Five barriers that might hold Apple back from moving Intel Macs to custom ARM chips

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Comments

  • Reply 81 of 102
    Great article, DED.
  • Reply 82 of 102
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    Apple doesn't have to bring ARM to the Mac.
    It's interesting to note that Apple makes almost as much iOS devices as the PC market combined.
    The PC will slowly die and take the Mac with it, the iPad (and other tablets) will be its replacement.
    Performance wise the A8 already beat my iMac (CPU and GPU) so no worries in that respect, I saw a Samsung tablet (forgot it's name, octo core) very recently and it rendered a complex web page (wired) faster than I have seen on any device, that's clear enough evidence for me.
  • Reply 83 of 102
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by knowitall View Post



    Apple doesn't have to bring ARM to the Mac.

    It's interesting to note that Apple makes almost as much iOS devices as the PC market combined.

    The PC will slowly die and take the Mac with it, the iPad (and other tablets) will be its replacement.

    Performance wise the A8 already beat my iMac (CPU and GPU) so no worries in that respect, I saw a Samsung tablet (forgot it's name, octo core) very recently and it rendered a complex web page (wired) faster than I have seen on any device, that's clear enough evidence for me.

    Being able to use multiple programs at once, each having it's own Window, and being able to copy and paste between them was a genius idea in it's time and is still the best way to work with multiple programs.

     

    A lot of tasks that people need to do require multiple programs. It's even optimal in some cases to have programs that do one task and do it well, and an operating system that facilitates interaction between programs, instead of trying to have one Swiss army knife program that does everything.

     

    Yes, eventually this model will be replaced, but not by the iPad. Maybe people will have VR headsets at their desk, instead of a monitor? For people that only need to use one program at once the iPad will indeed replace the PC.

  • Reply 84 of 102
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    ascii wrote: »
    Being able to use multiple programs at once, each having it's own Window, and being able to copy and paste between them was a genius idea in it's time and is still the best way to work with multiple programs.

    A lot of tasks that people need to do require multiple programs. It's even optimal in some cases to have programs that do one task and do it well, and an operating system that facilitates interaction between programs, instead of trying to have one Swiss army knife program that does everything.

    Yes, eventually this model will be replaced, but not by the iPad. Maybe people will have VR headsets at their desk, instead of a monitor? For people that only need to use one program at once the iPad will indeed replace the PC.

    With iPad I mean the form factor and touch paradigm, not current iOS that's aritficailly constrained.
    Let's say it just needs a couple of inches more and an substantial OS update.
    Think about the iMac it gets thinner every time, eventually it will be 6 or 7 mm (everyhere), get it away from its current awkward position and place it slightly tilted on your desk (lessenaar) like an iPad (traditionally the best way to do paper work) and voila!
  • Reply 85 of 102
    Why one vs. the other? Don't replace Intel with ARM, rather add ARM to the MBA to co-exist with x86. Apple will be able to create phenomenal battery performance while maintaining complete compatibility.

    This will also allow for ultimate ARM development while maintaining any legacy dependence on x86.
  • Reply 86 of 102
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member

    The Intel CEO is being a bit elusive in talking about this rumor. Like Gorilla Glass CEO when sapphire was all the rage last summer. 

     

    Look at where the puck is headed?

     

    Most people that use IOS don't give a crap about Win/Mac. Soon, we will reach a new realm/world. 

     

    Win/Mac will be the niche.\

     

    Photoshop? Other apps out there that just need the street cred.

     

    ---

     

    Well, we shall see.

     

    However, it seems hard to see Apple doing the RT/Surface Pro fiasco.

     

    The question is: can Apple ditch Intel and be mass market successful? Maybe/maybe not. I'm not betting.

     

    Things are working fine now. For now.

     

    At the least, this is a ploy by Apple like they did with their AMD rumors of having AMD people visit Apple HQ to put pressure on Intel so many years ago.

  • Reply 87 of 102
    So, I had a few minutes spare, and thus I ended up browsing to AI and I started to read this article out of interest and curiosity.

    There is a section in the article titled 'Why today's Macs use Intel chips'. The body text immediately following then resolutely fails to even get vaguely near explaining this heading.

    The next heading is titled 'How a move to ARM would differ from previous migrations to PowerPC, Intel', but again the body text following completely fails to live up to this. Instead, it bangs on about an entirely different subject: rehashing the Mac's 68k-to-PowerPC-to-Intel history.

