Brace yourselves, the ARMs are coming

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ukimalefu want, but shouldn't, may anyway
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ARM processors. And it's a rumor.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/27/2119 ... lease-date

Quote:
The Mac’s long-rumored transition from Intel processors to Apple’s own ARM designs could be swifter and more extensive than you might have expected. According to a new research note from analyst Ming-chi Kuo, reported on by MacRumors, Apple is planning to release “several” ARM-based Macs in 2021 in both laptop and desktop form factors.

Kuo believes that switching to ARM will allow Apple to reduce its processor costs by 40 to 60 percent while gaining more flexibility over its hardware lineup. He recently claimed that Apple would launch its first ARM-based laptop in the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of next.

Metacell Chocolate Brahma
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ARM is what raspberry PI's use. Apple should be able to cut their costs by 90-95%. I doubt they're willing.
ukimalefu want, but shouldn't, may anyway
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Uh... what do you mean? a raspberry pi doesn't use whatever an iPhone has, just like not all intel processors are the same...
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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ukimalefu posted:
Uh... what do you mean? a raspberry pi doesn't use whatever an iPhone has, just like not all intel processors are the same...


https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/ra ... fications/

That is a quad-core ARM design from Broadcomm, but it is using the same ISA as the iPhone/iPad SoC's. Note that this is actually weaker than what's in a modern iPad or iPhone, yet it is still powerful enough to be a desktop replacement for a large part of the population. With an A12X or Qualcomm SD865, it would outpace most laptops already being sold. Intel will maintain a raw performance lead for a while, but don't be surprised if ARM slowly turns them into a niche CPU company.

The real question will be how many Apple users secretly need to run Windows in Boot Camp, and will they allow open access to Linux? They certainly locked down the iDevices, and I won't be surprised of the Macs get similarly locked down. That might not work out so well with desktops and laptops, though.
Metacell Chocolate Brahma
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ukimalefu posted:
Uh... what do you mean? a raspberry pi doesn't use whatever an iPhone has, just like not all intel processors are the same...

You could be right.
nipping the hackintosh in the butt once and for all?
Metacell Chocolate Brahma
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The new PI's have built in Wi-Fi, that's the real killer deal. $35.
Aaron_R posted:
nipping the hackintosh in the butt once and for all?


I think the kernel extension's not being allowed might do that instead.
Robert B. Dandy Highwayman
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Of course they are, because I'm going to be buying a new MBP in the next six months.
DukeofNuke FREE RADICAL
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Would this brick the current Macs the way the switch to Intel did?
ukimalefu want, but shouldn't, may anyway
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DukeofNuke posted:
Would this brick the current Macs the way the switch to Intel did?


brick? what do you mean brick? no more mac os updates at some point? sure, but they already do that with older intel processors, but you can still use them.

the question is if there will be a backwards compatibility system, like at first you could dual boot OS 9 and OS X, and then you could run classic ppc apps within OS X with rosetta, and then they killed all that with OS X 10.7
DukeofNuke FREE RADICAL
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Well, yeah. That. At some point will I be forced to buy a new Mac because nothing will run on it because the old processors wont run the updates and the software companies basically turn off the old software. Like trying to run 1996 Netscape on a new MBP.
Pariah Know Your Enemy
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DukeofNuke posted:
Well, yeah. That. At some point will I be forced to buy a new Mac because nothing will run on it because the old processors wont run the updates and the software companies basically turn off the old software. Like trying to run 1996 Netscape on a new MBP.

While ARM could replace the Intel CPUs in Apple's entry level laptops and desktops ARM has nothing that can compete with 8-12-16--24-28 core Intel CPUs and I wonder how efficient it would be for Apple to be producing computers on two different platforms.
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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Pariah posted:
DukeofNuke posted:
Well, yeah. That. At some point will I be forced to buy a new Mac because nothing will run on it because the old processors wont run the updates and the software companies basically turn off the old software. Like trying to run 1996 Netscape on a new MBP.

