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Apple wants to move Macs away from Intel chips - report - Page 6

post #201 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Apple could probably do the whole Rosetta binary translation for x86 Mac apps but Windows would have to be emulated.

Only if Apple is willing to pay for the license:
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The acquisition of Transitive Corporation (Transitive) was completed in the fourth quarter. Transitive’s cross-platform technology will allow clients to consolidate their Linux-based applications onto the IBM systems that make the most sense for their business needs.

Source: http://www.ibm.com/annualreport/2008/note_c.shtml
Waiting for the Power Mac G5 since Oktober 2001
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Waiting for the Power Mac G5 since Oktober 2001
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post #202 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Freddy 
Only if Apple is willing to pay for the license

They don't need to rely on QuickTransit for binary translation - Apple even said that Rosetta was pretty much their own tech:

http://news.cnet.com/The-brains-behind-Apples-Rosetta-Transitive---page-2/2100-1016_3-5736190-2.html

"I'm not going to talk about details, but it's Apple technology," Schiller said.

There will be a number of companies competing in this area if Apple couldn't do it themselves:

http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/10/russian-hackers-arm/

"Enter Elbrus Technologies. The Moscow-based startup is building a secret weapon for these ARM upstarts: an efficient emulator for running x86 applications on ARM. The software is currently in “alpha” testing stage, and Chief Development Officer Anatoly Konukhov claims it can run x86 code about 40 percent as efficiently as it would run if it were native ARM code. But the company hopes to have a working product ready for public testing by 2013, and by the end of 2014, he says, it will reach 80 percent efficiency."

How well it would emulate an entire OS remains to be seen but it would encourage the adoption/development of native solutions instead of relying on Windows. Being able to reboot into Windows is a nice option but it would be nicer if developers like Autodesk ported apps like 3DS Max to avoid having to work inside Windows and use Wndows versions of other apps like Adobe CS Suite just because of one or two critical apps.

NVidia is working on 64-bit ARM tech:

http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2012/9/20/nvidia-project-boulder-revealed-tegras-competitor-hides-in-gpu-group.aspx

In a few years, I can see the struggle for companies to make their own hardware giving software developers little choice but to go multi-platform. For games at least, it will be essential.
post #203 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

There was a chart posted on CultofMac:
http://www.cultofmac.com/193673/why-the-pc-is-dead-five-years-of-iphone-benchmarks-chart/
Interesting!
Quote:
It shows a dramatic performance curve. The following video shows the iPhone 5 vs the newest iPad and 4S:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=QF9IzH1c7Dk#t=100s
The iPad 4 can be clocked even higher than the iPhone 5. The current iPad is 20% faster than the 4S so the next iPad might even crack 2k on Geekbench.
From what I've seen so far the A6 is actually cooler than previous chips so iPad4 could easily double it's performance too. Of course it is hard to say what Apples custom core is capable of but foundries where suggesting that they could get Cortex A9 cores running at 2 GHz more than a year and a half ago. This at like 250 to 500 milliwatts a core. So it may very well be possible for Apple to source a 2GHz A6 for iPad 4 giving them better than 2X boost in performance and stay in the 2-5 watt range. That is if they stay with the current A6 design for the iPad, they could just as easily go with a quad core design for iPad 4. They might also have a 64 bit machine ready in that time frame. Even with the A5 series there is evidence to suggest that Apple kept the clock rate lower than it could to simply to gain a bit of battery life. Apple could simply stop at a 2X performance boost in iPad 4 and call it good enough.

All I can say is that I'm here with my iPad 3 and I'm already excited about the possibility of iPad 4. Even an A6x would lead to a vastly improved iPad experience.
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The entry MBA gets about 7k. The iPhone/iPad CPU will have a TDP of around 2-5W and the MBA 17W. If they double the clock and double the cores, it would already be competitive with Intel's option.
My MBP is a 2008 model and frankly my iPad often provides a better user experience. Part of that is due to my Mac use often being more intense or demanding but the fact remains my iPad is often more responsive. In any event a 2X performance boost would likely eliminate the last of the little performance glitches seen in the iPad.
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It wouldn't be compelling performance-wise as it's just a side-step but if Apple follows that performance curve and doubles performance every year, they will surpass Intel quite quickly who are only doubling performance every couple of years. Faster, $200 cheaper, cooler, longer battery life and all you lose is native x86 Windows and Thunderbolt compatibility
There in lies the problem with ARM on a laptop, some of use need i86 for legacy apps. I still have to support devices that need to run apps written for DOS, yes plain old DoS. Virtual Machines are wonderful things for people tasked with keeping old plants and equipment running.

