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post #81 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shojin Monkey View Post

Who says that Apple would have to ditch ALL Intel chips? 

Definitely agree.  At the high end, does Apple have a compelling reason to say 'no' to high-performance Intel chips and Windows compatibility? I don't think so.  But at the low end, does Apple have a compelling reason to say 'no' to reduced power consumption, more affordable CPUs, and complete ownership of the architecture?  I don't think so.  

 

Critics say that it's challenging for Apple to manage two CPU architectures in its Mac line?  That sounds like defeatism to me.  I don't think Apple's afraid of that challenge.

post #82 of 127
There are still IT departments out there, that refuse to support Mac. Anyone in the corporate world knows this. At this time, either remotely or via Parallels etc. To give this up, would be not only irritating, but for me, a terrible choice. How many remember not being able to use PowerPC native apps when the OS switches took place? This would be equally as bad. It would cause me to not buy a new mac, for the first time in over 25 years.
post #83 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by iMat View Post
 

So, if Apple uses ARM for their Mac line. What happens? They will:
a) have to move the entire Mac line to ARM (from the Air to the Pro) or
b) have OSX run on two different architectures simultaneously. Which is a complete mess.
 

 

It would be b (they aren't going to move the MacPro to ARM anytime soon) and how would it be a complete mess?  The OS already supports multiple binaries in a single app.  That's how the transition to x86 went so smoothly.    It's just another compile, and the installer/app store can leave out the version that isn't for the target computer.  Most of the developers code already supports multiple architectures because so many apps run on both iOS and MacOS.  Once the developers update their apps, most people won't even notice a difference (aside from longer battery life and lower cost).  Imagine a $699 MacBook Air with 10 hour battery life.  It would instantly be Apple's best selling Mac. 

post #84 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by guytoronto View Post

This rumour again?
Yeah hopefully it is true!
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Good grief. No, Apple will not move any Macs to ARM technology. Why? Windows compatibility. One of the strongest arguments against Macs in the PowerPC age was that they could run Windows applications. A move to Intel killed that argument.
Yes it was an argument in its day but times change. Such a machine could be very valuable if it provided a way to also run iOS apps. Even if it doesn't Mac OS is now a healthy platform all on its own.
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No Macs are mixed into Windows environments will incredible ease. Switching away from Intel on some models would confuse the market.
That is due to software not hardware.
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It would be an incredibly stupid thing to do. There is zero real benefit to moving to ARM with the Mac.
There are huge benefits to Apple. For one it gives them access to the silicon it is on the silicon where innovation takes place these days.
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Take a look at the Windows platform. How well is Windows RT doing?

Which has nothing to do with this.
post #85 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

As someone who has had 4 operating systems running on a single Mac, I sympathise with your position. I also had Windoze running very successfully on my 12" PowerPC PowerBook (remember those) however and in fact, in what I was using it for which required a USB <----> RS232C dongle, it was 100% reliable.
For me it might mean switching to an ARM based Linux.
Quote:
However, perhaps it is time to move on (although I am not necessarily arguing for the move as I do not understand fully the implications). Some benefits might be, a code base that converges with iOS and the efficiency gains contingent with that and >>>also, greater self-determination.<<<</div>
That last bit hit the nail on the head! People need to realize that if Apple wants to continue to innovate they need access to the silicon. Silicon is effectively the PCB of the 80's. I would imagine this would be the overwhelming issue at Apple today with the Mac line because of Intel Luke warm attitude to custom SoC.
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I believe that Apple was badly let down toward the end of the PowerPC era with processor development on their behalf failing badly. Perhaps Intel's processor developments too are headed in a direction that will not favour Apple before too long.
It is already happening, even AMD has recognized the importance of doing custom SoC to enable partner ideas. Intel seems to be stuck, they acknowledge the need but don't seem to have a plan.
Quote:
Another advantage would be greater scope in specific system variants, beyond iOS and Mac OS X both. The time is coming I think.

Yep that is all part of access to the silicon. I've tried to drum this into people in another forum but access to the silicon is a must as we move to more complete SoC. A move to ARM on these machines will be a must if Apple can't get Intel or AMD to let them do as they wish with the silicon. Intel really doesn't get it at this point as they have failed badly with ATOM.
post #86 of 127

I increasingly believe this has more to do with market force rather then technical merits or arguments. Everyone's budget in consumer electronics has a limit. People are merely shifting their expense from Desktop / Laptop to Phone and Tablet. Which means no matter how well Mac are doing against PC, in the Post PC world the whole PC industry is shrinking, and with less emphasis on performance, more are likely buying a cheaper Desktop / Laptop.

In order for Apple to continue with its current profit margin while selling roughly the same volume they will have to cut their BOM cost. It happens that nearly 30% of BOM cost are going to Intel. So for the Mac line to survive the Post PC era it will have to move on. And it is likely the lower priced Mac will make actually bring the highest Mac Market Share that apple had yet seen.

