2020 16GB MBP Intel i5 vs 2020 8GB M1 Air

Hey everyone, I would be grateful for insights about my hardware change dilemma. I’m currently using macbook pro with following specs

Screenshot 2022-09-21 at 18.49.47

with products gigapixel 5.7.3 and sharpen ai 3.2.2 and I’m experiencing crashing and extremely slow export/preview render times for jpeg files. Export time for 2x upscale of 26mpx image takes more than 30min, and previews are around 2 minutes.

What do you think with the latest M1 native versions and 2020 m1 air with 8gb, would I benefit from switch to new system or the difference would be negligible? Is anyone using these topaz products on m1 8gb air currently to compare export/preview times for me?

Thanks in advance
best regards,


I don’t have a newer MacBook, but I do have the M1 Mini 2020 model. I use On1 PhotoRaw and was advised on the forums there to go for 16 RAM rather than 8. These specs work well with all the Topaz programmes for me. I am currently upscaling old JPGs with GPAI and they zip through extremely fast. However, V6.2.0 was crashing frequently in both standalone and plugin mode when processing multiple images and I have reverted to 6.1. This is a known bug, but the Topaz devs have still not come out with an update to resolve it.
Are you not able to upgrade your GPAI and SAI from the current versions?

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Hey thanks for the input!

I’ve tried latest GPAI and shapren ai and they are faster, but the difference is not that significant, export also takes 30+ minutes and previews are longer than a minute. What are your preview loading times and exporting in gpai?

Yesterday I’ve uspcaled 105mp jpeg 200mb file to 415mp and the export was about 60minutes🤯

I tested a 3.4MB JPG, 3468x2763px for your benefit. Previews took maybe one second to generate and saving at X2 less than ten seconds. A 25.3MB ARW, 6024x4024px, took about ten seconds to preview and less than 20 seconds to process.

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Thanks a lot. My export resolutions are bigger, sometimes 16000x25000px 300-500mb, hmmm…

Would you mind trying to proces X2 this hasselblad file from above link. It’s 57mb and 11656x8741px to start?

My internet is down at the moment. I am dependent on my not very large data allowance. But I will certainly take a look at that image for you once I am up and running fully again.

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Stefan… I downloaded your image…and tested it on my M1 Mac mini… It took less than 2 seconds to load, and preview the 57M jpeg… and as requested, I enlarged it 2X which resulted in a 131M jpeg… It took exactly 1 minute and 6.14 seconds to completely process and save… My Mac Mini M1 w16G ram…also has an SSD drive

I would suspect that you issues might NOT be processor or ram related as much as they may be disk related…

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Thanks a lot! You guys helped me a lot. That seems a lot faster compared to mine results.

Fred, I have 256gb ssd also in macbook :thinking:

Stephan… Just to be sure… I retested your image using Lightroom, as a plug-in, and it saved perfectly in in the same amount of time…

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I just did blackmagic ssd test and I got 1700/1300mbps read/write results. It’s 256gb one, and as far as I know 256gb in M1 is twice as faster around 2800mbps read.

Correct… I just ran Blackmagic and my drive is testing at 2838/3003

I made my decision. Going for M1 definitely

M1 results from this video are vastly better and your results are like 60 times faster than my export times, so even if I take 8gb m1, it’s gotta be much faster than my 16gb intel.

Thanks a lot guys for help.

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Keep us posted when you get the new computer…

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Will do🍻

Oh I had to chime in again. I’ve just changed GPU-High to CPU-High in preferences and I’ve shortened the preview/saving times a lot! From 2 hours to 10min and from 2 minutes of preview in like 15 seconds.

what do you want to be tested exactly?