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Here are some feedbacks about the Mac mini M1 I purchased few weeks ago, in order to compile and test GeeXLab with the new Apple Silicon M1.

The M1 Chip

The M1 chip is a SoC (System on a Chip) and includes a 8-core CPU, a 8-core GPU as well as other components like a neural engine, memory or input/output interfaces.

Mac Mini 2010 Osx High Sierra

The M1 GPU has a FP32 performance of 2.6 TFLOPS (source). This is more or less the same performance than the Radeon RX 560 or the GeForce GTX 1650:
– GeForce GTX 1650: 2.9 TFLOPS
– Radeon RX 560: 2.6 TFLOPS
See THIS PAGE for a more complete TFLOP table.

Xcode, command line tools

The source code of GeeXLab is based on makefiles and I had no problem to compile all core libraries from the command line. I installed the latest Xcode 12.3 as well as the command line tools (because gcc/g++ are needed). By default, the compilation in command line (like gcc file.c) produces a binary for the arm64 architecture. I was surprised to see that all GeeXLab OpenGL code has been successfully compiled. OpenGL is still there in the latest macOS Big Sur!


Using Xcode 12.3, you can generate a kind of hybrid executable (Apple calls it an universal macOS binary) that packs the x86_64 and arm64 code. But in command line with gcc/g++, you have to specify the target architecture. By default on Apple M1 + Big Sur, gcc will generate an amr64 code. If you want to generate a x86_64 code you have to use the following gcc option:
-target x86_64-apple-macos10.15

gcc main.c -o x86_test -target x86_64-apple-macos10.15

To compile for arm64 architecture:
gcc main.c -o arm_test -target arm64-apple-macos11


The arm64-apple-macos11 target is handy if you are on an Intel-based Mac mini and want to compile for ARM architecture.

Once I finished to build GeeXLab, I was impressed by its launch speed: very fast. On Linux, the launch of GeeXLab is fast but on macOS Big Sur + Apple M1, the startup is a bit faster.

This is GeeXLab compiled for arm64 architecture:


I compiled GeeXLab in two separate versions: GeeXLab for arm64 and GeeXLab for Intel x86_64. On the Apple M1, you can’t launch an x86_64 executable directly. You have to install Rosetta before. Fortunately, it’s easy, you are guided by macOS:

Rosetta is a translation layer that allows the Apple M1 CPU (arm64 architecture) to execute a x86_64 code developed for Intel-based Macs. The first version of Rosetta was developed for the switch from PowerPC to Intel CPUs. Rosetta 2 is the new version for the switch from Intel to Apple silicon M1 CPUs.

Rosetta works fine: here, we have GeeXLab compiled for x86_64 architecture running on Apple M1:

Here is the same GeeXLab on an Intel-based Mac mini:

Look at the framerate: 1951 FPS (M1 CPU, arm64 native code), 1282 FPS (M1 CPU, x86_64 emulated code via rosetta) and 471 FPS (Intel CPU, x86_64 native code). This statement found on the Apple M1 homepage is true:

And thanks to Metal and M1, some of the most graphically demanding apps perform better under Rosetta 2 than they did running natively on previous Mac systems with integrated graphics.

M1 GPU OpenGL Test

Let’s do another test: a shadertoy demo with a heavy pixel shader. I chose a recent demo that gives some good results: Neural Stanford Bunny 5kb.

This demo has been ported to GeeXLab and is available in the shadertoy demopack in the following folder:

Resolution of the demo: 800×480

Some framerates:
GeForce RTX 2070 on Windows 10: 720 FPS
Apple M1 Mac mini (arm64 native code): 245 FPS
– Apple M1 Mac mini (x86_64 via rosetta): 220 FPS
GeForce GTX 750 on Windows 10: 176 FPS

Let’s look at the theoretical FP32 performance of these GPUs:
– GeForce RTX 2070: 7.4 TFLOPS
– Apple M1: 2.6 TFLOPS
– GeForce GTX 750: 1.1 FLOPS

Results sound coherent. This shadertoy test shows us that the M1 GPU is not a toy.