Mac Pro will likely stay on x86 in the forseeable future. I think the professional market, as well as professional apps generally have different needs to consumer market. Therefore it will have the Pro to continue serve those needs. I hope Apple will make a cheap enough Mac Pro, ( without Xeon and Dual Graphics ) for the Prosumer group. But given Apple's history this will unlikely to happen.

I do see one important problem though. Thunderbolt, how is that going to work out when it is totally Intel based tech? Switching back to DisplayPort only?   

post #87 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by wwchris View Post

Yup, unfortunately, remove the ability to run windows natively and I would have to leave the Mac behind. I may not need to use windows often, but when I do, it is essential. Moving to the intel chipset was the only reason I was able to go back to using macs.

I can understand your position here as there is lots of software at work that only runs in Windows. I don't see Apple letting go of this market though. Rather I can see them offering two Mac solutions and letting the customer pick what is best. They will do that until running production of a Intel based Macs is no longer possible due to the economics.

In general though your needs here are not uncommon but at the same time you are part of a rapidly dwindling group. Apple needs to look out for its future and that means access to the silicon something a Intel can't seem to wrap its head around. So to put it bluntly it isn't the 80's, 90's or even the 00's anymore, the general population just doesn't give a damn about the CPU anymore.
post #88 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppeX View Post

The main problem is incompatibility with the rest of the world (read Windows and Linux on Intel x86).
It isn't an issue for iPhone, iPad, Android nor many of the E-Book readers out there. In fact we heard the same noise when iPad was released and yet a superior solution took off.
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Hopefully Apple will keep the Mac x86, or they will repeat previous catastrophic mistakes.
What mistakes? For its time PPC was an excellent solution as was the 68000 before that. Times change and frankly Intel just isn't a big draw anymore.
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In such a case, the only way would be migrating to Windows.
For some Windows is a mandatory choice, far more think it is a mandatory choice. Many though have broken away from the mess that is Windows.
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Actually, what Apple should do is just the opposite: eventually migrating iOS to the x86.

That will never happen at the rate Intel is going. Apple needs access to that silicon to deliver the same sort of innovation as is seen in the I products group. Until Intel is willing to bend over backwards and build what Apple needs i86 has a very dim future at Apple.
post #89 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Nail on the head. Apple was always criticized for not being upgradable and yet I remember reading many years ago that only a tiny percentage of people (Windows users included) ever did upgrade anything at all on their computers. Windows compatibility is important but the ability to run Windows on your Mac is less important. Specially, as you say, on a MBA or similar. The number of people who buy MBAs to run Windows exclusively must be tiny.

Tiny and getting smaller everyday! However that doesn't mean that the feature of running Windows isn't important to Apple or those users. This is why I see a new product or branding that eliminates to confusion about the entire line switching to ARM.

As for upgradeability that boat has left the shore a long time ago. The past is the past and you don't get performance doubling every year anymore. If you look at HASWELL the only good reason for most users to upgrade would be the better GPU. Haswell refresh sucks even more. By the time a real significant improvement comes, with respect to your current hardware, you end up needing to buy a complete computer to get the new chip sets, RAM interfaces and so forth. Frankly I don't see many people offering up real justifications for upgrades, in the end you need a new motherboard, processor and RAM all at once these days. So you might as well buy a whole computer.
post #90 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Would such a machine be compatible with existing OS X software?
Once recompiled yes.
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Would a Rosetta like emulator be required for the transition?
Nope! Why because there would be no transition, this would be an alternative to the i86 machines if Apple had any sense. Beyond that Apple has a big hammer in App Store to get developers to distribute both ARM and Intel binaries.
Quote:
Would developers jump on board? 
I do think so. There are a number of reasons I can think of. For one the Windows world has hit the skids. Second, the pressing of new binaries should be rather simple for developers. Third, new hardware means new opportunities to make money and the Mac is one of the few growth platforms going. So if this lowers the cost of entry it would be nothing but net gain. Forth, a low cost machine means interest in a different segment of apps that you might find on a workstation, this means new opportunities. Fifth, if the rumors about lots of cores are true the platform might enable workstation like performance on very low cost hardware, this could be an incentive to port demanding apps to the platform. The so called embarrassing simple to parallelize apps that need lots of compute resources.
post #91 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by iMat View Post

Apple was on PowerPc and then switched to Intel because PowerPc was moving ahead too slowly.
And then they went "mainstream" with Intel, with a supported CPU which received updates regularly, along with everybody else.

In "mobile" they can do what they want since they have such a high market share and sell in volumes. But Apple didn't start its mobile adventure with a custom made CPU/GPU. They first went "mainstream" there as well.

So, if Apple uses ARM for their Mac line. What happens? They will:
a) have to move the entire Mac line to ARM (from the Air to the Pro) or
b) have OSX run on two different architectures simultaneously. Which is a complete mess.

If Apple moves to their own CPU (sort of like the A series) then they will have to constantly upgrade and develop an entire CPU/GPU system just for their Mac line, which doesn't sell enough to support such an investment.
So all in all.
No. Just no.

It doesn't make any sense now to switch from Intel to ARM (in my opinion) because ARM is pushing slowly into "computer" territory and doesn't offer a wide enough array of CPUs (to my knowledge) to cover the Mac line from "Mini" to "Pro".

