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post #121 of 127
I'm not sure where you get your information from but you need to consider new sources.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misa View Post

I have no doubt they have experiments in the labs, but there is absolutely no way such a device would sell except to a power-conscious "green" customer. No Desktop will ever sell like this except maybe macmini "servers" relegated to NAS/Servers. An iMac would certainly fail, and a Mac Pro would be dead before it hit the store.
The funny thing here is that the Mini or a replacement for the Mini would be an ideal location for ARM based chips. You could leave it turned on and with it in sleep mode most of the time your electric bill does not get hammered. It isn't being green it is all about economics.

As for the Mac Pro nobody is talking about an ARM based Mac Pro at the moment. A laptop however would be great for the same reasons a Mini would be.
Quote:
This is not the same argument as the PowerPC problem. With PowerPC, IBM was the sole CPU supplier to Apple, and IBM was much more interested in getting Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft to make consoles using their IP than they were building CPU's that could be dropped into a desktop or laptop. Part of the reason the PowerPC platform held on as long as it did was because those same parts were also being used for the Commodore Amiga. IBM makes servers with the POWER parts now. Sticking a server cpu in a laptop is a joke, and Apple knew it.
Well we can speculate all we want here but in the end IBM blew it.
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ARM's strength, and only strength is in power to performance ratio. Intel is terrible at this (Note how the average intel desktop is a 95 TDP watt target, not something reasonable like 30 watts, and the only parts that actually achieve low-power, are heavily neutered i3 and "Celeron" Atom type of parts which are an insult to use.)
Actually by some measures Haswell does very well on performance per watt. The problem is it isn't a low power part by any measure even in Intels best offerings. As to ATOM, ATOM proves that Intel just doesn't understand the SoC market.
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8 quad core ARM parts may bring the performance of a ARM based desktop to that of a Intel based desktop, but I dare you to find any software that has been compiled to magically use as many threads as possible.
Just about every app on the Mac these days uses threads in one form or another. There are a few that don't but it is damn few.
Quote:
No UNIX-land still programs like it's 1979 (and many windows apps too, just look at Google Chrome,) forking processes, not threading.
There are several ways to make use of cores in Mac OS based machines, running separate processes are one of them. Just because a technique has been around for a long time doesn't invalidate its usefulness. The reality is an app can at times make use of multiple techniques to leverage cores such as starting processes that use threads.
Quote:
It's pretty useless as a desktop when one ARM cpu core is the same power as a 15 year old intel CPU. if you had 4x8 cores (eg 32) threads, 31 of those threads would be idle, just like how 7 intel cores are idle on a i7 hyperthreaded CPU, and those other CPU cores are only turned on when a process is explicitly thread-aware (eg x264)

No, more cores doesn't work unless the software out there is rewritten for it, and only Apple's OS and Apple's software will ever do that.
Baloney! Use some real apps and you will most impressed when you have lots of cores to leverage. Beyond that have you ever once ran more than one app at a time. Maybe updating from App Store while surfing the net, cores help when you do actually use the machine as multitasking machines.
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Adobe has enough problems just getting their flash player to synchronize across cpu cores. If a large company can utterly fail on their flagship products, that doesn't bode well for everyone else.
Flash is so thing that has been crap for years so I'm not sure why you even reference it.
Quote:
Most software that isn't outright number-crunching software (eg SETI@home) just fails to take advantage of multiple cores.
Again baloney. Come up with a list of apps that absolutely never use multiple cores for us. Some aren't well threaded of not threaded at all but the vast majority of apps these days employ at least some threading.
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It's just "too hard" for developers to not screw up. I've played countless games, and all of them still do everything single-threaded, and when they do take advantage of threads, it ultimately is too little.
You do realize that some of us use our machines for something besides gaming right? Besides you just have damned you anti threading flame here by admitting that even some games are threaded.
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Dedicated consoles have a minor advantage here because games designed for them know exactly what they will have, while the average desktop or laptop can't be relied on having more than one cpu core.
Thinking from the past, most hardware of the last couple of years has been at a minimal dual core.
Quote:
This is why every time I see a story about "switching to ARM" in the context of desktops I groan and don't see it happening.
It is pretty clear from this post that you don't have a clue and have been woefully misinformed about the value of cores. However I'm pretty much convinced that cores per say are not what Apple is interested in but rather it is the freedom to be able to innovate in the PC arena into the future. It is pretty much the same logic that forced them to develop their own cell phone processors, SoC are the fur ute and that is where your innovation will go.
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At best/worst Apple is keeping their options open for a time when the ARM parts actually have comparable single thread performance. That is not this year, and not likely until at least 2016 when Intel runs out of die shrinks.