As to Thunderbolt, do you really think Apple would have bought into Thunderbolt without a license to implement it themselves? Further there is a real question about how much if the IP is Apples and how much is Intels. I'd be extremely surprised to find out that Apple doesn't have this covered. Going into Thunderbolt development they had to know where they where going ARM wise with embedded products.
Quote:
but at the same time gain native iOS and Windows RT compatibility and access to hundreds of thousands of apps. x86 Windows can be emulated and Thunderbolt will be replaced eventually anyway.

Windows emulation is a big boner. First i86 is far more complex than a RISC machine so you loose there. Some of the current emulator technology can barely sustain 40% of a native App on Arm when emulating i86. That is 40% of an ARM equivalent app, where ARM isn't all that strong to begin with. So I really don't see i86 emulation as viable long term.

That has nothing to do with potentially how nice an ARM based device could be with enough cores to work with. I'd certainly would be tempted to buy such a machine for other uses. However it would have to run Mac OS/X without the restrictions of "I" devices. If you think about an ARM device with 64 bit capability and 8 cores you have a pretty nice machine even if per core performance lags the i86 hardware. If that all happens at 6 watts or less Intels goose is cooked. In case you are wondering yes I think such a processor is possible very soon, possibly 2014. The biggest problem with laptop ARM machines is that current SoC technology is tailored for small systems not the bigger feature load seen in laptops which means more power going to support hardware.
post #204 of 220

I think Apple should control all the hardware production and then force you to buy all software through them, iPhone style!  It's all for a better user experience mind you.    Coming to a desktop near you?  Let's hope not! 

 

The PC world may be a bloody mess, but at least they have choice in matters like this.   Those knee deep in the ecosystem will either have to accept it or leave if Apple makes an architecture change they don't like.  As for my aging intel iMac, I just wish I was able to buy new one with a matte screen. 

 

This whole debate just makes me wish consumers had more freedom and more choices.  The future seems more like digital lockdown. (with glossy screens)

post #205 of 220

huerix, you need to add fiber to your diet. The fact is that the only iPhone that you are forced to purchase from Apple is the iPhone itself. Chargers, docks, extra ear buds, and other peripherals are available from third parties like Griffin. I usually purchase my iPhones at the AT&T Store. These peripherals are right there on AT&T's carousels and none of them at branded Apple.

 

As for Macs, virtually no peripheral today is Mac-exclusive. What is more, the only Apple-labeled peripherals today are routers, monitors, keyboards, track pads, and mice. All of these are easily replaceable with inferior third party alternatives.

post #206 of 220

There could be Four things going on...

 

One - Apple has a history of investigating their systems on other chip platforms and architectures, recall the announcement of the switch to intel and zooming in on the campus to the rumored (for years) department that had been running on intel. This could be investigation and nothing more, or...

 

Two - Apple has rogue projects in order to discover leaks from new employees, this could be one of them.

 

Three - Apple could indeed be researching their own chip design, but, a switch from intel at this point for the Mac might endanger the Boot Camp customer base, so this might not be likely in the short term. (AMD and intel are relatively the same, but given the current tight relationship and access to chips before they are released how likely is it?)

 

Four - Just another bad rumor?

post #207 of 220

Nobody - nobody who plans to stay in business and definitely not Apple  is "switching to AMD" anymore. You can take that phrase "switching to AMD" and throw it away. 

What a ridiculous assertion and shows a gross failure to grasp reality as is today. AMD is dead. They may change to own silicon but if you see Apple go to AMD, start looking at UltraBooks.

post #208 of 220

I smell a whole new ARMs race...

post #209 of 220
This is possibly the worst non sense I've seen on here in a very very long time. AMD supplies an alternative i86 processor it is not a switch to use AMD processors. A switch involves a new architecture. Functionally AMDs Fusion APUs are actually better deals in many cases than Intels SoC platform. You really need to keep an open mind here. Further you need to realize that Intel is actually up using AMDs 64 bit architecture.
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceans777@gmail.com View Post