    I gave up and stopped reading at this point (so if the rest of the article is an improvement in quality, I never got to it to find out).

    Are all the AI sub-editors on holiday? Did anyone proof-read this stuff properly?

    S.
  • Reply 88 of 102
    jony0jony0 Posts: 380member

    Great article once again DED.

     

    Quote:




    Originally Posted by paxman View Post

    Quote:


    Originally Posted by pfisher View Post

    Maybe they just might make a laptop out of an iPad. That would make things simple.


    I am firmly in this camp though there is significant resistance to this idea for reasons I don't fully get. I think folks think it is an either or proposition. An IOS based laptop would be a new device so nothing really changes. It would be a low end device but no lower end than a current iPad. I'd be all over an IOS based laptop.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xixo View Post

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Reason88 View Post

    An ARM based MacBook with a headline "Million compatible apps", why would it be that far away?


    I agree with you, but a lot of folks seem only to focus on why this won't happen.

     

    I agree and I suspect that one of the reasons these folks don't like it is the Surface RT fiasco. An iPad with keyboard would not be a compromised device, it already exists with third party products, and could compete with Chromebook in academia and would address some of their complaints of iPad's keyboard-less form factor. Ironically said academia can't seem to figure out how to simply add a keyboard case to iPad. Maybe Apple should've bundled them in some quotes, just let the kids remove them when not needed, they would certainly figure that out since they easily went around some silly and arbitrary security constraints in LA. In fact, we've seen very recently that Apple retail is promoting laptop-style iPad keyboards for some reason. They could be planning on simply coming out with their own first party iPad keyboard design which would make it look like an MBA, perhaps with extra batteries as well. Maybe that's why they even called the new iPads «iPad Air».

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rcfa View Post

    M$ failure with WinRT is irrelevant: it has nothing to do with ARM, but with the fact that they didn't offer the full desktop environment with the RT version in an attempt not to cannibalize their higher profit x86 "real" Windows sales; it was a marketing decision that backfired (combined with the fact that the ARM chips they were targeting at the time were vastly underpowered compared to the 64-bit chips Apple has now)

     

    I agree and we know that Apple is famously known for not having any fear of cannibalizing their other product lines, the iPad itself being a case in point.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HELLO DAVE View Post

    Why one vs. the other? Don't replace Intel with ARM, rather add ARM to the MBA to co-exist with x86. Apple will be able to create phenomenal battery performance while maintaining complete compatibility.

     

    Exactly, and it could run both systems or a new one entirely that combines both, say aOS X. Swift has been touted as capable of building an OS. This is what the Surface was trying to be as a no compromise design, but instead it was all about many terrible compromises.

     

    There have been many persistent rumors about ARM vs Intel, as well as a so-called 12 inch iPad Pro and also a 12 inch fan-less Retina MacBook Air. All rumors and from various sources of various track records. Just as many Apple patent filings that are never used, these rumored products might be prototypes that may or may not go into production, or are simply flights of fancy from analysts.

     

    So here's my little flight of fancy : suppose that where there is smoke there is fire and that Apple’s secrecy has many holes but still manages to have enough surprises to blur possible leaks. What if these rumors point to one source ? 

    Borrowing on some of the comments here and on Steve Jobs’ stylistic introduction of the iPhone, what if :

    It’s a large iPad Air, it’s a fan-less Retina MacBook Air, it uses an Ax chip, it uses an Intel chip. Are you getting it ? It’s just one device.

     

     

    Actually I would see 2 models, a low end targeted to academia, a higher end for business. The first one is simply an iPad with detachable keyboard, the other one being an MBA with a detachable iPad as a screen. The iPad's graphics capabilities would certainly be sufficient to not require a separate GPU, which could relieve enough thermal requirements to go fan-less. It could use the iPad's storage or have an extra SSD of its own. The Lightning connector could be key to these high speed transfers. The rumored 4 speaker layout would be sweet too.

     

    Although all of this would be consistent with conflating those 3 rumors, it's admittedly unlikely in the short term, if at all.

  • Reply 89 of 102
    nikon133nikon133 Posts: 2,600member
    I’ll mention it, since you didn’t:

    The first-gen Apple TV idled at around 100 watts (and/or 100ºF; I forget). The second and third-gen max out at roughly 6 watts. And they’re much cooler.

    That saves money on all ends.