Really this platform doesn't need to cover the entire Mac product line. All they really need is a competitive machine to undermine ChromeBooks and other cloud based machines. ARM gives them the hardware to do this.

By the way people think A series here but I highly doubt it will be the same chip. Same cores maybe but cores sitting within a vastly different chip. Here I'm talking faster RAM interfaces, faster Flash support, laptop like I/O and so forth. RAM is a huge problem in the current iOS based devices so this has to be addressed for a notebook.
post #92 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandor View Post

I am sure Apple had prototype ARM-based laptops much early than that. Remember, the Newton was ARM-based.
Could be or they may have been fishing for iPad engineers.

I'm also very certain that Apple caused ARM to have a sudden interested in performance and 64 bit processors. So from that standpoint I do believe they have been thinking about this for a long time.
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In terms of R&D, i would think it imperative that Apple has a laundry list of devices running multiple configs simply to stay abreast of what is in the realm of market possibilities for the next 1, 3, 5 and 10+ years. 

This is another possibility, I can even imagine new Power based machines in one or more Apple labs.

In any event if Apple does this it is all about preparations for the future.
post #93 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


I'm sure Apple tests lots of things in their labs. They would be stupid not to. And I wouldn't be surprised if we get a fanless ARM based Mac notebook, one that has retina display and 24 hour battery life. That would be awesome.

There is something significant here. as you point out it wouldn't be about the use of an ARM SoC if they went that route. It would be about enabling a design that wouldn't otherwise be possible. That would just be one part of it rather than a fad element.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post
 

You seemed so sure of yourself and knowledgeable that I wasn't inclined to question you.  Nevertheless, I went over to store.apple.com just to check some details, and they say that all the iMacs and MacBook Air and MacBook Pro use the i5.  Am I missing something here?  It looks like one of Mac Minis uses an i7, and the Mac Pro uses something else (presumably even more powerful).  

 

So if I combine what you say with what the Apple store says, the current ARM chips are almost equivalent to what Apple uses in most of their Macs. So if today the ARM is in the ballpark, is it strange to speculate that tomorrow the ARM might be used in the Mac?  Seems plausible to me.

Going by i5 and i7 is a terrible way to disambiguate things. Blame intel for that. They don't guarantee anything, because what they indicate changes based on the class of the cpus in question. For example dual core i5s, which are restricted to notebook chips, have a total of 4 logical cores due to hyperthreading. In chips binned as desktop class, mainstream, or whatever they decide to call it, there are quad i5s. They still have 4 logical cores, but these have hyperthreading disabled. The 4 logical cores are all physical cores. In terms of actual performance differences between i5 and i7, that also varies in both benchmarks and real applications.

post #94 of 127
Simple.

Windows is dying. Windows 8 and the iPad have been terminal cancer for windows.

OSX and iOS are unix based - inherently multiplatform. All apple has to do is release a new version of Xcode and OSX & apps will run just fine on ARM.

Apple's done this three times now: 68k to ppc, ppc to x86 and x86 to ARM.

Added bonus: all iOS apps will also run under OSX. They already do this under Xcode in emulation but the Ax ARM processors will run iOS apps natively.

forget parallels. Remember how bad windows used to run on the 680x0 and PPC? It sucked - poky and slow.

Apple doesn't have to care about windows anymore. Their margins will skyrocket when they stop buying processors from Intel.

Also by not supporting the wintel cadre, they will help kill wintel once and for all.

Microsoft is in total disarray. Their dev tools for mobile suck.

Imagine touchscreen MacBook Airs that run everything (OSX &iOS) except windows for the price of iPads.

Nobody will weep for Microsoft. Nobody.
post #95 of 127
The question is not whether Apple will split its code base. We obviously already have IOS on ARM and OS X on Intel, and there are a LOT more IOS devices than OS X devices out there. Adding a larger ARM based device, either a laptop with touch screen or with improved multi touch track pad or an IPad Pro of some kind would simply extend their current strategy rather than depart from it.
post #96 of 127
And w
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonPrice67 View Post

Why is the assumption always that ARM would have to replace Intel? Is there any reason that certain apps and parts of the OS couldn't be compiled for both architectures, and the motherboard contains both? Just like the GPU can be switched to low power integrated when the task allows, and switched to the higher power discreet as needed, the ARM chip could do most of the basic stuff, at very low power, and then hand off to the intel chip when needed? I can even imagine something similar to the new FTL compiler for Safari, so code is compiled first for ARM, and when parts need more power they are JIT compiled for Intel, with the Intel CPU handling the compile so it happens fast.
Aren't they already doing a bit of this with GrandCentralDispatch and OpenCL? Where the actual bare metal code is compiled on the machine for the specific CPU/GPU environment available? And, added benefit, when running on wall power, the machine is now an 8 core machine, and certain "background" tasks could go to ARM while Intel does the heavy lifting. And all PowerNap functionality would be ARM, to minimize drain while not actively working.
I am layman to be sure, so if there is some fundamental law of the universe that makes this not possible, be gentle. 1wink.gif

Gordon
What do you gain from this? More space used, greater price too, sw changes and issues... No thanks.
post #97 of 127
Awesome! Since it will most probably be lighter than a MacBook Air, it should be called the MacBook Helium
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post #98 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


I can understand your position here as there is lots of software at work that only runs in Windows. I don't see Apple letting go of this market though. Rather I can see them offering two Mac solutions and letting the customer pick what is best. They will do that until running production of a Intel based Macs is no longer possible due to the economics.