Nobody - nobody who plans to stay in business and definitely not Apple  is "switching to AMD" anymore. You can take that phrase "switching to AMD" and throw it away. 
What a ridiculous assertion and shows a gross failure to grasp reality as is today. AMD is dead. They may change to own silicon but if you see Apple go to AMD, start looking at UltraBooks.
You obviously don't know what you are talking about. Apple could slip an AMD APU in the Mini and improve that model significantly for its core user base.
post #210 of 220

I think abandoning INTEL in favor of Apple's own Ax-processors would be a logical step in the right direction, because it would bring iOS and Mac OS together. When Apple used the PowerPC architecture and the big companies (ie. Adobe) where forced to code their products for this architecture, many Apple users where much more satisfied with the performance power than now with INTEL. Today Apple gets crappy code without performance optimization, because crappy Windows Code is ported to OS X. Maybe it would be much more satisfying to have a totally closed system again. At least for the professional user. Consumer users might be afraid of such a step, because they want the best of both worlds. On the other hand it could be nice to have all the iOS tools on the Mac and vice versa. Who knows? At least I wouldn't be surprised about such a step by Apple. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple would implement an "Intel Rosetta" in Hardware as some kind of "booster" to get a high performance when emulating X86. But what are we talking about? We don't know and we will not know until the day Apple is ready to inform the public.

post #211 of 220
Really this is all nonsense.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markus Galla View Post

I think abandoning INTEL in favor of Apple's own Ax-processors would be a logical step in the right direction, because it would bring iOS and Mac OS together.
How? They are already together in many senses. They share the same kernel and lower level code. Many of the included libraries are exactly the same, many more vary only slightly. The UI is obviously different and that isn't about to change.
Quote:
When Apple used the PowerPC architecture and the big companies (ie. Adobe) where forced to code their products for this architecture, many Apple users where much more satisfied with the performance power than now with INTEL.
If that is so the users you are referring to are complete idiots. The very first Intel boxes where much faster than the PPC machines they replaced. That was years ago today a PPC based machine wouldn't even come close to the Mini performance wise.
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Today Apple gets crappy code without performance optimization, because crappy Windows Code is ported to OS X.
More nonsense. Unless the code is using a cross platform tool kit new GUI code has to be written. If the app is cross platform tool kit based you can't blame Apple for a poor developer decision.
Quote:
Maybe it would be much more satisfying to have a totally closed system again. At least for the professional user. Consumer users might be afraid of such a step, because they want the best of both worlds.
I don't know where your thoughts come from but professionals would be far more frustrated.
Quote:
On the other hand it could be nice to have all the iOS tools on the Mac and vice versa. Who knows? At least I wouldn't be surprised about such a step by Apple. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple would implement an "Intel Rosetta" in Hardware as some kind of "booster" to get a high performance when emulating X86. But what are we talking about?
That is a good question, what are you talking about?
Quote:
We don't know and we will not know until the day Apple is ready to inform the public.
Something like this would happen when Apples ARM processors are powerful enough to effectively replace an Intel part. So far I've seen nothing to indicate that they are even close.
post #212 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markus Galla View Post

I think abandoning INTEL in favor of Apple's own Ax-processors would be a logical step in the right direction, because it would bring iOS and Mac OS together. When Apple used the PowerPC architecture and the big companies (ie. Adobe) where forced to code their products for this architecture, many Apple users where much more satisfied with the performance power than now with INTEL. Today Apple gets crappy code without performance optimization, because crappy Windows Code is ported to OS X. Maybe it would be much more satisfying to have a totally closed system again. At least for the professional user. Consumer users might be afraid of such a step, because they want the best of both worlds. On the other hand it could be nice to have all the iOS tools on the Mac and vice versa. Who knows? At least I wouldn't be surprised about such a step by Apple. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple would implement an "Intel Rosetta" in Hardware as some kind of "booster" to get a high performance when emulating X86. But what are we talking about? We don't know and we will not know until the day Apple is ready to inform the public.

 

It did quite the opposite. Performance went up with the move to intel. Adobe did most of their development on X86 prior to that and suffered from a number of OSX bugs later, especially with Tiger (spotlight crashing applications). People complained that Adobe didn't retroactively port creative suite to a universal binary for the new machines without considering the ridiculous nature of their requests.

post #213 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

If that is so the users you are referring to are complete idiots. The very first Intel boxes where much faster than the PPC machines they repaced

Lol. You are ignoring reality, right?
Absolutely bs!
And the users ... Won't repeat ... The only thing you are about right.
Waiting for the Power Mac G5 since Oktober 2001
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Waiting for the Power Mac G5 since Oktober 2001
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post #214 of 220
Originally Posted by Fat Freddy View Post
You are ignoring reality, right?