While ARM could replace the Intel CPUs in Apple's entry level laptops and desktops ARM has nothing that can compete with 8-12-16--24-28 core Intel CPUs and I wonder how efficient it would be for Apple to be producing computers on two different platforms.


I'm not sure they have a choice, unless they want to go 100% "prosumer", which is actually possible. Intel still holds a commanding lead once power restrictions are lifted. Video and other creative artists who don't want to wait all day are going to want Intel machines. Note, I'm not talking about cropping that random picture of grandma, I'm talking about extremely hi-res ray-tracings, 4k video work, multi-channel DAWs, that sort of thing. These users would definitely cry foul if they were looking down the barrel of an ARM-based system that gets trounced by an entry level gaming PC.

However, for the vast majority of Macbook Air and Macbook users, I doubt the shift would be noticeable beyond the occasional "Intel only" software package, and I would be highly surprised if Apple didn't soften the landing with a Rosetta style interface.

The real question is whether or not Apple finally throws in the towel on the pro market, because ARM processors are already good enough for about 95+% of their users.
Pariah posted:
DukeofNuke posted:
Well, yeah. That. At some point will I be forced to buy a new Mac because nothing will run on it because the old processors wont run the updates and the software companies basically turn off the old software. Like trying to run 1996 Netscape on a new MBP.

While ARM could replace the Intel CPUs in Apple's entry level laptops and desktops ARM has nothing that can compete with 8-12-16--24-28 core Intel CPUs and I wonder how efficient it would be for Apple to be producing computers on two different platforms.


This can't really be proven because nobody has made a ARM processor specifically designed for a HEDT. The thermal limits are a lot more forgiving. Now the one thing that can be said is that nobody has any software that is optimized to run on a desktop based ARM machine except for maybe the OS. I would bank on Apple having a desktop OS X version that is optimized to run on ARM.
maurvir posted:
Pariah posted:
DukeofNuke posted:
Well, yeah. That. At some point will I be forced to buy a new Mac because nothing will run on it because the old processors wont run the updates and the software companies basically turn off the old software. Like trying to run 1996 Netscape on a new MBP.

While ARM could replace the Intel CPUs in Apple's entry level laptops and desktops ARM has nothing that can compete with 8-12-16--24-28 core Intel CPUs and I wonder how efficient it would be for Apple to be producing computers on two different platforms.


I'm not sure they have a choice, unless they want to go 100% "prosumer", which is actually possible. Intel still holds a commanding lead once power restrictions are lifted. Video and other creative artists who don't want to wait all day are going to want Intel machines. Note, I'm not talking about cropping that random picture of grandma, I'm talking about extremely hi-res ray-tracings, 4k video work, multi-channel DAWs, that sort of thing. These users would definitely cry foul if they were looking down the barrel of an ARM-based system that gets trounced by an entry level gaming PC.

However, for the vast majority of Macbook Air and Macbook users, I doubt the shift would be noticeable beyond the occasional "Intel only" software package, and I would be highly surprised if Apple didn't soften the landing with a Rosetta style interface.

The real question is whether or not Apple finally throws in the towel on the pro market, because ARM processors are already good enough for about 95+% of their users.


Apple should have gone with AMD CPUs in the new towers; since AMD seems to be stomping Intel at the moment.
maurvir posted:
Pariah posted:
DukeofNuke posted:
Well, yeah. That. At some point will I be forced to buy a new Mac because nothing will run on it because the old processors wont run the updates and the software companies basically turn off the old software. Like trying to run 1996 Netscape on a new MBP.

While ARM could replace the Intel CPUs in Apple's entry level laptops and desktops ARM has nothing that can compete with 8-12-16--24-28 core Intel CPUs and I wonder how efficient it would be for Apple to be producing computers on two different platforms.


I'm not sure they have a choice, unless they want to go 100% "prosumer", which is actually possible. Intel still holds a commanding lead once power restrictions are lifted. Video and other creative artists who don't want to wait all day are going to want Intel machines. Note, I'm not talking about cropping that random picture of grandma, I'm talking about extremely hi-res ray-tracings, 4k video work, multi-channel DAWs, that sort of thing. These users would definitely cry foul if they were looking down the barrel of an ARM-based system that gets trounced by an entry level gaming PC.