In general though your needs here are not uncommon but at the same time you are part of a rapidly dwindling group. Apple needs to look out for its future and that means access to the silicon something a Intel can't seem to wrap its head around. So to put it bluntly it isn't the 80's, 90's or even the 00's anymore, the general population just doesn't give a damn about the CPU anymore.


The general population most certainly gives a damn about the CPU when changing it breaks their software. 

 

Apple handled the Intel transition reasonably well up until the point that they released 10.7 and broke everything PowerPC.  People remember that, it's still fairly fresh, and people are still really pissed about it.  There are two groups you don't screw over when you're selling computers, the IT department and Grandma.  Grandma can't run AppleWorks any more, and she doesn't know exactly why, but she absolutely knows it has something to do with some CPU changing thing.  She's not going to want to learn a new program again.  And the IT guys are trying to keep some obscure something running, and Apple pulled the rug out from under them yet again, while they were still reeling from the XServe being killed.

 

No, the Macintosh will likely not survive another CPU transition.  If Apple's goal is to move away from computers and into iDevices only, another CPU transition anytime soon will do it.  Maybe in 10 years when we've forgotten the pain from the last one, but not now, not next year, and not in five years.

 

And I say this as an old-school Apple guy, I go all the way back to the Apple ][+, and I would have to seriously consider the second platform transition of my life, the first one being from the Apple ][ to the Macintosh.  And if I'm considering it, how many others would not even hesitate?

 

And a two-platform Mac is absurd.  That kind of fragmentation would destroy the Mac just as quickly as a switch.  People don't like uncertainty, they don't like software fragmentation (can I run these apps on this Mac?  No?  Ok, how about these apps on this Mac?  Not all of them there either?  Huh.  How about if I buy this Windoze computer?  All of them have versions that run there?  Ok, I'll get that one, then.) and people don't want small, thin, and light nearly as much as Apple thinks they do.  Until Apple took the choice away, I know very few people who picked the 15" Retina over the 15" real MacBook Pro.  People actually DO like being able to upgrade their computers, even if they're never actually going to do it. 

 

ARM desktops and laptops are utterly unnecessary, extreme thinness in a computer is completely unnecessary, and the only reason Apple would do this is as a step toward killing the Macintosh and with it their computer division.  Maybe Apple does want to become a consumer device only company, they've certainly destroyed their server market already.

post #99 of 127
What Windows only software is used by a significant percentage of MacBook Air users? The people I know, especially the younger ones, would appreciate being able to use all the great IOS apps on their laptop a lot more than they would bemoan the possible loss of Windows only apps.
post #100 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppeX View Post

The main problem is incompatibility with the rest of the world (read Windows and Linux on Intel x86). Hopefully Apple will keep the Mac x86, or they will repeat previous catastrophic mistakes. In such a case, the only way would be migrating to Windows.

Actually, what Apple should do is just the opposite: eventually migrating iOS to the x86.
What makes you think Apple doesn't already have iOS running on x86, as well as, OS X running on ARM? Having both OSes running on both CPUs will make it easy for Apple to create a device and then decide which OS/CPU combination would make the most sense.

Here is how I see the future of Macs:
  1. The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro continue using x86_64 processors. People needing Windows will have the same options as they do right now so they lose nothing.
  2. The MacBook is brought back, powered by the ARM processor.
  3. The Mac mini, when updated, will have two models; one with an x86_64 CPU and the other with an ARM CPU.
  4. The iMac will continue using x86_64 processors for many years. Apple will probably wait until enough developers update their OS X software to run on ARM before offering an iMac with an ARM processor.
  5. The Mac Pro will stay with Xeon processors for a very long time.

The biggest news at WWDC2014 will be:
  1. OS X running on ARM, starting with the MacBook.
  2. iOS running on x86_64

OS X on ARM has already been rumored and releasing a MacBook with that OS/CPU combination won't be a big surprise. iOS on x86_64 would be a "just one more thing" surprise, and in many ways is more important than OS X on ARM. Microsoft has released MS Office for iPad (i.e. iOS version) so iOS running on x86_64 will make it easy for people to go to the App Store, get the iOS version and run MS Office on their Mac. When people can get MS Office without needing MS Windows then they can get a Mac with an ARM processor.
post #101 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post
However, why do people degrade their Macs by running windows?