    In all the fairness, Intel also moved quite a bit from what was available back in 2007.

    http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/compute-stick/intel-compute-stick.html
  • Reply 90 of 102
    plovellplovell Posts: 825member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rcfa View Post



    People don't get it: NOBODY ports anything to a CPU except the OS and compiler engineers.

    The OS (Darwin) and the compilers for ARM are already finished otherwise there were no iOS software.

    Apple's MACH/BSD kernel in Darwin always is and always has remained multi-architecture. It doesn't matter if it's PPC, x86,

    x86-64, ARM-32 or ARM-64.



    In essence: OS X for ARM is but a recompilation for Apple, plus a few device drivers, if they run it on hardware using different/additional components than the iPads. Heck, I'd be surprised if that had not been running in Apple's labs for quite some time.



    Transition thus, for OS X native apps is recompilation and some QA, nothing more, except for an absolutely tiny fraction of the market that still might use assembly code for some small aspects of their code, but that's negligible.



    A move to ARM wouldn't be about cost, but about performance: for many years now (GCD, OpenCL) Apple has been telling developers to increase performance with multithreaded code, and to stop relying on increased clock speed and similar tricks to increase single threaded performance, which simply starts hitting physical limits, particularly in the performance-per-Watt measure.



    While an hypothetical A9 or A10 with a clock speed not limited by iPad/iPhone heat dissipation limits and battery limits might have a lower single-core performance than an equivalent Intel Core i3 CPU, Apple could have a 12+ core ARM chip in the power envelope of a dual-core or quad-core Intel chip; so we're talking 12+ cores vs. 2 to 4 cores (4 to 8 threads with hyperthreading) and that could be able to match performance while scaling power usage by turning off anywhere from 0 to 11 cores, while still being able to do low CPU tasks like web browsing or even video streaming if decoding is done in the GPU.



    So not only would Apple be able to save costs, it would be able to offer battery life like no other in the industry.



    M$ failure with WinRT is irrelevant: it has nothing to do with ARM, but with the fact that they didn't offer the full desktop environment with the RT version in an attempt not to cannibalize their higher profit x86 "real" Windows sales; it was a marketing decision that backfired (combined with the fact that the ARM chips they were targeting at the time were vastly underpowered compared to the 64-bit chips Apple has now)



    In less than two years we may have iOS X, the ideal point to merge iOS 10 with OS X, for an OS that can switch between desktop and touch mode and apps that can switch between desktop, full-screen and touch modes. The OS, compilers, binary architecture etc. are all ready. What's needed is simply the integration of Cocoa and CocoaTouch on top of the same OS (remerge the two Darwin branches) and some additional APIs for apps to switch the type of GUI offered based on context.

    This is within reach: OS X already offers UI modes for windowed and full-screen modes, iOS allows for UI modes depending on screen size (iPhone, iPhone plus, iPad) so the basic mechanism are already present.



    Apple could further integrate their offerings with anything between an iPhone to a massively parallel MacPro running on the same CPU and OS architecture.



    Yes, even a MacPro could go ARM: one could have 64 cores where there are now 12, and the GPUs could be just as powerful as what there is now, as these are not directly depending on the CPU choice.



    So really, the only real obstacle is x86 emulation for running legacy Windows apps.

    With more and more corporate computing being cloud based, and with a more OS agnostic M$ (Ballmer is gone, as is evidenced by M$ Office for iOS), this may be less of an issue than ever; and possibly, the streamlined ARM-64 instruction set might be particularly well suited for CPU emulation, or for Macs, Apple could ditch the ARM-32 legacy instruction set and use the freed silicon for

    some special instructions needed for efficient x86 emulation.



    A good evaluation of the situation with hardware. But that's only half of the story.

     

    There is a real divide between OS X and iOS. It's more than the hardware, and not related to "touch", although that is relevant.

     

    It's that OS X is a multi-user system in the full sense. There are multiple logins, separate home directories, user-specific permissions and all the other things that characterize a regular Unix system (and it's POSIX-certified).

     

    But iOS is entirely different. There is Unix at the base but it is not a "regular Unix system". You don't have multiple user logins, a user's files are not stored in that user's home directory, etc, etc. In fact, files are stored in the application's directory in order to enforce sandboxing separation between apps. So in fact it would be a really major change to migrate iOS to merge with OS X. And don't even think of forcing users to go the other way - back to a single-user Mac environment. We've been there before and it's ain't gonna happen again !!

     

    OS X and iOS are different. I use both and have no problem moving back and forth. As a long-time Mac user (and other stuff before Mac came along) I couldn't live with an iOS-only setup, but the mixed OS X/iOS setup is good. 