However, for the vast majority of Macbook Air and Macbook users, I doubt the shift would be noticeable beyond the occasional "Intel only" software package, and I would be highly surprised if Apple didn't soften the landing with a Rosetta style interface.

The real question is whether or not Apple finally throws in the towel on the pro market, because ARM processors are already good enough for about 95+% of their users.

ARM-based servers are a thing and gettign increasingly competetive. Honestly, it's plausible.
TOS
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if it's a hassle, if it will earn bad press or will cost a chunk of money, apple won't do it unless they have some secret strategy of blurring the line between mobile and regular computing

would it be possible to have a desktop computer the size of an iphone?
TOS posted:
if it's a hassle, if it will earn bad press or will cost a chunk of money, apple won't do it unless they have some secret strategy of blurring the line between mobile and regular computing

would it be possible to have a desktop computer the size of an iphone?


The phones already have more power than desktop computers had 10 years ago.
dv
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TOS posted:
if it's a hassle, if it will earn bad press or will cost a chunk of money, apple won't do it unless they have some secret strategy of blurring the line between mobile and regular computing

would it be possible to have a desktop computer the size of an iphone?


NUCs are already pretty darn close.
It was about 19 years ago I joined the MAF forum and this topic was on everyone's mind at the time.
Pariah Know Your Enemy
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maurvir posted:

The real question is whether or not Apple finally throws in the towel on the pro market, because ARM processors are already good enough for about 95+% of their users.

And here come the fresh out of the ass statistical claims to back up a possible move by Apple.
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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Pariah posted:
maurvir posted:

The real question is whether or not Apple finally throws in the towel on the pro market, because ARM processors are already good enough for about 95+% of their users.

And here come the fresh out of the ass statistical claims to back up a possible move by Apple.


Hence the about, but it's an educated guess based on the ratio of machines sold. Even in the "pro" world, not every workload needs a super powerful CPU.

I volunteer in the video control room at my church, which is almost 99% Apple users. The entire staff uses iPhones, iPads, and various Macbooks. The only Windows box I know of is handling streaming to FB. Of those Macs, probably only a half-dozen or so actually see serious processing use. The rest are office machines or doing something relatively mild, like streaming graphics to the projectors or video wall. With the exception of the few people doing pre-production work, the rest of the campus would never notice an ARM based machine being switched in.

However, those few people I mentioned would most definitely notice. There have been more than a few occasions where an error needed to be corrected and they were re-rendering video right before the service. I can guarantee you that they would be unamused if a "new" Mac ended up being slower than their current machines for those tasks.
Pariah Know Your Enemy
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I look at the power of a computers CPU differently than most people. It seems most people think in terms of how fast do I need the things I do done today?
I think of CPU power in terms of lifespan. The more powerful the chip, the longer it is useful. Current needs are almost irrelevant. I think one should always get the most powerful CPU one can reasonably afford because doing so will save you money in the long run.
8 years ago if someone bought a "fast enough" i3 they would have had to replace it at least once since, maybe 2 times if they persisted in buying bottom of the barrel CPUs. But my 8 year old i7 3770 is still more powerful than I need and I can't really predict how long this will maintain but certainly well past my chips 10th birthday.
Low end chips are more expensive in the long run, high end chips are more expensive in the short run but pay off over time.
Yori Program
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Part of me really likes the idea of ARM-based computers as I got to use the Acorn Archimedes in my last couple of years at school. They were amazing machines compared to the BBC Micro they replaced. :)
dv
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Pariah posted:
I look at the power of a computers CPU differently than most people. It seems most people think in terms of how fast do I need the things I do done today?
I think of CPU power in terms of lifespan. The more powerful the chip, the longer it is useful. Current needs are almost irrelevant. I think one should always get the most powerful CPU one can reasonably afford because doing so will save you money in the long run.
8 years ago if someone bought a "fast enough" i3 they would have had to replace it at least once since, maybe 2 times if they persisted in buying bottom of the barrel CPUs. But my 8 year old i7 3770 is still more powerful than I need and I can't really predict how long this will maintain but certainly well past my chips 10th birthday.
Low end chips are more expensive in the long run, high end chips are more expensive in the short run but pay off over time.