 

Yes. YOU are.

post #215 of 220

The comparison to the Power PC processors is a mute point. Apple was at a very different point in that time. They were not the powerhouse then that they are now. 

 

Currently Apple is creating some powerful mobile chips with great success. It is only natural that their success in mobile chips will ultimately lead to desktop and laptop chips as mobile and traditional computing will eventually converge. Are we there yet? No. Will we be in 5 years? Probably. 

 

Apple will probably develop both mobile and computer chips in 5ish years. Give it time. 

post #216 of 220
Originally Posted by pinkunicorn View Post
The comparison to the Power PC processors is a mute point. Apple was at a very different point in that time. They were not the powerhouse then that they are now. 

 

4% marketshare to 7% marketshare. You're acting as though Apple has really changed.


Currently Apple is creating some powerful mobile chips with great success. It is only natural that their success in mobile chips will ultimately lead to desktop and laptop chips as mobile and traditional computing will eventually converge. Are we there yet? No. Will we be in 5 years? Probably.

 

I buy it. And by that time, laptops will be virtually dead.

post #217 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The very first Intel boxes where much faster than the PPC machines they replaced.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Freddy View Post

Lol. You are ignoring reality, right?

Aren't you? Unless you're forcing the Intel Mac to run legacy PPC code, the Intel counterparts generally bested the PPC version. The main exception is for the units that switched from discrete to integrated graphics, then the graphics performance did go down.
post #218 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Freddy View Post


Lol. You are ignoring reality, right?
Absolutely bs!
And the users ... Won't repeat ... The only thing you are about right.


The first intel macs were slower in very specific circumstances. This was limited to the imacs and first generation macbooks when running applications via Rosetta. The mac pros were still faster in many circumstances even through emulation. An issue was whether some things would run. The solution there was to simply wait for the required applications to hit intel or universal binary form and migrate at that time. Most of the people arguing PowerPC was faster were looking at developments that took place after Apple moved on. Anyway their mac sales are heavily driven by notebooks, and the notebooks at the time were stuck with G4 processors. They had to do something.

post #219 of 220
This is one thing in Apples history that gets glossed over. The Intel Macs were fast enough to emulate many PPC Macs in real time or faster. That says a lot about the integer capability of the Intel processors. The story was more mixed when floating point or Alt-Vec code entered the discussion. In general though the early intel machines buried the PPC machines.

If people walked outside or the reality distortion field they would have noted the G5's very poor integer performance when it was introduced. At introduction I thinking it was half as fast as the Intel hardware of the day. Jobs and company distorted reality by focusing on floating point performance and especially Alt-Vec which is of limited interest to most users.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post


The first intel macs were slower in very specific circumstances. This was limited to the imacs and first generation macbooks when running applications via Rosetta. The mac pros were still faster in many circumstances even through emulation. An issue was whether some things would run. The solution there was to simply wait for the required applications to hit intel or universal binary form and migrate at that time. Most of the people arguing PowerPC was faster were looking at developments that took place after Apple moved on. Anyway their mac sales are heavily driven by notebooks, and the notebooks at the time were stuck with G4 processors. They had to do something.

Yep! It doesn't matter how good your marketing is, the truth eventually comes out. For most users the Intel Macs where a massive step forward performance wise and within a year the PPC had been totally eclipsed. Also about the time of the switch Intel got really serious about the threat from AMD.
post #220 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Yep! It doesn't matter how good your marketing is, the truth eventually comes out. For most users the Intel Macs where a massive step forward performance wise and within a year the PPC had been totally eclipsed. Also about the time of the switch Intel got really serious about the threat from AMD.

 

PowerPC machines were falling behind overall. The intel towers were faster with twice the drive bays, although I think the G5s had more internal bandwidth in terms of PCI lanes. Some companies were slow to port things to intel build, but around 2007 and on PowerPC releases were drying up. By 2008 almost nothing new was released for PowerPC era machines. Support evaporated rather quickly, especially as many of these machines were sold as new during the first half of 2006. It seems like people misinterpret Apple's focus shifts as being tied to their move to intel. Developer support has actually improved in some ways since the move to intel. I can't see many downsides, and when people claim that late PowerPC era software was well optimized for the platform, I have to assume they never used anything beyond iphoto.

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