M1 - wow

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wellfleation
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M1 - wow

Post by wellfleation »

Finally Apple has an awesome performing laptop with that new M! chip. Holy human waste, I'm getting one! It's actually a sic deal. Apple's a bargain. I'm BACK IN THE MARKET AND (besides siri still sucking) am loving what Apple is doing. OMG, nice!
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Post by ukimalefu »

:up:
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by Bren »

So I think a lot of people have been anticipating wanting to wait until the second generation of ARM Macintoshes comes out, because the first generation of everything Apple makes is always quickly replaced by something much better, and then the first gen looks awfully flawed and hampered.

It happened with the first iMacs, the first Intel Macs, and the first iPhones.

What's the feeling regarding these ARM Macs? Same deal, or is history not repeating itself?
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by DEyncourt »

There is something limiting those new ARM Macs which prevents any of the laptops from being able to use more than 16 GBs of RAM (they can be ordered with only 8 GBs for $200 less).

Considering that I am interested in SOME future-proofing my hi-tech purchases, I will pass on any gear with such a limitation.
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by maurvir »

The RAM is literally mounted on the SoC - which means that every M1 machine will have the same amount. They don't have SODIMM sockets at all.

However, that is also part of why they are so fast. Their memory interfaces are much, much better integrated and don't have to slow down for long traces.
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Post by obvs »

The RAM amount is customizable on their ordering page: 8 or 16.
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Re:

Post by maurvir »

obvs posted wrote: The RAM amount is customizable on their ordering page: 8 or 16.


I would be willing to bet that the extra memory is logically disabled. I could be wrong, but I would almost be surprised if they didn't pull the old Tektronix move. If they do, it would mean you could "upgrade" by paying for the difference.
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Re: Re:

Post by dv »

maurvir posted wrote:
obvs posted wrote: The RAM amount is customizable on their ordering page: 8 or 16.


I would be willing to bet that the extra memory is logically disabled. I could be wrong, but I would almost be surprised if they didn't pull the old Tektronix move. If they do, it would mean you could "upgrade" by paying for the difference.


While the RAM isn't socketed, it's not on the same wafer as the SoC, but on a chip mounted right next to it. They presumably don't install the additional chips on 8GB machines, since 8GB of DRAM is still a nontrivial addition to the BoM if you're trying to turn a profit on a $1k machine.
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Re: Re:

Post by maurvir »

dv posted wrote:
maurvir posted wrote:
obvs posted wrote: The RAM amount is customizable on their ordering page: 8 or 16.


I would be willing to bet that the extra memory is logically disabled. I could be wrong, but I would almost be surprised if they didn't pull the old Tektronix move. If they do, it would mean you could "upgrade" by paying for the difference.


While the RAM isn't socketed, it's not on the same wafer as the SoC, but on a chip mounted right next to it. They presumably don't install the additional chips on 8GB machines, since 8GB of DRAM is still a nontrivial addition to the BoM if you're trying to turn a profit on a $1k machine.


Perhaps, but I actually have a Tek scope on my desk that has the full complement of sample memory. I just can't use it because we didn't buy the upgrade. Still sitting there, just logically disabled - presumably so that every instrument is identical at the factory.
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by Bren »

Here's another question:

What, exactly, do they mean when they call this a System On a Chip?

Surely the operating system is still installed on the hard drive, right?

I mean, like, how would you update to a newer version of the OS otherwise?

Like, updating to a newer version of the MacOS isn't going to require a firmware update every time, is it?

I know I'm being a bit clueless in asking these questions.


And can we assume existing ARM-processor PC's can never be turned into Hackintoshes, because the M1 is fundamentally different from an off-the-shelf ARM, and crucial parts of the MacOS live on or in the M1?
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by dv »

Bren posted wrote: Here's another question:

What, exactly, do they mean when they call this a System On a Chip?


It means that the peripheral and interface controller bits that would normally be part of the chipset are integrated into the chip itself. SoCs built for specific tasks will have different hardware integrated into them - SoCs for routers will often have the logic for an ethernet switch built in, for instance.

