Hey everyone! I am posting this on the forums I frequent since it is new tech and I want people to know if they should bother with an upgrade.
This is aimed at people that really like using the iPad for art and are eye balling this as an upgrade.
I got the new M1 iPad pro! I grabbed the 1TB version for the 16gb of ram. If you are unaware, art programs use RAM to store all of the layers that we use, so more RAM = larger and more numerous layers.
Sadly I can tell you that RIGHT NOW the RAM on the new model is going unused by Procreate. I just found a note from the developers that they are aware of the fact that procreate is registering the M1 iPad pro as an unknown device, that means they are setting the RAM and hence the related stats at the minimum of 2gb. So at a screen resolution of 5464x4096 you only get 7 layers. This rather sucks, my old gen 2 model that I have been using until this upgrade can handle 19. This is clearly a software issue, and the folk that develop procreate are working on it.
For a comparison, I loaded up infinite painter as well, another program that I really enjoy using. For the same dimensions the new iPad can put up 75 layers, and my old iPad can only put up 7 layers. I would imagine that this is a better measure of what will happen with some more software development.
Now, to talk about the speed of the thing, it's pretty fantastic. Everything is VERY snappy, just loads up instantly. I just thought to myself, “Lets find some huge brush to create some lag and see how far I can push the brush rendering.” I couldn't find anything to slow down the new M1, pretty neat.
The thunderbolt port is a thunderbolt port. I plugged a Samsung T5 into it and could play videos off of the external drive no problem, another indicator that the 1tb version is probably not worth it. I did try to mess around and see if I could get the port to freeze up, that was pretty easily done by telling the OS to duplicate all of the files on a SD card and then unplugging it halfway through. I had to reset the iPad to get the port working again. Seems like a solid port.
Connection to a mac:
Sidecar works like a charm, seems to even be a bit snappier and seems much clearer than on my old ipad. Running Zbrush via sidecar was very smooth. Zbrush still has some issues with menus that go off the screen, it would be nice to see that fixed.
Plugging in the ipad OBS was able to read it as a video source with the same issues that have existed before, so no improvement there, but it works.
All of this is to say, I do not currently see this device as a reasonable upgrade for straight up art usage due to current software limitations. I expect this to change, but I can not guarantee it. But I will post an update when that happens