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 Post subject: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:04 pm 
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The big secret that Apple is rumored to announce this year is that they're going to release an ARM-based Mac in 2021. If you're counting, this would be the third processor architecture transition for Apple. Naturally, Apple will inevitably kill all your Intel x64-based software to make this transition, which will also kill easy Windows compatibility. It is fair to assume that Apple doesn't care, because otherwise the company wouldn't be doing it. This will make Macs less desirable for people like me who rely on Intel compatibility to run other operating systems. (I think it's fair to say that Apple has already alienated anyone using specialty software in niche markets where that software can't be readily recompiled.)

The up side is that Apple will no longer be beholden to Intel's sometimes shaky roadmap, obscene power consumption, and commodity nature. ARM could also, oddly enough, end up being faster if the trend-lines are anything to go by, although I doubt the first iterations will be. Amazon is already touting Marvell based ARM cores for its datacenters, and the Apple A13 core used in iPhones. With alterations for the power and thermal horizons of desktop and conventional laptop computing these things might be very quick, relatively inexpensive, and much more power efficient. All that makes computers cheaper, quieter, and run longer on batteries.

Another advantage, to Apple, not necessarily its users, is that it de-commodifies Macs in the same way that an iPhone is distinguished from an Android phone with more than just numbers on the box. As we've seen with PowerPC, this could be a double-edged sword, but Apple might see benefit right now.

Finally, extrapolating from my rough polynomial curve fitting, the last benefit is that it should keep Apple from changing architecture again until 2037-2040.

Oh yeah, and we'll need a new sub-forum...

- Anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:23 pm 
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I think the only reason they introduced the 1.4GHz MBP & i3 iMacs with 5400rpm drives & 8GB of RAM that everybody & his brother are returning... is to ready us for & to make the ArmMacs look good not do bad.

They've obviously been testing ArmMacs in house for years, there has been ARM code in OSX since about Tiger.


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:40 am 
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BDAqua wrote:
I think the only reason they introduced the 1.4GHz MBP & i3 iMacs with 5400rpm drives & 8GB of RAM that everybody & his brother are returning... is to ready us for & to make the ArmMacs look good not do bad.

They've obviously been testing ArmMacs in house for years, there has been ARM code in OSX since about Tiger.


Originally the ARM code in Tiger was for desktop testing and debugging of what was then known only internally by a few to be mobile software. It's likely retained that role for most of its time inside OS X. Only recently would they have likely branched out to full-on ARM OS (iOS) functionality, along with iOS emulators for their own software engineers.

I'd say the first ARM "Macs" will likely be the Macbook Air line, as it's the easiest to replace with near identical or even better performance. The higher end laptops won't be replaced until Apple can guarantee at least equal performance to the Intel counterparts. Of course, once they go ARM, everything, and I do mean everything will be proprietary. At that point I'll be on Windows only. I refuse to be leashed by the walled garden.

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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:32 pm 
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I ran PPC long into Intel's reign. Indeed the thing that stopped me doing it was my PowerMac PSU packing up (something if I'd kept the thing I could have fixed now. Which is annoying). I shall be running my cMP as long as it's viable. After that, who knows. I have no interest in anything Apple make, so likely a PC of some form.


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:58 pm 
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I imagine Apple will tout the long battery life of the new laptops and completely forget to mention that they have to run longer to accomplish the same amount of work.

While I understand Intel's floundering as of late is cause for concern, the solution is to go to their competitor that's causing all that floundering, not try to shovel a low powered energy efficient processor into hardware that virtually demands a high powered inefficient processor, which is what they'll start doing soon enough with the desktop lineup. They already have a relationship with AMD for GPUs...


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:30 pm 
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Apple rumored they might build a mid tower gaming machine.
If the use AMD processors in it they better be careful which
AMD processor they use or they may make their $6000
Mac Pro look silly. :)

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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:05 am 
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It seems logical that the MBA would be the 1st RMac, yet I've heard such good things about the latest MBA speedwise that I think maybe the 1st RMac might replace the anemic MacBook.


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 2:48 pm 
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I don't have a logical problem with laptops going ARM, they are a more efficient CPU, although not a fast one by desktop or even laptop standards. But once Apple transitions they won't stop until the whole line is ARM, because they want that vendor lock in. And, of course, their software library will be anemic out of the gate, an x64 emulator running on that embedded CPU isn't going to help real world use.

