbolt display also has firmware updates. It also definitely crashes. Still
⏹️ ▶️ John a great external monitor. So he put a screenshot of a Thunderbolt display firmware update. I
⏹️ ▶️ John have one of these monitors, I used it for years. It’s non-retina, but it’s 27 inch. Was it 5K? I forget.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey The Thunderbolt display? No, it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John was not Retina. 24 inch maybe. It was 27
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was not Retina. Yeah, okay, that’s right.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s 5K size in points. Like it’s the same point resolutions of 5K monitor,
⏹️ ▶️ John but it was non-Retina. But anyway, it has firmware updates and it can also crash.
⏹️ ▶️ John And he put a screenshot of the firmware update. It is 923 kilobytes. So 632 megabytes versus 923 kilobytes.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s probably running like an iPod CPU. Yeah. So
⏹️ ▶️ John this is the thing that people don’t think about because it’s the magic of language. When we say firmware, oh, I had a firmware
⏹️ ▶️ John update for my what’s a who’s a thingy. Oh, there’s just some kind of firmware that it runs. We don’t like to think of that
⏹️ ▶️ John as like, oh, this thing is a general purpose computer with an operating system. But of course
⏹️ ▶️ John they are. And the same way we don’t like to think about tiny ARM processors on our flash memory chips in our Mac studio
⏹️ ▶️ John and other tiny ARM processors inside the M1 that are doing other little jobs,
⏹️ ▶️ John anything that seems like it’s got computery type chips in it and does a thing, probably
⏹️ ▶️ John has some kind of software and operating system that makes it work. And so
⏹️ ▶️ John our, you know, our stupid XDRs, right? Inside them is not just
⏹️ ▶️ John a display panel. There’s also a bunch of circuit boards that run the essentially the USB hub and
⏹️ ▶️ John the display controllers and a bunch of other stuff. So inside there are various little chips,
⏹️ ▶️ John little little Turing complete machines that run software
⏹️ ▶️ John and we don’t think of it as like a full-fledged computer but it’s performing the same function
⏹️ ▶️ John if you make custom chips that run quote-unquote custom firmware to do the minimum functionality
⏹️ ▶️ John required to do your thing that certainly cost less money I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John not gonna say it takes less power because that’s not necessarily true and we’ll get to that in a second
⏹️ ▶️ John the updates are smaller because the software that needs to run is probably very minimal, but it is a lot
⏹️ ▶️ John more work to make because you have to make it do exactly the thing that you want it to do, and
⏹️ ▶️ John you usually have to build it up from if not nothing from some sort of foundational
⏹️ ▶️ John pieces that exist in the industry or are part of some chipset or whatever. The obvious reason
⏹️ ▶️ John that Apple put an A13 and a 64 gig thing in here is because Apple knows
⏹️ ▶️ John how to make those, can manufacture them, they’re a well known thing, it’s already got an operating system
⏹️ ▶️ John that runs on them, and that operating system is thoroughly debugged, well tested,
⏹️ ▶️ John does everything they needed to do, which we’ll get to in a second when we talk about the camera, center stage, running the
⏹️ ▶️ John sneakers, spatial audio, they already have an operating system that does that and they already
⏹️ ▶️ John have hardware that runs that operating system. Why did they choose the A13, not the A12 or something down or whatever?
⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe they don’t make those smaller chips anymore. Maybe they that needed the A13 to be able to do all the things they
⏹️ ▶️ John did but it is a known quantity that already does everything they did. In some ways it would be stupid
⏹️ ▶️ John for them not to put an A13 in there. And yet as a customer, when you get a 600 megabyte update for
⏹️ ▶️ John your monitor, like what is going on here? And it also seems like it’s a waste
⏹️ ▶️ John that they’re doing it. Now, having had several peripherals over the years for Macs and other things
⏹️ ▶️ John that have had hardware and firmware that has been buggy, I am mostly comforted,
⏹️ ▶️ John not by the 600 megabyte update, but by the fact that the stuff that is running inside this monitor
⏹️ ▶️ John is not weird one-off stuff that may be awesome or may suck. It is iOS running
⏹️ ▶️ John on hardware that iOS is run on. So I have some confidence that A, it will work and be reliable,
⏹️ ▶️ John and B, that if it doesn’t work, it will get its bugs fixed because
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s part of the iOS, presumably part of the iOS update cycle now. Especially
⏹️ ▶️ John if it’s the same build number, it’s not like they build a custom version or the OS just for the monitor, I think every time iOS gets updated,
⏹️ ▶️ John it will include updates that help this monitor because this is really like a little iPad running
⏹️ ▶️ John in there that’s running a display that doesn’t take touch and it runs the camera and it runs the speakers and it does whatever
⏹️ ▶️ John else it needs to do and it runs the thing where it talks to the Mac. And although that seems ridiculous and wasteful
⏹️ ▶️ John and expensive, it’s already a pretty expensive monitor that A13 probably costs Apple 30 bucks or whatever
⏹️ ▶️ John for the whole thing. And it’s super low power because the A13 is built on a fairly modern process
⏹️ ▶️ John and it was built to be inside a phone. So it’s not like they’re putting a giant hot CPU in there that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John a waste of energy and is causing the thing to burn up and the fans are silent and everything. So
⏹️ ▶️ John I have mostly made my peace with this, but boy, is it weird. And as many people, I was pointing
⏹️ ▶️ John out, oh, this could be a standalone Apple TV. At this point, it could also be a standalone Mac because I
⏹️ ▶️ John found this fact with this, that A13 is faster than, It is faster
⏹️ ▶️ John than the 27 inch Retina iMac, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John From 2020. So if you have an Intel iMac from 2020 with a core i7, the
⏹️ ▶️ John A13 that’s in your monitor is faster than that in single core performance.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey utterly bananas.