Apples ARM parts really aren't that bad. Give those cores faster RAM, more cache and similar clock speeds and you might be surprised by their performance. Will they be as fast as Intels fastest cores of the moment, of course not, but Apple doesn't use Intels fastest chips in the Air nor the Mini. The point is even today's A7 core, in the right configuration, would produce a machine with a very interesting performance profile. That doesn't even consider the possibility of a new core beyond Cyclone.

Honestly you seem to be obsessed with single core performance, possible because of your gaming interests, but that is seldom important when it comes to modern computer usage. Crank up apps like XCode, Eclipse Safari, Mail, office, Numbers, Pages, keynote and any other common user app and convince me that they don't use threads at all. This doesn't even consider how many processes are active at anyone time on a machine. Cores are very important when it comes to machine responsiveness.
post #122 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The poor sales of things like AutoCAD are likely due to the software costing way too much for what you get vs what people need. Let's face it CAD was modern technology in the 70's & 80's, these days it isn't anymore difficult than a modern word processor. So if an excellent word processor can be had for $300 why not a CAD program. It should be noted that Dassault offers its basic CAD system for free.

 

I don't know, but I wonder if it's a case of AutoCAD having features that the average user doesn't need but that a professional draftsman uses as part of a more demanding workflow? Drawing a parallel to my own work, I can buy a perfectly capable audio editor for two or three hundred bucks, but I chose to pay much more for Pro Tools because it provides workflow features that basic editors don't. They're things the average user would never need, but I do because my work is part of a larger process.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm not sure what the problem is. I'm left with the impression that AutoDesk is on greedy company.

 

Another way of saying that might be "choosing a path that differs from current trends in software sales." AutoDesk has traditionally served large-scale clients for whom the product is essential, kinda like how businesses rely on Microsoft for their networks. For example, a friend of mine works for an engineering company that builds oil rigs. His job is to convert an engineer's specs into an AutoCAD drawing. There may be many people working on the same project at once, and the consequences of errors are life threatening and in the millions of dollars, so things like bulletproof collaboration are critical. So, even though it might be possible to do what they do for less than what it costs to use AutoDesk tools, they probably just don't want to risk messing around with a working program (which notably includes my friend being able to pick up the phone and talk to AutoDesk support whenever he has a question or finds a problem).

 

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

Reply
post #123 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

I don't know, but I wonder if it's a case of AutoCAD having features that the average user doesn't need but that a professional draftsman uses as part of a more demanding workflow? Drawing a parallel to my own work, I can buy a perfectly capable audio editor for two or three hundred bucks, but I chose to pay much more for Pro Tools because it provides workflow features that basic editors don't. They're things the average user would never need, but I do because my work is part of a larger process.
It is really hard to say what is up. Depending upon the industry there has been a rapid switch to 3D modeling apps, 2D & 3D apps like AutoCAD have become apps for details and component drawings. In many cases it is far faster to do design work in something like Solidworks. I can't imagine the AutoCAD market is a growth market.
Quote:

Another way of saying that might be "choosing a path that differs from current trends in software sales." AutoDesk has traditionally served large-scale clients for whom the product is essential, kinda like how businesses rely on Microsoft for their networks.
That was certainly the case a few years ago. I've seen many companies switch to solid modeling as their primary design tool.
Quote:
For example, a friend of mine works for an engineering company that builds oil rigs. His job is to convert an engineer's specs into an AutoCAD drawing. There may be many people working on the same project at once, and the consequences of errors are life threatening and in the millions of dollars, so things like bulletproof collaboration are critical. So, even though it might be possible to do what they do for less than what it costs to use AutoDesk tools, they probably just don't want to risk messing around with a working program (which notably includes my friend being able to pick up the phone and talk to AutoDesk support whenever he has a question or finds a problem).

Actually that ability to pay for support and actually get good support is huge. That is if you work for a company that has the right attitude and wants to spend money on that sort of support. Many companies don't want to fork out for support contracts and education - sad really, but American management has become very short sighted.
post #124 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Most software running on the Mac these days is threaded and does leverage cores.

 

Not being a developer, it's hard for me to know which is better for my primarily single-task work (obviously I do sometimes run more than one app at  time, but when I'm working it's usually just one). It SEEMS like more cores should be better, but today it became obvious that iTunes imports a ~5000 title library more slowly on my wife's 2012 2.3 Ghz quad-core i7 than my 2009 3.06 Ghz Core 2 Duo. Being Apple software you'd figure it must be multi-core capable. Both machines have identical drives (I installed them both) so it's not that. I'm at a loss to explain what else could account for the disparity.

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

Reply

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

Reply
post #125 of 127

iOS based OS with a iOS/OSX hybrid UI that can also play iOS apps. 

post #126 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCollinsG3 View Post

@inteliusq, I think you're onto something.