 

I do video training for Autodesk Revit, at least until there is a real, MODERN BIM tool that is Mac native, and not a second longer! ;-)

In the meantime, I run Windows in Parallels to run Revit, and I do it because recording on a Mac like this is about 1000 times better than recording in Windows. The tool chain is MUCH better (Claquette>Motion>FinalCutPro), performance is worlds better when Windows is isolated and being asked to do one thing, run Revit, not run Revit, run the screen capture software, run whatever BS is running in the background, etc. And the other 40% of my work life (writing video scripts, documentation, creating still images for videos, etc) I get to do it on a Mac. So yeah, loss of Windows on the Mac would kill me.

Luckily my next Mac will be a Mac pro, and that ain't gonna be ARM in, well, probably in what's left of my lifetime. So I'm good.

post #102 of 127
A purchase of AMD would confirm this. As we know, AMD is blending X86 and Arm chips in such a way as to be considered genius.
post #103 of 127

Perhaps it isn't Macs they are looking at.

 

New products for new markets or niches.

Lot's of other variety of apples to use for names.

 

Some apple varieties and possible products.

 

Beacon - tracking device

Beautiful Arcade - gaming computer

Pilot - navigation aid

Revival - CPR device

 

And the Yellow Transparent apple is also known as the Glass apple.

Has to be something with the Apple stores.

 

 

post #104 of 127

Maybe Apple will test the market by releasing 2 versions of mbp or imacs: the current Intel based and the new ARM based.

post #105 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaporland View Post

...

Imagine touchscreen MacBook Airs that run everything (OSX &iOS) except windows for the price of iPads.

If Apple can really sell MacBook Air Touch at the IPAD PRICE, MS won't exist anymore.

post #106 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonPrice67 View Post
 

I do video training for Autodesk Revit, at least until there is a real, MODERN BIM tool that is Mac native, and not a second longer! ;-)

 

I often wonder why Autodesk doesn't port some of their major titles to Mac.

 

I suppose the AutoCAD community is entrenched in Windows and offering a Mac version probably wouldn't be particularly profitable, but 3DS Max? Wouldn't the people who use that rather use OS X?

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post #107 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfa View Post

Apple is iterating through new ARM CPU upgrades faster than intel: intel's tic-tok model is a two year cycle and they are falling behind that, which is why new Mac announcements are stalled and overdue: the relevant Intel CPU upgrades aren't available.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfa View Post
.....Parallels can license/develop Rosetta-type technology and Windows compatibility won't be an issue, and who knows, maybe Apple and M$ have a deal for a full desktop-class ARM based windows, which would also help M$' tablet/laptop hybrids.
The technology is there, so it's just a matter of marketing.
It would also be easy to use ARM in the consumer space and for server products, and use x86 or an x86/ARM combo for pro laptops and desktops. Apple already has multiple CPUs in the system so this is totally doable and allows Apple to go places where that competition can't easily follow.

Not remotely likely on the MS/Apple front (see more below)

Also, Intel's delays are mostly (certainly somewhat) related to fabbing up for the next round of process/die shrinks (28, 22, 14 nm)... ...and no one spends more on this tech than Intel, so unlikely Apple's fabs could keep advancing any faster. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iMat View Post
 

....So, if Apple uses ARM for their Mac line. What happens? They will:
a) have to move the entire Mac line to ARM (from the Air to the Pro) or
b) have OSX run on two different architectures simultaneously. Which is a complete mess.

If Apple moves to their own CPU (sort of like the A series) then they will have to constantly upgrade and develop an entire CPU/GPU system just for their Mac line, which doesn't sell enough to support such an investment.
So all in all.
No. Just no.

It doesn't make any sense now to switch from Intel to ARM (in my opinion) because ARM is pushing slowly into "computer" territory and doesn't offer a wide enough array of CPUs (to my knowledge) to cover the Mac line from "Mini" to "Pro".

 

An A series targeted at notebooks/desktops does seem a big ongoing engineering effort for product lines that hold a static shrinking market share of computing devices - and Apple's left building servers (another ARM target as noted by rcfa) behind for some years, so don't see them going back there. 

On the other hand, there's some indication that tablet sales growth, at least in the consumer sphere, may have a lower ceiling than PC's historically had as many to most are finding a phone (or phablet) sufficient for ALL their needs.  We're not all prolific content creators, writers, number crunchers, etc.

 

Another factor is Intel's massive investment in Atom processors.  Playing from behind, their cumulative effort could at least catch up and make the full X-86 instruction set available at ARM power consumption levels.  Windows 8 laptops running Baytrail are already out and reviewers note they're plenty fast enough.

So might we see an Atom Mac.....??

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post
....A "complete mess"?  Is that possibly just a bit of hyperbole?  The original Mac OS ran simultaneously on Motorola and PPC for a while.  OSX ran on PPC and Intel.  And since half of OSX is shared with IOS, we can say that today, much of the current OS is already shared by two architectures.  I can see that if we asked Microsoft to do this it my devolve into your "complete mess", but I think the engineers at Apple are pretty organized.


MS already engaged in this "devolution" with Win RT, a colossal flop that's now being merged with WinPhone into likely some "tablet-esque" version of WinPhone 8 (or 9) - that won't have a "desktop stub" to run PC office. 