⏹️ ▶️ John So you could just make that monitor a complete Mac. Now, again, I haven’t seen the teardowns yet, but I’m pretty sure there’s no
⏹️ ▶️ John wifi chip, there’s no Bluetooth chip or whatever, but there is USB input output, there is storage,
⏹️ ▶️ John There is a camera, there is speakers. It’s a little bit absurd, but like,
⏹️ ▶️ John in the grand scheme of things, I endorse the decision to do this if it means
⏹️ ▶️ John that we get on that iOS update train and that this monitor has more
⏹️ ▶️ John of a chance of being allowed a level of a long-term. Because as pointed out by Joe, who wrote in, the Thunderbolt
⏹️ ▶️ John display from 11 years ago, it also had a little mini OS and firmware
⏹️ ▶️ John and it could crash and that got abandoned way sooner than iOS will.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s wild. And I think we have a little bit more we need to go through. But I do
⏹️ ▶️ Casey want to answer the question, is this too complicated? But before we get there, Mark Christian writes,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I set up my new studio display today and noticed that it cost an Ethernet device to show up under system information, which is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey odd since the display doesn’t actually have an Ethernet port on it. I would
⏹️ ▶️ Casey assume and I think Mark himself had guessed later that this is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about sending for like firmware updates back and forth to the monitor. But do we do we have any idea what this
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I mean, obviously, like, that’s another thing people are asking, why does the Mac do the firmware updates for the monitor?
⏹️ ▶️ John The monitor is a full fledged computer, it could do it itself. But like the monitor doesn’t have it isn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John actually like it doesn’t, you can’t just boot it by itself. It does boot when you turn on as Marco alluded to earlier,
⏹️ ▶️ John when you turn on the monitor, it boots iOS essentially. But it doesn’t show an Apple logo when it’s booting
⏹️ ▶️ John like your iPad or your iPhone would, because that would be confusing because the Mac also shows an Apple instead it just shows
⏹️ ▶️ John a three dots thing but yeah there’s because the Mac runs the firmware updates for the monitor
⏹️ ▶️ John it has to have some way to send the firmware to the A13 and it’s 64 gigs of storage
⏹️ ▶️ John inside the monitor and so what it appears to do if you look at it is it’s basically a USB Ethernet
⏹️ ▶️ John adapter inside there and so it presents it an Ethernet type interface using its existing USB hub thing
⏹️ ▶️ John and that seems to be the way the Mac and the thing communicate with each other you know I And I feel like, again,
⏹️ ▶️ John this is an advantage of having a full-fledged iOS thing running in there. I think
⏹️ ▶️ John we’ve touched on this in past episodes, the, what was it, the lightning to HDMI adapter or
⏹️ ▶️ John something like that? Yeah. Some kind, it was like an adapter. You’d plug it into your iPhone and you’d be able
⏹️ ▶️ John to output to a TV through HDMI. That had a full operating system that would boot when, like
⏹️ ▶️ John it was a faceless plastic dongle, but you’d plug it in and it would boot an operating system as quick as
⏹️ ▶️ John it could, start it up and do an H264 encoder or whatever. If we never
⏹️ ▶️ John told anyone that, they would just think this is an adapter and either works or it doesn’t. But it turns out, the
⏹️ ▶️ John things that we ask an app to do is they’re often complicated enough that you need a real Turing complete machine in there that runs
⏹️ ▶️ John software. And it turns out Apple has a bunch of those and they have an operating system that runs
⏹️ ▶️ John on them and it’s all well-tested and they probably already have software to do the stuff. And so,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, we need some hardware and we need to have an H264 encoder and we need an operating system that can run
⏹️ ▶️ John it And we need software that knows how to do that. It’s like, they’ve got that. So they just take a shrunken version of it and shove it in
⏹️ ▶️ John a dongle. So the fact that it is inside a monitor is probably less ridiculous than it is in a dongle. And by the way,
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t cut open your lightning connectors because there’s little chips in there too.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It looks like I’m looking at this panic teardown of the lightning digital
⏹️ ▶️ Casey AV adapter. It also had two gigs of RAM, apparently. I had forgotten about that.
⏹️ ▶️ John I guess we haven’t talked about how much RAM is on the A13, but I think the teardowns will
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, and that brings us to our next section of the notes, which is, as we previously mentioned, it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey has 64 gigs of on-port storage, which is, I know we talked about this a moment ago, but golly,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that is just bananas.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, and why 64 instead of 32 or 16? Probably just because, like, they’re used to manufacturing
⏹️ ▶️ John A13s with 64 gigs of flash. Maybe it was economical. Who knows? Maybe it’s there for extra storage for games.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Again, we’ll debate it just like
⏹️ ▶️ John the Apple TV. What is it there for? caching? I don’t know. So you can do snapshots
⏹️ ▶️ John of the last 18 versions of the operating system that have been put onto it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it’s like literally just like, here’s what they had the most of in the parts bin.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I was gonna say, I think this was just about making it easy to make many, many, many of these same chip
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and presumably, I mean, I don’t know anything about scaling at this level, but presumably by just making
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a gazillion of the exact same thing, it’s actually cheaper than making like an A13
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with two gigs of RAM or whatever they would need alternatively.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, they wouldn’t want it to not be able to update its software because there wasn’t much of a free space.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Right, exactly.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. Uh, yeah. And apparently according to Mac rumors, only two gigs of the 64 gigs is being used
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh yeah. And I think I, did I have a thing in here? Like someone’s like, so what is this thing running all the time?