     

    The issue is not the hardware - simple. Or Cocoa/CocoaTouch. Or full-screen. The fundamental issue is how users interact with the various systems they have. Microsoft is trying a one-system-fits-all approach and so far it hasn't gone too well (to put it mildly). Apple has stayed with the two-track scheme and that seems wise to me. Maybe in time there will be developments that will bring things closer, but that time is not yet here. 

  • Reply 91 of 102
    plovellplovell Posts: 825member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cseeman View Post



    I can't take any article seriously that talks about leaving Intel without also commenting on Intel's Thunderbolt. I don't think Mac market would survive a rapid apandonment of Thunderbolt.



    Think about a gradual transition. MBAs soon with USB-C but MBAs iMacs and MacPros staying with intel x86 and Thunderbolt.

     

    And then for Apple to evaluate the acceptance and adjust accordingly.

     

    And, by the way, is there any definitive detail on Apple's rights with Thunderbolt? If I recall correctly, it was a joint-development between Intel and Apple, and not an Intel technology that Apple adopted. As such, I would expect that Apple has substantial rights to the IP involved. Does anyone know ? [that is: anyone who is able to say]

  • Reply 92 of 102
    arlorarlor Posts: 532member
    I don't see it happening. A-series chips for the Mac could not be the same silicon as for the tablets and phones (temperature and power requirements will ensure that phone and tablet chips remain much less powerful than their desktop equivalents). Apple just doesn't have the scale on its own to make desktop CPUs at any kind of reasonable cost (much less press forward with the technology affordably), unless its desktops become dramatically more popular.

    Keep in mind that one very important difference from the mobile space to the desktop is that Apple isn't just using a single Intel chip (Apple seems to get a tablet and a phone or two out of each ARM generation): it's using at least a dozen across its whole line (counting different levels of internal cache, etc.), meaning that it's not selling a whole lot north of a million of any particular model. That's just nowhere near the scale required for modern chip fabrication.
  • Reply 93 of 102
    plovell wrote: »
    rcfa wrote: »
    People don't get it: NOBODY ports anything to a CPU except the OS and compiler engineers.

    The OS (Darwin) and the compilers for ARM are already finished otherwise there were no iOS software.

    Apple's MACH/BSD kernel in Darwin always is and always has remained multi-architecture. It doesn't matter if it's PPC, x86,

    x86-64, ARM-32 or ARM-64.


    In essence: OS X for ARM is but a recompilation for Apple, plus a few device drivers, if they run it on hardware using different/additional components than the iPads. Heck, I'd be surprised if that had not been running in Apple's labs for quite some time.


    Transition thus, for OS X native apps is recompilation and some QA, nothing more, except for an absolutely tiny fraction of the market that still might use assembly code for some small aspects of their code, but that's negligible.


    A move to ARM wouldn't be about cost, but about performance: for many years now (GCD, OpenCL) Apple has been telling developers to increase performance with multithreaded code, and to stop relying on increased clock speed and similar tricks to increase single threaded performance, which simply starts hitting physical limits, particularly in the performance-per-Watt measure.


    While an hypothetical A9 or A10 with a clock speed not limited by iPad/iPhone heat dissipation limits and battery limits might have a lower single-core performance than an equivalent Intel Core i3 CPU, Apple could have a 12+ core ARM chip in the power envelope of a dual-core or quad-core Intel chip; so we're talking 12+ cores vs. 2 to 4 cores (4 to 8 threads with hyperthreading) and that could be able to match performance while scaling power usage by turning off anywhere from 0 to 11 cores, while still being able to do low CPU tasks like web browsing or even video streaming if decoding is done in the GPU.


    So not only would Apple be able to save costs, it would be able to offer battery life like no other in the industry.


    M$ failure with WinRT is irrelevant: it has nothing to do with ARM, but with the fact that they didn't offer the full desktop environment with the RT version in an attempt not to cannibalize their higher profit x86 "real" Windows sales; it was a marketing decision that backfired (combined with the fact that the ARM chips they were targeting at the time were vastly underpowered compared to the 64-bit chips Apple has now)


    In less than two years we may have iOS X, the ideal point to merge iOS 10 with OS X, for an OS that can switch between desktop and touch mode and apps that can switch between desktop, full-screen and touch modes. The OS, compilers, binary architecture etc. are all ready. What's needed is simply the integration of Cocoa and CocoaTouch on top of the same OS (remerge the two Darwin branches) and some additional APIs for apps to switch the type of GUI offered based on context.