Surely the operating system is still installed on the hard drive, right?

I mean, like, how would you update to a newer version of the OS otherwise?

Like, updating to a newer version of the MacOS isn't going to require a firmware update every time, is it?

I know I'm being a bit clueless in asking these questions.


And can we assume existing ARM-processor PC's can never be turned into Hackintoshes, because the M1 is fundamentally different from an off-the-shelf ARM, and crucial parts of the MacOS live on or in the M1?


From a user perspective, they operate pretty much the same. There are still SSDs, you still upgrade your software normally. Your cell phone, iPad, and Raspbery Pi are already using SoCs, and the amount of hackery that people get into with Pis in particular is pretty impressive.
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by Pariah »

Apple has clearly knocked it out of the park with the M1 but I have to say it is hard for me to get too excited about a new architecture that will only run on about 15% of computers in the USA.
It is a great chip but a niche chip that will have as little impact on the larger computer market as practically everything else Apple has done in the last 10 years. Which is to say practically none except adding a bit of competition to the CPU market which is a good thing.
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by Bren »

So is Apple still planning to replace all its Intel Macs with M1 Macs? I believe that's what had been claimed months ago. But right now, you can still go to Apple's Web site and drop some serious coin on a fully loaded Intel iMac.

Is it possible the early reports were wrong, and Apple is, in fact, planning to have M1 Macs and Intel Macs live alongside each other, with both platforms continuing to be developed and improved and supported?
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by Pariah »

Bren posted wrote: So is Apple still planning to replace all its Intel Macs with M1 Macs? I believe that's what had been claimed months ago. But right now, you can still go to Apple's Web site and drop some serious coin on a fully loaded Intel iMac.

Is it possible the early reports were wrong, and Apple is, in fact, planning to have M1 Macs and Intel Macs live alongside each other, with both platforms continuing to be developed and improved and supported?

If the M series scales, and I bet it will, I don't see apple continuing with Intel.
Adobe is on board, Apple's brilliant developer community will go along eagerly and Apple makes of bunch of important apps in-house.
I think Intel will be out and fairly soon.
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by obvs »

Pariah posted wrote: Apple has clearly knocked it out of the park with the M1 but I have to say it is hard for me to get too excited about a new architecture that will only run on about 15% of computers in the USA.
It is a great chip but a niche chip that will have as little impact on the larger computer market as practically everything else Apple has done in the last 10 years. Which is to say practically none except adding a bit of competition to the CPU market which is a good thing.
:lol:

It's not an entirely new architecture.

It's already running on a huge number of computers in the USA, just not the ones planted on people's desks.
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by Pariah »

obvs posted wrote:
Pariah posted wrote: Apple has clearly knocked it out of the park with the M1 but I have to say it is hard for me to get too excited about a new architecture that will only run on about 15% of computers in the USA.
It is a great chip but a niche chip that will have as little impact on the larger computer market as practically everything else Apple has done in the last 10 years. Which is to say practically none except adding a bit of competition to the CPU market which is a good thing.
:lol:

It's not an entirely new architecture.

It's already running on a huge number of computers in the USA, just not the ones planted on people's desks.

Maybe I just misunderstand. My impression the M series is a variation on the ARM arch, among many. It's not a case where you could take just any other ARM variant and run OSX on it. So "architecture" was the wrong word but the M1 is unique in it's design and proprietary so the M sries will never be seen on any other platform
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by Bren »

So Apple's Web site contains much hype about the M1 Macs' gaming prowess. Is this thing truly a viable replacement for Macs with discrete graphics cards, or nah?
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by jkahless »

Pariah posted wrote:
obvs posted wrote:
Pariah posted wrote: Apple has clearly knocked it out of the park with the M1 but I have to say it is hard for me to get too excited about a new architecture that will only run on about 15% of computers in the USA.
It is a great chip but a niche chip that will have as little impact on the larger computer market as practically everything else Apple has done in the last 10 years. Which is to say practically none except adding a bit of competition to the CPU market which is a good thing.
:lol:

It's not an entirely new architecture.