⏹️ ▶️ John What processors? It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a, in the show notes under Guy Rambeau and it says, here’s what the studio display OS runs most of the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey time. And there’s interesting processes include T-Con control D, which possibly drives the panel itself,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey core speech D underscore Darwin for Hey dingus and Apple Darwin camera D for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the camera system.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. So that’s how, you know, how would you make the monitor run? Uh, well, we might have to make a few new demons or maybe some of
⏹️ ▶️ John these already exist in iOS, cause it’s not like we know the names of the various processes that are in iOS cause it’s not like we’re running PS on our phones and
⏹️ ▶️ John iPads all the time. Uh, but that’s, that’s what it’s doing all the time. And, uh, it’s probably not breaking
⏹️ ▶️ John a sweat. Uh, but you know, hopefully, well, getting to the next section, maybe we’ll make it break more of
⏹️ ▶️ John a sweat because the one, you know, Apple product scandal brouhaha that is usually,
⏹️ ▶️ John we haven’t had one in a while, but now we’ve got one again. So it feels like things are back to normal. Is that most of the reviews,
⏹️ ▶️ John most of the reviews of the display said, oh my goodness, the camera is terrible. So you
⏹️ ▶️ John can see lots of people posting pictures of it. Joanna Stern, the Wall Street Journal had a good video review and you can look at the different webcams
⏹️ ▶️ John of comparing this to other webcams that are built into other monitors to the ones that are built into the Mac books.
⏹️ ▶️ John You know, the Verge has a big article on it. And Apple basically sent the same statement
⏹️ ▶️ John to all of these that said, I don’t think I have a direct quote from here, but like, we’ve found situations where the camera’s not working
⏹️ ▶️ John as we expect, we’ll be sending a software update, right? But the point is that all the reviews came out before the software update.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s still not out as we’re recording this, right? It’s not the update that we just described. That’s just an update to bring older manufactured
⏹️ ▶️ John monitors up to the new one, but everyone who did a review had the latest and greatest quote unquote firmware.
⏹️ ▶️ John And what they’re complaining about is that it doesn’t look as good. It doesn’t even look as good as Apple’s other hardware
⏹️ ▶️ John with an identical camera. I’m pretty sure this is the same camera that’s used as a front-facing camera in one of Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ John iPads. And so you can do a direct hardware to hardware comparison. Here’s the iPad with
⏹️ ▶️ John ostensibly the exact same camera hardware. And I’ll look at myself in that camera and
⏹️ ▶️ John I’ll look at myself in the studio display and everyone was saying that they thought they looked worse, that it was sort of washed out
⏹️ ▶️ John and over noise reduced, low contrast. Sometimes people described it as grainy.
⏹️ ▶️ John I have to admit after looking at lots of these things, Sometimes I found it hard to tell which image they were trying
⏹️ ▶️ John to tell me was the bad one because they look different from each other, but neither one of them was clearly
⏹️ ▶️ John worse to me than the others. And Jason Snell said when he tested it in his, you know, environment,
⏹️ ▶️ John lighting condition and everything, that it didn’t seem terrible to him except for in one application that was not doing, that was like
⏹️ ▶️ John clearly doing something different than the others. I think the bottom line with this is,
⏹️ ▶️ John for $1,600, we kind of expect there to be a better
⏹️ ▶️ John hardware camera in there, setting aside the software issues. It seems like
⏹️ ▶️ John a cheap move to put a very inexpensive camera because remember, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John not like this is the same camera that’s like on an iPhone, it is the front facing camera
⏹️ ▶️ John on an iPad. iPads already have often lesser cameras than iPhones. And almost
⏹️ ▶️ John always the front facing one is lesser than the back facing one, right? For $1,600, I feel
⏹️ ▶️ John like it should at least have the back camera of a recent iPhone, and it doesn’t.
⏹️ ▶️ John And then beyond the hardware, okay, then you have to do all sorts of processing. Like their decision to use
⏹️ ▶️ John a super wide angle camera, which is what they did for center stage, it’s like a very wide angle fisheye type camera.
⏹️ ▶️ John And the way center stage works is not by moving the camera, it just crops a different portion of a very big fisheye camera and
⏹️ ▶️ John then unwarps it and everything, right? The decision to do that further reduces the resolution
⏹️ ▶️ John because you’re only ever seeing a crop. And if you saw the whole resolution, you’d look all weird and fisheye and everything, so you don’t want
⏹️ ▶️ John that. And so it’s really hampering the hardware. They didn’t put great hardware
⏹️ ▶️ John in there to begin with. It’s not terrible, but it’s not great. And then they’re making it be even worse because it’s a fisheye
⏹️ ▶️ John type thing and it’s using center stage. And so what that comes up with is
⏹️ ▶️ John a camera experience that is less than people expected. People’s Mac, they’re saying my MacBook Pro that I just got, which
⏹️ ▶️ John has a camera that fits within a little tiny skinny lid, it looks better than this. The $400 iPhone
⏹️ ▶️ John SE front-facing camera, it looks better than this. the iPad that ostensibly has the same hardware, it looks better than this.
⏹️ ▶️ John And Apple says, oh, there’s some kind of software problem because there is a ton of software processing going on. And by the way, all that software
⏹️ ▶️ John processing is happening in the monitor on the A13. Your Mac is not doing that.