This isn't really true.

Those 5-10-year-old low-end machines are hamstrung by insufficient RAM, spinning hard drives, etc., and get replaced as a unit instead of upgraded by nontechnical owners.

And recycling centers are full of "budget" i7 boxes with substandard peripherals that were deemed equally useless by their owners.

Benchmarks repeatedly show that a dual-core CPU that's otherwise similar (like an i3-3240) will pace the quad in most web/office tasks ('bursty' workloads) given the same RAM, SSDs, etc. (Gaming and video editing, not so much, but yeah.)

But nobody buys machines in that configuration because if you're going to spend $1,000 or more for top of the line memory and storage, you will probably spend the extra $200 to upgrade the CPU also.

Ultimately, if your workload is bottlenecked by some platform feature (RAM speed, cache size, I/O capabilities, or instruction set support) you'll obsolete an i7 as fast as an i3.
I keep my "old" workstations running by replacing and updating the hard drives as they fail. Many of them are dual CPU workstations (Xeons and Opterons) with multiple cores running legacy OS and software and so they need to be kept working because I'm not spending a quarter million dollars replacing the attached peripherals that are still productive.

AMD is currently offering workstation, server, and now mobile CPUs that compete with and often exceed the performance of Intel's stuff.
Pariah Know Your Enemy
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dv posted:
Pariah posted:
I look at the power of a computers CPU differently than most people. It seems most people think in terms of how fast do I need the things I do done today?
I think of CPU power in terms of lifespan. The more powerful the chip, the longer it is useful. Current needs are almost irrelevant. I think one should always get the most powerful CPU one can reasonably afford because doing so will save you money in the long run.
8 years ago if someone bought a "fast enough" i3 they would have had to replace it at least once since, maybe 2 times if they persisted in buying bottom of the barrel CPUs. But my 8 year old i7 3770 is still more powerful than I need and I can't really predict how long this will maintain but certainly well past my chips 10th birthday.
Low end chips are more expensive in the long run, high end chips are more expensive in the short run but pay off over time.


This isn't really true.

Those 5-10-year-old low-end machines are hamstrung by insufficient RAM, spinning hard drives, etc., and get replaced as a unit instead of upgraded by nontechnical owners.

And recycling centers are full of "budget" i7 boxes with substandard peripherals that were deemed equally useless by their owners.

Benchmarks repeatedly show that a dual-core CPU that's otherwise similar (like an i3-3240) will pace the quad in most web/office tasks ('bursty' workloads) given the same RAM, SSDs, etc. (Gaming and video editing, not so much, but yeah.)

But nobody buys machines in that configuration because if you're going to spend $1,000 or more for top of the line memory and storage, you will probably spend the extra $200 to upgrade the CPU also.

Ultimately, if your workload is bottlenecked by some platform feature (RAM speed, cache size, I/O capabilities, or instruction set support) you'll obsolete an i7 as fast as an i3.

Nonsense.
This is not 2010 and the world is many threaded now. I have seen browsers eat up almost 100% of 4 of my 8 available "cores" (thanks Reddit) but the HD Netflix stream I am watching never glitches even the slightest while that is going on. The similar i3 from the 3rd generation could not pull that off.
For me the point of a many threaded CPU is not to do one thing fast it is so I can do a bunch of things at once and nothing ever slows down.
I had direct experience with this. Back when I had my C2Quad @2.33Ghz my wife had a C2D @3.0Ghz. We both had spinning HDDs and a similar amount of ram. My wife's PC would bog down under loads that my PC would handle with smooth ease. Her newer, faster CPU was slower in practice, noticeably so.
It seems AMD has a new super mobile CPU that will elevate laptop performance dramatically.
But we are not talking about sticking a ARM CPU from a iPad or iPhone into a desktop. We are talking designing an ARM chip specifically for desktop needs; perhaps the first generation will not be aimed at the HEDT market, but since there are not any available ARM based desktop CPUs; who can honestly say whether it is going to be faster or slower?