However, MS can clearly build a Win that runs on ARM (tho' the market for Win on Mac seems far too small to justify the software engineering).  And the phones are super-snappy in my limited playing around, if nothing else...

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfa View Post

An A8 may already have closed the performance gap, and given the low power consumption of ARM chips, you can double or triple the CPU core count compared to x86 CPUs meaning anything that can run in parallel will be significantly FASTER than on equivalent x86 platforms with similar power consumption.

Also, while CPU emulation is a factor of two-four slower than native execution, the same does NOT apply to Rosetta-style on-the-fly recompilation, which has only a moderate overhead of maybe 25% or less, IIRC, and which in some cases even ran code faster than on the native CPU.

 

 

You'd first have to close the "coding for parallel processing" bottleneck.  My understanding's that software developers by and large still aren't taking advantage of the multi-threading and cores available today.

And even if the OS can split up Apps and higher level chunks to use 'em between processes, they can do little (or nothing) about the code running within 'em to take advantage. 

 

[Said the layman who's neither engineer or coder... ...so correct away if I'm wrong.]

An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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post #108 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipen View Post
 

Maybe Apple will test the market by releasing 2 versions of mbp or imacs: the current Intel based and the new ARM based.

 

That didn't work out particularly well for Microsoft with the Surface and Windows RT... I don't know if consumers are savvy enough to understand that an ARM/iOS version isn't just a less expensive version of the Intel machine.

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post #109 of 127

Which architecture has the best potential to run fast, ARM or x86? Are there things about ARM that make it better other than using less power? 

post #110 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkevwill View Post

There are still IT departments out there, that refuse to support Mac. Anyone in the corporate world knows this. At this time, either remotely or via Parallels etc.
So what you are saying is that the processor doesn't make a difference.
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To give this up, would be not only irritating, but for me, a terrible choice. How many remember not being able to use PowerPC native apps when the OS switches took place? This would be equally as bad.
Yeah but we really don't know what the capabilities of the system would be.
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It would cause me to not buy a new mac, for the first time in over 25 years.

Honestly you sound just like the CP/M and Apple 2 guys complaining about the new IBM hardware and then the new Mac. Times change and you either get left in the dust or you work to keep up.
post #111 of 127
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Originally Posted by hmm View Post

There is something significant here. as you point out it wouldn't be about the use of an ARM SoC if they went that route. It would be about enabling a design that wouldn't otherwise be possible. That would just be one part of it rather than a fad element.

Going by i5 and i7 is a terrible way to disambiguate things. Blame intel for that. They don't guarantee anything, because what they indicate changes based on the class of the cpus in question. For example dual core i5s, which are restricted to notebook chips, have a total of 4 logical cores due to hyperthreading. In chips binned as desktop class, mainstream, or whatever they decide to call it, there are quad i5s. They still have 4 logical cores, but these have hyperthreading disabled. The 4 logical cores are all physical cores. In terms of actual performance differences between i5 and i7, that also varies in both benchmarks and real applications.

Or you could simply say intel is dishonest in their marketing. I find their current naming conventions to be extremely confusing and without a product map in front of you it is hard to tell what you are actually getting. Even AMD does better with the naming of generations of processors.
post #112 of 127
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Originally Posted by vaporland View Post

Simple.

Windows is dying. Windows 8 and the iPad have been terminal cancer for windows.

OSX and iOS are unix based - inherently multiplatform. All apple has to do is release a new version of Xcode and OSX & apps will run just fine on ARM.

Apple's done this three times now: 68k to ppc, ppc to x86 and x86 to ARM.

Added bonus: all iOS apps will also run under OSX. They already do this under Xcode in emulation but the Ax ARM processors will run iOS apps natively.
Actually those iOS programs get compiled to i86 and then run in a simulator. A slight but important difference. This is why I like the idea of an ARM based Mac OS that supports running iPad apps in a window. The infrastructure is already there and jut needs to be tidied up and made transparent to the users.
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forget parallels. Remember how bad windows used to run on the 680x0 and PPC? It sucked - poky and slow.

Apple doesn't have to care about windows anymore. Their margins will skyrocket when they stop buying processors from Intel.
Well it is obviously important to some. However I think we are well past the point where it is mandatory to do so. More so if people have a choice between i86 Macs and ARM Macs they could make the choice they need to make.
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Also by not supporting the wintel cadre, they will help kill wintel once and for all.

Microsoft is in total disarray. Their dev tools for mobile suck.

Imagine touchscreen MacBook Airs that run everything (OSX &iOS) except windows for the price of iPads.