It's already running on a huge number of computers in the USA, just not the ones planted on people's desks.

Maybe I just misunderstand. My impression the M series is a variation on the ARM arch, among many. It's not a case where you could take just any other ARM variant and run OSX on it. So "architecture" was the wrong word but the M1 is unique in it's design and proprietary so the M sries will never be seen on any other platform


Well, someone's already booted windows on it and there's developers champing at the bit to get Linux ported over. :shrug:
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Post by Mr. T »

The M1 is an SoC, which basically takes all the components of a traditional machine, and bundles them together on the same piece of silicon. This is not a unique concept --it's employed in all modern Arm implementations.

The secret sauce of the M1 is simply the fact that Apple engineered it up the wazoo. It's faster than competing Arm SoCs by a healthy margin. It wins in performance per-core and per-watt against competing Arm designs and against competing x86 chips from Intel --while tying AMD per-core, and winning per-watt. It maybe even beats competing x86 CPUs per-dollar as well.

But the real problem for Intel and AMD is best showcased in the following graph.
CLICK ME TO SEE APPLE'S INCREDIBLE TRAJECTORY!
Note that while this graph shows Apple, a similarly-sloped trajectory can be seen on competing Arm designs as well --None of this bodes well for Intel and AMD. Arm is a simpler ISA, the licensing model is more flexible, and frankly a lot more money is flowing that way compared to x86. The significance of the M1 switch, IMO, is that they've provided the first successful blueprint for what it takes to replace x86 in the PC space. The important ingredients are:
(1) Wait until the chip exceeds the capabilities of competing x86 chips (this is inevitable as the graph shows)
(2) Provide a good solution for backwards compatibility.

Microsoft's efforts have been lacking these elements so far, but once they get there, it's all over for x86. It doesn't take much imagination to extrapolate that line a few years out. Intel and AMD are not screwed, per-se. But x86 certainly is.
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by Pariah »

jkahless posted wrote:
Pariah posted wrote:
obvs posted wrote:
Pariah posted wrote: Apple has clearly knocked it out of the park with the M1 but I have to say it is hard for me to get too excited about a new architecture that will only run on about 15% of computers in the USA.
It is a great chip but a niche chip that will have as little impact on the larger computer market as practically everything else Apple has done in the last 10 years. Which is to say practically none except adding a bit of competition to the CPU market which is a good thing.
:lol:

It's not an entirely new architecture.

It's already running on a huge number of computers in the USA, just not the ones planted on people's desks.

Maybe I just misunderstand. My impression the M series is a variation on the ARM arch, among many. It's not a case where you could take just any other ARM variant and run OSX on it. So "architecture" was the wrong word but the M1 is unique in it's design and proprietary so the M sries will never be seen on any other platform


Well, someone's already booted windows on it and there's developers champing at the bit to get Linux ported over. :shrug:

No doubt.
My point is Apple will not be selling these chips to other OEMs. There will never be an M1 Dell.
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Post by jkahless »

Ah yes! You're right there.

It'll be interesting how long they're be able to maintain this mobile performance/power gap. It's simple absurd at the moment.
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Re:

Post by Pariah »

jkahless posted wrote: Ah yes! You're right there.

It'll be interesting how long they're be able to maintain this mobile performance/power gap. It's simple absurd at the moment.

It will be interesting to see where this goes. I suspect long term this is going to lower Apple's cost a lot.

Cheaper Macs?
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by maurvir »

The real issue is that the M1 doesn't seem to allow for Thunderbolt displays, or even an off-chip GPU, which is going to put a crimp in some plans for pro users. There is no technical reason an ARM system can't do this - even the Raspberry Pi has a 1x PCIe port for its USB connectivity, which makes it a curious deletion. However, this means that there will likely be at least one more year of Intel based Macbook Pros (never mind the full size Macs), for pro users who need actual graphics support. However, once Apple starts releasing chips that can support serious graphics, I would be willing to bet that will be the last year Apple sells an Intel CPU.