I can only imagine the frustration developers like Adobe are experiencing at this point... Apple demands they do what now? They just got software working on Catalina, now Apple expects them to dump all of that for a ground up rewrite in a non-cross platform programming language targetted at an architecture used by phones and tablets... for what exactly? 10% or less of the market? And a 10% where the owner of that market directly competes with them with unfair advantages due to inside knowledge of upcoming changes to the OS?


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:07 pm 
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Yeah, I've always marveled how Apple demands that every printer/scanner manufacturer rewrite there drivers so often. :(


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:47 am 
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No mid-sized tower and a move the ARM means no win10, so the end of an era... I'll coddle my cMP along as far as I can, but my next desktop ain't gonna be from apple. Not so sure about sticking with my ipad or iphone...


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:14 pm 
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BDAqua wrote:
Yeah, I've always marveled how Apple demands that every printer/scanner manufacturer rewrite there drivers so often. :(


Except Nvidia :(


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:13 am 
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Not true actually. For all the dot releases and the non-dot "security updates," nVidia has released updated drivers for those OSes they are allowed to write to (i.e. HS and below). From my understanding they HAVE drivers written for Mojave but apple refuses to sign them so nVidia can't distribute them.


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:22 am 
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That sucks.


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 10:52 pm 
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I'm not convinced ARMs in Macs will be slow, although I bet they will initially have much lower maximum frequencies than Intel chips and consequently lower single-threaded performance in bursty workloads. I don't, however, see why they should stay that way. For multi-threaded workloads I suspect it will be cheaper, easier, and cooler to scale up the core count, so workloads that benefit from that parallelization could benefit. Of course single-threaded performance is still what matters for most tasks.

For sustained heavy workloads Intel's clock frequency advantage might be a smaller factor because an Intel chip may less likely to sustain its maximum frequency the whole time, especially if multiple cores are simultaneously pegged.

Bottom line, I don't think we should think of an Apple designed ARMs going in to Macs as embedded processors. They'll be something else, and I don't think they'll have to be slow once they're unhitched from batteries the size of Bic lighter, plugged in to active cooling, have a higher core count, and are really designed for speed.

Of course the software transition will be a multi-year exploration of the inner circles of Hell for people who depend on niche software or Windows. But then again Apple abandoned any pretext of respect for anyone who uses their Mac to make a living* back in roughly 2010, so I doubt Apple cares in the slightest about such havoc.

For me, the i5 in my 2015 MacBook Pro leaves little to desire, so I'm not sure how much processor speed actually matters these days.

- Anonymous

* Unless you're writing iPhone apps. Then you might not be respected, but at least you're a revenue stream.


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:59 am 
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Active cooling??? I think Apple begrudgingly puts fans in Macs & would like sealed disposable units.

Higher core count??? Apple loves pinching pennies on Macs, More cores only if it benefits swiping.

I can see no reason for such lackluster Macs being introduced lately other than future advertising like... 50% faster than the slowest Mac you've ever seen !

Though I do have to admit that Anon knows far more than I do...it's just that when I have to tell someone that bought a new $1,100 iMac that if they wanted to collect eMail & browse the internet faster then return it & get a $300 NetBook!


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:03 am 
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Anonymous wrote:
The big secret that Apple is rumored to announce this year is that they're going to release an ARM-based Mac in 2021. If you're counting, this would be the third processor architecture transition for Apple. Naturally, Apple will inevitably kill all your Intel x64-based software to make this transition, which will also kill easy Windows compatibility. It is fair to assume that Apple doesn't care, because otherwise the company wouldn't be doing it. This will make Macs less desirable for people like me who rely on Intel compatibility to run other operating systems. (I think it's fair to say that Apple has already alienated anyone using specialty software in niche markets where that software can't be readily recompiled.)

The up side is that Apple will no longer be beholden to Intel's sometimes shaky roadmap, obscene power consumption, and commodity nature. ARM could also, oddly enough, end up being faster if the trend-lines are anything to go by, although I doubt the first iterations will be. Amazon is already touting Marvell based ARM cores for its datacenters, and the Apple A13 core used in iPhones. With alterations for the power and thermal horizons of desktop and conventional laptop computing these things might be very quick, relatively inexpensive, and much more power efficient. All that makes computers cheaper, quieter, and run longer on batteries.

Another advantage, to Apple, not necessarily its users, is that it de-commodifies Macs in the same way that an iPhone is distinguished from an Android phone with more than just numbers on the box. As we've seen with PowerPC, this could be a double-edged sword, but Apple might see benefit right now.

