Mobile Computing

Important Info About Apple's New Silicon Processors; Potential Compatibility Issues with macOS 11 (Big Sur)

decorative image showing M1 chipApple's New Silicon Processors
(aka the 'M1')

[July 5, 2021] For the past 15 years, Apple has been using Intel processors, and many of their computers still do. In November 2020, Apple began offering new desktop and notebook computers that are instead powered by Apple silicon, starting with the M1.

Compatibility Issues with Avid Products & Bootcamp

Although Mac computers with Apple silicon offer substantial performance benefits, they are not currently compatible with some Avid products, including Avid Media Composer as well as many other third party plugins.

Additionally, Microsoft Windows cannot run natively (via Apple’s Bootcamp software) as it does when using an Intel based Mac, making Windows-specific rendering applications like Revit, Solidworks, Enscape, and Rhino either completely unable to launch, or run with severe instability and/or reduced performance.

If you are (or plan to be) using any of the above software for your course work this coming school year, we recommend either purchasing an Intel based Mac or waiting as long as feasibly possible to see if your software is updated to be fully compatible with Apple silicon. If you end up choosing a Mac with Apple silicon, please also make sure you have the required RAM and storage specifications as indicated on the Computing Requirements page.

Resource Links

You can also Google your software title with “Apple M1 compatibility”

macOS Big Sur splash screenmacOS 11 (Big Sur) & Potential Software Incompatibilities

If you are considering upgrading your current Mac to macOS 11, Big Sur, please keep in mind that you may experience incompatibilities with some of your software.

Known Issues

Current Software

Before upgrading, we recommend that you check the website of the software vendor for any applications that you often use. For example, various applications by Avid are not fully compatible at this time, including Media Composer, some Pro Tools plugins, and others.

Older Software

To date there have been reports from users experiencing issues with some applications, particularly with older versions. This is often due to the fact that macOS 11 Big Sur will only run 64-bit applications (similar to macOS 10.15 Catalina), meaning that older 32-bit applications such as Adobe CS5 (Illustrator CS5, InDesign CS5), Microsoft Office 2011, Aperture and Final Cut Studio (7) will not work.

How to check if an app is 32-bit (which will not work with Big Sur)

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the upper left corner of your display Select “About This Mac” followed by “System Report
  2. Navigate to Legacy Software under the Software tab
  3. See if any of your software is listed in the Legacy Software section. If so, click on the software title to see if it is noted as being a “32-bit” application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will macOS 11 Big Sur work with Sheridan’s network services?

Yes, Big Sur is compatible and supported

Will macOS 11 Big Sur work with Sheridan’s printing services?

Yes, as long as you are using the latest Papercut client and have the Lexmark universal printer drivers installed. See Setting up the the Green Print Queue for details.

Is macOS 11 Big Sur compatible with my Sheridan curriculum software?

Software titles that are posted on Sheridan's AppsAnywhere software portal have been tested for compatibility with Big Sur, but we still recommend that you check the software vendors website for any specific applications that you use often before upgrading.


Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, contact the IT Service Desk at ext. 2150 or send email to