⏹️ ▶️ John So this is a way to get center stage, even if you have an Intel iMac or an Intel Mac, or whatever connected to
⏹️ ▶️ John this, because all that happening is happening in iOS running on the A13
⏹️ ▶️ John inside the monitor. And that’s why you need a monitor update and not a macOS update
⏹️ ▶️ John to solve this problem because whatever the problem is with aggressive noise reduction or bad lighting compensation
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever the heck is wrong with it, that has to happen inside the monitor and it’ll be another 600 meg
⏹️ ▶️ John update. So it’s disappointing, but I have to say, having you, I mean, I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John on a 2015 iMac with this built-in front-facing camera. That one’s not great either. If this is an
⏹️ ▶️ John upgrade for that, I’ll take it, right? I think it should be better,
⏹️ ▶️ John But you know, the other thing is I have a fairly expensive 4K Logitech camera on top
⏹️ ▶️ John of my XDR. I don’t think that camera looks very good either. I mean, I just don’t have good lighting in this room. Most
⏹️ ▶️ John Like it’s not, I mean, it looks okay. It’s 4K, but like, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John you only look, I don’t have a ring light. I don’t have multi-source lighting. I just, it’s not good lighting
⏹️ ▶️ John for video. So I spent all this time on Zoom calls and I see myself, I’m like, this is not flattering lighting conditions.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not in a studio. It is only, and that’s part of the reason why Apple does all this processing,
⏹️ ▶️ John because they’re trying to make people in their normal houses, which are not, you know, television studios, trying
⏹️ ▶️ John to make them, trying to make it look okay, trying to be able to see their faces so they’re not
⏹️ ▶️ John completely hidden in shadows so they don’t look terrible. And that’s a hard job. And it seems like they’re not doing
⏹️ ▶️ John it very well with the studio display. But like, if they put a 4K camera like this Logitech
⏹️ ▶️ John one in there, I don’t know how much it would change my experience of Zoom calls, because my main barrier to looking
⏹️ ▶️ John good on Zoom calls aside from my actual looks is the lighting conditions that I
⏹️ ▶️ John am in. Like I don’t have good lighting here. Anyway, I’m not excusing it. I’m just saying like for me personally, this is not a big deal.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’d much rather have a Credi built-in camera that’s slightly better than the 5K iMax than no camera at all.
⏹️ ▶️ John But people are absolutely right to say there’s no reason that on $1,600, A, we shouldn’t have better hardware and
⏹️ ▶️ John B, even if we don’t have better hardware, it should at least look as good as the same hardware and other Apple devices.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but I think the current explanation of like, okay, something is wrong in software,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so they will issue an update. I think that is very plausible.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco When you look at the same comparisons, that seems very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco plausible. But I think also, as you mentioned earlier, I think the choice to do center stage
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on this was itself a bad move. Because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco again, the way that works is it has the super wide camera and it crops in. Now,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that works okay on an iPad, I’m sure, although, you know, reviewers have often said, like, yeah, the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way it kind of like has to like drift around and follow you doesn’t always work very well. So that’s a problem for sure.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But when you think about on a display, like on a 27-inch display on your desk, the distance
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the camera is from your face is probably significantly further than if you were
⏹️ ▶️ Marco using an iPad with FaceTime, like on a table or something, or in your hands, right? Like that’s, it’s a much longer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco distance to go, usually the way most people set up displays and desks, to go from the top
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the monitor to their head, compared to an iPad in their hands. You figure the amount of cropping
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it would have to do on that same sensor is probably more. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most of the quality problems of this camera are not going to be solvable in software.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco What I suspect is that it’s just cropping more, and therefore you have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way less sensor area to work with. So it’s gonna be way noisier and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s gonna have to over process and software which is what we’re seeing. That like the images people are posting,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the sample images and everything, what they’re posting, it’s exactly what you’d expect from something that is just working with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very little resolution and a very bad signal to noise ratio. And it’s having to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really denoise like crazy blur things. you know, really you get that smeary,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, watercolor kind of effect. That’s the effect of just over processing because the signal
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is just too bad physically. Like you can’t, you’re not getting enough light, you’re not getting enough pixels. That’s what
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you end up with. And I think this is where like the parts binning aspect and the,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or you know, the part reuse aspect and also just the marketing consistency, I think here, where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think they really wanted to put center stage in this and they wanted so badly to put, to say that, look,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we now have center stage on the Mac and here’s how great it is. I think they wanted to do that so badly that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they didn’t think to consider, well, wait a minute, is this even, first of all, is center stage necessary
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on any stationary desktop computer? And then second of all, is the physical
⏹️ ▶️ Marco difference of where the camera is compared to an iPad, is that, is it even gonna work
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in that context? And of course, and you can say like, why don’t they put a bigger camera, a bigger sensor? I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco understand why they didn’t. It’s clear when you look at the form factor
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this monitor, they probably can’t fit much in that bezel without making the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bezel bigger. And that looks ugly and people would say it looks old. So it makes sense why they have like a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco little skinny camera in there. And you know, certainly my XDR with Logitech magnetic
⏹️ ▶️ Marco camera on top of it, which frankly, John, you’re nuts. It looks awesome. Like the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Logitech camera. That’s what
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m saying. It’s not the camera that’s bad. It’s the lighting conditions that dominate. It doesn’t matter how good a camera
⏹️ ▶️ John you have. It’s not like a full frame sensor behind their self. I’m in I’m in a dim room constantly in shadow.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not going to be able to rescue that, especially since it doesn’t have as far as I’m aware, any kind of processing to try to help. So
⏹️ ▶️ John what I’m seeing out of the camera is more or less what the sensor is seeing, you know?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, no, that’s that’s fair. But like like I used to open a photo booth to show mine.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco This thing looks incredible. Like it’s just this is the best webcam I’ve ever seen anywhere ever,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it’s also huge and something, you know, that that size lens and presumably whatever sensors
⏹️ ▶️ Marco behind it that would never fit in in the bezel of the studio display, not even close. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I understand why they wanted to do, wanted to put something small in there. And so putting an iPad camera in there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco makes some sense, but using the ultra wide angle iPad
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cameras that are made for center stage, that I think was the wrong move. And I don’t think any software update is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gonna make that really good.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, so that’s something I didn’t see in a lot of the reports, there’s a lot of people are saying, I mean, Gruber even said like, oh, here I’m using the iPad with
⏹️ ▶️ John ostensibly the same camera and it’s in the same lighting conditions, in the same room, at the same time, here’s the iPad
⏹️ ▶️ John and here’s the studio display. But one thing he didn’t mention is, are these two things the same distance from me? Which gets to your point,
⏹️ ▶️ John was he holding the iPad closer just because it’s natural to hold the iPad closer? Like, was he holding the iPad between,
⏹️ ▶️ John like in front of him in his hands, but well in front of where the studio display is? You know what I mean? Or did he push
⏹️ ▶️ John the iPad back to be in the same plane as the studio display to try to get an apples to apples comparison?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that. I can’t even reach the top of my monitor from where I’m sitting. Like if I don’t lean forward, if I’m just sitting straight up,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I cannot reach the webcam.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, you’re very small and it’s a big monitor.