Nobody will weep for Microsoft. Nobody.
post #113 of 127

No, actually, I'm complaining that applications we rely on, may not be supported for some time, by the software vendors. Similar to what happened with some of the Adobe apps, and what happened to Quicken, when the OS could no longer support PowerPC apps. What were we told in that year or two before they re-supported (or rather supported) the newest OS10? The vendors told us to switch to windows. Doubt that would happen these days. However, we are stuck (for good or bad) using what works, until the rest of the world jumps forward to support any new OS based on ARM. Now, on the other hand, if no "PC" emulation or connection is supported under an Arm processor, us "corporate" types will simply not be able to use a new Mac, until a workaround comes about. Could take years, and thats lost productivity, if nothing works. Thats why we would have to stick with old technology until things fall in place.

post #114 of 127

The reason they switched from PowerPC to Intel was that the CPUs were becoming a limiting factor in making devices smaller and thinner (i.e. the Powerbook G5 that never happened). And certainly a switch from Intel to ARM could be justified on the same grounds. The thing I don't believe about the report is that Macs would have 4 or 8 of these CPUs. Surely that would require some nasty motherboard logic, with 8 CPUs all access the same memory? Doesn't sound believable.

 

In terms of having a Rosetta type solution on the ARM Macs to let them run old Intel apps, I don't think they should do that. Rather they should do the opposite, and have a Rosetta solution on Intel Macs to let them run ARM apps go forward. The ARM Macs should take on the policy of the iDevices, and only be allowed to run apps from the Mac App Store. And the only apps that should show up for downloading are ones that developer have uploaded as pure ARM or ARM/Intel fat binaries.

 

One out-there thing I wonder is whether Apple could possibly do static in-place Intel to ARM translation to the apps on the Mac App Store. Would that even be possible, or are there some things that simply can not be done until runtime?

 

Anyway I would be first in line to buy one of these new Macs. But mainly for software reasons not hardware. Switching to a whole new architecture is a golden opportunity to get rid of a lot of cruft and declare a lot of old frameworks deprecated and will not be supplied in ARM versions.


Edited by ascii - 5/27/14 at 9:56pm
post #115 of 127
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Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post
 

 

I often wonder why Autodesk doesn't port some of their major titles to Mac.

 

I suppose the AutoCAD community is entrenched in Windows and offering a Mac version probably wouldn't be particularly profitable, but 3DS Max? Wouldn't the people who use that rather use OS X?

 

Most of the film and TV stuff from Autodesk has Mac versions already, because they where all Mac first stuff I think, and Autodesk just bought them, and continues to develop for that entrenched market. AutoCAD actually did get a Mac port a few years ago, and my understanding is it is actually a really good translation of (most) AutoCAD functionality to a familiar but still very Mac UI. 3DS and Revit likely never will because the code base is such crap it would require a ground up rewrite, and Autodesk doesn't do that usually. Acad had a much cleaner codebase due to the major rewrite it got around the turn of the millennium. In general Autodesk is not even a Fast Follower, so much as a JIT Buyer. They let others actually think big thoughts and lead, and when something is beating them in the market they buy it and milk it till the next better idea comes along.

As for 3DS users preferring Mac, I really doubt it. Anyone who likes the craptastic UI and workflow that is 3DS probably doesn't even notice that Mac is elegant and easy. ;)

post #116 of 127
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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.
post #117 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

That didn't work out particularly well for Microsoft with the Surface and Windows RT... I don't know if consumers are savvy enough to understand that an ARM/iOS version isn't just a less expensive version of the Intel machine.

I'll blame Microsoft for just screwing up the marketing. the RT was a device looking to solve a problem that didn't exist. It was trying to run "full windows" on hardware that would normally be tablet hardware. The Surface Pro on the other hand is a laptop in a tablet form factor. The latter is utterly incapable of doing anything CPU intensive because Intel parts are bad (AMD are worse) in the side of device. The Surface Pro 3 just proves this point that Microsoft is trying to make a tablet using laptop parts, and doesn't give a care about the parts lasting very long. They removed the Wacom parts and replaced with inferior nTrig just to make it lighter. Let's not even get started on WindowsCE/Mobile/Phone

See in the Apple world, the difference between OSX and iOS is some UI API layer and a recompile. On Windows, you can't do this, because recompiling a windows app designed to use a two-button mouse doesn't work on a tablet that doesn't have a right-click button. Apple software however has always been able to work without a right-click button, as they traditionally only ever had a 1-button mouse.

Apple could switch to ARM for their desktops and laptops but that would be forgetting the mistake Microsoft already made too quickly. Software has to specifically be designed to take advantage of the many lower-performance cores, and most software aside from bechmarking software itself doesn't lend well to that.
post #118 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

I often wonder why Autodesk doesn't port some of their major titles to Mac.
Good question! It might be due to poor sales of AutoCAD on the Mac, or it could be code bases that don't easily port.

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.
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I suppose the AutoCAD community is entrenched in Windows and offering a Mac version probably wouldn't be particularly profitable, but 3DS Max? Wouldn't the people who use that rather use OS X?

I'm not sure what the problem is. I'm left with the impression that AutoDesk is on greedy company.
post #119 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

The reason they switched from PowerPC to Intel was that the CPUs were becoming a limiting factor in making devices smaller and thinner (i.e. the Powerbook G5 that never happened). And certainly a switch from Intel to ARM could be justified on the same grounds.
Basically the PPC consortium fell apart.