The first consideration, I would think, in using Apple's ultra-efficient ARM processors would be power savings: significantly longer battery life, without sacrificing the ability to run desktop-class applications. (Like someone mentioned above, perhaps even an unheard-of 24-hour battery life for a desktop-class notebook.) Right behind that consideration would be the ability to run both iOS and OSX apps--or, taking the idea one step further, an actual convergence of iOS and OSX. (I don't pretend to be an expert on the coding particulars of Apple's mobile and desktop operating systems, but I do remember hearing early in the life of the iPhone and iOS that they share the same OSX kernel.) And I believe that pressures from the Microsoft's ostensible convergence of mobile and desktop operating systems with Windows 8 could tend to drive that decision on Apple's part.

As to Windows compatibility, I believe that may be a matter left to true desktop/notebook systems, since, at least for now, higher-end processors appear to be needed to run it natively. (Microsoft's Surface Pro 3, while practically as portable as the iPad, utilizes the Intel Core i3, for example.) Already, however, even without a software emulator or low-level boot assistant like BootCamp, my iPad Retina can easily and, for the most part, efficiently, access both my work PC and my MacBook at home, by way of secure Internet streaming (VPN). (At one time I bought a copy of Windows 7 to install and use on my MacBook, but ended up not using it because I could access all but the most advanced functions of my PC right from my MacBook using VPN.)

Even so, it would not be inconceivable for Apple to work with iOS and/or OSX developers to come up with serviceable software Windows emulators that could help bridge the gap, if they decided to convert a cheaper Mac line to ARM processors--Parallels and VMWare clients for iOS already exist. On the other hand, I can't imagine Apple going with ARM for their higher-end iMacs, MacBook Pros or Mac Pros, or discontinuing native Windows operation via BootCamp on those systems. Seems to me the idea would be to have the best of both worlds.

I like your thinking.

Wouldn't it be great if universal apps were extended to the Mac. You go to the App Store, and download an app that seamlessly transitions between your iPhone, iPad and Mac. They've done it with the first two; why not add the third? And then, Mac developers will have access to the billion iOS devices catered to on the App Store, rather than the few dozen million on the Mac App Store.

It makes absolute sense. When will it happen? Exciting times!
“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.”
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“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.”
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post #127 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misa View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjskywasher View Post

Why wouldn't they make the move to ARM? Clearly they have plans to do so otherwise they wouldn't have machines already running in the labs. It's just a matter of time, I'd stake money on it happening.

I have no doubt they have experiments in the labs, but there is absolutely no way such a device would sell except to a power-conscious "green" customer. No Desktop will ever sell like this except maybe macmini "servers" relegated to NAS/Servers. An iMac would certainly fail, and a Mac Pro would be dead before it hit the store.

This is not the same argument as the PowerPC problem. With PowerPC, IBM was the sole CPU supplier to Apple, and IBM was much more interested in getting Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft to make consoles using their IP than they were building CPU's that could be dropped into a desktop or laptop. Part of the reason the PowerPC platform held on as long as it did was because those same parts were also being used for the Commodore Amiga. IBM makes servers with the POWER parts now. Sticking a server cpu in a laptop is a joke, and Apple knew it.

ARM's strength, and only strength is in power to performance ratio. Intel is terrible at this (Note how the average intel desktop is a 95 TDP watt target, not something reasonable like 30 watts, and the only parts that actually achieve low-power, are heavily neutered i3 and "Celeron" Atom type of parts which are an insult to use.) 8 quad core ARM parts may bring the performance of a ARM based desktop to that of a Intel based desktop, but I dare you to find any software that has been compiled to magically use as many threads as possible. No UNIX-land still programs like it's 1979 (and many windows apps too, just look at Google Chrome,) forking processes, not threading. It's pretty useless as a desktop when one ARM cpu core is the same power as a 15 year old intel CPU. if you had 4x8 cores (eg 32) threads, 31 of those threads would be idle, just like how 7 intel cores are idle on a i7 hyperthreaded CPU, and those other CPU cores are only turned on when a process is explicitly thread-aware (eg x264)

No, more cores doesn't work unless the software out there is rewritten for it, and only Apple's OS and Apple's software will ever do that. Adobe has enough problems just getting their flash player to synchronize across cpu cores. If a large company can utterly fail on their flagship products, that doesn't bode well for everyone else.

Most software that isn't outright number-crunching software (eg SETI@home) just fails to take advantage of multiple cores. It's just "too hard" for developers to not screw up. I've played countless games, and all of them still do everything single-threaded, and when they do take advantage of threads, it ultimately is too little. Dedicated consoles have a minor advantage here because games designed for them know exactly what they will have, while the average desktop or laptop can't be relied on having more than one cpu core.

This is why every time I see a story about "switching to ARM" in the context of desktops I groan and don't see it happening. At best/worst Apple is keeping their options open for a time when the ARM parts actually have comparable single thread performance. That is not this year, and not likely until at least 2016 when Intel runs out of die shrinks.

One of the many great things about the ARM Mac will be the fact that it doesn't run Flash.
“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.”
Reply
“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.”
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