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Apple wants to move Macs away from Intel chips - report - Page 3

post #81 of 220

 

Using an "alternative" to Thunderbolt still means giving up on Thunderbolt.

 

Not that I imagine it would really matter to many users.  The rate at which it's being adopted might be described as "glacial" and the cost "exorbitant."  I suspect that for all but a very few super-power users, a USB3 world makes Thunderbolt a solution in search of a problem.

post #82 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by sranger View Post

If the MAC loses the ability to run Virtual Microsoft OS and I will no longer own one.....

Sorry, but the reality is that the vast majority of Business still use Windows Software and will for the for seeable future....

This would kill MAC sales in my opinion...

Maybe a BTO version with an auxiliary Intel chip is the answer for those of us that want VMs.
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post #83 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Mac Pro (Early 2013) will be run on two A6 chips. Clocked at a whopping 1.4GHz and utilizing a full 2GB of RAM, they'll be the powerhouse that no one wanted. But thin!

 

Joking aside, I do like that Apple's getting into chip design themselves. Years ago, I imagined that doing that would be the final step in truly optimizing a hardware-software ecosystem. 

I agree with you accept Apple is depending on Samsung to produce the chips.

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post #84 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

Apple's recent attempts at re-inventing the wheel haven't been exactly smooth so I'm afraid of a product that can't have its "growing pains" patched with software.  (Speaking of that, has anyone else found that iMessage is not doing a very good job of staying in sync between Mac and iPhone?)

 

Besides, I imagine there's gotta be a big difference between designing a chip capable of running a telephone-level computer and one that can replace a Xeon.  That doesn't mean they CAN'T, but might mean not YET.  Then again, they didn't let lack of readiness stop them from releasing Maps, so who knows? :)

Apple doesn't reinvent the wheel. It imagines where the wheel will be in 10 years, and designs a wheel for that.  Same wheel, just without all the cruft of 9 years of incremental improvements.  

 

This started at NeXT.  The fact they could pivot onto Intel as cleanly as they did, is a testament to their ability to think ahead and ponder how to make things work, and what they can't make work they say 'No' to.  Look at Windows 8's feeble attempt to climb onto ARM with Surface.   Compare to the fork in Mac OSX (which prior to PPC was ran on 4 processors in production at the SAME time... 68K, HP-PaRISC, Solaris, and Intel Pentium) and iOS,  

 

The move will be easy, and my guess is Apple sees the power/performance curves of the custom ARM chip it 'can' make and the path Intel 'can make' and is posturing against Intel to 'step up and partner, or see us move off your chipset' (because Apple has shown them they can... 6 times in the past).

 

I'm figuring the former (partner up), but in order to 'negotiate' you gotta have a position of strength... custom ARM and the massive growth of iOS is that lever point.

post #85 of 220
Not gonna happen.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #86 of 220
Quote:

Originally Posted by v5v View Post


Thunderbolt...

The rate at which it's being adopted might be described as "glacial" and the cost "exorbitant."  

 

I just bought 4 new Thunderbolt adapters at $30 each. A DVI, VGA, Firewire and Ethernet. So yeah, the computer is thin but you have to carry around the adapters which are bulky.

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post #87 of 220
Apple will buy AMD and make hybrid ARM/x86 processors.
post #88 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

Apple doesn't reinvent the wheel. It imagines where the wheel will be in 10 years, and designs a wheel for that.  Same wheel, just without all the cruft of 9 years of incremental improvements.  

 

And for 9 years Apple users go without peripherals and apps from smaller vendors while they wait for the rest of the world to catch up! (j/k)

post #89 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Mac Pro (Early 2013) will be run on two A6 chips. Clocked at a whopping 1.4GHz and utilizing a full 2GB of RAM, they'll be the powerhouse that no one wanted. But thin!

 

Joking aside, I do like that Apple's getting into chip design themselves. Years ago, I imagined that doing that would be the final step in truly optimizing a hardware-software ecosystem. 

zSTh1.jpg

post #90 of 220
When apple went to intel, it enabled millions of windows users to comfortably move to mac because they knew they could run windows in a VM. Not sure if that's still the case but I do think it would scare some people.
post #91 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I don't see a safe landing space for Apple here. ARM is years away from having consumer class hardware beyond the mobile space.
AMD could be purchased for a pittance but does Apple really want to get into head to head competition with Intel?
Lastly virtualization is very key to Apple products being sold in Enterprise. Not saying it cannot be done with Apple homegrown solutions but a different architecture makes that endeavor much harder.

