I'm not sure where you get your information from but you need to consider new sources.
Originally Posted by Misa
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.