Transitions: Intel to ARM (Apple chips)

Discussion in 'AppleTalk' started by King, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. jologs

    jologs Active Member

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    I’m actually excited for this. Apple is working wonders with ipc/single threaded performance improvements with their custom arm cores much more than Intel/AMD’s x86, while maintaining a massive lead in perf per watt efficiency. If any one can pull it off, it has to be Apple since they probably the most vertically integrated tech company on the planet and their software ecosystem is very much under their complete control.

    Im quite sure Intel/AMD sees this move as a disruptive threat or the x86/amd64 hegemony in the traditional computing. Imagine ARM on Macs, PCs, smartphones, tablets, consoles, enterprise/datacenter, hpc, etc.
     
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  2. King

    King Well-Known Member

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  3. Noel Nuguid

    Noel Nuguid New Member

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    While i think it would be good for macs targeted at most general consumers, wont this be a problem with Gamers?
     
  4. oldtimer

    oldtimer Active Member

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    This is interesting. However, I do not see Apple moving away from Intel for the Pro desktop market in the near future. Shifting to AMD is an even bigger possibility. The MacBook may be the best candidate for the ARM chip, though.
     
  5. jologs

    jologs Active Member

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    As much as I want to root for the resurgent CPU underdog, AMD, Apple's recent moves seem to hint for a significant move to ARM for Macs. The first hint is with Project Catalyst (Marzipan), which ports iOS apps to Mac. In the long term, having the ARM uarc on both iOS and Mac devices makes good sense for that purpose. Apple historically prefers in-house designs for their chips and components and their own custom ARM cpu seems to be the current agenda for the company after the success of their A12X design. The desktop mac pros may follow suit depending on how successful this move will be. We're already seeing ARM being used in datacenters and enterprise and pro software like Adobe CC is already being ported to ARM.

    More recently, Apple just hired a lead ARM architect to work on ARM CPUs for future Macs.

    source: https://9to5mac.com/2019/06/26/apple-arm-hire-mac/

     
    #25 jologs, Jul 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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  6. oldtimer

    oldtimer Active Member

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    Catalyst is more of a software consolidation than anything else. Whilst it may seem like ARM will be completely replacing Intel on Macs, it won't be for the next 5 years, IMHO. When this happens, it will happen for the MacBook/MacBook Air first. The Pro models are a different beasts -- specially the Mac Pro, which runs server-grade Intel chips. Also, don't forget that Apple has nothing that can rival the desktop GPUs from AMD (and Nvidia) yet.

    Don't forget, Apple is expanding into AR glasses, better AirPods and  Watch, and vehicles -- which are best served with in-house ARM chips, hence the hire.
     
  7. rdy0329

    rdy0329 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    I'm looking forward to better battery life for the most part, a MacBook/Air's chassis can hold more battery than an iPad Pro yet we see about the same battery life rating for both.

    The iPad Pro with iPadOS is the perfect platform for ARM chips to shine without directly pitting it against Intel/AMD chips. Aside from that, iOS in general is a leaner OS which helps with the overall speed of any device it is on.

    If ARM doesn't move past the iPads, I'd be perfectly happy with it. ARM doesn't necessarily need to replace traditional chips, the market's just getting more diverse in terms of needs. I was able to afford MacBook Pro during college because the moniker just meant faster. Nowadays, the cutting edge tech is applied to "pro" devices that drives the prices prohibitively high while cheaper models are becoming good enough for most use-cases. Gone are the days of $499 iPads, $649 iPhones and $1299 MacBook Pros.

    If they do plan to unveil an ARM Notebook I'd be willing to bet it's for the 12" MacBook which is overdue for a redesign/spec bump. That's it. You know why? Because the very simplicity of Apple's A-chips roadmap is also it's biggest potentials pitfall, they can't really make anything faster than what the latest iPhones have and add an X on it to match it with the latest iPad Pros.
     
  8. King

    King Well-Known Member

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    Good question...

    Are there more Mac gamers than Mac Photoshop users?
     
  9. Noel Nuguid

    Noel Nuguid New Member

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    While i believe that mac gamers are a minority. it would be interesting how apple can push macs as a gaming platform particularly as part of Apple Arcade.

    Speaking of Apple Arcade, now that Im thinking about it. the service may just be focused on games that can run across iOS, iPadOs, tvOS and macOS without really using discreet GPU (atleast the ones made by nvidia and amd).

    In this case, it makes sense to move an architecture that can easily make games portable across several platform.
     
  10. bacchus_3

    bacchus_3 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    ^^ Metal is the go-to choice of game developers in macOS moving forward as openGL will be deprecated. To be honest the distinction between Game devs and Adobe for developing GPU intensive apps is almost nothing using Metal. You just have to check the demo of AR demo apps from WWDC (e.g. Minecraft AR game) and Adobe apps ported to iPadOS using Metal.

    It does however doesn't save the discrete GPUs to be the poor man's GPU - they can't support the full Metal API.

    Simply put, Intel or ARM, Metal Framework will work on both platform - iPadOS and macOS Catalina is testament to this.
     
  11. Salaryman Ryan

    Salaryman Ryan PhilMUG Addict Member

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    With the looming release of the upcoming high end Intel Xeon based Mac Pro, a machine that is supposed to have an operational life longer then any Mac, might be a sign that at least in high end computing, Intel will continue to be Apple's choice of cpu. I wonder, if Apple does release AXX processor Macbook will how will Apple and its app developers juggle between and eventually consolidate ARM and Intel Macs.
     
  12. bacchus_3

    bacchus_3 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    ^^ The ‘Marzipan’/Catalyst tools already does this. Build the iOS/iPadOS as true universal app for macOS too. I think this will herald a write-once-build-for-all apps for the dev community in case the Intel and ARM Macs coexist someday.
     

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