Stop panicking about Apple's rumored switch from Intel to its own chips in the Mac

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  • Reply 21 of 246
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,198member
    mario said:
    Soli said:
    Oztotl said:
    First concern is the ability to run virtual Linux and Windows OS's under the new hardware. This is key to having only a souped up Macbook Pro to support multiple platforms and clients
    Why is that a concern? If you're doing that now why can't you continue doing that in the future? A low-end Mac running ARM will not make your Intel Mac stop working.
    It's a concern because virtualization software as implemented today relies on Intel CPU's virtualization instructions to make virtualized code run near native speed. So if you say use Mac to run a virtual machine to emulate Linux, Intel CPU makes it possible to run Linux in the virtual environment nearly as fast as if you installed actual Linux on your Mac's hard drive.

    Switch to Arm would change this, since obviously ARM doesn't have Intel's CPU virtualization instructions, and for licensing reasons might never have them.
    Your comment makes the assumption that if Apple offers a low-end Mac running RAM that you would have to stop using your Intel-based Mac. Again, this will not stop your Intel Mac from working.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 22 of 246
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,774member

    rcfa said:
    There’s no merit in having an Intel CPU per se.

    The issue is software: Audio plug-ins discontinued, Aperture, VirtualBox, Adobe Software predating the subscription jail, etc.

    If Apple had retained Rosetta indefinitely, we’d all be calm. But what we’re looking at, is yet another orphaning of critical software.

    It would be high time Apple would switch to something like LLVM intermediate code as compilation target, such that any software would retain essentially indefinite compatibility with any past, present, and future CPU for which LLVM or something corresponding exists.
    Intermediate code would be one architecture of a universal binary, the actual target architecture only being generated during install or first execution.

    If you can convert LLVM to any other architecture, then it stands to reason the reverse is true as well. LLVM is just a "virtual architecture" as it only exists in software. Code can be translated on the fly with very little overhead on modern processors and Apple could even create a TPU, Translation Processing Unit, for transitioning systems, if they thought it was necessary.

    Furthermore, this is already done with apps submitted to the App Store; they are compiled as bit code and then recompiled and optimized for the target device/architecture. This also applies to resources in the app bundle, only the appropriate resources are included when downloaded to a particular device.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 23 of 246
    mariomario Posts: 341member
    Soli said:
    mario said:
    Soli said:
    Oztotl said:
    First concern is the ability to run virtual Linux and Windows OS's under the new hardware. This is key to having only a souped up Macbook Pro to support multiple platforms and clients
    Why is that a concern? If you're doing that now why can't you continue doing that in the future? A low-end Mac running ARM will not make your Intel Mac stop working.
    It's a concern because virtualization software as implemented today relies on Intel CPU's virtualization instructions to make virtualized code run near native speed. So if you say use Mac to run a virtual machine to emulate Linux, Intel CPU makes it possible to run Linux in the virtual environment nearly as fast as if you installed actual Linux on your Mac's hard drive.

    Switch to Arm would change this, since obviously ARM doesn't have Intel's CPU virtualization instructions, and for licensing reasons might never have them.
    Your comment makes the assumption that if Apple offers a low-end Mac running RAM that you would have to stop using your Intel-based Mac. Again, this will not stop your Intel Mac from working.
    Of course it won't. It will just slowly get out of date, and due to the speed at which we now release software updates and esp. security updates it will become a liability to use outdated OS/software combo in about 2 years after hypothetical arm CPU mac is released.
    maltz
  • Reply 24 of 246
    Honestly, it seems like Apple waiving the white flag at being Content Creation devices. While the iMac Pro's specs are indeed impressive, it's inflexibility is not reassuring as a long-term investment. I haven't even heard any good rumors about a new Mac Pro. Maybe Apple wants to get out of that business? 
  • Reply 25 of 246
    bikertwinbikertwin Posts: 556member
    cropr said:
    Owing a SW company that develops apps and cloud services, my back end developers need  high performant machines that can develop a cloud service by running locally a few Intel based Linux VM's.  Currently they have a mix of Macbook Pro machines and Ubuntu based Dell XPS machines (with 32 GB of RAM).  In case a Mac won't offer that functionality anymore (which is not a given fact for the moment), I'll move more developers to the Dell XPS machines, limiting the Macbooks for those who design the graphical user interface or who develop the iOS app.  Absolutely no panic, just a simple business decision.
    A very logical business decision that should be balanced against two things:

    1. How happy will your employees be (and will “transition Macs” have both CPUs allowing your employees the best of both worlds)?