However, as far as ARM goes this would not be a justification for going to ARM. The best reason is that Apple would have no choice if it wants to continue to innovate in the desktop/laptop computer space. This is the same reason they had to start designing their own cell phone chips, in a nut shell silicon is the printed circuit board of the last century. In order to innovate in PC space you either need to design your own chips or get Intel to truly go the custom route. Intel seem highly resistant to custom chips so in the end it is either AMD or ARM.

By the way it seems like AMD has seen the writing on the wall here and is very willing to do custom SoC. In the end the business of computers is changing for the same reason the business of cell phones is changing. It is now possible to do SoC that are truly deserving of the SoC label.
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The thing I don't believe about the report is that Macs would have 4 or 8 of these CPUs. Surely that would require some nasty motherboard logic, with 8 CPUs all access the same memory? Doesn't sound believable.
Not believable at all actually.
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In terms of having a Rosetta type solution on the ARM Macs to let them run old Intel apps, I don't think they should do that. Rather they should do the opposite, and have a Rosetta solution on Intel Macs to let them run ARM apps go forward.
How about neither?
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The ARM Macs should take on the policy of the iDevices, and only be allowed to run apps from the Mac App Store.
If they did this I wouldn't be able to support them by buying the hardware. Right now the only reason I have to run a Mac is to run apps not available on the App Store. Apps that will likely never be on the App Store. It would kill the platform for more advanced users of the machines.
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And the only apps that should show up for downloading are ones that developer have uploaded as pure ARM or ARM/Intel fat binaries.
Given the above, the App Store is key to getting this to work. I could see Apple giving developers an ultimatum, either have the ARM binaries by XYZ date or your app gets dropped from the store. I can see most developers jumping on the bandwagon due to Mac OS being the only real growth opportunity out there for PC type apps.
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One out-there thing I wonder is whether Apple could possibly do static in-place Intel to ARM translation to the apps on the Mac App Store. Would that even be possible, or are there some things that simply can not be done until runtime?
It is possible. What would be more likely is that they leverage LLVM and require apps be built to one of LLVM's intermediate forms and then have LLVM generate the native code on the target machine. It is an option different than fat binaries but a workable one considering how far LLVM has come in the last few years. Such an OS would never be tied to hardware in the future.
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Anyway I would be first in line to buy one of these new Macs.
Yep! Given that I have the same access as I currently do with Mac OS, that is the ability to install third party software and run scripts and such then I'd be all in. I just don't run Windows software anymore. Ideally the platform would also be open enough to run Linux also.
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But mainly for software reasons not hardware.
Well it is the whole deal really. For me a whole bunch of low power cores would work out far better than the current two core solutions found in most low end laptops. With the ARM cores I can see Apple putting eight cores into a SoC by the end of 2015.
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Switching to a whole new architecture is a golden opportunity to get rid of a lot of cruft and declare a lot of old frameworks deprecated and will not be supplied in ARM versions.

Possibly but Mac OS has been overhauled fairly completely now. My goal or hope would be that we would get a low cost platform, with all of those cores, that is significantly better than the Intel offerings in the same price range. Better means performance that holds up under load, power usage that is absolutely minimal under load and also when sleeping, and finally cool operation.

By the way, I realize that the ARM cores Apple would lead with this year won't be the fastest in the world. That isn't as important has getting access to lots of them.
post #120 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misa View Post

I'll blame Microsoft for just screwing up the marketing. the RT was a device looking to solve a problem that didn't exist. It was trying to run "full windows" on hardware that would normally be tablet hardware. The Surface Pro on the other hand is a laptop in a tablet form factor. The latter is utterly incapable of doing anything CPU intensive because Intel parts are bad (AMD are worse) in the side of device.
It is more about the OS sucking to me. Windows has a very negative image with the population at large. That opinion was just confirmed when the executives at MS couldn't even get through the introduction without the device crashing.
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The Surface Pro 3 just proves this point that Microsoft is trying to make a tablet using laptop parts, and doesn't give a care about the parts lasting very long. They removed the Wacom parts and replaced with inferior nTrig just to make it lighter. Let's not even get started on WindowsCE/Mobile/Phone

See in the Apple world, the difference between OSX and iOS is some UI API layer and a recompile. On Windows, you can't do this, because recompiling a windows app designed to use a two-button mouse doesn't work on a tablet that doesn't have a right-click button. Apple software however has always been able to work without a right-click button, as they traditionally only ever had a 1-button mouse.
The difference between iOS and OSX are large enough that more than a recompile is needed. However people mis how much is actually shared between the two platforms.
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Apple could switch to ARM for their desktops and laptops but that would be forgetting the mistake Microsoft already made too quickly. Software has to specifically be designed to take advantage of the many lower-performance cores, and most software aside from bechmarking software itself doesn't lend well to that.

That is unadulterated bull crap. Most software running on the Mac these days is threaded and does leverage cores. Beyond that if you run more than one app at a time those cores become very handy indeed. People seem to not remember anything around here but a significant number of apps got significant performance boosts when Apple released GCD (Grand Central Dispatch) a few years ago. GCD is just one way Apps can leverage cores. Sure you can go out and find a few apps that make use of no threading at all, but they are damn few these days.
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