Once again spot on post. /endofthread

 

 

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post #92 of 220
Originally Posted by Shunnabunich View Post
zSTh1.jpg

 

*low whistle, slow nod*

 

Talk about a blade computer. Make it 1U height and rackable but have it come with feet on the bottom and a stand that lets it also run vertically as you have it and… 

 

…oh, and drop the ODD entirely and… 

 

…got yourself an interesting computer there. Though it would leave GPU to be desired.

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post #93 of 220
post #94 of 220
I can see Apple doing this for MacBook Air. Didn't they already report that Air ran "surprisingly well" on ARM a while ago.

But they would incur a huge performance penalty if they did this across the board, making their products essentially non-competitive with similarly priced alternatives.

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post #95 of 220
Re: "Such a shift would be difficult and isn't imminent, though it would allow Apple to further distinguish its laptops and desktops from competitors that run Intel's chips and Microsoft's Windows software," ...

Difficult? Yes. But Apple has mastered "difficult transitions" over the years. E.g. 68K processors to RISC, RISC to CISC (Intel), OS 9 to OS X, ad infinitum. If Apple had botched any of those transitions badly, they'd have died as a result.

Imminent? No. Not without a 64-bit ARM CPU. But the ARMv8 64-bit architecture spec was released in late 2011, it is a 64-bit architecture, and it will be able to run 32-bit apps. The 2014 iPhone could, in theory, use a 64-bit Apple-designed ARM SoC.

And so could 2014 iMacs. It's nearly inevitable. There are too many advantages to using ARM over Intel. No more boutique pricing for off-the-shelf Intel CPUs, which would bring Apple's MacBook Air pricing advantage to the iMac line. The CPU is one of the more expensive components of any computer, and if Apple can use its own ARM designs, Mac users will avoid The Intel Tax (tm). (Apple is a relatively small consumer of Intel CPUs, so they don't get the same deals they do for flash memory, touchscreens, etc.) Using ARM chips could potentially vastly reduce energy consumption and heat production, leading to reduced electrical and mechanical complexity (no fans, smaller power supplies etc.) Not to mention total safety from Intel-based malware.

Disadvantages? Very few. Sure, the 2014 Intel CPUs will be more powerful, but consumers won't care. The MHz / GHz race is over. Irrelevant. A 64-bit ARM chip would already be overkill for the typical emailing / browsing / Facebooking / Tweeting / FaceTiming / YouTubing consumer. If you want to do hypersonic aerodynamics simulations, get a Mac Pro (which could still run Intel chips for the few "pro" users that need performance at any cost.)

Oh, and the tired old "won't run Windows" argument is equally irrelevant. If you're locked into Windows and Office for some reason, you'll probably still be able to buy a Wintel PC. Even in 2014. We'll all pity you.
Edited by SockRolid - 10/3/12 at 11:40am

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post #96 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Mac Pro (Early 2013) will be run on two A6 chips. Clocked at a whopping 1.4GHz and utilizing a full 2GB of RAM, they'll be the powerhouse that no one wanted. But thin!

 

Joking aside, I do like that Apple's getting into chip design themselves. Years ago, I imagined that doing that would be the final step in truly optimizing a hardware-software ecosystem. 

Actually, there is a server that Dell is playing around with that utilizes a bunch of card slots and on each card slot contains a bunch of ARM chips.   The code name is Copper.

 

They are using Intel Atom chips.

 

Here is a story on the Dell ARM server.

 

http://gigaom.com/cloud/see-what-cloud-can-do-dell-unveils-arm-servers/

 

Think of what Apple could do with jamming in a bunch of high end ARM processors in the same space as the two XEONS in a MacPro, or in the space of a laptop or iMac?  They could easily fit more of them inside since they don't generate the same level of heat and draw nearly as much power.

 

It wouldn't surprise me if Apple has some research labs of multi processor ARM laptops and desktops they are playing around with.