Finally, extrapolating from my rough polynomial curve fitting, the last benefit is that it should keep Apple from changing architecture again until 2037-2040.

Oh yeah, and we'll need a new sub-forum...

- Anonymous


Yes the new ARM chips. They’re transitioning AGAIN! Now that makes Intel’s look old.. PowerPCs seem ancient now.

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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:07 am 
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And that's a wrap folks.

Actually, it's not quite: Apple rather unexpectedly said it wouldn't be throwing Intel completely under the bus for the foreseeable future.

I found it interesting that their amd64 compatibility approach was static translation to native ARM.

- Anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:01 pm 
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You are likely right on the speed issue Anon...
Quote:
On the same day that Apple announced its plan to transition to its own silicon on Mac, the Top500 crowned an ARM-based build as the world's most powerful supercomputer. The announcement marks the first time a system with ARM processors has debuted on the number one spot on the list. What's more, the supercomputer is located in Japan, not the US or China like so many of the systems that have dominated the list in recent years.

At the heart of the RIKEN Center for Computational Science's Fugaku supercomputer is Fujitsu's 48-core A64FX system-on-a-chip. Working together, 158,976 of these chips put up a benchmark of 415.5 petaflops and a peak performance of 1 exaflop. To put that performance in perspective, Oak Ridge National Lab's Summit supercomputer in Tennessee was previously number one on the list with 148.8 petaflops of computing power, making Fugaku 2.8 times more powerful than that system.

https://www.engadget.com/japan-fugaku-s ... 21699.html


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:41 pm 
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BDAqua wrote:
You are likely right on the speed issue Anon...
Quote:
On the same day that Apple announced its plan to transition to its own silicon on Mac, the Top500 crowned an ARM-based build as the world's most powerful supercomputer...

...At the heart of the RIKEN Center for Computational Science's Fugaku supercomputer is Fujitsu's 48-core A64FX system-on-a-chip. Working together, 158,976 of these chips put up a benchmark of 415.5 petaflops and a peak performance of 1 exaflop. To put that performance in perspective, Oak Ridge National Lab's Summit supercomputer in Tennessee was previously number one on the list with 148.8 petaflops of computing power, making Fugaku 2.8 times more powerful than that system.

https://www.engadget.com/japan-fugaku-s ... 21699.html

----
At the rate Apple is going, it won't be long before Apple will need a computer
that powerful just to boot MacOS. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:21 am 
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:lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:02 pm 
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Most of the power in that cluster is from an ASIC in each SoC specifically designed for the tasks the cluster will be performing. It's so powerful at running tasks that it overwhelms the rest of the cores in each SoC. Keep in mind there are 48 CPUs and only one ASIC in each SoC.

What's really impressive is that it's 2.8 times faster than the next-fastest system. At these levels of power that's unbelievably impressive.


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:15 pm 
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It seems likely we'll see some worst-case benchmarks not too long after Apple starts shipping those dev units. They should be worst-case because they'll be using an iPad processor one or two generations behind whatever Apple uses in the Macs Apple releases for sale -- processors that will presumably be custom designed for use in Macs, with much more generous power and cooling budgets than in iPads or iPhones.

- Anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:48 pm 
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Anonymous wrote:
It seems likely we'll see some worst-case benchmarks not too long after Apple starts shipping those dev units. They should be worst-case because they'll be using an iPad processor one or two generations behind whatever Apple uses in the Macs Apple releases for sale -- processors that will presumably be custom designed for use in Macs, with much more generous power and cooling budgets than in iPads or iPhones.

- Anonymous


Look at this! It’s basically an iPad Pro 2020.....


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:11 pm 
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Yes, the ARM developer kit is just a iPad Pro put into a Mac Mini case.

I wish them luck trying to scale up an embedded processor to the desktop. Knowing Apple they'll err on the side of making it silent because fan noise is the greatest evil known to man. At best it'll just be slow. At worst... same as Intel systems, heat death.


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 Post subject: Re: ARM-based Macs
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:59 am 
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MonkeyBoy wrote:
Yes, the ARM developer kit is just a iPad Pro put into a Mac Mini case.

I wish them luck trying to scale up an embedded processor to the desktop. Knowing Apple they'll err on the side of making it silent because fan noise is the greatest evil known to man. At best it'll just be slow. At worst... same as Intel systems, heat death.


Big Sur is also very sad (to me), I just can’t stand the looks of it: the battery: the icons: THE FINDER!

Not only that but we might as well use iPads with keyboards.. Still thought Intel was great.

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