    This is within reach: OS X already offers UI modes for windowed and full-screen modes, iOS allows for UI modes depending on screen size (iPhone, iPhone plus, iPad) so the basic mechanism are already present.


    Apple could further integrate their offerings with anything between an iPhone to a massively parallel MacPro running on the same CPU and OS architecture.


    Yes, even a MacPro could go ARM: one could have 64 cores where there are now 12, and the GPUs could be just as powerful as what there is now, as these are not directly depending on the CPU choice.


    So really, the only real obstacle is x86 emulation for running legacy Windows apps.

    With more and more corporate computing being cloud based, and with a more OS agnostic M$ (Ballmer is gone, as is evidenced by M$ Office for iOS), this may be less of an issue than ever; and possibly, the streamlined ARM-64 instruction set might be particularly well suited for CPU emulation, or for Macs, Apple could ditch the ARM-32 legacy instruction set and use the freed silicon for

    some special instructions needed for efficient x86 emulation.


    A good evaluation of the situation with hardware. But that's only half of the story.

    There is a real divide between OS X and iOS. It's more than the hardware, and not related to "touch", although that is relevant.

    It's that OS X is a multi-user system in the full sense. There are multiple logins, separate home directories, user-specific permissions and all the other things that characterize a regular Unix system (and it's POSIX-certified).

    But iOS is entirely different. There is Unix at the base but it is not a "regular Unix system". You don't have multiple user logins, a user's files are not stored in that user's home directory, etc, etc. In fact, files are stored in the application's directory in order to enforce sandboxing separation between apps. So in fact it would be a really major change to migrate iOS to merge with OS X. And don't even think of forcing users to go the other way - back to a single-user Mac environment. We've been there before and it's ain't gonna happen again !!

    OS X and iOS are different. I use both and have no problem moving back and forth. As a long-time Mac user (and other stuff before Mac came along) I couldn't live with an iOS-only setup, but the mixed OS X/iOS setup is good. 

    The issue is not the hardware - simple. Or Cocoa/CocoaTouch. Or full-screen. The fundamental issue is how users interact with the various systems they have. Microsoft is trying a one-system-fits-all approach and so far it hasn't gone too well (to put it mildly). Apple has stayed with the two-track scheme and that seems wise to me. Maybe in time there will be developments that will bring things closer, but that time is not yet here. 

    That's why Apple should port OS X to ARM.

    Then they build a 13" MacBook Air with a detachable keyboard. When you want a laptop, you use OS X. Want an iPad? Just remove the keyboard, and hey presto! An iPad running iOS. The display seamlessly switches to iOS when you remove the keyboard and back to OS X when you put it on.
  • Reply 94 of 102
    plovellplovell Posts: 825member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by plovell View Post



    A good evaluation of the situation with hardware. But that's only half of the story.



    There is a real divide between OS X and iOS. It's more than the hardware, and not related to "touch", although that is relevant.



    It's that OS X is a multi-user system in the full sense. There are multiple logins, separate home directories, user-specific permissions and all the other things that characterize a regular Unix system (and it's POSIX-certified).



    But iOS is entirely different. There is Unix at the base but it is not a "regular Unix system". You don't have multiple user logins, a user's files are not stored in that user's home directory, etc, etc. In fact, files are stored in the application's directory in order to enforce sandboxing separation between apps. So in fact it would be a really major change to migrate iOS to merge with OS X. And don't even think of forcing users to go the other way - back to a single-user Mac environment. We've been there before and it's ain't gonna happen again !!



    OS X and iOS are different. I use both and have no problem moving back and forth. As a long-time Mac user (and other stuff before Mac came along) I couldn't live with an iOS-only setup, but the mixed OS X/iOS setup is good. 



    The issue is not the hardware - simple. Or Cocoa/CocoaTouch. Or full-screen. The fundamental issue is how users interact with the various systems they have. Microsoft is trying a one-system-fits-all approach and so far it hasn't gone too well (to put it mildly). Apple has stayed with the two-track scheme and that seems wise to me. Maybe in time there will be developments that will bring things closer, but that time is not yet here. 




    That's why Apple should port OS X to ARM.



    Then they build a 13" MacBook Air with a detachable keyboard. When you want a laptop, you use OS X. Want an iPad? Just remove the keyboard, and hey presto! An iPad running iOS. The display seamlessly switches to iOS when you remove the keyboard and back to OS X when you put it on.