    2. Will Intel continue as the primary server side CPU technology or will that become ARM, too, eventually?
  • Reply 26 of 246
    guckguck Posts: 1member
    I'm not a major fan of Apple, I am a Microsoft and Google boy through and through, but if Apple can pioneer the shift from x86 CISC based CPU's to ARM RISC based CPU's, I'm all for it because it would mean it's just a matter of time for Windows to start making the shift too.
  • Reply 27 of 246
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,224administrator
    blackstar said:
    Honestly, it seems like Apple waiving the white flag at being Content Creation devices. While the iMac Pro's specs are indeed impressive, it's inflexibility is not reassuring as a long-term investment. I haven't even heard any good rumors about a new Mac Pro. Maybe Apple wants to get out of that business? 
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/17/04/04/all-new-mac-pro-with-modular-design-apple-branded-pro-displays-coming-in-2018
    fastasleepcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 246
    I am really hoping the first isn't a Mac Mini replacement. I need a new intel Mac Mini capable of 4K output. I don't want one that won't run half my software correctly for the first who knows how many months/years. If they do this, I'll be forced down the painful hackintosh route. Something I very much don't want.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 29 of 246
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,198member
    mario said:
    Soli said:
    mario said:
    Soli said:
    Oztotl said:
    First concern is the ability to run virtual Linux and Windows OS's under the new hardware. This is key to having only a souped up Macbook Pro to support multiple platforms and clients
    Why is that a concern? If you're doing that now why can't you continue doing that in the future? A low-end Mac running ARM will not make your Intel Mac stop working.
    It's a concern because virtualization software as implemented today relies on Intel CPU's virtualization instructions to make virtualized code run near native speed. So if you say use Mac to run a virtual machine to emulate Linux, Intel CPU makes it possible to run Linux in the virtual environment nearly as fast as if you installed actual Linux on your Mac's hard drive.

    Switch to Arm would change this, since obviously ARM doesn't have Intel's CPU virtualization instructions, and for licensing reasons might never have them.
    Your comment makes the assumption that if Apple offers a low-end Mac running RAM that you would have to stop using your Intel-based Mac. Again, this will not stop your Intel Mac from working.
    Of course it won't. It will just slowly get out of date, and due to the speed at which we now release software updates and esp. security updates it will become a liability to use outdated OS/software combo in about 2 years after hypothetical arm CPU mac is released.
    Then buy a new Intel Mac when the time comes to upgrade, just as you do now.
  • Reply 30 of 246
    The idea that old, Intel Macs would keep working, offered as a reason to not be concerned about a shift from Intel chips seems shortsighted to me. It only delays the day when Macs will no longer be viable for those of us with a need for Intel compatibility. 

    I *have to* run Linux and Windows VMs and *want to* use a Mac; it's not the other way around for me and the loss of the ability to do the former would mean my very reluctant move away from Macs. Being able to run Docker containers on my Mac has further underscored my need for Intel compatibility. This is an upsetting thought to me, as I love using macOS as my desktop OS. Nearly every network and software engineer that I know who is a Mac user is in the same boat as I am. 

    It may well be that this will come to pass, or it may be that it's just a rumour. Perhaps (and this is my hope) Apple will use its own CPUs for low-end systems and Intel CPUs in Pro machines. In any case, I think it's a mistake to underestimate the loss to the Apple community of what I think will be an enormous number of developers. Being dismissive of people's concerns is a little heartless. 
    muthuk_vanalingamAlex1N
  • Reply 31 of 246
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,224administrator
    The idea that old, Intel Macs would keep working, offered as a reason to not be concerned about a shift from Intel chips seems shortsighted to me. It only delays the day when Macs will no longer be viable for those of us with a need for Intel compatibility. 

    I *have to* run Linux and Windows VMs and *want to* use a Mac; it's not the other way around for me and the loss of the ability to do the former would mean my very reluctant move away from Macs. Being able to run Docker containers on my Mac has further underscored my need for Intel compatibility. This is an upsetting thought to me, as I love using macOS as my desktop OS. Nearly every network and software engineer that I know who is a Mac user is in the same boat as I am. 

    It may well be that this will come to pass, or it may be that it's just a rumour. Perhaps (and this is my hope) Apple will use its own CPUs for low-end systems and Intel CPUs in Pro machines. In any case, I think it's a mistake to underestimate the loss to the Apple community of what I think will be an enormous number of developers. Being dismissive of people's concerns is a little heartless. 
    I bet it won't cause an enormous loss of developers, the same that the last two shifts didn't, nor any other move that promised to be the death of developers like Xcode was heralded to be. And, like I said, the mini and the MacBook are likely the first, as the A-series processor doesn't have any super-heavy lifters at present.

    I'm also pretty sure that you realize that you are not typical of the Mac using public. You are an outlier. That's not a bad thing, mind you, but also not a giant market segment for the company.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 32 of 246
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,198member
    The idea that old, Intel Macs would keep working, offered as a reason to not be concerned about a shift from Intel chips seems shortsighted to me. It only delays the day when Macs will no longer be viable for those of us with a need for Intel compatibility. 

    I *have to* run Linux and Windows VMs and *want to* use a Mac; it's not the other way around for me and the loss of the ability to do the former would mean my very reluctant move away from Macs. Being able to run Docker containers on my Mac has further underscored my need for Intel compatibility. This is an upsetting thought to me, as I love using macOS as my desktop OS. Nearly every network and software engineer that I know who is a Mac user is in the same boat as I am. 