It would obviously be a lot easier for Apple to change to RISC processing before Microsoft due to the Windows having to be re-written for ARM, which they are doing with WIndows 8RT and the Windows phones.

post #97 of 220
Quote:

 

Maybe good, but mostly a DIFFICULT read.  The "democratization" of publishing seems to mean that people who have no business being writers try anyway.  Knowing about a subject and being able to write about have always been two different things, and still are.

 

What I miss most is copy editors who caught most typing and grammar errors.  AI could really use one, too.

post #98 of 220
I can testify for the validity of this report, as I've been informed by insider sources myself, however it's not Intel Apple plans to move from, it's the x86 architecture.
post #99 of 220

Some of you are mentioning the "fall back" aspect of current architecture for windows software... But remember... The next version of windows will in fact be ARM compatible.

 

Just thought I would mention. 

post #100 of 220

Nope, not buying it.  We need a "BS flag" emoticon. 

 

Edit:  This will do:

 

  Google Maps: ("Directions may be inaccurate, incomplete, dangerous, or prohibited.")

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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  Google Maps: ("Directions may be inaccurate, incomplete, dangerous, or prohibited.")

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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post #101 of 220

AMD don't make their own chips anymore. Thats done by Global Foundries which is a separate chip fabricator like Taiwan Semi.

 

Buying AMD would be buying a chip designer. 

post #102 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

This should probably read:

 

"... tests have shown that almost any ARM based chip, even non customised versions, are significantly faster and more efficient than any Atom chip yet made."

 

would be closer to reality. 

 

except the atom chip has a large variety of specs, and the medfield is a low power version set for smartphones.  How does A6 fare against one of their 1.8ghz dual core cederviews? (10w for nettops)

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Household: MacBook, iPad 16gb wifi, iPad 64gb wifi, iPad Mini 32gb, coming iPhone 5S, iPhone 4S 32gb, iPhone 32gb, iPod Touch 4th gen x1, iPod nano 16gb gen 5 x2, iPod nano gen 3 8gb, iPod classic...
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post #103 of 220
I would think that an on-going analysis of what options are available would never be entirely rules out. But keeping an out on options is not the same as active seeking a change.
post #104 of 220

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 1/21/13 at 3:11pm
post #105 of 220

I don't think we'll ever see ARM-powered Macs.

 

We might, however, see iOS, ARM-powered ultrabooks based off the iPad.  And if those take off we could then see iOS devices from Apple slowly supplant the Mac on the desktop.  It wouldn't take a ton of effort for Mac software publishers to convert existing Mac titles to such a platform.  Intel-based desktops would remain for a few years during the transition until ARM performance became sufficient.  Eventually Apple would release high-powered, multiprocessor ARM-based desktops running iOS and OS X, Intel-based Macs would be retired.

post #106 of 220
This would kill the Mac. The whole reason I have moved my school to Apple Only is Windows. We are standardized on Mac Minis, 13"Macbook Pros and iPad 2's. But you can choose os. Want windows laptop fine heres a macbook with windows 7. Need a dual boot computer lab, bingo heres 30 minis. A move from intel means no longer being compatible with everything else. Apple makes top end hardware, the machines simply dont fail. A lot more than I can say for the Dell crap we used to buy. 100 machines all needed new motherboards. Win RT is also not the answer. We need windows to be compatible with old crappy software we just can't replace, stuff that wont be out for RT. and what will this do to virtualization?
post #107 of 220

Really interesting thread - lots of varied and plausible input and minimal pointless zinging - way above the norm. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Mac Pro (Early 2013) will be run on two A6 chips. Clocked at a whopping 1.4GHz and utilizing a full 2GB of RAM, they'll be the powerhouse that no one wanted. But thin!

 

Joking aside, I do like that Apple's getting into chip design themselves. Years ago, I imagined that doing that would be the final step in truly optimizing a hardware-software ecosystem. 

As for me, I'm looking forward to my 2013 Haswell MBPr which I'm hoping will have 30-40% longer battery life (please!) than any MacBook yet released.... ...that would make me a happy camper for the next few years as the landscape continues to evolve in whatever direction...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I don't keep up to date on Windows tech apparently. Anyway, I really don't care about being able to run Windows on a Mac, although, I can understand how it could be a benefit to some. I always have a Win box around the office anyway. As long as OS X is still running UNIX and compatible with Adobe CS it will be fine with me. I'm assuming the performance would also be improved, which is the big question. Can they really build their own chip that performs better than Intel's?