    Ben: the point is my comment is exactly that Apple CANNOT do that, as things now stand. 

     

    For example, you work in OS X for a while creating come documents. Let's assume "Pages" for sake of simplicity. Then you reboot to iOS (seriously - this will require a reboot) to work as an iPad. But wait - my docs are gone !! I can't find them !!  Actually they are still there - it's just that you can't access them. And similarly when you switch back from iOS to OS X-mode. Your iOS docs are in the "wrong" place (although you will be able to find them).

     

    What Apple has to do to make this possible (and I agree with you that it would be nice) is to

    (1) make iOS multi-user, and

    (2) rearrange the storage of files in iOS (which they have to do for (1) in any case)

     

    I stand by my original conclusion "Apple has stayed with the two-track scheme [OS X and iOS] and that seems wise to me. Maybe in time there will be developments that will bring things closer, but that time is not yet here."

  • Reply 95 of 102


     


    Quote:


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gerry g View Post

     

    this is a dumb article and a dumb hypothesis, high end users be they Apple or Microsoft customers have been loosing out of late due to Intel shifting focus to the low end of the market where the volume and the money is, Apple replacing risc with cisc will only be of benefit to the low end market these chips will never replace Oct core sever processors and we at the high end will be left hanging. Worse, if  the OS transitions to the new architecture and all the high end pro apps are still on Intel I predict a huge mass exodus of high end professional users migrating to Windows just as fast as they can.




    Right. Apple losing the high end to Windows.

     

    If you had tried, really hard, you couldn't have come up with a dumber statement.



     



     


    What an absolutely ridiculous comment PMZ.  


     


    I can very easily see sense in what Gerry G is saying.   In the rush to mobile and consumer markets the Pro Apple users have clearly been left behind over the last decade.   Some of it comes down to Hardware and some of it down to Apples software decisions.   Shake, Final Cut Pro X and now Aperture have all been treated with massive disdain.   Adobe Premiere Pro is thriving at the moment, in large part due to the botch of FCPX.   The frequent OSX updates regularly cause issues with 3rd party software, not to mention 3rd party hardware.   The no new features, yet plenty of bug fixes, approach of snow leopard was the best thing Apple have done with OSX in years and is clearly needed again.   I've heard of huge frustrations from pro audio engineers who've upgraded to Yosemite.   Apple are very elusive on when issues will be fixed, or even admitting they exist.


     


    The slow development cycle of the Mac Pro continues.   Before the late 2013 refresh the Mac Pro had nothing but processor bumps for years.   I think even the Macbook Air and Mac mini, which are both clearly aimed at the consumer, had Thunderbolt before the Mac Pro.   The revolutionary design changes at the end of 2013 offered fantastic performance increases, but mainly in Apples own software FCPX.   Moving to a single processor system now leaves the Pro machine massively lagging behind possible windows counterparts.   The Xeon processors were updated months ago but we're still waiting on Apple to upgrade them and move to DDR4 Memory.   Same story with the graphics.


    I can spec dual xeon E5-2699 processors in competing workstations.   That's 36 cores at 2.3ghz, compared to 12 @ 2.7ghz in the Top Mac Pro.   iTunes and Safari might benefit from the higher clock speed but 3D ray tracing will use as many cores as you can throw at it.   In addition I can get 256Gb of RAM (MP limited to 64Gb), up to 48GB of GPU memory with Cuda support (MP limited to 12Gb and no Cuda) and internal storage solutions offering read speeds of 2160mb/sec (MP less than 1000mb/sec)


    These kind of specs are so far beyond the average consumer it's unbelievable, but if you want to watch your TV shows, Movies and play your games in 4k (or maybe 5k) resolution then someone like me has to create them.   Cameras are shooting at higher and higher resolutions in higher and higher colour depths and this puts massive strain on our hardware.


    So why don't I just buy a PC?   Because I'm a Mac user and I have been for decades.   I hate using Windows and I have grown up with the mentality that the Mac is the best solution for creative professionals.   I've argued this until I'm blue in the face because, in general, I've always believed it.   But in the last 3-4 years I've really started to feel that sticking with the Mac is starting to cost me time, which eventually costs me money.   I am due a new workstation and would desperately love to get a new Mac Pro but I am currently not happy with the cost/benefit analysis of what they are offering.   I am hoping for the new Xeon processors to be added, graphics upgrades and some software compatibility issues of Yosemite to be sorted.   If this doesn't happen before June, then I expect I will be doing the (previously) unthinkable and ordering a windows machine. 


