MacBook Pro M2 2023

Hello everyone,
I am considering buying the latest MacBook Pro M2 PRO which was launched just recently, something like February 2023.
Has somebody already tried Glyphs and RF (I am a daily Glyphs user) on it?
If so, is it worth it?

Also I read some of Ventura’s related posts, any update about its working condition with plugins?

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Hi, I can’t personally tell you about experience with the M2 MacBook Pro, but having recently got the M2 Mac Mini, I can attest to Glyphs working perfectly on Ventura. A few issues here and there with 3.2, but that’s not Ventura’s fault.

Most of all, the M2’s speed is absolutely ludicrous, I have cut my production routines into less than a third of the time it used to take me (Air 2020, Intel).

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While on the topic. I too am looking to update (from MBP 2015).
Wondering if there is a considerable difference between the M1 Pro and M2 Pro…is that 10 vs 12 core CPU going to be noticeable*?

*of course the question is noticeable doing what? What are examples of Glyphs scripts or routines that require the most intensive CPU processing? especially when working with and exporting large files that have big character sets and lots of masters. Likewise, what are things that are GPU intensive?

While it’s not recommended having a lot of text in the editview…what is the thing that actually slows it down? I notice slowdowns whenever I use Show Kern Bubbles where it displays all the bubbles layers…will things like that be faster with the new chips?

@SCarewe while not a direct comparison are the ludicrous speeds on your Mini from the 10-core version?

Also, any Glyphs-specific reason to upgrade for more memory 16->32GB?

Plug-ins written in Python. Python code is slow. If you have to draw something for all glyphs, and you have a lot of them…

The difference between M1 and M2 is very big.

In terms of pricing, I would very much recommend the current Mac Mini M2 (in case you are looking for a desktop setup). You can get it with 256GB of storage like I did (saves 200$, the storage is slower, but I use an external drive anyway), but upgrade your RAM instead. I paid around 900€, which (in my eyes) is an absolute steal for a machine running such speeds. You can compare benchmarks here (current selection is my Mac Mini, but you can set it to anything else):

My “benchmark” is Python, fontbakery and webfont conversion.
For example, I have a workflow (or, rather, a specific project) where I would run Kern On for eight masters, export 432 instances, run fontbakery, and then convert them all to webfonts. This used to take me 42 minutes (Air, 2020 Intel). It now takes me 9.

The Air M2 uses the exact same processor, with the only caveat of not having any cooling. This should not be an issue though most of the time. The reason I went for the Mac Mini instead was the ridiculously low price (900 vs. 1800 for the Air), as I was going to buy an external monitor either way.

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Will the M chips make processing python code faster? Will there be a noticeable difference between the M1 and M2 in this regard?

Wow! a considering difference in that workflow. Thanks for sharing your benchmark. I hadn’t really considered the mini but I should.

I really would. Of course, it depends on how you want to work – I was looking for a desktop solution. Two options: 1. replace old (still very functional) MacBook with a new MacBook (~1800€), buy external monitor. 2. Keep old MacBook for on the go, buy Mac Mini (~900€), buy external monitor.

Going with the Mac Mini has saved me a ton of money and has given me even better performance (since it has a fan, for extreme cases). Only downside is trying to keep the storage on two machines in sync, but that’s less and less a problem with external storage and most projects being on GitHub.

Tldr, if you’re primarily looking for a setup at home, I wholeheartedly recommend the new Mac Mini M2. This review might help you decide on the specific model: M2 Mac Mini Review - $600 - YouTube

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They make everything faster. I can’t speak for M1 vs. M2, but here’s what I got building variable fonts by converting vfb to UFO, then building from designspace, converting to woff2, running fontbakery, etc.

Mac Pro (2013): 2 minutes 6 seconds
Studio Mac M1 Max (2022): 38 seconds

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With a desktop setup…which external monitor(s) would you recommend?

I am a big fan of the LG UltraFine series. Depending on your budget and what your preferences are, I would look into the latest LG UltraFine 4K. Personally, I got the LG 27UP850N-W (no Thunderbolt support, regretfully, but the energy consumption of the Thunderbolt version was ridiculous). It’s an LED panel, 4K. For 350€, I am very, very happy with it.

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Wow, nice! You mentioned the difference to M1 being big too, have you done any similar tests?

I haven’t personally got my hands on an M1 to test anything, I’m going off comparisons and benchmarks I read online (also discussed in the video I linked earlier).

Also the fact that the M2 Mac Mini costs less than the M1 is just nuts.

Is the difference between M1 and M2 really so big? From what I read it should be ~20% difference. The MX versus MX Pro is probably more significant.

For the MacMini: I would recommend to get the 512 GB for space but mostly for speed reasons.

There are mainly two things

  • Plugins. As Rainer said. Python is slower than native code but also getting in and out of the python environment is expensive.
  • Drawing stuff. Glyphs uses a rather high level Drawing API (that makes it possible to allow plugins to draw stuff without a Computer science degree). More text means more glyphs, meaning more stuff to draw …

You want to have a Retina capable screen. That means something like 220–250ppi. That means 4K for 24" and 5K for 27". The former is rather small but there is a good selection for a good price. The 5K options are very limited. There is the one from Apple. I’m very happy with it. It is quite good but very expensive. Then there is the one from LG. It is a bit cheaper bit not by much. And it was not always easily available. And Samsung just announce a new 5K model (ViewFinity S9). There is no price and availability, yet.