During Apple’s recent series of release videos, the all-new Apple M1 chip was announced, along with the new 2020 MacBook Pro. It’s not all good news, however, as tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee has pointed out.
Apple users around the world have had plenty of good news during 2020. New iPhones, new processors, and now a line of new MacBooks too.
While on the surface the improved stats, performance claims, and improved hardware are something to celebrate, they hide a few key flaws. Tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee has revealed those flaws, and highlights the biggest issue with Apple’s new 2020 MacBook Pro in particular.
The 2020 Macbook Pro remains unchanged externally, but makes use of the all-new Apple M1 chip.
Biggest issues with the 2020 Macbook Pro
Apple’s presentations are typical Silicon Valley style: Glossy, slick, and polished, but underneath that polished exterior, hides a number of issues.
The 2020 MacBook Pro is the same design and “guts” as the current generation model, but with the new M1 chip. Boasting 10 hours more battery life, 2.8x faster CPU, and 5x faster graphics, it looks to be a powerhouse of portable computing. However, as Brownlee says, it’s “not all sunshine and rainbows.”
The first issue is the claims Apple makes during their presentation, stating that the new MacBook Pro is “3x faster than the best-selling Windows laptop in its class.”
Marques quickly points out that this is a “weird” claim. Since the best-selling Windows laptop isn’t the best-performing, it is an unusual benchmark to compare against, which brings doubts upon Apple’s claim.
Next, there’s the issue of user upgrades; Specifically, the fact that there isn’t any. Since the RAM and graphics processors are all built-in to the M1 chip, Apple has full control over customers’ RAM requirements, with the 16gb option a full $200 on top of the standard price.
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No option for 4 Thunderbolt USB-C ports
There are also no new webcams on any of the ‘new’ MacBooks. Despite the cutting-edge technology inside, they all still ship with 720p cameras.
USB ports are also a big sticking point for Brownlee and regular consumers alike. While there used to be two ‘tiers’ of the Pro (allowing customization of USB-C port numbers) all models now only come with 2 ports. While for many people this won’t prove a problem, for those that use their MacBook Pro for work or image/video processing, this could be a deal-breaker.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the internal competition from Apple itself is far too great. Brownlee was quick to point out that the new MacBook Air with the M1 chip is now so well-specced, it is “eating into any reason to buy a 2020 MacBook Pro, as they have the same chip [and] seem roughly equal in terms of performance.”
So, while the specs across the board of new MacBooks (and the Mac Mini) are impressive, according to Marques, current-gen MacBook Pro users may be better off sticking with their current version, or opting for the new MacBook Air when upgrading.
So, you just got a new PS5 or Xbox Series X and want to start streaming like shroud, NICKMERCS, and Nadeshot? It’s not as simple as just firing up your new console and broadcasting on Twitch or YouTube.
To produce a good stream that viewers will engage with you’ll need extra equipment such as a capture card, a camera, a green screen and more.
Where we can assist, however, is by telling you exactly what you need to get the ultimate streaming set-up – the essential equipment that every top streamer needs. The good news is that Elgato manufacture everything you require to start creating great streams, so you don’t need to spend ages shopping around for different products.
Here’s a guide to the essential kit for producing top streams. The only thing that’s missing is the personality – Elgato doesn’t sell those yet.
Elgato HD60 S
Before you can start streaming your game of Warzone, Among Us or FIFA 21, you need to be able to capture your gameplay in real-time, and that’s what the Elgato HD60 S does. It’s a USB 3.0 capture card that’s built for next-gen, able to stream or record gameplay at 60 frames per second in 1080p. It even supports HDR.
While streaming or recording, you can monitor your gameplay lag-free at a full 1080p60. If you want to capture a full 4K signal at 60 FPS, then there is the Elgato 4K60 S+. In addition to capturing the full resolution and frame rate of your new console, the 4K60 S+ comes with an SD card slot, allowing you to record gameplay without a computer. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, the HD60 S+ is the same as the HD60 S, but it also offers 4K60 passthrough.
No matter if you’re streaming or recording, getting set up is simple. You connect a HDMI cable from your console to the input of the HD60 S, then connect another HDMI cable from the output to your display. From there, connect a USB cable to your computer, and you’re set. You’ll see the HD60 S as a source in software like OBS Studio.
You can pick up the Elgato HD60 S for $179 now, click here for more information.
Elgato Stream Deck
The Elgato Stream Deck is a broadcast switcher built for the 21st century. It’s a desktop device with 15 tactile, illuminated buttons, allowing you to do everything from switch between different scenes mid-stream to enabling slow chat on Twitch with just a press of a button. It’s easy to set up these functions, too. The Stream Deck software allows you to drag new functions to different keys, and even set custom icons for those keys.
The possibilities with the Stream Deck are, quite literally, endless (you could even set a key to automatically launch your favorite game). You don’t need to do any of that if you don’t want to, though. The Elgato Stream Deck automatically detects your scenes and sources in Elgato Game Capture, OBS, Twitch, XSplit, YouTube, and more, allowing you to get up and running in seconds.
