Originally Posted by wizard69
The fact remains that the A7 is cooler and running on an older generation process. That pretty much by definition makes it a lot better. Besides in mobile it isn't just about raw CPU compute power! it is what the whole SoC offers that is important.
The Bay Trail tested by Anand showed 2.5W at the SoC level under load which is on par with estimates of the A7 TDP. That Intel is a half node ahead isn't an issue for Intel going forward given they'll be at 14nm before anyone else.
I suppose if geek bench was important to me I'd be a little concerned. On the other hand this just highlights that Bay Trail isn't really all that incredible. Atom has been around for awhile now and basically Intel latest effort barely pulls ahead of the first ARM 64 bit machine to be delivered. Do you not see a problem here, even with Intels advanced process technology they can't deliver an overwhelming win on a poor synthetic benchmark.
ARM has been around longer than Atom. So what? The fact is that Intel has vastly improved the power consumption part of the performance per watt equation across it's entire line up as fast as ARM (including the A7) has increased the performance part of the performance per watt equation AND can still move up the performance envelope to the Core i7 performance levels.
Nope, I don't see a problem at all given 11.5W TDP Haswells with 4.5W SDPs in the works. The primary advantage that ARM still enjoys is die size.
Who really gives two hoots about X86 apps. That is why I have a laptop.
Because you're advocating replacing the Core i5 with an uber A7 in a new MacBook model.
"Think about an iPad for a minute and imagine that SoC was built for performance not low thermal power. We would have a chip that could make for a very passable laptop.
So? The ARM based laptops we are talking about would be similar work horses. They would still run OS/X, still have large internal SSD storage, WiFi and what have you."
The answer is that no, they wouldn't be similar work horses for laptop workflows NOR would they run x86 apps.
Certainly but will you be in the same territory as the "I" series chips from Intel. If they hit ten watts it is still far better than the Intel offerings.
If you hit 10W you are not "far better" than an 11.5W TDP Core i5. While the Y series Haswells are a bit MIA at least they exist.
Cores themselves don't add significant power. If I remember correctly Global Foundries indicated some time ago that the basic ARM core was pulling 500 milliwatts. Often most of the power goes to supporting hardware especially the caches.
LOL. Some time ago is the operative word. ARM cores are not so basic anymore.
Again the desire to be compatible with a dying platform is not a big concern for me. Apple would have a massive software library right out of the gate if they simply provide a compatibility mode to run iOS apps as well as native ARM Mac OS apps.
LOL. Macs are a dying platform? So why build an ARM based OSX laptop at all? And iOS apps would run about as well on a MBA as OSX apps would run on iPad. Poorly since they are designed for different user interaction.
Frankly Apple already has most of the infrastructure in place on Mac OS to do this. All they need to do is make it transparent to the user.
That really isn't that bad and is the whole point of my proposal. That gap can be easily narrowed by improvement to the core and adding more cores.
Gee, all Apple needs to do is improve their leading edge ARM processor and add more cores.
In return we get a laptop that is $300 cheaper if not more. That is if the current A7 chip is used. I don't expect the current A7 to be used as is.
If Apple wanted to make $699 laptops it can. And Bay Trail is going to be price competitive with ARM SoCs according to Intel and geared toward $599 tablets. It would still suck but at least it maintains app compatibility with the rest of the Mac line.
So? Really .that is you, many users have other usage patterns where the machine would be fine. Even then the specifics of how each of those apps would perform on an ARM platform is unknown.
While every pickup truck owner does different things with their trucks the base requirements remain the same. Which is why they have beefier engines than subcompacts.
Every time a real world example, benchmark, use case is provided all you do is get upset and wave your arms around even harder. No, it's not just "me". It's everyone that has stuff that even the iPad Air would be asininely slow in comparison to the MBA.
But it is good enough for your kids right?
Only for tasks the iPad can do. Which except for MS Office is all it does.
I see no good reason to be x86 compatible anymore. That was a big issue for me when I purchased my 2008 MBP all those years ago, it isn't anymore though. In fact i86 is a big drag on innovation if you ask me.
So you see no good reason that an "entry level" Macbook should be compatible with the rest of the Mac lineup in terms of applications.
What? You're going to replace all the MBPs and iMacs and MPs with more magical A7 cores?
You are assuming the machine would come with iPad AIR performance levels and you also seem to discount the importance of the GPU and other hardware in the SoC. As for the nonsense about cheapening the brand, they sell the Apple TV for less than $99, they still sell the iPad 2 and frankly this year they learned that the can't command the high prices on the laptops that they would like to have.
I can show you an Intel x86 SoC running in a reference platform with similar performance to the A7 SoC. You cannot show me a running ARM based SoC with similar performance to the Core i5 in a reference platform. The GPU is a wash. The Bay Trail FFRD is about 30% slower than the Tegra 4 GPU and slightly faster than the Adreno 225 GPU. Cloverview was paired with the PowerVR SGX545. Merrifield will be paired with a PowerVR 6 Rogue GPU. It's a SoC and Intel will use PowerVR when it thinks it needs to and has done so in the past.
Cheapening the brand isn't price. It's providing a slow laptop to save $300 when the iPad Air can already do everything an ARM based laptop can do by adding a keyboard and the MBA is about as low as you want to go for laptop workflows. Otherwise we'd see Core i3 Macbooks.
A company Apples size won't remain in business without reasonably priced hardware relative to the rest of the market.
Oh bullshit. Apple has based it's entire business in not providing "reasonably priced hardware relative to the rest of the market" but instead "exceptional hardware at a higher price relative to the rest of the market".
Really...listen to yourself with the Apple is Doomed TM bullshit. OMG they're going to go out of business without an xMac. Oh way, ARM laptop.
An ARM based machine gives them the option to create an entry level machine (I don't want to call it a laptop) that is low enough in price that it is considered a different product from the AIR and MBP lines. The only thing I can see as being really important here is that it supports a version of Mac OS as its primary OS, to allow user access instead of a buttoned down iOS machine.
AKA Netbook. No shit you don't want to call it a laptop. If you're going to wish for unicorns you're better off wishing for an xMac. At least it wouldn't suck.
Mac price points have been marching north for over a decade and Apple has not changed despite your assertion otherwise. In fact, if they don't simply cancel the Mac Mini, I expect the Mac Mini price to really jump up. There's no need for a $599 Mac Mini anymore in Apple's thinking for "switchers". The iPad/iPhone halo took care of exposing folks to OSX. They don't really make "entry level" anything.
If they keep the mini at all I expect to see just a $999 somewhat slower quad core i7 base model without Iris Pro, with 1TB Fusion standard and a $1199 slightly faster quad core i7 server model with Iris Pro and dual 1TB drives. BTO would just be for RAM and a couple SSD options.
If you need a truck Apple will sell you one with a beefy V8 and not a V6.
Edited by nht - 12/11/13 at 8:50pm