⏹️ ▶️ John the next thing about center stage though, I think the use of center, like the use of center stage for
⏹️ ▶️ John a desktop Mac, a lot of people are saying exactly what you said. It’s like, well, aren’t you sitting right in front of a thing? Why do you need center stage
⏹️ ▶️ John to track people’s faces around or whatever? I think the use of center stage is aspirational
⏹️ ▶️ John and forward looking for, because I think in many real scenarios, when
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re using the camera on a desktop display, sometimes you have more than one
⏹️ ▶️ John person sitting in front of it. There’s probably one desk chair in front of your desktop computer, but when other people
⏹️ ▶️ John come in to say hi to the relatives, or you just wanna sit and have a call, or you’re on Zoom meetings with multiple people, parent-teacher
⏹️ ▶️ John conferences during COVID times, very often my wife and I have both been sitting in front
⏹️ ▶️ John of her iMac on Zoom calls, right? And it’s sometimes difficult to get us both into
⏹️ ▶️ John the frame and everything, and so that’s where center stage can help. And the second thing is, if you’re not
⏹️ ▶️ John within the range of the non-center stage camera, it actually is fairly difficult,
⏹️ ▶️ John especially with Apple’s stupid stands, to reposition the camera that is built into your giant desktop
⏹️ ▶️ John display to point at a person. Oh, here, somebody just came. Oh, I can’t see them. They have to crouch down,
⏹️ ▶️ John because it’s not like you can just grab the neck of your iMac G4 or grab the monitor and just point it towards them.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, Apple’s monitors do not move that way on their stands. They’re not fully articulated.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so it actually is kind of tricky to do that. So it would be great if we had good cameras
⏹️ ▶️ John with high enough resolution to be able to tolerate that crop because I think center stage is the right choice
⏹️ ▶️ John for a big desktop display, but with a camera with low resolution,
⏹️ ▶️ John where they have to crop in even more on it and it’s not even a good camera, that is maybe not the
⏹️ ▶️ John best choice. Now, as I saw some people post, you know, with all these Apple bloops about like, whatever
⏹️ ▶️ John the scandal of the day about some hardware flaw or whatever is or some product flaw. Eventually someone comes in
⏹️ ▶️ John and is just sick of seeing it all. And they’re like, you know, today I’m learning that people care what they look like on their webcam.
⏹️ ▶️ John know, basically saying like, who cares what you look like? Can they see your face? Can they see who you are? Can they see your
⏹️ ▶️ John expression? You know, like it’s not a beauty contest or whatever, but that obviously,
⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re listening to a tech podcast, you probably care about like the, the progress of technology and the progress
⏹️ ▶️ John of technology is cameras and sensors and stuff should get better over time. and to Marco’s part spin
⏹️ ▶️ John comment, Apple has a part spin filled with much better cameras than this. And yes, some of them are a little bit bigger
⏹️ ▶️ John and maybe they wouldn’t have fit into the thing. I do not, repeat Apple, don’t listen to this,
⏹️ ▶️ John close your ears, Apple. I do not want them to put a notch on the
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey next version of this so
⏹️ ▶️ John they can fit a bigger camera sensor. If Apple, you would like to reach into your part spin and use like
⏹️ ▶️ John the back camera from the iPhone 13 or two of the back cameras from the iPhone 13 on the next version
⏹️ ▶️ John of this, make a camera bump. The vertical camera bump. I give you permission because it’ll be smaller
⏹️ ▶️ John than this Logitech thing, it’s on top of my display right now. Do not, I repeat, do not put
⏹️ ▶️ John a notch on this monitor. You’ll never hear the end of it, at least for me.
⏹️ ▶️ John But it is possible to, you know, not make the bezels bigger on it, but just have a bump for the camera
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever. And eventually technology will catch up and they’ll be able to fit a much better quality camera with center stage
⏹️ ▶️ John in the top of their monitors 10 years from now, I’m hoping, or maybe 20 knowing Apple. I’m hoping this problem
⏹️ ▶️ John will be solved, but for now, they give you a not so great camera on your $1,600 monitor. The good thing
⏹️ ▶️ John is, if you hate that camera and never wanna use it, you can buy this Logitech 4K camera for a great expense
⏹️ ▶️ John and plug it into your Mac, because it’s a Mac, not an iPad, and you can replace the front-facing camera with one of your choosing.
⏹️ ▶️ John It also comes with the microphones, although most people didn’t comment about that. They said that the tri-microphone system on these displays is
⏹️ ▶️ John actually pretty good. So maybe you would just use camera from Logitech and the microphone from the monitor or from
⏹️ ▶️ John your AirPods. Again, these are all great things you can do through the magic of having a Mac and not an iPad. Sorry
Mac Pro rumor speed-run
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, I’m getting sleepy. So let’s speed run through the latest Mac Pro
⏹️ ▶️ Casey rumors. I figure if I set an alarm for it, set a timer for like an hour and a half, then you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey should be done at that point. Is that fair?