To hook it up you just need to plug the USB cable into your computer, and the Stream Deck will automatically detect your scenes and sources. After you download the Stream Deck software, you can set the keys to perform just about any action you want. You can save your configuration in the software, and quickly jump between different configurations.
There are a few different Stream Deck sizes, but the standard 15-key model is $149, click here for more information.
Elgato Cam Link 4K
There’s no hiding on Twitch – you need to get your face on camera if you are going to engage with your audience. The Elgato Cam Link 4K is what you need to do that. This small USB device turns your DSLR, camcorder, or action camera into a supercharged webcam. With it, you can enjoy the full quality of your camera but add the ease and convenience that is enjoyed with a normal webcam setup.
The Cam Link 4K can capture video at up to 1080p60 or 4K30 over an HDMI cable. You don’t have to worry about your camera’s memory card either as it records directly to your computer’s hard drive – this means you can just focus more on playing as you won’t be bothered about storage in the middle of your session.
Setting up the Cam Link is about as straightforward as it gets. Your camera plugs into the HDMI end, and you plug the USB end into your computer. From there, you’ll see your camera as an input source in your streaming software of choice. Most cameras will work, but it’s always best to check your compatibility first.
You can pick up the Cam Link 4K for $129 now, click here for more information.
Elgato Key Light
Streamers want to look their best on camera, and the secret to this is actually all in the lighting. The Elgato Key Light is a compact lighting solution built from the desk up. Unlike traditional video lights – which clutter your space with stands and cables – the Key Light attaches directly to your desk with an adjustable arm. Don’t worry about space behind your desk, either. The Key Light was designed to sit flush against a wall.
Convenience is one thing – the Key Light delivers that in spades with its Stream Deck support and ease of setup – but quality lighting is another. The Key Light doesn’t disappoint on that front. Each light can output up to 2,800 Lumens while only drawing 45 watts. That’s a lot of light, but the Key Light handles it well. It comes with a strong diffuser, giving you soft, even lighting across your entire scene.
After attaching the Key Light to your desk, all you need to do is plug in the included power cable. Key Lights use Wi-Fi to communicate with your computer, allowing you to adjust brightness, color temperature, and more without touching the lights. You can also map Key Light functions to a Stream Deck.
The Elgato Key Light, including the desk stand, is $199, click here for more information.
Elgato Green Screen
Green screens aren’t just for the movies – for streaming, they give you an even background, and then you can use software to automatically cut the green out and leave, well, just you. However, most green screens are actually made for movie sets rather than streaming and they take up a lot of space while giving you an uneven result.
That’s where the Elgato Green Screen comes in. It’s a collapsible green screen that goes from 70.87 inches when fully extended down to a mere 4.53 inches when collapsed. The screen itself is supported by an X-frame in the back, enabling you to adjust the height to whatever you need. Even better, the Elgato Green Screen works from the ground up – no fancy ceiling rigging required.
Setting up the Green Screen is easy (just pull it up and secure the back bracket in place). With it set, make sure you have plenty of light on your face and the green screen, then add your camera as a source in your streaming software. Each piece of software is a little different, but you’ll want to look for “chroma key,” usually under the video filters. Select the color of your background – green – and your streaming software will do the rest.
You can pick up the Elgato Green Screen now for $159, click here for more information.
Historically, audio has been one of the biggest hurdles into the streaming world because you not only need a good microphone, but also a way to connect that mic to a computer and mix your audio. Well, it’s no longer an issue because The Elgato Wave:3 is a premium microphone with everything you need built-in. The mic’s multifunctional dial allows you to set input gain, adjust your headphone volume, and fade between your microphone signal and PC signal, all without software.
If you want even more control, you can set and customize up to nine channels with the WaveLink software, meaning you can find the perfect auditory balance (you can even tweak your settings with a Stream Deck).
Not that you need to do much, really. The mic’s condenser capsule is built for voices, and with Elgato’s proprietary Clipguard protection, you never have to worry about your voice distorting. The Elgato Wave:3 offers crystal clear audio quality without all the effort.
After connecting the microphone to your computer via USB and your headphones to the back of the microphone, you’ll be able to add it as a source in your streaming software. Dial in the input gain using the multifunctional dial, then balance your PC audio with your microphone audio. That’s all you need to get started, but you can use WaveLink for more control.
The Wave:3 is $159, and it comes with everything you need (including a desk stand), click here for more information.
The Elgato Multi-Mount system should make setting up your streaming area much easier.
Between lights, cameras, and a microphone, you need some heavy duty rigging to get everything secured firmly to your desk. The Elgato Multi-Mount system offers that, but unlike similar mounts, the Multi-Mount system is modular.
The core of the system is the Master Mount, which is the same mount featured on the Elgato Key Light. From there, however, you can customize your setup with additional arms for a camera, more lights, a microphone, or even a phone. The entire Multi-Mount system is built from steel with multiple adjustment points, allowing you to position your camera, lights, and more with the confidence that they’ll stay where you put them.
Because the Multi-Mount system is modular, you can set it up however best fits your needs. Elgato provides a configurator so you can try out different mounts to see what works best for you (you can see some recommended setups, too).
The Master Mount is $49, and the accessories for it range from $15 to $39, click here for more information.