Not in the next 3-5 years...

Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

 

I would do a little more reading. These aren't those craptastic netbook Atom chips anymore. Intel's made solid advancements with Medfield. It's only slightly short of current gen ARM.  http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/18/motorolas-razr-i-benchmarks-intel-2ghz-medfield/

Anyone who writes off Intel in the mobile space at this point doesn't know much about the history of the company, and does so at their own peril.....  ...PS: "Trinity" notwithstanding I'd be shocked to see Apple buy AMD given the limitations of their x86 development rights among other reasons...  ...but then I've been shocked by things Apple has done before....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur123 View Post

You must be living on another planet. About 99 percent of all businesses use Windows.

Therefore by extension if you own a MAC computer and want to work from home and connect to your company'sWindows only world the only way to do that on a MAC is to use Parallels or Boot Camp.

FTR, I'm not totally knowledgeable about the pros and cons, but there are already alternatives like "Go to my PC" where you can access your Win desktop not only from your Mac but your iPad as well...


Edited by bigpics - 10/3/12 at 12:33pm

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post #108 of 220
I would bet my left ARM?

Actually Steve thought it would be insanely great to run everything on an updated, super fast version of a 6502 processor so it would be easy to run IIe games without an emulator.

If you don't think a company as big as Apple with their deep pockets is not researching all options for the future, then you are crazy. Apple's release of new Macs has been delayed because of Intel. The Ivy Bridge chips releases were delayed by Intel and this has helped to cause the long waits for Apple to release new Macs.

While Apple did not come out and say it, the reason there has been no updates to the Mac Pro's is directly related to waiting on Intel. Xeons did not get upgraded to Sandy Bridge until earlier this year, and were not a huge increase in performance over past Xeons. Plus Intel is transitioning the Xeons to a new socket config and their support chip sets don't include integrated Thunderbolt support at this time. Don't expect new Mac Pro's until there are Ivy Bridge Xeons with supporting chipsets that include Thunderbolt integration.

That said I don't see Apple dropping Intel completely for quite a while, if ever - as long as they make Macs. But they will certainly research it as an option - if only to keep Intel on their toes.

Inspired by Intel.

Damn this would never have happened with Steve. And Tim Cook stole my french fries.
post #109 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyPaul View Post

Well said, though I would change it slightly to "makes sense to switch ANY supplier". Apple depends on suppliers delivering cutting edge tech reliably and in large quantity. Currently that means Intel for Macs.
AMD would have no problem delivering the volume needed for the Mini. AMD has a problem with Power in their APUs but they are delivering significantly more performance for that power. I would not dismiss AMD but I don't see Apple leaving Intel anytime soon, things like Thunderbolt and XEON Phi are just what Apple needs.
post #110 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Apple moving to their own chips is a no-brainer. We have a phone that's faster than some laptops.

Oh yes. Slow Netbooks. Really exciting.

 

We are talking about Macs meaning at least an i5 with 1,7GHz (turbo up to 2.6 GHz) running circles around any ARM CPU.

And that's the weakest Mac you can get.

 

Next year Haswell will make the biggest step forward since Intel introduced Core 2.

Apple would be stupid not to use it.

post #111 of 220
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post
In the outside world…

 

*broken rolleyes emoticon*


…those are called net tops, fairly popular among those who need slender power-efficient systems.

 

Nettops have Xeon chips now?

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post #112 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Apple moving to their own chips is a no-brainer. We have a phone that's faster than some laptops.

 

Yeah, some 5 year old laptops, while running highly customized software in a controlled environment.

post #113 of 220
What Apple intends to do is to move to massively parallel systems; think shit with 64, 128, 256 ARM cores. The parallel / concurrent programming fags like me should be happy. I've been waiting for the moment a company would finally bet on massively parallel computing for a long time and am more than ready to jump in with both feet thanks to personal projects and research I've been conducting in that field.
post #114 of 220

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 1/22/13 at 7:02am
post #115 of 220
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post
Does the model shown there have one?

 

Oh, right, it doesn't exist.

 

So yes, in the fantasy world that product exists in, sure, you can air-cool a Xeon.

 

But of course in the real world if you tried to run a Xeon with passive cooling you'd fry not only the mobo, but likely also burn a hole in your desk.