⏹️ ▶️ John You can make it less than that, I think.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Okay, go ahead. The clock is ticking.
⏹️ ▶️ John Last week I talked about my pessimistic, like nightmare scenario for the Mac Pro. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ John oh, all these things they said, they can make a machine that’s like this and that machine is dumb and doesn’t make any sense. And I really hope they don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John do that. Right. of different rumors from different videos saying, oh, they could take two
⏹️ ▶️ John M1 Ultras and stack them on top of each other. But then there was this rumor tweet about them being alongside and it didn’t make
⏹️ ▶️ John any sense. And we didn’t, you know, whatever. Things change fast in the Mac Pro rumor world. So this week, I just wanted to touch on
⏹️ ▶️ John the new optimistic rumor for the Mac Pro. The previous,
⏹️ ▶️ John this is again from MacStack, the previous MacStack video was like, they’re gonna take two M1 Ultras and put them on top of each other.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, nope, nevermind, that’s not gonna happen. I misread the patent. Here’s the new rumor. And this new,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m saying it here, it’s optimistic. So a lot of this stuff is gonna sound fantastical. It’s gonna sound like things
⏹️ ▶️ John that I’ve said that I would really like, but seem unlikely, but take it or leave it, here it is. We’ll put links in the show
⏹️ ▶️ John notes so that you can take a look at it. And the rumor is, don’t worry, it’s an M2, not
⏹️ ▶️ John an M1. Yes, the M2 will be ready. So, and there’s gonna be four M2 max size types of things.
⏹️ ▶️ John And they’re gonna be next to each other. And they’re gonna be connected with that daisy interconnect so that they’re all connected with each other. And how
⏹️ ▶️ John can they all be connected? I thought there was only connections on one edge. Ah, that’s the M1 you’re thinking of. This is the
⏹️ ▶️ John M2. Yes, I said the M2. And there’s four of them, and they can be connected together, and they have RAM all around
⏹️ ▶️ John them. How are they gonna deal with the RAM situation? There’s not gonna be enough room for 1.5 terabytes of
⏹️ ▶️ John RAM. The rumor there is, oh, there’ll be a huge amount of RAM shoved around these things. In fact, it might even be HBM3,
⏹️ ▶️ John which would cost $24,000 for a terabyte of it. Maybe not. But either way, there’ll be a bunch of really
⏹️ ▶️ John fast RAM, even if it’s just LPDDR5. But also, there’s an external RAM controller, so you can
⏹️ ▶️ John have RAM in slots. and that RAM and slots will be slower and more distant, but it’ll act as a kind of a RAM hierarchy.
⏹️ ▶️ John 128, 256 gigs of really, really fast RAM next to these four M2 Macs things that are all tied together, and
⏹️ ▶️ John then an even bigger pool of like a terabyte of RAM and DIMMs that is slower, probably even
⏹️ ▶️ John slower than it is in the current Mac Pro Xeon, but it will be there. How are they gonna deal with GPUs?
⏹️ ▶️ John The rumor here is, oh, there’s actually a GP, what looks like might be a standalone GPU from
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple, Codename Lifuka and the the codename for the M1 chip was apparently Tonga
⏹️ ▶️ John and Lifuka is a smaller island in the kingdom of Tonga And the idea is like oh, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John a bunch of GPU cores But it doesn’t live inside the M1 lives outside it as in an Apple branded
⏹️ ▶️ John separate GPU So the Mac Pro would have four M2 maxes a bunch of RAM around
⏹️ ▶️ John it Maybe some external RAM slots that can take GPUs and those GPUs to add on to the massive
⏹️ ▶️ John amount of GPUs that are in the system chips, those GPUs would be Apple GPUs made
⏹️ ▶️ John from Apple GPU cores that would go in slots to augment the GPUs that are already built into the thing. That is
⏹️ ▶️ John the optimistic MacPro rumor, which is like, just take everything that has ever been mentioned that sounds
⏹️ ▶️ John cool and say, yeah, they’re going to do all of that. Oh, and by the way, it’ll come out in September or something.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah, I don’t I don’t think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John that’s a lot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but that seems optimistic.
⏹️ ▶️ John It has the benefit of saying that the timeline doesn’t make sense,
⏹️ ▶️ John but the technology makes sense because we can’t figure out how they’re going to put four M1 based chips in there. Apple said it’s done with
⏹️ ▶️ John the M1 based things. The M2 we know is coming. If you take four M2 maxes
⏹️ ▶️ John and they are able to connect in a four by four grid with these new daisy connectors and everything, like the rumors
⏹️ ▶️ John say, and you could have an external pool of RAM and Apple could make its own external GPU. These are all plausible things.
⏹️ ▶️ John the only thing that doesn’t make any sense is the timeline. But hey, those are the two rumors you heard the pessimistic one last
⏹️ ▶️ John week, you’re the optimistic one this week. Now we just got to watch the calendar and see what we get.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s it. That’s it. Three and a half minutes, John, I’m impressed. You made it talk
⏹️ ▶️ Casey fast. That’s the secret.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thanks to our sponsors this week collide jump cloud and caseta by Lutron.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And thanks to our members to support us directly, you can join at atv.fm slash join. We talk
⏹️ ▶️ John show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental
⏹️ ▶️ John John didn’t do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn’t let him Cause
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh it was accidental And you can find the show
⏹️ ▶️ John notes at atp.fm And if you’re into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, and T.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-U-S-A
⏹️ ▶️ Casey they didn’t mean to
⏹️ ▶️ John Accidental, check podcast so
Post-show: Synology backup
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I spent today like kind of cleaning up. I had like finally shipped
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the next version of Overcast to the App Store. It’s being released on Friday. So finally shipped it. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I’ve been like cleaning up, like just catching up on you know paperwork, email,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and my digital cleanup things. You know cleaning all the files off my desktop and archiving all the old ATP
⏹️ ▶️ Marco episodes that I had you know still sitting on my desktop instead of in the archive drive where they belong. So going through all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this stuff and I decided I’m finally going to set up Synology backup. And I’m not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gonna do it in any kind of weird, complicated, convoluted way where I can use Backblaze.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m just gonna pay for B2 storage per gig. Oh. Well, because I saw
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that like, what I actually need and want to backup on it.