As far as CPUs becoming obsolete, I agree with Pariah, get the fastest thing you can afford.
ukimalefu want, but shouldn't, may anyway
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Bloomberg: Apple's First ARM Mac to Launch by 2021 With 12-Core Processor

Quote:
The report claims that Apple is developing three Mac processors based on the A14 chip in upcoming iPhone 12 models. At least one of these processors will apparently be much faster than the A-series chips in the iPhone and iPad. Like the A14 chip, the Mac processors are expected to be manufactured by TSMC based on its 5nm process.

Apple's first Mac processors will have 12 cores, including eight high-performance cores and at least four energy-efficient cores, according to the report. Apple is said to be exploring Mac processors with more than 12 cores for further in the future, with the company already designing a second generation of Mac processors based on the A15 chip.

The first ARM-based Mac is likely to be a notebook, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects at least one Mac desktop with an Apple processor next year too.

maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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I'm not really surprised, given Apple's intense desire to control the entire supply chain, and I suspect that for a lot of Mac users, these things will be fine. I do imagine that people who current dual-boot Windows using Boot Camp will be sorely disappointed if Apple entirely quits using Intel parts entirely, though.
macnuke Afar
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should they stop using intel ..... writing OS for ARM only in the future might make the Hack community Hack up a lung.
it's not like they have a problem saying "Upgrade or die"

my 2009 IS a Mac and I am having to hack away to run current or even just any of the Metal capable OSs.
I wanted Catalina due to Metal being polished a bit more.

but if I want to stay current.. each 10.15.XX requires a new hack to get from .1 to .2 to .3

I predict one day, a Mac with Intel in it will be the equivalent of a G5.
I'm just wondering if you will be able to turn Windows on Arm devices into hackintoshes. Likely not.
TOS
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so if it's the same chip as the ones in mobile devices, does that mean they're slowing down the mobile versions?
Possibly downvolting and reducing the maximum clock speed to stay within battery and thermal requirements.
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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I imagine they might perform fairly well once the thermal and power constraints are taken off. In fact, they perform surprisingly well, given how much performance has been eked out of devices running on tiny batteries.

I know I would be curious to see what a real ARM design with proper cooling and (practically) limitless power could do.
I don't think the mobile ones have 12 cores yet. But I do know that a laptop with an ARM will be able to run the CPU clocks a lot faster than the ones in the iPhone/iPad line.
ukimalefu want, but shouldn't, may anyway
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ARM rumor still strong

https://9to5mac.com/2020/06/09/apple-ar ... arts-wwdc/

Quote:
Apple is reportedly going to announce its transition from Intel to ARM chips for its line of Macs at WWDC, according to Bloomberg. The event kicks off on June 22nd (hosted virtually this year), and is the usual venue where Apple announces its big platform shifts. This year, we are expecting the unveiling of iOS 14, macOS 10.16, watchOS 7 and more.

Apple has had great success using custom A-series silicon for its iPhones and iPads, with its iOS devices offering market-leading performance. It is now looking to achieve a similar feat with its laptops and — later — desktop Macs. Bloomberg says Apple plans to announce the transition this month, which will give time for Mac developers to get their apps ready when the first Apple ARM Mac ships in 2021.

Bloomberg previously reported that Apple is readying a 12-core ARM chip of its own custom design. The chip would run on a 5 nanometer fabrication process and beat the performance of the current Intel lineup of MacBook Airs.

Moving from Intel to ARM should improve performance and battery efficiency, whilst also costing Apple less money per unit. Today’s Bloomberg report says that Apple’s silicon teams have observed marked gains in GPU and artificial intelligence computational performance.

dv
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avkills posted:
I don't think the mobile ones have 12 cores yet. But I do know that a laptop with an ARM will be able to run the CPU clocks a lot faster than the ones in the iPhone/iPad line.

Wouldn't have to be higher clocked if they could just run at max speed for more than a couple seconds without overheating.
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Brace yourselves, the ARMs are coming

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