    It may well be that this will come to pass, or it may be that it's just a rumour. Perhaps (and this is my hope) Apple will use its own CPUs for low-end systems and Intel CPUs in Pro machines. In any case, I think it's a mistake to underestimate the loss to the Apple community of what I think will be an enormous number of developers. Being dismissive of people's concerns is a little heartless. 
    We're at an early rumor stage of Apple including ARM-based Macs to their line up but some of you are already freaking out that Apple is killing of the Intel Macs. Slow your roll. You have no reason to believe that Apple is going to drop Intel from their Pro model Macs just because they offer ARM as an option for lower-end Macs. You also don't know what they can do with their custom silicon that could support x86_64, or how the market will change before any decision for you to stop buying Intel Macs will ever come to pass. My guess is that by the time Apple drops the hammer on their upper end (i.e.: MacBook Pro and Mac Pro) nearly every one of you "the sky is falling" commenters will be saying, "it's about damn time."
    brucemcStrangeDaysAlex1Nfastasleep
  • Reply 33 of 246
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,775member
    I'm not panicking, I'm anxiously waiting!!

    Btw, the Macintosh LC was horrid!
    edited April 4 xzu
  • Reply 34 of 246
    I own and iPhone & iPad.  I’ve never owned a Mac, though I’ve provided tech support for them.

    I’d definitely consider a MacBook running an A series chip.  I’d expect security to be improved and for them to be sold at an aggressive price point, plus amazing battery life.

    Apple needs to work on multi core performance, but single core performance is already excellent.

    I don’t know why anyone would panic.  I expect laptops (non pro) to transition, but workstations to stay Intel for many many years.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 35 of 246
    rain22rain22 Posts: 17member
    Depends on what is important to you.  For me, it would be a nail in the coffin for Macs; interoperability is why Macs got beyond the 2% niche level.  Design helped, but it would never have happened if you couldn't use the same laptop to run Windows or Linux/Unix.

    I could likely survive with an A-Series processor for 95% of what I do, but the remaining 5% kills the value proposition as I end up needing an additional computer.
    Macs have consistently been between 6 and 7 percent of the total marketshare well before and well after the shift to Intel.

    And, I'm sure that there will be some loss. But, nobody is expecting an overnight shift in every product. I suspect the first computer to shift over will be the MacBook, with the MBP taking a few more years at least, if ever.
    They were down to less than 3% in the final years of PPC. 
    It was the switch to Intel and the boom in laptop popularity that got them over the 5% hump. 
  • Reply 36 of 246
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,301member
    nunzy said:
    Will this be a step towards uniting iOS and OSX?
    No. They are two different realms based on two different sets of human-machine interaction. iOS has a touch based interface, macOS has mouse interface. The touch is for quick mobile interactions, the mouse is for precision data selection. They respond to different needs.
    StrangeDaysnunzyAlex1N
  • Reply 37 of 246
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,224administrator
    rain22 said:
    Depends on what is important to you.  For me, it would be a nail in the coffin for Macs; interoperability is why Macs got beyond the 2% niche level.  Design helped, but it would never have happened if you couldn't use the same laptop to run Windows or Linux/Unix.

    I could likely survive with an A-Series processor for 95% of what I do, but the remaining 5% kills the value proposition as I end up needing an additional computer.
    Macs have consistently been between 6 and 7 percent of the total marketshare well before and well after the shift to Intel.

    And, I'm sure that there will be some loss. But, nobody is expecting an overnight shift in every product. I suspect the first computer to shift over will be the MacBook, with the MBP taking a few more years at least, if ever.
    They were down to less than 3% in the final years of PPC. 
    It was the switch to Intel and the boom in laptop popularity that got them over the 5% hump. 
    Still no. They were down to 3 percent prior to Steve Jobs's return. They then surged to 6% with the iMac, and maintained.
    Alex1Nfastasleepcornchip
  • Reply 38 of 246
    I bet it won't cause an enormous loss of developers, the same that the last two shifts didn't, nor any other move that promised to be the death of developers like Xcode was heralded to be. And, like I said, the mini and the MacBook are likely the first, as the A-series processor doesn't have any super-heavy lifters at present.


    I'm also pretty sure that you realize that you are not typical of the Mac using public. You are an outlier. That's not a bad thing, mind you, but also not a giant market segment for the company.
    Yeah, I'm an outlier and if Apple has to move away from a path that I can follow then I'll reluctantly go a different way. However, I'm also the reason that Macs are used in my department at work. I was the first to get one (back when they went Intel) and I created the conditions (and developed the software) that let them become viable options for others. People like me are outliers but we can also be halo users that bring others in.

    It may be that developers won't leave, but this shift is fundamentally different than the previous ones in that it is the first shift away from the mainstream. Going to Intel made Macs viable in places such as Google (and now Amazon) and brought huge numbers of developers into the ecosystem. Maybe they'll stay; maybe they won't. But! Interesting times ahead at least  :D
    Alex1N
  • Reply 39 of 246
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,173member
    Wouldn’t Apple start this with the MacBook as a test bed/proof of concept? I can’t imagine the iMac Pro or MacPro or even the higher end MacBook Pro dumping Intel anytime soon.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 40 of 246
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 45member
    The one thing to keep in mind is that prices will never drop because Apple is designing their own chips, so the cost of Intel chips is irrelevent.
    cornchip
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