The thing is, if they are successful at this, and I believe they will be, I think Microsoft will start making their ARM port of Windows a first-class citizen and possibly even rerelease the SurfaceRT (maybe rebranded). With Apple as a guide, they might even get it right the second time around. If THOSE take off, Intel should immediately start wasting their pants, because full-size desktops are becoming rare, and the enthusiast market can only soak up so many. With AMD either at or slightly ahead in terms of performance, and especially performance per watt, Intel might very well find themselves as the underdog.

Exciting times, save for the fact that we may also see the end of Linux as a viable means to keep older hardware alive. ARM systems don't have a general purpose BIOS/EFI bootloader, which means that laptops will end up like cell phones - useless junk once the manufacturer stops supporting them. I doubt it happens, but I hope that Apple will work with Microsoft to get Windows running in a bootcamp configuration, as that might give the Linux folks enough of a heads-up to get Linux running on them as well.
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by ukimalefu »

Bren posted wrote: So is Apple still planning to replace all its Intel Macs with M1 Macs? I believe that's what had been claimed months ago. But right now, you can still go to Apple's Web site and drop some serious coin on a fully loaded Intel iMac.


They said the transition will take 2 years, so yeah, they still sell some intel macs. They released a few with M1 processors, so those models only come with M1 now.

They will be releasing new M1 macs over time, until eventually, there will be no more intel macs.
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by Bren »

So who are the biggest and most viable manufacturers of ARM processors, other than Apple?

That is to say, if a person wanted to roll the dice and buy some stock right now, which ARM manufacturer(s) should they be investing in?
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by ukimalefu »

Bren posted wrote: So who are the biggest and most viable manufacturers of ARM processors, other than Apple?

That is to say, if a person wanted to roll the dice and buy some stock right now, which ARM manufacturer(s) should they be investing in?


Do NOT take investment advice from me

SoftBank Group Nvidia is what you're looking for

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arm_Ltd.

Apple is unlikely to sell their chips to other companies, so that shouldn't be a reason to buy apple stock.
Last edited by ukimalefu on Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by Bren »

That Wikipedia link you posted is not bringing up whatever page you presumably intended.
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by ukimalefu »

Bren posted wrote: That Wikipedia link you posted is not bringing up whatever page you presumably intended.


weird, if you click the link they suggest:

Image

It takes you to the exact link I posted.

I copied this from the url bar

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arm_Ltd.

But when you click it here, it doesn't work Image

-

Anyway, what I understand is that nvidia owns ARM now. And apple bought rights to design their own version and have it made.
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by Pariah »

maurvir posted wrote: The real issue is that the M1 doesn't seem to allow for Thunderbolt displays, or even an off-chip GPU, which is going to put a crimp in some plans for pro users. There is no technical reason an ARM system can't do this - even the Raspberry Pi has a 1x PCIe port for its USB connectivity, which makes it a curious deletion. However, this means that there will likely be at least one more year of Intel based Macbook Pros (never mind the full size Macs), for pro users who need actual graphics support. However, once Apple starts releasing chips that can support serious graphics, I would be willing to bet that will be the last year Apple sells an Intel CPU.

The thing is, if they are successful at this, and I believe they will be, I think Microsoft will start making their ARM port of Windows a first-class citizen and possibly even rerelease the SurfaceRT (maybe rebranded). With Apple as a guide, they might even get it right the second time around. If THOSE take off, Intel should immediately start wasting their pants, because full-size desktops are becoming rare, and the enthusiast market can only soak up so many. With AMD either at or slightly ahead in terms of performance, and especially performance per watt, Intel might very well find themselves as the underdog.

Exciting times, save for the fact that we may also see the end of Linux as a viable means to keep older hardware alive. ARM systems don't have a general purpose BIOS/EFI bootloader, which means that laptops will end up like cell phones - useless junk once the manufacturer stops supporting them. I doubt it happens, but I hope that Apple will work with Microsoft to get Windows running in a bootcamp configuration, as that might give the Linux folks enough of a heads-up to get Linux running on them as well.

