Multi-core CPUs are actually direct supporting evidence of Moore's Law. It's was never a prediction about clock rate or performance. It was always about the number of transistors: the number of transistors per square area in a CMOS device will double approximately every 18 to 24 months.
By increasing the cores, it maintains this prediction of transistor counts doubling every 18-24 months.
Moore's Law is not some natural, physics based "law". It's an economics one. He had other "laws" such as the cost of developing a next gen CMOS process approximately doubles every generation. Maybe it's just a convenience in the industry to create processes that double transistor counts per square area every generation, and that was his insight. Once it is set in motion, it's difficult to break as the entire industry relies on each others developments.
The clock rate and end user performance are only correlative.
Originally Posted by Commodification
If Moore's Law is indeed ending and Heisenberg's Law is beginning, how do you think it will influences Apple products five years from now? Will Mac performance plateau while iOS devices continue to rapidly increase performance with the use of multi-cores until Macs and ios devices have nearly the same performance in 5 years or so?
How many multiple-cores can we go before it becomes redundant?
In 5 years we will be using 10 nm devices. Today, 32 nm. Next year, 22 nm. 3 years from now 15 nm. 5 years, 10 nm. We will see if the semiconductor folks can overcome quantum effects at 10 nm. 15nm looks doable.
In many ways, we aren't compute bound or GPU bound anymore or even memory bound anymore, except for specialized computational problems. Today, we are storage bound and network bound. It is the hard drive and the network that is holding back our experience. (And as always, software is the ultimate gate).
For Macs, 90% of the folks out don't need the power represented by the Sandy Bridge CPUs in iMacs and MBPs today. With quad-core, Thunderbolt and an external RAID, even most video pros aren't held back with that.
So we've already reached a plateau where computers already satisfactorily fulfill the needs of 90% of the people out there. So, I think we've already reached it with quad-core 2-way multithreaded processors. Unless you are doing computationally intensive stuff, an iMac or MBP purchased today will probably satisfy you for next 5 years, especially with SSDs. What will likely improve, especially with Apple, are thinner and cooler form factors.
What won't satisfy you is storage performance, storage limits and network performance.
An interesting aside. Back in the early 2000s, when there was a clock rate race between Intel and AMD in the hey days of the Netburst architecture and SLI of GPU cards was beginning, I thought that 1000 Watt PSUs could be the norm. 1000 W! Running on your desktop for the majority of the day. Holy cow! With 22 nm and 15 nm, a prospective 4-core desktop with nice GPU and SSD drive could be 10 Watts and <10 db (no fans).