⏹️ ▶️ John Do you mean B2 or Synology’s things? Because B2 is Backblaze’s thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes, but I mean like, rather than using Backblaze’s like regular backup client where it’s unlimited, you know?
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. No, so you’re gonna do what I do, which is I pay for B2 storage and my Synology backs up to it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, because what I actually need from B2 is gonna end up being something like 40
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bucks a month. It’s like eight terabytes roughly, which is about 40 bucks a month. And you know what,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ll just pay that. I’d rather pay that than have to deal with something that is much more complicated
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than that, which is, and I’ve been doing those complicated solutions for years now, and I’m just, I’m done with them.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I do not wanna do them anymore. So I’m just gonna pay the 40 bucks a month or whatever it ends up being to back
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up my massive Synology collection to B2.
⏹️ ▶️ John And the reason I mention Synology is I think, don’t they have like C2 or something that’s there? So you should compare prices because both of them
⏹️ ▶️ John are just straightforward. You just, you pay per byte that you store and just compare the rates.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think Synology might have its own thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Maybe, and there’s other things, there’s like Glacier and stuff. And I don’t like Glacier. I’ve used it before.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I really don’t like it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Wait, so tell me why not. I’m not arguing, but tell me why not. Because the restore times
⏹️ ▶️ John are ridiculous. And the way Glacier used to be implemented terrifies me. So I don’t like to think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I also, you know, I’ve, because I keep bouncing between these two locations, I was thinking,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was looking into options for synchronizing the two Synologies, the really ancient
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one in location one and the tiny little new one in location two. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so am I, so I think I was, I set up what the app on the Synology is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco called CloudSync. And that is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it up to B2, but that says that it offers a two-way sync option.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So could I set up CloudSync on both of them and have them synchronize that way and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco back up at the same time? So I
⏹️ ▶️ John have my two Synologies syncing one of their volumes bi-directionally
⏹️ ▶️ John to each other, but they’re sitting next to each other connected to the same ethernet switch. Now, that probably means this would also work over the
⏹️ ▶️ John internet, because it’s probably just TCP IP and assuming I set up all the networking, that would work.
⏹️ ▶️ John So, but the problem is, the problem with all Synology things that Ksync can relate to, I don’t remember what the name of
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I used to show Syncing,
⏹️ ▶️ John because they’re all called some variation on Sync Cloud
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Drive. Well, and Synology Drive does this. But I tried, I looked into setting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that up and it was so much more complicated and I couldn’t get it to.
⏹️ ▶️ John I can tell you the Sync thing that I’m using, every time I make a modification
⏹️ ▶️ John to the drive that I know is syncing, I get an email that says, oh, a notification
⏹️ ▶️ John on the Synology, the Synology Drive sync had a problem, because it doesn’t like it when you change files out from under
⏹️ ▶️ John it. It’s like, what kind of syncing system is this? I’m like, I know, the file was probably partial when you went
⏹️ ▶️ John to sync it, or it got yanked out from under you while you were in the middle of syncing, but don’t tell me that, just deal with it
⏹️ ▶️ John and re-sync. And it does, it eventually gets the disks to be right, but it gets upset
⏹️ ▶️ John every time it happens. And again, I wish I could tell you which feature of the umpteen features in Synology that does this
⏹️ ▶️ John that I’m using, but I set it up in 2013 and I don’t remember.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, because for whatever it’s worth also, I would almost never be changing the contents
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of it from a different location. Like I would most likely, like the other location
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would most likely be read only.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, so the problem, as much as I love Synology and I love my devices,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have a small collection of them at this point, but as much as I love the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Synology. Everyone
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mail Casey your old Synologies as
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s not a joke, I am in.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your old 5Ks and all your old Synologies, mail them to Casey.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Bring them in, bring them on baby. Um, does Synology’s, uh, Achilles heel
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is that they are the worst at naming things and they love,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey they love to regurgitate old names as new things and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just have like, Synology Drive has meant 15 different things across
⏹️ ▶️ Casey five different years. Like it’s preposterous to, to more directly answer your question. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I know that there are ways to have basically live syncing between Synologies.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That is not what I am doing. And it sounds like John would be a better tutor for you if that’s what you’re looking to do. And I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John it is. If I could
⏹️ ▶️ John remember what the hell that was.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey If you can remember what the hell it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is. For what I’m doing is I’m just making a like a cold storage backup from one Synology
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to the other. And that’s using hyper backup on both devices. There’s a hyper backup server
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and a hyper backup client. But on the server side, which
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is the cold storage side, it is not easy to get the files.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey They’re not just like sitting on the file system like what I think you would prefer. So my solution is not helpful
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for you. And to go back a half step on a quick tangent, there is Synology C2,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and it is $60 a year for one terabyte. How big is your backup set? Did you say two terabytes? About eight. Eight
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Okay. So yeah, you’re screwed just like me. Yeah, forget it. $55 a month or $550 a year for me sitting
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at about 12 terabytes right now it’s $800
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a year which is a lot of money like for that money I would just buy
⏹️ ▶️ Casey another Synology send it to you into this duplication