Challenging times for Intel.

It will be interesting to see Apple develop this new cpu. Will they be able to support error correction ram for their pro rigs? Will they get 3rd party GPUs to play nice with the M series? Will the low power requirements and low heat output let Apple cram a crazy amount of compute power in smallish case?
Apple already has that special graphic accelerator in the pro rigs. Maybe Apple will be able to deliver great graphic performance entirely on their own silicon and give the finger to both ati and nvidia?
I am super ignorant about chip design but from looking at schematics of the M series it looks like they have lots of options for specialized compute units right on the M system on a chip.

I know I can get pretty snarky about Apple but I know they have a collection of some of the absolute top developers on board and this is such a bold move I bet they have been working on this for years, getting things just right.
The only way Apple could fiddlesticks this up would be because of stupid management choices, not for lack of talent.
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by Bren »

So what's this stuff on Apple's site about being able to use your favorite iOS apps on your Mac?

Will this involve a touch screen? Because I don't think a track pad is going to be an adequate substitute, especially for certain games.

Are they, perhaps, talking about versions of these apps modified for use on a desktop computer?
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by ukimalefu »

Bren posted wrote: So what's this stuff on Apple's site about being able to use your favorite iOS apps on your Mac?

Will this involve a touch screen? Because I don't think a track pad is going to be an adequate substitute, especially for certain games.

Are they, perhaps, talking about versions of these apps modified for use on a desktop computer?


yes, they're exactly the same iOS apps you'd use on an iPhone, not "mac versions", and you're right, reviews say they're awkward to use with a mouse or trackpad, when they work, because not all iOS apps work, and when they do work, it may be buggy.

A lot of people want apple to make a touchscreen macbook, but they want you buy an iPad.
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Post by Pariah »

A clever solution would be to make touch screen Macs but have the touch only active when you bring up a Dashboard style environment that will contain your iOS apps.
That way the MacOS can continue to be WMP based while allowing iOS apps to also function.
Just speculating.
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by maurvir »

A lot of Dells just have their touch screens permanently enabled. If you see check boxes by icons on the desktop, you know the touch screen is active. It is still a bit awkward, so this would probably work better on convertibles, but it does work.
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Post by Pariah »

An interesting article about the origins of the ARM chip set.

https://arstechnica.com/features/2020/1 ... the-world/
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Post by TOS »

i'm really surprised to se the previously contemptuous computer vloggers getting excited about upcoming m-macs, including the new imacs

has me wondering whether it might be time to switch back

though it will take more than a good chip to convince me that macs can be good gaming machines
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by avkills »

Mac's will be dead for triple A games unless the developers starting doing stuff in Metal.
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Re: M1 - wow

Post by ukimalefu »

avkills posted wrote: Mac's will be dead for triple A games unless the developers starting doing stuff in Metal.


Image

-

But seriously. Gaming is not the reason you buy a Mac. You CAN still have a lot of fun gaming on a Mac, I do, just not the latest and greatest.
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Post by DukeofNuke »

So, is this leading to a kind of unified OS?
Rather Catalina, ect. all Apple products will have the same OS?
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Re:

Post by maurvir »

DukeofNuke posted wrote: So, is this leading to a kind of unified OS?
Rather Catalina, ect. all Apple products will have the same OS?


Technically, this has been the case for quite a while - iOS is, more or less, a variant of MacOS X. In the old days, when you could still easily jailbreak, you could get a terminal session and poke around the file system. Now they also share the same CPU architecture, but that's actually only important in terms of being able to run apps without emulation or transcoding.

I hope Apple doesn't try the same BS as Microsoft, though. Touch and WMP are totally different user interfaces that don't mix well.
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Post by TOS »

holy human waste, i got an m1 air for christmas, i'm shocked

and o my gawd what an amazing machine it is
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