     


    So PMZ, Apple are in danger of losing high end users to Windows.   It is not a dumb statement and a very real occurrence.


     


    As a side note, the Mac Mini may be aimed at consumers, but did they really need to stop making a high end option.   The general consumer might be fine with a dual core i5, but I use the previous generation i7 mac minis in a small render farm and they are much faster.   Also, did you need to solder the RAM.   It's not like you made it any smaller.   An Quad Core (or even 6 core) version with 32Gb of RAM would be appreciated thanks. 


     


    Quote:






    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

    Are there not higher end computers than Apple's?



    Can you name ONE?



    Yes.   Go check out a Boxx Apexx 4.   It's a big ugly black box, but smokes the Mac Pro for hardware configs.   But you'll need a mortgage..

  • Reply 96 of 102
    1. This has been done. Rosetta was a beautiful success in making the intel transition all but seamless.
    2. XCode allows developers to issue their production code in whatever flavour they like - that includes universal binaries.
    3. The article concludes with, "not worth it for a few million Macs". Well, it's 20 M per year and growing. A number some of the largest PC makers would salivate over.
    4. Apple don't want to sell Macs as much as they want to gain customers who sign up to the ecosystem. If that means a lower priced MacBook Air, then so be it. The halo effect is many times more valuable to Apple than the difference in margin such a computer would entail.
    5. ARM's core out easily.
    6. The article raises the Surface as an example how such a switch will fail. Really? Everyone knew the Surface would fail from the get go. It was _not_ a transition to ARM, it was an offshoot product. MS had and have no intention of replacing intel as their main target CPU. Apple, transitioning to the ARM would want to abandon intel as completely as they abandoned PPC. (Note that the Surface Pro 3 (intel) is a very good PC and successful for it).
    7. The advantages to Apple in having their entire product line under their own chip design team can't be ignored.
    8. Major downside: Virtualization will not work for those who need some Windows functionality. Linux should be no issue.

    Further, you can be absolutely sure that somewhere in Cupertino is a Mac built around ARM processors, and it is running OS X perfectly. This was true of an intel Mac at least 5 years before the intel switch announcement.

    To me ARM is coming to Mac. When? Hard to pinpoint - but before 2020.

    -Beast
  • Reply 97 of 102
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,221member
    1. This has been done. Rosetta was a beautiful success in making the intel transition all but seamless.
    2. XCode allows developers to issue their production code in whatever flavour they like - that includes universal binaries.
    3. The article concludes with, "not worth it for a few million Macs". Well, it's 20 M per year and growing. A number some of the largest PC makers would salivate over.
    4. Apple don't want to sell Macs as much as they want to gain customers who sign up to the ecosystem. If that means a lower priced MacBook Air, then so be it. The halo effect is many times more valuable to Apple than the difference in margin such a computer would entail.
    5. ARM's core out easily.
    6. The article raises the Surface as an example how such a switch will fail. Really? Everyone knew the Surface would fail from the get go. It was _not_ a transition to ARM, it was an offshoot product. MS had and have no intention of replacing intel as their main target CPU. Apple, transitioning to the ARM would want to abandon intel as completely as they abandoned PPC. (Note that the Surface Pro 3 (intel) is a very good PC and successful for it).
    7. The advantages to Apple in having their entire product line under their own chip design team can't be ignored.
    8. Major downside: Virtualization will not work for those who need some Windows functionality. Linux should be no issue.

    Further, you can be absolutely sure that somewhere in Cupertino is a Mac built around ARM processors, and it is running OS X perfectly. This was true of an intel Mac at least 5 years before the intel switch announcement.

    To me ARM is coming to Mac. When? Hard to pinpoint - but before 2020.

    -Beast
    Agreed.

    The last few posts to this thread are absolute nonsense. There are several mistakes being made here that boggle the mind. The difference between OS X and iOS is the I/O including the UI. The UI and the applications on iOS are optimized for multi-touch. The UI and applications on OS X are optimized for WIMP. The notion that OS X does multitasking but iOS does not is just plain wrong. What you see onscreen notwithstanding, iOS multitasks like crazy behind in the background.