GeeXLab for arm64 can be downloaded from this link.
GeeXLab for x86_64 can be downloaded from this link.

Activity Monitor

macOS Big Sur has a way to know for what architecture a program has been compiled. Launch the Activity Monitor and look at the Architecture column:

What Is The Latest Os For Mac Mini Mid 2011

– GeeXLab for Apple Silicon M1:

– GeeXLab for Intel x86_64:

OpenGL info

To end this article, here is the OpenGL 4.1 and OpenGL 2.1 data from GeeXLab (M1 arm64) log file. The modern way to do graphics programming on macOS is to use the Metal API (or Vulkan via MoltenVK). But a lot of OpenGL applications exist for macOS and it’s nice to know that they still work. According to the GL_VERSION, OpenGL in macOS is based on the Metal API.

Mac mini 2010 os mojave

OpenGL 4.1

OpenGL 2.1

Related posts:

macOS Big Sur elevates the most advanced desktop operating system in the world to a new level of power and beauty. Experience Mac to the fullest with a refined new design. Enjoy the biggest Safari update ever. Discover new features for Maps and Messages. And get even more transparency around your privacy.

Check compatibility

macOS Big Sur is compatible with these computers:

MacBook introduced in 2015 or later
MacBook Air introduced in 2013 or later
MacBook Pro introduced in late 2013 or later
Mac mini introduced in 2014 or later
iMac introduced in 2014 or later
iMac Pro
Mac Pro introduced in 2013 or later
View the complete list of compatible computers.

If upgrading from macOS Sierra or later, macOS Big Sur requires 35.5GB of available storage to upgrade. If upgrading from an earlier release, macOS Big Sur requires up to 44.5GB of available storage. To upgrade from OS X Mountain Lion, first upgrade to OS X El Capitan, then upgrade to macOS Big Sur.

Make a backup

Before installing any upgrade, it’s a good idea to back up your Mac. Time Machine makes it simple, and other backup methods are also available. Learn how to back up your Mac.

Get connected

It takes time to download and install macOS, so make sure that you have a reliable Internet connection. If you're using a Mac notebook computer, plug it into AC power.

Download macOS Big Sur

Mac Mini 2010 Latest Os X

If you're using macOS Mojave or later, get macOS Big Sur via Software Update: Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Software Update.

Or use this link to open the macOS Big Sur page on the App Store: Get macOS Big Sur. Then click the Get button or iCloud download icon.

Begin installation

After downloading, the installer opens automatically.

Click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions. You might find it easiest to begin installation in the evening so that it can complete overnight, if needed.

If the installer asks for permission to install a helper tool, enter the administrator name and password that you use to log in to your Mac, then click Add Helper.

Allow installation to complete

Please allow installation to complete without putting your Mac to sleep or closing its lid. Your Mac might restart, show a progress bar, or show a blank screen several times as it installs both macOS and related updates to your Mac firmware.

Stay up to date

After installing macOS Big Sur, you will be notified when updates to macOS Big Sur are available. You can also use Software Update to check for updates: Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Software Update.

Mac Mini 2010 Latest Os Version

Or get macOS Big Sur automatically

Mac Mini Mid 2010 Latest Os

If you're using OS X El Capitan v10.11.5 or later and your App Store preferences or Software Update preferences are set to download new updates when available, macOS Big Sur will download conveniently in the background, making it even easier to upgrade. A notification will inform you when macOS Big Sur is ready to be installed. Click Install to get started, or dismiss the notification to install later. When you're ready to install, just open the file named Install macOS Big Sur from your Applications folder.

Learn more

Mac Mini 2010 Os Mojave

  • If the installer shows a list of apps that are not optimized for your Mac, learn about 32-bit app compatibility, then choose whether to proceed with the installation.
  • For the strongest security and latest features, upgrade to macOS Big Sur. If you have hardware or software that isn't compatible with Big Sur, you might be able to install an earlier macOS.
  • You can also use macOS Recovery to reinstall the macOS you're using now, upgrade to the latest compatible macOS, or install the macOS that came with your Mac.