 

1. Who said ANYTHING about passive cooling?

2. The mockup illustrates a design idea more than it does a content idea, otherwise the content would also be listed. If a product like it existed and was intended to serve the professional market as the (somewhat silly) name describes, it would be 1U (so thicker than we're seeing here, size given by the ODD) and keep the Xeon. Remove the optical drive slot from this image and all illusions of size disappear.

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post #116 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

*low whistle, slow nod*

 

Talk about a blade computer. Make it 1U height and rackable but have it come with feet on the bottom and a stand that lets it also run vertically as you have it and… 

 

…oh, and drop the ODD entirely and… 

 

…got yourself an interesting computer there. Though it would leave GPU to be desired.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

In the outside world those are called nettops, fairly popular among those who need slender power-efficient systems.

Actually, I made that a while back after I read a post on Neven Mrgan's Tumblr. Never did get around to modelling any of the others. :P

post #117 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Apple moving to their own chips is a no-brainer. We have a phone that's faster than some laptops.

 

I haven't looked at comparisons to atom based netbooks. I remember the 4S being on par with some of the G4 era towers. This is really impressive, but I don't know where you got "faster than some laptops".

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Do you think Apple is also ready to give up Thunderbolt? As I recall that requires Intel chip set, right?

Apple drops a lot of things at times. Thunderbolt is a very quirky solution, and it doesn't match any set of needs particularly well. I've always been of the opinion that cables would be consolidated. At some point I expect visible wires to be something viewed as archaic. It's just that this wasn't really a brilliant execution. It's bundled with a display connection. Higher quality displays tend to use displayport connections. Cheaper displays frequently use hdmi, which tends to be quite popular among home users. It's not really a good match up for hdmi, and it doesn't fully support displayport 1.2. I've mentioned this before, but in terms of data bandwidth, it's sitting between consumer grade connections like usb3 and things like mini SAS. It doesn't really push the high end out further. It merely brings the upper mid range to a wider group of consumers. In many cases they're served just as well by usb3. The other guys may have existing solutions that are already faster. Combine that with the fact that the Xeon chips don't have integrated graphics, so you can't count on the lighter workstation market for support. It's just a case where usb3 will often perform equally well without displacing existing peripherals (I hate premature e-waste).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

 

The Mac Pro towers in our graphics department have Windows on them for running Autodesk apps.  It's more convenient than having to set up additional workstations.

It still puzzles me when people buy mac pros to run Windows, especially when much of the Autodesk stuff runs on OSX these days. 3ds Max and XSI are Windows only. There are probably others, but they publish quite a lot of software that runs under OSX.

Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

 

Funny, but not unprecedented.  Apple sacrificed cost-effective storage just to make the RMBP thinner.

 

 

That is a different situation. You'd be better off killing the line than creating something that will not adequately service enough people.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by v5v View Post

 

Using an "alternative" to Thunderbolt still means giving up on Thunderbolt.

 

Not that I imagine it would really matter to many users.  The rate at which it's being adopted might be described as "glacial" and the cost "exorbitant."  I suspect that for all but a very few super-power users, a USB3 world makes Thunderbolt a solution in search of a problem.

 

It's really more intel's thing. They'd have to get it into more machines to ensure its long term health. I'm not sure whether that will happen. I'm also curious if the connector type will remain consistent with future revisions.

post #118 of 220
Apple's PowerPC chips were made by Motorola, not IBM (who owned the architecture). The key reason Apple moved to Intel was that Motorola was more interested in embedded systems where the integrated peripherals matter more, than driving to maximize absolute CPU performance.
post #119 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Defies logic for Apple to move out of Intel chips after dragging its customers through the pain of moving into Intel chips a few years ago. I also see no benefit and a major downside to chucking the ability to run Windows smoothly on a Mac.
I say, as a well run company, Apple regularly goes through an exercise to see if it makes sense to drop Intel CPUs, and someone picked up on this and blew it way out of proportion.

I would think that as long as Apple is seriously investigating ways to drop any vendor, Intel included, it would keep the vendor on its toes and offering maximum competitive pricing and services. Apple is the ONLY major manufacturer that is not tied to Intel's butt like another centipede segment, and Apple is letting Intel know that.

post #120 of 220

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 1/22/13 at 7:05am
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