    Then there is the notion that ARM is not powerful enough. I will leave aside the fact that iOS devices run on Apple SoCs based on ARM and not on generic ARM processors. In 2005, Apple revealed that every version of MacOS X ran on Intel. The logical inference of this information was that Apple would continue to ensure that MacOS X would run on multiple processor families. Indeed, the original iPhone was neither Intel nor PPC, but it ran a version of OS X.

    MacOS has been ported to Motorola 680x0, Intel x86, and IBM/Motorola/FreeScale PPC. NeXT ported NeXTstep/OpenSTEP to Motorola 680x0, Motorola 880x0, Intel x86, Sun SPARC, HP PA, and others. Most of these processors pale in performance to current Apple Ax processors in today's iOS devices. Quite frankly, having Macs in the lab based on Apple Ax processors is a no-brainer.
  • Reply 98 of 102
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member



    This article is an interesting analysis

    The major part of Apple success, is I phone and in a lesser extent I pad. 

    Investing in chip technology in this department, is one of the key of success, because unlike some other competitors, Apple is doing both the software and hardware, thus the synergy between A chips and IOS  is great and give good results. 

     

    X 86 is a huge market, that require a big family of chips (and not only an A and an AX version of the same chip, X for better graphics)

    Why invest so much money with such a hazardous result ? 

    The I pad pro, may be the future of the Apple, but Apple need developers, if they want to interest the industry. 

    Currently Apple's developper policy is the weak point of IOS for the emergency of pro grade software. Major software companies, will not develop for less than 10 $ , and been heavily taxed by Apple. 

  • Reply 99 of 102
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Powerdoc View Post

     



    This article is an interesting analysis

    The major part of Apple success, is I phone and in a lesser extent I pad. 

    Investing in chip technology in this department, is one of the key of success, because unlike some other competitors, Apple is doing both the software and hardware, thus the synergy between A chips and IOS  is great and give good results. 

     

    X 86 is a huge market, that require a big family of chips (and not only an A and an AX version of the same chip, X for better graphics)

    Why invest so much money with such a hazardous result ? 

    The I pad pro, may be the future of the Apple, but Apple need developers, if they want to interest the industry. 

    Currently Apple's developper policy is the weak point of IOS for the emergency of pro grade software. Major software companies, will not develop for less than 10 $ , and been heavily taxed by Apple. 


     

    Yep.  Steve Jobs made clear the difference between the iOS world and the OS X world.  The later is the domain of creatives, and the former the domain of information consumers.  Okay, that's too black and white - but there is no programmer or hard core writer, photographer, etc. who will be doing the majority of their work on iPad Pros.  They'll still need a full "real" keyboard, pointing device and all sorts of I/O to control devices, external storage, massive pro printers, consoles, sound control panels, etc.  That's OS X land.  (Edge cases are not meaningful).

     

    The Apple Ax processors continue to increase in power.  They can be ganged up cheaply to overpower whatever intel wants to throw at them.

     

    As the transition to intel showed a bridge interpreter (Rosetta) is all you need to make it painless for _most_ users.  As the transition moves to the higher end platforms over time, the developers will have time to recompile and test on the new hardware.  That includes the all so important graphics end of it - and Apple are paving that highway with Metal long ahead.  Developers would be foolish to not make their graphics code Metal as soon as possible.  It will make them ready for "the day" while improving their performance in the interim.  Win and win again.

  • Reply 100 of 102
    if the iPad pro went to be a success, (and the one port Macbook) I guess Apple's strategy would be clearer towards abandoning Intel, in the sense of pushing more powerful "pro iPads" that can accept major powerful pro applications (1st generation iPad pro can handle 3 streams of 4K at the same time, so I wonder what kind of applications not yet possible on that platform), Although the only barrier for pro apps would be the price tax that Apple stricted, but that can be easily solved with subscription based cloud apps (Adobe-Avid-Microsoft..etc..). If u say we need USB.. Thunderbolt.. Whatever, I would simply argue that Apple's whole idea of the iPad is "1-cloud , 2-wifi, 3-futuristic workflow. The third point is what Apple and others waiting for the majority to embrace, and move toward the ever cheaper cloud storage (50% iCloud discount at the iPad pro release!). There is no need for Apple to abruptly move to ARM and kill Intel. It's is already doing it while in one hand delivering the best of Intel technology and in the other hand releasing even more powerful and compact ARM That can do the best of what Intel can do with more efficient resources (4GB RAM, mm thin with 10 hrs battery).I just think that the Mac line will be left to die (or maybe left as a companion for more powerful iOS with the ever converging OS releases).
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