Mac Mini M1
  • Ben,

    Will SecuritySpy work with the new Mac Mini's released today?


  • I would assume they will have a transition layer like Rosetta 2. Until SS and others to ports for ARM. Otherwise, who would buy it?
  • I guess the devil is going to be in the performance of the transition layer while the native ports are built. Will be curious to see the official word :)
  • We will be releasing an Apple Silicon version of SecuritySpy very soon that runs natively on the M1 chips (we have already completed this work, we're just tying up a few loose ends before release).

    Intel apps will indeed run on Apple Silicon Macs via Rosetta 2 emulation. In our testing, this is very high performant, Apple have done an excellent job here. Even so, only native code will get the best out of the new chip.

    The M1 looks phenomenal and will provide a big speed bump to apps such as SecuritySpy that can use so many of its high-performance features: CPU, GPU, AI cores, hardware video encoding/decoding etc. And it's great that there is an Apple Silicon Mac mini already, this is perfect for SecuritySpy!
  • Ben, does the M1 offer hardware HEVC support like the recent Intel procs? I've been wanting to bump up to 32 from 16 but the CPU limitation is keeping me from doing so. When I go from 16 to 17 it makes a huge diff.. I would assume hardware support is limited to 16.

  • Excited to see users Benchmarks.
  • Yes, it's virtually guaranteed that the M1 will offer high-performance H.264 and H.265 hardware-accelerated video compression and decompression. We will have to see what the real-world performance of these will be - we will get our hands on one in due course, but if any user receives delivery of one in the near future, please get in touch.

    We've been testing with the DTK. I'm not allowed to provide benchmarks, but I can tell you that the DTK performs well for both decode and encode, and it's likely that the M1 will be significantly better. So I look forward to some real M1 benchmarks when possible, and I will report back here when I have these.

    @bigpal - there isn't a hard limit of 16 streams. Rather, each Mac has a certain maximum capability for decoding a certain rate of video frames of a certain resolution. The best way to benchmark your Mac is to use our new VideoCodecTest utility. The test to run is either the H.264 Decode test or the H.265 Decode test, depending on whether your cameras supply H.264 or H.265 video. To test your Mac's internal hardware, disable the Software option and enable the Internal hardware option. The tool will then calculate the maximum rate at which your Mac is capable of decoding frames.

    So, for example, you might get a result of 200fps. Then, to calculate the maximum number of cameras that your Mac can handle, divide this number by the frame rate at which each camera is streaming. For example, this would be 20 cameras @10fps each, 25 cameras @8fps each etc. Please report back with your results!
  • That's a great tool! My mac mini can do 265 frames for h.265 at 22% CPU... (hardware only) which means I can do 16 cameras at 15 frames, which is exactly what I have them set to do. That explains the limitation. Interestingly enough, the number of frames was a bit lower for h.264.

    Personally, I will be holding off on Apple powered computers for a bit because I still depend on Windows and required dual boot with bootcamp support.... but eventually I'll upgrade my mini which has all my "server" stuff and I don't care about windows there.

    Thanks Ben
  • The future for Apple ARM looks quite good. I'm looking forward to seeing what's coming after this currently available M1.

    Native can make a huge difference. I got to run Intel & M1 versions Davinci Resolve on a M1. The Intel version about as well as on any Intel based Mac and the native version noticeably faster for several things.
  • Update: the latest version of SecuritySpy is now a Universal build that runs natively on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs.
  • If this is helpful, I ran Ben's Video Codec Test App on a new M1 MacBook Air with 8GB RAM, 8 cores, and 8 GPU's. Its numbers were very high compared to the iMacs and MacBook Pros I have comparison. M1 MacBook Air showed a throughput of 420PFS running the Decode H.264 4K test with checkmarks next to Software CPU and Internal hardware.

    In comparison, the MBP (2018) with 2.9 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i9 and 32GB ram scored 179 FPS on the same settings.

  • @mjcmjc - yes, these are the results I'm seeing too on the M1 chip. You should see that decoding H.265 across both hardware and software is even faster - I'm seeing a throughput of 570 fps, which is fantastic (about the same performance as a 10-core iMac Pro).

    If you compare your Intel MacBook Pro against the M1, with hardware-only H.264 or H.265 decoding, I expect that the Intel will provide better performance. Its hardware decoding capabilities are provided by Intel's Quick Sync Video module build into the CPU, which is very powerful. The issue with the Intel is that adding software decoding on top of this does not increase performance further - there seems to be some interaction here between software and hardware decoding that prevents this, which is probably a limitation of the chip design.

    In comparison, the M1's hardware decoding capabilities are a bit lower than the Intel's, but its software capabilities are much higher, and in addition it doesn't have the above limitation, so when doing both hardware+software processing you get the sum of both.
  • Thanks Ben,

    Was also pleasantly surprised to see that you pushed out the native M1 SecuritySpy update. Thanks!

    Continue to be very happy with SecuritySpy - running 19 cameras on the M1 with H.265 decoding and the AI motion detection. Only other thing I run on this Mini is Indigo, and it runs headless, but when I screen share into it, its typically 80% idle on the CPU. This is the lowest priced M1, so I'm pretty happy with it, too. Might need to start using more of SS's features. ;)
  • Ben what is the impact of 8GB versus 16Gb in the new M1? And does SS have a setting to tell the M1 to use Software CPU and not hardware? (sorry if this is a dumb question!)
  • Hi @gpsbrad - for more than 8 cameras or so, I would suggest going for the 16GB model to be safe. We are still investigating this and running tests and will update our system requirements calculator, which is designed for Intel Macs, and probably overstates the RAM requirement.

    Yes, when running on any Mac, including the M1 models, you can set SecuritySpy to assign cameras to hardware or software video decoding, as described in this FAQ: I'm getting a "decoder overload" warning, what does this mean?
  • Ben, since S/spy is running in native, you should have added to this list:
  • Hi @DsrtRngr - thanks, this looks like a useful resource. I have now submitted SecuritySpy to this list.

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