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what I mean like it’s just not it’s not worth it to me.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco What’s also by the way what’s also really nice about using B2 is that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it like I can use like you know, on the desktop, I have the you know, the wonderful app transmit by panic,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that has b two as one of its storage engines. And and when you when you just backup to be two with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the cloud sync thing, it’s not doing anything strange with the file structure or anything that you can just go and open
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up the bucket and browse the files. They’re right there. And so anywhere I am, if I happen to be away
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from home and not able to reach my sonology, and I need a file off of it, I can just open up transmit
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and log into my b two bucket and the files are sitting there. So that’s really nice. And and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything that’s like super complicated or managed in a higher level way might not necessarily do that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like when arc does stuff, for instance, you know, the wonderful backup app arc for Mac arc has its own whole file structure.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And like there’s there, it’s kind of an opaque structure. If you’re just like trying to use something like transmit, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’ll never find what you need. Whereas this the files are just sitting there in folders.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve been while we’ve been talking here, I’ve been going through this analogy, I trying to find the place where I sync my two synologies
⏹️ ▶️ John to each other. I did find the B2 one that’s in CloudSync. It’s not in Storage Manager. It’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John in Control Panel that I can find. I’m still looking for it. Maybe it’s in File Station. Let’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey see. No, it wouldn’t be in File Station. Do you have Hyper Backup installed? I would
⏹️ ▶️ Casey guess that’s where it would be, but that might be exclusively Synology to Synology backup, so I’m not sure.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But anyway, so I’m looking at B2 for 12 terabytes, which again is roughly my backup size,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and no downloaded data for month to month, which is probably what it would be. it’s $720 a year,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which is a lot of money. I mean, that’s 60 bucks a month. I mean, after a couple of years, I can just, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey might as well just have a different sonology.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco This is one of those things where like, I’m just going to throw money at it because I don’t want to actually deal with like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like multiple complex convoluted options anymore. Cause again, like that’s what I’ve been doing. I had my, my, my crazy iSCSI
⏹️ ▶️ Marco setup. Like I, I just, and then, you know, there’s things that you can try to like hack the sonology to run,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, the back plays client. It’s like, I don’t want to do any of that. I don’t want to deal with any of that. I don’t want to maintain it. I don’t want to deal with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it when it breaks. I just want this to work. And I think the B2 option is going to do that for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco me. And for 40 bucks a month for eight terabytes, fine. Just fine, I’ll do it.
⏹️ ▶️ John I found a backwards, I have a new idea. I’m like, I should just look for one of those emails that I described with the sync. And the
⏹️ ▶️ John email says, shared folder sync has failed. Please check the DSM log, blah, blah, blah. I have a million of those
⏹️ ▶️ John messages. So it’s shared folder sync. So I’m on, I’m hot on the trail here. Where is the shared folder stuff hiding
⏹️ ▶️ John in the UI? You should know this. It’s the shared folder control panel. There
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is a control panel
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey item. There you go,
⏹️ ▶️ John control panel, file sharing, shared folder.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey There is a high availability package for Synology that you might end up
⏹️ ▶️ Casey using if you wanted to do like a primary, secondary style
⏹️ ▶️ Casey setup, Marco, Marco, if you wanted to make like the one on the mainland, your
⏹️ ▶️ Casey secondary, and the one near you, your primary or something along those lines.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I know there’s ways to do this. The problem is, again, as much as I love Synology, they change
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the mechanisms for doing this and the apps you use on the Synology for doing this as often as you change computers.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John And so it’s impossible to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey keep up with what is the current best advice for these sorts
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of things. But honest to goodness, as much as I’m slamming Linus Tech Tips, like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the video they did on this, which I don’t think is exactly what you want, but it’s worth, you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, it’s like a quick, it’s a relatively quick video. You really should dig that up
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and see if they answer your question, because I think that might help.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I probably should.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean, the easiest answer, absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, is just put it all on B2. But that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not solving backup, but that’s not solving local availability. If you don’t care about local availability,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey then yes, that’s the easiest answer by far. Just do that. The problem is I don’t even, I think,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what is it, Cloud Sync to put it in V2? I don’t even know where you put it, how you get it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John there. Yeah, Cloud Sync. This
⏹️ ▶️ John is why I keep making backups of my Synology config is I have no idea where this stuff, I know it’s called
⏹️ ▶️ John Shared Folder Sync, I’m in the Shared Folder Control Panel, I can’t find anything that has to do with sync. If I ever had to set this up again, God,
⏹️ ▶️ John it would take me so long to, I would suggest that Hyper Backup definitely seems like a better solution
⏹️ ▶️ John to what you’re doing, especially since I can’t find where I configured share folder sync, but I know it’s happening because I get the emails when it complains
⏹️ ▶️ John whenever something changes. And I know it’s working because it does eventually sync them because then I will look at
⏹️ ▶️ John the two different synologies and they say, yep, they have the same contents in that shared, quote unquote, shared folder, which is really the
⏹️ ▶️ John top level and entire volume.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So on Hyper Backup, when I choose, or when I go to make a new backup destination,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I get Rsync, I’ve got WebDAV, OpenStack Swift, whatever that is, and then Cloud
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Service, Dropbox, HiDrive, Azure S3, Hubic, HiCloud
⏹️ ▶️ Casey S3, Rackspace, JD Cloud, and Google Drive. I do not see B2 here, but I know there
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is a way to get on to B2. They may have their own package for all I know. I’m not even sure,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but there’s gotta be a way to do it. I’m almost sure of it.